Strolls in Isolation: My Amazing Snakehead Dream

It was 28th May 2015, the last day of my first half century on this Earth. I was in Berlin, visiting relatives, but had a night out on my own. It was a strange enough evening in itself, but it was what followed that was really weird.

I headed out towards the bohemian Kreuzburg district to Bi Nuu, a reasonably scuzzy venue underneath an elevated U-Bahn station. The support act (Glasgow’s ‘Rosy Crucufuxion’) were wild, opening with an utterly crazy rendition of ‘Mr Pharmacist’, setting the tone for the Amazing Snakeheads, and their particularly sleazy and aggressive brand of psychedelia.

Their singer, the sadly departed Dale Barclay, gave an inspired performance which brought alive the backstreet liminality and drug-infused worlds of the band’s tunes and I left in a happy yet slightly troubled state as I returned back to my lodgings through the Berlin night.

…and it was in this mood that I fell asleep, drawing my first fifty years on this Earth to a close and drifting into an equally liminal dream state.

It felt like I was in some nightmarish mind palace where each room seemed to deliver new and strange things… I found myself in a misty red house, overlooking a Scottish loch where a little known left-wing veteran became leader of the Labour Party… not sooner had that happened than I was transported into a massive hall with people dressed in blue… there were massive Walkers Crisps packets everywhere shouting ‘Championes’… they dissolved into golden stars and there was something called a ‘Brexit’ flavour… it felt like it was something that should never have been opened, but when it was it just kind of sat there for a while.. mocking me until a large blond blimp emerged from it and weirdly transformed into that America reality TV guy, Donald Trump is it?… well you know Alan Sugar does the same over here. Things were getting really weird now as the disembodied souls of Lemmy, Bowie and Prince drifted past me in an eerie cortège which seemed to cause me to shudder in my sleep…

… I must have floated off into a deeper slumber for a while as unicorns passed by, seemingly moving from myth to reality… until I thought I had woken up but found myself in our house… I wanted to leave but every time I tried to I found myself back in our bedroom again… front door, back door, windows… I even tried climbing over the fence… always back in that same room again. It wasn’t one of those usual dreams when I was just naked… there seems to be more jeopardy than that…

And then, finally I woke up ready to face the second half of my personal century… when I opened my eyes there was only silence!


This is a new strand for this blog. As the world drifts into self-isolation we all need to keep in touch, have a bit of light relief and keep ourselves going. What I’m going to try to do is write something every day, or maybe every few days, using a piece of music (well this started as a music blog), photograph, piece of writing, tv show… or even just a thought to reflect on these unprecedented times.

I’ve called this strand ‘Strolls in Isolation’ because just because we are stuck inside doesn’t me our minds have to be… let’s wander far and wide and see what we encounter on the way.


Thanks very much for reading my blog, I really appreciate this. I write it as a labour of love to help me enjoy music, and to give something back to the many talented people who put out these incredible sounds.

To make it as enjoyable as possible for others I do pay extra so there are, for instance, no ads on these pages; but it would be great if the blog could pay for itself.

So, if you’ve really enjoyed your visit here and have found some music that you think is amazing, why not buy me a coffee (I write in independent cafés a lot) by clicking the “make a donation” button on the sidebar or footer depending on your device.


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