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A Dubious Tale...

There was a brief summer that left the impression of being flattened into old yellow tinted film even as it was happening and then a very long winter. The previous one had come with bad news from my long abandoned origins, this brought resolve with the brilliant layered clarity of an icicle about to drop and a fatalistic sense of mirth. I visited Chicago to pay respects to the lost, re-connect with those still participating in this reality, and for a grimmer purpose which is another story entirely.

It is an odd thing to be somewhere so drenched in nostalgia without being home, this in-between state of existence produces a particular sense of surreality which I embraced. It found me under the spinning stars of midwinter constellations in the wasteland where the old racetrack burned years before full of regret, recklessness, and just a bit of honest if bitter humour.

I came to the dim and dusty remnants of a crossroads intersecting the brittle scrub and hunkered down below the wind's grasp for a draught of whisky and and smoke. To this day I am unsure as to what possessed me to perform a half-cocked and unstudied incantation there in the frozen dust. I went for the musician's traditional request and afterwards felt foolish, perhaps in the way someone else might upon beseeching their god for a trifle after a lifetime of non-belief, and relit my cigarette. Through the plume of interwoven smoke and breath I saw the sulphurous twin glow of eyes in the further dimness. Thinking they belonged to one of the coyotes or feral mongrels native to that forgotten place I rose to greet my fellow prowler.

A form of deeper blackness than the night lurched towards me, incongruently elegant in its unsettling disjointed puppetry. The apparition was garbed in tailoring that could have come from any and every era, upon the man's frame perched a desiccated canine head grinning where the flesh had pulled away from its jaws. Its voice was the open creaking door that had allowed a predator inside, dry leaves rattling down a desolate stretch of road, spider's legs scuttling against each other as they ease their fat, venomous bodies and eager mandibles towards unfortunate prey as it cited the particulars of the contract in the formal dialect of the netherworld.

A document was produced from a mysterious pocket and a swift talon slashed my forearm. We all know what happens next as our folklore is so deeply drenched with this theme - I dipped my index finger and scrawled wetly the open pentagram that is formed by the fluid overlay of my initials. The creature widened its ghastly but somehow charming grin and dropped a wink with drooping dog flesh over one radioactive marble of an eye and spoke in plain mid-western English - 'you have friends in low places so I'm sure you'll find the terms quite agreeable all things considered. Well, perhaps.' A hideously twisted claw gave my numb hand a friendly shake and then my conspirator departed, dissipating into the chill air.

I'd end up locked away somewhere painted a sickly mint green with stained padded walls if I got too hung up on all the weird shit that happens so I returned to England and got on with the mundane and the sublime. Before long I slung on a rucksack and my guitar and followed the horned moon above which shone venus in a sliver of early spring cobalt sky between the looming terraced tenements. I wrote songs and these flowed even more freely when the most exquisite of muses came into my life.

As if summoned from the very font of chaos a fantastically idosyncratic collective of musical misfits took the stage of this place and time and became entwined by sinuous, scintillating synchronicity. I don't get much sleep and there's almost always a disaster brewing but had I read the fine print I wouldn't have changed a thing - being a Lacunatic is well worth the mayhem!