Dig For The Promise - On The Scillonian

A short piece on sea-sickness and the new album by The Little Unsaid, written by Isles Of Scilly-dweller, musician and composer Piers Lewin.

Seasickness: a condition in which a disagreement exists between visually perceived movement and the vestibular system's (inner ear) sense of movement.


Well, fellow mariners and queaseballs - I have a cure...

As we nosed out past the Land’s End, twitching unpleasantly on the crest of each heaving Atlantic roller; crashing in the splitting furrows, the cast of peoples’ faces began to change, like heated wax. The outdoorsy type with four days’ stubble and carbon fibre hiking poles put down his binoculars and gripped the ship’s rail. Small children everywhere stopped wanting to grow up, clutching at parents with nothing to give. The already depressed Labrador under the opposite seat flumped to the deck and shivered. I poked the little white buds into the sweaty loam of my head and hoped for the best; clicked play. Eyes shut, I prayed to the Gods of vestibular harmony.

Man overboard! A lyric of extraordinary keenness and beauty lasers towards my head like a shark in an aquarium, turned at the last minute by the glass. Another one - they keep coming at me... A rolling bass line throws tentacles at my ankles and I give myself up to green water. Gunshot snare hits, vinyl crackling like childhood, a tangle of piano in the exquisite distance, an electric guitar riff of such dense and incredible chunk that I am this close to dancing at the masthead. (And I don’t dance.) String quartet, shanty crew, brass band - shoals of sound let loose as the coastal shelf billows away beneath me; THAT voice... By christ this is the Sea; the World; the Life.

Around me on deck, the sturdy paper bags filled up. Abstract expressionism from the mouths of children spattered. The suicidal dog uploaded guiltily, losing the will, not for the first time. The ship’s crew rushed around with desperate mops, dispensing blankets to the wretched retching; the digestively dispossessed. Down below deck was an invention of the devil, upgraded, tweaked and EQ’d by Dante. There were miles to go. Hours. Forever.


But not for me - my vestibular system (wherever the hell it is) is purring, singing, shagging mermaids... There is so much harmony, beauty and balance crammed into my inner ear that I cannot hear or feel the real world. I do not want this to stop. ‘Dig for the Promise’ is the Stugeron of the angels; the sovereign remedy for seasickness; and probably a lasting cure for most of the ailments and traumas of the Modern World. All power to The Little Unsaid - songwriting NHS for the discerning.

- Piers Lewin, April 2013