27 02 2009

I have set myself a challenge for when I am on holiday in a couple of weeks, its not a big challenge and should be fairly easily achievable. 

I intend to ride at least 100 miles on my bike.  I used to be able to do this easily, so why not now.  depending on the weather I may try to ride the Isle Of Wight in a day.  Its only 65 miles around apparantly, and you can get a return ferry for just over 15 quid. 

I reckon that I will park my car in the University car park and get an early morning ferry over, ride it and then get the first ferry back that I can.  I didnt realise that they went 24 hours a day, so I should be ok, as long as I can get back before dark.  If I get in trouble, then I can find somewhere to stay for the night. 

I will be on holiday after all.


City of the Damned

25 02 2009

As you may know, I am not the most dynamic of people, and do like spending time in front of a computer, however I do like to get out of the office at lunchtime. 

Before I started working here, I very rarely came into the city, but now I do, I generally alternate the walks that I go for on my lunch hour, between the Seafront, Gunwharf and the city centre.  I am beginning to now despise the city centre, its grey and depressing.  The people are rude and normally the unemployed shoplifting type. 

If you aren’t dodging the pools of phlegm on the pavement you are being rammed by fat people in electric granny wagons.  Not because they can’t walk but because they are too lazy.  Also having to walk at either 2 paces a minute because you can’t overtake the herds of prams really annoys me.

Like most city centres now, you have to fight your way past the charity muggers, (although for fun a while back I did stop for a chat with one, because she was attractive and Irish) to get to the 2 shops that are still open that aren’t Mobile Phone Shops.

The staff are usually unhelpful and look just as unhappy to be there as the customers that they are serving.  I don’t think that this is particular to Portsmouth, infact I know that it isn’t and as the country is slipping into a depression, I think it is going to get worse.  It doesn’t help that there are no different types of shop.  I much prefer the smaller towns with the independent retailers.  If only Albert Road were within walking distance.

I think that I may have to alter my walking patterns to avoid this, as its really beginning to annoy me, I might try and spend some more time at the seafront, or read a few more books during my lunch break.

(Glas)Vegas Baby!

20 02 2009

So the end of my self christened Mini-Spexfest where I have seen 9 bands in 4 days.  Last night was the NME awards tour, with Florence and the Machine, White Lies, Friendly fires and the mighty mighty Glasvegas (do you get the idea that I like this band, their album was probably my 2nd favourite of the year after Vampire Weekend, but that is a different story).

After me and the housemate turned up late, we caught the last 3 songs of Florence and the Machine, who picked up the Critics choice NME award.  Now, this is obviously a very talented band, with an attractive lead singer in Florence, but I just can’t get into them.  The harpist was good though.

Much more up my street were White Lies, with Death being my White Liesfavourite single of the year so far.  This is a confident band, with some great songs, and wether you like them or not, they will be huge.  This is probably the stadium rock band of the future.  As with all NME shows they rattled of the big 5 tunes from the album, and all were great.

The surprise of the night came from Friendly Fires.  I liked Jump in the Friendly Firespool as a song, but wasn’t really a big  fan of anything else that I had heard of theirs.  But, live they make so much more sense to me.  They have energy and tunes that make people want to dance around like goons in the hot and sweaty atmosphere of the Pyramids (one more reason why I don’t like this venue, its always so hot because of heating the pool). 

I’m not one to normally listen to what the NME say,m but when they said that Friendly Fires are one of the best live bands about at the moment I have to believe them, after last night, I really have to and I would like to go and see them again to play a whole set rather than the 35 odd minutes that they are allowed on the bill tonight.

GlasvegasAfter this came the opening strains of Geraldine, my favourite track off of Glasvegas, a song that gives me goosebumps the first time he sings “My name is Geraldine and I’m your Sociaaaaal Woorkeerrr”.  It did the same thing last night, but something was wrong with this performance for me, the setting was wrong, the Pyramids had ruined it with the crappy acoustics, and there was way too much feedback.  Now don’t get me wrong this was still a classy band playing a classy set and the crowd singalong to Daddys Gone was probably the best moment of the night, but I just didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to.

For those of you who want a slightly better review, see the NME.

£8 Well Spent

19 02 2009

I decided to trundle off to Southampton Joiners last night to see Fight like Apes.  Afro Aid and myself got tickets on the door got ourselves pints and promptly fell in love with the first band on stage, called Fresh Legs.

Admittedly the lead singer was cute, but she could really sing (think of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and you wont go far wrong) and they had some really excellent tunes.  Afro Aid got chatting to the singer at the bar and got himself a free CD.

2nd band up was a standard guitar 3 piece called something or another (not their actual name, I can’t remember) There was nothing wrong with them, and infact they had some Radio 1 airplay,  but in they were lost in the shadow of the first band.  After a swift set without much banter they left the stage and we awaited Fight like Apes.

Fight Like ApesAll I had heard of the band was what I had got from their myspace page, and that is probably why I wasn’t expecting too much.  What actually happened was that much Irish banter and crowd interaction happened (a bog roll was passed round to make headbands) and we all rocked our faces off.  Especially the guy stood in front of me who nearly broke my nose headbanging.  I like the Lead singers voice, and she looked like Amy Winehouse who had been dragged through a hedge, and their lyrics have a touch of comedy to them, so the best thing that I can say about them, and its a compliment is taht I will be buying the album at some point.

It was a quality evening that overran the curfew and also made us laugh, pict0214infact, its why I like going to gigs (that and its anotehr ticket stub for the album).  My ears a still ringing today,, but I suspect that they will be worse tomorrow after the NME Awards Tour (Florence and The Machine, White Lies, Friendly Fires and Glasvegas). 

Oh the 2nd band was called Overreact.

Small Improvement in Knowledge

18 02 2009

As it was Tuesday, I headed off to the pub quiz, which turned out to be much more difficult than normal. The picture round was TV chefs, which for 5 culinary challenged mid-20 year olds was a little bit of a problem.

Luckily however our times at University coincided with the heyday of  Can’t cook, Won’t cook  and we managed to scrape 12 1/2 out of 20.

Somehow in the exceedingly devious and tricky quiz we got ourselves 18, which was quite frankly a miracle.

After a few arguements between various members of the team, we came 3rd. Which was nice!


17 02 2009

I believe that I am what is now known as an infoholic.

I have far too many online profiles and feel the need for finding out information as often as I can.  I have a facebook account, myspace account (which I am going to delete) a Twitter account (where else can I keep in contact with MC Hammer, accounts on Shelfari, Flickr, WAYN (again going to delete) and 2 email accounts , as well as this wordpress one.

I do spend far too much time on the internet, I know that. However, is this type of online presence normal? Probably in computer geeks, but I don’t think that I should be in this catergory.

WordPress I like having, even though nobody reads it, it gives me a chance to rant away for a while.

Facebook keeps me up to date with all the inane stuff that my friends talk about, and keeps me occupied during the day.

Flickr I have just to occasionally put photos on. I may use it a bit more if I start taking more photos like I have been promising to do for years.

Shelfaris is a bit of a weird one, I like it because it helps me to know what I have read, but does it improve my life. Probably not.

Where Are You Now (WAYN) was quite good until I got thousands of pieces of spam a day, so am now deleting that one too.

Myspace I still use for music, but I really don’t need an account for that and I havn’t sent any comments to friends for a couple of years now.

Hmm, is online spring cleaning the way things are going, do I now collect memberships of websites like I collect CDs. I really think that I need to be out in the open a bit more, not stuck in the confines of the internet.

First of the Year

17 02 2009

I went to my first gig of the year last night and had a thourghly enjoyable evening.  Iglu and Hartley at the wedgewood rooms absolutely rocked.  Shame the place was half empty.  Again we weren’t the oldest ones in the place, but thats only because some of the kids parents were there.

The jolly green Dave Ware is under the impression that he won’t be going to as many gigs in 2 or 3 years time, because he will be too old.  I’m not so sure though.

We started going to gigs together about 6 years ago now, and the good far, far outweigh the bad.  I reckon we could have another 6 years in us.

The Perils of Finding a Plus One

12 02 2009

Part 1.  Confessions

Let’s put it like this, I could never be part of the New York of Friends or Sex and The City where everyone has a different date every Friday and Saturday night.  I hate the first date thing, it makes me nervous, and I am sure that I am not the only one.

Life was much simpler when I was at university, you would just end up with someone drunk in a club and then leave it at that for another week.  Nowadays I think that I am too old for a clubbing scene that I never really liked anyway, and I am definately more at home with a country pub than a rammed city bar, so where do I go to meet anyone.

A while ago I joined a well known dating site (Don’t judge me) to have a look to see if there was anybody out there.  Now for those of us with low self esteem, being ignored by thousands of women at the same time isn’t such a good idea.

Part 2.  Reasoning

The reason I was actually looking for a Plus one is that in the last 3 or 4 years I have been to 12 weddings.  All of them have been nice, but I have never had anyone to go with.  So when I got another invitation for Catherine and Steve’s I thought that I had better start looking.

Part 3. Unceremonious

Recently I have been on 4 dates with an unnamed (to you) young lady.   I thought that all things were going well, until I got a dumping email.  A bloody email.  Surely I deserve better than that.  Maybe I don’t. 

The reason that she ended it was that she “Just wasn’t feeling it”.  Fairly sure I couldn’t have done anything differently, I thought that she actually liked me but there you go.

Being dumped by anyone isn’t nice, but receiving an email at work when you are already having a crappy day really tops the lot.

Anyway, I might stay off of that site for a while, and actually concentrate on going out into the real world.  I am sure that this won’t cure my plus one burden, but you never know.

Strange Victories, Strange Defeats

10 02 2009

I was dissappointed to hear that the Silver Jews are no longer recording or touring. Over the last few years they have released some of the best lyrics in songs, and despite being in that dreaded genre Alt. Country, I loved them.

The Insomnia continues by the way.

Media Mogul

6 02 2009

I had a bit of a Splurge last week and ended up buying 6 albums and 4 books.  While I am at it, I would like to say that like the media mogul Robert Maxwell, I would rather drown than listen to Fourth by the Verve again.  There you go, got that off my chest.

Anyway, one sentence reviews of the albums.

Partie Traumatiqe by Black Kids

  • One great song, with the synths from Safety Dance, and thats about it.

To Lose My Life by White Lies

  • Its a grower, and the lead single is fantastic.

Stainless Style by Neon Neon

  • Gruff Rhys’ Voice is as ever amazing, but there are some ropey tunes at the end of the album.

Intimacy by Bloc Party

  • Still one step ahead of the rest, there are some brilliant tunes on there.

Strength in Numbers by The Music

  • Good stuff.

Fourth by the Verve

  • Shit.

There you go.  Its been a while and I have insomnia, so sorry this is crap.