The Bitterest Pill

Paul Weller
Image: NYC.com

Yesterday was all about mellowing, my sister, and the Modfather. After a nice long sleep I woke up and got ready and had breakfast with Lindsay; hot filled rolls cooked to order. Then we cracked open the Guinness and cider and hung out for the day catching up and listening to music.

In the evening we went to see Paul Weller at the SECC. Three words: didn’t meet expectations. The gig had been moved from the 10k capacity hall 4 to the 5k capacity hall 3, such were the poor ticket sales. A sign, perhaps, of the Glasgow resentment still felt after he walked off stage during a previous gig citing the “poor sound quality” at the Braehead Arena.

The gig itself was mediocre. Yes, we had Paul Weller on stage in front of use, belting out track after track, and that, to me, seemed to be the problem. With little interaction with the audience that had gone out of their way to buy tickets, he rattled off each tune one after the other as though he was merely going through the motions. I had to admit to finding myself clock-watching on more than one occasion.

The atmosphere visibly lifted when he played the few Jam songs he permitted into the set; Eton Rifles generating a visibly positive shift in atmosphere along with That’s Entertainment. Weller included an acoustic set midway through the gig, of which the highlight for me was the superb Butterfly Collector – my money’s worth in that one song.

Of his solo tracks, Changingman and You Do Something To Me were a treat to hear, but an out of place echo machine ruined Woodcutter’s Son to the point I thought the sound desk had broken.

Weller left a bitter taste in the mouth during the encore when he rammed political imagery down our necks, displaying some extremely disturbing footage of the Twin Towers attack followed by other lesser known footage from the Vietnam war. The soundtrack to back this didn’t make sense, so if Weller was attempting to make a political point it was missed by everyone in the venue. If he was merely trying to be controversial it fell on deaf ears because that sort of stuff doesn’t normally go down well at the best of times. Personally, it felt more like an attack on the US political system than anything else, and following it all up with Town Called Malice to complete the show wasn’t quite the sugar the audience needed to leave feeling good about themselves.

My advice for Paul Weller: your solo career has burnt out so put your differences and your ego aside and reform The Jam – give the people what they really want. And if you don’t believe me, ask the sound man for a decibel transcript when you played Eton Rifles – that should be evidence enough.

When we got back after the gig we had some pizza for dinner and then sat down to watch a film; American Gangster with Denzel Washington, which we both agreed was superb.

Today, after a much easier trip back through to Edinburgh (it too me two whole hours on Thursday) I got home today to find my second rejection in for Slick; a 100% standard response letter (no date; no salutation; no mention of the manuscript) from Jenny Brown Associates. Since I started my submissions with the top and toughest agents/publishers there is, I’m not overly concerned, but this particular letter merits reproduction on my blog purely for its sense of humour in the rejection. It went like this:

Thank you for your submission which we have now considered.

We are sorry, but on this occasion, it’s a ‘no’. We realise you have worked long and hard on your manuscript – and it deserves more than an impersonal rejection. However, we receive close to 40 submissions per week – some 2000 annually – and if we were to tailor a letter to each author we would do nothing but.

Please don’t be downhearted by this response – you will know that from James Joyce to JK Rowling most great/successful writers have experienced rejection. And that all agents and publishers have, at some point, turned down a Grisham or an Atwood.

Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that all successful authors will give a would-be writer the same two pieces of advice:
practise, practise, practise
be tenacious … if you’re serious, never give up.

We wish you the very best luck with your writing.

I’m having trouble getting re-started with Blood Ties. I’ve got lost in the plot somehow and spent most of this evening trying to figure out where I am and what the characters know in relation to one another. Not good. I’ve decided to call it a halt and take the evening out to figure things out so that tomorrow, hopefully, can be a full day to start laying the bricks again.

Blood Ties (NaNoWriMo)

Blood Ties (NaNoWriMo)

Blood Ties (Full Novel)

Blood Ties (Full Novel)


The Ranfurly Review – Out Now!

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About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Family, Fiction, Glasgow, Music, Politics, Publishing and Marketing, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Bitterest Pill

  1. You’ve hit the usual Week 2 resistance wall and it’s moving into the Week 3 roller coaster all at once. I’m struggling, too, I understand the frustration. I have the outline in front of me, but I feel lost half the time.

    Sorry the gig was so disappointing.

  2. Binny says:

    I was disappointed with Weller’s rendidtion of Wild Wood also – he managed to ruin that with all the background drums he added in 😦

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