Tag Archives: music

Hopeless Sinners and other Oddities

Hello again people (and others)

Hopeless, Maine Sinners has had a proper send off into the world at The Ale House in Stroud.  It was a grand evening, enjoyed by (almost) all. (There was a bloke who was convinced that we were somehow anti-Pope…? Not an audience member I should add.. For the record, no, we’re not. We don’t really think about the Pope that much at all, truth be known)

My personal takeaway from the event is that we are building a truly amazing creative tribe around the Hopeless, Maine stuff. Long may it continue and take on new forms and bring in more people! In times where it sometimes feels as though we are standing on shifting sand, this is a good and solid thing to hang onto.

Nimue enchants

Martin Pearson- The father of the Squid and Teapot (and also- Nimue)

The hero of the night was Madeleine Harwood. Despite personal difficulties, she came, brought and set up the PA and performed an utterly beautiful rendition of Nimue’s Lullabye for a Dustcat. (we all had goosebumps) There is a possibility that there may be more Hopeless, Maine music from her in future! Watch this space. Martin Pearson, the creator of (and writer for) The Squid and teapot performed with panache! Keith Healing (the creator of the Hopeless, Maine RPG) wrote and performed a poem which introduced people to the island (and the game) Keith Errington (The Keith OF MYSTERY) read, to dramatic and amusing effect, his recent addition to Hopeless, Maine lore, and a long-awaited tale from Rebecca Willson was read by the author, introducing doctor Headly Case to the island. (You will get to read the text this coming Friday- or if you are reading this later, it will be on the site already)  Nimue and I were masters of ceremony and Nimue told stories of how things had come to be and generally enchanted people. Robin Collins performed Daphne and the Dead Seagull (including the song contained within it, which will *have* to be recorded for posterity one day!) and Meredith Debbonaire read The Aunties (which is a tale that will make you think differently about the beginning of the Graphic novel series) The Hopeless, Maine sea shanty (written by Nimue) and “Magpies” were performed by a Cup of Tentacles (Which is James, Nimue, and I…currently)

The feeling, in the end, was that there should be more of this sort of thing. So, there will be! (and i’m very much looking forward to it)

 

 

Photos- thanks to Meredith Debbonaire

 

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Hopeless Sinners and Other Oddities. 

Hello, again people (and others).

If you have ever had a book launch or attended one and are not Neil Gaiman or JK Rowling you will know that they tend to be sad affairs rife with disappointment and stale snacks.

For this reason (among others) we have decided that we will not ever, ever, do that to ourselves or our friends ever again-ever (at all-ever) Besides which, despite our gloom tinted work, we are generally in favor of fun. (I hope you were sitting down for that) So, we thought, what’s fun then? Pubs. Pubs are fun. Music is fun. Having our friends in a pub with music and stories and poetry would almost certainly be fun. So, basically a party. (well, our sort of party, at any rate) Some of our favorite people have agreed to perform including Martin Pearson (of the Squid and Teapot), Meredith Debonnaire who has written some of our favorite pieces for the Vendetta (and introduced singing snails to the island) and Madeline Harwood, who is one of the best singers in the world. (she *may* be singing about….Dustcats) also Robin Collins! (Who brought us hairy coffee and other wonders) and two Keiths! One who created the Hopeless, Maine RPG, and another you have not met yet who is quite simply one hell of a writer. A Cup of Tentacles will sing songs of the island and songs evoking it. Massively Chuffed to say that local poet- Gary Death will be performing his Vendetta poem cycle also. This…is going to be a great deal of our sort of fun.

If you are in the area, please do come and join us. If you are not, there will be photos!

Hoping, as always, this finds you well, inspired and thriving

Our Toys need us!

Hello people! (and others)

This week the Vendetta will be departing from the norm because of special circumstances, and for the best possible of reasons.

Edrie Edrie and Walter Alice Sickert are some of our favorite people in the world, at all ever! They are our art heroes and have been part of our journey as creators since the beginning of the Hopeless, Maine project. Walter and Edrie are the hub of Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys (Which is one of our favorite bands in the world at all ever. You may be seeing a pattern developing here) Walter is also a visual artist (And all around creative force of nature)  We commissioned him to do this Salamandra piece for the first graphic novel volume of Hopeless, Maine.


Bloody. Gorgeous.

He also wrote a hopeless, Maine song that had me in actual tears the first time I heard it. Here is a video Nimue made with the song as the soundtrack.

If/when the thing that we can not talk about happens, you know that the Toys will be a part of it, because they get it on a very deep level and are just plain bloody amazing.

Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter. Edrie is (for a brief time, and obviously through no fault of her own) sans job. In order for the band to be able to continue making music and art and love and tentacles and amazingness, they need the funds for studio time and all of the other necessary things. Here is how that is going to happen. They have a Patreon Page where you can go and pledge and as a side effect, be exposed to more brilliant, wildly creative art and music. In these times especially, WE NEED THESE PEOPLE MAKING ART. (Pardon the volume, I feel strongly about this) So please, please, pretty please with tentacles, get in there and be a part of this!

(Tell them Tom and Nimue sent you)

Enter a world of Steamcrunk Imagination!

 

Love and tentacles (As Walter would say)

Us.

We All Live On Hopeless Maine

For over a century the Lypiatt family have been custodians of the ‘Squid and Teapot’.  The current landlord, Rufus Lypiatt, often relates how, as a youth, his father, Spencer, was invited to join the Passamaquoddy trader, Joseph Dreaming-By-The-River-Where-The-Shining-Salmon-Springs on one of his excursions to the mainland.

At the time of this tale Joseph would have been in his late sixties. Although still fit and strong, he had been making fewer and fewer trips across the treacherous channel in recent years. The pressing reason for this latest voyage, however,was to procure a new lidded-bucket for the Night-Soil Man, Randall Middlestreet, who had recently taken on an apprentice.

 

While the pair were away the weather deteriorated badly, forcing them to spend a night in Portland. Joseph decided that this was the perfect opportunity for Spencer to be introduced to the marvel that was the Movie Theatre, which that night was screening the recently released musical film, “South Pacific”.

To say that Spencer was entranced would be an understatement. It was a once in a lifetime experience for him that he cherished until his dying day.

 

Whether or no they have seen the film, most people are familiar with the show-stopper “There is nothin’ like a dame”. It is one of those tunes that, once heard, is almost impossible to shake out of your head (except for the slightly recitative and unwhistleable bits which include a complaInt about not having a reason for putting on a clean white suit, which everyone tends to forget). So it was with Spencer. He hummed it incessantly. By the time they were back to Hopeless, Joseph was thoroughly sick of hearing it. Spencer, however, was completely hooked and decided that the islanders should all share the benefit of that catchy, but somewhat irritating, tune. Blissfully oblivious to the concepts of plagiarism and copyright, he put his own words to the main melody and sang it to anyone who would listen, or indeed, to anyone who gave every indication that they had absolutely no intention of listening. To prolong the agony, Spencer insisted on inserting the chorus after each stanza, a device that Messrs Rogers and Hammerstein wisely decided not to employ.

So – Ladies and Gentlemen, this will possibly annoy you for hours to come – or weeks, if you are unwise enough to learn the words (believe me, I know!)

I give you Spencer’s song,

‘We All Live On Hopeless, Maine’…

 

We’ve got vampires in the caverns,

We’ve got werewolves, wights and ghouls.

There are nasty things with tentacles

That drag you into pools.

We get frights from night potatoes

D’you need me to explain

Why we’ve orphans galore

On Hopeless Maine?

 

We all live on Hopeless, Maine,

(Hopeless by the sea)

There’s no reason to complain

If you’re living on Hopeless, Maine.

 

Though our ghosts are fairly harmless

Well, you just might flip your lid

If you meet the Headless Lady

In the privy of ‘The Squid’,

Or the mad and ghastly parson

And the Eggless Woeful Dane.

Spooks feel at home

On Hopeless, Maine.

We all live on Hopeless, Maine,

(Hopeless by the sea)

There’s no reason to complain

If you’re living on Hopeless, Maine.

 

There are puddle rats and dustcats,

And cephalopods to spare.

There are ravens up on Chapel Rock

And coffee that grows hair.

We have spoonwalkers with glowing eyes

That might drive you insane.

Things can get strange

On Hopeless, Maine.

 

We all live on Hopeless, Maine,

(Hopeless by the sea)

There’s no reason to complain

If you’re living on Hopeless, Maine.

 

We’ve a reverend and distiller

And a Night-Soil Man as well.

He’s the nicest guy on Hopeless

(It’s a shame about the smell).

There’re poets, whores and vagabonds

And one thing seems quite plain –

All life is here

On Hopeless, Maine.

 

We all live on Hopeless, Maine,

(Hopeless by the sea)

There’s no reason to complain

If you’re living on Hopeless, Maine.

 

So why not come and join us

We’re a really friendly bunch.

Just avoid the many dangers

Of becoming something’s lunch.

You might really love the climate

If you’re fond of fog and rain.

There ain’t that much sun

On Hopeless Maine.

 

We all live on Hopeless, Maine,

(Hopeless by the sea)

There’s no reason to complain

If you’re living on Hopeless, Maine.

We all live on Hopeless, Maine,

(Hopeless by the sea)

There’s no reason to complain

If you’re living and breathing

And not dying or leaving

Dear…old….Hoooopeless, Maaainne.

 

Thank you very much.

Utterly Hopeless Music

Quite some years ago, musician and composer Johnny Benson approached Tom at The Steampunk’s World Fair in New Jersey and they talked about the possibility of a soundtrack for Hopeless Maine.

We of course said yes. The result is a lovely, haunting and atmospheric body of music. The titles are…

Hopeless Maine,  Salamandra, Pallad rock (the orphanage), Ribbons in her Hair, Of Woods and Witches and Just Off Shore.

It’s a soundtrack for Personal Demons – book one, or the second bit of The Gathering, after The Blind Fisherman, depending on which version you have.

You can find Utterly Hopeless on itunes, and if you poke about the internet, its on other music sites as well.

https://itunes.apple.com/gt/album/utterly-hopeless-ep/id760207227?l=en