Tony Blair Walks on Water

Lisa Lovebucket TBWOW image

A new play- loosely based on author Lisa Lovebucket’s real-life political adventures, and culminating in her campaign to become mayor of London in 2000- will debut at Catch 23 in Sheffield on July 7.

Tony Blair Walks On Water is an anarchic comedy set against the nadir of New Labour and the counterculture of the rave era’s imperial phase. It features characters based on conservative politician Michael Portillo, writer and broadcaster Matthew Parris, glamour model Louise Hodges and theatrical maverick Ken Campbell, with Labour’s Diane Abbott and comedian Peter Cook as notable offstage presences.

Lisa Lovebucket’s brief but colourful political career saw her representing the Rainbow Party, founded by larger-than-life eccentric George Weiss, AKA Rainbow George, who was a neighbour and occasional accomplice of Peter Cook’s during the last years of the comedian’s life. Lovebucket stood against Diane Abbott in Hackney & Stoke Newington in 1997, and Michael Portillo in Kensington & Chelsea in 1999, before launching her bid to become the first elected mayor of London in May 2000.

At the time Lovebucket claimed that she hoped to get exactly 23 votes, “because it’s the number of the Illuminati” but actually withdrew from the campaign, and political life as a whole, before the final rounds, in order to save both her soul and her sanity.

Although this is Lovebucket’s first full-length play, she previously worked extensively with the legendary actor-director Ken Campbell on “the world’s longest play” the 24-hour Warp cycle, as well as with his daughter Daisy, who recently directed an adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger at London’s Cockpit Theatre, to great acclaim. Daisy also stars in Tony Blair, playing the part of her late father.

Lovebucket has previously adapted Philip K Dick’s The Divine Invasion for the stage, at the Horse Hospital in London (2006), and her short play Sister of Mercy was staged at Middlesbrough Central Library as part of the Crossing the Tees Festival in 2014. A ten-minute play, Bury Me Not, was staged at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in 2016.

The cast of Tony Blair mixes professional and amateur actors, with some parts to be allocated on the night. Lovebucket plays her fictional alter-ego Mo Stodd in the 80-minute play, which is the first of a loosely autobiographical 5-play cycle entitled The Secret Diary of a Seeker.

Using experimental theatre techniques derived from Campbell and Brecht, Tony Blair fuses the madcap comedy of The Comic Strip with transgressive political satire, chaos magic and powerful personal storytelling. Mo Stodd’s politically-charged plummet into self-annihilation is triggered by her attempt to transform democracy through “risibly credulous” magical acts and universal love. The play raises important questions about liberty and repression while employing “banging tunes, debauchery and a little bit of Mr Jolly Lives Next Door” to create an absurdist, carnivalesque atmosphere that is hugely entertaining and original.

Catch 23 is a 14-hour event taking place at Yellow Arch Studios in Neepsend, Sheffield. Described as “a festival in a club” it runs from 2pm on Saturday 7 July till 4am on Sunday morning, and features over 40 acts across four rooms. Headliners include internationally-renowned DJ Greg Wilson, Black Grape star Kermit Leveridge and cosmic rave band Henge, as well as a range of talks, workshops, theatre, DJs, live bands, art, interactive games, poetry, magic and performance.

Organised by Notwork 23, the arts cooperative that in 2016 organised the 3-day Festival 23 event just outside Sheffield, Catch 23 promises “psychedelic endurance and discordian resistance”, taking inspiration from psychedelic counter-culture and the satirical anti-religion of discordianism that celebrates Eris, goddess of chaos and which was disseminated via the books of American author Robert Anton Wilson, such as the best-selling Illuminatus!

Lisa Lovebucket - reading at Mayday 23


Against Space Force: The Hove Space Program

hove_space_program_ Hove Space Program image by Myra Stuart


“The Hove Space Program had existed in some form or another since the beginning of the previous century, when its early exploits had inspired the French film Le Voyage Dans La Lune. Actively revived in the immediate post-Brexit chaos, it was an anarcho-communist-discordian secret society run along strictly egalitarian principles: no hierarchy, no leaders, and no requirement to even live in Hove if you wanted to be a member. Refugees welcome; connections throughout the galaxy.

“The program’s aim was the peaceful exploration of outer and inner space, using scientific methods, and the dissemination of love, respect and equality throughout the universe…While state and corporation sponsored missions to the stars had always aimed to seek out earth-like planets and colonise them with earth-like values, the Hove Space Program held opposing ideals. They searched for the most alien worlds possible, and at the same time hoped to make their immediate environment as alien and benignly unhuman as they could. Make this planet another planet was one of their slogans; alien earth; the aliens are us.”

From Amorphous Albion by Ben Graham, 2018.

The Hove Space Program would like to state its complete opposition to the US Government’s proposed “Space Force” and any attempts to militarise space exploration. We completely disassociate our own on-going space missions from the aggressive posturing of the current US administration, and hope that their ill-considered actions will not jeopardise the Hove Space Program’s cordial relationships with the many alien intelligences we have contacted on our travels. Given the way that the US is currently treating members of its own species, including the incarceration of children, we fear that they will only be met with deep mistrust by our fellow members of the wider galactic community.

The Hove Space Program wishes to remain a part of this galactic community and to retain the right to the free movement of all species between all planets and dimensions.

We also endorse the forthcoming gathering of likeminded space travellers at Catch 23, taking place in Sheffield on Saturday 7 July, and its policy of “Psychedelic Endurance: Discordian Resistance”. Echoing the sentiments of headline band Henge, we support the exploration of space but demand full demilitarisation and the end of weapons of war, alongside an end to authoritarian hierarchies, before this can effectively be carried out.

We will be recruiting at this event.

Catch_23_line-up WEB flyer_small


Super Weird Serendipity- A Greg Wilson interview

GW 2018 01 - credit Nick Mizen.jpg

Greg Wilson by Nick Mizen

Greg Wilson is one of the key figures putting the ‘disco’ back in Discordia. The Merseyside-based DJ started out in the original 70s disco era before going on to play a pivotal role in the development of UK club culture throughout the early 80s with residencies at Wigan Pier, Manchester’s Legend and the iconic Haçienda, where his New York inspired electro-funk grooves became part of the musical fabric of the times. Wilson went on to produce two critically acclaimed albums for UK hip-hop pioneers the Ruthless Rap Assassins and became known as a worldwide authority on dance music history, and the music’s place in a wider counter-culture, joining the dots to politics, social history and more.

A true seeker with a restless, questing spirit, Wilson has been almost as influential as a writer and blogger as he has been behind the decks or producing his own music. Nevertheless he returned to DJing in 2003 and connected with a younger audience, spreading his reach wider than ever. His first two ‘Credit To The Edit’ compilations did much to cement this reputation as did his 2009 BBC Radio One Essential Mix, named one of the top 10 of all time, whilst Rolling Stone magazine listed it as one of the definitive 25 online mixes, dubbing Greg ‘one of the earth-moving dons of UK dance.’

Wilson co-founded the multi- media label Super Weird Substance in 2014 and it soon became an integral part of the UK’s neo-Discordian revival via its live events, or ‘Super Weird Happenings,’ that mixed live bands and DJ sets with thought-provoking speakers, discussions and readings. Greg has DJ’d throughout the world, including globally renowned events / clubs like the Glastonbury and WOMAD Festivals, the BRIT Awards, Ministry Of Sound and Fabric in London, Space Ibiza, Berghain Berlin and ADE Amsterdam, but always returns to the fertile soil of the underground and the mycelium network of like-minded and inspirational souls that we at Notwork 23 also encourage and draw inspiration from. With ‘Credit To The Edit – Vol.3’, the third release in his acclaimed re-edits series, out now, and with Greg Wilson booked to play a main stage set at Catch 23 in Sheffield on July 7, we caught up with him to hear his thoughts on Discordianism, the underground and where next for this ever-shifting counter-culture we’ve come to call home.

You played blinding sets at Festival 23 in 2016 and at the JAMs’ Welcome To The Dark Ages after-show last year. Now we’ve got you at Catch 23. Do you particularly enjoy playing for Discordian crowds?

I enjoy playing for any responsive audience, and those at F23 and the Dark Ages certainly proved to be such, as did the 14 Hour Super Weird Happening in Liverpool last year. Those events had a special energy, which was palpable from my position on the stage – my role, in effect, to bring in the party, which, to be honest, isn’t that difficult when you’re in such a receptive environment, with people ready to let their hair down in celebration of their coming together before the inevitable sticking apart.

Your Super Weird Substance multi-media octopus (well it seems to have a lot of tentacles) has been crucial to the UK Discordian revival of the last few years. How did you get into Discordianism and what does it mean to you?

By serendipity, as these things often transpire. I came in through the back door really. I’d read a book about the great DJ/club promoter Roger Eagle, who ran Eric’s in Liverpool and managed Big In Japan, the supergroup in reverse, which included a young Bill Drummond, who, of course, had built the set for Ken Campbell’s adaptation of the Illuminatus! across the road from Eric’s at the Liverpool School Of Language Music Dream And Pun’.

Talking to John McCready, the ex-Face/NME writer, Hacienda DJ and Situationist archivist, about the Roger Eagle book, he recommended I read John Higgs’ ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic And The Band Who Burned A Million Pounds’. This I did, and it was the catalyst for this crazy Discordian journey of recent years. I write about it all in a piece called The Gateway Drug.

I’d been primed via Alan Moore’s work, which I’d fully engaged with for the first time a few years beforehand. My Super Weird comrade in arms, Kermit Leveridge, is a comics geek and I remember him reading ‘Watchmen’ an issue at a time when it was originally released back in the 80s as I was producing/managing his crew, the Ruthless Rap Assassins – he was always passing me comics to look at and ‘Watchmen’ was the one that really stuck with me, but I wasn’t biting at the time. I was an avid book reader, but hadn’t picked up a comic since my youth, so didn’t understand the weight of Alan’s work in this medium.

Having finally taken me over 2 decades to engage with Alan’s writing I dived in pretty deep, devouring everything I could get my hands on – ‘Watchmen’, ‘V For Vendetta’, ‘Promethea’, ‘From Hell’ and numerous others, plus anything biographical. Alan’s writing made more sense of the world around me than anything else – it was quite a revelation.

In 2014 we ran a series of Super Weird Happenings in different cities throughout the UK. Howard Marks, the notorious ‘Mr Nice’, and a friend of Kermit’s, was supposed to be our special guest at these events, but was diagnosed with cancer beforehand and had to pull out. I had to scramble to try to find suitable stand-ins for all the dates, and, having just read John Higgs’ book, and given Liverpool’s central role in it, I tracked him down to see if he was available for our gathering there, which fortunately he was.

John introduced us to Daisy Eris Campbell, who was just about to unleash ‘Cosmic Trigger’ in the city and, having written a chapter about him in the ‘KLF’ book, he’d subsequently introduce us to Alan, and his wife, the artist, Melinda Gebbie.

The idea of Catch 23 has many elements (anti-war, escaping the social double-bind by embracing the contradictions) but part of it is leaping into the void to find out what comes next. What do you think is the next step forward for our particular counter-culture?

Embracing the contradictions is a big Bill Drummond thing, and definitely useful in the confusion and chaos of these modern times, as we try to make sense of the unfolding 21st century. John Higgs’ book ‘Stranger Than We Can Imagine’ provides some nuggets of wisdom in this direction, reminding us that we can’t be looking at this new century through a 20th century lens, and expecting the same rules to apply. This is probably what’s causing so much anxiety nowadays, many of the old ways redundant, whilst the new ones are yet to become apparent – people seriously disorientated in this post-truth political climate.

I suppose the necessary steps forward concern connectivity at this point, bringing previously disparate pockets of creative people together, who’ll hopefully provide a support structure for each other. Although we’re still very much immersed in the age of the individual, the answers, I feel, are to be found by moving in a more communal direction, which is the reason why events like Catch 23 are vital in order to get people away from the particular bubble they exist in during their day-to-day, encouraging them to congregate with like-minded souls in person, and explore art and ideas in an inspirational environment.

Last year on July 23rd, deemed Robert Anton Wilson day by the city of Santa Cruz, I was able, with the help of some promoter friends in California, to facilitate #RAWDay at the Museum Of Art And History in Santa Cruz to mark the 10th anniversary of the writers death. It enabled Daisy to address fellow Discordians from the country/state of its origin, including family and friends of RAW, planting the seeds from which further connectivity becomes possible moving forward – the aim to eventually put on Cosmic Trigger over there.

It’s the joint endeavours of people in places like Sheffield, Liverpool, London, Brighton, Hebden Bridge, Santa Cruz and, of course, Northampton, that has generated this momentum. Without this step-by-step approach, and mutual support of each-others efforts, nothing can crystalize.

Finally, with your DJ and musical curator head on, recommend one great tune to get us all in the mood for Catch 23 next month.

OK, let’s go back to 1971 for the sunshine Psychedelic Soul of ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ by Shuggie Otis – too far ahead of the curve for his own times:

Catch 23 takes place from 2pm to 4am on Saturday 7 July at Yellow Arch in Sheffield, and features Greg Wilson, Kermit Leveridge & The Super Weird Sound, John Higgs and Daisy Eris Campbell alongside over 40 other acts. Tickets are available for just £23 here and more information can be found here.




Catch 23 Saturday 7 July

Catch_23_line-up WEB flyer_smallCATCH 23 takes place on Saturday 7 July 2018 at Yellow Arch Studios, 30-36 Burton Road, Sheffield from 2pm – 4am. Tickets are £23 in advance or £25 on the door.

 Psychedelic Endurance – Discordian Resistance

 CATCH 23 is a counter-cultural happening brought to you by Notwork 23: the Discordian co-operative behind Festival 23, the now-legendary 4-day Gathering of the Tribes that took place outside Sheffield in the summer of 2016. It will feature over 40 acts across four main rooms, plus walkabouts and pop-up performances. There will also be a fully licensed bar, street food, activities and immersive art. Early Bird tickets for this much-anticipated event sold out in just a few days, before any acts had been announced. Notwork 23 can now confirm the full line-up of Catch 23:

Greg Wilson – Henge – Kermit & The Super Weird Sound – Daisy Eris Campbell- John Higgs – Forest Sounds – Cuckoo Clocks – Horton Jupiter – Giblet- Naked Grace Missionaries – The Peaceful Ones – Bloom Duo – Terry Logan & Chris Manley – Michelle Olley – Nikki Wyrd – ‘Tony Blair Walks On Water’ – Quip – The Private Sector – Chris Bateman – The Wonderists – Sanscrypt – Nmesme – Hearing Things – Man Bites Fridge-

Aaltra – Dolly Turing – Jonathan Harris – Katy-Anne Bellis – Emily J Electric – Verity Spott – Cat Vincent – Tom Baker – Dave Lee – Fran Green – Claudia Egypt – The Hills Are Alive – Dorothy’s Ghost – Helen Nicol – Pope Flagdag The Brave – Little Pope Peep – Suzi Price (Gong Bath) – The Buddhist Punk – Punch and Jody Show – Larry Sidorczuk – The Death Of Roses- Cassandra (Fortune Teller) – Imagination Wars – Myra Stuart- Matt Smart – Rebecca Hearne – Jaz Coupland -Cate Kneale – plus surprises and more

If Catch 22 is the ultimate double bind, the contradiction inherent in modern life that’s driving us all crazy, then CATCH 23 is the Liberation Loophole: the moment when you embrace the contradictions and leap laughing into the void. CATCH 23 is a festival in a club, featuring live bands, DJs, theatre, talks, workshops, poetry, games, art and magic. We aim to inspire, empower, activate & illuminate!

Notwork 23 are inspired by the writings of Robert Anton Wilson (author of Illuminatus!) and the satirical anti-religion of Discordianism, which has also influenced artists as diverse as The KLF, Alan Moore, Ken Campbell and William Burroughs. Described as “A Marx Brothers version of Zen,” Discordianism is based around the worship of Eris, Greek goddess of Chaos, who in today’s world seems to be more active than ever. Its followers have engaged in counter-cultural activity from the early 1960s onwards, and the movement has undergone a significant revival in recent years, thanks to the success of Daisy Campbell’s theatrical adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger, and the spread of Illuminati-related memes around the globe.

Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson is a Merseyside-based DJ who started out during the seventies disco era and played a pivotal role in the development of UK club culture in the early eighties during his tenure at Wigan Pier and Manchester’s Legend, plus the Haçienda, with his upfront selection of NYC electro-funk grooves. Focussing on production over the next decade he worked on the seminal ‘UK Electro’ in ’84, and produced two critically acclaimed albums for the Ruthless Rap Assassins in ‘90 and ’91.

Returning to DJing in 2003, Greg connected with a younger audience and began to spread his reach wider than ever. His first two ‘Credit To The Edit’ compilations did much to cement this reputation as did his 2009 BBC Radio One Essential Mix, named one of the top 10 of all time, whilst Rolling Stone magazine listed it as one of the definitive 25 online mixes, dubbing Greg ‘one of the earth-moving dons of U.K. dance.’ His Electrofunkroots and Being A DJ blogs have become an online touchstone for dance music enthusiasts worldwide, whilst in 2015 he received the Outstanding Contribution award from DJ Mag, who invited him to write a monthly column highlighting some of dance history’s finest DJs, records, labels and clubs. Alongside a range of talks, interviews and articles, this insight is positioning Greg as an authority on dance music and an integral part of the UK’s club culture heritage.

His multi-media label Super Weird Substance has seen Greg’s focus return to original recordings as well as live events known as ‘Super Weird Happenings’. Greg has DJ’d throughout the world, including at globally renowned events / clubs like the Glastonbury and WOMAD Festivals, the BRIT Awards, Ministry Of Sound and Fabric in London, Space Ibiza, Berghain Berlin and ADE Amsterdam, to name but a few. ‘Credit To The Edit – Vol.3’, the third release in Greg’s acclaimed re-edits series, was released in April 2018.


These psychedelic space age rave aliens have been picking up rabid worshippers at their live shows across the country, with their unique theatrical performances and a new kind of rock-jazz infused dance music they describe as “Cosmic Dross”. Here to free earth people from their enslavement, they hope to show you how to love and dance again via the mutated frequencies of Cosmic Dross. Henge need to be seen to be believed. Their cosmic manifestations are fully immersive spectacles ushering in a future consciousness where we will put down the weapons, unite and colonise space.

Kermit & the Super Weird Sound

Kermit was an original British b-boy, a Ruthless Rap Assassin whose rhymes were hailed by Roots Manuva as the ‘the roots of grime’. A subsequent founding member of Black Grape, alongside ex-Happy Monday frontman Shaun Ryder, Kermit scored a number one album in the UK charts. After touring the world to critical acclaim and crossing the near-fatal abyss of heroin addiction, Kermit returned to music with his lyrical wit, reigniting a long-standing creative partnership with Greg Wilson, releasing music and mixtapes through the multi-media Super Weird Substance label.

Channelling the likes of Big Youth, Dillinger and U-Roy, Kermit & The Super Weird Sound sees K assume the role of a JA deejay, toasting over the booty-shaking, good times reggae spun by Super Weird selector, Josh Ray.

Daisy Eris Campbell

What weird story is your life trying to tell? What hidden desire, if expressed, could spark your next Wonderist adventure? Discordians are the most open-minded people on Spaceship Earth – and coupled with the deeply healing, yet also deeply bizarre magical acts in Jodorowsky’s Psychomagic, a whole new phase of potty capers is dawning. Come, unearth your weird, and fudge your myth.

Daisy Campbell is no stranger to myth-fudging Discordian fun, having adapted and directed Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson, and staged the world’s longest play, The Warp. She is now touring her own Psychomagickal myth, Pigspurt’s Daughter. At Catch 23 she will be presenting a 90-minute workshop entitled Psychomagick for Discordians (And Other Curious Fools).

John Higgs

John Higgs is a writer who specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden in obscure corners of our history and culture, which can change the way we see the world. In the words of MOJO magazine, “Reading John Higgs is like being shot with a diamond. Suddenly everything becomes terrifyingly clear”.

His book The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds, was described as “Adam Curtis brainstorming with Thomas Pynchon” by The Guardian. Ben Goldacre (Bad Science, Bad Pharma) called it “By far the best book this year, brilliant, discursive and wise.” The leading music website The Quietus said it “Might well be the best music book of the 2010s” and it was named as one of the top ten music books of 2013 by The Guardian, The Independent and Mojo.

Alan Moore described his following book Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century as “Breathtakingly lucid… An illuminating work of massive insight, I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly.” Rufus Hound said it was “a sensational book” while the Financial Times called it “a brilliantly stimulating tale.” Together with his first book I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary, which features a foreword by Winona Ryder, his work is currently being translated into seven languages.

Higgs’ next book, Watling Street: Travels through Britain and its Ever-Present Past was published in July 2017. A prolific public speaker, Higgs has spoken at events and festivals including Wilderness, The Secret Garden Party, the Brighton Festival, Women In Art, the Port Eliot Literary Festival and LonCon3 (the World Science Fiction Convention). He has written for publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Mojo, and his fiction appears under the name JMR Higgs.

At Catch 23 John will be giving a talk on understanding the 21st Century.

Forest Sounds Theatre presents The Church of Jim

Set in an absurd dystopia in which the audience are the newest members of an illicit cult, this is a story of a community coming together to bring hope to a hopeless world.

We gather the lost, drawn like moths towards a flame. The Church of Jim is a place of salvation. It is immersive theatre meets alternative comedy. It is a party wrapped up in the guise of cult worship. It’s a riotous warm cuddle. It is songs of praise on acid. It is not a place of conspiracy, parking fines, and undercover police. It is a place of celebration, exegesis and cake. Will we all survive the evening? Probably yes.

Forest Sounds Theatre riotous, immersive performance, moved by social and political contexts. They have performed all over the UK and, according to The Stage, ‘break spine-bristling new ground… demonstrating that immersive theatre still retains the power to shock your socks off’.

Cuckoo Clocks

One of Sheffield’s finest bands, Cuckoo Clocks’ elemental sound has drawn natural comparisons to the hypnotic sweep of west coast psychedelia, country tinged soul with a nod to folk electronica, hints of Fairport Convention or Arthur Lee’s Love, all aired to dry in a post-industrial northern city. Self-assured and stylish, with a potential Bond theme somewhere in their catalogue, imagine Rumours era Fleetwood Mac with an appreciation of their Balearic impact, painting pictures of vast skies and long canyon-lined roads.


The day will also include the debut performance of Lisa Lovebucket’s autobiographical play, Tony Blair Walks on Water, plus live music from Giblet, Bloom Duo, The Private Sector, Man Bites Fridge, The Naked Grace Missionaries, The Wonderists, Terry Logan & Chris Manley, Nmesme, Quip, Dorothy’s Ghost, The Hills Are Alive and Hearing Things, who will be playing the music of avant-garde electric guitar composer Rhys Chatham.  DJs include Horton Jupiter, The Peaceful Ones, Emily J Electric, Aaltra, Fran Green, Sanscrypt and Dolly Turing, who will also be presenting a mixture of poetry, music and physical performance as Quest(ion).

Speakers include Chris Bateman, game designer and author of the books Chaos Ethics, Imaginary Games and The Mythology of Evolution; writer, editor and filmmaker Michelle Olley; and Nikki Wyrd, noted occultist, editor of Psychedelic Press UK and director of Breaking Convention, the international conference on psychedelic consciousness.

There will also be workshops from chaos magician and breathwork coach Dave Lee; Defence Against The Dark Arts with Fortean journalist, pop culture occultist and retired combat magician Cat Vincent; money burning with Jonathan Harris; an introduction to Eris from Little Pope Peep; and inspired storytelling from Claudia Egypt.

Artists Myra Stuart, Matt Smart, Rebecca Hearne, Cate Kneale and Jaz Coupland will exhibit and create a psychedelic interactive environment for the event. There will also be a RAW art show by acclaimed US artist Bobby Campbell, showcasing “The Art of Illuminatus!” This is a UK exclusive and the only chance to see the work exhibited outside of the United States.

There will be a gong bath from Suzi Price, innovative performance art from Verity Spott plus interactive games, walkabout performances, poetry and Chapel Perilous, where you will be invited to share your most transformative experiences.

* Over 18s only *