It’s been a week of divorces for me. I cut the cord with Tim formally, this being the scribbling of a few signatures in a Harley Street office; and I told Sav I would be trying out other singers for Fosca.
The former was no surprise, though I can’t pretend that it was not a little strange and sad to sign a piece of paper saying I can no longer record or perform under the name Orlando. What would the Dickon of 1993 say, beavering away in his sordid room in Bristol with only a borrowed four-track and a friend called Simon Kehoe and calling the results Orlando, dreaming of recruiting a series of guest boy vocalists, eventually procuring only one, name of Tim Chipping? It’s a form of passing the baton, I suppose. Unkind critics might say passing the buck. I’m riddled with freedom, and it feels both exhilarating and terrifying.
Freedom, like any other positive sensation, is thoroughly addictive. Not content with detachment from one colleague, I spontaneously did the same with another, at least for now. The idea of trying out different vocalists appealed to me once again only recently. Fosca can never be a band in the gang-mentality sense, because I refuse to bond with other human beings. I am at best a social tourist, at worst a sociopath. So Fosca is really the name given to whatever Dickon does musically (as once was Orlando), in any shape or form, and with whatever other people getting involved. I prefer the name “project” to “band”…
It’s really a case of to “to thine ownself be true”. When I recruited Sav, it was with the express purpose of presenting someone that was so completely different to me in every way, as an experiment of the Laddish Lion lying down with the Limp-wristed Lamb. After five gigs and four songs recorded, I decided that maybe this experiment wasn’t working so well after all. Sav is a truly great vocalist and a kind man to others, so it wasn’t an easy decision. At least it wasn’t if you view Fosca as a band. But it isn’t a band, it’s an unpredictable, shifting project. And Sav, through not being an immediately apparent misfit, with consummate irony didn’t fit in Fosca.
So tomorrow Fosca rehearse with a different singer, not to mention an extra guitarist, Charley, who seems to be sticking around to everyone’s delight. So now Fosca is a supergroup of Glamourous London Millennium Misfits, because as well as myself (the Michael Crawford of Rock), Ms Charley Stone (the Helena Bonham-Carter of Rock), Mr Peter Theobalds (the Lukas Haas of Rock) and Mr David Gray (the Julian Sands of Rock), all strange denizens of the capital radiant (or doomed) with their own individual styles, we will now be trying out Mr David Barnett on vocals.
Mr Barnett is a suave, feline boy from Dundee that knows of Sarah Records, Belle and Sebastian and Doctor Who. He works by day for a management company that handles the likes of Suede, and by night attends many a glittering and hip social function. “Who is that boy”, one hears, “the incorrigible foxy Scots flirt with the cheekbones, the one getting drunk all alone on the dancefloor? Is he a pop star?”. He is known to many a fanzine writer trying to set up a piece on Suede. He sings like Bowie circa “Hunky Dory” and Morrissey circa “Strangeways Here We Come”, with the sexier elements of The Only Ones’ singer Pete Perrett (who?).
I’m hoping he’ll fit in. Thanks for bearing with me.
I’ve also just seen and been smitten by the film Clueless, a kind of Heathers with more Jane Austen-style social satire and less “Comedy of Cruelty”; and have hence exchanged my pager for a beautiful pocket-sized mobile phone. Though I’ve promised myself I’ll be using it mainly as a portable message checker, rather than suddenly have a loud one-sided conversation on a bus or in the street. This phone stays private. Until the irritation factor associated with such instruments of the Devil wanes a little more in the public consensus, it’s not good to talk.
Monday February 16th 1998
Another London gig, but we do intend to acknowledge there’s life elsewhere before very long. Fosca play downstairs in the main Garage on Tuesday February 24th, doors 8pm, onstage 10pm. The venue address is The Garage, 20-22 Highbury Corner, London N5, opposite Highbury & Islington tube. It’s £3 with a flyer, which I can send to you as ever.
Hopefully we’ll be featuring young Ms Charley Stone on Other Guitar, and Sav will be attempting to sing and play an acoustic at the same time himself… I’ve found that it’s all very well throwing yourself about the stage, arms flailing in the breeze, but there are times when strings must be strummed as opposed to missed…. and Charley and Sav will hence help to bolster the sound somewhat.
See some of you there.