Worked at home today, been glued to this chair for about the last 6 hours without fully realising, at least that was until I turned my head to answer the phone.


Anyway, I always end up feeling decidely cut off when I work at home. Which is why I do it, obviously, for the peace and quiet and the ability to get things done, but I do miss the interaction of the office, particularly the jokes and innuendos and conversations that would make no sense to anyone else involved.

For example, two of us recently spent several minutes of company time trying to figure out how you would make “air asterisks”. See, I told you it wouldn’t make any sense.

Time for a coffee, maybe a light dinner, and then I’ll hit the blogs. More work to do this evening, but of the fun kind – finishing a blog design.

Now, you HAVE all remembered that it’s Mothering Sunday this weekend, haven’t you? Of course that only applies to those who ‘keep’ such occasions, so you lot that moaned and bitched about St. Valentine’s can just ignore the last sentence. 😉

And finally, for you all mashup fans out there I suggest you grab this (via). It’s a wonderful mix of Scissor Sisters, The Beatles with a little Aretha and George Michael for good measure.

Are any of you mashup fans? Got a favourite track? Let me know!


The Brit Awards have rolled around again and somehow the best single of the past twenty five years it Angels by Robbie Williams (as voted by Radio 2 listeners which I think says more about them than the state of pop music). I sincerely hope that is NOT the legacy we are offering our children!

Thankfully most of the awards seem to have gone to the correct recipients this year. With the exception of the following:

  • Gwen Stefani – I wonder if we’ll look back on Gwen Stefani’s International Female Solo Artist award as a bit of a blip? Mind you, given the other nominees it’s understandable.
  • Jamelia – should have won either British Female Solo Artist or British Urban Act, surely.
  • Keane – Best Breakthrough Act? A weak category (god knows why) but would’ve given this to Franz Ferdinand who have had a much bigger impact musically. Non?
  • Scissor Sisters – Best International Album. Album? No I don’t think so. I think the band award is more accurate as so much of what they are about concerns their live act and their general fun personas. Outkast or Killers for me.

Hell, I’ll even concede Will Young’s best single and Keane’s best album awards and if you really push me I’d probably agree with McFly “winning” their award (those pesky kids probably rigged the voting).

In other music news, Prince has been crowned as last years top music earner (rumours abound that he will now change his name to King). Whilst I’m glad that he’s back in the public domain again, it should be pointed out that he hasn’t actually stopped making music, it’s just that none of his recent albums were released on a record label. You could buy them from his website though.

Anyway, the secret to his success is pretty obvious as a mandatory purchase of his last album, Musicology, was required to get a ticket to any concert on his US tour last year. No album purchase, no ticket. Singular. The man is a genius on more than one level.

And finally, I’m happy to say that I’m fully enjoying Lemon Jelly’s new album – ’64 – ’95. Recommended.

bookmark_borderT in the Park

My feet hurt!

Having spent the past two days, wandering round a field, stumbling over tonnes of discarded plastic pint glasses, inhaling enough second-hand hits to keep me high for a week, and only once almost kicking over someone’s line of coke… I have to declare that – T in the Park was fucking excellent.

Saturday was a bit of a washout, no it didn’t rain, but our bus to the site was held up by some rather spectacular examples of the species nedous arseholous. By the time we arrived we managed to catch the final chords from British Sea Power’s set, but decided to go and chill out in the hospitality area first. After a few liquid refreshments (unfortunately the sponsor’s beverage was the tipple of choice, or rather for lack of one), Faithless on the main stage were our next target. They took advantage of the ‘festival’ format by cranking out all the big hits, top stuff indeed, and an ideal band to put on at that time as they really got the place going, and managed to lift us from our ned induced funk. Highlights were new single Weapons of Mass Destruction and God is a DJ (of course).

After that we wandered round and crammed into King Tuts Wah Wah Tent to catch Ash. I’m not a huge fan but they were pretty sharp, and got the 20,000 or so people in the tent bouncing along.

Ben Kweller was next of my list, after some refreshments of course, and he was the first in a series of disappointments. Not that I got to hear him perform as the disappointment arose because the tent he was in was full by the time we got there. Arse! So apologies to Gillian and Robyn, I’ll grab one of his albums and find out what all the fuss is about.

That disappointment was to occur three more times, the next most notably being Basement Jaxx in the Slam tent. The queue to get in wasn’t even a queue (as in a line) it was more a melee of several thousand people all trying to get into the tent despite the signs saying FULL. Note to the organisers, some of the ‘dance’ acts should be on one of the stages!!! Glastonbury can do it, why can’t you!!!!! So, thoroughly pissed off at not seeing Basement Jaxx, we wandered about, caught a few songs of the Charlatans set (yawn) and decided to pitch up early in time for Muse (a good decision as even then we were pretty far back). We caught the last few tracks from the Libertines (average), and waited. As a headline act I was a bit wary but Muse didn’t disappoint, they make one hell of a noise for three people. They DO need to improve live though, whilst the playing was tight, there was little interaction with the audience and the closing 5 minutes of guitar wankery didn’t really help. In saying that the songs do work well live and from what our mate said we made the right choice as “The Darkness will be lucky if they even get invited back to open next year” (seemingly they did a Radiohead cover. The Darkness. Doing Radiohead… silly boys).

The only distraction at the end of the Saturday night were the fireworks from the main stage (which finished early than Muse) and the fact that my mate Alan pulled – despite telling the ‘charming’ young lassy that his boyfriend was standing next to him: “Ohh that’s fine, I’m still a good fuck”, she replied. You couldn’t make it up.

Sunday was an early start, and I think every person had the same idea. The gates opened early but there were only a few thousand in front of the main stage before the first act went on. What on earth was going on? Well, quite simply, EVERYONE was timing it to see the Scissor Sisters. Granted the Sunday was twice as busy as the Saturday, but even then we were a bit taken a back at the crowds gathered at the main stage. Was it worth it? Damn right it was, probably my choice as band of the weekend as well. Not only do they have a good mix of songs, but they know how to work a crowd and are obviously full of confidence. Add to that the fact they looked like they were having as much fun as everyone else and the set went down a storm. As for the tartan toga, the removing of underwear and the bareing or arse cheeks.. well.. it all helped!

A quick beer and back to the main stage (with a half a song diversion to catch Fools Gold by the Complete Stone Roses) for the ‘home town’ band of Franz Ferdinand. Again they have the tunes to get the crowd going and they didn’t disappoint. All they need to add is a cleverly chosen cover track and they’ll go far (it’s a theory of mine that a good live act knows how to use a cover track, or part of a cover track, to add a little bit more fun into their act).

Disappointment number three lay ahead, and despite planning for it, we were still scuppered by the damn Slam Tent. Groove Armada were the targets, and I suggested that the act before them, Adam Freeland, was pretty good so why not go in during his set. It was agreed and we finished our beers and set off. I should point out that the Main stage, NME stage and King Tuts Wah Wah Tent were all near each other, the Slam Tent was at the opposite end of the site. So we trudge down there only to be greeted, a full 50 minutes before they are due on stage, with the same sight that greeted us the day before. Thousands of people, standing, waiting, pleading to get in. We didn’t even try.

The side benefit was that we managed to catch a few tracks from Miss PJ Harvey (“she’s awfully loud for such a wee person”), before heading to the NME Stage and Goldfrapp. I’d heard some of their stuff but knew more than I thought, and they were very good live. Not the kind of band to incite a riot but more than capable of handling themselves, including Alison threatening to throw “something back at the next fucker who chucks their beer at me!”. You go girl!

Beer, food and off to King Tuts Wah Wah Tent to catch Orbital, and by chance the end of Electric Six performing Radio Ga-Ga, with the crowd hand clapping perfectly. Freddie would’ve been so proud (see what I mean about covers). Orbital were alright, not hugely my cup of tea, but Alan was keen so we hung around for a while. But we had a plan.

Now, bearing in mind that we had already missed two acts, and that no-one else was really bothered.. majority rule and all that.. and.. welllll…

We decided not to go and see The Pixies. Me bad. I know. Shot me. The quandary was to catch a track or two of the Pixies set and miss out on a decent spot for Massive Attack. Majority rule and we headed over to the NME stage and managed to catch the last half hour of N.E.R.D. who were ace! They’d tweaked some of their tracks to give them a rock edge, and coupled with the fact that two of the band are experienced MCs and they had the whole crowd jumping, and I mean the WHOLE crowd, not just the loonies in the mosh pit.

And then, all of a sudden, it was the last act of the weekend for us, and we scored prime spots right in front of the lighting desk, with our backs to a barrier, centre stage. Opening with Angel before sliding into Future Proof and I was hooked.

Now Scissor Sisters may take my vote for band of the weekend, but Safe from Harm easily gets best song, Massive Attack tagged on an extra ending featuring a really heavy guitar and.. as one we all turned to each other at the songs conclusion and stood there, gobsmacked. As a group, considering the number of singers they rotate, they were tight, provocative, and their music works well live. Teardrop started as the clouds finally broke and the sunset revealed itself, a hot air balloon floating overhead, yes it was THAT perfect.

We headed for the bus home with a wonderful euphoria – although that could’ve been down to the group in front of us who each went through about 12 joints during the set.

All in all it was a great weekend. It didn’t rain, and the blessing of hospitality (a little oasis of calm at times) was the making of it.. I’m getting a bit too old to be standing about for that length of time though, next time I’ll be taking one of those wee fold-e
y out chairs that a lot of people had. I’m sure I’ll recall more, but for the time being that’s it. I’ll put up some photos later.

bookmark_borderT in the Park #11

Doesn’t seem like two weeks ago that I started to bore you all silly with this… dammit, hang on a second…

(The only thing about sharing iTunes with my wife is the ‘shuffle’ mode which seems to prefer Wham! tracks to anything else).

Right, where was I? Ohh yes, firstly big thanks to everyone who commented, I won’t repeat it all again, suffice to say that if I have a crappy weekend I’ll know who to blame…

So, from all that sage advice, which acts will I be trying to see? Bold are MUST SEE acts.

Saturday: Ben Kweller, Michael Franti, Mylo, Basement Jaxx, British Sea Power, Faithless and Muse.
Sunday: Mull Historical Society, Orbital, Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, Goldfrapp, Massive Attack, Scissor Sisters, Franz Ferdinand, PJ Harvey, and last but not least Pixes (!).

Any other bands are bonuses, and there will be others as I doubt very much, especially on the Sunday, that I’ll be able to catch full sets for a lot of the artists. Add in to the equation the fact that I’m going with three mates and I’ll happily be swayed by majority rule (with some obvious exceptions).

It looks like Sunday is gonna be particularly busy, so I’d better NOT spend too much time in the Hospitality tent. I will be taking my camera, but offer no guarantee of decent photos – although as two of my mates are fairly accomplished I’ll be looking for some tips from them.

So, that’s about that then. I’ll be back on Monday with reviews, photos and stories. Hell I may even post whilst I’m there, we’ll see if the motivation strikes.

And you know what, I’m beginning to get just a little excited.

bookmark_borderMusic to..??

There’s a lot of music being discussed over at Troubled Diva and it’s made me ponder… what am I missing?

Currently I think Akufen (from a mate a work) is high up my ‘now’ playlist, but I still find myself going back to older albums, in fact I think the newest album that I listen to often is the Kings of Leon one, or maybe PJ Harvey’s last one (she’s got a new one out soon!). I’ll probably get the new Faithless album although the last one still hasn’t really made an impression on me.. so.. well…

What next? Keane, Snow Patrol, Scissor Sisters, Modest Mouse are the most recent stuff I’ve snagged, ohh and CLOUDdead (CloudDEAD?).. what is this summer’s “must have” album?


Plugged in for most of today, yesterday, day before, so Audioscrobbler is my main source of ‘fun’ at the moment (how sad is that?). Have to agree with the point made by Prol and Chris that it’s very “alt-rock” heavy at the moment (I’m probably not helping mind you…). Here’s what Chris said:

Make an effort to play your happiest silliest pop music over the next couple of days; the place is drowning in alt-rock at the moment. It’s cool, nobody’s going to laugh at you. And if they do, I’ll come kick their ass. Just let me know.

The Scissor Sisters fit that category, right?