Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A couple of nights near Huddersfield

240813_ Cousin Silas in situ

This post is long overdue and my apologies to those involved that it has taken me this long to write about the experience.

Back in late August, I had the privilege to go and stay with Cousin Silas for a couple of overnights. The trip conveniently coincided with a business trip to Leeds ... so I was able to nip over from Leeds to just outside of Huddersfield in deepest, darkest Yorkshire and stay with Silas.

With Silas for the weekend were two of the nicest blokes I've met in a long time - musician and film geek, Kevin Lyons, and painter and music-fan, Ade Hodges - who, along with Cousin Silas, filled my time with music and film; sci-fi and books; bacon sandwiches, pizza, and curry; in what was one of the nerdiest weekends I've had in ages.

The commonality in the room was astonishing and whilst there is an age gap of possibly 10 years between me and the chaps ... it certainly wasn’t apparent as we laughed the night away.

I can't express how much fun I had. It's not everyday pulp sci-fi cover art and 70’s prog rock come up in conversation ... certainly not in my household ... so this was a pleasure ... a simple, pure pleasure.

For example, we talked about the difference between progressive music and “capital P” Prog Rock ... and how Kraut Rock (both Berlin & Dusseldorf Schools) and Jazz Fusion could so easily be encompassed by a more liberal use of the word progressive.

We also talked in depth about “Tales of Topographic Oceans” ... one of my fave Yes albums ... and, in particular, the third track - “The Ancient” - and how Kevin hates it. It's strange to hear it from someone else’s perspective. Fascinating, in fact. I don't agree with Kevin’s opinion regarding it ... but really valued his insight.

I really loved the commonality of the group ... how, for example, they knew who ReDsHiFt were ... a band I thought only my friend Robert and I knew about. I felt like I was part of something rather than the weirdo sitting close to the edge.

What I also loved was the opportunity to learn ... that feeling of sitting in company that I could learn from ... and learn I did. I learned about the DIY self-publishing sci-fi zine scene of the late 80’s ... and was guided towards new sci-fi and weird fiction writers to check out ... even coming home with a few copies to read.

People talk about the negative impact of social media but here was, most definitely, the positive ... the barriers were broken down ... there was no ice ... we could talk and share with reckless abandon and I, for one, loved it.

We never really achieved what we wanted ... to record, package and release an album over the weekend ... but what we did achieve was worth far more than that ... we built strong bonds of relationship, friendship and fellowship ... bonds that will last a lifetime.

During that weekend I realised that, more than anything, I wasn’t alone in my nerdy loves ... and that was a great feeling.

I look forward to the next gathering and hope some of the dreams we dreamed will start to become a reality.

I’ll share the two main dreams with you sometime soon ... but, for now, they will stay between the four of us ... although knowing Cousin Silas, he’s already forgotten them.

My thanks to Kevin and Ade for their company and their friendship ... and my sincere thanks to Cousin Silas for his generosity, kindness, and all the gifts that filled an already full suitcase and backpack.

Until next time, chaps.


PS It is important to note that Kevin, Ade & Silas did *finally* record some music ... and I look forward to releasing it on weareallghosts in due course.

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