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2007 Review

Posted: January 2nd, 2008, by Chris Summerlin

2007 was a weird one. It’s only looking back through my photos of the year that I realise how mental it was at times. I turned 30. I visited Germany, America, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and some other places I have forgotten. It was also my first year of full self-employment.

HIGHS

Design stuffs: I am far worse off than I ever have been, I have debts and my income in somewhat slender but yet I managed to be self-employed for a year and not lose my mind. Too much anyway. Having people genuinely be interested in my work has been really amazing, I never considered that it would happen or that people would want to employ me but it seems to be coming together. Fingers crossed.

Being 30: I’ve had a mere 3 weeks of it but I like it. It’s good. I am considering buying a Gibson Les Paul. If you play guitar, you will know this is a full-on sign of impending middle age. I even had a serious discussion with someone about whether or not the band Cream were any good, and I have used the phrase “tone” in relation to playing guitar at least 3 times recently. Surprisingly, I like all of this.

Music
: Music matters this year have been weird but overall good. It’s been a slow year for different reasons and lots of things I wish had been finished by the end of 2007 are dragging into 2008. The first few months of the year were a total mindmelt for Lords. We went up to Glasgow and played hungover before a lunar-eclipse. We then ended up at SXSW in Texas and there was a week in May where we opened for Shellac and then The Groundhogs and in the middle of this I played solo opening for Isis and supported Smog with Felix. It was like Jim’ll Fix It. All of this was amazing fun.
I put out a solo album called Darkness on my housemate Gareth’s Low Point label which is going from strength to strength and 2008 sees plenty of releases on the horizon.
We started making a 2nd Lords album but some seriously bad fortune means it’s only just been finished. The making was a really good, fun time again though and reminded me why being in a band can be so good for your general well being.
Gringo Records had their 10th Anniversary Festival in June and I knackered myself out completely by playing with Clambake, Lords and doing a last-ever-gig with Reynolds, 5 months after our last-ever-gig in January in London.
I did some other stuff this year too that was enjoyable; I played in the 100 guitar orchestra for Glenn Branca at the Frieze Art Fair in London and enjoyed it so much I’m off to Italy in February to do it again.
I played with Damo Suzuki again, though had to sit down to do it as it was only a week after I had keyhole surgery on my knee so I couldn’t stand up.
First on the horizon for 2008 is recording an album with the band Felix. Main-lady Lucy recently toured Europe on cello for Stars Of The Lid which scuppered plans to record before 07 went by but that’s first priority in the next few weeks.

Records/gigs:
High On Fire: Death Is This Communion
Big Business: Here Come The Waterworks
Sir Richard Bishop / Sun City Girls
Plenty of Ike & Tina
Nuggets/Pebbles etc
KARP
Get Hustle in Nottingham
Magik Markers, Oxbow, Melvins, Earthless, Dynasty Handbag, Qui at SXSW
Earth, Portishead at ATP
Joeyfat at Silver Rocket 100
Chrome Hoof at the Bad Taste Carnival in Nottingham
Dan Higgs in Skipton
Bilge Pump at Leeds Unity Day

Car: my current car is a Peugeot and it’s amazing.

Mexican Food: fuck yes!

LOWS:

Nottingham: It’s a shithole. The local area has gone from bad to worse. No one seems to know how to use a rubbish bin, smashing the bus shelters is a sport and everyone is fully committed to ‘fronting’ 24 hours a day and giving anyone in their way a rash of shit for nothing. There have been burglaries, vandalism, beatings and arson involving close friends. The police really couldn’t give less of a toss either. It’s like by living here we should somehow expect it.

The internet:
It takes 10 mins of reading the comments on any random selection of You Tube clips to understand the negative effects the internet has had on the world. Every opinion that flits through a person’s head is now given equal weight with any other rational, well considered conclusion. It is impossible to read a good piece of journalism that isn’t a regurgitated press release or a throw-away piece of useless opinion that serves no purpose other than tickling the ego of the writer. + KNOW 1 CAN SPEL N E MOR. FUCK THE INTERNET!

Bad luck: this year has seen some fully shit luck dealt out to people I know who don’t deserve it while people who should rightfully be smited walk the streets untouched. I look forward to 2008 being the year of the tables being turned.

Noise/ambient/drone music: Fuck this shit. Seriously. To quote Buzz Osbourne “So, you’re an avant-garde, improvisational composer? Bullshit. You’re a lazy fuck. Get a band!”. I would be interested to read a survey on CDR/small run fetishist noise/avant-garde labels that shows, as a percentage, the amount of times a record/CDR has been played in comparison to how many are sold. I would wager less than 10% get played more than once. And then the cunts tour this shit and want to be paid £200 a show and moan about it when everything is less than perfect. Which leads me onto:

American bands/musicians: OK, not all of them. But is anyone else sick of emails for bands touring that ask for insane amounts of money? Just unachievable amounts of money. And for bands that, in the grand scheme of things, are just OK. Or bands moaning about touring the UK like it’s their god-given right to tour and make music and they don’t actually have a choice of their own to just fuck something off if it’s that bad. Or worse still, Yanks ripping on the UK based entirely on some opinion formed from our music press or the bands that they are aware of in America that come from England. So they think we all read the NME and are all hopelessly trendy fucks, or that there is no counter-culture here on the grounds that there can’t be simply because they haven’t heard it. How wonderfully, stereotypically American. I guess it’s our fault for booking the bands or buying into their culture so openly as it seems lots of our American friends view our little island as a nice fat bank run by retards.

Disappointing:
Om – Pilgrimage. Sorry, I guess I am not baked enough. It sounds phenomenal but there’s something really hollow about it. I dug them live a lot though.
QOTSA – Era Vulgaris. Sounds like they needed maybe another month or something to sort the arrangements out and make the riffs into songs.
Rye Coalition – Cursed. This gutted me, I still really love this band but (whether it’s a subliminal thing because he produced it or not I don’t know) this sounds like the Foo Fighters but more cheesy.
Black Mountain live. I think I am missing something here.

Phew. It’s not all bad though eh? Roll on 2008.



Chris Summerlin

Chris lives for the rock and can often be seen stumbling drunkenly on (and off) stages far and wide. Other hobbies include wearing jumpers, arsing about with Photoshop and trying to beat the world record for the number of offensive comments made in any 24 hour period. He has been married twice but his heart really belongs to his guitars. All 436 of them.

http://www.honeyisfunny.com

2 Responses to 2007 Review

  1. O J

    That Rye Coalition album was indeed a stinker. Spent a few weeks trying to tell myself that it was kind of OK really, until my good friend Barney pointed out that one song in particular sounded almost exactly like Jet.

  2. Miss Crafty

    My other half moved to Nottingham in the summer. Spent most of 2007 trying to find good things about the place and failed miserably. There must be something surely?