Two Thirty AM on a Tuesday, the Tuesday following the house arrest of most of the British population. We'd been meaning to get this blog out there by Saturday night, but events being as they were, we found ourselves distinctly lacking in the right stuff so to speak.
By 'we', I of course refer to the coterie of individuals behind The Peer Hat, I, Messr. Nick Kenyon, sometimes known as Nick Alexander, having taking it upon myself to write and represent the energies that make our place what it is.
We've had our fair share of ups and downs, skimming the edge of disaster on more than one occasion. The simple fact remains, that this venue is a temple to older and more resilient forces than we have come to take for granted in our modern lives. We are drawn here, patron and innkeeper alike (can I call us an inn? I'm calling us an inn), not because anybody has a master plan, a perfect business model, or an overwhelming urge towards self annihilation, but because we have no choice. The shadowy patron, behind the blossoming that took place here in the late 70s, 80's and 90s would have it so. We are the people of the ruin. This city which dies repeatedly, only to be born again in the collective will of the vagrants and assorted ne'er do wells which make up it's musical and cultural underground and heritage.
I'm beating about the bush, as well I might. Nobody wants to give it...'her' a name. Not Curtis, not Wilson, not Smith. But we feel it...an irresistible siren call towards a party half heard in the darkness, not obscured in the wood, but instead, somewhere between the red brick alleyways, the tenements, the estates, the strips of 'waste ground', railway bridges, disused lots and towering glass and steel follies to an age that seemingly never had the chance to be born. We are the people that hear her song and it is beautiful.
I will not call her Manchester. This city has always been unkind, has churned it's population through it's belly and shit them out, over and over, like a filth smudged elder beast, stirring only occasionally, to ensure that it's poor are being fucked over to feed it's sluggish appetites. Instead, She has come from outside, into the city and dwells untouched and untouchable by this megalithic archon... in the place without physical coherence, though is no less real for it. She is the queen of the poet and the forger of iron will.
She is all the pictures in your head, of the Manchester that you imagined, whether a native or an outsider...that day it came alive for you. That place you couldn't find no matter how hard you looked. She is Sally Cinnamon, She's Lost Control, She is your Mother-Sister. She is happening away from that past, which was once an electric now, captured and perverted for the sake of magazines and property developers. We love our mythology, it's there for a very good reason...but mythology is not, and I repeat is not history. Mythology is right, fucking now. A poet should have a store of verse...but the sacrifices and exertions of the past are in fact, reflections of our own efforts, happening every-time we go to a gig and every-time we set foot on the stage.
"Are we there yet?" Listen gallery peanut poppers, you might find this all a bit sub-Morley, but how else can we set the stage, the Black Stage for the time to come? How else might we introduce ourselves to each other, but in a blaze of ideas and imaginings? We owe ourselves a grand entrance. Those of us that gather to enact the weird movements of gods and monsters in the bowels of a red brick slave labour metropolis. The time for the casual and the blase is passed.
Here are we, now locked in a strange and terrible moment. But we will make the best of it. Indeed, we will surprise and confound those that would look to make us in their image when we at last return, blinking into the sunlight of a world which seems to have spat us out like yesterday's paper theatre. The Peer Hat and it's musical bowels, the Black Stage, are simply the chosen map co-ordinates, for us all to enact the powerful and indeed, world changing mystic dramas, that this city has become famous for. We are the children of the 9 Fold Muse and let me tell you, she's not in the best of moods. I reckon you sense that already.
I will say this in bold for those of you skim reading: this blog will serve as the place where the community and culture of The Peer Hat, may express itself freely and without judgement. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post your videos, your writings, links to the things you're doing (make a blog if you can, you should) or just your comments and words to one another.
Naturally, I'll also be expressing myself as often as possible, with a view to illuminating our current situation and ensuring that this community has enough to chew over during this weird and scary time. 'Do not be afraid', is the motto...we're going to find ways and means of drawing closer, even as we're torn apart. Things are going to get fucking hairy, but I know we can count on each other not to be cunts...well, not super cunts.
A gmail account would be helpful for identifying yourselves in a way that makes communication meaningful, but it's not 100% necessary. For those of you who have never been to The Peer Hat, then hopefully this blog should serve to inspire. It's my hope, that there will be writings and artefacts here, that convince you that actual, honest to goodness, fucking magic is living and breathing, right here in Manchester 2020, not mouldering in a dog eared copy of the NME circa 1990. I've no idea how long it will take to start for the blog to popping, but with any luck, not too long.
OK, I think that will do for now. Say anything you want to say in the comments beneath. I'll still be using Facebook for this and that, but to be honest, the whole thing makes me sick, even more so now. Surely we're well on the way towards accepting that social media is a toxic wormhole with absolutely nothing to recommend it? One day, perhaps we can figure out a way to do away with Facebook, whilst enjoying the extra footfall generated by event pages and the like (but in some alternate, decentralised...even Mancunian space). Right now, it may not seem like it, but organic and analogue is where it's at. There will be scars to heal, as we relearn how to touch one another, be with each other, share physical things with one another. We cannot, must not let that fundamental part of being human, be scrapped or sidelined.
Oh yeah...this is definitely a WIP...I'll be figuring out ways to make this place look better and function better as the days and weeks stretch on. The only thing left to be said is OMNIA SUB PETASUM!
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