Ghost of a flea
Seething in the alembic
Keeping the rain off
Brian Hall, my friend, climbing and business partner in SteepEdge writing about his first film experience recreating the first ascent of The Bat on Ben Nevis. I climbed this famous route on a snatched weekend raid North of the border with an older climbing friend and fell runner from Sheffield, Chas Hird. The weather was perfect and each pitch was demanding enough to feel like the challenge we hoped it would be. Finishing the top pitch in the gloom and rather than face the few hundred feet of Severe climbing to the summit of Carn Dearg, we opted to abseil down Titans Wall. On the second stance, I droppped my belay device and had to do a traditional waist abseil for the first time since I was in Scouts.
Terrifying… Great Memories.
Red in tooth and claw
Listening to David Grubbs’ beautiful album, Rickets and Scurvey on the train. When I was a teenager, my mate Chris brought an album called Skag Heaven by an obscure, independent hardcore band from Kentucky called Squirrel Bait from a (back then) exotic holiday in the USA back to Bramhall, Stockport that we listened to over and over. I still own the cassette that I taped off his bedroom stereo, bought the CD years later and still regularly play it when I need a shot of energy and enthusiasm that only music from that era can provide.
They released a couple of musically interesting and melodic post-punk albums before fragmenting and going on to form, join or directly influence Bastro, Gastr del Sol, Red Krayola, Slint, the Lemonheads, Tortoise, Papa M, King Kong, The Sea and Cake, Will Oldham’s Palace Music and Jim O’Rourke’s solo outings.
David Grubbs went onto record several beautifully crafted solo albums; The Spectrum Between; Rickets and Scurvy and A Guess at the Riddle. Go buy ‘em, or listen online they’re fabulous.