The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

The Spotify Playlist

A Hard Habit To Break: The Quietus' Lent Themed Spotify Playlist
John Doran , February 20th, 2009 07:13

Next week sees the start of Catholic self-flagellation and alcoholic re-enforcement season, known to the faithful as Lent. We've constructed a special Spotify playlist. Listen, give it some sober thought and then send us yours.

Once you have your first epileptic seizure because of drinking, it's probably time to give up.

Heavy drinkers will know the vice-like tension that starts building up in the base of the skull, slowly increasing into spasms throughout the body when a heavy session is terminated too quickly. These are the tremens which start visiting hand in hand with the delerium. This is one of the reasons why seasoned alcoholics should not kick without professional help. They need anti-spasmodic medication like diazepam or clonazepam to stop a potentially fatal fit or heart attack.

It happened in Manchester. After a fairly miserable fortnight long session where I’d drunk myself into unconsciousness every single night, I stopped drinking far too quickly. I woke up one morning and found that I’d written in really big letters along my bedroom wall in crayon: "Stop drinking you cunt." Downstairs in the front room the house was filled in a shin-deep carpet of empty and half empty cans of ‘Inca Brew – The Beer of the Aztec Kings’. They formed a sickening meniscus between the floor and the walls. They were all over a year out of date.

I couldn’t stop shaking and crying and my skin had turned bright yellow. I was, indeed, a cunt and needed to stop drinking.

Over the course of the day I tried to pour away beer and spirits and expunge the evidence of the previous 14 days. Around about tea-time I started feeling the sick spasmodic sensation at the top of my spine which over the last two years had come to be a precursor of the waking nightmare which could only be staved off by more ale. But obeying my note to myself I decided not to drink anything.

By the time The Sky at Night came on I was starting to slip in and out of hellish hallucinations. Patrick Moore announced that astronomers had discovered a gigantic lake of alcohol in outer space and then he said that it rained diamonds on Neptune. As I started to nod off, I became aware of horrific figures standing in the corners of the room. They started telling me things I didn’t want to hear. They told me I had died with my family in a car crash four years earlier.

Lying in bed later, I was tormented by the now familiar voices, the crazed techno music, the panic and the fear. At one point in the night it all seemed to stop and I heard a soft popping sound and when I looked up there was an angel in the corner of my room. It was holding a mug of tea and had a big, shiny bullet instead of a head. The shakes had become distinguishable spasms that were becoming more and more violent. I felt like the inmate of a psychiatric ward undergoing EST. I was flapping up and down on my bed like a dying fish. This was eventually interrupted by a feeling of warmth. Everything went orange and I zoned out.

I came to on the other side of the room. I’d knocked my writing desk over and my arms were hurting – I’d obviously come crashing out of bed, over my desk and into the corner.

Whatever had happened had opened the dams in me. I started sweating profusely. The feeling of toxins pissing out of me made me feel tolerably better and I eventually fell asleep.

When I woke up my bed was sodden and ice cold, and Neil Armstrong was stood at the end of it. He was wearing a space suit and holding an American flag. The flag was flapping as if in a breeze but in his visor I could see Buzz Aldrin holding a camera, standing on the lunar surface.

That happened 14-years-ago and happened again. And again. But I recently saw the light much to the relief of my family and the consternation of all my local off licenses.

So if you happen to be removing the monkey from your back, stubbing out your last ciggie, pouring the rest of the whisky down the drain, these songs are for you. We'll raise a glass to you, it may well only contain cunting peppermint tea but at least it's half full rather than empty, dipped in syphillis and being ground into your fucking eye socket.


Listen to our Spotify kicking the habit mix here. Make your own suggestions in the field below.