Wednesday, 31 January 2018

True Believers 2018 - It's a BIG deal!

Evening All,

Apologies but it’s shameless promo time (I figured that I promote enough of everyone else’s comics that I might get a pass on this?)

This weekend is the True Believers Comic Festival. Saturday the 3rd of February 2018 between 10am and 5pm to be specific. It’s a festival in it’s fourth year at Cheltenham Race Course. I’ve been to the last couple and had an absolute blast.

I’ll be with my podcast brothers at Tables H12 and H13. we’ll be generally larking about and trying to record some audio for the upcoming shows. Here is a handy map that only includes where we are so F everyone else.



This year is a particularly big event for me for a number of reasons.


Reason 1.



Myself, Vince Hunt, Dan Butcher, Daniel Marc Chant and Nick Prolix are launching the first issue of our anthology. It contains the first instalment of Cockney Kung Fu from myself and Nick and we are so pleased with how it came out.

It’s only £3 for 36 pages. Post the release it’ll be available in physical and digital formats over at www.awesomecomicpod.bigcartel.com

We’ll also have some prints and T-Shirts for sale.


Reason 2.


Myself and the very mighty Susie Gander (along with letters by Dan Butcher) have a story in the charity comic Little Heroes. This is a new venture that will also be getting a release at True Believers.

I’ve written a story that has been infinitely improved by some gorgeous coloured art from Susie called ‘Enter The Bike Force’. This is a comic that is being distributed to hospitals along with comic making kits for kids to make their own comics alongside.

It’s a great charity and Aaron could always do with more help running it. Find out more at www.littleheroescomics.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @littleheroeskit

Reason 3.

Panels, panels. I’ll be chairing a couple of conversations in one of the panel rooms on the top floor at the venue.



At 12.45pm.

This one will be about writing and how and why we go about it. We are lucky to have some great guests including Anthony Johnston who wrote the graphic novel The Coldest City that was made into the movie Atomic Blonde. He also wrote The Fuse for Image Comics which is one of my favourite books of the last few years. Next to him is the highly popular and thoughtful creator Racheal Smith who is responsible for the art and writing on books such as The Rabbit and Wired Up Wrong. And finally is that man responsible for the excellent Samurai Slasher retro horror comics series as well as books like The Kill Screen a certain Mr Mike Garley.


At 2.15pm.

Later in the day we get to talk crowdfunding. I’ll be joined by Rob Jones (Madius Comics), Sarah ‘Milmo’ Millman (the Welsh hurricane responsible for The Heart of Time and NPC Tea), Lyndon White (officially the busiest artist in comics) and Jon Laight (comics writer of Brethren Born and an actual fighter pilot).

We'll be talking about what it takes to start along the road of a Kickstarter, the stress of dealing with it and finally making good on all those whispered promises.


Reason 4.


At 4pm.

Put those big boy pants on!

Last year I was off my face and can't remember what I said. I just have a vague memory of Vince looking at me like I just shagged his nan!

We will also have sweets and badges!

We are also hoping that it will get recorded and we'll have it to put out at www.awesomecomics.podbean.com at a future date.


Looking forward to seeing everyone.


Many thanks for reading.



Saturday, 27 January 2018

Art - Really? The Rebel from Tony Hancock.


Another piece from the Cockney Kung Fu mailer that albeit talks about a movie has tendrils into the art and comics world in a number of different ways.
 
I’ve been meaning to rewatch this movie for a while now. I saw it as a kid and have fond memories of watching it with my father who was a fan of Hancock from back in his radio days and the too short TV series. I have also rewatched The Punch and Judy Man that Hancock made later and in my opinion is a better movie in many ways.
 
My reasons for watching it other than the obvious nostalgia factor was to see if it addressed things and areas of this world that I had long thought it did in fact cover through my memories. Did it lampoon the art world to the extent that I remembered? Is it still a movie that you can quote when people:
 
A. Publish comics that are clearly so bad that they do not deserve the praise rained upon them.
 
And.
 
B. Produce comics that say exactly the same thing but with that self censorship that comes with an unwillingness to hurt other creators’ feelings.
 
So..... I wrote some notes as I watched.
 

The Rebel.
 
Starring Tony Hancock and George Sanders.
 
Written by Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and Tony Hancock.
 
Directed by Robert Day.
 

 
I am always struck with the shortness of opening credits in movies made prior to say 1975. They seem to just say what they have to say and get on with showing a story. It’s common for me to look at my watch these days as we get ‘clever’ animations that seemingly last for minutes just to show us the name of the production company. As the opening credits roll I notice name after name that I recognise. It reminds me of a rainy Saturday afternoon of movie watching at home.
 
The movie opens on Hancock on his way to work. You’ll notice as the movie rolls on that he uses his own name as he did in the radio and TV series. He was after all probably too well known in the UK to do anything else at that point in his career.
 
It’s notable that the opening sequence has a stylistic flair that I neither remembered nor expected. It is wordless for minutes. A train arrives and Hancock races through no small amount of small minded cunning to get a seat. He is surrounded by bowler hatted and pinstripe suited city businessmen. They all open a paper at the same time on the same train that they get on every morning. Hancock surveys the carriage and in an echoing inner monologue catalogues their types down to what he presumes they drink down the pub. As the train rattles along Hancock finally utters some words in frustration;
 
Where are we going?’
 
Waterloo!’ Is the quick and impatient reply from a man next to him
 
As Hancock sits at his desk at work you can see how frustrated and bored he has become. He is prone to doodling the faces of his colleagues in the margins of the account books he keeps. John Le Mesurier arrives at exactly half past the hour and gives the line of desks a quick look up and down. Let’s face it, JLM is the fucking Dean of the Scowl! He works into that face of his both a familiar friendliness along with often irate infuriation! A man who often has his patience frayed and his interactions with Hancock are the fire that boils his water.
 
We then see a conversation between Hancock and his boss that does in fact boil over. Hancock takes the man that we fully recognise from his jaded yet open eyed sarcasm on the TV and radio to more of an active and almost slapstick role. He and JLM get at it (not like that) and Hancock chews the scenery as he describes his need to grow artistically.
 
I must break away and find myself!’
 
JLM - ‘I do hope that you’re not one of those angry young men.....why don’t you join the tennis club?’
 
We then quickly shift to Hancock’s flat where he is working on a sculpture that if you called it grotesquely inept would be doing it a favour. Hancock performs brilliantly in this scene and speaks to the sculpture like she is a lover. As he chips lumps off her nose he coaxes her into believing that he is doing it for her own good. I absolutely loved this scene. Hancock goes out of his comfort zone again but does so with perfect vigorous delivery.
 
Hang on. Irene Handl is playing Mrs Crevatte and Hancock’s landlady. She hears the banging and comes upstairs in her curlers to investigate. I began to notice at this point that Galton and Simpson recycle at least a couple of their earlier jokes in this movie. Hancock in reply to Mrs Crevatte makes reference to the house saying;
 
This place hasn’t been touched since 1850. What are you waiting for? A loan from the National Trust’
 
This is a recycle of a joke that formed the central conceit for the tv episode ‘Lord Byron Lived Here.’ An episode that aired two years earlier. But it still lands well with Hancock’s class delivery. In fact Handl is given some excellent lines as this scene continues. One is a line that is oft cited as a classic.
 
Hancock - ‘I’m an impressionist!’
 
Handl - ‘Well it don’t impress me!’
 
She also gets this excellent line.
 
‘I got not time for naked women with no clothes on. They’re lewd.’
 
Although the character Hancock plays in this movie is a little removed from what we have previously been used to there are still the obvious moments that are and can only be a Hancock moment. He believes himself to be the only sane person in the world as he does so often in the tv series. His own skewed and selfish logic is applied to so many of the situations from episodes like The Blood Donor or The Impersonator to his interactions with critics of his work in this movie. A prime example of this is when at about twenty minutes into the movie he goes to a trendy cafe and encounters problems ordering a white coffee. His hang dog jowls tell a story that I encounter on a weekly basis even now. (Sound familiar?)
 
Maybe he is the only credible voice in cinema? The world is now as it was then an incredulous place?
 

 
(At this point I would like to add that Liz Fraser plays the waitress in the aforementioned cafe. I had a bit of a crush on that lady!)
 
I am also taken with what Hancock’s legacy exists today? Would we really so thoroughly embrace Partridge, Brittas, Brent and even Larry David without this sarcastic wanker laying the comedic ground rules?
 
But. This is the big ‘But’ for the movie. The credibility of this man falls when you realise two things.
 
  1. He is a deluded idiot. And..
  2. His art is fucking awful by anyone’s standards other than his own.
 
So Hancock whilst bathing in an ocean of delusion takes himself off to Paris. A place where surely he will be recognised as one of the greats and rewarded with riches and applause. Let’s see shall we...
 
The journey to France on the ferry is not without ridiculous events. Hancock has a terrific little soliloquy about how his life is about to change and he is throwing off the shackles of his previous employment. He throws away his bowler hat that (obviously) has his travel tickets stuck in the brim and then throws away his umbrella only to find it pouring down cats and dogs when he arrives in Calais.
 
Hancock is always the comedian that you take a pleasure in laughing at rather than along with. He is the supreme example of a small-minded berk. He fights through what he sees to be the unfairness of the world to at least attempt to get something for himself. In this case he blags rides to Paris and then walks the street, bank sides and alleyways of the city drinking in the atmosphere. He then finds himself in a small cafe and orders a glass of wine. At the next table are a group of struggling Parisian artists who are discussing the medium. One short-lived appearance is by a very young looking Oliver Reed who sort of Shouts and Leaves!
 
Hancock befriends one of the artists and moves into a studio with him. This other artist is also an Englishman called Paul and played by Paul Massie. He is actually (and especially in comparison to Hancock) a great artist but lacks the voice and confidence to promote himself on the scene.
 
Hancock has, as always, has a fuck-load to say and pretty much zero talent to back up his boasts. (This ringing true at all folks?)
 
Paul manages to express himself to Hancock. as they talk Hancock reveals himself again to the audience as what a fraud he truly is....
 
Paul - (on the subject of painting a representation of a chair) ‘The feeling of being a chair.’
 
Hancock - ‘Yes, that wooden feeling.’
 
The pair trade lines about their respective creative drives and you feel that again Hancock is out of his depth. At one moment Hancock, in an effort to impress his new found friend, mentions that he once attempted suicide. This is a chilling moment when you remember that only some seven years later Hancock was to take his own life whilst living in Australia. In a suicide note he wrote at the time of his death he said;
 
Things just seemed to go too wrong too many times.’
 
This is a moment that had me pause in my watching of The Rebel.
 
I carry on and sense that this strange French world is again taking Hancock out of his comfort zone and stretching the familiarity that the audience had with this already fully realised fictitious persona. As they walk to the studio Hancock sees artists literally exchanging blows over creative differences and a beautiful woman who briefly flirts with him. In a couple of these moments we see the child behind the facade. Nobody can be that cocksure of themselves. The bravado of this ‘talented’ artist slips on the odd occasion and that is why we warm to Hancock in this movie for the most part. You almost want him to fit into this beatnik society and then every few minutes he lets himself down with comments like;
 
Your colours are the wrong shape.’
 
That infamous line rings out like a bell whenever I hear it! And right at that moment I like to imagine that every pretentious, hipster, tattooed knobend at every fart smelling, trendy gallery gets a little pang of guilt! The battle of total confidence and tasteless delusion.
 
So, in spite of himself Hancock becomes a popular character in the Paris art scene. He projects his diatribes on roomfuls of freakish empty minded trendies that includes an almost unrecognisable Nanette Newman as Josie.
 
Paul - ‘Josie is an existentialist.’
 
Hancock - ‘Why kill time when you can kill yourself.’
 
If ‘Josie’ was an actress today she would be a good bet to play Gaiman’s Death in a movie! We also get the second reference to suicide. A strange and sad coincidence.
 
Hancock makes use of a lot more physical comedy in this movie that he was previously known for. A particular scene where he splashes paint onto a huge canvas and then dances and gurns his way over it in his dirty boots could be out of a Marx Brothers movie. It showed what he could do and it in my opinion really works. We see some more of this later in a dance scene that had me laughing. You could easily see this happening in an episode of Partridge nowadays.
 
When Paul decides that his life an an artist has failed and leaves for England Hancock is left with all of his friends art left piled up in the studio. George Sanders arrives playing Sir George Broward, an art collector and millionaire. He spots Pauls paintings and events occur that are in no way objected to by Hancock where he accepts payment and false ownership. The deception is now afoot and Hancock is swept up in the applause of the situation.
 
You can’t fight fate.’ Hancock exclaims.
 
Or..
 
It’s not my fault, he talked me into it’
 
It is at this point that Hancock lost me. This is by no means just his fault as the script then portrays him as a pompous and selfish fool. He is revealed wearing cloaks and fedoras and smoking from cigarette holders as he taunts and rebuffs the press and poses for their photos looking ghoulish. I suspect that this may be why this movie was somewhat of a critical and commercial failure at the time. We always understood in what Hancock did, we felt in some small way that he spoke for us, for the everyman. Here he just propels himself into a shoddy caricature. He can easily be despised by the viewer.
 

 
Galton and Simpson in an interview with Paul Merton about the movie spoke at length about how great it was to have a big star like Sanders in the movie. But as I watch it he feels to me like he would rather not be there. That in a way can be interpreted through the uncomfortably unconnecting interactions between the characters that he and Hancock are playing but somehow it seems to be a little more than that on screen projected lack of chemistry. Sanders huffs and puffs, albeit charmingly, through the last act of the movie and when he makes an excuse to miss the climactic party scene I actually though ‘oh, he didn’t fancy this movie anymore then?!’
 
And onto the party scene. It’s an interesting clash. Some of Hancock’s dance moves seem straight out of a Morecombe and Wise Christmas Special and the hippy dippy nature of the costumes would be more fitting in a Peter Sellers mid sixties sex comedy. But Hancock acts through the middle of this. The film ends on a moment that Hancock pulls you back on his side. He sees through all the bullshit on behalf of the viewer, turns his back on this shallow scene and walks off into the sunset.
 
You’re all raving mad!’
 
I like to think that he walked back into Railway Cuttings, East Cheam, hung up his fancy coat, placed his homberg back on his head, nodded at himself in the hallway mirror and rang up Sid James for a pint of Brown Ale in the Bat and Ball.
 
I enjoyed this movie. I think that it has been unfairly remembered as a huge failure. Give it a go.
 
 
So.... How does this experience that we have had with our pal Tony compare to the art and especially the comics of today? I have seen some comics art that would easily fall into the ‘Deluded and Pretentious’ Category. Art is of course objective but this must have it’s own limits surely.
 
We like what we like I suppose and who am I to tell you what is good.
 
But surely there are limits?
 
 
Many thanks for reading.

Awesome Comics 'Coming Soon' - Cockney Kung Fu 'The Hoofer'.

Here we go. This is another essay about one of the supporting characters in Cockney Kung Fu.

As I am sure you must know by now. Cockney Kung Fu is one third of mine, Vince Hunt's and Dan Butcher's new comic venture 'Awesome Comics' that gets it's big release at the True Believers Comic Festival next Saturday.

I cunningly title this short story.....


The Hoofer.

'Dancing had once been his life.'


Or so he’d always imagined.


The Hoofer sat in the corner of his nicotine stained bed sit. On the floor and in the corner. He was shivering. This was a crappy apartment and he knew that. He’d kid himself that a bed sit off Carnaby Street was near enough to the West End that if someone dropped out he could be on stage in a shot.....


‘Just like the old days. He spat the words out over the cigarette that he held in his shaking hands.


The legs will work just fine.They’ll never keep me down. Not me darling, not me.


He was in actual fact a deluded old queen. The chances of him being offered a role in show were pretty much zero.


Even five years ago when his gambling debts became too much and a couple of the Cooper’s boys broke his ankle with a hammer he was well past his sell-by date. He’d been a dancer at The Windmill and had soft shoed his way through the breaks between strippers and to the indifference of the male crowd. But to him it was dancing on a stage and in an actual theatre no less. The comedians had come and gone and he was still there like a skinny white Cab Calloway. He’d nip to see a bookie here and there between performances.


A bet never hurt nobody...


Well that wasn’t exactly true. It hurt The Hoofer, especially when his ankle was bent over and bleeding and those two meathead idiots who wouldn’t know a Ziegfeld from a Zeppelin were laughing as he cried. The held him down and bashed it over and over again with a hammer. The Hoofer lay on the floor in excruciating pain as he realised in that moment that his dreams had been totally crushed. He’d never ‘Heel, Toe’ his way through a number anymore....




They’d finally let him go with threats to pay his debts or more violence would be round the corner. As the light was coming up over the flats and offices of Charing Cross Road he limped his way home. His tears still flowing down his sunken pock marked cheeks. Lost. Truly lost in a moment unexpected by him yet inevitable to everyone else who knew him. He decided to just give up. Too afraid to fight back, run or argue back. He lived from that moment without any joy, any love or even fun. He just scraped his way onwards living day to day and swallowing his pride.


He went crawling to the Cooper Brothers when they called him. They knew that he would, they’d seen his type a million times before. Then they told him that all his debts would be forgotten if he ran the fights for them. Now he comperes the late night bare knuckle in the basement in Rupert Street. He likes to think that he adds a dash of Broadway to the proceedings but what he really knows is that it is a dark and dirty hole he has gotten himself into. A hole that will take more than he currently has in energy to climb out of.



 The Club has a basement. When it’s not being used for storing nicked gear or the odd sawn off the crates are pushed back and once or twice a week they hold a bare knuckle event. It’s become quite the crowd puller. All the dregs of London turn up and bet money on the outcomes of fights. With one big fight and a few others on the card he got to announce the contestants and the winners of each competition. He also had to mop the blood up off the cigarette scattered floor and on the odd occasion take a trip to the Thames to dump a body.


So here he stood. Looking back at himself in the bed sit shaving cream and toothpaste stained mirror. Ashamed and yet bracing himself for the night. He was back combing his grey and white streaked beehive to such a height that Earths Kitt would be proud of him. He plucked his eyebrows to a shape he liked and then winked at himself in the mirror.


Time for the show’, he said to himself. Who is it tonight? Wonder what the odds are?


****




More about The Hoofer in issue 1 of Awesome Comics.


Cockney Kung Fu is coming......
 


Many thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

In Review - Start Again issue 1




Start Again issue 1.

Written and created by Jamie Me.

Art by Toni Doya.
Colours by Sean Callahan.

Available through Vault29. £3.50. Full Colour.

The Story - ‘Start Again is a superhero boy meets girl comic set in the United Kingdom. It follows a chance encounter between Ajay Verna and Natalie Brown in a nightclub in Leeds city centre. You know how it goes. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, but boy is a superhero and didn’t tell girl, so there is that...

It deals with themes such as anxiety, online abuse and the cost of fame. The story itself is inspired by some of the authors experiences!’


The Review - First off, I really liked this comic. I read it without a clue what it was about and found it to be a funny story about a superhero finding and possibly losing love. It has some great looking and realistic style art that flows exceedingly nicely and carries all the action and facial acting that the writer seemingly needed. It is a solid and well made superhero tale with a modern twist on the genre. It also has some exceptionally presented scenes of ‘adult entertainment’.

Start Again 1 is done in the tradition of all good first issues. It pulls you through a solid set up, moments of surprise and sets it up all nicely for a longer run with a little surprise at the end. The characters are likeable when required to be and talk in natural and familiar modern language. Toni Dora was a cracking choice for artist and gives the characters individuality and Leeds (yes, our own Thoughtbubble hosting Leeds) a sense of scale. I rarely double dip on small press issues but will be looking for a physical copy later this week.

I found it really refreshing that the aforementioned themes of anxiety and online abuse weren’t used too heavily. Every month at the moment we seem to get some heavy handed, too on the nose and woe is me comic about anxiety. This first issue makes use of a solid story footing and realistically rendered (albeit super-powered) people to talk about the subject. In a post modern twist it reminds me of what Stan and Co were doing with Spider-Man and The X-Men all those decades ago. Real and genuinely felt emotional depth and not greeting card slogans or depressing diary notations.




I really hope that the second issue is hot on the heels of the first as this sort of story needs that regular pacing through a monthly schedule. The cover to the second issue looks cracking and can be seen in the end credits. 

As an aside I would note that the first issue cover seems well formatted but fails a little to represent the interiors - but to be fair us comics fans are rather used to that?

Published by Vault29 and available at www.vault29.co.uk

Follow the writer Jamie Me at www.comicbookhour.com or on Twitter @JamieMeWrites

Toni Doya is a Spanish artist and who brilliantly cannot be found on Twitter.

Sean Callahan can be found at www.callahancolor.deviantart.com and on Twitter @CallahanColors



Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Some more from South London.....

This is another in the series of background essays for one of the characters in Cockney Kung Fu. Hope you enjoy it. This was previously posted on the Cockney Kung Fu mailer over at www.tinylette.com/CockneyKungFu - sign up for more...

I've had a few ideas to spread the story out and thought that this would be the perfect venue to test a few ideas. This one is based on a few experiences that I had as a teenager growing up. It also jumps out from a minor character who appears a few times in the first arc of the story.

The Life and Times of the Aylesbury Estate.

I got locked up, I was a wreck, I flew like a bird on drugs and I bit the world on it's arse. Breathe deep. For this is London, SE17 in the 1980s.




My Dad was in prison. there was no way of saying it the easy way. He was always a bully of a man. never obsessed with his family he threw himself in to fights down the pub, chasing skirts and class B drugs and following Millwall. It all went wrong one season when a fight broke out with another team and someone died. My Dad took the blame and is doing a life term of imprisonment. Mum sees him every week. Me? Yeah, I never go. Can't face it.

The only good thing that came from it is that I got a bit of credibility on the estate.

My estate of choice was the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth, South London. Crammed between the equally rabbit warren like Heygate Estate and Burgess Park we were something of a stain on anyone's map. Arguably the most densely populated area in the whole of Europe it consisted of around 2,700 flats and around 7,000 people. We were the forgotten people. Wedged between the white Londoners of Bermondsey, the toffee nosed bankers of London Bridge and the politically charged area of Brixton. We were a hybrid of many of these things and maybe, just maybe a load of families trying to survive and carve out something to come home to at the end of a hard day.

Inner city living is a challenge in even the most normalised of circumstances. This place made an art form of slamming diverse and disparate people next to each other in hot, dirty and sweaty shoe boxes. It was like putting all the hard cunts you knew in a saucepan on the stove and watching with glee as it boiled over again and again until it exploded. At least in an ant colony they work together, we actively worked against each other.




I got locked up, I was a wreck, I flew like a bird on drugs and I bit the world on it's arse. Breathe deep. For this is London, SE17 in the 1980s.

My Dad was in prison. there was no way of saying it the easy way. He was always a bully of a man. never obsessed with his family he threw himself in to fights down the pub, chasing skirts and class B drugs and following Millwall. It all went wrong one season when a fight broke out with another team and someone died. My Dad took the blame and is doing a life term of imprisonment. Mum sees him every week. Me? Yeah, I never go. Can't face it.

The only good thing that came from it is that I got a bit of credibility on the estate.

My estate of choice was the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth, South London. Crammed between the equally rabbit warren like Heygate Estate and Burgess Park we were something of a stain on anyone's map. Arguably the most densely populated area in the whole of Europe it consisted of around 2,700 flats and around 7,000 people. We were the forgotten people. Wedged between the white Londoners of Bermondsey, the toffee nosed bankers of London Bridge and the politically charged area of Brixton. We were a hybrid of many of these things and maybe, just maybe a load of families trying to survive and carve out something to come home to at the end of a hard day.

Inner city living is a challenge in even the most normalised of circumstances. This place made an art form of slamming diverse and disparate people next to each other in hot, dirty and sweaty shoe boxes. It was like putting all the hard cunts you knew in a saucepan on the stove and watching with glee as it boiled over again and again until it exploded. At least in an ant colony they work together, we actively worked against each other.

You'd see the odd cop during the day. The uniform wearers would occasionally wander the walkways. We knew not to speak to them as nobody needed the reputation of being a grass. Then you'd see early in the early morning a van pull up and a crowd of fat fuckers roll out and boot the door in of the nearest squat. Looking for what they could find and carting the scum bags away. My mum said that they did a good job but not to tell my Dad she had said so.




My pals and me were pushed into a combination of never caring and never fearing. It was almost a survival technique. There were some dangerous places in the eyes of people you passed on the balconies. Many of the skag heads had the look of a zombie movie, shambling and looking for the smallest opportunity to steal or beg to support their habits. Even the average Estate dweller had to have a side they could turn to when attempting a fight or flight moment. Alternatively nasty, aggressive, self serving and desperate.

As I got older I was tempted by the darker side of this South London urban living. I went to warehouse parties at the Elephant and Castle and took acid and danced my face off. They were always raided by the old bill and shut down but not before we sought that brief escape. I tried over and over to make reality only a daydream. I'll admit to trying heroin, but never thankfully injecting. I would chase the black treacle on foil in the noise of a punk filled record playing bedroom. My mum said that the block was smelling like kippers but I think she probably suspected. I walked about drained of vigour for a while on heroin. In different ways I found a sanctuary in chemical excess. Bought from ferret like chancers who were known far and wide as the scrotes and grasses of the estate - I suppose that is how they survived, hand to mouth.

For my teenage years I felt like my mates did. We were nobodies. We had no hope of moving on with our lives. What was there for us out there anyway?

And that is when Millwall came calling for me too....

To be continued.




Hope you enjoyed that. Please let me know if you have any thoughts. And, as always, may thanks for reading.