Showing posts from 2009

Happy New Year

2/363:365 - NYE-2
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Yeah... happy new year... and happy new DECADE!!!

The 2nd decade of the 21st Century (and I know all you pedantic types will say "but the 2nd decade doesn't start till next year" so kindly point you here).

Anyway, as they say... Happy New Year!

(and the piggies have finally decided to give me a court date for the mobile phone thingy... and the statements... ooooohhhh kids in GCSE's copy less!)

A Busmans Holiday

2/362:365 - Busmans Holiday
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Yesterday and today I've been doing general electrical work on our own house (yes... our own house). I've fitted 4 new power points (kitchen, living room x 4,in 2 places, landing) and have had to disconnect two lights in the house because the wiring is the old fashioned rubber cable and is in a pretty rough state.

I've also fitted a new radiator in the bedroom (replaced the old one because it was too small).

Christmas was very nice... we went to Hannah's parents for Christmas Dinner and Boxing Day. I got Zelda - Spirit Tracks and Professor Layton - Pandora's Box, as well as many other presents.

Now what to do... well eat pie and peas first of all cos they'll be done soon!

Those toys from your childhood...

Does anyone remember a toy they owned in their childhood which when they see one brings back such powerful memories?

Well mine is pictured at left. It's called a Lil Genius and was made by Coleco around 1980. I had one of these at Junior School - it was like a calculator, but not quite... you had to type in the entire sum and it would tell you if you got the answer right or wrong by flashing either the left (green) eye or the right (red) eye... ah the joys of no LCD or Vacuum tube displays... just a couple of light emitting diodes to tell you everything!

Ah the 80's were good.

I bought Rage against the Machine.

In this amazing race for the #1 Christmas single, I think Rage against the Machine deserve the spot.


Well, I could say this isn't a personal thing against Cowell, Cole and the mindless drivel that is X Factor. But it's not the truth.

This is indeed personal. I am fed up of the "powers that be" in TV pumping out mindless, over-hyped, piss poor drivel that is the endless number of talent shows and manufacturing insipid but not unattractive "musicians". These people are NOT musicians. They are glorified karaoke singers with an ability to hold a tune. They seldom know how to read music, or how to compose a song, or even - shockingly - how to play a musical instrument.

Rage against the Machine is our rock fans personal way of saying "er... we're here". We buy a SELECTION of tracks and albums throughout the year, so the singles chart is hardly valid now is it? but when we pull together we can even scare Cowell.

Keep it up Rock Fans!

The great dog poo conundrum.

Do dogs in the northern hemisphere curl their poo anti-clockwise and dogs in the southern hemisphere curl it clockwise?

I just don't know!

Adventures in Shopping

I had to go shopping. First of all I spent a mortgage on printer ink. Why is printer ink so expensive? - I'm now refilling all our cartridges but for the Photosmart we currently haven't had a spare set. That's now rectified and refilling will start immediately! I did manage a rather good package in Staples for under £40 for all 6 inks!

Onwards to Parkgate Retail World. A place I can only say I "tolerate". It causes traffic hell, takes shoppers out of Rotherham, and actually isn't that cheap... but it is home to Boots and I needed stuff from Boots. Upon entering Retail World I drove my little van up a parking line and saw a space... until a Peugeot 206 convertible driver had different ideas. She had her space, but she decided to reverse out straight into my path... but then stopped when she saw me. Rather than do the sensible thing and pull back into her space she sat in the middle of the lane blocking it expecting me to reverse back up into the queue of traff…

Top 5 CD's of the first Decade, plus some I'd rather forget.

Yep, I'm absolutely fed up of all these "best CD's of..." which merely rely on artists previous releases and bolster absolutely talentless people, or reward for diabolical formulaeic songwriting and cliched releases.

I've was a director of a well known prog organisation for a long time, and was involved for an even longer time, and have heard a hell of a lot of releases... some of which concern me...

Here we go:

1. Sylvan - Artificial Paradise
It's amazing. Put quite literally. Metal, blended with prog, blended with rap. Some superb musicianship and some brilliant basslines. Sylvan's finest hour and even they haven't managed to top it. The title track is around 20 minutes of sheer bliss, but in all honesty there isn't a weak track on the album and it just gels together so well. If you don't have it, why not?

2. Kate Bush - Aerial
A slightly more commercial release, but poetic lyrics and, in particular on the second CD of the batch "a sky of hon…
Ok, so the first news - I'm bloody tired!. I need a break now, and in just over a week and a bit I'll be getting one.

The last week or so has been rather hectic - Manning have finished now for the Christmas break and our next rehearsal is in January. Tim is fitting in really well with the band and it feels great to have such a talented keyboard player in the band. I'm certain it can only be for the best.

Sunday was a Neville archery practice. To say I hadn't shot for about 3 months I actually managed to sink my 3 of first 6 shots straight into the target at 30 paces... it does surprise me the amount of power behind even a fairly low powered longbow. The bow in question (45lbs) managed to sink a bodkin all the way through the target such that the arrow head came out of the other side. At least that explains Agincourt.

In other news, I've been told a couple of times this week that I wear leather well.

Yeah... I know. I do wear a lot of leather, but, well, I like it.

Apparently, flickr is fascist?!

I was quite surprised to find this blog.

What surprised me even more is the size of the chip this guy has on his shoulder... in fact, I'd say he has a whole sack of spuds weighing him down.

He published pictures which were against flickr TOS, got his account deleted, and therefore decided to take it out on the rest of flickr by "grassing" on people who he thinks are violating and breaching flickr's TOS.

Flickr is a great place to be with some good people on there. I personally have learned loads about composition etc. and have made loads of new friends on there, so message to dickhead if ever he reads this - leave Flickr alone.

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

2/344:365 - Iridescent
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway A trip around South and West Yorkshire today on the train... Portable Appliance Testing. God it was cold! I have 2 coats on and I was still cold!... and why does Elsecar only have 1 train an hour? poor Elsecar.

When I arrived home the sun had set and the sky had flared up the most beautiful blue... I had to get my self portrait even if I did only have my camera phone with me. I think you'll agree it's a beaut.

Now the final question is... what the f**k is st* (I removed a letter for safety reasons) because Gino (ex Neville) keeps sending me emails about it. Obviously - he has a trojan on his computer - and obviously I would recommend you DON'T visit that site as, like you get told regularly on the internet, nothing in this world is free - and if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

I feel small...

2/341:365 - I feel small
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway The last few days have been an interesting time for me.

On Friday I popped into the Montgomery Hall to see Pallas and generally just see people (and drop off the Wasp box). The Montgom doesn't feel nice for me any more since the events of earlier this year with Fireguard being c**ts. The nice thing is for every customer they took off us (that'll be 1 then), we took... hmm... about 14 of theirs. The reason? - well I'll leave it to you to decide, but I have a good relationship with my customers and look after them very well and always deal personally with their problems.

Pallas were great - I wish I could have stayed around for the gig. They played "The Cross & The Crucible" for me and it was muchly goodly.

Over the weekend I did very little - we had friends over and played games on Saturday. Settlers of Qutan (sp?) is a superb board game... must get a copy. It reminds me of Sid Meier's Civilisa…

Hello Progeny, Farewell Rotherham Rocks

So Progeny seems now to be occupying the space previously occupied by Rotherham Rocks (my birthday weekend - usually 2nd weekend in May).

I suppose we have to move on, but I do fear this is the end of CRS gigs in Rotherham as they begin to move down south, then again - if you live in Daventry, would you book your gigs in Rotherham?

RIP Rotherham Rocks? .... probably.

For the record - I doubt I will be at Progeny... another festival the week after RoSfest may be a bit much to ask my poor ears for...


Tea Dance in the Oasis
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I occasionally do work in Meadowhall (which for all it's failings is a rather splendid money-making shrine to which many millions flock every year).

I personally don't like the place - it's a perfect shopping centre where everything is geared up to making you spend the almighty pound, and it's very successful at it - although at the cost of Rotherham and Sheffield centres which have now undergone a major change in alignment and lost many of their major chain stores (Rotherham has been double whammied by Parkgate Retail World also).

When I arrived at 8:30, the place was deserted - about 10 people walked the aisles, and most of them were security. By 10am, it was a bustling shopping centre and was filled with hundreds of shoppers. When I left at 11:30am... 10 drivers were eyeing up where I walked to ready to pounce on my parking space!

What did I do at Meadowhall? - well lots - but I'd have to kill you if I…

When Flash games get good...

I am a Warzone Tower Defence GOD!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I used to think Flash games were a bit rubbish... then I discovered Warzone Tower Defence from mad cow interactive.

Sadly, I've now got to the point that I'm so good at it I now have to quit the game or deliberately end it else face it running on for hours.

I'm now playing the 20 towers limit version... definitely not that easy.

An eventless week (not)

New Three dongle
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway OK, so this week has been rather exciting on a number of fronts so perhaps the title was a lie.

Sorry, I know, I shouldn't lie...

1. Hannah is doing well.

2. I broke my Three dongle. Damned USB plugs are so weak - like SCART plugs, only not as big but still as crap. I bought a new one (pictured) to replace it - my they are getting fancy now with flashy lights and internal batteries and things which compared to my old Huawei black wedge is uber snazzy. I still retained my old SIM as I have 1200 text messages to use...

3. My sister-in-law's birthday is today.

oh and the final bit of rather exciting news?

WE GOT A KEYBOARD PLAYER!!! - more info to follow soon.

You credit card is suspend (funny)

You'd think if scammers and phishers were trying to get my credit card details, they'd try harder than this:
Hello Guest Visa Card Your credit card is suspend, because we notice a problom on your card.
We determine that someone be using your card without your permission. For your protection, we suspend you credit card. To lift the suspension, (click here) and follow instructions indicate to update your credit card.Note: If this is not complete on 22 November 2009, we forced to suspend your card indefiniment because it can be used fraudulentThank you,
Customer Support ServiceCopyright 1999-2009 VerifedbyVisa. All rights reserves.

I think this is one for submission to Engrish just because it amused, and bewildered me. Do people still fall for these? I should seriously hope no-one fell for this one.

Patient Confidentiality?

Patient Confidentiality?
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I was rather bemused today when a member of staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary left this trolley in the middle of the 6th floor lift lobby for around 3 minutes.

It contained confidential patient records and I'm sure the patients in question would agree with me that this shouldn't have happened.

I have raised an issue with the hospital about this.

John and Edward... WHAT are they?

John and Edward in strange suits
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway You can't have missed the last few months (years... or at least it feels that way) with the strange creatures from Ireland, John and Edward Grimes (Jedward) taking over the bandwidth of Facebook whenever X-Factor is on.

This, however, is the bottom of the barrel when the Irish twonks truss up in badly fitting shiny leather (or at least some bizarre coated material) suits and strut their "fonky" stuff to a bastardised version of the classic Queen/Bowie Under Pressure. Whilst this song isn't one of my favourite Queen tracks, it still doesn't deserve this hideous train crash doing to it.

Dreadful... and for those with a strong constitution you can see the video on Youtube, but I'd recommend you don't.

Printers... I hate clucking printers!

Cats Eyes
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I recently ran my little Canon ip90 laptop printer out of ink. OK, I thought... off to Staples to get a refill.

"Oh we don't do that ink anymore"


"We've stopped doing Canon 15 and 16 cartridges"

PC World

"Yeah we sell them, but you need to remortgage your house and sell a kidney for a full set"... why did I bother even going to PC world?

Thank god for Cartridge World - I took up my old empties, refilled them, and for less than £20 I have 3 full sets to go at. Phew!

I wouldn't mind but it's not as if it's a very old printer - about 4 years old - and to be told "oh it's obsolete" is just irritating.

On to today's picture...

Yeah, I just thought I'd share a beautiful picture of my cat, Tigger.

I know... sappy... but I love her even if she is a whingey, stinky old moggy.

Remember, Remember

2/309:365 - Remember, Remember
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I love the nights around this time of year... the mists settle in and the lighting becomes subdued.

October and November are wonderful months in the lead up to the cold of December.

Samhain went well, and something tells me this year is going to be much better than last (well it can't get any worse!).

Bonfire Night, whilst not a favourite of mine, was nice. I managed a few photos of fireworks, but nothing spectacular - but with this photo I think I excelled myself! - It's my self portrait for 5th November and is a very long exposure - 8 seconds - and I felt like a right pratt holding a "walking" position for that length of time... in fact it was like Victorian Dad taking a photo!

Hectic... but good.

2/299:365 - An English Autumn
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway The last few days have been very hectic.

Shit has been sorted, and both Hannah and I feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off our shoulders... I've had the best few nights sleep in ages!

What's more - my inspiration and drive to take good photos has come back! - and OMG look at this one I caught the other day!

Non conformist...

This last weekend gone I went to a wedding. Manning played a gig (acoustic of course), but being a wedding we had to get poshed up.

I decided to wear a suit, shirt and tie...

Of course... my version was rather different to the norm...
The leather trousers were from ebay (part of a suit - rather an expensive designer suit actually) and the waistcoat was from Direct Leather. The shirt was from Marks & Spencers when they did their "goth range" a few years ago. I didn't wear the jacket as that would have been excessive...

History.... sort of

Originally uploaded by ‮‭‬bees‬ I found the oldest photo on flickr today...

Sadly, the database for it is broken so it comes up as a broken image, but you can still find it if you look.

Newton's First Law of Motion and the end of the recession.

2/295:365 - Barbed
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I believe that Newton's first law of motion is the reason we will emerge from our current economic woes. That law states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. How does that relate to the financial #$%*storm we're now cowering under? Allow me to explain. There are slightly less than seven billion people on this planet. Assuming that roughly half that number are either too young, too old, too lazy, or too loaded to work, that still leaves almost three and a half billion people getting up in the morning to chase the almighty dollar, the transcendent rupee, the zen yen,the dear ol' euro, the what's goin' on yuan, the... well, you get the idea. Now, call me crazy (and many have called me far worse), but I happen to think that three and a half billion motivated people is…

The breakup of society?

2/285:365 - Shattered World

Well... I did my producer at the Police Station, refusing to surrender my driving license in the process. My court date will be notified by post... apparently... but...

Well, will we have any post soon?

Royal Mail, sadly, are shooting themselves in the foot yet again. Strike action is hurting no-one these days as precious little is sent by post anyway compared to 20 years ago. Even Amazon don't use Royal Mail any more because the service isn't reliable enough.

The Prime Minister, The wonderful Gordon Brown, has fiddled £12,000 in expenses... Chavs are taking over the world (having seen the three hanging around outside our local shop and kicking hell out of a wheelie bin, and then the scrote in the VW Gold (complete with PINK trims... NICE) who pulled up behind me and decided the road was the correct place to empty her ashtray - you would think that.

I wasn't even using my mobile phone whilst driving (no sir) and I'm getting the third degree becau…


Aaargh man, only recently I was singing Seth Green's praises with his mohawk/leather combo. Now I read the following...[about being a child star:] "My childhood success came and went real fast. Between 12 and 16, I grew as much as I was going to, anyway and no longer looked the same. Like most child actors, I found it a difficult adjustment. Still, I`ve done so many things that I wasn`t associated with one thing. I`m an actor, not a celebrity. When recognition became an issue a few years ago, part of me felt undeserving. Desperate to maintain my popularity, I was performing all the time. Then, I caught a glimpse of myself at the MTV Music Awards dressed in leather, grasping for jokes and set about changing my habits. Now that I`ve stopped trying so hard, I`m more comfortable in my skin."
Seth, you're a dissapointment.

Actually... only kidding... Robot Chicken, Austin Powers, Family Guy, Buffy... all great!

Snickers... in brown. Nice.

Snickers are great workwear... well made, comfortable, loads of practical and useable pockets...

But in BROWN!

You just shouldn't.

It's not as if it's a particularly nice brown.

No, definitely not.

I'm currently producing PHLEGM in the same colour as the ones pictured!

Cough... Oink...

2/281:365 - Back to Acoustic
It seems I've succumbed to Swine Flu. I blame the pigs.

I feel pretty damned rough, and it's not helping the fact that my old injury of my broken pinkie has decided to become sore again... I may end up having that one checked out... I know I've not broken it again, but I do fear arthritis may set in...

Meanwhile, I've been shifting my focus back onto my upright acoustic bass ready for Paul's wedding do next weekend... it's just whether I'm well enough to fit a rehearsal in?

Finally... my complaint about the police has been put in. I was disgusted by the way I was given hardly any time to show my phone log, and then the w**ker of a "copper" said he "didn't believe me". He was arrogant - just the sort of police officer we DON'T want in the force.

I have sent off the little bit at the bottom of the yellow ticket asking to go to court, and now await the latest phone bill. My doctor's letter more than clari…

Miscarriage of Justice?

2/070:365 - Oh no! The rozzers!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway ... or abuse of powers?

I was stopped today by Her Majesty's Police for "using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving".

OK, Had I been using my hand held mobile phone whilst driving, then I would own up, pay the £60 and take the three points... problem is... I wasn't.

I had Alex in the van with me (we were actually having an in depth discussion about how smelly Tuna Salad is and why we have to drive with all the windows down when he eats it), not using my mobile phone (which I may add was in a rather inaccessible pocket).

The policeman (who I am presuming is illiterate due to the fact that he can't even fill in his own name fully on the yellow slip), and was possibly the most arrogant member of the police force I have ever had to deal with issued me a fixed penalty notice... saying "I saw you with the phone up to your left ear"

Ohhhhh wait till he sees the Doctor's report in court!…

When what you say isn't said.

I was rather disgruntled today to recieve my CRS "Rock Society" magazine.

My statement about the end of my time with the CRS has been published, but only with a degree of editing. The editing removes sections regarding the fact that I intend to help out in future, and nothing is mentioned about the fact that I legally own 50 ordinary shares in Classic Rock UK Ltd with a value of £50.

Here is the statement in full, with the edits struck through so you can see what has been done to it:
Kris Hudson-Lee calls it a day with the CRS

After many years as a familiar face around the halls of the Classic Rock Society and being around at some 100+ gigs (many of them festivals) it is time for a change, time to move on.

I have spent many years in bands - none of them really making an impact within the CRS, but in early 2008 I was invited to join Manning. That decision was somewhat of a turning point in both my musical and CRS careers and since then the balance of my life has tipped greatly. I …

2/273:365 - Kris's Winter Warmer Soup!

2/273:365 - Kris's Winter Warmer Soup!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I made a soup today, not just a soup from a recipe, or a tin, or a packet... I really made soup!

Here's how I did it...

1. Peel and chop a small onion, stick it in a non stick pan with a little vegetable oil and brown sugar and fry until they go translucent. Stick the kettle on to boil whilst you're at it.

2. Peel a couple of large carrots (the more comedy shaped the better), a positively huge sweet potato and a normal chippy type potato and dice into little bits.

3. Chuck all the above into the pan, and pour on about a pint and a half of boiling water.

4. Add a couple of stock cubes, a Bouquet Garni (one of them tea-bag thingies), a bit of white pepper. Return to the boil and simmer until all the veggies go soft.

5. Add some Caraway seeds (about a tablespoon), a smidge of Mace (can't remember how much, but it was only a bit), and about half a tablespoon of Cumin seeds.

6. Give it about another 15 …

McMeat with everything...

OK, McDonalds, what are you thinking?

I noticed that McDonalds latest calorific calculator thingy has chanced the Spicy Veggie sandwich from veggie to non veggie... that's me sorta screwed now.

I can now eat about 6 items from their menu (OK, slight exaggeration there), but a meal consisting of fries (chips) and salad is not a substantial meal...

Thankfully, I haven't had a "meal" in maccy D's for a long time now... I found the Spicy Veggie to be rather poor really - their breakfasts, however, are rather good.

So what do McDonalds offer for vegetarians? - A bun... it's full of bunly goodness.

Why I really DON'T get Apple.

Apparently, there's an app for that...

But, really, I don't get the iphone. Having owned quite a few Palm and then Pocket PC devices over the years (currently on a HTC Diamond) and I keep seeing people flashing their latest snazzy breezeblock sized iphone at me and saying "yes, but does yours do this?"... well... actually... yes, but do I care about what it's actually doing?

I can simulate drinking a pint of beer with my iphone...
I go out with friends and drink REAL beer.

I can simulate a lighter with my iphone...
I can buy a real lighter, in fact I can buy 10 for a quid off Rotherham Markets, and guess what I can set fire to things with that.*

I can play MP3's with my iphone...
So? so can half the bloody devices in the world including my soddin' laptop, MP3 player, phone

I can level up my shelves with my iphone...
Spirit level... you'll find it works much better and yes, my shelves are level

oh and the ultimate insult - the advert about calculating your porti…

Shiny is in fashion!

As an advocate of shiny fashion for a long time now (yeah, I wear leather trousers), I find it rather surprising that manufacturers are now coating denim with various things to make them uber shiny.

Henry (DeeExpus) kindly posed to demonstrate the shiny jeans he was wearing yesterday.

Of course... you could just buy leather jeans and not faff around with all this coated denim malarky....

On a side note - a teacher of ours at Swinton Comprehensive School was nicknamed Mr Shiny Trousers because the front of his thighs were always shiny, but I believe that is for a totally different reason...

Loud and low!

2/267:365 - With this... I will destroy :-)
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway What we have here is a 15" speaker, which over the weekend will be mounted in my bottom cab to replace the rather naff 15" unit currently in there.

This speaker is mine, but was in the PA at the Montgomery Hall on long term loan after they blew up the one in their system, but when the Fireguard / fire extinguisher fiasco blew up I took my ball home, or rather took my PA home... including my old QTX amp (300w, cheap, but a very nice little amp), and my entire rack of effects.

Autumn is almost here.

Autumn Tealight Holder
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway The nights are now drawing in and the doorway to autumn is just a couple of days away now (22nd September at about 9pm).

My favourite time of year is just around the corner - October - as the leaves fall and the colours change to the magnificent reds, golds and browns.

All my Pagan friends will shortly be celebrating Mabon, the last major festival of the year in the final run-up to Samhain.

The photo? - well it's a little tea-light holder we have which I absolutely love - it always reminds me of autumn no matter what time of year it's lit.

The HLC - as it now is.

The drive of fame
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Today I passed the HLC... it's now totally gone with very few traces of where it once was, except for slighly muddy ground marking it's outline. The driveway remains, but that's about all.

Meanwhile... little known Crimes of Passion fact for today: The first eponymous album featured bass totally written and recorded by me... even though I no longer feature on the artwork, my Warwick Thumb 5 bass is being carried on the first page.

When you discover something that makes things better..

OK... Seth Green has been copying my looks...


Blue hair?

That's my territory!

(Actually... I think it looks bloody cool - I didn't see the picture at right when doing my blue hair look, and actually, I wish I had cos it would certainly have convinced me how cool coloured hair actually is!)

Severing links...

Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I have decided from this post onwards that the link to my old livejournal will be severed.

If you are a livejournal user, you need to subscribe to my xml or atom feeds from my blog contained at to continue to recieve my posts.

I'll be closing my LJ account probably sometime around the end of the year.

Oh and to keep you happy - here is a nice picture of a spider I took yesterday... looking very scary in low key black & white...

A dull weekend in Rawmarsh

Today was the Rotherham Show... they decided to hold it in Rosehill Victoria Park, Rawmarsh instead. A decision I can say I approve of - although it has left the entire town of Rawmarsh gridlocked for the early part of the day (even though the council provided free park & ride) it was nice being able to walk to it for a change.
My ear (thanks to all who asked) is still rather sore... no, it's very sore, but thankfully painkillers are keeping the pain at bearable levels... regular dosings with olive oil seem to give temporary relief, although it then leaks out for the rest of the day. I've been advised against sitting out in the cold and getting it wet.

Tomorrow is Manor Castle for the Nevilles. I want to go, but if I wake up and my ear is sore then I definitely won't be.

Now finally... onto my wedding outfit for the gig we have next month. Is this too much leather? - I really like the look (it's a 3 piece suit) but probably wouldn't wear the jacket with it - j…

So WHAT is the point of MANAGERS?

Having spent many years working from the "other side" of music, I've spent too long taking shit off people... and the worst shit givers?


"I'm the Manager" is three words that can make a shudder go down the very spine of any promoter, right down to the bottom of the monkey stump.

Managers are this special breed of person, usually failed solicitors. They still manage to piss everyone off, but don't get paid quite as much to do it. I will give you an example and I will name names because after all... what do I care?

Many years ago, whilst in Crimes of Passion, I booked a gig at Sheffield Corporation featuring Vaughn (with the talents of the whingebag himself), COP and In the Name of as opening band.

I was then contacted by Denise from Goldstorm Records. She asked me if she could squash a band in after us, but before Vaughn... stupidly I agreed.

Little did I know she was queen bitch from hell who on the night insisted that Violent Storm were bigger than…

itunes... the great power that it is?

Today marks the start of a new era - not the beginning of an ice age, nor the laying down of new coal seams - but the first of the Manning back catalogue appeared on itunes today priced at a rather reasonable £7.99.

Why don't you go over there and buy yourself a copy now? - or better still buy two!

I was rather surprised how efficiently the entire release process went - I had it scheduled for the 19th September (mainly due to the fact that I didn't launch it online until about 4 weeks ago) and even though I set the electronic release date for today's date I expected it didn't make it in time... thanks Tunecore. Thunecore.

It's statement time.

Daniel Robinson thinks I look like this...
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I didn't really get to see Magenta, but I did see some of Godsticks. Cool huh?

Meanwhile - Daniel, record label boss David's son drew a likeness of me which is rather uncanny... although my neck and face is a bit fatter than his version, although he has got my angular jaw very well!

Other things were discussed at the gig... yes the bad news I said about at The CRF was indeed the leaving of the band of Phil and Dave - sorry I didn't mention that on my blog - although recruiting other members is going well so far. Plenty of interest, auditions etc. If you're at all interested... get your dibs in now as we may well be closing applications soon.

Finally... Manning at the Wesley in Maltby in December (the 12th) clashes with Pendragon... 3 HOURS OF PENDRAGON... somewhere miles away.

Yes, I like Pendragon... but 3 hours of ANY BAND is comparable to having root canal work... the perfect gig for me i…

Why you shouldn't tailgate...

Facebook Avatar Version
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway An "unnecessary 4x4 owner" (seeeth) yesterday learnt a lesson.

Driving through the roadworks between Junction 33 and Junction 35 on the M1 I was tailgated very closely by a 4x4... now normally they annoy me anyway when they do this, but he was REALLY CLOSE. It's 50mph (SPECS speed camera system, folks) and I was indeed in a line of traffic doing 50.

When I came to leave the M1 at J35, I drove up the slip road - not hanging around and doing about 60-65... Mr. 4x4 came flying up behind me waiting to turn right... and then followed me... and then tailgated me very closely again - all through the 30 zone of Thorpe Hesley.

Anyhow... a couple of hard brakes in front of him, and then a glare out of the back window certainly sorted that... but it wasn't me who did the sorting out. No, after the second stop and glare his missus started REALLY going off on one at him and she gave him a slap!


The moon on a stick?

2/244:365 - I will bring you the Moon.
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Today was the first batch of auditions for Manning. I won't say how they went... you'll find out in good time.

We have decided to pull the Akoustik gig in October, however, we have a private function booked in October which we will be doing... I'm quite looking forward to it too.

Did you know Blitz Basic is available for PC? - Neither did I!... I may well start programming again...

For now, though, Populous on the DS is keeping me entertained.

... because ...

2/239:365 - Reeling
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Today has been a pretty f*cked up carbuncle of a day.

Apart from a random meeting with a flickr friend, it's a weird sort of picking up the pieces day.

The pieces of me deciding my time with the CRS is up... but making sure I don't leave people in the lurch (yes, I'll be at Magenta but not as early as I used to go), but also of picking up the pieces of the entire Manning thing.

As a little nicety - it's lovely to read an album review which names someone else intead of you as the bassist. Nice. Just for the record - I wrote the basslines and played them all on the first Crimes of Passion album. Not bitter here, but credit where credit's due eh and er... read the cover notes?

The picture for today shows me leaning against a fence. I don't have time to lean against fences often, but this one needed leaning against as apart from my family and Manning it seems the solidity of the planet is the only stable thin…

The end of the CRS road for me.

2/237:365 - Strength.
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I've made my decision, I've thought about it for ages.

Myself and the Classic Rock Society are to part ways. I can't carry on devoting the time I have previously to the CRS. Manning must come first for me now - it's my time to enjoy my music from the stage and not the pit or the wings.

It's not just a time thing either... I am absolutely fed up to the back teeth of Manning being called the "CRS Bitch Band" and getting told "Manning only get these gigs because..." and then tethering the CRS in there. There you go. Rumours squashed. Let's rely purely on talent eh?

I will retain my shareholding in the CRS (5%) and you may occasionally see me at gigs - however - I would expect my appearances to be rare although on these occasions I probably would still help out when required.

December's Manning gig will still go on as usual because after all - we are now just another band using the s…

Today's post is brought to you by the numbers 3 and 0

I sometimes feel a sense of dread.

I sometimes feel a serious sense of dread.

I sometimes worry about the people I have to share the roads with...

Why do I spend far too much of my life following wankers who drive at 35-40mph on a perfectly straight and clear 60 road, only to pass the 30 speed limit sign and see them disappear into the distance still doing 35-40mph when I decide to obey the speed limit?

I can imagine what these pricks would say to the police when pulled in for speeding:

"Well I don't drive fast"

The same people who when I'm going 30mph in a 30mph speed limit sit 6' from my rear bumper, only to be left behind when I accelerate up to 60mph when we pass the national speed limit sign?

Rant over.

Of hair colouring, leather, and cornfields.

I have decided to colour my hair again. Not bleach, not boring... in fact you could say this picture was my inspiration. It's now blue at the front, purple across the top and red at the back - nicely blended of course.

It's coloured with:
Rusk Scream Colors (Passion Purple and Rage Red)
Renbow Crazy Color (Capri Blue)

Note the latter is an English made product but is spelt using the nasty American spelling of colour. It only works on bleached hair (you see my hair a few weeks ago!?) but looks stunning when it's applied and only takes about 15 minutes to actually take.

It says professional use only, but to be honest apart from a few harmless food colourings I can't actually see anything in the ingredients that could make it particularly hazardous... most of the ingredients are contained in the average shampoo... I wonder if it works on beards... ;-)

So far the response has been mixed... the guys and gals at one of my customers thought it was rather cool, but silly.…

James' Birthday BBQ

James' Birthday BBQ
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I came... I saw... I ate.

flickr has pictures!

When you shouldn't post a photo on your website...

I've recently been building the new website for Manning and it has given me a little bit of an insight into what constitutes a BAD band photograph and a GOOD band photograph. I give you the example at right - I won't name the band (unless you email me and REALLLYYYY PLEAD) but the example in question shows a few faults:

The lighting is awful - it looks like it was photographed with the house lights on!Why do the band NOT actually fit together at all? - we have clubland singer, with mekkal guitarist.The backdrop is awful - again the stage generally looks like a working mens club.It's too wide! - not a problem if you're getting a photo of 2000 audience members, but where's the audience here?We were offered this gig as Deadline and we declined it. I am so glad we did!

Now my second example is how you SHOULD take a gig photo. This was taken in a similar sized venue, but has the advantages of both experience and equipment. Believe it or not this venue had less than 30 peo…

Just shoot me when...

... I decide to follow in the tradition of many bands who are doing the "scene" these days and go out as xxxxx's xxxxxxx...

I'm sorry if I sound opinionated, and I often do, but why do many of these original artists form bands around one particular member - who often wasn't actually that major a member - and then strut around with their ego swinging like a pair of cannonballs dangling between their legs?... and why are so many of them the band whose CD's you find in the wire mesh bins at the end of the aisle in Woolies HMV for £2.99?

May I add one exception here though - Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash which is FAR SUPERIOR in both performance and attitude to another Wishbone Ash and certainly doesn't need a wheelbarrow of any type to get the ego into the room...

There. I said it.

Kris Hudson-Lee's Manning.... nope, doesn't work for me either.

I bet Classic Rock magazine regret this:

Woodstock Comes To The UK

Classic Rock sponsored tribute to the greatest 60s festival announced for the UK.
Classic Rock is proud to announce its involvement with the the 40th anniversary
Memories Of Woodstock festival, taking place August 7-9 at the West Midlands Showground – Shrewsbury.

The three day event features artists who played the original Woodstock in upstate New York in 1969 with the likes of Alvin Lee and Jefferson Starship taking to the stage. Other acts confirmed so far include Asia, Focus, Barclay James Harvest, Jethro Tull, Melanie, Carl Palmer – and a rare appearance by San Francisco psychedelic folk-rockers It’s A Beautiful Day.

Organiser Brian Davies promises flower-power and peace and love galore. He commented: “When the 1969 Woodstock came about it was – and still is – the greatest festival ever anywhere. Many of you today missed this event. Here now is the chance to make amends and see what it was like at that festival…”

Check back for more announcements – or find out …


Cambridge Rock Festival (webshots)
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway The Cambridge Rock Festival was superb! - an amazing gig, with an amazing crowd and an absolutely superb experience. Here's a photo.

Sadly, there is bad news to follow this superb gig... but that's for later. I'm still on a high.

Manning for RoSfest

2/212:365 - Big Announcement!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway I can now announce, after many months of absolutely bursting to blurt it out - Manning are playing RoSfest 2010.

More details will emerge over the coming weeks and months up to the festival, but for more information:

The Grove

Manning @ The Grove
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway Last night was possibly the most enjoyable gig I've ever done... ever!. A fantastic little old pub, overshadowed by some particularly massive new buildings, and yet - it had an atmosphere which was amazing.

Manning - as an 8 piece - took up almost half the concert room, but the other half was packed to the rafters with punters... so much so that we had people standing in the hallway watching through the door.

A couple of sets including some classics and a few select tracks from the new album Number Ten went down very well, as did two encores - In My Life and Lost in Play.

Some photos are available on my flickr... they've not really been edited (as of writing) but I may go through later and give them a little spit and polish.