Tuesday, August 26, 2008

’Tis done

Backpiece finished

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And there was music...

Stop me if you've heard this before. A couple of nights ago, I went to see Gallows...

No, really, this is a different story to the last three I've posted in the past 10 or 12 weeks.

I actually haven't even had time to process fully the whole evening, co I've just been too damn busy with work, but it was a fucking great night (if you discount the frankly very unappealing eggs and chips I had before the show and the bland omelette the wife ordered; shoulda known better!).

So we got to the venue at about 8:30. We were in the queue just behind guitarists Lags's parents, whom we'd met at the last show. This time we were better able to converse since at this point the volume was quieter. Well, we were outside, fighting off only the sounds of rain falling and drummer Lee chatting to chicks in the phone booth!

On entry we caught the last few bars of the first act, Throats. It was a shame to miss them, but this became something of a theme for the evening. We headed in to check out who was up next, but it was Lakes and we'd seen them before. I'm just not crazy enough about them to see them again.

We headed back to the bar to keep an eye open for some of the guys and gals we'd met last time and some other forum members of whom we had yet to make the acquaintance. And they began to turn up from all angles. I shan't go to town with names because I appreciate some people may not want their business posted up. But a great little brotherhood stood around chatting and excited with the anticipation of what ("probably") would be Gallows' last London show of 2008. Fuck.

We chatted so much, in fact, that several of us missed the third band, Hexes. I actually had intended to see these guys but I'm not too sad since it's nice to shoot the breeze and hang out.

Gallows' set was the longest I've seen, lasting pretty much for an hour, I think, and including the recent free download "Gold Dust" and new songs "London Is the Reason" and "Misery", which I don't think I'd heard before, as well as three oldies that I've personally not seen live previously: "Black Heart Queen" (which was a likely candidate for the setlist since the show was being played under the pseudonym Black Heart Kings rather than as Gallows), "Sick of Feeling Sick", and "Just Because You Sleep Next to Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe". Additional tracks included "Come Friendly Bombs", "Abandon Ship", "In the Belly of a Shark", "Rolling With the Punches", and set closer "Orchestra of Wolves".

Another awesome fucking night of rock 'n' roll fun.

Didn't have time to stay behind and chat for long afterwards, since we had a longish drive back home from London, only to have to turn around and do it all again on Wednesday night to see Alkaline Trio...

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Words please, part two

I almost actually included this at the end of my previous post, and then I decided against it. Indeed, in some ways, that post had been inspired by my seeing a certain man on TV the night before. That man was John Shuttleworth.

And since I wrote that post, the song with which Shuttleworth (not his real name) reached #4 in the charts 30 years ago this month has been making many appearances around my personage.

In the form of this Facebook group, for example, and even a T-shirt with a picture of UK prime minister Gordon Brown on it.

So, without further ado, I present "Jilted John" by Jilted John. And although it's only a silly little novelty punk record, I have to ask: Is there any way in which all the subtle nuances of this track could possibly be conveyed without lyrics? I rather think not.

The words, since I said please and all (though I have not proofread them or anything [no time], so don't go blaming me if they're wrong):

I've being going out with a girl
Her name is Julie
But last night she said to me
While we were watching telly

This is what she said………

She said "Listen John I love you
But there's this bloke I fancy
I don't want to two time you
So it's the end for you and me."

"Who's this bloke?" I asked her
"Gordon," she replied
"Not that puff!" I said dismayed
"yes, but he's no puff," she cried.
"He's more of a man than you'll ever be."

Here we go -- 2, 3, 4

I was so upset that I cried
All the way to the chip shop
When I came out there was Gordon
Standing at the bus stop

And guess who was with him?
Yeah Julie
And they were both laughing at me

Oh she's cruel and heartless
To pack me for Gordon
Just because he's better looking than me
Just because he's cool and trendy

But I know he's a moron
Gordon is a moron
Gordon is a moron
Gordon is a moron

Here we go -- 2, 3, 4

Oh! She's a slag
And he's a creep
She's a tart
He's very cheap
She is a slut
He thinks he's tough
She's a bitch
He is a puff

Yeah yeah - it's not fair
Yeah yeah - it's not fair

I'm so upset
I'm so upset
I'm so upset

I ought to smash his face in
Yeah - but he's bigger than me - ain't he
I know I'll get my mate paddy to hit him
He'd flatten him
Yeah but Paddy's a mate of Gordon ain't he
Ah well - I don't care
Oh I don't care.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Words please

I had a friend request on my MySpace yesterday from an Italian band called Mondrian Oak. As I always do with music requests, I listened to a bit of one of their tracks before deciding whether or not to accept.

On it went and it was okay. But it went on a little longer and no words were forthcoming. So I skipped ahead, and still no words. I checked out their band members: nobody credited as vocalist or singer.

I had to decline their request, cos I don't really understand music without words. I just don't get it. This is an opinion I have held since childhood. For me, it's virtually all about the lyrics.

I watch a film, and someone might say, "What a great score." And I'll go, "Really? Can't say I noticed." Occasionally, though, a score will strike me and I'll like it, like the one in There Will Be Blood. But that was like non-music -- like atmpospherics, industrial noise, and music all rolled into one. And that's different.

Equally, if someone said to me to listen to a particular piece of scoring, then I could listen to it and give an honest opinion of how it worked in conjunction with the film's images. But all too often I feel that movie music tends to manipulate me, the viewer, towards an emotion that the director was unable to take me via the acting. That's lazy scoring, and I just block it out, subconsciously.

A few months ago, I was at a nice lunch with some colleagues, and a piece of classical music was playing (don't ask me what or whom). One of my fellow diners got very impassioned about an upcoming part and urged us to pay attention. I did. But meh. I just ... I just don't know...

Maybe I'm a product of my time, like Marc Bolan, "a 20th-century boy".

And when I watch University Challenge and the music round comes up, I'm always gutted that they focus on classical so much. But the funny thing is, nine times out of ten, these kids, when faced with something "pop" or "rock" from the past 50 years, have no clue what it is they're listening to. That's just plain weird for me.


Monday, August 11, 2008


It's been a week since my last post. I don't know what to write really. I'm feeling a bit blurg. Not ill; just blurg.

Went to the tattooist last Tuesday for my penultimate sitting on my backpiece. Loving how it's looking and can't wait for it to be done. Not cos I'm bored of it, but because I just want it to be complete and awesome. And then I can start thinking of my next pieces. Well, of course I already am thinking of my next pieces, and I have at least three ideas loosely sketched out in my head, maybe four.

Yesterday, the missus and I went for our regular constitutional at Whitstable beach. As ever, it was lovely, and a nice day for it. Rather too nice in fact, since I burned the fuck out of my neck. Then we went to see the movie Mamma Mia! I really don't know what we were thinking. Truly, truly awful. But I knew it would be, despite the rather glowing review it received in Sight & Sound. I almost feel like writing that revered journal of cinema a letter of complaint for misrepresentation.

What else? Meh, nothing really. Still v busy with work, hence my continued absence from both here and from your blogs. Sorry guys. I will get back on track soon, I promise. And I'm not even crossing my fingers.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 04, 2008

Solomon Grundy, for real

I write this with no malice or insensitivity intended, but it just struck me how tragically Solomon Grundy-like the subhead was for this news report:

"The British couple shot on their honeymoon in Antigua will be buried together after a funeral service at the church where they were married three weeks earlier."

I hate the way they are reporting this as a botched robbery. Like any newlywed couple on the last day of their honeymoon would put up any resistance to armed intruders. They'd be, like, "Just take everything you want and go, please." People are cunts.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Anniversary dining, part two

So, unfortunately, the second of our intentionally posh meals turned out not to be as posh as we'd hoped, bourgeois cunts that we are.

As we arrived at the hotel, first impressions were not promising. It looked just a little ... yesteryear, shall we say?

Second impressions neither -- being told by the "hostess" that she hadn't been pre-warned of our arrival. Not that it mattered really because seemingly nobody ever comes here.

The venue was a hotel just a couple of minutes' drive from Canterbury town centre, and were it not for the presence of a large table full of people in town for the 14th Lambeth Conference, there would have been just six diners. The quite loud American and Canadian priests and pals on the big table made me feel far more comfortable and less in need of hushed tones.

I ordered the French onion soup to start, followed by the poached chicken breast in a mushroom, cream, and tarragon sauce and served with boiled vegetables. Red had the same main but prefaced it with a salad of Portobello mushrooms and Brie.

The starters were good, the main not bad, though Red couldn't finish hers. I also opted for the chef's "legendary" double-baked cheesecake. Unfortunately the menu did not mention that after being baked twice the cheesecake would then be smothered with sour cream or crème fraîche or yogurt or something equally sour and vile. I scraped all that crap off and ate as much of the pud as I could. And it was not bad, though I would hesitate to call it legendary.

So, all in all a slightly disappointing but serviceable dinner, but it was always going to be impossible to follow our lunch.

No pix from either meal, I'm afraid, cos we just wanted to chill and enjoy our food. So often, anyway, when we take a camera, we are always so eager to eat that we end up forgetting one course or the other, or indeed try reassembling after the first couple of forkfuls in order to take a snap!

Thanks for the well wishes, y'all. Laters!

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Happy anniversary to me and Red!

Self-congratulatory, perhaps, but what the heck, eh?

It's 11 years today since we tied the proverbial knot, and we're dining in style, eating at not one but two posh restaurants, greedy pigs that we are.


Well, because we'd initially tried to book in at our favourite local restaurant for dinner: Read's at Faversham. They were fully booked for both lunch and dinner, so we opted for dinner elsewhere. Then we had a short-notice call to say a cancellation for lunch meant a table was now available if we wanted it. By then we'd already booked dinner and didn't really want to cancel.

Lunch was gorgeous, by the way. I had the terrine of confit chicken followed by beef on a potato rosti and spinach in a red-wine sauce. De-fucking-licious. Red had a salad to start and a main course of chicken wrapped in Parma ham, served on a bed of spinach and with a creamy mushroom sauce and a Mr Whippy-style swirl of mashed potato.

Oh, so heavenly. But given that we are dining out tonight, too, neither of us opted for dessert.

Seconds out, round two... [to be continued]

Labels: , , ,

Who links to me?