One year. 100 articles. So we're having a Reader's Party. Come along to Upsidecrown.

Upsideclown banner

Fresh Mondays and Thursdays   ARCHIVE   US


The Sound of Music

14 June 2001
Neil has found religion.

The guy in front's hair is swinging like the deformed tail of an excitable puppy; as we undulate, control over any of our movements beyond the concerted effort to remain upright surrendered to the heaving human mass that hems us in, it whips up into my face and for an instant I have a mouthful of the sweat that has soaked its way down. A plastic pint glass of piss is hurled over the crowd by a guy unwilling to fight his way to the toilets, spattering us liberally. I am taken by surprise by a booted foot as it slams into the back of my head; it is attached to a splayed teenager whom we reach up and help on his way over us, across the crowd's fleshy roof. I have never been this happy.

I have worshipped at other churches: swayed, apostate, in the thrall of electro-ambience as fervent loners and geeky clusters lurk in shadowy corners, their fixed gazes diverted only for a second to check the wire that tickles their ribs and the microphone dot on their lapel; no-one here is trying to bootleg, not because the equipment would get crushed or the band are too distant but we all know that it is about the moment, the sound captures nothing: replayed it would be hollow.

I have admired the isolated poet with his guitar, the intricacy of his words, the simplicity of his vision, but a prophet's meaning is always disputed: only a Messiah unites us all. I have pumped my body to pounding beats, flared fleetingly with a false fellowship in the company of Dionysian clubbers who can manufacture snatches of the spirit but without any message are sparks in a vacuum.

I have doubted my own faith: my mind will not surrender easily and detaches itself, distracts itself, in the midst of everything questions whether I'm really enjoying this, whether I'm not simply believing what I want to be true. I have grown cynical about evangelists, peddling rebellion to line their own pockets, whipping up congregations with buzz-word platitudes. But I keep on coming back because as the guitars build up their howling agitato I know that the message is true.

This is the pipe we pass round, the bowl we all drink from: we exchange sweat and not blood but for a moment we are brothers. A man who would hate me if he knew me rights me as I stumble, a girl who will not meet my gaze after we've dispersed into the night flashes me a smile. The look that earnt me stares in the village by the sea is a uniform for hundreds. The singer's voice is drowned by our own as we chant the lyrics that no-one understood like me and in this mass empathy we find annihilation, we find our absolution. This is our chance to escape.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

17 June 2002. Neil writes: Cockfosters
23 May 2002. Neil writes: Siege Mentality
29 April 2002. Neil writes: Oh So Pretty
1 April 2002. Neil writes: Lost
11 March 2002. Neil writes: These Are The Days
14 February 2002. Neil writes: Bedtime Story
21 January 2002. Neil writes: Said She Was An Artist
24 December 2001. Neil writes: Here's All the People
3 December 2001. Neil writes: On Antibiotics
8 November 2001. Neil writes: Private Schooling
15 October 2001. Neil writes: Morning After
20 September 2001. Neil writes: Flightpath
27 August 2001. Neil writes: Tsarina
2 August 2001. Neil writes: Family and Friends
9 July 2001. Neil writes: My Fabulous Weekend
14 June 2001. Neil writes: The Sound of Music
21 May 2001. Neil writes: Lethal Injection
26 April 2001. Neil writes: Voter Apathy
2 April 2001. Neil writes: ET
5 March 2001. Neil writes: The Shadow Over Brunswych
12 February 2001. Neil writes: Bibliofile
18 January 2001. Neil writes: Suburban Gothic
25 December 2000. Neil writes: Many in Body, One in Mind
30 November 2000. Neil writes: Urban Regeneration
6 November 2000. Neil writes: In Extremis
12 October 2000. Neil writes: Obituary
18 September 2000. Neil writes: Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell!
24 August 2000. Neil writes: Parent Power
7 August 2000. Neil writes: Love Letter

Let meeeeee entertain you


We are all Upsideclown: Dan, George, James, Jamie, Matt, Neil, Victor.

Material is (c) respective authors. For everything else, there's

And weeeeeee can entertain you by email too. Get fresh steaming Upsideclown in your inbox Mondays and Thursdays. To subscribe, send the word subscribe in the body of your mail to (To unsubscribe, send the word unsubscribe instead.)