The music video is out! Hope in dark times. There are so many of us with mental health problems. We can support each other in this struggle.

WATCH THIS! [CW: depression, self harm]

Hope you like it. No shame in scars. I’m just glad they could be useful, turning the signs of self-destruction into creative vision.

This video was so fun to make, despite the serious subject matter. Massive respect to JD, Sire and Self Taught for making this song, and Evil Unicorn for the amazing video. Thank you for letting me be a part of something amazing.

DOWNLOAD THE EP HERE, NAME YOUR PRICE! Five excellent tracks, well worth it. All proceeds go towards setting up a youth group providing mental health support. Young peoples’ mental health treatment is horribly underfunded, and although the majority of mental illnesses begin during adolescence, 50% receive no treatment whatsoever. (I recommend you read this report, there are some shocking statistics in there.)

I was lucky to be seen by CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) as a teenager, which was about enough to keep me alive. I consider myself lucky even for that, because I know plenty of people whose teen years were blighted by undiagnosed or clinically neglected psychological issues. I wonder sometimes how my life would be different if I’d been diagnosed earlier. Maybe my young adulthood would have been a lot easier. Maybe I’d have a few less scars, and would never have been able to be in this video. Which is just one of many reasons that I don’t want to change the past. I’m thankful to be where I am right now. I just acknowledge that it is much more difficult, now I’m finally in treatment, to break habits and thought patterns that have been part of my being for over a decade. I don’t want any other kid to have to suffer so much.


Exciting Stuff: I’m a video star!

No, not that kind of video. A music video for the song No Surrender, by Derby hip-hop artist JD.with Darren Graffman and Self Taught. Check out JD’s Bandcamp or Youtube for some hard hitting tunes . His lyrics are conscious and real, bringing higher ideals than the objectifying money-worship of too much music of all genres (not to mention the rest of our culture). This video has a point and a story, raising awareness about mental health, the pressures we face to hide our problems and put on a happy face to satisfy the world. You just don’t know who is wearing a mask to hide their suffering…

A still from Sunday. Photo credit: Evil Unicorn

I got this gig after being recommended, because I fit the bill for the character. Sunday was my first shoot, ever. I’ve never done any acting before (or at least not since Year 9 drama) and definitely never on camera. The guys making the video are hella cool though. They are Evil Unicorn, and they know what they’re doing. The whole reason I agreed straight away to be in this video, was because I’d seen what they made for Simon aka …pr@xis? The Road Less Travelled is a fucking moving video, again with a serious message as well as a raw expression of grief. So I trust this crew to present mental illness and distress with dignity and avoid prurience or cliche.

Shooting a video is fun but hard work. I had no idea what was going to go off when we went to Ryan’s Bar in Derby. The precision of framing shots, the fact that for each shot you are confined to a really tiny space, the sheer work… and then each few-second scene being shot over and over from different angles, different styles, trying to get that perfect emotional gesture down perfectly. I can’t even comprehend the work of editing, especially considering that this video features 3 artists with their stories, as well as my storyline. I’m working with some insanely skilled people, just out of luck, and I am grateful, and so hyped for this video. Also I’m sorry (not very sorry) for spilling a pint over Brent. It was in the pursuit of art, OK? Hopefully it’ll end up in the final cut. Otherwise, I wasted a pint for nothing. (I didn’t even mean to do it. But hey, the camera was rolling.)

Bonus round: Look out for Chris in the video. You can’t see his face. He drove me there, and was a good extra, and sat around while we did multiple takes of everything, and didn’t complain at all. And it was Valentine’s Day. Don’t ever say I’m not a true romantic.

On Saturday we’ll be shooting the denouement, the final emotional crescendo and revelation. I gotta act. I can do that. Heck, I’m hyped for that. Working with a chill, friendly, creative group of people is amazing. I think I’d forgotten that, it’s been so long since I last collaborated with anyone, or even discussed creative work in any real sense. I realise now that’s something I need in my life, and I need to make a serious effort to do it more.

Watch this space: the video for No Surrender should be released at the end of March. It will probably be shown at Five Lamps, Derby. I’m already so excited to see it. Bit nervous; it’s always hard to see the end results of your work, and have it put out there for other folk to judge. But I got faith in this.

Til the release date, listen to some on Soundcloud.


Exciting Stuff: I’m a video star!

Still Ill

And yes, the Hatful of Hollow version is, and always will be better.

I’m not as ill as I was. I spent a day or two actually in bed, and a day on the sofa, unable to do stuff. I’ve now regained maybe 70% of lung volume? If I breathe too deeply it makes a gross crunching sound. I’m really displeased by this. I thought I would be better by now and I’m bored. Today I went outside for the first time in five days because I had actually started going insane. I went to the shop and bought a wine, because maybe that is the true cure.

Thankfully these aren’t the antibiotics that kill you if you drink any alcohol with them. Or make you instantly drunk and then vomit everywhere. If I ever get prescribed them, I actually quit. Quit what? Everything. Alcohol. Medicine. Humanity. Life itself.

I actually have stuff to be doing. I have a poetry gig. I’ve got two ten minute sets at this event.


Also I was meant to be writing a novel this month I think.

And some other stuff. Like, stuff healthy people do, while they breathe and laugh and have lives.

I was meant to go to the annual Halloween rave/riot and to my friend’s party and I even missed out on a Calais refugee aid co-ordination meeting. I am missing EVERYTHING. And you should all be glad of that, because my cough sounds really disgusting and you don’t want to hear it. I don’t know if I’m contagious. Just going to wait and see if my family all get horrifically sick within the next few days. If they do, I’m going to be the absolutely most hated person in this house. I am the plague bringer. I brang you a plague. Enjoy it!

Still Ill

Tuesday Tune: Wolf Alice – “Blush”

Lovely boat buddy turned me on to this song and I can’t stop listening to it. I love guitar bands, emotional yearning and ethereal female vocals. This combines coolness, attitude and heart-wrenching vulnerability in perfect ratios.

Wolf Alice are a good band as well, they don’t just have this one great tune, they have a bunch. They sound very early 90s, in a good way. They’ve taken the best parts of early indie and grunge and made something fun and new, minus the adolescent pretentiousness but still with the feeling.

This isn’t turning into a music blog, but this music is relevant to my feelings. Also, when I find a song or band I love, I want to make everyone listen to them. I will force my taste on you, I don’t care. I think this is great, so you better frikkin appreciate it.

Tuesday Tune: Wolf Alice – “Blush”