The creative block.

One summer, many years ago I was in band. It was a proper band. We never played a note.

The first stumbling block was that we were all reasonably musically inept. Second, we lacked instruments. And finally, we approached fame and fortune from the wrong angle.

The first thing on the check list to do was to come up with a name for the band. Something cool, but not too cool. The last thing we wanted was to disappoint our audience. Which, if we ever got round to playing a gig we would inevitably do. To big ourselves up was asking for a fall, so the three of us retired to the pub with a packet of coconut mushrooms to discuss the name that would eventually bring us fame and fortune. Well, in our dreams at least.

Six weeks later we disbanded. Not over musical differences. We had no music to begin with. It was over coconut mushrooms. Two of us were sick of them, the third wasn’t. Why couldn’t we have another confectionary to go with our pint? The world was saved, from, what would have been the agonising drone of overdriven amps, and the metallic thud of an upturned biscuit tin, that was a substitute for the drum kit we couldn’t afford. We never did come up with a name for the band.

I am currently in the process of organising a photographic exhibition documenting the growth of Roller Derby in the United Kingdom. Luckily, I feel that I am considerably more competent with a camera than with musical instruments. My neighbours can testify to that, as on occasion a noise sounding like a cat being grated can be heard emanating from the walls. It isn’t any form of animal cruelty, just myself trying to tame an unruly banjo. Why, I don’t know. I’m just a sucker for punishment, much to my neighbours despair.

Organising the exhibition has been reasonably easy. Gallery booked. Space measured, frames ordered and delivered. Printers sourced and a deal done. Photographs shortlisted, just the final selection process to do.  Opening night organised and wine ordered. Red, white and Rose.

Luckily, unlike my short lived musical career I approached the exhibition from the right angle. Don’t go for the hard stuff first, do the easy bits, ease yourself in. Now with all the easy bits done it’s time to band my head against the wall. The bygone days, sitting in the pub arguing over names and coconut mushrooms come flooding back. What to call it. It’s got to be short and snappy.  Does what it says on the tin, but also be quirky and provocative.  Three words. I’m stumped.

The exhibition will run from Tuesday 30th October to Saturday 10th November 2012 at Bank Street Arts, 32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield S1 2DS. With or without a name. I may have to go for the old art school cop out, ‘Untitled’, so post-modern I should ram a spear through my head.

And for anyone wondering, I was in the majority. I f**king hate coconut mushrooms.

‘Spear through the Head’. It could work. Not really Roller Derby, but it’s the best idea yet. Well, another one to throw on the discard pile.


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