Philip Jarvis: 2012 in Retrospect

Sly and The Family Drone

January 2012 began horribly. Dumped, playing to a heckling crowd, fed up with my job. I had to kick myself up the arse.

I volunteered on my days off at a local museum, doing some work for a local historian. That was the first bit where I got to start sorting myself out. Volunteering, man, can’t sing its praises enough. If you’re ever in a rut, do some. It will seriously sort you out.

Having a creative block, an old mate returned from Uni and started forcing me in to jamming. I took some of the improv I did with him and used it in the Dead poets collective I was involved in.

Around this time, I was re-reading Stewart Lee’s book and read “A summer in the park” by Tony Allen. They are both wonderful and inspiring reads. I think, in particular, the Tony Allen book leaves you with this fearless desire to just try out whatever, believe in what improvising can offer, don’t worry if things fall flat on their arse, sometimes you can nail it.

The alternative comedy, poetry collective I was involved in did its longest set at a pub in Basingstoke.

We used it as a warm up for the biggest gig we would ever do, a local festival gig.

Before the festival gig, through luck, we ended up curating a couple of nights at a pop up gallery in Basingstoke. The first one was the best night of my life, even if it did involve a shambolic performance by me (involving a broken mic stand and a DIY homage to David Lynch).

The second one we curated I got to try out some alternative comedy:

The best band for me is Sly and the family drone. I must have seen them a few times in 2012; they always create an intense and euphoric show. Have to be seen before you die or you have lost.

The best YouTube video I saw in 2012 has to be:

The best book was “A summer in the park” by Tony Allen. It sorted my head out.

The best song I haven’t heard before was:

The year ended well. I got a new job I enjoy. I played my last gig in the collective I was in, and got offered to release a comedy album out on

I also made an e.p.

I ended up liking 2012 a lot.


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