WHO ATE MY UNCLE?

July 28, 2021
Photograph by Tracey Moberly

GREAT YARMOUTH – 2021

Dear Reader,

Someone ate my uncle
And I want to find out who it was
And then shake their hand.
Or at least shake the hand of the nephew of the man who ate my uncle.

And yet…

It is more complicated than that.

What follows are some of those complications…

There are many claims that can be made for Great Yarmouth. Not all of them are true. One of them is that Great Yarmouth is the town within the Atlantic Archipelago that is closer to Berlin, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo than any other.

Those living in Lowestoft might disagree with this claim. 

But…

Lowestoft does not have the Roller Coaster ride that Great Yarmouth has. It is the second-longest Roller Coaster ride in the world. And we all like to ride. Ask Iggy. And it was built in 1932, thus long before you were born, and has been in operation ever since – I know these things.

And…

The reason why I know these things is that my Grandfather took me and my big sister for a ride on the Roller Coaster when I was nine years old back in 1962. It was both the scariest and most exciting thing that has ever happened to me.

Ever since that summer of ’62, I have been searching for something that is both more scary and more exciting. Travelling up the Congo River in 1996, during The First Congo War, was a distant second.

Also, Great Yarmouth is the only town in the whole of the cosmos that could prompt me to ask the question ”Who ate my uncle?”

Sometime during the first Lockdown of the Great Pandemic back in the Spring of 2020, when according to the schedule of The 25 Paintings world tour, I should have been in the city of Bingöl in Kurdistan, I started to question things. One of the main things I was questioning was the whole notion of me stomping around the planet with my big boots and “look at me” attitude. It all smacked of white privilege and smelt of it being a hangover of empire – that one where the sun never set.

Then…

I got an email from Jules and Kaavous, who it turned out were now living in Great Yarmouth and had somehow got the rites to make things happen in a closed-down Debenhams department store and were calling it PRIMEYARC. As in, now that we don’t have to go to department stores anymore ’cause we can get everything from Amazon, excepting interactive art.

Do you have the Ola-Art app yet?
Art to your door within ten minutes anytime night or day
Or that is the claim.
Will it make the likes of Turner Margate obsolete?
That is the question.

And…

Jules and Kaavous wanted to know if I wanted to do something at PRIMEYARC? And across Great Yarmouth?

Of course, I did.

And they also told me that they were working with a community of economic migrants from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa. These economic migrants were mainly working in the Bernard Matthews factories killing turkeys for Christmas.

Anyway…

I thought, maybe from here on in with The 25 Paintings world tour, I should not do the stomping around the world with my big boots, but gatecrash people in these islands that have come from distant parts. As in people that really needed to do the travelling across seas and lands to get here. And once here, have enriched our lives and cities and sad & rundown seaside towns, with their ways of seeing things.

Maybe I’ve told you about this before – but anyway.

Then…

One night, while sitting with Tracey in an Uber. This was after Lockdown One and before I got rid of my Uber app. The driver said to us, “Do you mind if I talk to my mate on WhatsApp, we will be talking in Cape Verde Kriol”.

And not only did we not mind, but the sound of this language triggered something. I was already gatecrashing.

“A gatecrashed party is always better than one you have been invited to” Discuss.

The next morning I contacted Jules and Kaavous. I asked them if any of the folk they have been working with talk Cape Verde Kriol. And they said “Yes, she is called Ana. She’s great. She leads a dance troupe.”

And…

Then I got in contact with Ana.

And Ana agreed to translate all the words that I wanted translated into Cape Verde Kriol, so that I can use them on The 25 Paintings for this year’s leg of The 25 Paintings twelve-year world tour.

Today I got the translations back from Ana.

They are as follows. Or at least underneath whatever writing I have yet still to do.

Tomorrow I start to repaint The 25 Paintings from Kurdish to Cape Verde Kriol.

Have you ever been culturally appropriated?

And…

For much of the month of September and even some of October – Global Pandemic willing – I will be based in the former Debenhams, as in PRIMEYARC, in Great Yarmouth. That is when I am not going for my daily ride on the Roller Coaster – care to join me?

Do you like to ride?

Now I know Tracey might not be pleased with the shrinking of my horizons, as she was looking forward to directing the film I wanted to make when we got to Papua New Guinea in a couple of years. As in the film with the folk that ate my great, great uncle – Oliver Tomkins – back in 1901. But I don’t think even Tracey will be wanting to deal with me if I am having one of my brain seizures when we are paddling a dugout canoe down the Aird River and I’m wondering if human flesh tastes better rare or well done. With fries or rice? With chilli sauce or just some pepper?

But…

As it happens my Uncle Oliver was from Great Yarmouth.

Anyway…

This all prompted Tenzing Scott Brown to write one of his plays, it’s called WHITE MALE GAZE. There will be a reading of this play at PRIMEYARC. This reading of the play will also involve some of Ana’s dancing girls.

Does cultural appropriation begin at home?

WHITE MALE GAZE will also be published as a book in an edition of 400. This book will be available from The Travelling Salesman.

Yours Faithfully,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

What follows are the Cape Verdean Kriol words that I will be using on The 25 Paintings, along with their English translations:

1:
DRUMMOND’S INTERNATIONAL GREY
CINSA INTERNATIONAL DRUMMONDS

2:
MAKE SOUP
FAZI SOPA

3:
ELVIS LOVES BILL
ELVIS T’AMA BILL

4:
BAKE CAKE
ASSA BOLU

5:
INTERCONTINENTAL TWINNING ASSOCIATION
ASSÓSSIASON D’IRMANASSON INTERKONTINENTAL

6:
FORTY MINUTES
KORENTA MINUTA

7:
GREAT YARMOUTH
GREAT YARMOUTH

8:
WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX
COMPLEKUS DI SALVADORIS BRANKUS

9:
CURFEW TOWER
TORI DI TOR DI DETA

10:
FORTY SECONDS
KORENTA SUGUNDUS

11:
MAN MAKING BED
OMI TA CONSTRUI CAMA

12:
DANCE
BADJA

13:
ATLANTIC ARCHIPELAGO
ARKIPELAGU ATILANTIKO 

14:
SING
KANTA

15:
MAN SHINING SHOES
OMI TA GRAXA SAPATU

16:
THE LONE SWEEPER
UN BARIDA

17:
WHO ATE MY UNCLE?
KENHA KI TA ODIA NHA TIU?

18:
TWENTY FIVE PAINTINGS
VINTU CINKU PINTURA

19:
TRUE TO THE TRAIL
VIRDADI DI UN LUTA DI VIDA

20:
TWELVE STEPS
VINTI PASSU

21:
MILLION STITCH BLANKET
MILLION DI PONTU

22:
BANG DRUM
TA TOKA NA TAMBOR

23:
BEST BEFORE DEATH
MIDJOR ANTIS DI MORRI

24:
BLOW HORN
SOPRA KIFRI

25:
LIFE AND DEATH OF AN ARTIST
VIDA I MORTI D’ UN ARTISTA

How To Make Mistakes

July 27, 2021
Photo by Tracey Moberly

Dear Reader,

Some people make Art
Some people make Love
Some people make War
Some people make Mistakes

Making Mistakes is what I do best.

Next Sunday morning (1st of August 2021) I will be giving a Sermon at Coventry Cathedral entitled…

HOW TO MAKE MISTAKES
And suffer the consequences

I first knew I was good at making mistakes in Primary Two at Penninghame School in 1959 when I got none out of ten for my spelling two weeks running.

Spelling Mistakes became my speciality. And I have been keeping my hand in at Spelling Mistakes ever since. That said I was a pretty good all-rounder at Making Mistakes.

Some of these mistakes have paid dividends, but mainly it has been about suffering the consequences.

I would like to go on record saying “Mistakes make Life”.

But I know the reality is also “Mistakes cause Death”.

The text for the Sermon is Matthew 14:1-11

This Sermon will be a one-off, never to be repeated.

The Sermon will be followed by a performance of the three-act play WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX featuring Tam Dean Burn playing the part of me.

The middle act of WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX is a screening of the film BEST BEFORE DEATH.

After the performance, The Travelling Salesman will be selling copies of the book WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX on the steps of the Cathedral.

Tickets and further information are available from here.

Yours Faithfully,

The Elderly Gentleman

NEVER LOCK YOUR DOOR

July 26, 2021
Photograph by Tracey Moberly

Never Lock Your Door is a play by Tenzing Scott Brown.
Never Lock Your Door is a play with no beginning or end.
Never Lock Your Door is set under Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham.
Never Lock Your Door has many principal characters.

The many principal characters include:

Two Walls facing each other, both of which are unaware of their mortality.

An arm of The Grand Union Canal, that divides the Two Walls, but keeps his counsel about mortality.

A Sleeping Bag, which has been discarded by a rough sleeper and talks about his great uncle who was a sleeping bag in the Eighth Army during the Second World War. The rough sleeper, who is not a character in this play but does still sometimes sleep under Spaghetti Junction.

Two Polish Builders who like to fish in the Grand Union Canal under Spaghetti Junction while drinking cheap Polish lager and cheaper energy drinks while discussing international politics and the urge to go back home to Poland.

Two Small Roach, who discuss the purpose of Art in The Grand Union Canal, now that The Grand Union Canal no longer serves a purpose. They also discuss whether Eels ever existed. They also fear a Pike that has been rumoured to be lurking.

The Lone Heron, who in fact does for the Two Small Roach, but they are totally unaware of The Lone Heron’s presence and how their existence on earth is to be a tasty snack in the late afternoon of Life on Earth.

The Lone Heron

A Single Mother who also happens to be a Mallard Duck with her five baby ducklings. Their father had done a runner before the play began.

The Invasive Species known to some as Giant Hogweed, which of course is merely a stand-in for the whole of the human population of the world, who are totally unaware of their own mortality and their status amongst all other life forms on earth as the ultimate Invasive Species.

A host of Golden Ragworts all too aware of their mortality, still waiting for their Week of Fame.

Golden Ragworts

Life on Earth is the unseen but ever-present character actor.

But the most principal of all of the principal characters is a discarded baby doll. Baby Doll had once belonged to a loving toddler by the name of Claudia. Baby Doll has a fantasy that she is in reality a real dead baby. A baby that died after she had been discarded by a teenage mother, who had kept her pregnancy a secret from her family. The father of the dead baby was also a member of the teenage mother’s family.

Baby Doll

Baby Doll had been discovered lying in the undergrowth by a Bill Drummond as he was trying to get to one of the Two Walls so that he could paint the words of the 2021 title of his Twelve Step Programme. As in the Twelve Step Programme that he is doing over twelve years as The 25 Paintings world tour unfolds.

The title of the 2021 step is also Never Lock Your Door, as in the title of this play that has no beginning, no middle, no end.

THE REPUBLIC OF UŽUPIS -Take Two

January 4, 2021
Photograph taken by Gleb Divov

The Republic of Užupis was to curate The Curfew Tower for the year of 2020.

The Great Pandemic stepped in the way of the curatorship happening.

The Curfew Tower very much hopes that it will be curated by The Republic of Užupis in the year of 2021.

The Curfew Tower awaits.

And while it waited statues of The Curfew Tower were built in The Repulic of Užupis. Above is a photograph of one of those statues by the River Vilnelė.

LIVE FROM A WARDROBE

December 21, 2020

Live From A Wardrobe is a performance by Tam Dean Burn recorded live in a wardrobe in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland sometime in the November of 2020.

The performance is of four Forty Second Plays by Tenzing Scott Brown.

These plays have the collective title of The New River Four.

These performances can be listened to below:

The Glorified Walking Stick

There Is An After Life

The Public Execution of Pop Stars

The Nik Kershaw Minifig

ELVIS LOVES BILL

December 18, 2020
Photograph by Tracey Moberly

Elvis Loves Bill is a Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown.

It was written on the 3rd of December 2020, to mark the 52nd anniversary of the 68 Comeback Special and Bill Drummond’s boyhood love of Elvis Presley.

It was to be performed with Neu! Reekie! at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 18th of December 2020. But the Great Pandemic had other plans.

The play was published by Caught By The River on the 10th of December 2020.

NO MUSIC DAY – 2020

November 22, 2020
Photograph of the Angel of Užupis taken through the door of Coffee1, in Angel Square, Republic of Užupis.

No Music Day 2020, was marked and celebrated in two European locations.

One was in The Republic of Užupis, where Gleb Divov, the Minister for Culture and Innovations, positioned posters around the Republic to announce their marking of No Music Day. These posters were in both English and Lithuanian. Lithuanian being the mother tongue of those living in The Republic of Užupis.

The other location was in Tabakfabrik in Linz, where the short film My Name Is Art Not Innovation by Scharmien Zandi was screened.


No Music Day 2021 is to be marked by The Republic of Užupis building international bridges.

And…

By Scharmien Zandi staging her Silent Opera.

Further information about The Repulic of Užupis building international bridges and the staging of Schamrmien Zandi’s Silent Opera will be made known via the Penkiln Burn site in the early days of November 2021.

Photograph of central Vilnius taken from the White Bridge.

A MUSIC FREE LIFE

November 17, 2020

On each 21st of November for five years between 2005 and 2009, Bill Drummond promoted and celebrated No Music Day. After that he let it lie. But he did not switch off the No Music Day website, he had decided that should remain as a museum piece.

Since 21st of November 2009 and early in November 2020, he did not think about No Music Day once. Then he received an email from someone in Vienna, who announced to him that they were going to be celebrating No Music Day this coming 21st of November.

This someone is called Scharmien Zandie.

And this is their website

Although Bill Drummond no longer marks No Music Day, he has in his private world established a music free life.

To document this fact Tenzing Scott Brown has written one of his Forty Second Plays. It is entitled A Music Free Life. It features two characters. They are Music and the other is Bill. This is it:

Music:

What the fuck?

Bill:

What do you mean?

Music:

A Music Free Life?

I mean do you attend Music Lovers Anonymous?

Bill:

No, but…

Music:

For a start, I caught you listening to Gram Parsons on your Spotify app only last night, when you thought no one was in the house.

Bill:

Yeah but…

Music:

‘Yeah but’ nothing. I know you listen to more music now than ever.

Bill:

Yeah, but that is because everywhere I go there is a Spotify Play List playing. And…

Music:

And that is a good thing.

Makes the world a better place – something to be applauded.

Bill:

No!

Music only exists to make you do things you don’t want to do.

Music:

Wrong!

Very wrong!

I exist to make you do things that you didn’t know you wanted to do.

Anyway get the kettle on.

The End

And that is the end of that particular Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown. For further research explore the question ‘What is Music for?’

And…

Find out which way Scharmien Zandie is celebrating No Music Day this coming 21st of November in a world riddled with the global pandemic of social media. A pandemic that did not exist back in 2005. And one we as yet have not found a vaccine for.

RAGWORT WEEK 2020

October 11, 2020

Ragwort Week 2020 is being held between Monday the 12th and Sunday the 18th of October.

To mark Ragwort Week 2020 the very short film The Great North Road Ragworts has been made:

As with the previous eight Ragwort Weeks, 100 copies of the book RAGWORTS by Bill Drummond are being made available from Alimentation. Click HERE to buy. Or at least know more.

SOFA

October 8, 2020

SOFA is the name of a Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown.

SOFA was written in response to Bill Drummond being invited onto the Thursday afternoon show on  BBC 6 Music, to discuss the film BEST BEFORE DEATH.

SOFA was written while Tenzing Scott Brown sat on the sofa in The Best Gent Hair Saloon on Albion Parade, N16.

Bill Drummond performed a version of the play, but the version lasted over nine minutes, much longer than the forty seconds as proclaimed, thus way too long to be broadcast on a music radio station.

Listen to SOFA as performed by Bill Drummond:

Recorded and edited by Kenny Atkin @ VaVa Recordings

Paul Duane, the director of BEST BEFORE DEATH was interviewed by Matt Everett for the said Thursday afternoon show for BBC 6 Music.

To know more about or buy a copy of the blu-ray version of BEST BEFORE DEATH click HERE.