Showing posts from May, 2010

You never visit what's near you.

It's always the truth that you never visit or appreciate what's nearby. Take Bolsover Castle for example - just off Junction 29A of the M1 and less than half an hour's drive away - and I've never been.

Well I have now - as we met up with Hannah's parents and enjoyed a day at the castle. Not quite a Mediaeval castle - more mock Mediaeval rich man's playhouse, but still impressive.
I'm rather impressed with my cupola picture...

The other visitors were rather bemused by a bloke in a black shirt and leather trousers laying on the floor, sticking a camera up in the air, and taking photos of the ceiling, or the same bloke setting up a camera on "The Pod" and taking a self portrait of himself sitting on some old steps... which gets me onto...
TOURISTS. Why do they insist on spoiling your shot by walking straight across, dreaming, in a world of their own... and in the case of the annoying kid (deleted from the top shot thanks to The Gimp and a second shot…

RoSfest... a month on.

It's hard to believe it's almost a month since we played RoSfest. The time since has flown, and the number of new fans we've picked up is rather good.

In all it was a superb experience, with it's high and low points throughout the long and arduous journey to the festival.

It was about 16th June 2009 when the email came into me. We had to keep it quiet as contracts hadn't been exchanged, but we'd been offered the festival slot on Saturday - a 2pm slot so not too shabby!

Have you ever tried keeping massively important news quiet for 6 weeks when other bands around you are announcing their festival plans? - it's not easy, but we did it.

On August 1st it was announced - Manning were playing RoSfest... and the bitterness and backbiting started. A certain member of a certain band told a very good friend of mine (who the certain band member wasn't aware was a good friend of mine) "they're only getting RoSfest because Kris is in the CRS". Well, actual…

The Twelfth Night of Eurovision

How the hell do you combine two titles?
Anyway... first onto Twelfth Night at the Montgomery Hall (a CRS gig). Yeah, it was OK - what I saw - but the sound was dreadful. The mix was all middley, and vocals were poorly defined. I didn't linger for too long as my poor ears are still suffering slightly from RoSfest (planes... damn pressure changes) and the tail end of the infection from last year which is still rearing it's ugly head from time to time.

Meanwhile... just HOW did that guitarist get into his leather trousers, and more to the point... did we REALLY need to see the outline of his winkie?

No, really. No. Please - go for something looser fitting next time. It's embarrassing.

Onto Eurovision. I love watching the voting on Eurovision. I don't watch the songs because they're detritus - but it's amusing to see how the politics and tactical voting is going, and to see Greece and Cyprus give each other 12 points - oh what would we do without that annual event?


Broccoli Float Soup

I made this today. It's a summery soup, with the thickness and texture of a winter soup... so the best of both worlds in one then!

2 medium sized carrots
2 medium sized potatoes
A nice sized head of broccoli
1 white onion
1 bunch spring onions (about 10)
4 cloves garlic
Ground Ginger
Caraway Seeds
Ground chilli seeds
White Pepper
A veggie OXO cube

Chop the carrots and potatoes finely, cut the broccoli into little trees about the size of a thumbnail.

Fry the onions and garlic in a saucepan with a little vegetable oil until they go brown and transparent. Meanwhile, crush about a teaspoon of chilli seeds as much as you possibly can (pestle and mortar if you have one).

Once the onions are browned pull the pan off the heat and leave a minute - then add a good heaped teaspoon of caraway seeds, the potato, carrot and about 2 pints of water (add the water last to prevent spitting). Return to the heat and add the oxo cube and chilli sees (I suppose you could use chicken stock if you're not a veg…

The studio moles...

Yesterday Guy and I spent an inconceivable percentage (see Kris Hudson-Lee's Long Words Dictionary) of yesterday cooped up in the studio recording the basslines for Charlestown (the title track) and Clocks, thus wrapping up my part of the Charlestown epic. Yes it was hard work - after all Charlestown is 35 minutes long and Clocks is played on the upright, but boy do they sound nice and the hard work has paid off.

After tea (lovingly prepared by Julie) I decided to pop down to the Wesley Centre and catch the tail end of the Jump gig down there. I must say Jump have always amazed me... how such a unique band with such a charismatic vocalist don't play in front of many more people and do some decent festival supports I don't know... there are some bands (who I won't name) who seem to get all the festival slots and actually... don't deserve them.

Finally, Manning has a new drummer as you probably know - the incredibly young Conor - who looks like you want to ID him to se…

The state of the music industry

The music "industry" is fucked. Plain & Simple.
Music, however... isn't.
In this time of MP3 self important twats like Simon Cowell must be shitting kidneys at the thought that his already massive pot of shekels could soon be shrinking somewhat.
Once upon a time people like him used to make or break a band. You had to have a label because you couldn't get a record out otherwise, and if you weren't quite to their liking you didn't get the deal. If you did get the deal it was in the order of 5% of 5% of 5% and people like this man <- made loads of money off your back for very little work.
Now the problem is... they still behave like this. To quote a rather stunning artist played on Radio 2 rather a lot recently "I went to xxxxxxxx record label and they said they weren't signing anyone unless they came in through a talent show such as X-Factor". xxxxxxxx was a bloody big label!
She decided to go it alone and now charts regularly. You can probably…

Party Politics...

So the Labour party didn't win the election - and I can hardly say I'm surprised. Dithering Gordon Brown has pushed them off course and they're heading rapidly back into left wing unelectable territory in my opinion, however, they are the lesser of two evils.
Cameron's tories are just despicable beyond all belief... Etonian toffs ensuring jobs for the boys and making sure their mates all do well and the rest of us can manage with what we're given and enjoy it - frankly, I can't believe people believed their twaddle.
The Lib Dems under Nick Clegg seemed like a breath of fresh air. I liked their policies, although the immigration amnesty did scare me somewhat... so for the first time in my life my vote went yellow (although I still voted Labour in the local elections).
Now the problem is, I'm regretting it. Clegg is cosying up with Cameron and I don't like that one bit. If a Tory-Lib Dem coalition government happens then my next vote will be swinging back to…

Coming home

Well after the festival, as you can imagine, we were pretty much a centre of attention. Invites to room parties followed, many autographs were signed, and we felt rather good about it.
Yes, I would love to do it again - and I'm sure we will sometime soon...
The journey home went fairly hitch-less, apart from having to kill time in the airport at Dulles due to us being dropped there at 11am (our flight wasn't until 6:30pm). Thankfully - Dulles isn't actually too bad as airports go and I managed to find laptop power and play a little Open Transport Tycoon.
A slight scary moment occurred as we found, whilst sat at the bar in the airport, that airspace over Ireland was closed... but apart from a slight diversion south of the Republic it didn't affect us too much.
Anyhow, I walked into the house at about 1pm on Tuesday... jet lagged, tired, and rather groggy feeling... and I slept.
Looking back on it all it was worth it - 18 hours of flying for an hour and a half of gig... yes. …

The Gig... oh yes, the gig.

I'm sitting at the laptop in the hotel room, it's about 10 to nine and I'm feeling like, well, the beer monkeys have shit in my mouth and stolen all my money... but I feel so good.
The gig yesterday was absolutely amazing - I will go as far as to say, well, the best gig I've ever played in my life. Bar none. I just wish my family could have been here... and I'm really missing them now. I've been able to Skype with Hannah but the volume level is awful and the picture keeps breaking up or dropping connection - but it's nice to have this facility. Just 3 or 4 years ago none of this VOIP calling would have happened this way.
I'm not far away from breakfast, although Steve and Chris are both still in bed so I apologise if the clicking of the keyboard wakes them.
The gig we played was: A Strange Place (from The Cure)The Dream (from A Matter of Life and Death)Antares (from Bilston)Ships (from Number Ten)Silent Man (from AMOLAD)TIC (from Charlestown - unreleased as…