A Spot of Contemplation

28 05 2008

For those of you that don’t know me, and I am sure that is a lot, I am currently on gardening leave from work.  This means that I have given in my notice but have been sent home on full pay for the remainder of my notice period.

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last week and still have no clue about what sort of job I am looking for.  The idea of teaching keeps going through my mind as does the fact that I want to walk the South Downs Way (A short term goal, but a goal none the less).

I have also been thinking about a lot of other life stuff and that really doesn’t seem to make that much sense either so what the hey…

A couple of weeks ago myself and the housemate watched a programe about exercise and the fact that you should walk 10000 steps a day.  As I havn’t done any walking for the last few days I am a little under this target, but the housemate walked 12.1km at work on bank holiday monday.  He is in the lead for now.



21 05 2008

It was the Explosions in the Sky All Tomorrows Parties weekend this weekend, and Myself, May-Z(from now on to be known as May-kwon), Dev (Lethal Nizzle) and KP (KP Diddy) trundeled off to Minehead Butlins for a weekend of music, swimming, beach cricket, emergency Ginsters and Hip Hop Shoulder.  This isn’t just a weekend of music, but is a great laugh.  It also boasts a line up that many other festivals would kill for.  Who else but the lovely and hospitable people of ATP could get defunct bands back together, attract some of the most critically acclaimed artists at the moment and 2 members of the Wu Tang Clan to play at a stage normally reserved for 80s has beens and crap chart acts. 

I am not going to write about everything that happened or even all of the bands that I went to seen, and I will apologise now for saying either superb, or awesome a lot, but these 2 words need to be used for most things that happened.

Now I like the ATP weekend, as the normally chavvy Butlins is taken over by a tattooed and bearded muso crowd.  There was more (Tattoo) ink on show in the swimming pool than in a bookshop. It is great to be wandering down the prom or into the shops and all you can see is people with the green wristbands on.

Anyway, we saw some bands, As this was curated by Explosions in the Sky, I will start with them.  They were slightly dissappointing, and I was really expecting them to be better than they were. 

On the friday we saw:

  • Constantines who kicked off the weekend in excellent style, with the lead singer cutting his own hair while he was singing.
  • Mono, the Japanese orchestral rock legends, who comprehensively out orchestral rocked explosions.  They were also thourghly nice chaps as we were stood next to them when we were watching explosions.  They also loitered around Butlins for the Entire weekend.
  • Dinosaur Jnr.  who I really liked, but Lethal Nizzle (from now on Ehtal Nizzle) fell asleep like an old woman.
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Ola Podrida, again, very good
  • The Octopus Project who we didn’t see very much of because the stage was rammed.
  • The Pale Gallery who were excellent
  • Four Tet, who started off well but seemed to get worse as the gig went on, which may have had something to do with the tiredness and Vodka.  I stayed up late to watch this with Kanye Ware (a friend of mine from the Homebase years).

Saturday started and we had a game of beach cricket and a few chucks of the frisbee before lunch in the Hairy Dog pub, and myself and May-kwon headed off to the old cinema for the FA Cup final.  After sitting in every seat on the balcony we found the best possible viewing platform to watch the mighty Portsmouth beat Cardiff one-nil thanks to a Kanu goal.  (We probably should have lost, but we didn’t so I won’t go into any great depth)

Straight from the FA Cup we went to watch Ghostface Killah (one of the Wu Tang Clan) in the very surreal environment of Butlins 2nd stage.  He was ace and really worked the crowd.  This was swiftly followed by  …And you will know us by the trail of the dead! who blew me away, but nobody else in the group seemed to like.

The next band we saw was The National, who put on one of the shows of the weekend.  They really were great.

We saw a spot of Eluvium and Lazarus, but spent most of the rest of the evening in the Crazy ‘Oss (Waaaah, Waaah), with me and Ethal dancing in the indie disco.  (Ethal dances like he is running, which amused me greatly).

Sunday came and after a brief dip in the pool we had a couple of games of 10 pin bowling, I won the 2nd, and should have won the first if I hadn’t scored 3 off the first 6 balls.  We ate lunch and then went to see Jens Lekman, who I would have seen the whole set, but he played my favourite song 2nd and the weather was so nice, that we all went for a walk around the beach.  We returned for Beach House and lasted 10 minutes before we went to see Polvo (who had reformed for the first time in 10 years to play here).  After a brief constitutional at the chattle we headed over to the main stage to see the Silver Jews (Great), De La Soul (amazing, never seen a band so happy to be on stage) and then back to the centre stage to see Raekwon, the 2nd of the Wu Tang Clan to play the weekend.  He was joined on stage by Ghostface, which was lucky as he kept forgetting his lines.  During both of the Wu sets, 2 things happened.   Firstly they got a guy from the crowd up onto stage to rap, and he turned out to be really good, and secondly they kept saying put your W’s up, which we had no problem with,  it just reminded me of the waca wave, with Ghostface as a ghetto Timmy Mallett.

We saw a few more bands and then left on the Monday for the long drive home.

There are a few inside jokes that I said I would post, and nobody else will get them…

  • The Tumour Auction
  • May-Z getting stimulus from the back
  • Jenga Tournament feat.  Michael J Fox, Muhammed Ali, and Daniel Johnson
  • Ethal Nizzle
  • Ghetto detectives-Bustarac, Wycliffe Jean and Agatha Ludacristie
  • Jepetto Macann and the the Pied Billie Piper of Hamlyn (Why havn’t the police searched there.
  • 6mm alan keys
  • 3 triple salkos, a double bass and a single to new street
  • May-z and hi bedtime picnic baskets

I am sure there are more, but I will have to be reminded.

I have thought of something else that had me absolutely creasing up at the time, It was when De La Souls band were warming up.  They sounded like they were going to do a mariarchi band set, leading to the song title Me, Myself and Aye Carumba, and their collaboration with the Silver Jews, Me, Myself and Oi Vey.

OK, not funny to anyone else, but myself and May-Kwon thought it was good.

I Love This Band

13 05 2008

Last night I went to see Vampire Weekend at the Wedgewood rooms and they were superb.  I think they are great and are along with DLSvsSP are my favourite band at the moment.  They started with Mansard Roof and finished with Walcott (funny that, playing a song about an ex-Southampton player in Portsmouth as your encore) via the whole album and more.  Oxford Comma was a real highlight though, and for the 45 minutes or so that they were on, all was right with my world.

The support band had some good tunes, but the lead singer looked like a chavvy Ian Curtis (of Joy Division) and insisted on singing everything with loads of Echo effect and it was still on even when he spoke.  This sounded really terrible.  Altogether they weren’t great which is good because I don’t feel too guilty about forgetting their names.

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to me.

60 Not Out

10 05 2008

Its my dads 60th tomorrow, so we went out for a meal with some of my parents friends to Rosies Wine Bar in Southsea.  I had a lovely meal, starting with Char Grilled Tiger Prawns and then, Whole Sea Bass in Coconut butter with Sauteed Potatos.  The prawns were delicious and the fish wasn’t bad either if a bit fiddly.  For desert I had a Passion Fruit Tart with red Berry Compote.  The flavours in this were excellent.

There was also a live Jazz Band  called the Freestyle Funk Collective (the female singer sounded great especially when doing the Brand New Heavies Covers) in the restaurant which added atmosphere, although the amount of wine that was drunk did enough of that anyway.  It was a very funny night and Dad was on top form joking about.  Anyway, happy birthday for tomorrow, i’ll see you for lunch.

Laughing Until It Hurt

8 05 2008

I suppose I had better write about this weekend as it was a monster of laughter an joviality.

I picked up the Ebster on friday and drove to the Woo where we met with Fatbob and Bimbo.  Bimbo had made us pizza and due to my apparant fussy eating let me choose the toppings, cue mushroom and chorizo pizza.  Nom nom nom.

The 4 of us then went out for a few drinks (it would have been 6, but a drunken Dev had upset KP, so they made the decision not to come out).  We went to the Swan with Two Nicks for a spot of jukebox abuse and then on to Heroes, where we all had a jolly good laugh at the Fonz look-a-like with his Diamonte (not Del Monte as I heard, there was no pineapple there) earring.

We hit the sack and then were up and about bright and earlyish for bacon sandwiches and toast, before the four of us took the train to Brum with KP and Dev.  Now this was quite exciting as Dev and Ebby hadn’t seen each other in 12 years after they went to school together.  As they chatted, we all almost died laughing as a small child licked the floor of the train.

In Birmingham we met with May-z who had took the train up and then proceeded to eat and make a map of the UK out of receipts (see that’s the sort of thing that happens when you get a load of geographers together).

Then onto the Slug and Lettuce for a few more drinks while May-z watched the football in the busiest pub in the world.  Once Birmingham had lost and were effectively relegated he came back with Rich, who can talk some bollocks, but is incredibly funny.  For the 2nd time that day I laughed until I almost died with the conversation about putting candles in your ears to help you relax.  I guess you had to be there. so about 5.40 we headed to our final destination for the evening, the Carling Academy to watch Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.  Support came from Gideon Conn who was ace and Producers with Computers who were also great and came from Portsmouth.  There was also the girl with the shortest skirt in the world and some pirates, but I am not sure they had anything to do with the show.  DLS vs SP were predictably brilliant, and I still think that Scroob is one of the best front men that I have seen.

After may drinks and plenty of pogoing we headed to KFC and then to the train home, ready for the next days trip to Hay-on-wye.  On the way to the train Ebby was looking at somthing Dev was pointing at and walked forehead first into a lamp post where she left a large amount of skin.

So on the sunday, the 7 of us (Me, Ebby, Fatbob, Bimbo, Dev, KP and May-z headed off to the international book town of Hay-on-Wye, its home to 57 bookshops and has far too many books for its own good, you really have to know what you are looking for.  Surprisingly with me being the bibliophile that I am, I came away with no books, while unsurprisingly everyone else did, especially Ebby who went rampaging through the Poetry sections like a mad thing and must have bought about 400 of the things.  We had a pint at lunch in a nice beer garden (apparantly the largest garden in Wales…well according to Dev anyway) before making our way back to Casa Fatbob and Bimbo for a game of back yard frisbee (Yard being the operative word, as 6 of us were trying to play in an area about a yard square) before we had to say our goodbyes and I took Ebby back home.

The Comedy List

  • The Text message that I got from Neil that I can’t repeat
  • Delmonte earrings
  • The Child Floor Licker
  • The Candle Conversation
  • The Watch Strap abuse
  • The Head banging incident
  • May-Z claiming Fatbob and Bimbos house
  • May-z’s weak and childlike bladder and tendency to hurt himself

I am sure that there were plenty more, so comments please and I will add them.

Not a Hip Hop Town

2 05 2008

I saw Lethal Bizzle last night, and although he was good and really got the crowd going, its a shame that there wasn’t more of a crowd.  Portsmouth definately isn’t a hippity hoppity town.

Saying that, the first support didnt come on until gone 9, and then it was more like an aerobics class with more music and “I wanna see those hands in the air” than lyrics.  Still I should have known what to expect really.  Im just too tired at the moment to really appreciate these things.

Anyway, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip tomorrow.  If its anywhere near as good as last time at the joiners it willl be brilliant.


1 05 2008


I went to see the Maccabees last night, who were great, really energetic considering that they have very little stage presence.  They were supported by Derek Meins and Jason Weller, both of whom were also pretty good once you got into them.  Meins set includes elements of performance poetry, that I am not sure many of the 15 year olds in the crowd got.  Josh Weller (I have just realised that I called him Jason earlier, but he was someone that I went to school with) was really good, sounding like Lightspeed Champion and looking like Moss from ‘the IT Crowd’.  With a head of crazy afro-hair that looked a little like Marge Simpson, this brings me on to the main point of this post.


Honestly some of the hair in the Wedgewood rooms was amazing, in a bad way.  I have not seen so many afro’s since I watched Shaft.  Although these weren’t cool afro’s, they were on skinny white 15 year olds.  The little ginger kid was the best.  He looked like a lollipop.

Then there is the greasy indie wannabies in their skinny fit jeans and vintage clothing with all forms of strange styles of hair.  Slicked down and brushed forward across the ears and sideburns.  One guy had obviously spent so long doing it to his that he had to walk round with his head cocked to one side so hat it wouldn’t move.  A couple of the guys in there obviously thought that Russel Brand is a good role model when it comes to hair…Why?