Tusk and BBC Commission

Hello sweet dears!

Hope you’re all good. Currently writing from a ‘tier 2’ zone which has meant a tear or two for our business affairs but hey. Aside from the obvious I’m fine.

New photo by Nic Chapman

A few things have been going on… Tusk Festival was amazing. Not sure when The DIY Lifestyle show will be archived but will post on that. I tried to put it on YouTube but because I used a sample of Call Any Vegetable on there, Zappa’s estate were having none of it. Hosting one night of it was A LOT OF FUN. Loved it. I especially enjoyed setting up the show upstairs at The Golden Lion (who have better wifi than I). It was a bit like the old days, even had a soundcheck. Kind of hoping my unaccompanied rendition of Paranoid will dissolve, undocumented, into the ether like normal gigs do but perhaps that will surface as well. All this online documentation means you can’t get away with much – a downside.

I had a great time on this commission I did for BBC Radio 3. The lovely Elizabeth Alker invited me to respond to a poem by Helen Mort, a fantastic poet based in Sheffield. Here is the poem:


The leaves aren’t lit, but morning’s struck a match 

so I can see a path through Linacre – low gold

that spreads across the grates of reservoirs

and stokes the trees, long after an electric summer

and its short-fuse sky. September, sparking

on the ground so nobody can step into these woods

and not be burned. A woman calling for her dog 

goes smouldering to moss. A cyclist 

becomes a Catherine Wheel. I run 

and feel my body catch, my face a taper, 

shoulders taking light, my ribcage flammable.

I shed the new ash of my collarbones and spine 

until I’m cinder, smoke, or left with all the parts 

last winter made – the soft snow of my shoulders, 

wrists and throat and when I try to hold 

my voice I find it’s thawed, a river,

all the names I ever knew 


Really great piece and it was an utter pleasure to meet Helen and work on this. The show it was broadcast on is still online for a while:


and I’ve added my track to my soundcloud for safekeeping:

Other advice I have for you, reader, is to check out the hcmf// 2020 digital festival we’ve just announced. So much amazing stuff incoming!!


That’s all I’ve got for now. Take care out there as always x

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