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music archives


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we went to see sufjan stevens last week.  excellent trip in to space rock oblivion

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it was our daughter's first proper concert too.  what a way to start a life of concert going

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you can listen to his latest album here

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last date on the Plastic Beach tour tonight. 

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was excellent

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both wonderful and frightening

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phil collins is still very popular here.  phil collins, a couple of poisonous spiders and cockroaches are the only things i find annoying about new zealand.  all are bearable.  just about

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this cd was in our hire car and it was fab.  not sure what all the tracks were, but a few we knew and loved and a few we didn't and loved.  was a shame to give it back with the car !

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two friends took jane and i to see a concert by national superstar (world famous in new zealand) Dave Dobbyn.  He was playing an acoustic gig in Auckland Cathedral with the Dukes.  All excellent stuff.

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i went to see brmc with a work colleague last night.

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they were excellent and plenty loud enough (concerts do seem to be a lot louder over here - probably to do with all the lovely clean air)

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this last picture is a visual representation on the volume and feedback

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i went to see the Phoenix Foundation on Friday evening with my lovely wife jane ? do you know them ?  they are excellent.

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rock my amadeus

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dreadful pictures, but great gig with bnug

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i went to see the pixies in auckland last night.  they were TOTALLY excellent

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i'll not go on about how good they were cuz that's a bit boring.

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but they were really fantastic.  so there.

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i went to the fantastic laneways festival yesterday.  it's the first time the festival has visited Auckland and there were a number of teething troubles.  but the bands made it

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the venue was a pay and display carpark in the centre of town.  at least it didn't get muddy in the rain

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the dirty three, the phoenix foundation and surf city were my favourites

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but the absolute bestest were echo and the bunnymen (despite the sounds being messed up so the keyboard was waaaay too loud). 

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the title of this post refers to some lovely kiwi beer called Mac's Gold which jane bought me today and is a nice echo and the bunnymen reference too.

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i finally got to see jarvis cocker in concert on monday night.  i missed him by a day in both wellington and auckland due to being in the other place on the other night.

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so when i discovered he was playing in Sydney 2 minutes walk from my hotel i was excited.  but gutted when it was sold out

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but luckily i got a return ticket from the box office and enjoyed a marvellous evening.  and was transported back to the time when i was a vague aquaintance of the great man in sheffield.  in fact i once gave him a demo tape, which he lost, but apologised and said he had been looking forward to hearing my song 'the death of bernie winters'

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both of us from sheffield to sydney.  slightly different routes.  but there you go

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i used to be a goth, a long time ago.  and i loved the sisters of mercy.  and i think i had a rather funky metal necklace which looked a bit like this too.  small world.

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i love london.  and i love how wandering around you see history stacked up alongside and on top of itself. 

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it's probably no coincidence that jimi ended up living next door to george handel.  they missed each other by over 200 years, but the vibes were no doubt still moving.

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definitely one to listen to with the sound up nice and loud

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we saw bjorn again on saturday at my work summer party

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i hadn't realised there was actually a number of bjorn agains each with a different 'cast' of musicians/performers

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on our way home we moved out of the way to let a golf trolley through.  it contained the keyboard player who was speaking with a broad northern accent.  Rather different from the swenglish (swedish-english) used during the performance !

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full set of pictures here (click on the little icon to the bottom left of the pictures to watch as a bigger slide show


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this choir sang at one of the village fayres we went to over the weekend.  the leader of the band was particularly amusing to watch

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stepping round the back to get a better view kezia noticed this lady was wearing one of the song sheets

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which was handy to make sure the chap behind her didn't forget the words to the adapted version of 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'

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jane's now fully in to her exam-marking season which means 4 or 5 weekends of daddy/daughter weekends as we get ourselves out of the house so she can work.  yesterday we went to the wood festival which was a great eco-hippy fest of the best degree

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this was the main stage which was solar powered and about the size of our garden shed.  although our garden shed doesn't have grass on the roof

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there were all sorts of sensible eco-friendly things like this stick for putting (used) large cups on.  they also had eco toilets which involved a sprinkle of sawdust rather than a flush.  the girls thought they were yucky but quiet (if you didn't listen to the sound of 'things' dropping on to the pits below)

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the girls did some felting, which was interesting.  this wool comes from merino sheep and was lovely

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here are a few old records used for recycling, which summed up the festival quite nicely i think

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there was a guided tour to go forraging in the local woods in the afternoon encouraging people to go and find their own dinner in the woods.  the girls didn't fancy that much so we went crocheting instead.  here's my effort which is basically a load of knots as far as i can see.  the girls' efforts were much better than mine

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so that was our girls' first introduction to a festival.  a good choice for a first experience i think as it was nice and small and friendly.  and just the right distance for a day trip.


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a heart felt sign there

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we went to see tunng and tinawiren last night.  a great combo ! (spotify here and here )

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jane and i went with some friends to see robyn hitchcock on saturday night.  he's one of my favouritist musicians and it was a great show. watch a video here

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it was a seated gig which i'm really in to these days.  the music was still loud and manic though and a chap on our row was waving his legs wildly where he sat, making the whole row wobble.  it was a bit like being in a mosh pit.  only slightly less squashy.

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robyn even popped out after the show to sign some albums.  what a nice chap

the husband of the support act singer had a fine moustache / beard combo.

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esther passed her grade 2 violin exam a while ago with merit.  she finally got her detailed report which reminded me to tell you.  so there you go.

kezia won the prize for best disco dancer at her school disco last night. funky dancing is a family tradition, so i'm very proud of her too !

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jane and i went to see the Zutons last night.  they were most excellent.

081114_850_img_1756.jpg you can listen to their albums on we7.com here:
Who Killed The Zutons?

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we went to an excellent concert by bryn haworth last night.  more photos here

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jane and i went to see the kaiser chiefs on thursday night.  they were most excellent and it was great to see them in a smallish venue before they do their big stadium tour

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at one point the singer managed to convince the crowd to part and make a pathway so he could run to the back of the hall.  he then 'swam' back along the top of the crowd.

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as for the audience itself, it was made up of young people of all ages from about 5 up to 60+.  All singing along and punching the air. very bizarre.

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he's got that far away look in his eyes which you can only get by wearing flowers on your hat whilst playing an accordian

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musicians with round instruments

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ever get the feeling you're being stalked ?  the feeling are on my telly, on my footpath, in my paper and on the blog.

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i found a jethro tull album to listen to whilst blogging this evening (Songs from the Wood).  i'm considering reinventing myself as a pixie.

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band on the run/roll

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i took the day off work yesterday to spend the day taking photos of things for my course.  this was the first thing(s) i tried to take a picture of as it's meant to show the word 'black'.  but i don't think it does.  so i got a bit disillusioned and before I knew it the day was gone.  ho hum.

even though they didn't meet the brief (at least i don't think they do) they are fairly ok-ish photos i think.  the earphones look a bit sinister in some of the pictures.

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in a rare moment of coordination i managed to get tickets to see Adam Green when i was in brussels.  he was totally excellent. video of a single is here

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these blurry photos pretty much sum up the gig.

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i managed to capture the last few songs from the support act soko who were also bizarrely excellent.  They sang this song which is lovely. 

And you can listen to more here (lyrically probably not safe for work)

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esther needed some photos of this victorian upright piano for a school project

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i enjoyed helping her gather the evidence

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as seen blurrily here . i think (although i'm probably totally wrong) they were from Poland. 

i'm also not totally convinced the accordion player is actually spiderman.

this chap had left the price on his cello.  £1.50 aint bad.

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There was a stringless violin for £9.99 in an Oxfam shop yesterday - guaranteed no wrong notes.

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whilst jane was out running esther was out orchestrating reading for a concert late afternoon.  it was most excellent.

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planning the repertoire

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upping sticks

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the grande finale.  fantastic stuff.

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here is kate conducting the singers at church yesterday morning to keep them in time with the organ at the other end of the church.  she's using a flashing fairy wand.  make of that what you will.

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hawkwind and new model army on the bill at the astoria.  that's been going on for years hasn't it ?

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tony's on a karaoke save the world tour.

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there are a load of 10 foot high gibson guitars on the southbank near city hall and the tower of london (and tower bridge). they are very smart. go and see them

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the guitar in the cage is signed by bruce dickinson - obviously too dangerous to leave roaming like the others

they are ten feet tall
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the photo at the top was an attempt to use fill-in flash with a teeny weeny aperture to get the sun effect. not sure if it worked. i'd forgotten my remote trigger otherwise i could have had even more fun

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Our friend John asked if we would like to join his family for a trip to the Blue Peter Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday. it was most excellent

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the weather even stayed good long enough for us to have a speedy picnic before dropping on our car at great strength seconds after we started driving home. the weather has been a bit bonkers recently.

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work outing to jools holland on tuesday night
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and our landfill picnic
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there were various orchestras playing at esther's music concert yesterday. at one point 8 double bass players lined themselves up along the front of the stage and did their double bass thing. although, being cool bass types, they waited for the main orchestra to play an intro for them for a bit first.

however, when you see 8 double basses (bassii?) in a row like this, it does funny things to your brain (at least it did to mine). it was rather like repeating the a word to yourself over and over until the word changes from being a word in to a collection of sounds and loses its meaning temporary. do you know what i mean ? say 'chicken' to yourself for a minute and see what happens [experiment best tried in solitude to avoid people thinking you are mad].

anyway, seeing all those double bassii (8 double makes a 16th), which are essentially giant violins, suddenly seemed really surreal and quite funny to my brain.

so there you go. an insight in to the funkypancake brain there.

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monday night was music night, as i was invited by a work colleague for a musical jam in acton. much blues ensued.
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i went to see julian cope last friday evening. bit weird. musically excellent as ever, but some of his rants seemed a little more aggressive than usual and the audience reaction was polarised leading to tension. still, a great night out, but a dreadful sneaky picture !
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last time

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i saw this band two nights in a row when i was in edinburgh. i've not done that since a julian cope double bill back in 91 (or something). anyway, go see actiongroup live (much better than their recorded stuff i think)

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is this really a disco for the elderly ?

we saw gruff rhys on saturday night. magical musical bonkers genius brilliance

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these boxes would have contained lots of lovely christmas presents for peoplel. a rock and roll christmas.

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i had two meetings in london a few weeks back with an hour between them, so i sat in on a 45 minute organ recital. london is great.

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we went to see delirious? yesterday. most excellent

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jane and i went to see jason spaceman on monday night. fantastic stuff, but we weren't as close as last time, which i think is reflected in these pictures !

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Ian organised an exclusive evening with Bill Mallonee, a singer of americana (and friend of top american musicians like peter buck etc apparently)

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between his songs he did comedy patter and all was good.
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like all the best musicians he did lots of gurning whilst playing
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this looks fantastic - i can't wait ! Order yours now. you know it makes (charitable) sense !
Visit Colours are Brighter at Myspace.com

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on saturday night in vienna, jane and i stumbled upon an austrian drinking event type thing where everyone sat on long tables etc. there was an oompah band playing and people were waltzing and jiving and other dance moves. when they had finished playing their songs everyone clapped so loud they had to do an encore. And what an encore it was.

They ended up playing a medley of all sorts of songs including the classic austrian song - agadoo. You can't really see in the video here, but people were still waltzing down the front whilst a giant conga was flowing round the room. fantastic stuff.

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franz ferdinand
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kaiser chiefs
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yeah yeah yeahs
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belle and sebastian
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The Mystery Jets
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Peaches
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Gogol Bordello
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Guillemots
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these photos are more to prove that i was there than offer any insight in to what the various bands actually looked like. this year i decided not to take too many photos. so i only took my small camera.

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sometimes london is so civilised. last week, when there was all the kuffle about planes, there was this nice little jazz festival in the park next to Paddington station.

if your flight had been cancelled you could have drowned your sorrows with a jug of Pimms (£7.95), some trad jazz and perhaps a little dance down the front

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there's a new FOPP poised to open near my office and although it's got no CDs in yet, they have put up the Bob Dylan sign.
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fopp is prolababbly my favourist shop
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ok - i'm the only baldy in the picture and it wasn't real bowling, but yesterday we went round to esther and kezia's prayer-parents for a barbyqueue (i know i spelt that wrong). In attendance were jon and andrew from pure reason revolution who challenged me to a game of petanque. which i lost (after a good start)

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it looked like these people were admirers of empty stages. you know the people in to extreme mime where the artists are invisible as well as silent.
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but not so, they were the ones laughing a few hours later when the orchestra turned up
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this chap was measuring the noise on Park Lane coming from the sound check on the main stage in Hyde Park.
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and here is the entrance fence. Ready for the Foo Fighters tomorrow i think.
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(from last february)

there's some fancy music thing going on in Reading's forbury gardens at the moment. you get to borrow MP3 players and wander round the gardens listening to different compositions in different locations.

at one point a choral ensemble ensembled themselves near the lion and sang a special piece which was really good. kezia was transfixed
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we got to stand behind the major too
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esther had a concert yesterday where she sang and played her recorder. it was in a proper theatre and everything.
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kezia loved watching her older sister and afterwards said "well done Esther, you did well and you did exactly what you had to do". i think that's quite a good compliment coming from a 4 year old.

when the children weren't performing they had to sit on the stage. i noticed two children (a boy and girl) at the back punching each other and having a proper fight which was quite interesting. Meanwhile, the older ones practiced balancing their recorders on their ends which regularly resulted in clonks during other people's performances.
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esther was not involved in either of these misdemeanors

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it's pure jon

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last night, after doing my business schmoozing, i went to recyclart and saw this band (and another chap who was a bit like a goth/industrial/new romantic moby)

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i bet you wonder what they sound like ? watch here(30 seconds of fun)

in search of a restaurant last night i came across one of Brussels main music venues and saw the decemberists instead of eating. i think i made the right choice as they were very good.

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here's some sheet music i found in the street. i've left the photo big enough for people to read and play

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on wednesday night i went to see Faust in london. it was probably the best gig i've ever been to. completely madness

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the singer sets up an ironing board and (hot) iron and very nicely irons one of the audience's shirt.
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and afterwards looking very pleased with himself
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you can see all my faust gig photos here. go on. they are quite good !

this is what people off the Internet look like.

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jane and i went to see Supergrass last night who were most excellent. the support was son of dave who was a kind of one man band which was ... good to begin with but then lost its novelty after about three songs

i didn't take too many photos as there was a very drunk chap sitting next to me spilling his beer, shouting and generally jumping all over the place in the seated area. i would have been annoyed with him, but he knew all the words to every song, so i think he was just a really excited fan having a great night out !

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jane and i went to see the amazing super furry animals last night.
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they are from another planet (wales)
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this evening Pure Reason Revolution played a local gig so i went along. totally fantastic !

here are two of the support bands

wire jesus

my luminaries

and here are dave and em, fellow gigsters, and celebrity drummer andrew:

compare pure reason revolution's effects to julian cope's


plenty to do over the next few weeks. it's bank holiday weekend in the UK and i'm planning on going to the Reading Festival at the weekend, and i'll also be entering a few photos in to the Swallowfield Show.

those who are prepared to travel further should consider this excellent fiesta in near Hamburg/Lbeck in Germany on the 16-18th September. It features loads of cosmic music including the legendary Faust (who are touring the UK in the autumn)


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here's a badge by a drain. it's for popular beat combo The Killers. perhaps the government should make a law requiring all those intent on killing to wear one of these badges.

if you saw someone wearing the badge you could phone the police and have them dealt with.


i sorted out my 'gig crate' yesterday morning and got rid of all the broken wires and old biros hiding underneath my regular guitar cables and effects box.

kezia helped me with the tidying and to reward her i let her sing through my delay pedal. then esther joined her. here are the sonic results.

chuffa chuffa choo choo (as written by esther): download video clip (1Meg)

random strangeness: download video clip (half Meg)

Movies are in mpg format so hope that's ok

Queen were playing in Hyde Park last night on the Live8 stage (delayed a week due to last week's incidents). there were lots of Queen fans all over the park as i walked through.

it reminded me of being back at university - i was an engineering student and everyone on my course wore white trainers, blue jeans and white t-shirt (except me. i only wore black in those days)


remember craig from here and here ? well he's bought himself a washboard.

oh dear.


we saw it before, now see it after

zoomy inny:

and here's another one from Hyde Park the next day:

i'm not going to Live8 today but plenty of other people are. the venue is the same place as the Wireless festival was held in earlier this week (so you'll know about the secret watching place).

if you stood by this crossing with really strong binoculars you'll probably get knocked out the way by thousands of people going to the concert, but if you managed to stand still and looked down your binos you'll see the screen at the side of the stage.

you might have to click on the picture to see what i mean on this (unless you've got a massive monitor)

here's a teeny bit of the queue of people waiting to get a ticket to watch Live8 on the telly in Hyde Park.


it was hot this evening so i walked back from a work event in Westminster to Paddington Station. Unfortunately it took ages to cross Hyde Park as they've built a concert venue all over it.

today loads of great bands had been playing as part of the Wireless Festival. I went by around 9pm and Keene were about to play. i'm not too keen on them (clever ey?) but i do love the Secret Machines who were also playing. i would also liked to have seen Supergrass and the Bunnymen.

but this was all academic as i didn't go in. But i did walk past this spot on the perimeter where people were sitting watching the big screens on the side of the stage !

Hyde Park in london seems to be a very popular place for bands to perform. unfortunately it makes walking through the park a pain as you have to go round the massive cordoned off area.

here is where New Order will play on friday night. you can just see the stage over the barriers.

and there's some lost people pointing as well to add the amusement.


jane and her guitar reflected in my bass guitar pickup

Total volume of music on my computer:
I use Napster To Go so only tend to rip my more obscure CDs on to my PC (about 4GB's worth).

If you've got Napster you can search my Library (member name funkypancake) which now has around 45,000 tracks in it.

i dump around 5GB of these at a time on to my Zen Micro and listen to them day and night.

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Playing right now:
The Fall War Against Intelligence


Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:

Mind Train, Yoko Ono
Sister Ray, Velvet Underground
I Think I'm In Love, Spiritualised
Rasputin, Boney M (our wedding first dance tune)
Gordoni Mix - Brakes on mix, Air

The last CD i bought
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i'm just loving anything faust at the moment.

Radio Stations I listen to:
XFM
Radio 2 (Mark Radcliffe)
Resonance for potluck

where next ?
i'm working my way through the Record Collector 100 Greatest British Psychedelic Records. It's pleasantly surprising how many of these are on Napster !

thanks to russell davies for asking me to do this (i quite enjoyed it in the end)

i'm not going to pass this on specifically to 5 other people, but if any other readers have a blog and want to tell everything then let me know !


here is my neice sarah hitting her brother's electric guitar with a drum stick. the guitar has real strings and pickups and a little on board amplifier.

the battery was running out so the guitar had a fantastic distortion sound. sarah's drums stick bashing and scratching created a nice post-grunge throwback vibe.

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reader Vin sent me this fantastic photo of a find in Burlington Gardens, Acton.

it's a record sleeve for Leicester's favourite son Englebert Humperdink "Love Is All". The record itself is sadly missing. But what a great find !

Englebert's brother used to run the fruit shop in the village where i grew up you know.

fancy that


click for big

i've mentioned my friends' band the Pure Reason Revolution before. They've just released a new single. it's a 12 minute epic and well worth a buy.

here it is on the shelves in Virgin Megastore (CD and 10" vinyl)and it's even on Napster

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visit the Pure Reason Website

watch the cosmic video all the way through in full here:
Low Quality Connection
Medium Quality Connection
High Quality Connection

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here are kezia and esther entertaining you with their drumming. i haven't included an audio file for obvious reasons.

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perhaps this isn't an advert for the future, but a reminder of a fantastic karaoke disco back in december 2000 ?

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jane and i went to a male voice choir concert this evening. there was a local choir (containing a chap from our church band) and a welsh choir (contain welsh men). they all sang together for the final few songs which was most impressive.

it wasn't my usual thing but was very enjoyable.

here is a picture of everyone going home.

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charity shos have to be careful what they sell. they don't want to sell anythng dangerous, but equally they don't want to sell anything which is rubbish.

so that's why Pat the Pianist comes round and plays all the pianos and organs before they are put up for sale. if she doesn't like the timbre of the auto-backing beats or is put off by the vibrato on the inbuilt lesley she'll not let them sell it.

so until she comes a-visiting, it'll sit, looking good, but minus the price ticket

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from here the craziest moon tunes doth come.

update: view the manufacturers label here. It was made by the famous Peter Cornish

i went to see Julian Cope last night. he's probably one of my favourite musicians. completey bonkers.

it was an 'acoustic set' which meant he didn't have any other musicians (most of the time). but he still played every song loaded with distortion and wahs.

he had three guitars - a lime green acoustic number, a Gibson flying V and a two necked job which was tuned to a chord.

If you ever get a chance to see him live, then do !

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when in stockholm jane and i stumbled upon the swedish national symphonia orchestra practising in Skansen.
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We didn't know they were practising at the time and it looked like a live broadcast with people doing proper 'links' between items. here is our host:
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our camera man (excellent cigarette work):
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big fat brass instrument (with and without mute):
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potty signing ladies:
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when we got back to our hotel room that evening we switched on the telly, and there was the orchestra playing introduced by the same lady. it was the actual performance being broadcast live !
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we didn't get a very good view this year as we were over the other side and further back. still, managed to get some shots with my camera (whilst avoiding flying cider).

you can read reviews on the nme.com site

the white stripes:
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morrisey:
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the libertines (viewed by a young kid with a libertine's jacket on his father's shoulders watching them on stage):

franz ferdinand:
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the roots:
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new york dolls:
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har mar superstar (before i worked out my shutter settings - but it's best he's blurred):
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it's a day of music today. this morning i've been trying to take a photo of a 'song title' for a county show tomorrow and this afternoon Jane and I are going to the Reading Festival.

here's my attempt at the song title - i'm forever blowing bubbles:
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i went in to the virgin megastore at lunch to buy a guitar stand, but it was full of urchins listening to thrash metal or something. here are the band as viewed from upstairs.

i wasn't able to hold my camera very steady due to jiggling urchins. And the guitar section was closed so i couldn't get the stand.

expect lots of nice shots like this after we go to the Carling Festival on Saturday.

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i've been listening to this album all day whilst doing some particularly tedious excel work. belle and sebastian are great. Totally mellow yet kinda upbeat and poppy too. and great lyrics. a true indie band in the olden sense of the foppish word.

if you don't know them you should make it your business to find out.

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by the way, Dan spotted a bollard on the site, which has now been confirmed

here is a ceilidh band in a box (well on a trolley). how organised is that !

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ooh. remember the Pure Reason Revolution - I mentioned their single a few weeks back. well, they've just signed to Sony for a 5 album deal. they signed on the roof of the sony building and everything.

i think that's a 'good thing'

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i re-watched Tommy recently. it's a bonkers film as we all know with moments of unpleasantness. but generally it's a visual and sonic treat.

you HAVE to watch it in the 5:1 "Quintaphonic" surround mix. the music is mixed all over the place rather than the usual 'cars zooming past behind your head' type surround sound. this is how they originally showed it in cinemas. totally incredible.

How can a film about a deaf dumb blind kid be so fantastic, both visually and sonically, that you want to talk about it ?

cover

another day, another church, another (very loud) band practice.

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my bass guitar has been very poorly for the last few years. i've had it mended a couple of times, but there's some very bad things wrong with the electrics/pickup.

today was (hopefully) it's last outing as i'm going to get a new bass this week (hopefully) as i'm are playing lots at the moment (hopelessly).

i made the mistake of telling my guitar it was it's last performance and to make it a good one. i even had a rare bass solo in a most lively tune. Just as I approached the solo chorus it decided to stop working. Suddenly there was no me. luckily jane spotted it and carried on playing so i don't think anyone noticed (unless they spotted me hitting my volume control trying to get it working again).

oh well.

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by the way, there is a difference between an Epiphone Viola and an Epiphone Violin Bass. I wasted nearly 3 hours today only to discover this fact (unfortunately)

as i walked down Oxford Street this morning listening to XFM they announced that they were opening the Virgin Megastore early this morning to launch the Twisted X - Born In England football song.

so i popped in and did a teeny weeny interview and bought the single.

i'm not really a football fan or a single buyer, but i do like the song (and love the B-side).

here is a bus and a david beckham lookalike.
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DJ Christian O'Connell:
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the single:
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i got an excellent CD the other day. it's called Colors. if you've ever seen a color and wondered what it was then this is the CD for you.

i think it's categorised as spoken word jazz, but whatever it is it's mighty fine. follow the link to amazon to hear a few samples.

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today i have been mostly listening to this. it brings a tear to the eye.

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i've found this question really difficult to answer as i have so much stuff which i really enjoy but there's nothing i would be absolutely gutted if i lost.

so, in the end i decided to give you a picture of my bass guitar for no other reason than i've had it for ages and it's a nice red colour.

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20 questions

Our friends' bands Pure Reason Revolution have their debut single out this week. it's most excellent.

They are on Poptones which is Alan Magee of Creation records label.

here are some CDs and vinyl in Virgin Records on Oxford Street:

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and here's the second song: Skin In My Bin MP3 (386KB).

it's a story of a man who loves a woman too much with a catchy singalong chorus

i promised that if you didn't provide any good suggestions i'd give you some music from when i was a poor student. the poverty was not just financial, it related to talent too.

so here's the first one: Good Looking MP3 (845KB)

It's some old folk set to music. back then i had very long hair, but i don't think i looked too much like a girl.

here is a photo of my stylophone. the 'styl' was a play on words referring to the electronic 'stylus' pen you use to play the instrument. today it could stand for 'style' of course.

My instrument was played and signed by Rolf Harris himself. Click on the pictures for a proper look.


Continue reading "stylophone" »

if you get a chance to see spiritualized then go ! Jane and I saw them at Reading University this evening and they were amazing.

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Continue reading "spiritualized" »

of course we all know that any decent kids TV program entertains both kids and parents. i've been watching CBeebies with esther and kezia this morning whilst jane has been mucking out horses.

at one point in the Fimbles, Bessie said to the fluffy thing called Ribble 'Ribble, Ribble, your face is a mess'. Kids were amused and Bowie fans were amazed ! I love things like that !

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i get a number of visitors to this website who are looking for Pop Idol information. I come second in Google if you do a search for 'junior pop idol' for example.

this morning, i saw the pop idol bus asking us to 'Vote Mark'. If i'd thought about it i should have knocked on the door and said "is mark in", but i didn't.

who is mark ? should he win ? i dunno nothing.

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update: about 4 hours later i saw the bus again and this time they were giving out bars of chocolate. still no sign of mark (still no idea who he is).

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following comments on my original Pop Idol post, i sent an email to the production coordinator of Pop Idol saying "can you tell me if there is going to be a kids pop idol at any time in the future on British TV ?".

here is the response:

Continue reading "Pop Idol update" »

i love 6music. i listen to it lots. i am on their announcement mailing list. so are hundreds or thousands of others.

they must have changed their email address settings because this afternoon i've received about 20 out of office replies from other people on the list and they are still coming in fast and furious.

i'm very tempted to send an email to the mailing list (which is now an exploding mailing list) and spam them all about the blog ! Or maybe I could sell the list name to a notorious spammer for a pile of modern money.

(After announcing the URL at my presentation yesterday I did spot a jump in viewing figures to the site - and 6 people downloaded the presentation [but one of those could have been me]).

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it's fascinating the different types of out of office messages people have

here are a few extracts:

Continue reading "6music" »

it's goth week on 6music this week. hoorah !

i saw a repeat of a fantastic documentary on the BBC Radiophonics workshop last night (i think it was on terrestial TV when i was in stockholm). Most excellent.

Watch the clip called Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO

BBC - BBC Four Music - Alchemists of Sound

Arab Strap were most excellent. A bit like the Tindersticks meets to the Pogues. The venue, Debaser, was excellent too. Wish i'd been there instead of the 'stuck-in-the-80s-michael-jackson' place i went to saturday night. oh well

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set list:
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this chap was the support for Arab Strap. he was rather good. just a bloke and his guitar

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he had a song about how timing is important if you are a prophet. he also had a rather good song which went on about not knowing whether "to serve you or save you". which i thought was interesting.

arab strap are playing in stockholm tomorrow night at a place called debaser which i think is about 15 mins walk from the hotel. hoorah. doors at 8pm if you are interested in joining me there.

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as you know we lost the entire site a few days ago and i've been gradually rebuilding the various sites i run. on the way i found some real gems.

here is a pop video for a song i wrote. the video features me dressed as Edwin Tidyface and my friend Paul dressed as Rudolf Leider. It was recorded back in 1993ish. a good year for pop videos. Read more about Paul here


High Quality (11,497KB)
Low Quality (2,271KB)

(apologies for download size - the term 'quality' refers to the technical quality of the encoding and NOT the quality of the content !)

i had a good bass sound and volume this morning. i took a photo to remind me of my settings:

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The amp is a peavey amp. the logo makes it look like 'pervey'.

hats were very popular at the Reading festival. here was a stall selling old lady's hats for 2.
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damon albarn fell off the stage which was quite amusing. we started off down the front but then got squashed so moved back out slightly. from this position it was only worth watching on the giant telly screens and we couldn't really see hte stage too well. and if you are watching a giant telly, then why not watch it at home.

we watched 3/4 of their set then wandered off for our train home.
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(from the telly screens):
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black rebel motorcycle club were good. not great, just good. they covered a White Stripes song which was fair enough as it was thanks to White Stripes not playing that they were playing. They sound better on CD in my opinion. it wasn't helped by the fact there was a massive water fight going on around us.

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Continue reading "brmc" »

Beck was totally bonkers. he had a keyboard on a trolley which meant he could play and wander about. his backing band were fantastic with robot dancing..
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Continue reading "beck is bonkers" »

there were some excellent clouds about, including a fantastic sunbeam thing going on.
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and a little later as it was getting dark
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I thought the Doves were great. some excellent guitar and keyboard noises.
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some people clapped when they liked the music
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Jane spotted Edith Bowman near where we were standing
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when we arrived the Libertines were playing. they were good, but i didn't get any photos.

Then came The Streets. I found them a little boring and a bit too 'ladish'. they had sound trouble which seemed to happen everytime they threw beer all over the stage and each other. I wonder if the sound man was trying to tell them something.

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we got a good standing spot two people from the front on the right hand side of the stage. unfortunately there was a giant camera stick which kept getting in the way. it whizzed above our heads and often obscured our view. here is the camera in the sky and the man working it
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i walked past two Pop Idol Talent Box vans today. Not a clue what it means but they looked good head-to-head.

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UPDATE: more info on a teenage pop idol here

UPDATE2: i went to a wedding of a pop idol finalist. see here

Funky-rama music. Cheese at its best !
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07 Apr 13