Empower the creative individual, by getting over individualism.


What does an artistic emergency look like?

I know you. You’d say now’s not the time for such frivolity, Peach. We’re in a real crisis.

To which, in Condescending Article Writing Mode, I would say knowishly: “We’re actually in a dozen global crises at once, mate. Coronovirus is just a blacklight on all the crap we’d already not learned how to deal with.”

Crap born almost entirely out of culture.

Culture is a sort of unconcious narrative habit. A context for living that’s essentially a story we think we’re in – shaping the character we play, with out us noticing. So perhaps there’s no better moment than Mental Health Awareness Week in a confusingly half-ending pandemic lockdown to talk about ways of seeing.

We’ve been seeing the world through little windows for weeks – smered kitchen panes, smered laptop screens, smered PPE visors. If lucky enough to get your unbelievably clean hands on those. And that blinkering of sensory contact with each other and with the outside has amplified the inside – the sound of our own heads, trying to process this massively weird context malfunction. We live and form our view of the world by the world within us, and that world is likely to be getting increasingly rattled. If only we knew what to do.

I’m often wanging on about art being testimony. Something that cuts through binified, fake-news times with some personal truth – transforming reality with an experience. Art can walk into the middle of no-man’s land and sing.

And man do we feel it. Those first few weeks of rattling pans and cheering and singing for our NHS workers was motivationally moving, up and down our streets. It made some emotional sense. Shame we’ve not learned how to make economic sense of it.

While you might think now is not the time to put together the words Art and Emergency, across connections, resources, tracks of creative thought and entire livelihoods, artistic practitioners are certainly losing things at the moment. Fundamental aspects of their lives, even. Partly because their work is hard to value robustly – even though they tend to put their whole lives into it. And edificial creative landmarks in our cities and towns are as likely to disappear in the next few months as the artists, DJs, players and events businesses wanting to populate them.

How do we value this?



Art is significantly about making emotional sense of the world and working out what to do. It’s as primary as any cynical survival of the fittest yuppie mantra. It is a first response mechanism for humans. And out of it can come whole new ways of seeing – our worlds, our problems, our selves. Yet how do we value this, in a time of crisis? In a financialised, free market economics world, it is the first thing we switch off.

Yet, as we cheer first responders in the NHS and have remarkably adapted to sheilding them and the vulnerable by locking down, how are we gearing up for the next health crisis – that of our mental wellbeing attempting to make sense of all this? And how are we valuing either of these groups of workers, trying to help us secure wellness amid the threats?

Though a big part of my own outlook is that of a designer, art for me is music. It’s where I’ve always gone to make sense of my own worldsview and to recharge my creative pilot light to solve other problems. But for some reason, it hadn’t occured to me to pause my grand schemes and try to just testify. Despite all the wanging on I’ve done. So Easter weekend, I attempted it. And the result was a piece called Pandemonstrate.

It’s a song deliberately styled with a heavy, summery retrowave vibe – reeeally 80s, in other words. Because that summer of ’88 really was when I bought my first four-track and never looked back, and also because it was the era that founded the amplification of all our problems. The good ol’ cult of globalising free market economics.

Today, it seems, that economic window onto what we value has clouded our ability to look forward and imagine true visions of the future, because its relentless implication for forty years is that we’re not supposed to share much. Dreams are naiive, mate. Dystopia is the only realism. Love will betray you. Pick your bleating cynical comfort blanket prayer as you close your eyes there.

It’s all to such blinding degree, it feels like we are left only with nostalgia. A haunted longing, looking back in our minds. Back to the dreams, and summers, that would never come for most of us. An individualism so lonely, it has weakened the fundamentals of society – our ability to share possibilities. Something a pandemic calls out fearsomly. No wonder we have anxieties.

Art helps us connect. And engage. With – take a deep breath – truth. The ones lurking in you. It can help you find a way to do that thing you most don’t want to do with your mental health – face it. Engage with the unreconciled realities and expectations with in us, and with the undrawn worlds beyond us. Beyond this moment. I have become a firm believer that the kinetic act of moving into creative expression can unlock our minds and empower that illusive businessy word that’s boringly haunted everything all this century – innovation. New ways of seeing how we do everything, even fundamentally.

If there’s an emergency right now, it is of our imaginations. They are on the life support of Netflix and the venitlators of substance dependency and porn. But they long to breathe out in the open again and get to creative work. Because it’s not about you or me. It’s about our shared knowledge and wellness – that’s how you fix the context for the individual.

This is the crisis moment we must learn how to re-value our imaginations. And the artistic professionals who could help us revive those utterly essential survival tools.




Momo:tempo Pandemonstrates for lockdown mental health

Bournemouth music maker and creative Timo Peach releases a special one-off new piece, testifying to the strangeness of “the summer that would never come” to help raise support for Dorset Mind’s new Creative Minds campaign.

Momo has released a brand new tune in response to the Covid19 crisis, and the song, Pandemonstrate, attempts to both look back and forwards, to face some creative possibilities.

“This is such a moment in time to pause and reflect,” says writer and producer Mr Peach. “I am always wanging on about art testifying, but I suddenly realised around Easter that it hadn’t even occurred to me to look up from my own grand schemes and try to testify to this historic experience as an artist.”

A deliberately nostalgic-seeming slice of retrowave, Pandemonstrate sets a distinctly 1980s summery tone, but it’s feel-good vibes are a little bitter-sweet, reflecting the duality of a time of griefs and fears that has also glimpsed a possibly cleaner, healthier future. A duality that is likely to manifest in an increase mental health support need – just when budgets have dropped into the dark.

“As all of us are so mindful of our health workers and their challenges responding to the pandemic, it can be hard to know how best to demonstrate a response that feels meaningful enough. I’ve felt it. Living through this crisis is such a weird experience for everyone, in so many unequal, different ways, we’re all having to process a lot as we try to find support, find work, look after each other and watch some things helplessly” Timo says. “So I’m mindful of the next health challenge brewing seriously all around us – how we make sense of all this and find good mental wellness, looking to such an uncertain-seeming future.”

So he approached Dee Swinton at Dorset Mind, and long-time champion of their’s Dan Willis, to see if there was merit in using the song as a useful springboard to raising funds for the charity and awareness of the potentially significant extra emotional challenges facing society.

“With all my research into the human planet with my podcast Unsee The Future, exploring as I have been the components of crises that we’re currently facing, I’m mindful that we already had a global mental health pandemic” he says. “The coronavirus is really just a blacklight marker highlighting systemic problems not dealt with yet. So this is an incredible opportunity for us. If we’re willing to face it.”


Buy the brand new single Pandemonstrate by Momo:tempo now >

Art as an enabler

A big believer in the empowerment of facing big global problems as ordinary people, who might just feel helpless about such issues, Timo says he felt he had to make a piece of music that evoked the summers of 30 years ago.

“I turned 18 at the end of the summer of 1988. First year driving, the year I started making music, met the lovely first lady of Momo – many formative things go back to then for me,” he says, “but so do many of our problems around the world. The 1980s gave us the political paradigm we’re living in now” he suggests. A culture, he thinks, that has contributed to drying up bolder visions of tomorrow.

“We are way overdue to reawaken our imaginations and start writing new stories of us. It’s imperative now. This is my call to that. But as a music maker and a creative, I’m interested in how ordinary us lot can find empowering ways to engage with the complex story we find ourselves part of now, in such times of transition and change. I’m convinced that allowing ourselves to explore creativity and artistic responses to the worlds around us and within us can help us write whole new stories of us – but I think it starts by acknowledging it’s all pretty overwhelming.”

Pandemonstrate is out now on Bandcamp and all sales are going towards Dorset Mind’s Creative Minds campaign, which is aiming to raise £2,000 to help the team simply keep offering their support services.




Don’t feel alone in trying to make sense of the pandemic and its effect on you. Explore the services of Dorset Mind >


Lingo: Empower the creative individual by getting over individualism >

Read the related blog post exploring a theme of Pandemonstrate.


Experiences shared, but barely in the room.


Do you think we’ve given up “trying to make sense of all this?”

As a creative interested in sense-making, I think we mainly just want to have a break from the uncertainty. And the ruddy gnawing belief we should be hustling more than ever. But this stuff is big, and if most of us seem to be weary in our efforts, even if we’re not on a care-giving front line, it’s surely because the background emotional processing of this is a constant drain.

It’s my feeling that this shared experience is, if it’s doing anything, essentially highlighting the problems, trends and emotional pressures we were wading through anyway – it’s not only art that can give us dramatic new ways of seeing, perhaps just when we needed them. But what will help us process all this uncontrollable processing?

The second part of Unsee The Future‘s look at the subject of Experience is very Unsee The Future indeed, looking at the context we’re still in as we consider our immediate future, and taking us from a thorny wrestle with a big tech issue filling some bandwidth between us recently to a look at how we might REALLY have to make sense of ourselves in such numbing times. But it’s come out on a weekend that’s gotten me thinking. Thinking about the best blog post I ever wrote and why.

Exactly ten years ago, I performed my first gig with the Momo:tempo Electro Pops Orchestra.

And I barely made it into the room. Thanks to another global natural event.

Enjoy for the first time here, my impeccably professional, note-perfect opening performance at Momo’s first ever live outing, about ten minutes after landing in the venue with my bags after a 50-hour adventure:



As you might imagine, publically coming out with a new band, after sweating away at a new sound for a new music project, was a bit of a big deal for me. Rather a lot of nervous energy had gone into trying to make it work, after a delightful invitation from dear chum Sebastian Michael to disrupt his elegant book launch cabaret for the rather wonderful novel Angel at the Troubadour in Kensington had bumped me into having an actual go. After meeting trombonist Pat Hayes and saxophonist Dave Ruff through trumpet maestro and mate John Herbison on a few sessions for The Golden Age of Exploration, I worked out how to get the three of them plus long time musical co-adventurer Mark Adkins onto the Troob’s tiny but hallowed basement theatre stage. Then John said he couldn’t make it but not to worry, for another young star, Tom Walsh, would step in at the last moment and perhaps I might have to shake his hand on stage to meet him or something but it would be fine. Don’t worry.

Don’t worry.

So I went on holiday for a week just before, with all plans set, to help with the not worrying.

Four days after landing in Majorca, a volcano errupted in Iceland.

Eyjafjallajökull’s ashcloud was the first time I’d personally been caught up in a mass redirecting and ultimately grounding of airline flights. And it might have only been just a bit of a jolly wheeze for the lovely first lady of Momo and I, had I not had the small matter of my musical coming out looming the following Monday. Was it possible to make it back, with flights dropping off the departure boards all over Europe? How do we make sense of such uncontrollable disruption to our plans?

The story of how we did indeed just make it did indeed lead to my favourite ever personal blog post. Which includes the complete tweet thread which people began to follow with interest – including Sebastian himself, bringing his audience up to speed on my wherabouts as the show began without me.

Thinking of the adventure it took to tumble through the door with my suitcase and roll up to the foot of the stage to surprising rapturous applause is a fond memory, perhaps in line with the adventurous imagery of The Golden Age LP itself and indeed of my whole creative approach to music. But it also brought me up short remembering it. Because when will we next all be sharing the intimacy and immediate energy of a live experience?

First things first: Momo tweets his arrival from the stage.

There have been some rash things said since lockdown started a month ago here. About how life will not go back to normal and live experiences are history. I disagree. Life won’t ever be quite the same normal again, but I think we will be craving visceral experiences feeling the air being pushed through us together, sharing the vibe of something that only a true live audience can share. The question really is, when we feel the opportunity and courage to make shows again, what shows will we make, and what shows will we want?

I had to strain every bit of wit, patience and help-asking to kind of miraculously just make it into the room that night. It means the experience we all shared was special in unexpected ways, and it was a public arrival for Momo that told me two unsurprising things: Successful live performances will always be the most encouraging and energising experiences of my life, and they will always take a disproportionately stupid great effort involving begging and ruthless disdain for anxiety.

This show was delightful and intimate and perhaps couldn’t have been a more appropriate start for Momo, given the cabaret storytelling of some of its sound. Pompous and epic as I always want that sound to be, and as much as I adore the captured musical moment in recordings and production, that snap of energy in a room full of people with their hearts high is a land waiting to be reached again, by any means we safely can.

It’s been my privilege to play with these gents and still call them my friends. They’ve enhanced my shows and recordings and musical knowledge since John first so wonderfully introduced us over a decade ago, along with so many other great talents they’ve brought along for the ride. And if my plans come to anything, there will be some amazing new adventures to share when we’re all ready for it. If we can make sense of what we really need after all our plans have been so disrupted. x



Read my personal favourite ever blogpost, Ashtagged: Planes Trains and Souzamaphones >

And relive two cuts of the proper little set we shared after wards, the first ever performances of Paris Breakfast and Al Hamdu Li Lah:


Intro to the Momo Memo, April 4 2020 – Unsee The Future EP29: Experience, part 1


We’re only at the beginning.

Possibly of this particular pandemic, but certainly of its implications. To, y’know… possibly everything.

How are you feeling about it? There is a lot to make sense of ahead, and many more qualified minds than mine will be continuing to explore the possibilities, but having been chewing my pencil end in finishing this episode of Unsee The Future, now seemed the context to finally publish it in. And given the stakes we’re all facing, it’s surprisingly daft – but I think an interesting angle on the experience we’re now sharing, and a good set up to EP30’s forthcoming Hopey Changey Bit. Yes, there will manage to be one.

But those stakes are high. SARS CoV2’s winning attribute seems to be how resilliently it spreads – but it’s a virus, not a bacteria. It’s a sticky disease mine, essentially, clinging inertly to our globalised movements until we inevitably wipe it into our nose, our eyes, when its payload disease is triggered by your nice, warm, encouragingly organic system. As I’ve read elsewhere, the real bugger with a virus is its vector – how it grows its reach. Because it only does that through you and stoopid me.

“Viral control is about psychology more than it’s about medicine and that’s what’s scary about it” as virologist Jane Raison put it beautifully on a post doing the rounds. ” In this case the vector is humans, bloody stupid, arsehole humans like Chantelle, Bob and Steve. Giving everyone a pill is easy, getting everyone to listen and change their behaviour is a fucking nightmare.”


You can say cooly that it doesn’t appear to be a true population thinner – I’d repeat soberly the widely reported statistical observation that an average immune system seems to make effective work of seeing it off initially. But even before it potentially returns or becomes something else, COVID19 doesn’t have to be a flesh eater to be a system breaker.

And that I am finding as deeply troubling as… sort of uncomfortably exciting, around the initial dread of what this might mean. I couldn’t help feeling both at once, at the beginning.

On the one hand, this is potentially gigantic planetary change, after saying for so long that we need new ways of seeing everything – now nothing looks the same after COVID19, even at the beginning of this story. The potential for human system improvements is dynamic and mind boggling, the more you consider different implications. It’s like mother Earth just pulled a sucker punch on the robot world and floored it in the last round.

On the other, the clock is still ticking. It’s becoming harrowing for those managing the sick in such relatively sudden numbers and loved ones are leaving their lives prematurely in machine-supported isolation all over the world at once. And for the majority of us not experiencing the extreme biological effects of this new SARS disease, we are all attempting to manage our emotional and financial resources in the face of near-total, fundamental uncertainty. The potential for deep destablisation of societies globally is opening up images of trauma beyond what we’ve known yet. Partly because we’ve not collectively realised how much our world system’s cultural behaviours have been traumatising us so deeply already. At all levels of human life in the early twenty first century, COVID19 is really just highlighting our deep, connected problems.

How do we balance our view of this, between embracing its seriousness while questioning hype? Cold statistics sound less dramatic than front line medical experiences. I don’t know quite what to do with my feelings, when I consider it.

I’ve been saying all through the Unsee The Future years: “Our current system, industrialised capitalism powered by oil, gave us more wealth, knowledge and opportunity than any before it in human planet history. But at what cost?” Well, the same question may be levelled at an event like this .

COVD19’s near simultaneous impact on health systems around the world, like a DNS attack on a website, has shut down normal living so fast it’s already shown us what life might look like outside our world-destroyingly unsustainable systemic habits – cleaner, quieter, slower, more community minded. But at what cost might it gift us real system change? How much suffering, from how massive an economic instability wave?


I confess, I have no idea what shape Momo’s meagre business will be in by the end of the summer, or if I’ll be stacking shelves somewhere, or actually quite happily cleaning a hospital corridor more usefully. It’s been scary to lose developing opportunities and watch so many friends face the same collapse in creative and live event work. But the threat to the stability of having functioning global economies is the real game-changer looming over us all.

The orbit of our modernist economics is decaying, but to land back on Earth we can’t afford to come in hot, we’ve got to feather the fall.


COVID19 could be Earth’s great intervention to save us. It might also be a moth landing on the domino world record attempt the night before, triggering an early collapse of… who knows how much.

To be honest, I’m feeling like I just want to sleep for a week, with it all. The demand to pivot, pounce, provide new usefulness is exhausting just thinking about it. I’d rather go down to the Royal Bournemouth and strap myself into some Marigolds and a bin bag. Say goodbye to ever finishing another LP, or making something of my funny little creative lifestyle life.

But. I suspect the space between art, planet and futurism that I’ve found myself exploring is one to do so with even more urgent intent – if the story we thought we were in has changed, how do we write new stories of us? And how do we make sense of what was unsustainable about the old ways of seeing that led us to here, if not by trying to piece together their symptom crises? I mean, it was always that important, but yes, like everything, COVID19 has simply shown more of us this with sudden clarity.

How are you reacting to, planning, feeling, seeing things around you? Write me back, I’d love to know.




Header photo by Tess on Unsplash

Creative plans? The lowdown on Momo’s own lockdown intentions.

I will say carefully, that in my attempts to be some kind of sense making and encouraging small voice in the big weirdness, I’m hoping to share a few new things in coming weeks, to see if we can all find new ways to see the world around us, and understand this table-flipping crisis in the context of all the others we’ve been trying to piece together in our minds. And a couple of the creative projects I’m part of or working up at the moment are potentially fascinating for right now, feeding into my research, with insightful folk on the teams. But, such as they are, these plans of mine are laid at the feet of global and personal fate. Are they worth much?

Trying to look beyond this present fear feels pressing to me, and the space I find my imagination in already – wondering how art-, planet- and futurism-thinking can combine to help bounce us out of our robot habits – seems more relevant than ever.

I’d been making plans to take Unsee The Future onto YouTube anyway, writing some rather fun but maybe even useful 200sec primers to the full research audio episodes – 2020s Unsights. But also by planning out a series of theme-exploring one-to-one 30min interviews – Hopey-Chatty Bits. There are so many folk who’s insights and testimony I’d love to get at and share, in a bid to help us all piece together the human planet now.

Meanwhile, concurrently, the lovely first lady of Momo has been developing a fascinating response to the personal challenge of responding to sustainability, and as part of beginning to share this campaign though the agency end of my creative work, Momo:zo, we’re pondering some little podcasts around it. She is brilliant, as is her plan, and the two of us chatting you might find oddly engaging. I mean, I’ve been chatting to her for nearly thirty years and I’m far from bored. Don’t feel you must ask her the same thing, of course.

Pooling this and all I do, I’ve long had the intent of mustering the regularity of making the Momo Memos an every other week little publication – out at one minute to midnight every almost-Friday fortnight. It’s only worth it if they’re useful, interesting, encouraging to us both. But I am attempting it, with the next Unsee episode due out the Friday after next as I write.

Interestingly, Unsee The Future itself, the core research cast audio episodes, I think will best become occasional now. That said, I have a number of topics on the drawing board already, including a special episode, no 31, that I feel might even be the Hopey-Changey Bit topic that all my work has lead to. But more of that in  a few weeks.

But, also of course, a central part of Momo’s plan for 2020 was putting out the far-too-long-awaited new Momo:tempo LP, The Shape of Things To Hum. I can say unsurprisingly that the pandemic has shone a new light on its story and I am responding. And I’ve also been working on various bits of its componentry, including spending a day with Andy Robinson retooling the script to The Martian Artist in light of all that we learned almost two years ago now, unbelievably, with the test show Five Songs To Help Us Unsee The Future – a souvenir edit of which I have also belatedly almost finished. Our synergy in re-seeing it was exciting, and I am in the process of shaking up the original pitch document to see if an even more relevant live experience can find support out of this. It feels urgently good. But, as ever, I have no idea how I’ll find sufficient audience for it to produce it with justice.

My plans for things like a new single are awaiting the ability to get into a live studio for a couple of sessions with musicians, of course, to say nothing of my ambition to roll out the development of the general live show with the band again. I am trusting that this will come. Seeing the principle of how Momo:zo talks can learn from Momo:tempo shows – and vice versa – is just energising. So much we could do, once we’re allowed on stages again. I miss the stage horribly, and having new music to share. This personal furlough has simply felt like trying to get things in alignment, while turning the direction… well, of my life and it’s work. It’s all terribly modest, but it’s me.

All in the ongoing exploration of the space between Art, Planet and Futurism. I will, while I still have energies, continue to try to apply my brain and heart and unglamourous experiences to helping us hear and see some life-changing new stories of us. Perhaps in this, COVID19 will turn out to be a sobering gift.