Premiere: Survival Bag – The Vivid Past


Johnny Muir AKA Belfast’s Survival Bag, has self-released several tracks recently, most recently the evocative ‘The Vivid Past’, an sonic experience akin to the feeling of emerging from Madchester’s ecstatic haze into the grim reality of Cool Britannia.

Like much of Survival Bag’s music, each instrument was played and recorded by Muir, with his own spoken and sung vocals, programmed sounds and discovered samples. Conceptually, the song is about memory loss and confusion, as Muir explains:

When I was growing up, my grandma suffered from severe dementia – always described as ‘hardening of the arteries’ whatever that is – and she came to live with us. But sometimes she got mixed up about where she was and talked about people and events from when she was young as if they were happening right there and then. It was as if there was a store of memories lying hidden and just waiting to come back to life.

In the last few years I have also found that dimly remembered events from when I was young are coming back to me with a new sharpness. It usually happens when I’m not expecting it and sometimes for a split second I’m not quite sure where I am – or when I am. It’s only a fleeting feeling but “The Vivid Past” is about those moments when memories suddenly take you by surprise.

This will be the first track on the forthcoming Survival bag album, You Better Be Alive. Stream ‘The Vivid Past’ below:

is Gig Guide Editor & guitarist/vocalist with Junk Drawer, PigsAsPeople & Sister Ghost. Appreciator of Neil Young, vinyl, black coffee, Richard Linklater, light & shade.