Issue #1 October 4th - 10th

-Trains should be treated with extreme caution. If, for whatever reason, you do find yourself confronted with one of these monsters, try to relax and make the best of the situation
By Belle the Travelling Dog

MAGGIES DIRTY OFFSPRING? On the trail of Irvine Welsh
What is Irvine Welsh then? Working class hero? Schemie boy done good? spokesperson for a generation? A corruptive and manipulating capitalist? Probably all these things and much, much more
By Paul Williamson

Some day I will find a way to show you why the Aislers Set are great
Because some day I will convince you that if you were a bit more pop you'd be happier...
By Dimitra Daisy

MOZ ODYSSEY- A Travelogue (PART1)
"Dizzy London, home of the brash, outrageous, and free." Free? FREE? Nothing in London is free, Morrissey, or even remotely close to being free.
By Paul Williamson

DANCE TO A DIFFERENT TUNE through the music, dreaming of nice situations, the chances he had missed, imagining that there were kids close to him loving the same records... trying to find lyrics he wished he had written...
By Nick P

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A guide to Trains

Imagine spotting one of those long, thin slightly wiggly creatures you get in the garden. Only imagine it is blue and not brown, and imagine it is travelling towards you very quickly, quicker even, than next doors cat. And imagine as it is travelling, it gets bigger and bigger, and starts making louder and louder noises. You think that creatures like that only exist in horror films and possibly that dark street which is always filled with boxes? Think again. I have just described a train. Trains are noisy, they are filled with too many people, and frankly they can be quite daunting. The following story describes my first encounter with one of these monsters. I warn you now it is not for the faint hearted.

I was standing next to my girl when I first saw one. Or rather I was trying to hide myself behind her legs while at the same time trying to look brave. The train stopped right next to us, still making the terrifying roaring sound and started beeping violently before opening its many mouths. I would have run a mile when I saw that. It was obvious it was going to eat us. But the girl was quite calm and instead of running in the opposite direction, she seemed to have become strangely suicidal, stepping straight into the train's mouth dragging me along behind her!

Once we were inside it wasn't all that bad. The atmosphere was slightly tense as other victims of the train moved uncomfortably in their seats while looking ever so slightly scared. On the other hand though, it was warm, I found one discarded hamburger, and a piece of chewy minty stuff stuck to the chair the girl was sitting on, and the little boy next opposite us was making amusing faces at us.

I did learn a very useful fact about trains that day. A fact that I think you all should know. Normally, the girl is very powerful. She says "sit" and can't help but sit. She says rollover, and her power isn't quite as strong, but eventually I have to rollover. I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about and have experienced similar powers from your own people? Just as I'm sure you will understand, when I say that, there are times when she loses her powers. For example, when she is talking into that plastic white thing, she doesn't shout at me to get down of the settee. She just points and looks a bit angry while I enjoy my freedom.

Trains, it seems, have a similar power draining effect on her, but more amazingly they gave me powers over other people. The boy, opposite making the amusing faces, started to eat a bag of crisps. I like crisps, and started to ask him nicely for some. The girl doesn't like me asking for crisps, or her slice of toast in the morning, or any other food for that matter, and normally she uses her power to tell me to "be quiet and get to my bed".

When I started asking the boy for his crisps I prepared to fight a losing battle against her power. She told me "to be quiet" but the minute the words left her mouth we both knew her power had vanished. The girl's worried eyes stared pleadingly into my own. I smirked and kept asking for crisps. The boy who had been making the amusing faces, said "aww, would you like a crisp little dog?" For a second I was shocked, then I nodded, looked smugly at the girl, and asked for some more. The girl now looked quite exasperated. I feared her powers were returning and decided perhaps it was time to shut up. It just goes to show that even in the worst of situations there are things to make a young dog cheerful!

As you are now reading this, you will know I'm no longer inside the train and may be wondering how I escaped. In actual fact, it was easier than you might think. At intervals, the train, slowed down, opened its mouths, and different people escaped. Each time it did so I told the girl "now would be a good time to make a run for it." She sat firmly in her seat looking at me with that worried look and saying "belle, be quiet there's a good girl". Eventually she plucked up the courage to try to escape. I wondered what the train would do to us if it caught us, and begged the girl to let me knock down those slow old people in front of us and lead us both to freedom. She told me to "calm down and wait a minute". I didn't calm down, but I did wait a minute. I had no choice. The girl was holding onto my lead very tightly.

Finally, after much debate, between the girl and myself, over the correct speed for our getaway, we stepped out of the train's mouth. Minutes later it roared off into the distance taking with it at least 15 more innocent victims.

I stood, slightly shaken, looking around myself. This was interesting, this place smelt totally different, I wasn't sure where I was, and didn't know how to get home. I spotted some stray chips with tomato sauce, which I managed to wolf down before the girl tried to get them for herself.

Indeed this was very interesting. The train creature had brought me to an undiscovered land where I had already tracked down food. Maybe being eaten by the train wasn't so bad after all.

After reading that very harrowing story, I'm sure you will all agree, trains should be treated with extreme caution. If, for whatever reason, you do find yourself confronted with one of these monsters, try to relax and make the best of the situation. Look around yourself. Is there a forgotten sandwich under your nose? Paws crossed you will escape, but don't forget to remind your person to try to escape at every opportunity. Remember, they are under the spell of the train, and they are not quite themselves. Finally, look on the bright side at all times, after all , who knows what strange and exciting land the train will take you too.

Belle the Travelling Dog

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MAGGIES DIRTY OFFSPRING? On the trail of Irvine Welsh

"Irvine Welsh embarks on an extensive tour of the United States to promote his new novel, Porno". "Irvine Welsh mobbed in Bulgaria." "Irvine Welsh mistaken in Waterstones for Nick Hornby". It is fair to say, then, that Welsh, or the Irvine ilk at least, is something of a phenomenon, peddling his wares as some sort of authentic spokesperson for a dispossessed, hedonistic, self-destructive underclass existence, cut off from all conventional moral discourses. A group within (or without) society with it's own little tabloid moniker: 'The Chemical Generation'.

"Irvine Welsh embarks on an extensive tour of the United States to promote his new novel, Porno". "Irvine Welsh mobbed in Bulgaria." "Irvine Welsh mistaken in Waterstones for Nick Hornby". It is fair to say, then, that Welsh, or the Irvine ilk at least, is something of a phenomenon, peddling his wares as some sort of authentic spokesperson for a dispossessed, hedonistic, self-destructive underclass existence, cut off from all conventional moral discourses. A group within (or without) society with it's own little tabloid moniker: 'The Chemical Generation'.

This is, of course, utter bollocks, and is actually based on, at best, one seventh of Welsh's entire literary output: Trainspotting. On the surface at least, Trainspotting made heroin addiction seem cool. The film version of the book only compounded this theory: It had an unspeakably cool soundtrack, and paraded a number of Scotland's newest, brightest, hip young things to an adoring public. An adoring, liberal, bourgeois public, home-counties undergraduates, more suburban than subversive. They lapped up a bona fide slice of junkie culture, devoured every iconoclastic image of wasted working class youth, laughed out load and vomited in alternate turns as Renton, our hero, fishes around in his own shit to retrieve some opium suppositories. In 1996, Trainspotting was THE film. Consequently, even curiously, though perhaps not altogether unsurprisingly in an age when image is everything, it is the style of the film that has overawed the substance of the novel. In turn, Welsh has found it a legacy that is difficult to surpass. For most people, critics and cultural mafiosi alike, his next novel, Marabou Stork Nightmares, was a disappointment. And Ecstasy, a collection of three novellas, was equally clumsy in finding its stride. His fourth novel, Filth, pushed him further away from the limelight. And while his one attempt at literary reinvention, Glue, a sprawling tale of four childhood friends from the housing estates of Edinburgh that spanned nearly four decades, was ambitious, it was released to a near-deafening silence. It did, however, offer tantalising glimpses of a number of characters from Trainspotting, and it was these peripheral sightings that the press picked up on. This seemingly wasn't lost on Welsh. Within a year, he announced at, of all places, the Edinburgh Festival, that he was in the process writing a sequel to Trainspotting. For most people that know Welsh, that read beyond the blurb, such opportunism from Welsh isn't in the least bit surprising. After all Welsh was the man that suggested to his first publisher that, in order to create controversy for Trainspotting, he ought to write in under a pseudonym to the Scotsman newspaper, complaining of the repulsive and disgusting nature of the novel. Likewise, the approved Welsh biography has him 'getting out of it' on alcohol for the first time at 14, taking speed at 17, working as an apprentice TV repairman, then trundling off to London by bus in search of cheap thrills amid the burgeoning punk scene. According to Welsh , he slept in Green Park by day while pogoing by night to bands like Chelsea, 999 and Slaughter and the Dogs. He tried and failed to make it as a guitarist in various spittle-drenched bands such as Pubic Lice. He lived in sleazy squats and bedsits, chucked bricks at the police on picket lines, and was arrested frequently. Alas, there is no proof that any of this occurred; what we do know (via those lovely people at Edinburgh City council) is that he worked for Edinburgh district council as a training officer. He also went to Heriot-Watt University and acquired an MBA. Check the records- It's him alright.

So, onto Porno then, which is a full-on, shameless return to Trainspotting, and reunites the four main characters. Trainspotting ended with Renton walking out on his mates in London - Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie - stealing the drug-deal loot and embarking on a life away from the Junkie Hell of Leith. When Porno opens, we find them in various states of disarray. Sick Boy is working in a London strip club, trying to become a pimp. Begbie is in a Scottish jail, awaiting release. Renton is lying low in Amsterdam. Spud, the hopeless loser, has acquired a girlfriend and baby and is planning to write a history of Leith. They are like the components of a time bomb waiting to go off. Then Sick Boy takes over his aunt's scabby Leith pub, which becomes the convergence point of the warring factions, while the upstairs bar is the site of increasingly disturbing excursions into what Sick Boy calls "the narrative of pornography: our sequential journey".

There will doubtless be, for many, a curious joy in re-encountering the psychopathic Begbie, a man who puts the frighteners on the reader along with everyone he meets. But the real revelation of the new book is Sick Boy, who has mutated into a full-on style hero, real name Simon David Williamson, a swaggering, Armani-suited, endlessly inventive, breezily manipulative con man, sexual athlete and scam artiste. His narrating voice moves easily between elegant put-downs and seduction routines to down-home vulgarity and moral blankness.

A cast of new characters also fleshes out the novel's titular fascination, especially Nikk Fuller-Smith, a sexually voracious student of film criticism who works in a massage parlour to earn money and finds her métier in celluloid orgies. Indeed, in fuller-Smith, Welsh has created one of the most well-rounded character yet to surface in a Welsh novel: 'The most horrible thing a man can say to me is that I've got a great body. Because I don't want a good, great, lovely, beautiful, body. I want a body good enough to be in the magazines and if I had one I would be in them and I'm not cause I don't. My mascara's running with my tears, and why am I crying? Cause I'm going nowhere, that's why.'

That passage, and with it Smith's fading dreams, is an apt way to sum up Porno.

Writers are always told to write what they know. With Porno then, Welsh has gone full circle, both creatively and mentally. For the first time since Trainspotting in 1993,he is back on familiar terrain.

What is Irvine Welsh then? Working class hero? Schemie boy done good? spokesperson for a generation? A corruptive and manipulating capitalist? Probably all these things and much, much more. We all have our own personal histories and, with it, our own take on history. Irvine certainly has is but at the end of the day, on his day we can at least be sure of one thing: That he is a very good writer, and it is this, above all else, that we should cherish.

Paul Williamson

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Some day I will find a way to show you why the Aislers Set are great

One, two
Some day/ I will find a way/ to make you know it is me

And some day I will convince you that if you were a bit more pop you're be happier. Until then I'll come and tell you stories that impress me, and you'll shake your head absent-mindedly and then forget them. I'll be trying to find a way to make you interested and you'll wonder why am I telling all this now?

And when I do/the clouds will clear

I tell you there are still kids than make music in their garage; not because they want to seem poor and abused by the system but just because. And they don't sound half bad, too. They don't sound like they're trying to make up for not being in a studio either. They're just playing and this makes music. This music makes two cds and eight singles. Those in their turn travel round the world and find themselves in many people's hands. Some of those people are the ones the kids used to admire. Now they admire them too.

Of course. Because their music is an excellent example of what one can do with some friends who can play various instruments and ideas that are a bit unconventional. The rule of what makes an Aislers Set song is 'at least one member playing in it'. And I think it's their second cd that says 'you can tell who wrote a song by who's singing it'

And when I do/ I'll hold you near

These songs are made up of independent sounds -mainly guitars and tambourines and vocals, but trumpets and banjo and keyboards here and there too, and lots of la la la's and hey hey hey's and words that are repeated. Sounds that come and go and are added to each other. It could be a mess if they weren't chosen with good taste and it could be meaningless if there wasn't talent. But they're not - the songs are gorgeous and full of evocative pictures that your life could fit in. And they tend to make you want to dance or at least bounce. But they could be a good soundtrack, too. And finally, it is the kind of music you can discover over and over again, that you keep liking a long time after you've first heard, and maybe you even like it more. If I had to compare them to something, that would be the Television Personalities, because they share something of their (perfect) pop aesthetics that have always been missing from my life so badly.

And when I do/the sun will shine

Things may be simple after all. On the other hand, they might not be. The truth is something we'll never know and that will probably be because the truth doesn't exist. But what I know is that if you believe that things are simple, sometimes they act simply too. Maybe that's why you'd be happier if you were a bit more pop. Or maybe it's just that colourful things cheer you up. But what do I know anyway?

Cause you'll be mine.


Dimitra Daisy

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MOZ ODYSSEY- A Travelogue (PART1)

"What do you mean, not working?" "I mean, erm, it's not working." "well what's wrong with it?" "I don't know whats wrong with the bloody thing, I'm not a mechanic..."

It was hardly the best of starts. It was seven o'clock in the morning, and I had been dreaming about a combination of go-go dancers, Lake Michigan, and Family Fortunes (don't ask), when the phone rang. It was Bob, my pal, my muker, me owd mate Bob, fellow Morrissey devotee, and owner of a brand new set of wheels that were going to whisk us, chariot-like, down the motorway to London, and to the Royal Albert Hall, where the great man was due to play his first concert in this country for over three years. I imagined us cutting through vast swathes of this green and pleasant land, cd volume (yes, it even has a cd player!) set perpetually at 'eleven', wind in our hair and Smiths songs at our elbow...

Except the car wouldn't start. This brand new Ford mark whatever, with central whatchamacallit, and digital this and that, and internal thingymajig, was, Bob informed me, going nowhere. Arse. Now, drinking 'Orangeboom' lager at eight o'clock in the morning is a good thing. Trust me. Especially when you have had to swap the freedom of the highway for a pull-out seat in the aisle by a blocked toilet on an Intercity 'Express' (and I use the term loosely) to London Kings Cross. The trouble with trains is that they are full of people that, on any given day of the week, in any other situation, you would rather not talk to. In fact, let's be blunt here; you would, in any other situation, sneer at the ones in their pinstriped suits or cross the street to avoid the ones in the white shell suits. But here you are, in your pull-out seat by the blocked-up toilet, listening to the extravangantly fabricated tales of football hooliganism from a thirty-something retired thug-cum-chef attired in a spectacular white shell suit. "Casuals? ye heard ah the Hibs casuals, no? fuck all, pal, I tell ye, they were fuck all. Maist ay them boys werenae casuals at all, they jist kindae attached themselves tae it, but they real boys, they real troops, they called themselves the ultra-casuals. They were the real bampots, the real casuals. I mind one time ower at Dundee- wha's that? ye heard ay Dundee? ye lived there? fucks sake man! fuckin hole, I can tell ye. Not all of it like. Yis study there, aye? Ever get doon the Tannadice, or Dens? They were game boys, I can yell yis..."

It passed the time. We sat, listened, drank our Orangeboom, and vaguely understood. Then we were in London.

Morrissey once wrote a song about London. In fact he has wrote a few songs that allude to London, but there is this once song somewhat inexplicably called 'Hairdresser on Fire', in which he calls London "dizzy London, home of the brash, outrageous, and free". Free? FREE? nothing in London is free, Morrissey, or even remotely close to being free. And, after having consumed several cans of the sainted Orangeboom on an empty stomach, the urge to purge, to spend a penny, as they say, is overwhelming. In actual fact, I have to spend twenty pennies to, erm, spend a penny.

So I'm slumped against the grimy urinal, senses stirred by alcohol, thinking back to ten years ago, the last time that Bob and I came to see Morrissey in London, in an infamous Finsbury Park show that never was. I wonder how much we have moved on, how far we have really travelled in life. Ten years ago we hitchicked in the pouring rain to a show that never was. This time, there was no question of us even attempting to hitchike. Older? wiser? time does this to you. Also, ten years ago, we had no choice, because we had no money. "ahh, ten years" I'm thinking, wistfully romanticising the notion, "Look at us now, back in London, dizzy London, older, wiser with time- it gets to us all..."

Then Bob stumbles, trips up, falls over a big guys sports bag, and ends up flat on his face outside an inordinately expensive caffeine emporium, much to the bemusement of the nouveau riche businessmen and expensively dressed students that patronise said emporium, and I feel 16, lost, and reckless again. He picks himself up off the floor, laughing that big barrel-laugh that sounds older than his years and, inbetween gasps of air and tears of laughter I put my arm aroung him and tell him he got "nowt for technical merit, but a ten for artistic interpretation." It was going to be a good, good day.

South Kensington.

South Kensington is, in a word, money, and lots of it. It's part of the Royal borough, for starters. Grand Victorian townhouses compete with painstakingly manicured parks, and virtually all of Londons grand museums reside in the borough. Oh, Harrods is here too. And Kensington Palace. And the Royal Albert Hall. Arriving at South Kensington tube station, one thing in particular suddenly dawned on us; we had nowhere to stay. It never even occurred to us to actually book anywhere because we were going to London in Bob's super-duper-Ford-whatever-with-eleven-on-the-stereo, remember? we were going in Bob's car... We needed to recollect our thoughts. We needed a plan of action. We headed to the nearest bar....

Paul Williamson

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Dance to a different tune

"All those days, years ago i used to stay in my room alone
Firelike music, warm and nice used to bring me on through the night
I thought that the world was a trap. So deep it would swallow me up. All up
But now i'm not that young and brave, loneliness makes me so afraid
Fried to change my way of life, convince myself that I'm satisfied
I thought that the world was a trap. So big it would swallow me up. All up. Swallow up"

(The Crooner - The world was a trap)

There was that boy that was living in Athens and used to spend his saturday nights at home waiting for everyone to leave and then he was staying up all night listening to his records. That was his favourite time of the week. He was living through the music, dreaming of nice situations, the chances he had missed, imagining that there were kids close to him loving the same records. His favourite hobby was trying to find lyrics that wish he had written...

"His face is beautiful square set and geometric. What did he see in you that he didn't see in me"

It sounds like a common lyric but it's strange if the person that sings it is called Mike West. His band was called The Man From Delmonte, someone wrote "It's Morrissey in short trousers" but all Mike could say was the following "Some people hated our songs, some people loved them.. I don't really understand either reaction. Nobody in the band could sing very well. That's why we decided everybody should sing at the same time together, in harmony, or not exactly harmony but close enough. We toured, our parents got to see us on TV, we made records and we broke up. I think most of it was fun".

"And because I still wear shorts and my smile is oh so cute, it doesn't mean i'll run away and hide"

Well that's Beautiful South maybe his favourite band lately. Maybe he's not guilty for wearing shorts anymore but he's feeling guilty for not liking Beautiful South for many years cause he read in a magazine that Paul Heaton said that Suede is for silly 15 year old kids. He was 15 years old when he stopped liking Suede so Paul was right then.

"It's going to be a fine night tonight, it's going to be a fine day tomorrow. We will have salad"

The truth is that he listened to this song on a Cherry Red compilation. There were no lyrics written in the booklet so maybe it's just his silly imagination and it's not saying "salad", but he found that lyric really cool. He loves it cause it shows that you can have a happy life if you want to. It's soooo simple! This song is fantastic. It's just Jane's lovely voice no instruments at all that song is really well known cause someone silly decided to cover it and it became a really famous dance hit in the early nineties. Life is unkind sometimes!

"When he awoke the sea was calm and another day passes like a dream"

Oh lovely Morrissey! There are no words to describe this one and if you ask him he'll use his lovely phrase "I learned dreaming of the chances I miss" which isn't his of course!

"Today i bought a record that your new boyfriend has never even heard of. Oh I play it just for you."

This is a song by Nixon and he believes this lyric is just the story of his life.
The title of this article is the title of this song.
Nowadays, his love for indiepop music stays the same, though his saturday nights are different and he can't stand loneliness.

I'll do my best not to get sad if i stay at home this saturday. I promise.

Nick P


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