The Nature of Prawns and Reality

So this is Dan keyboard player in the Tim Booth bearded band. I’m writing as the representative of a generation, the embodiment of youth of today. Amongst the Tim Booth entourage I’m the ‘young pup’.

Ironically I’m practically the only member without an i-phone or a mac on tour, it’s actually the older band mates who’ve embraced the modern technological advances, while i’m actually a typical retrospective 2011 mind, living through rose tinted specs at the past by collecting vintage analogue synths, recording music onto tape and listening to vinyls.

Anyway what does this have to do with prawns?

In Kendal, Lee, Neil and myself found ourselves at a food market amongst cheeses, hams, curries and a hog roast. While Neil made a beeline for the Hog, Lee and I went for these HUMONGOUS King Prawns with potatoes, a seemingly exotic and healthy option. The sign on the stand read ‘King Prawnies’ and I remember thinking…’hmmm prawnies?’ These prawns were the biggest i’d ever seen. Seriously big. We sat down to eat and we looked at each other quizzically as it gradually dawned upon us…’are these real prawns?…’ From a distance they looked like prawns but they just didn’t have the bite of a prawn, and looking closer they were molded, they had mold marks on them, and to top it all off they had hilarious pink pigment PAINTED ON!! You could see brush marks! So naturally insensed by this we went to get our money back. It went like this:

Lee: ‘Are these real prawns’
Shop keeper (without flinching) ‘No, they’re Prawnies’
Lee: (without hesitation) ‘Can I have my money back please?’
Shop keep quickly and quietly gave us both a refund.

We went to get a hog roast…guffawing at the idea that it might actually be a ‘Hoggy’, a huge pig mold filled with reclaimed generic meat.

It seemed that we were living in a hyper unreal world. We sat and had coffee at a plastic table with a rustic wooden table design painted onto it.

So in a world where Prawns are not prawns, tables are not tables, food is not food, how can we forge a meaningful reality? How do we not get lost in mundane fakery and illusion?

One place I know I feel real is at my instruments, and especially on stage with Tim and this band. This is a hyper real environment where adrenalin pumps, senses sharpen and moments can fly by in an instant but also stretch to super slow motion. An audience beams out their positive energies, which are in turn reciprocated by the band and spewed back out intensified in a self perpetuating cycle.

To be able to play music to others makes it almost ok to be subjected to fake prawns. Almost!

Youth of Today…
Over and Out.

11 Comments to The Nature of Prawns and Reality

  1. Apr 28, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Hi Dan

    Whats indeed is the world coming to with fake prawns?? What indeed next fake sperm whales or indeed just fake sperm???!!!

    It must be an amazing experience for you to be involved with the leg-end (lol) that is Tim Booth. I first met Tim way back in 1991 and I even has a mass of curly locks to match his. I remember telling people backstage we were related!! daft things i did to con my way backstage. In fact the ex manager Martine took pity on me and sneaked me in. Anyway, I’m waffling…………

    Tim must be an amzing person to tour with and if I do come back in another life, i want to be a gifted musician so that maybe i too could experience what you are doing right now. i wish you all well for the rest of the tour.


    Allen James

  2. Siobhan M's Gravatar Siobhan M
    Apr 28, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    This is exactly why I steer clear of seafood!

    Birmingham was an amazing gig (Dan – I waved at you as I came in for the VIP session and you looked slightly confused before waving back). Really looking forward to London – VIPing again so hoping to get the chance to chat to you all. Pretty sure I was the youngest person at the Bham gig!


  3. Tim's Gravatar Tim
    Apr 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I saw the Prawnies & thought they looked a bit artificial so I went for the Chicken Paella. At least I think it was Chicken Paella – maybe it wasn’t ………

  4. lou purplefairy's Gravatar lou purplefairy
    Apr 28, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dan,
    In a world where fakery is the “new real” I am not surprised someone is selling over-sized, preformed, painted fish mixture and marketing it as a “prawn”. Given that there are a huge number of kids and young people today that can’t tell the difference between a real potato and a welly boot, it surprises me not that they were doing a roaring trade. Being in such a switched on state of awareness that you have found yourself, it does seem to highlight the plastic theatre set of a fake world we all seem to have woken up in. Its a rum deal when even you King Prawns turn out to be nothing more that someones idea of cheap disposable food sculpture. I’d have asked for my money back too. I’m quite partial to a prawn or three. The only food sculpture I entertain is that made of chocolate, and then I’m not sharing :)
    As for forging a meaningful reality, all reality is seemingly subjective these days, and is totally dependent on ones perception of what is precious.
    Those are precious. And I am so thrilled to have shared a few with you guys in Brum.
    Thats what was real.
    Being 4 foot away from you and hearing you, Tim and the rest of the band play live in my ears, and hearing your unamplified voices as well as what was coming out of the mic. Reality is dreaming, and then your dreams become your reality. My dream of singing with Tim came true. I guess if you wish hard enough the universe listens and surprises you every now and again by granting you your wishes. You can never in a million years predict how your wishes are delivered, but dreams can come true. Dreaming a reality, a surreality that I’ve often felt, and then opened my eyes to the sound of the kids asking for bus fare and the heaviness of being inside my body which has been comatose for hours under a warm duvet with a snoring dog buried beneath it, wresting for space beneath my feet.
    I know how real that feels when dreams come true, especially when everything I seem to look at in the media is polished, packaged and perfectly faked beneath a veneer of gloss that belies the rot it pretends not to be.

    What a blast to be on the road with Tim, Saul and Lee and the rest of the band. I bet you still have to pinch yourself from time to time. I had some moments in the last few years where I have to ask if this is real or is it just a dream.
    I was very impressed with your melodyphone. I had one of those as a kid and drove everyone nuts with it. I went back a few decades to my bedroom where I was compelled to play it even late at night and just press the keys without blowing into it in case `i woke everyone up. I still like to sing and play music in the dark hours outside and entertain the owls and the moon :)

    Seems like you are living the dream that is reality
    and bloody good luck to you for it. You are awesome. Life is very short so grab every opportunity to experience the reality you have co created.
    Keep shining.

  5. nic's Gravatar nic
    Apr 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dan :)
    Good blog from the youth of today (how old are you?)
    I enjoyed this new bearded Tim band ALOT in Manchester – Its very , very real and brilliant!
    I also have a collection of vinyls and tapes – all James . . . . .and one soon to arrive ‘love Life’ 😀 !
    Although they were fake prawns ur blog did make me feel hungry for some prawns !

    take care , hope to see the band again soon x

  6. May 2, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Tsk tsk Dan – fake food? Glad you saw through its disguise! Looking forward to seeing you all tonight :-)

  7. Youth of Today's Gravatar Youth of Today
    May 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    When Tim found me chained to a grand piano in a hotel foyer my birth certificate had already been lost or stolen so my exact age is un-known. There are estimates between 15 and 35 but no one is really sure.
    We love that you are all loving the shows, the feeling is mutual, and each city holds it’s own magic vibe.

  8. Paul Turner's Gravatar Paul Turner
    May 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Hey Dan…Don’t know if you were on the prawns on Saturday night but your performance was amazing. Not seen a jump off a stool for a while…there was certainly loads of spewing of emotion and energies all round…Still have a buzz from the night, so thanks for an amazing experience. You have all instilled faith in the live gig again. Not had a night like that since the 90’s !! We want more, hope you will be back up this way again soon.

  9. lou purplefairy's Gravatar lou purplefairy
    May 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I have got tickets for Camden by magic. see you tomorrow :)
    whoooosh. *shoots off in a trace of purple light*

  10. nic's Gravatar nic
    May 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Well Youth of today that makes me feel youthful, I am also between the ages of 15-35 – yey :)

    hope to see the band again soon ! :)

  11. Sarah Burgess's Gravatar Sarah Burgess
    May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Saw you tuesday night in Camden , you were amazing , such a talent , my fella and i were also lucky enough to chat to you outside the venue before the Gig , we were the middle aged couple ..!! one being very scottish that were hanging around hours before the doors opened, what a lovely genuine , down to earth guy you are .. but what a musician , thank you for taking the time to chat to us .
    Sarah and Rab x

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