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August 2004
Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Sweating the sweat of the distinctly unrighteous, I contemplate my First Big Weekend back on the booze, rendered distinctly old school by my unhappy lack of a Home. My person, as one would expect, is peppered with a bright galaxy of nicks and cuts and bruises. My mouth is not a wonderful place to be. My socks are stiff, my hair lank, my smile crooked and my eyes sore. I had a lovely time, thank you. I danced the dance, engaged in the rich tapestry of humanity.

Friday was a huge success – my brother Wade and I Djed at the Great Eastern’s final “beach party”, then later I emceed over a bunch of tunes, some fast, some slow, some pumping, some slumping, some something. Birddog showed up fresh from Bath and just in time to add scratchedy mix stuff. Parties went on in hotel rooms until it was light, when some of us collapsed in a heap on a bed for a little sleep. One of us was a kind of a Kill Bill heroine, a master of some form of fighting with swords of bamboo. “One cut, one kill,” she said. Was it kendo? It seems a while ago, so I am unsure.

And we went to the TDK X festival or whatever it was called, and that was lovely. Erol is a genius. He DJed with his foot. Good times. Old pals. Swimming in booze. Same the next day, 2 Many DJs and what have you. One day we ended up back at Blue’s uncle’s. Blue’s uncle’s is an Aladdin’s Cave of wonderful and weird art.

We managed carnival on Monday. I love Carnival. Then Trash. Old school! Today wake up in mate’s, blinking boozey sleep, 16 year old bedroom wilfully retained in all of its happy glory. Nudey Phil Bush, sunshine, pub lunch, wet shit, warm beer, terrible burger, five chips, banter.

I missed banter the most. I was a hermit for 14 months, I suppose. I am glad. I learnt to make music. I didn’t miss the furry tongue. It was a big wet weekend, awash with booze, and Wade and I lay on our backs in the cemetery at 8 in the morning basking in the sunshine, noticing how far we have not travelled. We are still homeless, still silly, still skint. Life is fabulous, and we are lucky boys. I shall not be drinking booze tonight, I shall watch a video or something.

I was described as a moustachioed oddball rapper in the Evening Standard the other day. It is true! I am! Hooray for me!

Anyway, they cancelled Reggae In The Park. This is not a good thing. Also bad is that the Reading Crowd, a tolerant and delightful bunch historically, bottled 50 and The Rasmus off. LAME.

Dizzee Rascal is so the greatest, and the Nick Cave album is awesome. My boy Jeres has given up beer. Wise in his old age is he getting.

— Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Friday, August 27th, 2004

Tracklisting:

Rick James feat. ATD – Mary Jane
Storyteller: The Boy Who Cried Wolf
Bad Religion feat. Sage Francis – Let Them Eat War
Skinnyman – Fuck The Hook
Ghostface & Trife – Paychecks
Shawn Wigs – Daily Routine
Braintax feat. Jehst – Riviera Hustle
J-Zone feat. Jehst – Stairase To Stage
Skinnyman – Hayden
JTWR – Life Is Beautiful
Ice Cube – Gangsta’s Fairytale
ATD – Even Ratboy
FEMA Kid’s Rap
Cypress Hill – Fuck Westside Connection
Westside Connection – Cross Em Out
ODB and Macy Grey – Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart
Giorgio Moroder feat. Phillip Oakey, CNN, MOP and Dizzee Rascal – Together In Electric Dreams (ATD Mix)
Leonard Cohen – Take This Waltz
Dizzee Rascal VS DMX – Where he Rascal At (Kon-tempt Mix)
PE, Kanye, Coltrane – Bring The Noise (Jay Smooth Mix)
Stush – Dollar Sign
Atari Teenage Riot – Death Of A President
She-Ra’s Theme
Sage Francis feat. Sole – I Apologise
MWR – Ya Sha3bi
The Iron Sheik – FOX
KRS and Lord Finesse – freestyle
Wu-Tang Clan – freestyle
Piranha Deathray – Dirty Linen (ATD’s The Death Of A Showman Remix)

— Friday, August 27th, 2004

Friday, August 27th, 2004

Whaddya mean Laura Bush wouldn’t have her photo tooken with P Diddy? I would I have been warming to Diddy of late. He means well, I think.

I fear Eminem’s brother also. I wonder if he is a good rapper. I hope he is. It would be sad if he sucked. Either way, he will be dissed. Poor lad.

I got well pissed last night. Today my head hurts and my wagon seems very far away. I am drinking lots of water and listening to my mixtape. It is wicked!

Tonight I think I will join my mate Wade at his indoor Beach Party at the Great Eastern Hotel, and rap over some of his records. I like to rap.

It is raining here in Llindain by the way. Ever since I got back from the States I’ve been waiting for Summer to kick in, but now I realise that it won’t. I missed it.

— Friday, August 27th, 2004

Thursday, August 26th, 2004

The papers remain droll. Here in the UK a poll today finds that one in three British teens wants cosmetic surgery. The Sun continues its mission to fuck on the Scouse pride, hounding eighteen year old Liverpudlian wunderkind Wayne Rooney, the nation’s most brilliant young footballer, away from his home team and into Hell. BA thinks it “normal” that 150 of their staff gave so little a fuck about the company they work for that failed to turn up for work yesterday. Still the “liberating” west fails to do anything about Sudan. Jim Davidson nicks crap “new” comedian’s crap joke. Mark Thatcher embarrasses Mummy when he is arrested for his involvement in an attempt at an oil related Coup. Locusts swarm. Crops fail.

Oh, and Can a Plaid Cymru MP impeach Tony Blair for going to war in Iraq?

I took over page 9 of the North Wales Daily Post today as well. They spelt my surname right and everything.

But yesterday Gwilym took me up Llanberis slate mine.

Writes Gwyl, who has a better memory than me:

“Llanberis slate mine/quarry was at one point the second largest slate mine in the world (not sure where the biggest was – maybe Ffestyniog). Inside the mountain Elidir Fawr (the one the quarry is on) is an underground hydro electric power station… miles of MASSIVE tunnels and a man-made cavern big enough to fit St Pauls Cathedral (the whole thing) inside! Safe.”

Safe indeed. I have spent these past few days being entirely awestruck by the great majesty and thunderous beauty of this land in which I was raised. Why didn’t I notice at the time? Why did I mock my Mother’s beloved “views” and long for a life amongst Smog? Nothing matches the giant brilliance of the slate mountains amid those natural, nothing I have seen.

I spent a lot of my youth in tunnels, being dripped on, chasing bats, hoping not to fall down holes. The tunnels in the great mines of Llanberis perfectly fit my Liliputian frame, for so too were the Welsh of old happy short-arses. Gwil bumps his tall head. Ha ha.

I have fine calves, by the way, utterly at odds with my otherwise pale and scrawny mess of a machine. These are due entirely to a youth spent traversing North Wales’ hilly periphery, a great and natural gym. Today I walked through the villages of my very-youth, Llangoed, Beaumaris, and I felt those old muscles ripple and hum, bones singing in glad recognition of the place that forged them. Everything the body needs. Everywhere a painting, a masterpiece, a joy, a wonder.

Gwil didn’t appreciate this wonder around him when he was little either. He says he started to notice in his late teens. And I, only now. I was preoccupied so long. Now I feel that a whole new world is opening up to me.

— Thursday, August 26th, 2004

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

My last night in London, by the way, was super-lush. By the way. That was a little while ago now. But I remember.

I don’t remember much. But stuff keeps coming back here in Bangor. I went to school here, after all. Here I suffered my greatest indignacies.

And here, many years since my last visit, I find a thriving rap scene, proud, inventive, representitive of its culture and its peoples’ past.Today I met local lads Gwil Glyndwr, Will Smack Crack, and Gareth Glitter, of North Welsh rap heroes LlanfaerGlyndwr, who, despite a penchant for profanity quite indicative of the land, find themselves all over Welsh radio.

“What it is is,” said emcee Pedr Pymf, “Is, nobody knows the real North Wales, apart from us. People, when they think of Wales, think of those soft cunts from down South, with their melodic accent and their fockin’ shit dragons. The North Welsh always had the hardest dragons so it’s no surpeise that we’re the best rappers an’ all. Conts Fockin Gwyrion, am byth.”

— Tuesday, August 24th, 2004

Saturday, August 21st, 2004

Yesterday I rode backwards on a train through North Wales, the ugliest way imaginable to enter such a lovely land. From Crewe to Bangor the journey is wraught with tragedy, taking one as it does through the thirty mile caravan (my Us chums read Trailer) park, many wet miles of bog and broken down machinery, sheep and bracken and falling down chrches and general poverty. But that is looking out of one side of the train. Through the opposite window, one sees sea for miles, the sunset, bloody, gulls and the pebbles on the beach. A sky like thunder, bruised, on fire.

Bangor is teeming with townies, a feature more exagerated than when last I visited three years ago or so. They are small, tense, and plentiful, and gob and squall en masse.

“Mam, I fockin hay choow.”
“Yoo fockin wot?”
“Don tark li’that t’yore Muvver.”
“Fockin slag.”
“She’s a one, no?”
“Yeah no?”
“No yeah.”

Bangor has a little more night life than when I lived here, and my brother takes me to Time, a sort of an indieish club with bad bands, and a DJ that plays Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Shed 7 and Cornershop and The Strokes. My old mate Gwilym shows, and regales me with tales of school, when he dislocatd my arm and me and fraggle boy Halliday got covered with bees and had a fight in the computer room, and whaddya mean Halliday has Spawned, siored a a baby fraggle! Dear Lord, why, in the name of Christ and all the lepers?

After back to Buff’s. Buff has taken over his Mammy’s old flat, so it’s just like old times. Weed and ‘Im Your Man.’ Buff’s Mammy focked off to an island off of Amsterdam to live in an art gallery with a genius, and makes flags, or something. I am so not surpried.

— Saturday, August 21st, 2004