Saturday, 30 April 2011

Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

'Human history in essence is a history of ideas'.
- H. G. Wells, 'The Outline of History'.

Chauvet Cave in southern France: the location of the earliest known prehistoric cave paintings, and the setting for Werner Herzog's 2010 documentary, currently showing at the Tyneside Cinema.

The documentary, which is presented in 3D, seeks to 'capture the intention of the painters', who incorporated the cave's dramatic bulges and recesses into their artwork.

Why did prehistoric people paint on the walls of caves? Was it for their own amusement, for religious reasons, or for the edification of future generations? Can cave-dwelling people of the Aurignacian era have had any conception of the fact that we would be observing and studying these paintings 30,000 years later?

These were some of the questions in my own head while observing the stunning images of Chauvet Cave. However, Herzog seemed in search of prehistoric man himself, who is somewhat conspicuous by his absence: one alone of the hundreds of paintings appears to represent the lower half of a human female. There are footprints and marks from torches, but no human remains. Indeed, forensic evidence suggests that the cave was used to store animals such as cave bears; experts believe that the paintings themselves may have had ritualistic significance.

Due to the cave's unstable nature and toxic atmosphere, the general public are not allowed inside, and Herzog had to receive special permission to film there with a skeleton crew. The film's soundtrack was not particularly to my taste; I also found it quite difficult for my eyes to adjust to the 3D imagery. However, given that this is the closest most will come to witnessing these ancient images, I feel privileged to have seen the forgotten paintings of Chauvet Cave.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

'Fragments of Hope'

A new 7thSun compilation, 'Fragments of Hope', is now available for free download on my website.

A limited run of copies was given away on homemade CDs at my debut gig in March.
It features two previously unreleased recordings.

7thSun - Fragments of Hope
01. Unsleeping Eyes [Vocal Mix]
02. Trapped on a Tidal Island
03. Resignation
04. A Light Fall of Snow
05. Pulse [Version]
06. Dhark Rhen.

For full details, please visit

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

'A Poem is a City' by Charles Bukowski

a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war,
a poem is a city asking a clock why,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
its barbershops filled with cynical drunks,
a poem is a city where God rides naked
through the streets like Lady Godiva,
where dogs bark at night, and chase away
the flag; a poem is a city of poets,
most of them quite similar
and envious and bitter...
a poem is this city now,
50 miles from nowhere,
9:09 in the morning,
the taste of liquor and cigarettes,
no police, no lovers, walking the streets,
this poem, this city, closing its doors,
barricaded, almost empty,
mournful without tears, aging without pity,
the hardrock mountains,
the ocean like a lavender flame,
a moon destitute of greatness,
a small music from broken windows...

a poem is a city, a poem is a nation,
a poem is the world...

and now I stick this under glass
for the mad editor's scrutiny,
the night is elsewhere
and faint gray ladies stand in line,
dog follows dog to estuary,
the trumpets bring on gallows
as small men rant at things
they cannot do.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

7thSun Live at Barkollo, 27/03/2011

01. Illumination
02. Pictures of the Sky
03. Pulse
04. Resignation
05. Strange Clouds.

A big thank you to James and Rich: the show wouldn't have been possible without you.

Thanks to Totem Recall and Gohsten: it was great fun supporting you.

And thanks to the staff at Barkollo and everyone who came to see us. We will be playing live again in May.