Nov 9, 2018

I have the best job on earth*

Two years ago, I began working for Anthony Burgess, or more specifically, for the institution that carries on his work in Manchester.

I have the best job on earth*. I get to put events on in an idiosyncratic but beautiful Manchester mill, and know that whenever someone buys a book about ultraviolence (A Clockwork Orange) or a poet sitting on a toilet (Inside Mr Enderby), they're paying my wage.

I'm also immersed in the world of an extraordinary person. Every time I flit from writing a short story to making music to scribbling a strange new cartoon, I think of Burgess. He did the same, mixing his artistic modes like a cocktail: the musical doodles on his manuscripts in our archive are testament to that.

You should come and visit my place. There's loads on: as I write, there's a synthesiser gig on, and tomorrow there's a hypnotist, and then there's exhibitions and literature and I'm pretty sure there's a children's concert coming up next month.

Working at the Burgess has also freed me up for performance stuff, and I've just had the most remarkable year - bigger and better gigs than ever before including a show run in a proper theatre. Like, proper. It had walls and everything.

And to put the journalistic cherry on top of the orange-flavoured cake, the latest Electronic Sound is dedicated to A Clockwork Orange. I've now written 47 columns for ES along with a stack of features and reviews. You really should subscribe. Burgess was a journalist too, of course. He seems determined to copy everything I do.

As for the rest of 2018, I'm winding down performance stuff. Smaller gigs, open mics and suchlike. I need more head-space, and some quiet creativity to top off what has been a very loud year. And then in 2019? Bigger, better, louder, stupider, and a more orangey artistic cocktail. What does that even mean? I have no idea.

I'll leave you with something cool I did with our brickwork recently. See? Idiosyncratic but beautiful. Nailed it.

* astronauts have better jobs, but technically they're not on earth when they're astronauting

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