Showing posts from February, 2010

Big Balls!

Why is there something really amusing about watching the American public utterly humiliate themselves on national television?

I'm talking Total Wipeout of course (known as just Wipeout in the USA)
Watching people bouncing across giant foam obstacle courses reminds me of school sports days... except Wipeout has less tears and injuries... or perhaps a polite nod back to the classic It's a Knockout without the daft costumes, jokers and the hyena cackling that was Stuart Hall - the man who single handedly made it watchable (although the less said about It's a Royal Knockout the better).
The thing that really makes it for me though is the presenter John Henson who at the end of every episode says - quite straight faced - "And Big Balls".
I doubt that means quite the same in US speak, but I know what it means over here and it's definitely titter-worthy.
If you haven't caught onto it yet - I'd suggest you give it a go, but pass on the UK version. It's just no…

Science IS fun!

I've just finished watching Jim Al-Khalili presenting the programme Chemistry: A Volatile History on BBC4. It was absolutely engrossing especially when covering what could become a very boring subject (think Open University 1970's). A great presenter... and why does his surname make me think Alkali?... hmmm... I am so relieved that we in the UK have such an amazing organisation at the BBC when it comes to producing such stunning programming as this, after all, which commercial broadcasters and producers do you know who would even touch something like this with a bargepole? Now, doubters, you think the licence fee isn't worth 4 channels and loads of national and local radio?

History of Everything

I would love to know why this song is not available (presently) on itunes. As a fan of the Barenaked Ladies I would love to get a copy on my MP3 player.

New photo

Today I decided I needed a new photo.

The nice thing about being a photographer, though, is that when you need a new photo to represent yourself it's fairly easy to sort and costs nothing.
The new one represents me as I now am due to my rather dramatic change of hair (or loss of...).
Taken using three strobes, all at the left of the picture and all bounced into umbrellas - silver for my face, and white for the rest of me.
I had to do a little work on the highlights, particularly around the headstock of the bass and on my trousers and the guitar strap, but the effort was worth it and I'm really pleased with the result.

Facebook - the latest target for scammers.

Facebook is being swamped just lately by scammers.

In traditional 5 things style - here's 5 things that you can't get on Facebook by joining groups of becoming a fan of or adding an application.

1. Gold Accounts. They don't exist. Simple.

2. A dislike button. Same again. No such thing (yet) although when Facebook decide to add it you'll know about it.

3. See who's looking at your profile. I can tell you who is - people who are your friends (provided you've set it private)... otherwise, anyone. The lists generated are random - if you don't believe me, run the app twice in quick succession.

4. You can't have the old layout back.

5. You can't change the layout or colours of your profile. They all look the same. Fact.

Finally... will people stop inviting me to groups and become fans of things I don't give a shit about?

Five things I discovered this week:

1. Tesco's Mobile Phone Shop in Wath is crap.

2. Volvo drivers are blind. They must be, cos they never see anyone else on the road.

3. Apparently, you have to tune your bass weekly... damn.

4. Something I posted a month ago came true recently... read between the lines... you know what I mean.

5. Micro USB exists... and I thought my new Samsung phone had a bizarre charger it turns out it's the new standard one for all phones.

Prog is stagnating...

In the early nineties a group of progressive rock fans formed a little known organisation called The Classic Rock Society, and lo, it was good.

People around the world joined because after all - no-one else would touch Prog with a shitty stick. Bands couldn't get gigs because most venues wanted to put on the latest brit-pop soundalikes. We were all wearing pale coloured baggy linen suits with pastel shirts, and there were just three Star Wars films.

It was an unsure time for Music. The fledgling Internet was still running at clockwork speeds and MP3 had yet to become a buzzword...

The CRS (thankfully the appreciation bit was dropped because CRAS was just not a good acronym) continued to slog on with the likes of Martin Hudson, Jenny Allan, Paul Allwood, Terry Craven and a dedicated team of helpers making it happen. First at The Florence, and originally - one off - at The Montgom (before it shut, then reopened). Moving up to the HLC and then Oakwood... getting bigger... getting better…

Tribute bands sadden me

Tribute bands have their place. There's no doubting that it's nice to see a song you know and love being performed note perfect, such as the excellent Italian band The Watch (pictured), but it saddens me that this very talented band - who perform Genesis covers as well as their own material - pulled such a large crowd at the Wesley Centre tonight, and yet had they been performing their own material instead of Genesis covers I would expect the crowd to shrink to about a quarter of that which was in tonight.
Without original bands, where would the tribute bands be?

Thanks Classic Rock Society!

Thanks Classic Rock Society!
Originally uploaded by Last Human Gateway 6th best album of the year?

Yes... we're chuffed!

Just noticed... 10th best gig of the year too! Thanks CRS! Again.


I like the new Facebook layout which appeared about about half past seven tonight. As usual people will whinge, but based on the fact that you're using a free site as are hundreds of your friends, and Facebook offer you free storage of photos, blogs, etc. Do you actually have any right to whinge?. Go on... take your business elsewhere... but where will you go that actually offers the same as Facebook? - Bebo?

I like it. Nuff said.

Meanwhile... I had a happy happy joy joy moment today. I went to add someone to a photo and found when I typed their name in it didn't appear in the requester any more. When I went to their profile directly they'd defriended me. Oh I'm so sad. It was a relic from CRS days when I had to be nice to this person that they were a friend on Facebook, but in all honesty without naming names, I can say that I have never met a bigger more egotistic twat who actually managed to conduct an entire gig without uttering so much as a grunt at me. Good fucking…


I love this alternative version of the old Rock-Paper-Scissors game. I first saw it on The Big Bang Theory, but have since found out it is rather a lot older than that.

Today... I chose Spock. Hannah's lizard bit my Spock and he died. Hannah got the bath first.

Most Haunted... so bad it's good.

I love Most Haunted...
It has it's faults from the incredibly annoying David Bull from a few series ago, a man who single handedly made the links between the good screamy bits so boring it forced me to go to bed early. When I found out he was a Tory MP candidate I wasn't in the least bit surprised.

When he disappeared without trace and Jonathan Woss's slightly less famous but far less annoying and over paid brother Paul took over it was a good day for Most Haunted. Oh and Paul can pronounce "Most Haunted Live" without the comedy connotations...

Derek "Rik Eedles" Acorah, is of course, the worst. He gets on my nerves with his terrible possessions and the "sweary bloke" who repeatedly verbally abuses and threatens "get thy hands off me wench" and similar "ye olde tea shoppe" bollocks to Yvette.
Ciaran O'Keeffe had his day though when Derek uttered two words that changed his career forever - Kreed Kafer - an anagram of Derek F…

How to avoid dying in an Earthquake?

I don't like religions.
Because they hate each other.
I found the above on Youtube today. Obviously this poor misguided soul thinks the entire world will convert to Islam and avoid earthquakes etc. Later on in the same video his comments are even more misguided, calling Jesus Christ the "created". Obviously according to ths guy, on 7th December 1998,26th December 2004 and 8th October 2005, Muslims weren't following the Quran hard enough or must have forgotten to face Mecca at the predetermined time of day.
Sorry, lad, but Earthquakes and other natural disasters aren't discriminate. They don't pick you based on faith, colour, gender, sexual orientation or any other criteria. They strafe lands, destroy lives, homes, businesses, crops and infrastructure. They'll take a fragile human body and snap it in two, scattering parts throughout the land if they so wish. Tell me, would any sentient and divine being do such a thing?... er... no.
I'm Pagan. We respec…

2 years in Manning... what an event!

On 5th Feb 2008 I auditioned for Manning and got the job.
Yes... I definitely have not looked back...

RoSfest preparations

We’re now less than 90 days away from RoSfest and it’s getting rather frightening.We’re actually talking Visas, and flight times - now why are only the London airports the ones offering the cheap flights? Do you think it’s grossly unfair that anyone living away from London automatically gets penalised in taxi / fuel costs when travelling to the USA or some other far flung destination?

Also, last time I was at Heathrow, I do remember it was a bit of a ming pit!

I’ve started to unlock some of my flickr photos, but not that many… probably about 1% of my photos at any one time (I actually have over 13,000 photos now).

Last night on my way home from rehearsal I came down a little country lane near home and saw the most amazing sight - the milky way, Orion, and a gibbous moon all looking splendid so I stopped and took some photos… my picture of The Great Orion Nebula (adjacent) is one such example.

What an uncultured lot we are!

I'm amazed and rather shocked today at how uncultured we are becoming!

A Gentleman is no longer a Gentleman - when was the last time you ever saw the writing "Gentlemen" on a toilet block? - these days we usually get a little picture of a man with two legs and the woman balancing on one leg.

I found this out when attempting to buy an item to enable me to wear my dress shirt onstage whilst being able to play bass and look smart.

The item in question is a pair of armbands. Not the dayglo orange items you stick around your arms when you can't swim, but the silver or gold spring-like bands to hold the upper sleeves of a dress shirt in.
No-one sells them on the high street any more, not even the local tailors. What does the modern Gent do when he wants to dress up dapper?
More to the point - why do I always have to put a 2nd button hole in a shirt to make it take cufflinks? It's a damn good job I can sew!