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Friday, September 30, 2005


modern art can be wonderful. it can inspire. it can also make you go what the fuck is this.
the show at the andrew mummery gallery falls into the category don't even waste your time. it is everything you don't like about modern art.
avoid at all costs.

right now i am off to have a coffee at coffee@ with joel (even though i shouldn't mention his name!)


once again technology has beaten me.
there i was playing with the new camera (it is a lovely thing). i do this, i do that, i email a few pictures here, and there, i even put one or two on the blog.
go to save them to a new file, as i want to amend them to send some of the gig pictures to the lovely piney gir at wired women.
where have they gone?
no idea.

oh well a lesson learnt.


it is one of my favourite buildings. it is in one of my favourite places. so it's a bit of a winner really.
it is hawksmoor's christchurch. peter ackroyd has written a book about it. i have been told the book is very good. i just managed to get 50 pages into before i realised it was shite and it wasn't looking like it was going to get better.
one day i will give it another (probably just after i have had another attempt at joyce's ulysses.....


coming back from the wired women gig that took place in the spitz i decided to walk home. the exercise would do me good i thought. of i trudged, the gig had been good, a couple of bands to check out in the future, a contented little bee i was. there was some light spitting rain. nothing to worry about, i like the rain.
little did i realise that as i crossed that invisible line that meant i could no longer do anything other than walk home the heavens would open up and i would get soaked. i was absolutely drenched by the time i got home.

but the walk home was invigorating.
i felt fresh and alive.
it reminded me why i loved the rain.

though it did feel nice to get dry and then snuggle up under the duvet.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


why do they bother?
is it because they can't get jobs elsewhere? (surely archie will give them a good word at asda?)
so two more have thrown their hats into the ring.

david davis is banging on about modern conservatism and radical reforms to improve the lives of people, we'll ignore that conservative and radical seem to be uneasy bedfellows. so what does this entail? more public service changes (at a guess this means less of them, and what there are will be responsible to a profit making company), eu reform and of course gutting taxes and less state involvement (again lets guess what this means - mmmm less of the things we want and need from the state such as health and education and more of the things we don't want such as prescriptions of how to live our lives while corporations get away with making our lives a misery - either in the workplace or in the ways they mess with our daily lives...)
not sure about you but this doesn't seem new and this version of modern conservatism seems to be exactly what major, hague, ids and howard have been offering.

davis does talk about how his tory idealism would provide a "consensus to change" (read that to be i am going to make sure my mates are fine and so no one will have a go at me for my ludicrous policies...)
and how radical is a consensus?
answer not very.
(though the idea of consensus breaking out in the tory party is a radical thought.)

on the other hand david cameron is talking about "change to win". added to this is the management speak of self help there is "a we, as well as me in politics" (well no shit sherlock... pardon me for thinking that politicians were there for the benefit of the community and not the other way round!)
talk about winning back the trust of the voter is paramount so how is going to do that.
mm be open to new ideas like the flat tax (tax cutting for the rich), that there should be strong national sovereignty (because currently we are so wishy washy about it) and that rolling back the state shouldn't be at the expensive of the weak.

mmmm now let me see what is the difference between davis and cameron?
oh not a thing...
(well cameron couches his bollocks in shite terms, but that isn't much of a difference.)

liam fox has gone on about europe. no change there then!

so to sum it up the tory leadership contest will mean the following changes:
different face same old story.

it is so sad it is no longer funny (oh ok i am lying as i am giggling away about it...)


this is what my desk looks like.
it is tidier than it used to be.
check out the noo noo - top class present that made me smile all day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


started watching the new tv sensation "lost".
stupidly i started watching it at a time when all sensible people are fast asleep and deep in dreams. me i was looking at the clock and thinking stay awake and get into work early.
so first disc is in - 4 episodes. the pilot is entertaining. the characters are uniformly central casting types. square jawed hero and anti-hero to appeal to the ladies, a bit of an anti-establishment musician with a british accent - he's a bit rough but still loveable. the women are pretty, none seem to have problems with hair, weight or skin.... there is one fat bloke, an old bloke, a smattering of ethnic types and a bunch of people who will be in the background until it is their time to push the story forward (or die).
so far the premise is interesting: plan mysteriously crashes onto a mysterious island that has lots of mysteries on it. even the survivors carry the air of mysterious about them and they all seem to have secrets.
the first episode successfully sets up the fact that not all is right in what looks like paradise. there are mysterious sounds in the jungle. the second episode reveals more and hints at some of the secrets of the cast.
so far i am enjoying it.

but you said there were 4 episodes on the disc.
mmm so i did.

ok i admit it i fell asleep during episode 3, woke up for the ending of it and the start of 4, and nodded off again.
so those two will be for tonight....

currently still knackered and i was late for work.


well here is something done on the new digital. not what i have wanted to be doing with it but getting a feel for it. and loving it.


just listened to some fred durst.
i liked it.

i must be tired.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


the new labour party is having its conference this week, (it was the liberals last week and next week it will be the turn of the conservatives).
i have been able to catch the two main beasts in the new labour jungle give their speeches, and i was impressed by both. yesterday brown's speech was a clear call to arms - his clarion call one of "you know it makes sense, i am the man to lead you to another term..." today tony blair got up and pretty much showed that when push comes to shove there is no one better than him in british politics (and it could be argued world politics). a cleverly constructed speech - pushing all the right buttons, a few laughs, a few self deprecating barbs, a reminder of what labour used to mean (i am sure the audience clapped because they remembered those days fondly), a warning that the old ways won't work and the usual baiting of his political opponents.
all in all a bravura performance.
and it was all for nothing.
what do you mean pat? do you mean it was pointless because he will be gone in a few years (well maybe and maybe not, i wouldn't want to bet the farm that he finds a way to stay on...).
no i mean all that work, all that effort to show how slick, how professional, how caring and forward looking is wasted when their nearest rivals just keep blowing it.

the conservative party has a lame duck leader, he has said he wants to go and many others have said they want to take his place.
seems simple really.
but the party that used to be electorally unstoppable seems incapable of working out how to elect their leader. the recent proposed method has been thrown out by the conservative party’s electoral college.
how blair must have laughed. brown must be chortling away to himself thinking “shoo in, it’s a shoo in”.

so i propose we all put our thinking caps on and help the tories get over this hump by suggesting other ways that they can discover who should lead them to their fourth successive defeat.
perhaps a sudoku championship? perhaps a scavenger hunt ? see who can eat the most pies in the quickest time?
it doesn’t really matter. in a sense i have been fortunate to see the party who ruined so much of britain become a farce of a political party. it is just a shame that it means that there is no longer and consistent and effective opposition to new labour.

Monday, September 26, 2005


another free gig. and what a treat it was.
mister lee who were sold as being anti-folk. the signer has a voice that was like bono in that he could do loud shouty rock and quiet melodic stuff, he gripped his mic as if he were henry rollins and had bulging forearms to go with it. throughout the whole gig he sat, well perched (rather precariously at times) on a flight case. not only did he sing, he banged a drum and twiddled knobs to get different sounds from his voice.
he was accompanied by a guitarist and bass player (who also played eclectic fiddle) both were fine musicians.
but mister lee is really just one person's band, he knows it, they know it, but it doesn't stop them from rocking out.
very good, very entertaining will go see them again - even if they are from leicester!

they were followed by moly who are part of the post rock movement. two guitarists, bass and drums. following in the footsteps of godspeedyoublackemperor moly build slowly and rise to a crashing crescendo of noise and music. in essence there is a terrible sense of deja vu about all their songs slow quiet slow quiet fast fast louder louder faster faster crashing crashing sound. the only differences between the songs are the length of the slow fast and loud bits.
however they do it well and when they rock out they rock out.
but the format of the music limits them, or they are limited by the fact they are guitar based - who knows add in a keyboard or some strings and you have a whole new palette of sounds to play with.
i must have enjoyed them i bought their cds. and i know i will go see them again...


i am a user of technology.
i wish i was rich as i would buy loads of wonderful technological things (some that would be useful, some that would just look nice, some that i want but have no real need for. i would list all of them that i would but it would be a very long list).
but i also have an odd relationship with technology - it seems to hate me.

so given i hate mobile phones it should come as no surprise that my mobile phone has not worked properly since i have had it.
for a long time i couldn't turn it off.
now i can turn it off.
used to be able to get text messages.
now i can't read them (the phone teases me by letting me know i have the text, but it just won't let me read them...)

and now thanks to the miracle of technology i have managed to delete all my numbers.... i am not sure how i did it, but i have. all those numbers of all those people i had stored in case i would ever need them (such as rocket pizza) have now all disappeared. so i will have to start the long boring process of 1] remembering who they were 2] asking them to give me their numbers 3] adding them back into the phone.
not really sure why i am going to go to all that trouble as i rarely use it, but somehow i think i should pretend to be part of the 21st century and have a mobile filled with numbers. especially as, unlike my pal paul who has a phone that can show movies, my cheap arsed phone does nothing beyond making and receiving calls.....

technology can't live with it, can't kill it.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


it suddenly occurred to me the other day while i was buying the new look guardian (not as wonderful as they make it out to be - but nicely convenient) that i have not really been following the news that much recently. that i am very very far behind on what is going on in the world.
i should go home tonight and read the observer and the sunday times but i think i will go to a free gig instead....
i think i am becoming american....


was at the interim galley/ maureen paley gallery today. it is one of those spaces that i really like. it is one of the many white cubes that epitomise the art gallery.
showing there was the latest show by wolfgang tillsman - "truth study centre". now i have to admit that i am not a tillsman fan.
when he won the turner prize in 2000 i think that for me more than anything signaled that the turner prize was not about art anymore, but it was about image.
photography is one of those art forms that anyone can do and anyone can do well, especially with the advent of easy to use digital camera. so to be a good photographer you have to have more than just a decent camera. you can have a great technique, such as ansel adams, you can be an innovator, think man ray, you can have a defined style, think mapplethorpe, you can have a special subject matter, such as nan goldin. none of these people are defined by the camera they use they are defined by what they bring to the use of the camera. they bring their eye for what is interesting for what is art.
tillsman just seems to take snaps - not even photos. they just seem to be things that most of us would take to boots on a roll of happy snaps, flick through them once and then move on. not have them displayed in a gallery for everyone to see.
true the art that is displayed on the ground floor is impressive and enjoyable being as it is mainly black spaces that are broken up by "stress" lines that appear in the images. they appealed to me.
the work that is upstairs bored me rigid, all of it was displayed on purposed built tables, all with perspex tops, which meant that the overhead lights ended up obscuring some of the image: no loss really. none of the images appealed, none seem to stretch the art, or question the art - other than saying "hey look i am getting paid a fortune for doing stuff you lot consign to the photo box in the junk room!".
the only images i liked were of a branch outside a window going from bearing fruit to being bare, a nice capturing of the seasons.
the only other thing of note was a blown up extract from an interview of norquist in newsweek where he describes americans as being people who do not want to be european and who have fought many wars to stay that way. and that those who wanted to remain european who were too lazy to move back were called canadians.....
all in all an exhibition that i would recommended you don't go to.

Friday, September 23, 2005


for no real reason i feel shit.
feel all kinda blocked up and lethargic.
going for a curry and a coffee shortly - maybe that will perk me up.

or maybe i need a solid satidfying dump?

Thursday, September 22, 2005


today (while i was spending more money than i should have been) i noticed two things:
1] breasts are getting larger and more of them are on view. this is a good thing. (sorry emma).
2] policemen are getting younger. this is probably a good thing, except so many of them look like they have only just had their first shave and that just seems wrong.


i was going to review the all star batman and robin comic by frank miller and jim lee. on paper it is a project made in comic book heaven. both are stellar name creators. both have a history with batman. frank miller has just become nova hot property thanks to sin city.
to be honest i wasn't looking forward to it. i expected it to be more of the same as they had done in the past, but an uneasy alliance of miller's noir style with lee's hyper real art.
oh if that was the only problem with it.
rather than waste anyone's time talking about it: let me sum it up briefly. shite shite shite.

(better executed in terms of the writing and art was the latest issue of wolverine by mark millar and kaare andrews, but the premise was so whack that you spent most of it going what the fuck were they thinking when they did this. i don't know, i am not sure they know. and i am pretty sure the only reason it got printed (a bit like the all star batman and robin) is that millar is someone the companies do not want to piss off).

bring back stan is all i can say.


after much talking about it, after much cogitating, after much dithering and procrastinating i have finally done it.
i am now the proud owner of a nikon d70.
a big woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo for me.

have to admit there is something odd about buying something that expensive. i feel a bit deflated now. i guess i just don't get the whole shopping thing. at least not for big items.
tomorrow when my copy of essential ghost rider and my 3 new corgi batmobiles turn up i will be as happy as a pig in shit. these are small knickknacks bought for fun, and like a kid at christmas i will get excited about them.
(hell the batmobiles are even making me think it is time to dust down the mantelpiece and change the items that are on there - something that has not been done in at least 5 years - quentin crisp eat your heart out (except in him it's eccentric behaviour in me just plain messy laziness, not that i am arguing...)

anyway dear reader i have the camera, you can look out for lots of doom and gloomy pictures to appear on here now (hah hah paul you thought you had escaped that - but no!!!!)

now i can just think of the next big purchase i am going to make.
the apple ibook. that should be next month....


i drink a lot of coffee. probably far too much.
i love it, i need it, i crave it. hell i am addicted to the stuff.
i drink a lot of it in coffee@ in brick lane.
here is a moody, arty picture of the place i drink.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


is the bus that controls my life.
it gets me to work.
it gets me into the west end.
it gets me home.
i have a love hate relationship with it - it is a necessary evil that never does quite what i want it to.

but ah the magic has returned.
college has started up and qmc's union bar is open again.
what on earth does that have to do with buses you say.
hunnies and hotties i say!
oh yes the lovely ladies of qmc board the 25 to go to the union bar, and what a gorgeous lot they are. i never know quite where to look.

have already fallen in lust with a liverpudlian who is a short, cuddly version of lucy (xena) lawless crossed with bettie page. stunning. she is my diva of the 25, long may she ride it. (the bus that is.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


i find it really hard to write about music. how do you describe sounds? do you compare them to something else you hope someone else has heard? do you get all technical and talk about the time changes? i just don't know.
i confess that as much as i enjoy listening to music and as much as i enjoy going to gigs there is something not quite right about gigs - i can never hear all the song, the vocals are never very clear. perhaps i am going deaf.
the concert environment is about energy.

last night at the spitz there was not much energy from the audience (it was a free gig and so only mates of mates were there).
but the two bands i saw played it like the place was full and played it for real.

hello geiger featured a female singer who looked a little like judie tzuke (showing my age here) and had a good strong rock voice. hesitant at first the bass heavy band got into a nice groove and belted out a few numbers mixing up the pace between slow and rocky. apparently it was their second gig, on the basis of this they will get regular work.

dirty notes were much more at ease on the stage with a confident line in patter and a tight sound. coming from the irish rock tradition that has spawned such bands as stiff little fingers, horslips and thin lizzy (though not quite on a par with them)they played with gusto and verve. the keyboard was lost in the mix but the guitar and bass did a wonderful job.

both bands i would go and see again. neither band i expect to do much in terms of commercial success.

Monday, September 19, 2005


i know i have not posted a review recently. to be honest it is because i have not done much.
but off to a gig right now, even though i have a chocolate induced headache, expect to read about it tomorrow.


it’s a bit of a rushed one tonight. have a headache, feeling like a big bag of dog pooh but i am off to a gig. it is free so i feel like i can’t miss it even if i am not going to enjoy it.
so there you go.
why have i got the headache? spent pretty much all the weekend scoffing chocolate like it was going out of fashion. am suffering for it now. so children don’t follow my example – chocolate can give you headaches and make you fat, stick to cocaine it makes you skinny and give you a modeling contract.
say no to choc.
say yes to charlie.


I was doing a favour for joel (he doesn’t like his name being mentioned) and his magazine. They were covering the first uk women’s only parkour event.
For those who don’t know (and that included me) parkour is the free running craze of people who run over and through things rather than going around them. So it involves a lot of coordination, strength, speed, agility and I guess an element of fearlessness. All of these are attributes I do not have.
So I was there to take photos of the event. My standard slr was not going to be good enough and as I have yet to get my digital slr j (cos he doesn’t like his name being mentioned) had to provide me with a digital. It was a little point and shot type thing, with enough pixels to do the job.
I get there and there are loads of, frankly, very fit women getting all limbered up for their introduction to parkour course. There were also several other photographers there – all with big fuck off and die proper digital slr. Straight away I had lens envy.
I watched the goings on for a bit, to get a feel of what was going on, so I could choose my shots and such like. Picked my place, waited waited, waited and click… shit didn’t work, wait wait, click… nope not quite right. And so it went. Girls would jump, run, tumble, leap, roll, swing and hanging. I would point and click and in learnt that cartier bresson’s moment was not with me. I would catch the action just after the significant point……
The small camera made me feel like I was a total perve (I am one, I don’t deny it but normally I keep it private), then there was the added frustration of the camera not being up for the job (the poor pictures were a mix of me and the camera…) both in combination made me feel like a bit of an impostor at the event.
I have not seen all the pics so I don’t know if j (he doesn’t like his name being mentioned) got what he wanted, but trust me if any of my pics do appear I will be telling you all to go out and buy his magazine and to have you all write in and say what a jolly fine picture there were with the article…..
Aside from my discomfort at being there (I had to confess to one of the pr girls – who was a cutie with lovely black hair – that I felt odd taking pictures of so many sportswear clad women) i couldn’t help but be impressed with the event. All the women seemed to be enjoying themselves, the instructors were very good and were very encouraging (not sure how much of this comes form the fact that they were all free running practioners and not just instructors and that they are trying to “convert” people to it), by the end of the session everyone had leaped, jumped and rolled on to and off things in the gym. Only one person hurt themselves, everyone finished the session off, all of them had big grins on their faces.
It looked fun, but I have to admit I am not going to give it a go.
And it will come as no surprise when I admit I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the ladies.
Go here to see more

Friday, September 16, 2005


magic bus ride today.
got on the 205 expecting to go to liverpool street.
it bacame the 15 and i ended up getting of at monument instead.
still it was a nice walk through some streets i don't normally walk down - so no complaints there.

but it did mean i was not able to get where i wanted on time......


one of the things i like about my job is the fact that occasionally i get to see films before they open. last night i got to see serenity.
the film is based on the failed tv series by buffy creator joss whedon.
i was not sure if i was going to enjoy the movie - i was never a big buffy fan, and all i had seen of the serenity tv series looked awful.

i was pleasantly surprised, but then i am a sucker for decent science fiction movies.
basic plot is that the crew of serenity are rogues who occasionally do bad stuff. they are comprised of people who were on the losing side of a galactic war against the alliance. one of their crew is an escapee from the alliance. the alliance wants her back partly because she is a killing machine and partly because she might have a secret that will severely damage the alliance. the alliance are going to do their best to get her back. the crew of the serenity are going to do their best to stop them.
if this had been the tv series i reckon the ending might have been in doubt, because you can keep them coming back week in and week out. because it was the film you knew the semi-good guys were going to win.

what made buffy a good tv show (even if i wasn't fan) was the snappy dialogue and ensemble cast: both are in evidence in the serenity movie.
there are some great scenes between the various members of cast who have all grown to know each during the making of the series so there is an ease of acting from them. there are some great action sequences and there are some good effects.

equally there is a feeling that this is a tv movie - not in the sense that it is made for tv, but in that it is the tv cast, the tv crew and the tv sensibility was all part and parcel of making the movie. you could see the same thing with the x-files movie and the star trek movies.
this isn't necessarily a bad thing - it just gives it a different feel to a movie that has been made as a movie movie.

for those of us who remember blake's 7 there will be echoes of the past in this movie. the "western" feel of the characters gives it a nice frontier vibe, although the cod "western" dialogue from one or two of the characters does get a little wearing after a while. but they are minor quibbles.

not a classic, not even a great film but all in all a fine and fun night of viewing.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


typing this in the apple store. nothing much to say. spent most of the day wet.
off to see serenity now.
more tomorrow.

oh that means no reveiw tonight.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


just some odds and sods really. the new version of the guardian is quite nice - easy to use (though judging by some of the comments in the letter page today it is the equivalent of the guttenberg bible...) but while it is nice to be able to read the guardian on the bus and dlr i think i will be going back to the independent. why you ask? because the guardian website is free the indie's site has parts that are pay to view (why why why?) found my lost glasses. they were close to where i would have left them if i had not lost them. if you see what i mean. the fact i didn't find them till late last night meant no real review today. so i may have to mention a gallery show i went to at the weekend. stay tuned. we beat the australians at cricket. woo hoo. ok game over, move on. (actually i have been meaning to do a long blog about sport but have never quite gotten round to it (but i will) i will say that for most of us the national squad winning doesn't really change our lives, it might leave a warm glow, or sore head, but that is all there is to it. oh ok maybe for the welsh it is different.) i still have people asking me if i saw such and such on the box last night. have now given up reminding people i do not watch tv. there is still a pickle shortage at tescos. seemingly just enough pickle to make corned beef sarnies with. not enough for a cheese and pickle sarnie. fuel protesters. they are turds, it goes without saying. most of them are people who have probably advocated the joys of globalisation and condemned secondary picketing. so what if a few lorry drivers loose their livelihoods, we had no problems seeing the mining, steel and shipbuilding communities disappear as their jobs went overseas. so bye bye mr lorry driver. for the private user of large 4x4 (normally found in the city) force them into little motors. and let’s hope that if they get out of line there are a few heavy handed coppers around to lay the truncheon down. my other thoughts on this is that as this can be seen as part of an attack of the horrors of globalisation, moving of jobs overseas i recommend that call centre staff jam the phone lines of the newspapers and other organisations that support the fuel strike.

other than that all is well.

Monday, September 12, 2005


just a quick one as my head hurts and my eyes sting (see previous blog).
watched the movie debs last night. my pal cliff didn’t like it. me i quite enjoyed it. maybe it is because i am sucker for foxy chicks in fantasy school uniforms, maybe i just admired the lets make it a lesbian buddy coming of age redemption flick (not enough of them about i can tell you) perhaps was because the 5 principal characters were (to quote kiss) hot hot hotter than hell…..
ok the action is naff – the girls just couldn’t quite pull it off, obviously have been chosen for their looks rather than their action chops. true the film couldn’t quite make out quite what it was: teen comedy, sex comedy, action comedy, sexy actioner, school comedy, social satire… in places it is all of these things.
there was an element of this appearing to be a pilot for a tv show (girls in short plaid skirts – bring it on….) but that doesn’t seem to have happened.
i was impressed they went for the “right” ending, and the couple from opposite sides of the street got it on and walked off into the sunset.
a pleasant movie, with hot babe. can’t ask more from a film that isn’t triple x.


i am not a morning person. i like the night, i like the late night. my perfect day would start in the early evening and finish as others are going to work. sadly i have yet to find the career that allowed me to live like that.
i hate the mornings mostly because it is at that moment that you know something has gone wrong and the rest of the day is going to be pants.
monday mornings can set the tone for the rest of the week.
today mine started off shit and looks like it is going to stay that way.
had a bad night sleeping was up a few times in the night - to read, to crack open a tin of diet coke, to read some more, to think should i have a bath (4 am - is it a good time to bath or not?) somewhere in all of this moving to and fro i left my glasses down somewhere. oh joy, not quite as blind as a bat but a day in front of a computer screen is not pleasant with everything just slightly out of focus.
now i have a headache and eyestrain plus lack of sleep.
i am a happy bunny.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


watched the movie 7 seconds starring wesley snipes last night.
it was a harmless, heist gone wrong double cross odd ball pairing type movie.
set in romania, wesley plays a disgraced soldier who is now operating a heist. it is all going smoothly until they end up stealing something they had not planned on, this gets them involved with another gang and that brings them to the attention of nato (following this?) also in the mix is the double cross in wesley's gang and now by coincidence one of the few british military police officers to be stationed at the nato base (none other than tamzin outhwaite of british tv fame..) she gets caught up in it, wesley steals her car, almost wrecks, they form a bond. everyone wants to blame wesley, not tamzin, the american military police don't like her (british and a bird!) she gets the info they can't. the other thing that has been stolen is a lost van gogh painting (it looks bigger than the case it is carried in - so i reckon it will end up creased...) more double crosses, more bluffs and more car chases.
eventually wesley and tamzin save the day and run off with the painting and some dosh.

it's a film that does not bear thinking about, does not warrant much analysis. in fact it not really worth the watching. some ok action, some nice touches with the camera angles. the location looks good. but if you have seen anyone of a number of heist gone bad or odd couple cop movies then this adds nothing to either genre. it is interesting to see tamzin in a movie role, she isn't too bad, wesley is wesley (and i suspect longing for the time when he was almost a serious actor and wished that like nic cage he can make action movies and still be allowed the chance to do films where he can show off his actor credentials....) the rest over act and mug the camera like they know this is their one chance of being in a direct to dvd movie.

only watch if you have absolutely nothing else to do with your time....

Saturday, September 10, 2005


candice breitz at the white cube in hoxton square.

there are 3 video installations in the show - two of them form part of the work called mother + father. breitz has taken 6 iconic movie parental clashes, digitally edited them so that only the mother or father appear on the screen, the backgrounds turned to black so that the character's dialogue and actions appear out of context of the original movie, but a new relationship is created when the edited versions are played next to the other screens. one side is the mothers, the other is for the fathers. both have six screens. the excerpts from the films are played in no particular order, they are jump cut, repeated, faded out, faded in but the talking heads are played in such away that they are talking to each other rather than the other people in the film. so at first listen the mother's seemed to be talking to each other about the problems of being mothers and of being daughters. while the fathers seemed to be imparting the wisdom of being parents. it is a peculiar viewing experience as the actors are removed from the role they are playing and so you can concentrate on their raw emotions (julia roberts comes out badly on this...). and then you can concentrate on what they are saying. the mixing and editing make it something you can watch several times and get different relationships out of it each time.

as good as that was queen (a portrait of madonna) is simply to die for.
it answers (the never asked question) of what do you get if you cross karaoke with pop idols and mix it with an idea stolen from gillian wearing.
basically you have 30 screens showing 30 heads all singing unaccompanied (they have headphones on so that they hear the music - we just get the voice) to the songs of madonna. the 30 voices combine surprisingly and do not sound too bad. but the joy of this comes from the fact that we are seeing these hopefuls mug it up for the camera, each person is filmed individually, each filmed just as a headshot. and some of them really do go for it in a major way. there are at least two singers there who have decent voices (you know that this is the closest they will come to being famous) and there are too many people who really do think that they are stars in the making while we all know that they are no more than deluded idiots.

it is mesmerising, it is funny, it is something that needs to be watched.
not sure it qualifies as art, but it could well be the format of a series of 3-5 minute tv shows.....

i will be going to this show again.
i urge you to go.


have (at last) reached 250 posts.... woooo hooo.

standing outside the white cube today (see review for what was on there), and i can see a chauffeur and a smart black car. mmmm must be someone famous in the gallery. i think i will hang around and see (not normally like that - but obviously the change in weather from humid, hot and dry to humid, hot and wet affected me...)
i was checking my camera was in the bag and ready to go. then i look up and notice that the flash car is also accompanied by a flash hearse - with coffin. decided that perhaps not the best place to take photos if it was someone famous.

then that reminded me of a review i heard on the radio (while there was a break in the cricket thanks to rain - no not a cricket fan, just like seeing us beat the aussies....). the review was about a film called the aristocrats, essentially the aristocrats is a joke that comedians tell each other (basically a guy goes to an agent and describes the most disgusting act he can and then says do you think you can book them? the agent asks what is their name? the guy says the aristocrats... boom boom) it's not funny per se apparently it is a joke that tells you about the type of comedian the person is. some of the comedians see it as being a jazz riff thing (which sounds more gross than the stories told frankly....). anyway the film sounds like the sort of thing i can well miss and not feel too bad.
but it got me thinking.
cliff has set up a dreaming blog so it almost behooves me to set up a gross blog. so are you up for it? do you have a gross story to tell?


ok so there was no review yesterday. blame computer problems.
there was no tidying (in fact there was messing as i had to find my camera which i had buried under loads of stuff..) camera was found. the rest down to me being lazy.

we have had rain the last couple of days, missed out on the storms that my pals have seen - just the rain for me.

oh i cancelled my debit card friday - i decided that i was never going to find it and as i was now borrowing cash to survive (thanks kg) i had better get a new one. friday night, going out, putting on a new pair of jeans back from the laundrette and what is in the pocket? oh yes that missing debit card. curses.

so i should get the new card thursday and i might even get my new camera that day (or friday) and then i will be insufferable and you dear reader will not only have text but pictures. can you wait? can you contain yourselves?
i thought not.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


no reviews today.
no tidying up today.
i feel like a bit of a fraud.

still off to the national portrait gallery tonight (all being well) and you will hear about that tomorrow.
have been given a new computer at work - still struggling to find my way round it. lots of fun, though i do wish they had given me a mac. i have "misplaced" a load of files, but hopefully they are on the back up discs i created....
i do know i have to reboot up the old machine at least once to drag some stuff off of there that i forgot to take off. otherwise there are going to be some jobs i just can't do.....

very tired at the moment - need an expensive coffee (although i can't afford it at the moment).

we seem to have the last few weeks of summer here - so the heat is annoying.

this is rambling, so i am going to go now.

(geez this was a pathetic blog - only people who are going to read this one are the cat massage furniture makers who have a decent pension, but need to loose weight as their ipods don't fit in their pockets anymore.)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


tonight’s review is a short one, and it is also written at a time when i should be at a gig, so who knows what i am going to review tomorrow.

it is another graphic novel (easy and fun to read).
it comes from a little company called ait/planetlar who are probably most famous for the astronauts in trouble series (it’s where the a i t comes from) and the various brian wood books they have done.
to be honest when i first set eyes on smoke and guns i was less than impressed by the cover, but the insides were a gorgeous fun filled treat of a graphic novel.
writer kirsten bladock and artist fabio moon tell the tale of scarlet a cigarette girl who is quick to break the rule and quicker to pull the trigger. in her sexy high heels she walks the walk, is as tough as nails and as sexy as you can be.

a glorious mix of noir, action and sassy comedy. the writing is sharp and crisp; the artwork is clean with a clear and consistent style that owes much too frank miller, will eisner and many on the continent.
with lines such as “nobody shoots my shoes..” “what kind of retard looks a girl in the room with the guns?” how can you not like it.
the action is fast and furious if it were a movie it would be matrix meets john woo.
it’s an easy read, the art flows carrying the story forward (a simple concept in the world of graphic novels you would think – you would be wrong as some artists lost the plot in their overly complex “look at me ma” style over design).

it won’t win awards, and sadly it probably won’t get read by that many people.
but i tell you smoke and guns is a rare old treat.


two carrier bags of recycle stuff went out today.
have i really drunk that many cans of diet coke.... oh lordy i have. burp!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


bit of a failure in the review quest, due to other commitments (and poor timing) on my part i have not been able to watch all of the wwe’s summerslam show. so rather than a reviews of something that i have not fully watched (not that there will be any surprises in the two remaining matches i have to watch) rather i give you pat’s reasons for enjoying wrestling.

i can remember watching wrestling on itv with my gran many many years ago. like most boys of the same age i enjoy it and probably pretended to wrestle in the school playground (i also played at being captain james t kirk and steve mcgarret of hawaii 5-0 fame, (here for a labour of devotion) and no doubt several others of the time.

i lost interest in wrestling for years and years. fast forward to about 2000 and i rediscovered my love of it (not sure if cliff was responsible for it, but he sure helped nurture it, while paul remains my supplier of ppv – thanks to both).

i guess i was in when i choose to rediscover wrestling it was going through a golden patch. the era of attitude was coming to a close and the careers of stone cold steve austin and the rock were also were winding up (for different reasons – injury, hissy fit and spousal abuse on the part of austin a film career for the rock, easily the best thing in be cool, but in such a dire film that is damning him with faint praise).

unlike the wrestling i was used to the wrestling of the wwf (as was) was not sport, but sports entertainment. all the viewers and fans know that the results are fixed (least i hope they do) but that doesn’t detract from the entertainment, it isn’t the result that counts it’s how they get to the result that matters. the building up of storylines, the execution of the matches, the personas of the wrestlers and their interaction with the crowds all go to make the wwe (as is) comic book soap opera writ large.

the wrestlers to be successful have to be more than decent fighters, they have to exude personality, they have to be able to act, speak well and fluently, be persuasive and most of all they have to sell the fact they are “fighting”. the best of the bunch such as ric flair (one there for you jay) kurt angle (my olympic hero) stone cold steve austin, hollywood hulk hogan, the rock, the undertaker can make you believe.
they can carry off being a babyface (good guy) they can be a heel (bad guy) and they can change from being one to the other and all the time you root for your favourite come what may.
do i care if kurt is a good guy or a bad guy, hell no, all i care about is that at some point in the evening i get to hear the “you suck” chant, i get to see him put the ankle lock on someone and that is followed by an angleslam and a woooooooooooooo.
it is physical theatre so much so that when it is done well you live every run in, every ref bump, chair shot, 2-count until the bell goes and the winner is declared.

it may be make believe but in the good bouts it becomes as real as can be as you cheer on your favourite.

i am not a wrestling expert (that title goes to cliff) but i look forward to seeing it as often as i can, because for all it’s fakery there is something honest about it – in it’s portrayal of the fact that the good guy doesn’t always win, that sometimes cheaters prosper, that more often than not might will out, however ever so occasionally the result it the right one and it reminds us all that sometimes the fight is worth the effort. can you smell what the pat is cooking ?


today it was 3 carrier bags of newspapers to be recycled.
a little more weigh off the floor, a little more space found.
a little more done.

Monday, September 05, 2005


of all the things that have surprised me about this event (and lets be honest we are all looking at it and wondering is this really happening in america the self proclaimed greatest country in the world?) it is this:
“the ministry of defence has sent the first of 500,000 food ration packs to help the us aid effort.”
surely this is british aid money that can be better spent elsewhere? or is this aid no more than a diplomatic equivalent of everyone in the office signing a birthday card? you know your help is not really needed (although in this case it seems as if it is, when it really shouldn’t be), but you have to do it because it is expected. it is a gesture of solidarity, friendship and a little bit of pragmatic politics that will expect the favour to be repaid at some point in the future).
i suppose we can all smile ruefully at the speed that the aid is leaving the uk for the states, when it might have taken longer to be arranged for other parts of the world (and lets all hope it is cleared up before geldof and bono think they can sort out a concert in order to help!)

what has been a terrible natural disaster seems to have been made several times worse by a series of political blunders. now there are calls for a commission to see what was the cause of the poor response of the american state to this disaster – both the republicans and democrats are demanding an inquiry to see just what went wrong. while opinion polls still show bush has the support of half the country there is a chance now that he will become the lamest of lame duck presidents. it looks like dubya might have succeeded where the old man failed, by getting elected twice but more and more his legacy is going to be that of a weak president who has caused more harm than good to the american people and the world.

(as a sidebar – you have to be impressed with the tories who pipe up about the poor response of the british embassy’s in the states, lets remember that these are people who can’t even hold elections for their own leader….. of course they are not trying to score some cheap political points. oh yes they are!)


today we are looking at wolverine: xisle, written by bruce jones with art by jorge lucas. the blurb for this trade paperback reads:
intending to spend a rare carefree moment at a carnival with his beloved stepdaughter amiko, wolverine unleashes a violent side of himself that sends the young girl running in fear. unable to face what he’s done, wolverine is propelled into a soul searching adventure he may not be able to escape.
what did he do?
and what did young amiko see?

sounds exciting doesn’t it, and graphic novels have the capacity to thrill and entertain in a way that books and films just can’t. sadly this is not one of those times.

wolverine, known to many as that nice sexy (he sings in musical’s you know) hugh jackman, is a hard nut, a mean lean fighting machine who would gut you rather than look at you. well that’s what he is some of the times in the comics, sometimes he is a samurai warrior filled with honour and passion, other times he is a pussy who my dead granny could whip the snot out of.
the classic wolverine character was defined by the works of chris claremont and john byrne in their run on the x-men. once wolverine became one of the key characters of the marvel universe it was only a matter of time before the character became diluted with writers always seeking a new approach to what make wolverine tick (characterisation dontcha know!)

so here we have bruce jones’ attempt to tell a in-depth psychological wolverine tale. wolverine’s day out with his stepdaughter all goes pear shaped when they visit a carnival. there wolverine becomes unstable, getting a little bit peeved that people think he is a mutant (he is – and in the marvel universe mutants are hated, when done well this works fine as an analogy for racism, sometimes it gets over done) of course this is a character who has faced down aliens, gone toe to toe with some badass mofo’s but in wolvies cases sticks and stones don’t hurt but names do.
later in a moment of teenage stupidity amiko wants to take her mutant stepdad (feared and hated) into the carnival freak show (ooh get the symbolism?) wolverine gets a little annoyed at that, throws a hissy fit (as befits the star of musicals, mm breaking down the fourth wall here…) which results in him striking out at amiko and others in the carnival. she runs, he follows, he loses her, he gets drunk. wakes up on a mysterious island.
there in short he is confronted by his internal demons (ho hum). this boils down to him wandering around the island, discovering a mysterious bar and a very hairy beastie to fight. and fight he does. in the end all he had to do was accept that he had spent years thinking he was a freak. job done, mysterious island turns in to a normal island and right on cue a helicopter comes and picks him.
the problem with comics like these is that they pretend to be so much more than they are. they wrap the fighty bits up with cod psychology that is supposed to make them seem profound, always made worse when (as in this case) poorly told. i was surprised at how slight and unappealing the story was, generally i have liked bruce jones’ work, on this he missed the mark.
jorge lucas’ art is detailed without being overly fussy (a trait all too many of today’s comic creators have). his style is one that appears to have been influenced by people such as jim lee rob leifeld, scott kolins and geoff darrow. he tells the tale as well as the source material allows.
all in all not a great read.


another (on going) aspect of this blog is going to be my "oh look i've tidied some of my flat" entry.
expect to hear lots about making and moving piles of books, sorting out papers etc.

and to start it all off - two bags of rubbish were removed from the flat this morning. the long march starts with a few footsteps.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


i like john carpenter, his work always entertains even if it is not always consistent. he has made classic films such as halloween and the thing. some would say his best work is long in the past, even so i enjoyed both vampires and ghosts of mars.
last night i watch the fog again. it has been many years since i last saw this film, and you know what i still enjoyed it. although it still holds up it is a movie of it’s time, and i suspect the remake will be much more gory and glitzy.

the fog tells the story of how the celebrations for antonio bay’s 100th birthday turn to horror. as the special day begins, there are odd and dangerous occurrences in the town. in one of them the town’s priest, father malone (played by hall holbrook), discovers the journal of his relative. after reading it he learns that the town is built upon the deliberate murder of a ship full of lepers.
and now 100 years later retribution is about to be visited on the town.
although a very traditional horror movie, the fog is unique in that it’s two stars are women and both of them beauties, adrienne barbeau, who plays the owner of the town’s lone radio station, and jamie lee curtis, who plays a drifter who believes that bad luck has followed her into town.
some of the acting is wooden, but the set pieces more than make up for any of the films shortcomings.
such as: the first viewing of the ghostly lepers as they board a fog bound trawler and kill all the crew, especially the last member, whose face is the only part of the frame that is lit as he wanders what is going on.
or the moment when as jamie lee curtis’ hitchhiker has begun to relax in tom atkins truck, both of them are startled when for no reason all the glass in the truck shatters.
equally so is the moment when they both board a deserted trawler looking for the crew, find no one and settle back to wait for the coast guard, only to be scared by the falling out of maps from a locker, the audience jumps expecting to see a dead body, relaxes and smiles ruefully only to be doubly shocked when the body does fall out.
the first wisps of fog as it crawls around the town, we know what it means, and we know danger is ahead. the effect is helped by the electronic score.
when adrienne barbeau’s son and nanny are menaced by the ghostly lepers. the glowing fog outside the door, the ominous banging on the door, and eventually the death of the nanny. then andy sitting in his bed waiting for the nanny, but instead watches as his bedroom door is being broken through. a last minute rescue and he is away with atkins and jamie lee curtis.
but while all of that is going on adrienne barbeau is broadcasting – her smoky dj voice being replaced by that of a concerned and desperate mother pleading for someone to rescue her son (she can see the fog approaching their house) and then she transforms again into a business like announcer who has to do the job no matter what.
then there is the scenes in the church as the day is coming to a close and the ghosts search for their revenge, all they now need is their lost gold and one more death to make up for what was done to them. father malone seeks redemption by offering himself as a sacrifice, carrying a solid cold cross he confronts the ghosts one of them grabs hold of the cross and it burns bright as if burning away sin and hate. malone is pulled away by tom atkins.
meanwhile adrienne is also under attack from the ghosts, it is during her struggle that we finally see one of the leprous faces.
with the chiming of the bell, the day is over and the ghost disappear.
adrienne barbeau gives out a final warning to all who sail the ocean, to look out for the fog as it will strike again.

as i mentioned before this is very much a traditional horror movie. it plays it straight, there are no post-modern asides to the audience, you are expected to take what is happening at face value. while the writing isn’t going to win the film oscars there are several relatively well defined characters and the whole sequence where adrienne barbeau becomes terrified for the life of her son is incredibly well handled.
pretty much everything that takes place in the movie is there for a reason, it is taut, well paced and in places a little scary. the gore and the violence are all done very much off screen (now whether that was a stylistic choice on carpenter’s part or brought about because he had little budget to play around with i don’t know).
the soon to be made re-make will no doubt feature lots more blood, lots more special fx and will probably be a slightly less pleasing movie for all that.
the fog remains one of my favourite carpenter movies.


ah what it must be like to be ken clarke.
on the one hand seen by some to be the saviour of the tory party – only he can lead them to victory.
on the other hand seen as the anti-christ – he will doom them to forever be lost in the hell of opposition.
if that wasn’t bad enough the party itself wants to self destruct so much that it doesn’t want to resolve the question of the leadership election rule changes. so the up coming tory party conference will be a shambles and a complete missed opportunity to have a go at the government. not only that there is a good chance that the whole thing will continue into 2006, which runs the risk of turning them into a laughing stock as well as seeing potential candidates drop out, or even more enter the fray (i know i said i wouldn’t run for it, but i am beginning to think i should….)
meanwhile you have malcolm rifkind suggesting that clarke would divide the party while at the same time singing the same old song about europe – a tune which is destined to scupper the tories every time. nice one malc.
then there is norman “on your bike tebbit” who has not only accused clarke of being lazy: "he admitted he had not bothered to read the maastricht treaty when we were in power. that was typical." (which does strike me as a bit of liability in someone who is in government…. ) but then goes on to say but people will reject him because he is part of the tobacco industry. since when were tories that caring, especially that nice mr. tebbit, who was always one to be seen with a warm smile on his face as he helped the working classes achieve…. not.)
so norman doesn’t like him – that has to be a plus.
and then there is this “there were signs of irritation in washington at mr clarke's attack on the iraq war last week. an adviser to president george w bush described mr clarke as "just another stone in my shoe".
picture it boyos ken and gorgeous george on the same side. it is too good to be true. he has to win.
while the worst tony has to worry about is whether or not we can get chinese jumpers and bras into the country. he must be loving it.
here and here for more

Saturday, September 03, 2005


toady we are at the rocket gallery for their show "private view: 40 years on".
the rocket gallery is situated in shoreditch's tea building, this puts it in the heart of the east end's vibrant gallery culture, which in a sense is apt as previous to this the rocket gallery used to be in the centre of the west end's commercial art district (a horrid americanism i know...)

the show has been assembled to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of "private view", this book by bryan robertson, john russel and lord snowdown looked at how the london of the 60s had become one of the three capitals of art (paris and new york being the other two). the final chapter was devoted to the new generation of creation, the original yba if you will. so in order to look at this the gallery has brought together some classic and fresh works of some of the artists featured in the book.
the artists featured are: anthony caro, robyn denny, anthony donaldson, john holyland, paul huxley, tess jaray, philip king, richard smith, william tucker and marc vaux. all of them are still working, all of them work with the abstract art genre (and for those of you who don't know what that might be (and for those of you who do not care) here is a sort of defintion "an art expression in which the artistic values reside in the forms in colors rather than in the reproduction or presentation of subject matter." go here or here for more "definitions. aside from caro all the artists were born between 1930 and 1940.

as mentioned before the works on display are a mix of classic work and fresh work, there are paints and there are sculptures. there is a timelessness about the works works from the 60s look as interesting as works from the 2000s. in some the materials that are used does help date the piece. larry and the boys of changing rooms never quite used mdf in this way....

i confess while i am a big fan of art and that while i go to art galleries on a regular basis i am still very much part of the i-don't-know-much-about-art-but-i-know-what-i-like school of thought.
(but never one to shy away from things here is pat's definition of art (and it is a two parter):
art must have intention on the part of the artist, the means the artist must know that they are creating art, and that the art they are creating has a meaning to them and that they are attempting to convey that meaning to the viewer. this means that the works of chimps and children do not count.
art must mean something to the viewer, the viewer of art must be able to have a dialogue with the work that they are looking at, (i know it does sound poncey) even if that dialogue is no more than oooh that colour looks nice with that shape.
this of course means that the viewer may consider something to be art, although it is not art with a capital a (such as the doodlings of chimps). while artists may create art with a capital a and the viewer may think it is no more than the work of a hyped on crackfilled cola cubes deranged school kid. )

anyway that is how i view art (and i have been caught out on many occasions).

so back to the show.
because with abstract art you are not really contemplating the meaning of the work as such, you are more concerned with the forms and patterns that are on offer it is sometimes very hard to engage with the work. much of what was available to see in the show appeared to be sterile, as if it had been constructed by ikea rather than created by an inspired artist.
i found myself admiring pieces in the show, rather than being bowled over, i found i was working out the construction of the work rather than appreciating the art. i often have this problem with abstract work, but then there are times when i see a piece that just works and i can spend hours just looking at it.

the stand out pieces in the show were vaux's e3/11 and cc2 - both are constructions that include coloured mdf laid in patterns, the geometry of the colours is what makes the pieces work. they are smaller in scale than say the work of donald judd but equally effective.
john hoyland's 30.11.68 (1968) is the only piece in the show that appears to be a manual painting in that you can see a non mechanical finish to the work. his fields and bars of colour are similiar to rothko and the effect is the same, it draws you in and relaxes you. you compare and contrast the colour and the shape and in doing so you find a sense of peace.
the pieces by jaray work in the same way but they are more mechanical in construction. a 100 moments dark (dark) and many moments are both grid like in their constrcution, the viewer sees the points of the grids intersection and not the grid itself. they are like a starmap, but everything is in an exact place and in a precise relationship to everything else. almost cyberpunk in a definition of order. in a different way this encourages contemplation and relaxation.

of the rest they are ok, but nothing to write home about.

Friday, September 02, 2005


where is the politics pat? is a question i have not been asked about this blog.
but never fear dear readers, the politics will be returning soon. i let my political angst go on holiday (that nice sir cliff allowed it to stay free of charge at his lovely holiday home - he really is a nice chap).
but it is backed, tanned and relaxed and ready to go.

(actually it is a little like the quest for a tidy flat - this has also returned. expect to have an update on how that is going soon. a taster though i recently discovered i have carpet in my hall!!!)


was lucky enough to have to go to brighton today. was there for work.
i love the coast. i love the sea.
there were too many people on the beach (though there were a few beauties there though - so no complaints).
it was soothing and relaxing to watch the motion of the sea as it continues it endless ebb and flow. the waves coming from nowhere and then growing, cresting and then finally crashing on the shore.
the sound of the water meeting the land, a ripple of applause that starts quiet gets quickly louder and then does it again in reverse. the constant hubbub of the waves.
there is something about water that i love.


well here we go with the start of the month of reviews. will i be able to do it? probably not. will it be a glorious failure, nope just a failure.

well first up for this was a laptop event, which given my infected ear (antibiotics working the pus bubble has popped making an interesting sound an startling me).

the club delectronica (the website is a bit to flash for it's own good - simple would have been much better) has been going for a while, but about 6 months at it's current location. i have been to all the events that have taken place at the poet pub. the place itself is atmospheric and almost more suited to the chin stroking and navel gazing of laid back drug fueled jazz than it is to cutting edge laptoppery.
it all takes place in the dim lit basement, atmosphere is created by the judicious placing of candles around the place (even getting up and down the stairs involves candlelight - not good for someone of my increasing years...)

last nights event consisted of two laptop acts, djs and visuals.
taken as a whole event it was a good night. the first act, cubus, was two guys playing their sounds on two laptops (generally these are always apple ibooks or powerbooks...) their sound was ambient with a noticeable drumtrack type sound. luckily they gave out a cd at the event so that i can sit back and listen to them a bit more at my leisure at home. (there is an mp3 sample of them on the website). the second act was ochre, much more musical in that there more peaks and troughs in the music.
both are acts i will go and see again.

there is a problem with laptop music at events such as delectronica and that is that people tend to talk and talk and talk. it becomes hard to concentrate on the music, (normally i am a heavy listener at such events - oh hell yes i am a chin stroker... but last night it was a chatty night as my friend richard was there (hi richard) so not as much attention paid to the music as i think it deserved).

i think part of the problem is that the event is free and so people don't feel the need to pay attention, but given the cinema audiences (where they are paying a lot) it does seem that most people have trouble sitting quiet for something.

i have an issue with laptop, and an ongoing argument with another friend (joel), i don't really consider the guys who are doing on stage to be musicians. joel argues they are, i don't think that they are in the same sense that a guitarist or violinist playing live is.
at most of the laptops gigs i have been to there seems to be little room for improvisation (a few have had to pass on encores because they had played all their files). in some sense these "operators" could in fact just be playing a cd through their laptops, and to be honest i wouldn't know one way or the other....
what these guys are are composers they create sounds and these are sounds that probably only they can play - not sure many people are going to be covering a scanner song or a leafcutter john song. it is through the composing of the sounds, whether as a minimal soundscape or a densely layered sonic picture.
as with anything there are good and bad out there (and because of the almost universality of computers there is potentially pool of such composers).
last nights two acts were good ones, i hope to see more of them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


july and august have been disappointing months for me – i have not done much or achieved much.
well aside the disastrous stuff (oh ok i know it is not really disastrous, but it is all relative) of breaking a camera, losing a debit card, getting an ear infection, starting round two of the clear up, breaking the texting function on my mobile, not winning the lottery, discovering the old fellah is having trouble standing to attention these days (please let it be summer rather than old age creeping on…)

so what does september offer? not much better to be fair. except spurred on by cliff’s hemingway month i am planning a month of reviews. can you wait? a month of me going on about what i have seen, watch, read, visited or listened to…..
yup you are right it already sounds like you have been condemned to one of dante’s rings of hell.

look at it this way, i am not as young as cliff (or as funny) so i will loose steam after about 3 or 4 “reviews”.

i know what should be first up will be music – trust me to have an ear infection…. and then the days where i don’t get a chance to go somewhere to suck up the culture i have a stack of dodgy dvds that need to be watched.

one of us in for a treat!


for the first time in ages i have had to throw myself on the mercy of the nhs. i woke up the other day with a blocked ear, i could hear but it was all fuzzy and odd. the ear felt like someone had hidden a small balloon in there. it wasn’t painful just annoying.

towards the evening i realised that i also had a pain in my jaw and that this was connected to the ear. this made eating painful and a chore – which is plain wrong eating is a pleasure and one i enjoy, even if i could stand to loose several pounds (well more like 20-30 pounds).

so with a quick check on the internet i discovered that my local hospital, the royal london, has a walk in centre. even better it was still open, but only just. so with a bit of a shimmy and a bit of a shake i was there. blimey only three people there, i am in. oh no i am not the rather attractive muslim receptionist said nope too late, come back tomorrow, we open at 7am. well she has such a nice smile i could hardly be upset.

off home i go. i get some optex to see if it will budge the wax that is blocking my ear. it fizzles, it tickles but the block is still there. i fall asleep. i wake up (1.15am) go to the toilet come back (3.30am) what? where did that time go to? had i been abducted by aliens (please no anal probes…). bit more fitful sleep, keep waking up until i say that’s it might as well get up and get ready, which is the sign for the body to crash out and for me to sleep like a baby.

finally wake up. not going to be there in time for the doors to open. shit there will be hoards of people and i am going to be there hours. better get a paper.

on my way, going at less than a speed walk but more than an amble. a drunk in the park asks for some change. i am broke, but i can spare a few pennies. he repays me by doing some street magic on me. which was impressive even if it was not a david blaine levitation trick. no idea how he did it, but it made me smile and for a moment there was a sense of awe and wonder.

in the walk in centre, phew only a couple of people in front of me. should be in and out quickly. hold on i was in before them, how come they are being seen before me. no don’t cause a fuss yet.
mmm she is a nice nurse, i hope she is the one who sees me (what happened to the uniforms).
there’s me name. not the pretty petite nurse, it’s the bluff northern bloke nurse. oh well.
“what’s wrong?” he asks. blocked ear i say, lets have a look says he. mmm some wax in that one, ooh lots of pus in that one. bugger not going to be an easy syringe and then off out dealt with. nope i am on a course of antibiotic drops, feel odd going in, have to keep a tilt on the head for a bit and nothing seems to happen, but hopefully it will work.

even managed to get into work on time.

funny how it is the little things that bring you down.