"Do whatever makes you happy and you can never lose. Write what you want, sing what you want, love who you want and everything else can catch up or fall behind."
Hi-Vis Press on Billy and the Devil: "Because it's a work of art. Because the timeless story is the essence of a fractured being, of fractured lives that are all too familiar. Because the pace and flow of the narrative is unparalleled in contemporary fiction. Because Dean Lilleyman is a real author, with a real heart, a real motive. Because the book won't patronise you, wont force morals down your throat and won't pretend to be something it's not." Read the rest of this article here. Read Billy and the Devil for free here. The complete version of Billy and the Devil will be published in paperback by Hi-Vis in 2018, including episodes not previously published.
"We believe that capitalism and its attendant profit culture is a public health issue..."
The Arsonist Magazine is put together by Burning House Press. Burning House Press is put together by Miggy Angel. Miggy Angel puts people together to make/who make. Who makes in The Arsonist is a together made of unmainstream makers. Here is another happening (and it is) of proof, a proof that things are happening, are being made, outside of what we are told we should.
I'm lucky that many of my friends make things. Lucky because it means not only do I get to hang with them, but we also get to make things together. And, these things get made because we want to, for ourselves, because. We live in an age where making is glued to the idea of success. We live in an age where if what you make isn't a 'success' then obviously it's shite. Wrong. We live in an age where 'success' means mainstream more than ever. A copy of a copy of a copy. Fuck that. Glove puppeted by a trick. Told by self-appointed knowers how to make what you're making to make it 'right'... self-appointed knowers who themselves are glove puppeted by 'success' equals 'quality'. WTF is 'quality' anyway? Well, here's what I know: quality is having a smoke in a back alley when you've just done a reading or sung a song and some hepcat stumbles out the backdoor of the venue and tells you hey, really got off on that, nice one, then having a conversation about if Hawking is right and the whole of everything is a big massive fuck off forever saucer then what the fuck is outside the saucer and who the fuck is holding it up...? And here's what else I know: quality is having a hang-out with your friends and making a video or a song or a collage made from ripped up Metro headlines about shit politicians promising you money success because they have money success and why do people believe this shit then all of you dancing to an old record that might hop and jump but hey it cost 50p from a charity shop and it's still fucking great so don't believe success is money because look, you're all here dancing, and laughing, and making, and not one of you has to knock on any doors to ask if you can, you just do it, making whatever it is that you want to make, because, the gate-keepers are lying, because they're only protecting their own avenues, their own bit of the river, their own stature, position, pocket, AND IT'S A FUCKING LIE, JUST MAKE WHAT YOU WANNA MAKE AND SHARE IT, SUCCESS ISN'T SALES, SUCCESS ISN'T A LADDER CLIMB, SUCCESS ISN'T A CIRCLE JERK, SUCCESS IS MAKING WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO MAKE, HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE IT, NOW, HERE, WITH YOUR FRIENDS, IN THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW... Me and Beth have been making some recordings of stuff for a podcast being put out by Sophie, Jim and Ben, for their Hi-Vis outsider publishing hive that's going to be putting Billy out (and other things). Me and Beth are also having fun putting some music stuff together, making videos and recordings, etc, which'll be sorted soon on a website, and we'll be playing it out. Find below a recording of The Billy Song (by Beth) and Because, put together in the Making Room at home.
Imagine writing words that become a story and speaking the words out and the words sound like you and as the last word drops you feel a smile on your face because you know it... Know what?... This... your story feels real, a real that will connect, a connection with likewise others that have been there, have seen it happen, felt it, been stung by it, fought it, and win or lose this share is a win, a together, reader/writer, same, this fuck-up a belonging vision of us, right here, right now... Now imagine ripping those pages out of your notebook, screwing your words into a tight ball, stuffing that tight ball into your own mouth then with a rusty needle and coarse thread, sewing your lips together fuck-it stitch by fuck-it stitch, your story now nothing but a soft mosh of blood and spit inked into a murmur, everything that you could have said now swallowed, a lump in your throat that would have been poetry, yours, a truth now unsaid... because? Welcome to the act of sending your words out into a lit-world that is, gate-keepered by a class that don’t know your life, refute it because to them it seems rusty needle and coarse thread, a language of unnecessary curse and crude claw, uneducated by choice of ignorance and futile rant... What do they know of life? What values can they offer us? What beauty lies within a mongreled council estate? Give us rivers and butterflies, give us soft pause as a silk handkerchief falls to a high-heeled lawn, give us the heart that we feel beating within our own hearts, shielded from dirty fingernails and aching backs, hidden from minimum wage and hand-me-downs, castled away from no way out and determinism and hierarchy and the fee-fuelled impossibility of higher education... so, yes... thank you for your submission... but we feel it doesn’t quite fit with our publishing ethos... NO. STOP. DO NOT SUBMIT. DO IT YOURSELF. FOR YOURSELF. AMONG YOURSELVES. GO READ THE HAND JOB ANTHOLOGY AND SEE WHY, AND HOW... here.
...And on your way back to The Bell you piss in the bus shelter, and in The Bell taproom they all laugh because you've pissed down your leg, and you feel a bit alone but that's alright...
"He is the ultimate underdog, I so want Billy to win. The reader is spared no secrets, it is all laid out for us to make our own judgement..." Abbie Foxton has put together a zine of reviews, her views of things happening on the underground lit scene. In it is a rattle hum perspective on Billy and the Devil, complete with a photo of me and Beth performing, taken by Sophie Pitchford. Abbie's website is here. Sophie's website, here.
"Of particular note was the lyrical and stirring performance by Dean Lilleyman and Beth Aveyard, who fused loquacious spoken word with haunting folk music, creating a dreamy atmosphere that left the entire room in stunned silence."
Billy and the Devil is now free to read on this site. Story by story, bit by bit with regular posts, the full thing will appear. Each story will include links to references. This version is the full Billy, featuring as yet unpublished stories, that for whatever reason didn't appear in previous versions. The paperback Billy will be published by Hi Vis soon, the way it was meant to be.
Read Billy online, here.
Here are some photo's from the gig me and Beth did at The Chameleon in Nottingham last night. Big ta for Sophie Pitchford for taking the gig shots, ditto to Miggy Angel for putting us on at his Speech Therapy do. The set we did was from The Gospel According to Johnny Bender. This includes the song If I Were a Blackbird, put together by Beth for the story. A video of the song will be sorted soon.
"Nothing gets found out if not through silly sometimes mistakes get made. Come, Blackbird. Let’s walk to bridge. They won’t see us. You understand now, don’t you, and this part of story needs feet. Goodbye ten little toe fish..."
03/03/17. Nottingham. Another Hand Job Zine gig. The anthology launch. An end that becomes a beginning. The outsider zine says farewell, all its crackle and feist picked up and carried forward with Hi Vis Press, a new publishing venture from Sophie and Jim that, much like Hand Job, will no doubt state an independence of doing, a quirk grin of fuck the norm, an open palm of hang out if you like, difference = exchange, always, and I can’t tell you what to do, but if you click here, you’ll find an open door to a kook room of happening that might just suit your kook happening self.
Jean remembers standing up in the courtroom to tell the judge what she saw her dad do to her mother, all the time knowing that inside her belly a new life was growing, and would keep on growing until she could hide it no longer.
Billy and the Devil will soon be out of print. But, this end will be a beginning. I will continue to make what I make, and what I make is what I want to make. One morning, a few months ago, I woke to an understanding that whatever path I was walking, wasn’t the way that I wanted to go. Behind me, was a trick of the light. This has nothing to do with anything else but me. It’s been a warm jibe between my friends that what gets me into trouble more often than not is that I find it very difficult to fib things in real life, and that I should learn to do so when the occasion asks. For politeness. For less turbulence. For peace of mind after the fact. Well, I can’t. So here’s what I know. I don’t like selling myself. I don’t like trying to appeal for the sake of selling books. I don’t like taking off my teeth and claws and colours and moods and me in the possibility of wider acceptance. Because, the thing is, what I make doesn’t fit into any of that anyway. Never will. So. Here’s what’ll be happening. In the very near future Billy and the Devil will be available to read, in full, on this website. And, it will be the version I want it to be. This will see the inclusion of chapters not previously published, chapters held back because. Then, because what I know of myself, of what suits me, of what doesn’t, Billy and the Devil will be published in print within a new DIY venture put together by my friends, because this is the way I want to do things. There will be no knocking on doors. No tap-tap into someone else’s party for the sake of what I am supposed to do as a writer. The most repeated sentiment I have had from self-appointed gate-keepers is this: strong stuff, but don’t know how we could market it. And there’s the truth. But, here’s mine: fuck marketing. I don’t write in genre. I don’t write for audience. I write for myself. And I will continue to do so. It’s far too easy to measure yourself against your favourite makers, to fall into a subconscious trap of measured achievement. But, the trap is a handmade snare, set for your own footstep. And it was on that morning a few months ago that I saw this. And what I also saw was why I liked the makers I like. And it’s this: they stay, and stayed, true to their makings, of themselves, for themselves, and that most important of self-compass trust: don’t, give, a fuck. Billy couldn’t love himself. This took him to a dark wood, with no way back. Albert Camus: I love life too much not to be selfish. Billie Holiday: If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all. Me: Right now I am making a home from an old house, I am taking it back to its beginnings, taking away the cover ups, finding the otherwise hidden truth of the house behind false walls and reshapes, and the further I go, the more I strip back, the more beautiful it feels. Billy and the Devil will be back in print sometime next year. Other things will be happening too. This is not the end. Me and my friends will be doing it ourselves, for ourselves, in the way we want to do it. One turn around the wheel. The question I ask myself every morning: what makes me happy? This is a beginning. Everything else follows. Teeth, claws, colours, moods, makings from the real. Trouble. Everything starts with trouble. It’s up to you how you use it. And I will.
More to come.