Oops I inked me again

Tattoos hurt. Depending on where on your body, and what your pain thresholds are, the sensation of getting a tattoo can range from an almost soothing buzzing feeling, to a mild ‘scratchy’ feeling, through to a sharp cutting pain. I don’t mind the pain. It’s part of the parcel and becomes an intrinsic element of getting a tattoo, adding a visceral element to the trust you are placing in the artist. After all, you are allowing them to hurt you. There is also a formulaic/ritualistic element that comes to bear when I am getting a new tattoo. It all helps me get into the right head space I guess, and whilst each artist is different I’ve found they all go …

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If in doubt DIY

How many gigs do you attend each year? Which band have you seen most often? Which venue is your most attended? What month is ‘gig month’ for you? With quite a few gigs lined up in the coming weeks I’ve been busy scouring setlist.fm to create some sample playlists in Spotify to give me a sense of what said gigs may contain. Not all bands stick to fixed setlists though – Pearl Jam change theirs dramatically for each gig – but it gives me a sense of what to expect and has highlighted a couple of tracks I tend to skip, so it’ll be interesting to hear those particular tracks played live. It’s always interesting seeing what a band considers …

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Focus needed

With no apologies whatsoever, I’m gonna talk about going the gym. Again. The next block of ‘boot camp’ sessions starts on 4th October. It’s the third time I’ve signed up and have to admit I’m looking forward to it starting, and it’s got me thinking about how I can make it successful. The first time I did boot camp I went all in; I tracked my food in MyFitnessPal, tracked my weight, slept better, and was focussed on using the 10 weeks as a way to kick start a healthier lifestyle. As a result I lost weight, and my body changed shape enough that people noticed. I noticed too because my belts all had to be tightened in a new …

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Gin Festival

Last week I looked ahead at my calendar and realised that I had nothing at all planned for the weekend just passed. I wracked my brains for a second, it doesn’t take much longer, but couldn’t think of anything that I might just have forgotten to add. I really did have an entirely blank weekend. Bemused, I took to Twitter and that evening my query got a response from the lovely Sharon!  Do you like gin? Looks like I've got a spare ticket for the Gin Fest on Sat afternoon. If you don't mind me, Maw & Whiskey for company 😉 — Maul (@Maulin_Rouge) September 20, 2017 Do I like gin? Is a one-legged bear a catholic?!* And so it …

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LCD Soundsystem

The Barrowlands is probably my favourite Glasgow gig venue. Large enough to generate a good crowd atmosphere, small enough to feel intimate, and tarnished enough to feel alive, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a gig there that wasn’t good. Add in a band that has a good live reputation and it was with an intrigued anticipation that I stood and waited through the last couple of tracks of the support act, Hot Chip’s James Goddard, for my first ever LCD Soundsystem gig. LCD Soundsystem have bounced around my music conscious since they first arrived, I was aware of them but nothing really clicked with me until Sounds of Silver where they started to make sense. That said their …

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AirPods, finally

I’ve held off getting a set off these for some time but as my current ‘commuting’ in-ear headphones (JLabs Epic BT – discontinued) are starting to show their age, both in terms of wear and tear and in how the diminishing battery life is impacting the Bluetooth connectivity. Although admittedly the latter concern is purely based on my perception, but they do seem to drop the connection to my iPhone far more than they used to, even though I logically know that the science behind that thinking is bunkum. I do have another pair of bluetooth headphones – my wonderful Jabra Revos – but I prefer in-ear for commuting as they let in enough ambient noise to keep me aware …

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X or not

We’ve had a couple of days to digest the recent Apple keynote, and a few more days than that to pour over the leaked data that basically outlined all of the announcements and almost reduced the keynote to little more than a series of (mostly) slick product presentations. Almost, but not quite. There was certainly no hint about the opening video and tribute to Steve Jobs, which was a nice surprise and perfectly handled by an emotional Tim Cook, and it certainly added to the poignancy of the occasion. The new venue certainly looks impressive but I find I’m still stuck between thinking it’s either ‘over indulgent’ and/or ‘inspiring’ but there is no doubt it’s well designed with an incredibly …

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4 beeps in the night

I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour for once and was asleep in no time at all, my weary bones and tired mind happily conceding to the warmth of the bed and the darkness of the night. I fell fast into a deep and comfortable slumber. So you can imagine my consternation and the enusing ire when, not long after the clock swept past 2am, I was rudely awakened by a short series of loud beeps. Startled awake, my eyes opened to the dark and in my chest the loudest of crashing thumps began as my heart beat the panic drum. My mind raced to the source; was it the (unset) burglar alarm or one of the smoke …

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Six by Nico: Illusion

The fifth menu has arrived and so once again my intrepid friends and I ventured to Finnieston entirely unsure of what we were about to be offered. Typically the menus that are published don’t really offer that much of a hint of what is in store beyond listing some of the core ingredients, and given the theme of this menu I’ve hardly bothered to do more than glance at what we will be eating. Another wonderous evening of taste by @sixbynico A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Aug 31, 2017 at 11:45pm PDT That menu then: ‘CHICKEN’ – Lemon Thyme, Szechuan Pepper ‘PORK FILLET’ – Baba Ganoush, Pomegranate, Yoghurt, Sea Vegetables ‘TOMATO’ – Black Olive, Goats Cheese Panacotta, …

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Band of Skulls

Band of Skulls, innit @bandofskulls A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Aug 28, 2017 at 1:56pm PDT First things first, don’t let the name put you off, this is not a death metal (or any other kind of metal) band. Think bluesy rock, think White Stripes, think Slade, think Led Zeppelin if the songs were more melodic? … ohh I’m going to hell for that comment! I’ve seen them a few times now, from their first album tour where me and another 60 odd souls realised that ‘hey, these guys are good’ to an audience of several hundred a few years later. I am still waiting on their “big breakthrough” but, like Eagles of Death Metal (also NOT …

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