Showing posts from 2008

Christmas Presents, and festive frolics.

Christmas Present
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway For Yule we had the party (see previous posts about yuletide flatulence and related photo GIMPing).

After that, well, 23rd December was spent in the pub (not all the day, just the afternoon)... not much else to say, although I did venture (on the bus) to Parkgate Retail World (now known as Parkgate Shopping) to collect pressies from HMV. HMV had totally tossed up and not got me Babylon 5 season 2 in, just 1 and 3... however me being crafty ol' me... I told them I wanted to cancel the order because they hadn't fulfilled it in it's entirety... I then walked over to the display, picked up Babylon 5 seasons 1 and 3 off the display unit and bought fresh copies - for £5 less EACH.

For Christmas I got:
Fold up 5 way reflector
Slave flash
Lens & Camera & CCD cleaning kit
Money to pay off the final installment of my DSLR
Various clothing
Chocolates (many of which were Ferrero Rocher)
A digital photo frame (bought with Xmas …

Experiments with the studio and lighting.

357:366 - Kris
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway This, folks, is the result of lighting fairly high (giving a slight gradient to the backdrop) with hard light on the right and softer light on the left, removing most of the shadows but creating a blend across my face.

Canon Speedlight pointed as ceiling using ETTL.
Jessops 300D on right hand side of image set to 25%.
Digital Concepts slave flash pointed straight at me with hood over it.

I'm sitting on a drum stool and in front of a pop-up backdrop (white one side, black the other).

Leather Trousers plus Curry?

Apparently with the right combination of leather trousers and curry this happens.

Thanks to Dave Winstanley for being the "model" in this shot... thanks to me for pulling his finger... thanks to my gas soldering iron's uncontrollable gas flow for providing the flame.

Am I the only person who thinks Dave looks ace in leather trousers?

When everything just goes right.

I am not a decoration.
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Miranda Moon was playing with the decorations on the tree and just happened to jump up at the back of the settee as I pointed my camera.

The result is... well... beautiful!

I am offering licenses for this image by emailing me at krishudsonlee although I am willing to allow registered charities to use it free of charge provided the correct written license is obtained from myself.

I do believe this may be my best ever cat capture.

A shocking reminder...

Please, don't drink and drive, for all our sakes.

In response to PAFFAP

The worst trousers in history?
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I found a blog which is actually really funny - it's called food and pants.

I wonder if one of my old photos is possibly a contender for the ugliest pair of trousers in history? They were quite nauseating and I remember this as one of the days of my life I would rather have not had to endure.

I seem to recall it was also quite early in the morning and this walking test card didn't help my tour-addled brain.

My first ever lolcat front page!

more animals

It's not often I use exclamation marks in the title, but one of my pictures has made the front page on the lolcats site. I'm chuffed about this, as you can probably guess.

Something in the water?

Something in the water?
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway It's always amusing when something like this happens, but it does prove that according to my facebook group - leather trousers are indeed NOT gay... in fact they are quite rock and roll.

Meanwhile, Mostly Autumn were superb (and I finally got a copy of their new album "Glass Shadows" although I haven't listened to it yet). They did some superb festive songs including Faerytale of New York and Merry Christmas.

PBII did a strong set too, and to be honest - I don't think a replacement bassist has detracted from how talented these guys are. He fits in well and they are as good as they ever were.

Heidi & Gonzalo - a very powerful set from these two. I can't wait for the full thing in April.

Prepping for a photo shoot...

Dave on the keyboard
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I've just been doing a few photos with Dave Winstanley in preparation for a "proper" photo shoot for the forthcoming CRS Follies album.

Quite a bit of it was trying to find angles etc. to match up with the site I'd like to use for this shoot. I just need to do a recon trip on the site to find out best positions etc.

I really liked this photo, however, and performed a little bit of magic with Digikam to fudge the contrast and convert it to a Selenium blue/grey greyscale.

The Moon

The Moon
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I went to the observatory last night for a little session of astrophotography.

Apart from my total inability to actually open the shutters fully (they are now really solid and hard to get moving) I did manage to capture a few nice moon shots through the murk and bubbling atmosphere.

Sadly, the atmosphere was very active and full of bubbles and turbulence so I couldn't get amazing clear stuff... not bad though for my first try with my camera on the Takahashi TOA130

Getting close

This isn't just cake...
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway The snow promised on Thursday didn't show. I was rather surprised looking at the forecast that it didn't snow, it just didn't. We have another threat of snow tomorrow... I'm not holding my breath.

Friday involved me getting one of these photo studio in a box things. It means I can finally get good clear photos of close up and macro stuff.

Hannah baked Christmas cake a while ago and it's been standing and aging for a while. Today she decided to decorate them... voila - my first close up work with the portable studio in a box. I'm very pleased with the results!

Daddy, Leave flickr alone, love me.

Daddy, Leave flickr alone, love me.
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I had to share this... it's beautiful!

Nothing else to say, except that we're forecast to have snow tonight.... I'm excited!


I know this picture doesn't really represent snow, but we didn't have any!

However.... most of the rest of Yorkshire did!. I was supposed to go to Rochdale on a test, but didn't make it in the end so had to do other things instead after I got as far as Durker on the M1, saw the queue ahead and the snow on the hills and got a little bit scared. It wasn't great on the roads but worse still - all the idiots were out and about.

I did finish the day with a trip on the trains to York (sadly, I didn't take any photos in York as I was in a rush) however, I did see one thing on the train home... an old guy got on the train from Doncaster to Swinton who was wearing leather trousers. Naturally... I did what any normal person would and sneaked a photo using my pocket PC (hence the really crap quality).

I also now have a flash hood (looks like a shower cap) - hopefully I can mute the flash a little in the close up pictures... I really hope it works. Now all I need is a small bean …

IQ @ The Bury Met and other news...

Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway In no particular order here... well actually... the IQ review is first because that's the bit you want to read:

IQ at the Bury Met - 29/11/08
A trip to Bury for me... something I don't do often - going OUT to see bands, but I broke the rule and went to see IQ. Mainly I wanted to try out my camera in a different venue where the rules were different - I've been spoilt with my backstage acces at the CRS and getting all the good angles - and so here I was, a punter (OK I had a guest pass and managed to get into the raised areas reserved usually for lampies and sound guys).

The proceedings started with an announcement that Pete had flu. Not man-flu, proper full blown woman-flu. You know, the one that can REALLY kill you, not just knock you back for a couple of hours. We were asked to sing along wherever possible and help him out. "OK, I'm up for that" I thought.

The band came on a couple of minutes later and cracked straight…

Recovering Nicely, Thanks.

327:366 - Recovering Nicely, Thanks.
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway In case you weren't aware before - I have been in hospital yesterday for a complicated tooth root removal operation.

The entire episode started with a root canal filled tooth (filled by the butcher of rotherham who was struck off and imprisoned for his dodgy work a few years ago). The root was improperly filled and an infection started at the bottom of it, however, since the nerve was destroyed in the root canal work I couldn't feel anything going amiss.

The first I knew was when the crown worked loose and caused a smell which could kill dogs at 40 paces.

My dentist recommended me on to the hospital, and I opted to go private to get it sorted quicker and with less possible secondary damage (both to my mouth, and to my tongue which was becoming very sore due to the sharp edges of the broken tooth pieces).

Yesterday I was operated on by Dr. Smith and had the tooth removed and all the ick from underneath c…

Ahead of my time?

055:366 - Not the Rock Star I was
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway It seems that according to the popular fashion gurus and newspaper articles leather trousers are "coming back into fashion" both for men and women...

Did they ever go out in my wardrobe?

I thought this picture would go well because:

1. I like it!

2. I'm meeting up with Crimes of Passion tomorrow to do some business stuff... of course the joke of a contract has never been mentioned since and I'd prefer it stays that way (I still have a copy... but I'll never sign it in it's current state).

3. When I took it in late February this year I couldn't have believed what was going to have changed through the year.

I'm optimistic for the future, but have a healthy amount of caution.

Also, from Friday I may be a little bit incommunicado as I will be having a fractured tooth root removed and the underlying abscess drained and cleaned and will be suffering the effects of a general anaesthetic for…

Crossing new bridges.

321:366 - Two Roads
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I have never crossed this bridge before, but I feel like I have crossed hundreds similar.

Things happen from time to time and they are sent to try us, but if we are strong we will pull through and they will be better.

In April this year I would not have believed I would have still been on speaking terms with Crimes of Passion right now, but after some heated emails and some quite nasty things I have decided that life is too damn short to argue and since I get my recognition for the album anyway, what's the big problem?

A big update...

I've not been around much for the last week. I have excuses and they're really good ones this time (not that my excuses aren't always good).

1. Of gigs...
Last Weekend (Sunday) we had a gig at the Robin 2 in Bilston. It was good. Drummer, Danny Rhodes, decided earlier this year he was quitting and so this was his last gig.

2. Of Teeth... (GORY - Skip to 3 if you don't want to read)
I had a bit of a mouth accident a week or so ago. A crown I have had for years (courtesy of the Rotherham Butcher Dentistry Practice - otherwise known as Ed Jackson - now struck off) had been poorly fitted and decay had got into the underneath of it. The problem is the tooth has been root filled, so no pain was noticed and the first I knew was when a nasty smell and then loss of the crown a couple of days after.

It turns out I have had an abscess under there for quite a long time now but because the nerves had gone couldn't feel it. The swelling has pushed the crown off and the centre of the …

Explain this away... psychologists.

I had a REALLY WIERD dream last night and I thought I'd write it down for you all.

I was called in to service a fire alarm at a building. It was sort of like a working men's club or a social club... which is pretty OK. HOWEVER it was on a tiny rugged island and the only way across was by chain ferry.

I caught the ferry, and went and sorted the fire alarm out, but can't remember anything else EXCEPT that it was really vivid and I have been there before. The imagery was so strong and the scenery was familiar.

I was thinking perhaps Lindesfarne, but the chain ferry bit doesn't figure... it would have to be somewhere in Scotland but I've hardly been to much of Scotland.

My brain hurts now... and I'm confuzzled...

307:366 - The Eleventh Earl of Mar

307:366 - The Eleventh Earl of Mar
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I've started a little challenge on the 366of2008 group...

For this I will be taking pictures relating to each of the tracks on the Wind and Wuthering album by Genesis.

Here's my first one... Track 1 : The Eleventh Earl of Mar

Path to where? Who knows...

Path to where? Who knows...
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I love the colours on this one. Absolutely no editing at all!

Pendragon + Magenta at the Montgom

Playing around with new toys... I found this:

Created with Admarket'sflickrSLiDR.

Contraversy... ooooh we don't get that at the CRS often

Last nights Pendragon gig was brilliant... they played some of their classics and did them very well, although I must disagree with Nick on some of his thoughts on other bands. I actually don't think IQ are derivative and the last album Dark Matter is not prog by numbers... it's a bloody good album which marked a return to their roots with the harder keyboard sounds.

Sorry, Nick, but "Believe"... that was prog by numbers... I mean FFS "as the first snowfalls fell... the toys in the window cast their spell". Could you be any more formulaic? It's a damn good song and it ticks all the boxes, but you can't sit in the same room as me and say no-one else is progressing... and meanwhile, I haven't heard Pure yet so I can't base these comments on hearing that album, but based on what I heard at the gig, it's a definite meh from me. The songs are good, they'll sell, they have a darker edge, but it's still not exactly gone through the massi…

OMG I am Rufus Hound's older clone...

Argumental starts tonight on Dave and I was reading up about it... Rufus Hound, one of it's presenters really has some scary similarities with me...

He likes RUM and NINTENDO for a start... combined it's a perfect combination (although Rum poured in the Wii might not be great).

Old dog... new tricks

There's a cat here somewhere...
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I've bought a Tom Ang book, Digital Photography Masterclass...

It's a little more advanced than my previous books but I'm hoping my photography both with the DSLR and my K850i can come on in leaps and bounds as a result of this book.

Here is a picture I took today of Eve attempting to climb the table leg. I'm pleased even for a happy snap with the K850i it is quite good and really draws your eyes to the claws.

A little bit of history repeating itself.

If you drive down the middle of the road...
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I have been interviewed and asked to give a statement about an accident that I witnessed over 2 years ago! - Thankfully I did take photos at the time...

The Mitsubishi (left) was at fault - she was indecisive about overtaking parked cars and attempted to force her way through. The van (right) had right of way.

Clear cut case, really.

Just as a note - the Mitsubishi had JUST been collected about 5 minutes earlier from the bodyshop after damage repairs.... hmmm.... seems she makes a habit of it then.

HLC Boarded up

HLC Boarded up
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway It really is the end of an era.

Today I had to drive past the HLC... and this was what I saw. Boarded up, abandoned, unloved. The Herringthorpe Leisure Centre, at 35 years old, has reached the end of it's useful life and is now scheduled to be demolished sometime soon.

Experiments in Long Exposure

293:366 - Ride the Wild Wind
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I've been using the wonderfully dynamic wind today and the EOS to create some interesting long exposure pictures...

This picture shown is a 10 second exposure, totally a self portrait (I was in the middle of nowhere and there was probably no-one else around for about half a mile) and was taken using self timer. I had a few false starts and rough ones as well but this one just seemed to work right and I think the rule of thirds is pretty good on this one too!

The Age of Steam

The Age of Steam
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway On my way home from Doncaster, I decided to quickly stop and try out my camera on a couple of local picturesque sites.

As I was at the second one a steam car - yes STEAM CAR drove past me... I was amazed at how fast it was going too.

I upped sticks, jumped in the car, passed the steam car, and the positioned myself ahead of it to capture some photos of it going past, with the hope of capturing a movement picture.

Here is the result... I'm pleased even if some parts of the car are blurry it definitely gives the impression of movement.


Jason on the lights
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Yannic Meyer (thanks Yannic), suggested a crop on this photo of Jason at the CRS gig on Saturday.

I think it really works although I've lightened it up ever so slightly using picnik.

The Reasoning + Combination Head & The Montgom

IMG 3469
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway First proper gig in DSLR land... and what a gig.

A chat with Chris Walkden confirmed that I was using good settings (although the F ratio of my lens doesn't go as low as 2.8 so I had to make do and compensate on the exposure time).

I sneaked round the stage and did a few onstage photos (yes, folks, bands & crew are not permitted to do this, but then I'm hardly likely to sue my own company if I have a Harold Lloyd moment and go arse over tit on the multicore am I now?)

Please please please though... will people NOT use flash? - we have banned flash photography in the auditorium but a few people do not seem to have got the idea.

I like The Reasoning... their music has hooks (which most prog bands seem to forget about), but I do sometimes think they waver across the AOR line which whilst not a bad thing, it's sometimes a dangerous thing to do as you may alienate the CRS members and head into a crowd I once played for who reall…

The Moon...

Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway First light for my ETX / DSLR setup.

A windy night in October, hence an ISO of 800 and a slight blurring (caused by wind shaking the ETX and not mis-focusing).

The camera adaptor was loaded with a 24mm Meade Plossl eyepiece to achieve this. No filters were used.

Jump at the Manor Barn

John Dexter Jones
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Acoustic Jump at the Manor Barn tonight... a ripe opportunity to try out my new DSLR on it's first gig.

I'm really pleased with the results I got but I'm asking general advice - what would YOU do to these photos I've taken?

New Telescope!

279:366 - The Moon
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society has a new telescope - a Takahashi TOA-130. Mounted on the Software Bisque Paramount it's a formidable combination, and last night even darting between the clouds I could see objects I would never have dreamed of finding on that sort of night.

Sadly, the evening was spoilt slightly by someone's snide remarks about me "only rejoining the society because they have a new scope". So 9 years in a band rehearsing most Thursday nights has nothing to do with me not being around for years then?

Autumn is here

Leafy South Yorkshire
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Today I looked out and thought, yes... Autumn is arriving.

It's now getting quite chilly at night and the leaves are turning brown and falling.

Oh yes, my favourite time of year.

FFS O2 - pull your finger out...

Why does Shozu not work with O2 PAYG?

Apparently, they block some outgoing ports, one of which Shozu uses... I will research more, but basically I have a K850i and I have to use a PC or a Pocket PC to send my pictures straight to the web.

Nice. Well thought out.


The Tyketto tour laminate.
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I've had a bit of a reminisce today, playing the old Deadline "Mind the Step" CD. It dates from the time when I really enjoyed that particular band before it became "business" and when it was still fun.

I must say that Only You and One Touch both still stand out from the crowd as superb tracks.

I've also gone through my box o'crap from the history of Deadline/COP and have scanned in a load of laminates into my flickr.

Here is a 2004 Tyketto laminate for you all to look at... it's quite a rare one this one!

Why Acer One is not as good as EeePC...

I now have an Acer One to replace the EeePC (although I've been offered the choice of which to keep).

Bigger screen, clearer on Acer One
Larger, much better quality keyboard
More storage space
Faster, Dual Core processor.
19V charge circuit! - yay! - most standard laptop chargers will work with it.

Oh Dear, Asus, what were you thinking with that HORRIBLE linux you put on there?
A real pig to get Ubuntu running on... and even then the install is still broken.
Battery life is dubiously short to say the least.
No case? That's just so skanky!
The Huawei E220 modem takes a lot of getting to work (although a broken USB cable cost me 2 hours!)

I'm torn about which one to keep... secretly I want to like the Acer Aspire One, but deep down I still prefer the EeePC even if the keyboard is awful.


I've just taken Hannah to hospital. Just so you know.

I've also re-connected the link between by Blogger blog and LJ by popular demand... and I thought no-one read this!

More Norway contacts...

It seems the Norwegians absolutely love Crimes of Passion, which sorta makes me proud... I've had a really in-depth chat with a guy on Facebook who loves the album.

Little known facts about the album...

1. Recording started on December 27th 2006 and finished in August 2007... yes it really did take 8 months to record!

2. Tony Mills recorded his own backing vocals, however the ones in
"Fight You On My Own" weren't phrased right so John Mitchell who mixed the album dropped some backing vocals in himself.

3. The bass was all recorded on a Warwick Thumb 5 string and went through a Sansamp Bass and/or Line 6 Bass Pod XT. The bass sound is also modified through a dual compressor pedal to give it that "chunk" (the Warwick Thumb is notorious for being a very woody sounding bass and COP songs demanded a more metallic sound).

4. I don't use a plectrum, AT ALL on this recording, even though some of the bass sounds are quite harsh.

5. Bass wasn't started until Februar…

3 bits of news... and FREE MP3

1. My fookin' laptop is dead. Kaputt. Broken. The keyboard has died and keeps randomly pressing random keys on the top two rows, and the touchpad has gone bonkers. The CD drive has been erratic for a while, oh and the back USB hasn't worked in ages too. Thankfully the EeePC is going strong as it is now my main contact with t'interweb... oh well. Twatcakes springs instantly to mind.

2. I've just started listening through the rough mixes of the new Manning album which I've just finished doing bass stuff for... Bloody hell that's a stonking album - one I would have bought from the CRS sales list - and that's an honour... not just cos I'm on it. Hannah also did some backing vox... she is chuffed to little mintballs too.

3. I've also listened to the COP album again... sadly it's fading on me. I'm beginning to hate some of the songs but I still think Angel is a corker and Breathless and Beautiful is still one of the best tracks on there - Breathless…

The skeletons are racking up in the closet...

Firstly I bought Ocean Colour Scene's album Moseley Shoals last night for 2 quid... bargain!

The last few days have been interesting on the COP front too... what with the break in (ok, so we had an attempted break in too...), then chatting with Steve Ellis (who recorded the album) and then Hannah chatting with Andy in Morrisons (rock n' roll lifestyle).

I thought this would be a very apt bit of video to post alongside an entry about rock bands and skeletons... this was on our network at school many many years ago on the BBC B. Showing my age, I know, but we loved it at the time!

All change

Another major change - the Classic Rock Society has now stopped using the Herringthorpe Leisure Centre for gigs.

The reason is that the HLC has been given it's final date and will close to the public on 5th October, with demolition to commence a few weeks later.

Last nights gig was Magic Pie supported by the Fry Brothers from Magenta. A very worthy final gig.

From Rotherham Advertiser

Band on the Rocks by Michael Upton
A ROCK band's dream tour was in ruins this week after thieves stole guitars and hi-tech equipment worth more than £6,000 in a late-night raid.
The band, called Crimes of Passion, are due to fly to Norway for a headline tour promoting their new album, having just returned from playing to crowds of up to 20,000 across Europe.
But now the band, whose guitarist and bass player live in Rotherham, may have to pull the plug on their trip after the theft from their rehearsal room near the Don Valley Stadium.
Guitarist Andy Lindsay, who lives in Kimberworth, said: "This has left us all high and dry after the great experience of the last two months on tour.
"It's ironic that our equipment has travelled safely all over Europe and it's stolen almost as soon as we get home."
Andy and his bandmates had only returned the gear to the rehearsal room at Amalgam Park, Tinsley Park Road, a few days before it was stolen. It included a hi-tech switchi…

Finished recording the album

I finished the bass on Number Ten last night. It's been an interesting way of working this time round, but I'm sure next time I will be able to do a lot of it on my home setup.

Hannah also recorded some vocals on the album last night - sounded good.

Criminal bastards

Someone has a real go at our front door yesterday and made a fair mess of it. The frame is trashed and the entire thing needs replacing.

I hate criminals.

Interview with COP

On a lighter note the band have been interviewed in Fireworks Magazine by Ant and I've posted a transcript below. Buy Fireworks, please, cos it's a dead good read

Sheffield based Crimes Of Passion formed in 2005, and played their first gig at that year's Firefest Pre-show party. With their debut album due for release July 21st, and a European tour with White Lion imminent, Ant Heeks caught up with Vocalist Dale Radcliffe, Drummer Kev Tonge, Guitarist Andy Lindsay, and new Bassist Simon Fearns at their album launch party to get the full story.

How would you describe your sound?

Dale: I'd like to think that it's quite unique, that it's quite a mixture of styles. I'd like to think that we're a mixture of maybe something like Skid Row meets Bullet For My Valentine or Funeral For A Friend. We've all got influences in obviously Maiden, Skid Row, Motley Crue, these are the bands that made us get into heavy metal in the first place, all these sort of bands r…

Crimes of Passion situation update

I've decided to drop my case against Crimes of Passion, but not sign the release either.

That's it really...

Regarding the last post...

Jeff who wrote the review has corrected it and posted an apology...

The correction is very much appreciated - although he didn't need to apologise! - the album cover is very confusing with me having just TWO references on the album, and one of those being as part of a "joke".

Would you like it if this happened?

Reviewers crediting someone else for YOUR WORK?

I don't like it. I wrote the basslines for the first Crimes of Passion album, I spent many hours in the studio recording and editing the basslines, and I am not having someone else given the credit for my hard work. No way.

If you'd like to add your own comments at the bottom of the review, please feel free to do so.

The Tinsley Towers Demolition - Rotherham Side View

Here is my video of the Tinsley Towers being demolished. At the time I posted this, I have had 15,000 views!

How many views?!!!

How many views?!!!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway My video of the Tinsley Towers is on the front page of Youtube. I am stunned!

Ely Cattleman, Tegwen Roberts, Dead Like Harry @ The Montgom

Last night was a cool night in Wath. A small (50ish) crowd saw Ely Cattleman, Tegwen Roberts and Dead Like Harry perform their own brand of music at the Montgomery Hall and I engineered the event.

Sound was acceptable - although the little Montgom's PA was pushed to it's limit to get anywhere near acceptable volume but clarity then suffered slightly. A vocal heavy mix was the order of the day relying on the backline amps to carry the rest of the gear and it worked (although the guitar levels weren't quite right for the actual gig).

Tegwen Roberts, however, is now performing with The Fates and I must say... I really like it. CRS show anyone?

Bosworth et al

Bosworth was OK. 2 battles (Tewkesbury, then Bosworth) - Tewkesbury was a poorer turnout because it was at 11am whereas there were plenty on the field for Bosworth at 4pm.

I got hit on the knuckle with an arrow (still smarting now) although that was nothing... someone I know got hit in the knackers! yikes!

The journey home, however, was shite. From about 1 mile south of J27 there was a solid line of traffic and we decided to come off at J27 (Annesley) and cut through Sutton-in-Ashfield.

No hopes. A fire had put paid to that idea, plus I think loads of people had the same idea. Luckily I know the roads round that area pretty well so we cut across through Papplewick and came up the A60 into Mansfield and through to Chesterfield... still made it home in good time.

Today has been crap... I'm feeling generally groggy, not sure why, and I feel like I just want to sleep.

New Bass

New Bass
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Here's the headstock of my new NS WAV Bass - get used to it - you'll be seeing it lots in future.

I'm now playing Margaret Montgomery and Antares on it.

Passed my 2391-2


I have just passed my 2391 - 2 Exam for the 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations (that'll be BS7671).

God I'm happy... difficult doesn't even come into it!

Tinsley cooling towers to fall on 24th August

It's the end of an era and the destruction I remember well from being a small child and asking my dad to drive along the "big bridge" (Tinsley Viaduct)... The Tinsley Cooling Towers which I know and love very much as a landmark in the Don Valley, and which many people around the country know as the sign that they're passing Rotherham on the M1 are to be destroyed.

I will, of course, be watching this spectacle which is forecast to happen in the early hours of the morning of 24th August (a Sunday).

Facebook: Find your friends and get ripped off.

I'm sure there's a lot of very good advertisers on Facebook who have some very credible and classy products... but it seem just lately that my Facebook has been home to adverts from a company who I will call "Shark Loan Company" for the purposes of this blog entry, offering log book loans with an APR of over 430%... so you borrow £1500 over 7 years and you pay almost £5000 back...

Oh dear.

I'm sure Facebook will sort it's act out and get some credible adverts, but at the moment it's just disappointing that we have reached this level.


Why has my computer just developed three lines flashing away down the right hand side of the screen, like the screen drivers have crashed or something...

I'm not even running Windoze here... god I wish I could run AmigaDOS again!

Thunderstorms... I love thunderstorms, me

We've got a belter of a thunderstorm about to go over us - rain has started falling and the sky is bruised and black. I love thunderstorms!

Hopefully, when we get out the other side we won't be too flooded!

If I wanted ultimate hardcore...

I'd buy Alvin and the Chipmunks album...

Why does all this ultimate hardcore shite sound like squeaky voiced chipmunks who've been inhaling too much helium?

Crock o' shite is what I say.

Olympic Update

China have got quite a few Gold medals in the Olympics, apparently. Not that I've actually watched any, but people keep telling me as if I actually give a flying f**k about it.

I wonder if any of these medals is for oppressive regimes? it's something they excel at after all.

Flooding... again!

Flooding... again!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway This is a couple of weeks old now, but my blog was broken when I originally uploaded it so I thought I'd share it now.

"The African One"

The African One is now called "Festival"... Hannah's lyrics.

Meanwhile, today has been interesting... I've spent the entire day fixing bloody Menvier fire alarm systems. God they're shite! - the ones that the top lid drops down every time you sneeze or cough near them.

Tonight, I still feel a bit Meh, so I'm doing as little as humanly possible, although troughing half a dozen Marks & Spencers tiny mini rolls can't have done me that much good... ooooohhhhh sugar rush.....

A home studio

You know how everyone has a room in their house that is just too damn small to do anything with, so small in our case that we could only just fit a single bed in it if we tried. So small that it just got cluttered with boxes and junk...

Well I cleared it out, sorted the junk, and moved my studio up into it.

Not the highest technology studio ever, but it's a start.

It currently has:
Linux box running Ubuntu 8.10 and Rosegarden
8 Track recording console
Absolute Zero speakers powered from Nad Amp
Creative Sub/Sat speakers (mainly for PC...)
Yamaha DD-65 drum set (on my new snare stand)
Yamaha PSR-330 Keyboard (mainly used for MIDI stuff, the inbuilt sounds are generally nasty).
Bass Sansamp amplifier simulation/compression box.
RODE vocal mic
Various instrument mics
plus a few random other goodies...

It's a start, and I hope to expand on it over the months/years/decades...

Meanwhile on the Manning front, I now have just ONE track to record!... although there may be a week or so off before I go…

May the Gods bless... THE MIGHTY WARWICK!

I've just been listening to "God Made Me Your Angel" in the new studio I've set up (tiny bedroom, front of house, nothing special but it works and keeps the rest of the house tidy)... my Warwick sounds magnificent on that song!

Must be the magic fingers of Steve Ellis and John Mitchell cos it certainly ain't mine.

Anyone got a spare snare stand I can borrow until I get one proper? - I've got a Yamaha DD65 to do some drumsy stuff on but keep knocking it off the chair it's balanced on... oh an while I'm at it I will be ditching the kick pedal that comes with it as soon as I can afford to. It's SHITE!

Oh and China...

Stick your Olympic opening ceremony up your ar*e... why not spend those millions of pounds you're spending on fireworks tackling of your awful poverty and child labour problems and perhaps sorting out your horrific animal cruelty record?

Up with the faeries...

Hannah has been kidnapped by the Folkie Faeries (otherwise known as James...) and has gone to watch far too much folk music at Cropredy. I don't mind folk... but THAT MUCH folk could be dangerous, especially if taken more than 4 a day and without leaving 3 hours between doses.

I, on the other hand, have continued my song writing. This morning, I rose quite early with more ideas buzzing round my head and totally re-wrote the chorus for Last Summer because the last one was a little too formulaic. Last Summer, however, is pure pop... I won't deny it, but it's a really catchy song with a mildly environmental theme running through parts.

I decided last night that Vision Express Rotherham are now officially crap. First they pissed off Hannah by losing her prescription TWICE, then they sold me a pair of Oakley frames as glasses which promptly chipped, repeatedly. I went down there to complain - the first thing I was told was "they would have to go back to Oakley for inspection…

Songwriting in full flow...

To get kicked off I've put down 5 of my old songs onto the new recorder in a stripped down piano type way... namely:

The Magic (a not-so-obvious song about the Magic Roundabout and my years on a motorbike, The Magic is a now destroyed traffic roundabout near Sherburn in Elmet)

Last Summer (written in 2000 as a memory to 1999's total solar eclipse)

Leaden Sky (a good old fashioned love song)

The Bridge (the main riff from this was slowed down and became Deadline's "Losing Myself")

Roger and Out (a song about a flight losing radio contact with the tower and eventually crashing in a thunderstorm)

As you can tell ... I write deep stuff!

Oh did I mention I now have an electronic drum kit? - A Yamaha thang... because if I'm songwriting I need to put a beat in there. Re-learning drums after 10+ years off them has proven weird but it's coming back to me now. I'm not a technical drummer, but I can hold a solid beat when needed... for the most part I'll stick to b…

Why I don't give a sh*t about the Beijing Olympics

Why the hell did someone decide to give Beijing the Olympics? - The Olympic torch stands for unity and freedom across the 5 continents, and the games stand for competition and recognition of the strongest, fastest, best but under the Olympic banner... (which of course we aren't allowed to actually display... or have anything with 5 coloured rings on it bearing any similarity to the Olympic logo) ... oops OOOOO

China on the other hand stands for very few of these... supporting massive sweatshops of low pay and long hours, child labour, and a hundred other things outlawed in European countries at the turn of the last century. We shouldn't be supporting China, rather giving them the cold shoulder until they clean up their act...

...and don't even get me started on their horrendous treatment of animals....

An eventful few weeks musically...

Firstly - a Manning song makes it onto the covermount CD on Classic Rock Magazine. I didn't record or have anything to do with "Lost in Play" but it surely bodes well for the future... and we've had a brilliant response to it.

Then - I open up the 2nd of August issue of Kerrang and read a review of the Crimes of Passion album:

The Problem with most melodic rock is that the men responsible for it look like they've spent more time at the beautician than grinding things out in the studio. Crimes of Passion are a bit different, they look like they've just climbed out of a pit. This is melodic metal from Yorkshire, with nowt taken owt. There's something reassuringly British about this grim-jawed and downbeat approach, and for the most part it works a treat, all vicious guitar runs and searing vocals. Exit Wound and God Made Me Your Angel give you a damn sight more grit to chew on than most so-called pret…