Random Diary

17 05 2010
This is a bit of a catch up Blog, as I have been on Holiday and got lots to tell you, about all sorts of different things.  I am going to do it diary style.
 
Saturday 8th of May – Celebration of Steam at the Historic Dockyard.
 
H and I decided that we would go down to the Celebration of Steam, not sure what it would entail, but we had a great day.   Our £12 ticket, got us entry to HMS Warrior, which I had wanted to go on for ages, a Harbour tour on a

Traction Engine

boat, where we got to see part of the British Navy that is docked in Portsmouth.  As well as this there was a collection of traction engines and steam powered memorabelia including the world record holding fastest steam car in the world, which took the record by going nearly 150 mph.

 
There was also an Ale and Sausage Festival where we had a local tipple and an Ostrich burger.  Which I can say is very nice.
 
Monday 10th May – Natural History Museum – London
 
As we were flying to Riga Early on Tuesday we had decided to stay at Stanstead the night before which gave us the opportunity to go to London.

The Natural History Museum Dinosaur

  We had wanted to get to the Natural History Museum for ages and it didn’t disappoint.  It is spectacular but we could have done with having more time. 

 
After a swift meal in China Town we headed to Wimbledon to meet with May-Z who unfortunately wouldn’t be there for my birthday.  We had some great conversations about professional quiz-masters among others.
 
Tuesday 11th May – Riga
 
We flew to Riga from Stanstead on Ryan Air.  It was ok.  It was also my Dad’s birthday, so happy birthday to him.  I will write more about Riga in another Blog, but it was great fun.
 
Saturday 15th May- FA Cup Final
 
Pompey were in the FA Cup final, after a turbulent season with Relegation administration, numerous owners and players jumping ship, we had battled our way to Wembley. 
 
We defended brilliantly in the first half and were saved by the woodwork on 6 occasions and went in at half time 0-0.
 
Daring to dream in the second half, we had a penalty, which Kevin Prince Boateng scuffed and was saved, and then Didier Drogba scored the winner.  Not what the fairytale deserved.
 
Sunday 16th May – World Twenty-20 and Gigs.
 
Well done to England, World T-20 champions.  It was a brilliant final, with all parts of our team on fire.  Bowling was economical, Craig Kieswetter and KP were on fire, and we were finally steered home by Paul Collingwood and Eion Morgan with 3 overs to go, a huge margin in this form of the game.  To beat the Aussies was the icing on the cake.
 
As soon as this had finished I rushed out the door to go and see North Atlantic Oscilation at the Joiners. The Sarah Griffin Band were great, the Rebs were average and NAO were probably the best band that I had seen this year.
 
There you go, brief, but good.  I will catch you up on Riga later.  




Best Coast

4 05 2010

Last night I went with H to see the second of the Joiners Escape gigs. After Friday nights Little Comets gig my expectations were high, as all 4 bands had been good, I thought this one would be too.

First up was Yaaard. Yaard was one guy and a laptop, and so far I haven’t worked out if he was absolute genius or utter rubbish. The more that I think of it I believe he is a genius. His singing of the lyrics is awful though. But if you put a tiny Japanese woman singing them, he would be the toast of ATP. Possibly not with his cover of Chaka Demus and Pliers hit Tease Me. If you have a listen on his myspace site, let me know what you think.

Secondly was Elders, who weren’t very good and I can’t be bothered to find a link for you. They were distinctly middle of the road and can stay there.

Finally we had Best Coast. I hadn’t really heard anything of them to start off with, but I am very glad that I have now. I liked them a lot. This fuzz pop (I read it on pitchfork, so it must be a genre) 3 piece are led by frontwoman Bethany Consentino, who has a great voice and excellent tunes. I would tip them for great things, but what the hell do I know. I will say that they will continue to make great music, and I will probably buy it. I am a convert.

Here is a video for When I’m With You.

Interesting factoid here, I said to H that the Bobb (who was drunk) the guitarist looked like he should be at an ATP festival, and it turns out that he has been, he is also in The For Carnation.





Little Comets

1 05 2010

Southampton Joiners is a great little venue, and now, they have joined forces with Brighton’s Great Escape festival, to bring a series of gigs under the banner of the Joiners Escape festival.  Last night was the first of the shows, which once I had found someone (Andy) to go with I was really looking forward to. 

Little Comets were the headline act and I had heard some good reviews of their sets and what I had heard of their music I really liked (think of a Geordie Vampire Weekend, fronted by a chap that looks an awful lot like Jonny Borrell from Razorlight).  Anyway, I digress.

First up were a band called Drawings who were a good start to the night, secondly were the brilliantly named Mammoth! Mammoth! (not to be confused with the Aussie Rockers MAMMOTHMAMMOTH) and equally good sounding.  These had a harder edge that I prefered.

The third band on were the stupidly good and also 12 year old Blonde Louis, they have a very polished sound considering they have a collective age of under 50 (possibly).  I recommend giving them a listen.

Little Comets came on and were excellent.  I am having writing issues today so I will leave you with the video for the brilliant One Night in October.





Sound of Rum

29 03 2010

On the last blog that I wrote, I had been to see Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.  I had been impressed by Sound of Rum who were supporting.  Today I came across this really good interview in the Independent, with Kate Tempest, the lead singer and Spoken word Poet. 

I just thought that I would share that with you.





Dan is Not a Jukebox

26 03 2010

So I went to see Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip for the fifth time last night.  Nothing wrong with that, they are great live and I like their music, which is a great start.  The support was from Sound of Rum, who were female rapper Kate Tempest and a couple of guys playing drums and Guitar.  I liked them a lot, although I couldn’t get over the fact that she sounded like Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against the Machine.  Next up was B. Dolan (no wonder he calls himself B.  Who has heard of a rapper called Bernard?), who is fairly intense, but incredible.  I always like a bit of hip-hop and this was some good stuff.  If my shoulder didn’t hurt from cricket, it would have hurt from Hip-Hop shoulder.

Finally on came Dan and Pip, who started with The Beat that my Heart Skipped, followed up by Sick tonight off their new album.  The new tracks held up well and people were dancing like crazy in the middle.  Dan with his sore throat couldn’t sing properly, but that was ok, as the crowd filled in for him.  Through the 75 minutes, the duo ploughed through most of their two albums.  There were a couple of tracks that I would have liked them to play, but the set was great and finished with Thou Shalt always Kill, Great Britain and Letter from God to Man.

It was a great night, which H and I enjoyed a lot.





The One and Only

5 02 2010

Last night I popped my Cellars cherry with a trip to see Chesney Hawkes, yes, him of The One and Only fame.  Do you know what, take the piss all you want, but he was actually great.  More than just a footnote in musical history. 

I didn’t really want to go, but said I would as it is one part of the Boy Lord’s leaving do (he moves to Korea to teach English in just over a week).  So we got there and it was busy, not packed, but busy enough.  We found a decent spot to stand and waited.  2 support acts came on and went Dirty Sky Jones was very good, and quite comical. 

Not however as comical as Chesney.  If your career highlight was a one hit wonder back in 1991 (actually theer were 2 follow up singles, number 28 and 68 in the charts respectively) when you were 18, I guess you have to be.  The last 19 years appear to have been good for him, his songwriting really is very good, and his voice is good too.

He is not so much of a joke anymore in my mind, but he finished on The One and Only and it got a big sing-a-long.





Review of 2009

4 01 2010
I have been neglecting this blog for a while and concentrating on my photo blog, which I really enjoy doing.
 
So to kick off this year, I thought that I would do a kind of review of the year for 2009.  I don’t think I am doing a Spex awar this year, mainly because I can’t be bothered.  I am getting Lazy I think.
 
January started off with New Year in the most random pub in the world and a trip to a brewery for May-Z’s birthday, and then not a great deal happened, until February when I started going to Gigs again, Iglu and Hartley was the first of the year.
 
In March, not a lot happened again, but I saw a couple more bands.  April was great though, I met the wonderful H and we had a lot of fun.  I also formed the Victorian Gentlemans Amaretto Drinking Club (Fingers Up) in a pub in Worcester and went to Thorpe Park for the first time that year.
 
May was pretty good, my birthday was superb, we had a lot of fun, and then I went on Safari, this took me until mid June and was one of the most amazing things that I have ever done.  June came and went with more gigs and a trip to the Isle of Wight.  July flew past with Mark Cavendish winning 6 stages of the Tour De France and the Ashes starting.
 
August saw the completion of the Ashes, with England victorious, me failing to walk the Southdowns Way because of injury.  September included Bestival, which was superb, (Elbow were sublime) and Love Albert Road Day which was good too.
 
October was my month of blogging and to be honest it is some of the worst things ever written, I did start taking a lot of photos though.  In November I saw the Flaming Lips, which was about the only thing I did that month.
 
December flew past, with ATP and christmas, and I cooked for H on New Years Eve.
 
All in all, not a bad year.




Good but Not That Good.

30 12 2009

So, I should have written this last week, but I have been really busy, and to be honest I didn’t really know what I was going to say.  We toddled off to minehead for ATP meeting up with Jackie, Neil and KP, getting into the chalet really early.  Which was nice, but we had a few drinks and had to wait for Dave and his mates to turn up to get Jackies wristband.

Unfortunately they were a few drinks too long and by the time we left the chalet, we had missed Alexander Tucker and hit Bardo Pond.  To say that they weren’t really our thing was an understatement.  Neil called them Boardo Pond.  We then saw Om, which I really liked before moving to another stage for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.  They were really good.  Things started to go a little fuzzy for me then and I had to go and have a lie down, missing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Luckily I did, because apparantly it was terible and Neil had to get dragged out of the front of the Mosh pit.  I managed to regroup and then went to see Múm (pronounced Moom), who were really good, but tiredness got the better of me and at the end of them we headed back to the chalet.

Waking up the next day Neil, H and myself headed to the swimming pool for a few goes on the slides and then went into town for a bite to eat.

Saturday evening came and we had seen Shellac, Melvins, Porn…before Modest Mouse came on.  I was so excited about this, they are one of my favourite bands, and having seen them before, I was looking forward to a great show…

What I got was the start of a great show, with dody sound quality and a lead singer whose voice was nearly gone.  Musically they were awesome, but when the lead singer is swigging from a bottle of vinegar and cayenne pepper you know that you are going to be in trouble.

When a couple of them had a chat on stage, you knew there was going to be an early finish to the gig, but any normal person would have done some of the big singles.  A Modest Mouse set without float on is just dissappointing, and that sense of dissappointment followed me through the whole evening.

We went and had a few drinks in the Crazy horse before heading to see Beak>.  We didn’t last very long as none of us were really in the mood for bleepy electronica.

Sunday Started with a swim and a game of 10 pin Bowling before going to watch Shellac, The Magic Band (they may be old and not played live for 3 years but god were they good) and then to one of the highlights of the festival for me, Deerhoof, before the grunge of Mudhoney and a bit of Sun O))).  The Last band on the main stage was The Mars Volta, and they were spectacularly good.  We then saw Tall Firs and Sleepy Sun, before calling it a festival.

The next day we took a walk on the beach and had a cooked breakfast in the cafe recommended by Shellac before the drive home.

Although the Sunday was good, I couldnt shake the dissapointment of the saturday night.





ATP 3

10 12 2009

10 Years of ATP festival starts tomorrow, I will be there, its going to be legen…wait for it…dary! 

It really is, apart from the fact that I havn’t seen a band in a while, a lot of people that I know are going, so it should be excellent.

Plus the line up is good too, and apart from the fact that Breeders and Modest Mouse Clash (MM for me), I should get to see everyone that I want to.

So tomorrow, the first band on is Alexander Tucker and the Decomposed Orchestra, and we will be there as always.

I am quite excited.





My Favourite Gigs

4 12 2009
Its been a while since I have blogged, so I had better make this a good one.  As I made a very bold statement in my last blog that the Flaming Lips gig may have been the best gig that I have ever been to, which got me thinking, what are the best gigs that I have ever been to.  I have made some tough choices here and omitted some really good bands (Including Muse twice, Elbow and Radiohead who are my favourite band).
 
So here they are in vaguely Chronological order, with a bit about why I thought they were so good:
 

3 Colours Red (1999)- This has probably made it on to the list as it was one of the first gigs that I had been to, and one of my favourite bands at the time (Listening to Nuclear Holiday still rocks my socks off), but mainly because I was chatting to the Lead Singer at the back for ages. 

Goldie Lookin’ Chain (2004)- On the back of Half Man Half Machine, I went to see these (the first gig that I went to with the Jolly Green Dave Ware). They didn’t sound like any music around at the time and still don’t.  On their day (this one) there stage show is amazing, even when the power went out it was brilliant, they improvised a game show called Win a Date with the Maggott.  Sadly they are getting worse every time I see them. 

Gogol Bordello (2006)- Immigrant Gypsy Punk has never sounded so good, to have the drummer girls crowd surfing on top of giant drums was genius.

Apples in Stereo (2007)- You know when a new song hits you and you need to know what it is and everything about the band, that was what it was like with Energy.  Seeing them at ATP vs The Fans topped off the festival, it also helped that I was stood on a chair so that I could see.

Bon Iver (2008)- Again its amazing what a brilliant song can do to you, top it off with one of the best voices in Music at the moment, sat in a festival field with a paper cup of Cider when the sun comes out, you have near perfection. 

De La Soul (2008)- At ATP again, De La Soul provided a perfect hip hop party beat.

Vampire Weekend (2008)- Mansard Roof, was easily my favourite single of the year (probably of the last 5 years) and I may have said that the album could challenge The Bends as my favourite album.  I am not sure if it has or not, but this gig on my birthday was utterly superb.

…And you will know us by the Trail of The Dead (2009)- Awesome band name, awesome music, 2 drum kits, brilliant.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip (2009)- I have seen these 4 times now, the first in 2008 at the Joiners was great too.  This time was at Bestival though, their second set.  At midnight, in a tiny tent.  It was sweaty, it was loud, the place went mental, it was everything that all gigs should be.  I really can’t wait to see them agin in March.

Flaming Lips (2009)- See the last Blog entry, but this was a definite spectacle.

The main thing that all of these have in common is that I was there with good friends, and I liked the music before I went.  I suppose I had a pre-programmed idea of what the gig would be like, and I guess these lived up to the expectations.  The 3 big bands at the top that didn’t make it in aren’t the only ones that have had great gigs, some of the others include Skindred, Rival Schools, Modest Mouse, Le Savvy Fav, Futureheads, Editors.  I could go on, but I won’t.