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The last president of the People’s Republic: spontaneity and scamp

July 5, 2007

A few nights ago I left Kieran in London suffering from a cold, with world-aiding research projects ahead of him. Knowing Kieran, I wasn’t surprised to hear later that evening that he’d decided to write and record an entire album in one night. It was his One Night Stand project, and Kieran doesn’t take amphetamines. Kieran amuses and amazes me.

Kieran writes songs in his sleep. This photo is not by me.

What I specifically want to write about, though, is Kieran’s song The Last President of the People’s Republic, which is one of the songs produced that night. In this song, Kieran has all the logic of an insightful drunk. Kieran must be an excellent mimic — listen to how well he reproduces the exact voice of vulnerable majesty. The “yeah” that follows “I am the king of your uncle” is the kind of interjected certainty that can only really happen, in vocal performance, when you’ve forced yourself into spontaneity. Spontaneity in this case doesn’t mean doing something without affectation. It simply means doing something without expertise, and because now is the best time to do it.

Here’s Kieran doing what he does best:

He’s preparing a pick-me-up.

The People’s Republic, it might be helpful to know, is a bar in Clapham. There are two kinds of Kieran: the kind that drinks at the People’s Republic, and the kind that drinks tea. The two converge, in a manner, when he sings.

Pick-me-ups and pick-up lines, belligerent aphorism and statesmanlike ribaldry… the position occupied by Kieran in this song, as in life, is that of Presidential Scamp. The Scamp Aesthetic is the hardier blaggard brother of the Camp Aesthetic, actually. The Scamp picks up whatever’s been left unattended; he picks things up as he goes along, and his wisdom fell off the back of a lorry. During the same night of song-making, Kieran wrote something called I Have No Soul. Kieran’s soul fell off the back of a lorry. It was that kind of night.

Midway through writing this piece, I asked Kieran whether there was anything that should be known about him. He told me to mention that he’s a bad man.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2008 10:08 pm

    Could you possibly change the link to my myspace or other song website – I’m trying to dissasociate the blog from my surname ahead of a publication. Cheers!

  2. April 22, 2008 10:41 pm

    OK, I think I’ve sufficiently erased you from history, although it sometimes takes a while for search engines to catch up.

  3. April 23, 2008 10:32 am

    Ah, you’ve totally eradicated me! Good work. The music and blog link don’t have to go though – just posts with my surname which link them to that particular Kieran. It’s a vain effot to make myself repsectable. Actually, it’s not that – I just want to avoid hatemail. Thanks for doing this though.

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