Love Albert Road Day

28 09 2009

Sunday 27th was Love Albert Road Day, where they close off the road, all the bars open their doors, there is swinging and swaying and records playing, there is dancing in the street (technically thats a Mick Jagger and David Bowie song, but you get the idea), the restaurants and cafes’ put stalls out the front to peddle their wares and people from Portsmouth drink alot.  The Wedgewood Rooms had a decent line up of bands too, and it was all free to get in.

H and I got there at about 12 (we missed the worlds largest Dance attempt to Thriller) but it was quite quiet, we managed to have a good look up and down the road and go in some shops, but by the time we left it was too busy.  An estimate of 80,000 people has been said, I think I believe it.  The problem wasn’t so much the people, but it was what they had brought with them, dogs, pushchairs, buggys all added to the chaos.  By the time we left at 3, the litter was beginning to pile up and it took us about 30 minutes to go 100 yards.

There were some good bands on though, and I especially enjoyed the Parkour exhibit (2 teenagers jumping off the top of a bus).









23 09 2009

As last night was tuesday, our depleated team made its way to the pub.  Myself the Housemate and Flat 6 Andy were the only ones there.

The picture round was flags of the Middle East and Asia, we got 9 out of 20, which was a bit of a fluke.  The Music round was even worse.  It was on 80’s and early 90’s hair metal (Van Halen, Kiss, Def Leppard and the like).  We got 2 and a half, getting Faith No More in there was a blessing.

In the ordinary rounds we came good, we even got 5 out of 5 for Art and Literature.  We didn’t think that we would win with a score of 47 and a half, but what do you know, we did, by 1 and a half points.  Its the first time in ages we have won.  Which was nice.

Victory for Haaaaave you met Ted!

End of the Deacde

22 09 2009

As we get to the end of the decade, people are starting on their countdown lists, and Music seems to be the one thats getting the most already.

I started with the Telegraph list, which annoyed me.

Then I found a guy on here who is doing his own list where he is counting down every day until Christmas Day.

This then led me to Pitchfork, who have done a top 500,  and I have to say that its one that I can see the sense in which is  good.

The thing is, nobody will get it right, its too subjective, and anyway, who else would pick Pack of Wolves by Nightbreed.

More Things.

21 09 2009

I was searching round the Blogosphere and came across this on the front page of WordPress.  Its another Things to do before I die list.  Its actually one of the better ones.  I typed this into the search bar, and most of them have the same sort of thing on there. 

  • Create World Peace
  • Go into Space
  • Write a Novel
  • Adopt a child

That sort of thing, which are all very noble (in the case of adoption and world peace), but mostly won’t happen.

I had forgotten that I had made a list a while back in August 2008.  A year later I have realised that I missed some stuff off of there:

  • Do the water experiment at the Equator
  • See a Basking Shark off the British coast
  • Visit Leptis Magna

and some things that can be added to the cool things done section.

  • Seen the Wildebeest Migration
  • Seen a Cheetah Kill
  • Go to Zanzibar

These probably should have been on the original list, but they weren’t.  At the moment the things to do list is stagnating a bit, I am sure that I will kick it into gear again soon.  For Everyone that has written one of these lists, good luck in achieving it, especially if you have put World Peace on there.

The Resistance

17 09 2009

I have been listening to The Resistance by Muse, and its a grower, I am beginning to like it a lot.  However, there is so much of it that sounds like other things, at times its disconcerting.  One part sounds like We are the champions by Queen.  One song sounds like Rufus Wainright.  The first bars of the album sounds like the 80’s BBC Snooker coverage.

On the other hand, so much of the album sounds so unlike other bands its worthwhile putting up with the other bits.  Matt Bellamys piano playing is outstanding, and his voice is great too.  I just need a long drive so that I can listen to the album as a whole without being disturbed. 

So at the moemnt I do like it, and I can’t see that changing.

Bestival Festivities

16 09 2009

On Thursday I took the Fast Cat across the sea to the Isle of Wight to be taken to Bestival Festival.  I got th the campsite with H and traded in my ticket for a nice pink Wristband and made my way down the treacherous slope of Robin Hill Country park towards the campsite.

Luckily for me H and her mum had already set up the tents before I got there and I just had to worry about getting my bag down the hill and opening a beer when I got there, which I sucessfully did.  A bit later we decided to go for a Tulipsmooch around the site and have a look at the decorations, we were greeted by giant Tulips and loads of flags as well as the stages being dressed in the Space theme of the Festival.  We had a few drinks and I bought a matching hat and shirt (Skull and Crossbones motif, very nice) from the Oxfam Tent, where I found out that trying to temporary Tattoo yourself with Clothing paint doesn’t work and it left me with a purple arm.  We then watched This is Spinal Tap on the big screen, and turned it up to 11 when we had a bit of a drunken dance to a cracking set by the Cuban Brothers.

Waking up the worse for wear on Friday morning I discovered that I had left the gas for the cooker in Hannahs car, so had to set off on an epic mission up the hill again early morning.  Once we were all Tea’d up we headed into the site again for the first band of the day, we selected our seats by the WI tea tent and Farmers Market (this beacme a habit for the next few days) and were

The Bandstand

The Bandstand

drinking organic apple and blackcurrant juice from local farms while watching Sun Down City (Short reviews are being added in the brackets afterwards…Good)

This was a good start to proceedings, and soon after their set we moved back down the hill to the Big Top Tent to watch Efterklang (Scandanavian lovliness)  followed by Fresh Legs (Shouty pop) on the Redbull Stage, then 2 doses of epic orchestral rock in the form of 65 Days of Static (blooming awesome) and The Workhouse (Glum), before heading again to the Big Top to watch Mercury Award Winner Speeche Debelle (One of my favourites of the weekend) play.  H and I stayed on this stage for a while and watched Maps (Twiddly Electronica), Filthy Dukes (Funky stuff) followed by Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.  Anyone that knows

Zoidberg and Bender

Zoidberg and Bender

me will know that I love these two, and their live shows do not dissappoint.  I had built this one up for H and she was looking forward to it, so I was hoping not to be proved wrong.  I wasn’t, and all of the humour and anger that comes out in Scroobs stage presence was still there, and I loved everything about it (does this make me a fan boy) down to Dan’s T-Shirt that said Dan Is Not A Jukebox.  He has now started to sing on stage too.  What I liked better was when they said they would be playing a smaller gig at one of the stands at midnight the following night.

From here we caught Passion Pit (Unexpectedly good) Friendly Fires (Unexpectedly Bad), MGMT (terrible, really really terrible) before the nights Headliners, Massive Attack.  Thsi is a band that I have wanted to see for years, I love Mezzanine, it is one of my favourite albums, and for them to play most of it was a great moment for me.  The real highlight was Unfinished Sympathy.  The vocals on this made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, it was simply spectacular.  We walked the site for a while after this and then headed to bed.



The next morning we headed back up for a juice and sit in the sun and watched The Kurves (Summery), before going to see Chew Lips (Electronica), The Hot Rats (Supergrass doing covers, Ace.) Fight Like Apes (Crowd Pleasers), VV Brown (chilled out and relaxed funk).  We saw a couple of bands on the main stage The Golden Silvers and Goldie lookin’ Chain.  Both of them were poor.  On their day the GLC can be amazing, but this wasn’t their day.  The Golden Silvers for some reason I have been unlucky enough to see 3 times.  I still think they only have one good song.

At some point during the day H went to see Mika, which was apparantly good, but I went to see Skint and Demoralised, and Micachu and the shapes.  Both young bands, both good.  Micachu is about 12, but they have some great tunes.  I met up again with H to see the Beat, the Ska band whose biggest hit Mirror in The Bathroom has some great sax on in.  It turns out that H’s mum went to school with one of them and she thinks that song was written about his sister.  The Beat were probably one of the highlights of my day.

Seasick Steve

Seasick Steve

After a quick bite to eat we watched Seasick Steve (twangy guitar genius), Klaxons (pretty good), a DJ set from Underworld (terrible) and then Electronic music legends Kraftwerk.  I was really looking forward to this, as I expected a spectacle on an epic scale.  I wasn’t dissappointed, they were technically excellent, with great backdrops, but at this festival it didn’t work at all.  So many people left before the end the field must have emptied by a quarter, which is a shame.  The idiot that was trying to shine a lazer in one of their eyes should have been kicked out of the festival.  Still watching 4 old blokes standing still was actually pretty interesting.  Especially when they were replaced by robots for the encore.  From here we headed to the X-Box tent for the secret DLS vs SP gig, which again was fantastic.

The Sunday was a more chileld out day altogether.  H and I again went for juice and fell asleep on the hill this time.  The weather was hot and H got sunburnt.  We Saw Shanklin Freak Show (Like Marylin Manson, but from the Isle of Wight) and the Low Anthem (Really good, but didn’t play for long enough.

Main Stage

Main Stage

We also caught King Size Slim, Bastilla and Eat Static before the main stage finale for the weekend.  First up were Doves, who played brilliantly, then Fleet Foxes with their beardy folk harmonies and were excellent and then came Elbow.  I don’t know what else to say apart from this was probably the best band to end a festival with.  They were great all the way through, but the encore was purely phenomenal.  2 songs that just felt right after the weather and the good time that we had this weekend, Weather to Fly and On a Day Like Today.  Not sure weather it was the wind that had whipped up or the music, but the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.  As they finished, fireworks started and the last festival of the summer came to an end.  All I had to do was get the 5.45am Fast Cat back.

All of my photo’s are available on Flickr

The Bus

10 09 2009

Because I am going to Bestival today I had to get the dreaded Bus in to work.  I don’t like the bus and I don’t care who knows it.  It is why I have a car.  I like sitting on my own in Comfort, listening to music.  I don’t like sitting next to some smelly builder waving his copy of the sun all over the place. 

Unfortunately for me this bus route is the school route for 5 different schools, so it is constantly full of noisy kids too.

Like I say, I don’t like the bus.  Its expensive and slow too.  although when you dive the cost by the minute, its not too bad at nearly 5p a minute.

So there you go, I don’t like the bus, but I will have to do it again on Monday.  Thats twice in a year.  Rubbish.

Happy Birthday

9 09 2009

Happy Birthday to H.  We went out for a meal last night and she has gone to the Isle of Wight today.  I will be going tomorrow to join her for Bestival.  Its going to be good.

I am not sure who I am looking forward to seeing more:

  • Kraftwerk
  • Massive Attack
  • Elbow
  • MGMT
  • Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip 
  • Seasick Steve

Its going to be good.

Cathedrals and Abbeys

8 09 2009

On Friday evening myself and H drove up to Worcester for what seems like the first time in ages for me (and the first time ever for H), where we were staying at Fatbob and Bimbo’s.  We were joined later in the evening by Dev, but not KP, who sadly had to look after the escapologist cat Frank (He escaped with a big anti-scratch collar on) and had some curry, made by Jackie abley assisted by Fatbob. 

We later headed into town  to the Hand in Glove pub for a few beers and were joined by Treble Cleff and Pete, where our usual talking rubbish insued until about 2 before we turned in for the evening.

Worcester CathedralThe next morning, slightly worse for wear, we had a sausage sandwich and then took a wander down by the river to show H the cathedral.  It turned out that there was a food fair going on, but as you had to pay £6 to get in, we decided against that one and headed inside for a bit of a look around.  It is an impressive building and I hadn’t been in there since my graduation, so it was nice to have a decent look around in there, including the Crypt.  After this we headed back and had a game of Trivial Pursuit before heading to the Marwood for an evening meal.

More impressively than the fact that they had Brew Dog Lusty Blonde on Tap, which is ace, the food was spectacular.  For starters I had 6 Garlic King Prawns.  For the Main I had a Steak cooked beautifully rare with Honey Roast Vegetables and Fat Chips (basically half chip and half roast potato, all very tasty).  Desert was a Chocolate and Pistacio fudge cake with Lemon Sorbet.  I left feeling full, but wanting more.

The best desert was H’s Pannacotta, which had popping candy on the top.  Very nice indeed.  We had a good long meal, but called it an early night, as we seem to be getting too old for late-night exertions 2 days in a row.


Tewekesbury Abbey

On Sunday we had plans to visit Mack, Spanner and the sprog, so we went to Tewkesbury on the way to have a look at the abbey and the confluence of the Severn and Avon rivers.  Being geography geeks, this was a bit exciting for us.

Saying goodbye to Fatbob and Bimbo we headed towards Fairford for lunch at Chez Chick and then home.  All in all it was a good weekend, so that is even better.

On A More Interesting Note

2 09 2009

I have not been to a gig in a while, partly through trying to save money,  partly through going to Bestival net week and mainly because there hasn’t been a lot on.  Today I was flicking through the Portsmouth Guildhall and found that teh Flaming Lips were playing.  It was time to unleash the card for that one.  Very exciting.  They are one of those bands that I have liked for ages and wished that I could see.  Turns out now that I can.  Which is nice. 

Sorry if this is 3 posts today…but I was excited.