As we emerge blinking into 2010, another year, another decade infact. I am sure various people have been thinking about fresh starts in many ways and to some extent I am no exception.
I have resolved to afford time for the things in life which are truly important to me and to strike a better balance. For too long now, I have been bogged down by the whole Bradford music scene thing and the politics contained within, so much so that I let it consume me to some extent. Both with the BMC and with organising things for the Mannville and later the Zuu Bar, I spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking about and performing tasks related to this, sometimes doing things when my attention should have been elsewhere, waking up in the middle of the night to switch the PC on and fire off messages / set up Facebook events, going straight on the PC when I got up and when I got in from work. Not just with the bookings but with the online disputes and flame wars and trying to gather news for the BMC newsfeed as well as look for new ways of getting the word about. I have been at times, a man obsessed. I think it had affected my mental health a bit and has strained some friendships at times. It was reminiscent of when I was at the height of my degree commitments, except then I had a real workload to get through and a definite end goal to reach.
All the while, the rest of my life was not being given the attention it deserved and to some extent I was losing the plot. This last couple of weeks has been great as I have had the opportunity to spend some real quality time at home and in some ways it feels like I had been away somewhere.
I have been and still will spend quite a bit of time online but I have been using my own personal accounts more again recently rather than BMC ones (Blog/Twitter/MySpace) and have been trying to vary the kind of information I read as well as learn new things a bit. I do like social networking but am tending more towards the evolving Twitter culture rather than the (often banal) Facebook culture, which is getting more ridiculous by the week. Don’t get me wrong it is nice to keep in touch with friends but quite a few people are finding new and more ludicrous ways to waste time and bandwidth these days!
I have still been out and about over the festive period. I will always be a social animal and love going out with friends and listening to / watching cool music – this has been the whole driving force behind my music scene activities, However, until very recently my whole “going out” experience had an agenda behind it. I was switched on, networking, exchanging ideas and making sure other people where having a good time rather than simply enjoying myself. I was constantly arranging everything else around gigs at the Mannville / Zuu bar, sometimes speculatively and I consequently missed out on some cool events because of that. I also found myself going out more often and drinking more regularly. It was nice over xmas to go down to Idle village with some friends and just be out enjoying ourselves with a change of scenery. I need to do more of this socially and I shall do, whilst balancing it with a healthy amount of home life too.
Then there is the band. I have been enjoying this immensely. In the past a band has been a means of escape from the rest of life’s pressures but on this occasion, it has been intrinsically linked to them. We did have to put it on hold in October, again due to the venue(s) and both Mick and I were probably physically and emotionally tied up elsewhere whilst that happened. Thankfully (I think) we are now up and running again but it feels like a bit of a struggle sometimes. The music is great though and as long as we keep ticking over it should be fine. We are set to return to the rehearsal room on the 14th January, the day before our first anniversary (started our first rehearsal 15/01/09). I am personally looking forward to recording (allegedly in February).
There have also been brief talks about a brand new musical project which I may be involved in, which will likely be a more casual affair but I don’t want to jinx it by saying anything about it just yet. More on this as it unfolds. SBC will remain unaffected anyway.
So what future for the whole venue / bookings / BMC activities? Well, don’t get me wrong I will not be stopping doing any of this by a long chalk. After all, it does need doing and I do enjoy it. However, I will be re-addressing it with a healthier outlook and not be obsessing over it like I was.
I simply realised that I don’t have to turn up to every single gig that I have booked every week or spend my time agonising over things that don’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things. Yes I care deeply about music in my city, I will never let Mick and co. down and I will try and keep up the efforts to the best of my abilities. However, I realise that I don’t have to make it my sole purpose in life and I also realise that no-one has ever really had that expectation of me, other than myself.
So, apologies if I don’t get back to you quite as quickly as I have in the past or if it takes me a little longer than before to get things done or even if I do not get to every gig I have booked for you. I am still here and I still care very much! You could say that I have rediscovered “me” and the bigger picture of my life to some degree. I feel much more at peace and it has been a long time coming. More of everything else please!