Monday, June 01, 2015

Dr. Steg and the ‘Redundant Teeth of the Afterlife’

If I’ve learnt one thing over the years its that you can rid yourself of writers block by writing about Dr Steg. Because, as some of you may have noticed, this thing, this thing that I do [I don’t particularly like the word ‘blog’ but it serves a purpose], this thing that I do that I, and others, sometimes call ‘a blog’, is a definite hit and miss affair. Words wise I mean. And I dare say quality, though I rarely re-read anything I write leaving the thing [that thing again] up there for eternity and history to judge, use and abuse.

I’ve been giving the blog [blog bog fucking bog] some serious thought of late. Again. A serious rethink is once more underway. This after I realised I’d painted myself into the corner of a room by foolishly promising I’d review everything I got sent and not only that, reviewing everything I got sent after listening to it in great depth. And then I get sent a CD/DVD/CD-ROM/BOOK from Gruenrekorder thats a pean to a remote island off the Canadian coast or somewhere equally remote that I have to admit to not taking much interest in due to being overcome with the enormity of a task that involves not only reading a 300 page book but taking in a DVD that contains hours of field recordings and an interactive CD-Rom that no doubt contains instructions for making toggles. I just don’t have the time fellas. I’ll send you it back I promise.

And then I found myself thinking, but I’m just reviewing the same stuff over and over again. Only a fool would complain at getting sent vinyl from the [genuflects in all directions] Taming Power and I’m not going to here but there’s only so much I can say about something no matter how good it is. My biggest fear is being sent the same thing over and over again and trying in vain to find a gear with which to start the brain moving. Thats not to say I don’t enjoy listening to the stuff I get sent its just that the mere thought of having to critique whilst listening is now spoiling my enjoyment of the listening experience. I’m getting to the stage in life where actually not thinking about what I’m listening to is becoming the more preferable option. Gone now are the days where I used to sit with pen and paper, nib poised as the needle hit the record and within instants the words would appear. Perhaps I have the onset of early dementia? My brain is definitely on the dip and for evidence you only have to ask Mrs Fisher about the numerous instances in which I’ve clear forgotten the one thing it was I was supposed to remember. Whatever it was.

So here I am once more thinking up things to say about Dr Steg. But here its about what you see and read [although he did enclose a couple of OKOK Society releases in with his latest package that I’ve been listening to all night and which have stirred such memories of days of yore that I feel as if I’ve been transported back in time to 1994 - more on these later perhaps - after much not thinking]. With Dr Steg its about what the eye sees and in this instance its a Dr Steg postcard showing a picture of someone called Brindley Dummett, a fold out poster of sort thats folded like a Hayler-esque Barrel Nut Zine, a small sketch book that looks as if it was a pictorial diary of a visit to Paris in 2002 and another of Dr Steg’s surreal diaries in which he doffs his cap to the likes of Viv Stanshall and Michael Bentine.

This wasn’t the only things he sent me. Resplendent upon the walls of Idwal Towers there now resides yet another Dr Steg canvas. Given the title ‘Redundant Teeth of the Afterlife’ said canvas depicts the words ‘IDWAL FISHER’ as made from children’s toy plastic letters atop a construct of various oddities including a half set of false teeth, animal bones, kids toys and other detritus as no doubt found on Dr Stegs many travels around the west coast of the north of England and his home environs. To say that I was honored to receive such work is an understatement of a magnitude measurable on the Richter scale. In my many years of being sent review items, books, records, and  CDFUCKINGDVDFUCKINGCD-ROMFUCKINGBOOK box sets and Filthy Turd releases wrapped in rancid fried rice this work of art tops the lot. I may have rare records lurking on the shelves here that I didn’t pay for and accepted in lieu of a review and are now probably worth sums that will one day bolster my rather piss poor pension pot but this picture, this work of art this ‘Redundant Teeth of the Afterlife’ I will treasure until my dying day. It will be there on the wall of my sheltered accommodation, my care home, it will sit atop my coffin as the thing disappears in to the flames to the sound of Roy Harper’s mournful ‘When an old Cricketer Leaves the Crease’. Its ashes will become mine as they’re shot into the sky inside a Standard Fireworks rocket Hunter S Thompson stylee.

It goes without saying that I am a fan of Dr Steg’s work. The man himself is as unpredictable as sweaty dynamite. I’ve bumped into him at a couple of Smell & Quim gigs and he’s by far been the drunkest person in the room - no mean feat at a Smell & Quim gig. At the Gullivers gig in Manchester he nearly got the place shut down after waving a dagger about and declaring that the Green Room was toast [said dagger was actually a Steg spray painted letter opener cum blade with no edge to be used as a Smell & Quim prop but nobody was really paying that much attention and when a drunken lunatic comes at you waving something like that the details get lost]. When I saw him at the Sleaford Mods gig in Blackpool he was already reeling drunk by about 7pm and spent the entire gig either dancing like a fool or covering himself, the furniture and the walls in stickers that carried this blog’s url [the calls never came]. I later found out that he made it home via a casino where he lost all his money and an all night garage whereupon he fell into a point of sale display.

He’s good at getting the words flowing again too.

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