Tuesday 19 April 2016

For a Song (in praise of ZEUK)

I'd never ridden on a carousel before yesterday. My kids have had that pleasure, and it's been glorious to see, but it was a thing denied my childhood; when I was old enough to go near one I always felt that there was nothing for me there. It's weird when you're an adult. Adulthood creates walls.

But when Marc Roberts, Marc's talented partner Ronnie and I passed the most exquisite merry-go-round I'd ever seen just opposite the St David's Centre, Cardiff, Marc suggested we go on it. "My treat," he said. He described it as a Wheel of Fortune.

And so, for the first time ever, I rode on a carousel, without self consciousness. We were the only people on it. It was, in some ways, an important experience. It was pretty great. I forgot I was old for a moment. 
Marc handed me this, too. The last one he had spare, he said.

It is a source of regret to me that I don't know Marc tremendously well. We've hung out a couple of times and been part of the same show more than once. Marc has a strong aesthetic that informs everything he does. He sees magic and strangeness in everyday objects, things lost and discarded (which may explain his uncanny ability to find £20 notes lying about).

And Marc is, for my money, an exceptional musician; he performs, in a band with Ronnie, Jimmy the cellist and occasional others, as ZEUK, and that's significant to my project because he donated a song for the video I made for my Indiegogo campaign, which is, let's face it, the best thing in said video.

Which is all to say, I owe Marc a debt of thanks for giving me a place in his Wyrd Wonder cabaret back on February, for doing a gig for me back in September and refusing all payment except cake (I'll grant it was a really good cake), and, pertinently, for letting me use one of his old songs, "Song for Freyja", on my crowdfunder. It's an amazing song, full of fear and love and sadness, and the moment I heard it, it made me think of Atlantis. It's Chariot's theme song.  I kind of had to stop and listen to it again just now, in fact.

So many songs are sung to you,
Possessor of the fallen slain;
Death by fire, birth by rain;
You shall sing again.
That bit gets me every time.

And this post is really here to promote ZEUK as a fellow traveller, a supporter of my work and as a unique artist in his own right. If you like things gothick and psychedelic, if you know who Peter Hamill is, if you like the sort of witchy folk music that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a forest at the latest of hours, wreathed in mist and surrounded by robed celebrants, music that I suspect may have actual magic hidden in it, you should support him.

ZEUK's regularly updated Soundcloud page is here which is a good place to listen to a load of his stuff for free.

One of the ambivalent pleasures of looking up truly independent artists is trying to track their stuff down. Marc's on the Reverb Worship label, but you really have to keep an eye on the stuff they do there because everything they do is limited edition.

But listen, I've done the work for you. You can acquire his music and listen to some of it here: 
•   ZEUK on Bandcamp
•  the Active Listener's Acid Folk Sampler volume 2
•  Reverb Worship's recent compilation RW327 Reverberation (Melmoth The Wanderer meets Reverb Worship), available through Reverb Worship's eBay store – be quick! At the time of writing they've only got a couple left! (They had three, but then I found the store)
•  Better Late Than Never: The Reverb Worship Compilation – only a few of these are left too.

(There was an album a couple of years ago, but let's face it, you've no chance of finding one of those.)