Faithless, Glasgow

I’m getting too old for the kind of gig I was at last night.

Too old to be on the main floor, arms raised, head back, jumping up and down in the midst of a writhing, sweary, ecstatic group of people all determined to give Faithless a little bit of payback for all the fun they’ve given us.

The place was packed, rammed to the rafters, there was no space anywhere so everyone just got on with things. Those that barged through had no choice, there were no angry exchanges, just bouncing, grinning, enthusiasm all round.

Epic. Was the word I used on Twitter last night and it still feels right. Maybe it was because I had no choice but to abandon myself to the whims and energy of the crowd, maybe it was because this was the ‘farewell’ gig from a band I’ve enjoyed for many years so I felt I had to give a little energy back to them, or maybe it was because their music demands such a response.

I’ve seen Faithless a couple of times before and by god do they know how to do a live show! They are most definitely a band, rather than the DJ led dance outfit which many of their tracks would suggest, and in a venue like the O2 Academy in Glasgow (an old theatre/cinema), with the bass reverberating, and the crowd in the palm of their hand, they nailed it.

The last few albums have been a bit hit or miss, so I can understand why they are calling it a day, but I’m sure they could spend another year or two touring the current setlist and still sell out wherever they go.



The main focus of the past weekend was the engagement party for my sister and her fiancé, and if I’m not mistaken it went without a hitch.

It was a self-catered affair in a local bowling green (cheap booze!), the DJ was good, everyone seemed to have a good time and there are rumours that I was spotted on the dancefloor. There may also be rumours that I was seen downing cola flavoured Stiffy’s Shots.

Aside from that we’ve done bugger all.


bookmark_borderA very lovely weekend

Blimey, time truly does fly when you are having fun. So please indulge me a little whilst I recap the past few days in an effort to try and remember some of the highlights, which will be hard as there were so many.

The weekend was focussed on the civil partnership of my friend Stuart and his partner Alan. They’ve been together for over 9 years so it was a real honour to be asked to be Stuart’s Best Man. Not that any of the weekend followed much in the way of tradition but.. well let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
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bookmark_borderQuestions Answered #1

In a desperate effort to gain some weird form of validation, I stole an idea for a blog post and begged my readers to ask me a question. And they did. The buggers. Now I have to answer them.

Question 1: Keith (my blogless* mate) asked “4.56 AM or other similar times that should not exist, what to do when you find your self there”.

The first thing to try and figure out is whether that time should, or should not, exist. It’s entirely possible for that specific time (and others like it) to exist in a very pleasant way. For example, and this is just completely off the top of my head, if you were, say, in the back of a stretch limo, supping champagne from the bottle whilst cavorting in a hot tub with a gaggle of supermodels, you might think “this is a pretty good time”, or (perhaps somewhat more realistically) if you were waiting atop Kilimanjaro for the sunrise, those would both be excellent examples of “times that most definitely should exist”. I’d warrant that if the time was 4.55 AM (in either of our scenarios) and as the second hand clicked round onto 12 everything disappeared to revel it’d all been a dream… well I was pis… you’d be pretty pissed off, right?

I digress (and for longer than you realise, although I really shouldn’t admit that I’ve spent the last few minutes figuring out which supermodels I’ve have in the hot tub with me… now, where was I? Ohh yes, why times shouldn’t exist).

Right, let’s presume that you’ve been trying, and failing, to fall asleep.

If that’s the case then anything beyond 2 AM counts as “a time that should not exist” (as do the years 1981-1984 but that’s a different story..) and you are probably wide awake and silently cursing your inability to get to sleep. You probably have to be up in a few hours for something important like a wedding or job interview (work itself doesn’t count), so you’ll be trying like mad to find that comfy spot in the bed so you can “drop off” (odd phrase that, surely dropping off the bed would wake you up?).

Right, so you are wide awake, so the first thing to do if get up out of bed. Let’s make sure your body knows that sleep is nowhere near, as this is stage one in the trick of “falling back asleep” that always seems to work for me (or at the very least MAY work for me as I’m making this all up as I go along, can you tell?). Right, downstairs, put the kettle on and boil the TV.

Done? Excellent.

Having now successfully blacked out the neighbourhood you can go back to bed.

You see, the only reason you are awake is because you are waiting for an alarm to wake you back up. You know that when the alarm goes off it will herald a new day, and possibly an “important event”. So, rather than lie awake, worrying about the alarm and the pending “important event”, this method removes your source of worry (no electricity = no pesky radio DJ screaming in your ear until you bounce the alarm clock off the floor) and you can fall asleep peacefully.


If anyone tries this method, do let me know how it goes as, obviously, YMMV**.

Ohh, and on a final note, if you are thinking of trying this method, I’d really appreciate it if you signed and sent me an official waiver or something first. Anything that absolves me of any blame whatsoever would be ideal. Thanks.

Sleep well.

* Doesn’t make him any less of a man though. Mind you, the big chuffers about 6’5 so I’m not ever really that inclined to argue with him or point out any character deficiencies. What do you think am I? Stupid? No, that is not a question I need answered.

** YMMV means “Your mileage may vary”. It’s one of those ‘geek’ abbreviations that a lot of people don’t understand. But hey, if they CBATG, then obviously the PEBCAK.

bookmark_borderVice Versa

“There is a light that never goes out” Morrissey sings into my head. I work on, aware that the tune was familiar, from somewhere else? (I don’t listen to The Smiths that often, did they do cover versions??). I paused to listen to the lyrics. VERY familiar. Where had I heard it before?

Somewhere. Faster maybe? Something with more of a beat to it? But surely The Smiths wouldn’t have borrow the lyrics from another song, no no, it can’t be that.

Then it came to me. Erlend Øye used the lyrics on “There Silikon Soul remix” on the DJ Kicks album bearing his name. A split second later I realised that, of course, it was he who had used the lyrics from The Smiths song, not vice versa.

A most odd feeling that, when a newer track takes on higher precedence, in my own personal song rating system, than the original. Doesn’t happen often. In fact I don’t think it’s ever happened to me before. I knew, and liked, the Smiths song long before I’d even heard OF Erlend Øye let alone heard anything he’d done. Yet somehow, his use of the lyrics has completely obliterated any recollection of the original track. Until now.

It’s not like having just heard the original version of a song you only knew as a cover version (even though you didn’t realise it WAS a cover version until you heard the original) nor is it the same as hearing an existing song reworked into something completely new as, in that case, you still have the existing song in your head.

No, for some reason my brain had switched the association of the lyrics “Take me out tonight, cos I want to see people who are young and alive, driving in your car, please don’t drive me home, because it’s not my home, it’s their home…” to the new Erlend Øye track and it was a bit of a jolt to hear the original Smiths version. Most odd indeed.

Having re-read that, I’m not sure it even makes any sense but then, when have I ever bothered about that?

My point is this; sometimes, despite the fact you know the original version of something, it doesn’t mean that it can’t change and replace itself in your affections. In other words, things change, sometimes for the better, and whilst you never really forget the original you do put it to the back of your mind whilst embracing the new.

I’m sure there is a deeper meaning in there somewhere.


Ghostwritten by David Mitchell.

A quick search confirms some basic facts about this book, including the oft repeated fact that it is an astonishing debut. Written in the style of a series of short stories that share a common thread the writing style never seems forced and flows from tense set pieces to languid descriptive prose without missing a beat, and somehow manages to keep both the stories and the reader involved.

Continue reading “GhostWritten”