Realising how fine Besta Venya is, I sent an E-mail to Nick thanking him for sending it my way. Years ago, when I was a younger man, I used to spend a weekend of my summer going along to a Christian Arts Festival, Greenbelt. My faith was of dubious quality back then but, in truth, I was more inquisitive about such things than I am now. The main purpose of being there was the fun that could be had late at night. We’d find campfires to sit at; we’d listen to music on ghetto-blasters at the edge of makeshift stages.
I used to go along with my friend Steve and play a series of guerrilla, pop-up gigs as a duo, Dreaming Of Insomnia. In the build up to the festival, we’d write and practice silly, often puerile songs that we’d then record onto a cassette to sell. Mostly, these were tunes inappropriate for any festival, let alone a Christian one, but I think we both liked to see how far buttons could be pressed. ‘Diseased Man’, ‘Michael Barrymore’, ‘Nigel My Friend’ and ‘Getting Off With A Girl From Leicester’ were the ones we played more regularly than others.
I had a nagging feeling that Why? used to play at Greenbelt as well so, in the E-mail I sent to Nick, I asked if that was the case, making fleeting reference to my own limited participation. His E-mail response was the best.
Sean! Best email I’ve had in AGES. I remember and was a fan of Dreaming of Insomnia! I was in Why? and I remember many times at Greenbelt staying up when all the ‘normal’ people had gone to bed, messing about with you and Steve and Milly and Jim etc. Wow – some of my favourite ever times. Can’t believe that’s you!! Awesome. I may even have a cassette of some description in the loft. I’ve been frantically trying to remember the songs and I know I’ll know them word for word when I remember. Wow. Gonna reminisce all day. I’ll send you my last record too in case you will enjoy that. For my new album I am also releasing Down With The Yoof as a single (I think from tomorrow but I’ll be pushing it from Monday with a video etc.) Just soft release really, no one takes you seriously at my age anyway. Thanks again for your kind words. The fiddlers on the record are Clare Tarling and Ben Wain from Dorch. Maybe you know them. Cheers Nick
I don’t think anything else needs to be said to this already lengthy blogpost. It’s a random, small world. The video for ‘Down With The Yoof’ is now out and it’s full of style and charm. Nick’s a great musician and songwriter whereas Dreaming Of Insomnia were not. I’m genuinely excited about introducing readers of Sonic Breakfast to Nick Parker.
Ah amazing, can’t believe I’ve found you guys. I used to love greenbelt, I was an innocent 13/14/15 year old who loved staying up to listen to Dreaming of Insomnia and feeling right naughty. I even found myself on stage with space to fill, so sang Nigel My Friend, that I still know all of the words to (they loved it). Sadly lost my tape some time ago (think my sister stole it). Don’t suppose your music is in digital format anywhere? Cheers buddy, hope you’re doing well. David
I am so sorry. I’ve only just seen your comment.
I love this – and I’m sure Steve will too though we barely speak these days.
I think he might have some CD versions of the tunes.. Add me on FB and I can link you up..
“We’re Dreaming of Insomnia, we’ve come to sing a song to ya”.