05 March 2008
just as i know my friends
"in a shoe box stuffed in an old nylon stocking
sleeps the baby mouse i found in the meadow,
where he trembled and shook beneath a stick
till i caught him up by the tail and brought him in,
cradled in my hand,
a little quaker, the whole body of him trembling,
his absurd whiskers sticking out like a cartoon mouse,
his feet like small leaves,
little lizard feet,
whitish and spread wide when he tried to struggle away,
wriggling like a minuscule puppy.
now he's eaten his three kinds of cheese and drunk from his
bottle cap watering trough -
so much he just lies in one corner,
his tail curled under him, his belly big
as his head; his bat-like ears
twitching, tilting toward the least sound.
do i imagine he no longer trembles
when i come close to him?
he seems no longer to tremble."
- theodore roethke
we played our first gig in nearly a year last thursday. in kingston, at a place called the works. not the discount book shop, but a big nightclub. we were opening for get cape wear cape fly. we kept it a secret from everyone because we were worried that we wouldn't be very good and we wanted to do a warm up show before we played southampton on sunday. a warm up for a warm up. it was a bit weird being on stage again. i thought it would all be really familiar but it wasn't. at times i found myself wondering why i put myself through playing live. i feel awkward and self conscious enough as it is when i'm not on a stage being watched by people. i'm not sure how well we played the new songs. i spent the next few days worrying about it. thinking perhaps that it was a mistake to try and play them live and wondering if it would be weird if we didn't put any of our new songs in the set.
then on sunday we played our second warm up show at the joiners in southampton. we played a slightly longer set, adding three old songs and taking out one of the new ones. we had a bit more time to run through the songs in the soundcheck and it didn't sound quite so rubbish. and then i really enjoyed the actual show and didn't feel anywhere near as awkward and self conscious as i had done on thursday. so i guess it's all going to be okay after all and we can play the new songs live and perhaps even enjoy it.
i thought i'd better mention how amazing the two bands are that are supporting us on thursday at the water rats just so people know to get there early and not to miss them. first on are we show up on radar, who are one of my favourite bands in the world at the moment, and i'm so excited about seeing them again. although i think it might be a "him" not a "them" because i think it's a solo acoustic set. when i wrote about them before i meant to write that his lyrics remind me of the way theodore roethke writes, particularly with his greenhouse poems. so i've put the two halves of 'the meadow mouse' by theodore roethke at the beginning and the end of this weblog just for fun. you can listen to we show up on radar here if you don't already know what they sound like. and then on after we show up on radar is the wonderful one man band that is the voluntary butler scheme. he played before us in southampton and was really really special. you can listen to his songs here and then sing along to unnerve him.
a couple of other things i thought i'd mention while i'm here. we've got a new website. it isn't completely finished yet but it'll have all the latest news about releases and concerts on there and you can download a free copy of 'i box up all the butterflies' from the music page. there's also a link on there to go our facebook page. i'm not completely sure what i'm doing with facebook yet because i didn't have a profile til a week ago and i'm still trying to make sense of it all, but i do quite enjoy writing little messages on the wall. if you've got a facebook thing then perhaps you might like to join.
i must go to sleep now. i'm tired and i've got a lot to do tomorrow.
"but this morning the shoe box house on the back porch is empty.
where has he gone, my meadow mouse,
my thumb of a child that nuzzled in my palm?
to run under the hawk's wing,
under the eye of the great owl watching from the elm tree,
to live by courtesy of the shrike, the snake, the tom cat.
i think of the nestling fallen into the deep grass,
the turtle gasping in the dusty rubble of the highway,
the paralytic stunned in the tub, and the water rising -
all things innocent, hapless, forsaken."
- theodore roethke