Thursday, December 14, 2006

Obligatory End of Year List

Despite my reservations about such things please find a list of my favourite songs I’ve encountered this year. Many of them have been discovered via the plethora of good MP3 blogs out there, as well as a few cunning purchases made by my good self. I’ve attempted to attach a MP3 for each of the tracks- most likely they won’t work so fingers crossed.

I figured this would be a better way of illustrating what I’ve been listening to this year rather than a pointless album list. Suffice to say that I’ve adored Joanna Newsome’s ‘Ys’ more than anything in an age; Califone and Bonnie Prince Billy provided the best in subdued folk/indie and the biggest surprise of all was just how much I loved and listened to Hot Chip’s ‘The Warning’ and Sparklehorse filled a void long since left vacant since his last release.

I will be trying to document the best gigs I’ve been to this year but seeing that I’ve been to quite a lot this will require some special attention, and I’ll be lucky if I can get this done before the New year.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy:

(Note- Bollocks!!! Appears to be a problem with my server/File hosting- I will correct soon I hope!)
1. The Young Knives- Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)
2. Pet Politics-The spring
3. Hot Chip -And I Was a Boy from School
4. Goodnight Monsters -20 Fingers 20 Toes
5. The Young Knives - Here Comes The Rumour Mill
6. TV On The Radio- Dry Drunk Emperor
7. Bears- Walk Away
8. Beruit-Postcards From Italy
9. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy God’s Small Song-
10. Primal Scream- Country Girl
11. TV On The Radio - I Was A Lover
12. Califone- Spider
13. Buck 65- F.O.S
14. Belle & Sebastian -The Blues Are Still Blue
15. Wolfmother-Woman
16. Tunng- Woodcat
10 No Complaints.wma17. Beck – No Complaints
18. Sparklehorse - Mountains
19. The Walkmen - All hands and the cook
20. We are Scientists – It’s a Hit
21. Yo La Tengo - Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind
22. Casiotone for the painfully Alone – Young Shields
23. Herman Dune- I wish that I could see you soon
24. The hold steady -your little hoodrat friend

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It seems I have underestimated the stupidity of my colleagues

Its that time of the year when the obligatory Records of the Year appear in the press and web alike. Despite the obvious pretensions in composing such list, and the fact that unless you have heard every record that has been released this year you can’t truly comment on what the best records are., though I do enjoy reading other people’s reviews/inputs- especially stateside where I feel they are more in tune with music over style image.

In theory those ‘friend’s’ of mine at the NME should have had access to most of this year’s releases, but instead chose to list the most horribly predictable list of records as I read to my disgust via the excellent music blog Stereo Gum. This just goes to show that a) the folks writing the pish they call music journalism don’t know shit from shinola and b) that they obviously don’t listen to enough records. I know the NME has tried to change to find a place for itself in today’s market but with more independent press/blogs/websites out there- the NME is as redundant as a walkman.

I’ve got a hunch that if you were to compile a list of ALL the reviews done this year by the NME and only included those which received a 8+ rating the list would be much different. If I had the energy I would love to check their review of all the albums on their list and see what the NME originally thought of it.
It brings to mind the day when I really realised what a pile of bilge the NME is, when they rated Stereolab album as a 3, yet three pages later they had it as their office favourite record of the week!?

Anyway, on to more important issues- tomorrow is the office Christmas night out…great. This year for reasons unknown, our boss thought it would be a great idea to invite everyone’s better halves. Naturally I assumed that no one would even contemplate bringing their beloved, however it seems I have underestimated the stupidity of my colleagues. Out of the team there is only one singleton and besides him, everyone except two of us, are bringing their wife/partner/husband etc. I can’t tell you how much I am not looking forward to it. As ever, I’m sure it will be better that I expect but its going to be weird though, especially as we’re not meeting until 8ish. I know full well the moment I get home- I’ll be sat on the sofa convincing myself not to go- alas I’m going to have to attend as I have already paid and exorbitant £35 for it! It sounds a lot doesn’t it? This is because “entertainment” is to be provided- a Soul band and a Crooner. God only knows how poor this will be. Perhaps I should endeavour to start my Christmas shopping?

Anyhoo- A spot of good news:,,1970850,00.html

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I see a badmoon rising

The clock is ticking- I still haven't bought a solitary Xmo pressie yet.

I'm not panicking about it, as no one has actually replied to any of my requests of what they want so unless I hear from them soon, it's going to be pot luck with what they get. Last Thursday evening, Lisa persuaded me that we should go to town on Saturday, and for reasons unbeknownst to me, I agreed enthusiastically. However, when Saturday morning arrived my enthusiasm was on the wane somewhat. I occurred to me that I had no idea in the slightest what I should be buying and therefore a trip into town on a Saturday afternoon would be pointless and most painful, if it hadn't been put to me that we could go for a drink afterwards I wouldn't have got out of bed.

By the time we'd reached the bus stop, Lisa was getting severely pissed off with me moaning, and decreed that I should just "go home if you want". Reverse psychology works every time.

We boarded the bus, which was a nice change from our usual train journey, but I was forced to it next to some soppy looking Student who wouldn't close his legs which meant that I had to sit with only one arse cheek on the chair. I could have asked him to move, but revelled in my martyrdom. I noticed this student wasn't wearing a coat nor jumper, rather two T- Shirts. This amused me considering it was absolutely freezing outside and tried to think of a reason why he wasn’t dressed warmer. I couldn’t think of one. I could hear via his IPod/generic MP3 player that he was listening to Credence Clearwater Revival's 'Bad Moon Rising'.
"Kudos to you no coat" I thought.
The song reminded me of when I was in Halls of residents. My guitar protégée Clint and I were strumming along to our usual medley of Bob Dylan/blues numbers, when the rarely seen Sinister Steve (a slightly older student who lived in the hall’s annex, he drove a motor bike and surprisingly managed to pull on of the older, more glamorous PGCE and totally unattainable student- much to everyone’s astonishment and discontent) asked if he could jam along. He could only play Bluegrass, and showed us how to play the song. He had a capo and we didn’t (perhaps that what attracted her to him?) so I worked out the proper chords so clint and I could play along. He got a bit arsey when we started to deviate from his boring blugrass rhythm, so we stopped and never jammed with him again. It was the first time I’d ever heard the song- anyway I digress…

Lisa and I hardly spoke on the bus. I don't really like talking on public transport- especially a crowded bus/train, as I become extremely conscious of people listening in to our conversations. More often that not I try to speak in hushed tones as I may have already discussed in previous entries, I am unable to whisper successfully.

Once we'd departed the bus, and checked out the Old Bar-Celona/new Quiggins Alt Chopping centre (Goths R Us) we made our separate ways. I still had 'Bad Moon Rising' in my head.
I then proceeded to bum around town for three hours, during which time, I somehow read a chapter of Stuart Pearce's autobiography in WH Smiths(??), bought several records, purchased a 'How to Speak Cech' Phrase book/Cd, a blueberry and banana smoothie and some ear protectors. I tried to find some Credence records but was unsuccessful. I ventured into Sci-Fi tastic Forbidden Planet and actually realised that the geeks in their weren't 14 years spods, rather guys in their late twenties with beards, glasses and long coats.....I edged out of their slowly and chose not address this dilemma.

At 4.45pm I realised enough was enough when I picked up Chris Moyles' biography in Waterstones and proceeded to flick through it and look at the pictures. “Agggghh – what am I doing” I cried when I cam to my senses, dropping the book and casing several heads to turn disapprovingly in my direction. I called Lisa, who grumpily informed me that she wouldn't be ready until 7ish.

I'd been had.

I called Sweet Jonny who was in town with Eve, and we arranged to meet for a drink, however they were just sitting down to eat so I had to kill another 45minutes.

So I waited like a bum in the shelter that was provided by the doorway of that chav looking bar (the one that used to be waterstones) on Bold Street. I looked out to the masses as they trudged wearily, laden with shopping bags, grimacing from the bitter cold, and like every year I promised that next Christmas will be different. "Next year I'll do my shopping in wait- October! " I decreed...again. I thought of the student with two T Shirts.
Joanna Newsom warbled in my ears, and this warmed me temporarily and I looked at my phone for the correct time. Damn, I've still got 35 minutes left to wait. I debated if I should just go ahead and sit in the pub on my own until they arrived, but decided that I should wonder aimlessly around one of the three guitar shops Liverpool has in its city centre.

This proved not only to warm me, but entertain me as I watched the harangued staff try to cope with the influx of Emo looking kids wanting to try the drums or guitars. Watching as the kids hilariously watch one of their chums wield an axe and proceed to bore the pants of the rest of the customers by playing the same predictable riffs. The "No Stairway" joke from Wayne's World should be replaced with a sign of similar cultural significance. Alas, I am no longer in tune (accidental pun-honest!) with what it replacement ought to be. My Dashboard Romance or My Chemical Confessional perhaps? I also observed the lesser-spotted fat sarcastic Terry Pratchett loving type working in the new guitar shop in town, complete with authentic goatee, ponytail and Megadeath T-Shirt. After 10 minutes of looking at cheap imitations of good guitars, I'd really had enough. Even the sight of some spotty kid shredding away with some dodgy looking metal guitar failed to lift my spirits- I felt thoroughly miserable.
When I stepped out on to the street, the cold rain hit me immediately, so I pulled up my collars and decided to trudge over for our pre-arranged rendez- vous point. Then, as if by magic the most wondrous sight came clippety clopping down the street. Holy shit- it was Father Christmas! !

Okay- it wasn't the real deal, rather a man dressed as the Coca-Cola invented present giver stood up on a Horse cart (I think it might me referred as a 'trap'-but I could be wrong) which was being pulled along at speed by a majestic looking horse. In the back of the cart was five girls aged about 14, complete with their lilac/burgundy tracksuits and sideways ponytails. I stopped to watch this odd but rousing sight as he hurtled past and gave me a wink his white beard trailing behind him in the wind. Joanna Newsome’s song slowed to a staccato plod as if the music had been chosen with this scene in mind “why the long face?”. The girls tried in vain to protect themselves with their tracksuit jackets from the rain and through Joanna's delicate vocals I could her them screech like banshees in the worst possible kind of throaty scouse accents "ahhhhhh! Fooking hell! It's freezing-Agggggh!". They looked so distressed as they held their tops over their heads with their MacDonald’s' drinks in their hands.

Ho Ho Ho. Perhaps it's not all bad after all I thought and trudged to the pub with a massive smile on my face. After all there’s is nothing like the misfortune of other to make one truly appreciate Christmas I thought.

Anyhoo- further irrelvant MP3's:

Sparklehorse - Knives of Summertime

Swell- Fuck Even Flow

Herman Dune –I Wish that I could see you soon

Monday, December 11, 2006

Don't call it a comeback!


It’s damned good to be back I tells ye!

Normal service will resume soon, though at present I’m happy to inform you that I’ve never been busier at work. I’ve resembled a ‘proper’ worker of late so the opportunity of devoting my efforts into this blog is hampered somewhat.

Anyway- today is “Hooray My Mother’s Alive” day- as it was 11th December that the Intensive Care Unit Doctor told me and my family that my mum was going to die. Happily/thankfully/luckily/greatfully she didn’t as is doing well when I spoke to her last night.

Anyway- I have raised a glass in her honour- or rather I’ve raised my mug of tea.
A couple of Arrested Development quotes to re-affirm my smiley face:

Tobias Funke - Hey Fizellas


Sunday, November 26, 2006

“Make way, Administrator coming through” Mitchell & Webb

I went to go and see The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb last night and they were tres funny. Sadly, we had to wait for over an hour and a half to get in as their projector was not working. I don't mind queuing as long as it's not too cold. As I retorted to one of my friends "it gives you time to think".

So we waited, and waited, then after being fobbed off we waited some more. It was getting colder, and you could hear the masses grumble at this predicament. It wasn't long before we saw two bouncers help an elderly gentleman indoors as he looked like he'd had a funny do of sorts. Something had to be done.

Shortly afterwards, once the ambulance had removed the body of the frozen old chap, the Royal Court Manager came out with his emergency megaphone to address the masses.

"I would like to apologise for the delay, but we are experiencing some technical difficulties. The projector that Miguell and Weed (sic) use isn't working- and they apparently can't do the show without it."

A large groan and a couple of boos was emitted by the freezing masses.

"It looks like the show may have to be cancelled unless we can find an expert on Microsoft PowerPoint…."


"Anyone? Please?"

This was the moment I'd been waiting for. Years of working as a poor dog'sbody in a multitude of crappy offices had been preparing me for such a moment. I felt my heart racing, the adrenalin was pumping round my frozen body- the type of excitement that is akin to doing the lottery and getting the first two numbers and waiting with anticipation for just one more number. I raised my hand and decreed:

"I have the ECDL!"

The crowd gasped with awe.

Lisa put her arm around me "Are you sure you can do this Matt?"

"I was born to do this"

I took off my coat and placed it around her shoulders, gave her a kiss and was escorted into the venue

"Make way, Administrator coming through"

We passed the grieving widow sobbing in the corner, passed a line of theatre workers all saluting me until we arrived at the stage.

"What seems to be the problem?" I asked the head technician.

He looked back at me with a worried expression. The strain was showing.

"We can switch the projector on, but the image on the lap top isn't showing… I've tried everything….it's hopeless. David Mitchell will have my legs broke for this!"

I slapped him hard across the face.

"Calm down man. You're losing control."

I slapped him again to make sure he understood.

Tears filled up his grey eyes, so I gave him a hug, the held him by the shoulders.

"What's your name"


"Well Robert, my name is Matt. What I want you to do is get a hold of yourself, everything is going to working just fine, and when it does start to work you're going to need to be ready for the start of the show."

He wiped his eyes, took a deep breath and saluted me. I felt like Mr. Wolf.

"God bless you Matt, God bless you"

The pressure was on.

I sat down at the lap top and ensured that all the relevant cables were correctly attached.

"I've checked them twice." Robert shouted defensively.

I took no notice. I was in the zone. The PowerPoint was running fine, but as Robert had mentioned there was no image being shown via the projector. I stoked my beard, and thought back to my PowerPoint mentor Stephen and the advise he gave me when I struggled to get the projector set up that fateful September Morning 5 years ago. What would he do?

I thought back. What was the invaluable advise he gave me? If only he hadn't died saving my life from that demon photocopier. If only it was him here and not me.

Confusion and panic turned to despair

I put my head in my hands and let out a long depressed sigh.

"This guy doesn't know what he's doing" I heard the manager say

"Get him out of here"

Suddenly I heard a sweet scouse voice echoing in my head.

Stephen is that you?

"Use the function keys Matt- use the function keys…"

That's it! Huzzzzar! Thanks Stephen!

"Have you tried pressing Fn and F4?" I barked

The blank look Robert he gave me back indicated that he hadn't.

I looked up and saw a nervous looking Mitchell and Webb in their costumes on the stage and knew this was it!

I held down the Fn key with my left hand and pressed the F4 key with my right and closed my eyes hoping for the best.

"You've done it!" A voice cried.

I opened my eyes to see the slides with the humorous doodles on flickering on the screen.

"Kalu Kalay!" I shouted.

I heard the cheers from the crew and staff. I was a hero.

The manager came up to me and took my hand into both of his sweaty hands and shook it so enthusiastically that I thought I'd never play the piano again.

"On behalf of the Royal Court, I would like to bestow my eternal gratitude to you for your endeavours in saving tonight's performance. I'd like to…"

"Don't mention it-" I interrupted "but with all due respect- there's a lot of cold people out there. Your job is to ensure they're all let in soon. The show must go on"

I then felt embarrassed that I'd used such a cliché.

I was escorted back to the queue with the largest of the five bouncers by my side. "He's done it!" the bouncer excitingly cried.

This was followed by the largest cheer you could ever hope to hear and women and men ran up to me kissing me and shaking my hands. Sadly it was the men kissing me and the women shaking my hands. I didn't care. I was ecstatic. I could see Lisa looking cold in the crowd. I ran over to her- hugged her and carried her into the venue. The crowd moved aside, tears of joy in their eyes. It was like a scene from Officer and a Gentleman….

Anyway, Mitchell and Webb went on to do a storming performance. No reference was made to my endeavours, but when they did their "are we the baddies?" sketch, I noticed them look to me in their Nazi regalia, and they both winked at me simultaneously.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Keep on Keeping on!

I went along to see Bobby Gillespie and Co. last night and was once again disenchanted by an apathetic Liverpudllian audience. You will, no doubt, often hear of football season ticket holders bemoan the part time, prawn munching fans infecting the game; who come along and create an atmosphere devoid of any passion or energy. The same has to be said for gigs too, especially bands whom without wishing to belittle them in anyway- as they were bloody good, have been around the block several times and have a few "hits" under their belt. With this in mind I actually felt pretty sorry for the band.

They came on the stage and Bobby G was as cool as fuck as you'd expect him to be; roller-skate skinny, long shaggy haired and reassuringly confident in his dance moves and on stage. Despite my friend's belief that they'd open with tracks from Screamedellica, they burst on to the stage with a barrage of rock n' roll numbers from their current album and previous r' n r incarnations from their lengthy and mostly excellent back catalogue. By song three, the audience was subdued and even the blokes in their mid thirties who were off their tits on a no doubt vile concoctions of ecstasy, Stella and Coke stopped jumping into people as they had done during the reprehensibly crap support act The View (I really can't convey just how much I was disappointed with them and hated this band's performance). By the time they played 'Jail bird' it was only polite applause from the indie prawn munches. Without letting it show too much you could see the band's disappointment, and it was clear to me that Gillespie juggled the set around in order to keep the crowd on his side. Thankfully for me though, regardless of the crowd's reaction, the band were great and I was pleasantly surprised with just how many songs of theirs i knew and loved. Disappointingly, the crowd continued to be crap and the plethora of the student union plastic pint glasses containing liquid (probably just water) continued to rain down on to the stage- much to the band's displeasure. After for what was for me was the set's zenith- a segdway of 'Swastika Eyes', 'Vanishing Point' and other songs from the Kevin Shields era of the band, a full cup was lobbed in Mani's direction splattering onto his hefty and ear punishing loud bass cab. He didn't appear to be too enamored, and both he and the guitarist (the one whom resembled Johnny Marr's son...I assume) gesticulated angrily to those responsible. Crest fallen the band ploughed on into the rocktastic 'Country Girl' followed by a lackluster version of 'Rocks' and predictably the crowd reacted positively to this. The hundreds of mobile phones lofted into air by drunken subscribers to Nuts magazine documented what was a tired finale- no doubt appeasement for the hoards of fans whom forked out £25 to come and see them. Okay- I say 'tired' but as the rest of the set was so good, I can be forgiven for being disappointed by the predictability of it all- and I had seen Primal Scream perform 'Rocks' when they headlined the Reading Festival in 1994 with the late great Joe Strummer joining them on stage- so I'm allowed to be under-whelmed.

After a lengthy break, the band arrived back on stage, only this time with a beefy and thoroughly scary member of their security staff in tow. "C'mon, if anymore pints are thrown on stage we're walking off the stage- we've come here to play rock n' roll not get soaked with beer for fuck's sake- and that won't be fair the rest of the crowd". A heard a few boos from the crowd, and I overheard some meat head behind me say to his female companion "has he never played a gig before?" in a manner that suggested that this sort thing was acceptable. There was little I could do but roll my eyes and try an listen to the band. It wasn't long before I was hit on the back of the head by another pint of water. Ho hum.

The band finally wound down and the vocal sample that signified the start of 'Loaded' finally got the crowd moving. In fact the crowd went nuts- swaying from side to side as the hooky bass line hypnotized one and all. No doubt a large portion of the crowd had only attended in order to see the band perform this monster of a tune and once more hundreds of mobile phones captured the moment. Of course each and every one of these people will be watching their recorded footage back with their friends in their taxi on route home- thoroughly displeased with the resulting indistinguishable noise and imagery their precious phones captured, lamenting the fact they could have enjoyed the performance and remembered it, as opposed to watching the performance through a brightly lit mobile phone screen. Their loss not mine.

After 'Loaded' finally wound down and Mr. Gillespie and co thanked the audience they walked off stage. Suddenly and surprisingly the majority of the crowd left, yet the house lights hadn't come one and the roadies and guitar techs were quickly on stage tuning the instruments. "Great- another encore!" I thunked. But, like a fickle football crowd who leave when their team is 1-0 down with five minutes to play, the hall was 3/4 empty in seconds. Eventually, after 5 minutes of shouts from the hardcore P.S fans the band must have thought "fuck it- why bother?" and why not? No doubt the hoards of folks whom fled the venue had no idea that bands do play further encores, but obviously they were too concerned with tomorrow's work or making sure they got home in time to pay the babysitter or watch the repeat of "I'm a Celebrity…".

Perhaps it's time for the band to fuck these fans off and just play new songs for the sake of their sanity and mine.

Oh aye- RIP Robert Altman. Hopefully the beeb will perhaps re-show some of his films, Short Cuts M.A.S.H, Popeye, The Player and erm… OC and Stigs???

Saturday, November 18, 2006

fiddledeedee - I'm fucked

Disappointment turns to confusion rather too hastily for my liking.

I finally received formal notification that I wasn't worthy enough to be interviewed for the job in the Catholic School I applied for- you know the one which my colleague got.

As I had already decided that I would make pie that evening I was it fairly good spirits.

In a desperate attempt to free myself from the shackles of employment from this darned place, I decided to take typing speed test. Why? Well , despite having a degree, at present I'm not even qualified to do the dog's body job I do- as important piece of criteria for many of the jobs I've raised an eyebrow at- have all dictated that I need to type at 35 WPM. Now as my many ramblings/blogs should demonstrate- I can type pretty fast, but my accuracy is shit and low. After taking this test; low and behold I can type above the required speed but my accuracy was pathetic- a bit like the England football team I suppose. Anyway, I downloaded this darned tutorial and spend a few hours over the next few days training. Progress was slow to start with, but I gathered momentum eventually. Spirits were high. Alas, the tutorial was a freebie- so after learning how to type the keys asdf, jkle; &I the tutorial stops! So unless I want to write words like fiddledeedee and false it is of no use having this knowledge. Yet another best laid plan goes to waste.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A lack of Weetabix

As I walked bleary eyed on route to the office, a white transit van drove past. Written in the grime and dirt on the back of the van was a disconcerting piece of text which read:

"I wish my g/f was as dirty as this van"

What troubled me was that the fact the cheeky japester who wrote this witty remark chose to use the term "g/f" rather than bother to write 'girlfriend'.

Has it really come to this?

I was already feeling less than enamoured this morning as I got very little sleep last night. I awoke engulfed with a feeling of impending doom which was accelerated when I stumbled into our kitchen to learn that we didn't have enough milk for any cereal and only have white bread. A lack of Wheetabix does strange things to a man.

Also- on a separate matter- I've been listening to the new Califone Record lots at home, but after searching for the 'currently listening to' section I notice that I have alternative artwork from the one attached- what gives?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Morning Wonder (Take Me Home)

I awoke this morning and decided that I didn't want to go to work. I feebly told Lisa that I wanted to call in sick so I could catch up on some much needed sleep. She promptly ordered me to get up. I duly obliged.

As I left the house, I noticed a package waiting for me. I stuffed it in my pocket and made haste for the station.

For Fuck's Sake II:

The trains were down again, and I was once again forced to sit with all the other disenchanted shulbs on the No. 60 bus. I knew it would be lengthy voyage but thought that listening to Joanne Newsom's latest album 'Ys' would be a rather pleasant way to kick start my day. However my journey turned out to be depressingly nostalgic. It was almost like I was visited by four ghosts akin to those in Dickins' 'A Christmas Carol'. (by the way in case you're thinking of being a pedant and saying there was only three ghosts in 'A Christmas Carol' read it again you shmuck)

The first was a good pal from college's identical twin brother who along with his brother are both doing extremely positive things with their respective Art degrees. Working freelance and also teaching at the local community college. We made with the polite chitchat. Learning of other peoples happiness and contentment with life I sadly find most irksome so I did my best to throw a few curve balls to get off the subject. Thankfully I was rescued by the visitation of a second ghost a former band member (and out of touch friend)'s girlfriend, whom informed me of what life has been like post band for her and her boyfriend and asking me how life was. Whilst regaling her of my current and recent activities, realised that life has remained pretty much the same as when I used to see her on the ole 60 bus when I commuted to job number's 24 and 26

The third ghost I didn't speak to. I didn't need to and didn't really want to either. It was a girl I worked with at Abbey national whom was fancied by all. Her name escaped me, but she was sat in front of me all the way to work. I waited for her to get off the bus to see if I could confirm if it was her. It was. She noticed my face, and gave a vague smile of recognition- one similar to seeing someone you know, but not sure where from. Her looks have diminished significantly as she has matured- though she must only be 26ish now. Her youthful spark now extinguished.

I also noticed that the bus took me past many locations that I had worked I had almost forgot existed:

The bus stop where I used to wait cold and tired after a 20 minutes walk from the Riverside Housing Office,

Wavertree Technology park, where I worked for Connexions.

The Office where I had a three and a half hour job interview in the Old Swan dealing with motorbike insurance that I turned down. (well I just didn't return any of their calls)

The houses in which I deliver Council newsletters.

The route to which I droved to Netherton when I worked for the Inland Revenue after I got the fear of travelling on the trains after being caught with no ticket,

The house in Walton which the band rehearsed for several years.

The final Ghost was the scariest of them all. A bored looking gentleman in his mid-late thirties, ginger beard, brown/auburn short hair and brown rimmed NHS style glasses. "My God" I thought "it's me!" I'm being haunted by an older fatter me!

I avoided eye contact, I looked around the bus to see if there was any other significant visions- my late Grandfather perhaps? Nothing.

I just starred out of the window and thought "at least I'll still have my hair."

So what was the purpose of these visitations? I'm not entirely sure; after all I was always pretty slow at "reading between the lines". I'm now trying to fathom it out.

Were they trying to tell me something? Trying to illustrate that I was on an alternative route? On a prolonged journey? Or were they merely pointing out that an alternative route wouldn't be so bad.

If I was a character in the Sopranos, I'd be watching some poignant television programme film to highlight my plight and give me an easy answer, but then if I was in the Sopranos I'd have been killed years ago for perving at Tony's daughter..

Also- where are my keys?

Anyway, as I got off the bus, I just shrugged it all off and opened my package which I had forgotten about…..It was the new Earlies album promo, which had kindly been sent by the excellent (and clearly generous) Names Record Company after chance correspondence via MySpace. This was a sign I thunked. This was a sign…

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A bitter man rots from within

I don't like to lament my own misfortune and I certainly would not wish to write the day off as "one of those days", but this ethos of mine has certainly been tested.

Tired and crabby I didn't get out of bed until it was painfully clear that I would be late for work. Resigned to the fact that I would be tardy, I relaxed into my morning schedule of having a wash, and trying to find a pair of matching socks from the massive pile of odd socks I have now accrewed in our spare room. Upon leaving the flat, I stepped foot into the middle of a hurricane, and for the first time since parting company with my beloved Audi, I felt the pangs of unhappiness as I walked past the spot where I used to park it. It was also the third day in a row that I'd forgotten to collect my Family Guy season 5 DVD from the local Post Office. Lisa reminded me of this fact from the comfort of the shelter provided by her umbrella.

As we walked closer towards our train station we both knew something was amiss as hordes of stiletto clad office types headed towards us, their heels loudly clacking on the pavement as the metallic point of their shoes stabbed the concrete. Lisa was first to react to these commuters headed in the opposite direction to us. "I bet the train's cancelled" she said. Fortunately, a fellow commuter who must recognise us as fellow train passengers confirmed that indeed the trains weren't up and running. I shouted "for fucks sake" loudly, and Lisa gave me a look of disproval.

We wandered over to the bus stop and a large crowd of disgruntled commuters greeted us. I shouted "For Fuck's sake" again, and ignored Lisa's glower.

The only money I had on me was and weather worn £10 note, and I remarked to Lisa that I should change it in order to get on my bus. Lisa's response was caustic to say the least and indicative of the number of occasions we have 'disagreed' over this issue. By her reckoning, I should feel no guilt to handing a bus driver a £10. but I feel ill at ease when I hand over a £2 coin to bus drivers, so this was not an option.

She suggested that I break into my note in the local paper shop, but having become quite experience in these matters, I rolled my eyes and informed her that I will be going to Tescos.

Predictably this was met by a look of confusion.

"Why not just go the this shop? You won't have to queue?"
"pah! There's nothing I want to buy from this shop….I'm going for it!"

And I darted into the supermarket.

I noted to myself just how full of produce the shelves were, compared to the bare shelves that greet me when I usually frequent the shop after work. Usually in these circumstances I find the acquisition of fruit or croissants to be most favourable, however due to a pledge to make Lisa breakfast I was rather full and decided that a tin of soup would be the purchase of choice. The woman working behind the kiosk in Tescos didn't say anything to me but looked suspiciously at my limp tenner.

For a moment I thought she'd inform me that it was a forgery. I had time to contemplate what would happen and if she was to retain the incriminating note. Alternatively she may in fact be quite generous, realising that I was an innocent part of some nationwide counterfeiting scam. She didn't, and with Tin of Baxters healthy choice Tomato & Brown lentil Soup thrust into my pocket I beat a hasty retreat.

Lisa waited for me outside and I held the tin of soup aloft as if it was some grand accomplishment. Obviously it wasn't, and she wasn't impressed by me doing so. Whilst I had been in the supermarket, she'd noted that the busses, due to over crowding weren't stopping and suggested that we walk down towards the stop near the T.A. I disapproved of her plan, but followed her all the same.

Suddenly a 60 Bus appeared. I ditched Lisa shouting "I've got to get this one, see you tonighhhhtt!" as I ran back toward the stop from whence we'd came.

Not many commuters were boarding the bus, and I noticed whist I queued that the bus was empty.

I over heard a confused gentleman ask the girl behind me in the queue if this bus went to town. It didn't and she told him so. She had a thick Northern Irish accent, yet appeared to be wearing a Muslim headscarf. I thought this was unusual, then immidiaely felt bad for assuming that there was no Muslims in Northern Ireland.

Her colleague asked her why she was getting this train "I'll get off on Croxteth Road then on into town from there" I thought for a second, the decided that I should do the decent thing.

"This bus doesn't go the Croxteth Road" I said.

"So it does" she replied sharply

"erm, no, it goes down Smithdown road"

"No it goes down Croxteth road"

"Okay, just trying to help" I said in a manner which she would have understood that I was annoyed.

I boarded the bus shaking my head, paid for a ticket, found an empty seat, wiped the condensation from the window with my sleeve and let off a long depressed sigh. I called work to inform them of my predicament.

The Irish Muslim got on the bus soon after me, and took off her head scarf, which as it turned out was just a 'normal' scarf that she was wearing in a most unorthodox manner due to the harsh weather. I scoffed at her to myself.

As the bus jolted forward, I smiled to myself thinking I would give her the "I told you so look" when she realised the bus went no where near to Croxteth Road.. I debated whether or not I should stick my fingers up at her, or mock her bay wrapping my scarf around my head too. Either way, I would be triumphant, and she would be left stewing in her own bitterness as she regretted the unsavoury manner in which she dismissed my offer to help.

I listened to my MP3 player as the buses weaved its way around the Park before making an unexpected turn from Aigburth Drive onto Croxteth Road. "For fuck's sake"

She got off the bus, and as the bus departed our eyes locked and she gave a faux smile and all I could do was stew in my own bitterness.

The remainder of the journey was long and arduous, and I started to feel nauseous. "You don't get this on the train" I pondered.

I noticed whist in the mother of all traffic jams by the Old Swan that it had stopped raining which perked me up, but only momentarily.

When we arrived at Merton Road, the bus driver reminded me that this was my stop. I was impressed that he'd remembered me, but felt aggrieved as I'd realised that I if I'd stayed on the bus, the next stop would leave me closer to the office.

Upon arriving at work, I was informed that my vital role of the day was to over see the photocopying of some cabinet documents. Great.

The photocopier as usual snarled up everything that was put into it and I've spent the majority of the morning burning my fingers whilst attempting to retrieve jammed pieces of paper from it innards.

To confound matters, Phil, who only joined the office in March and the only person that I kind of out rank informed me that he's got a much better and well paid job as an administrator in a Catholic School in Southport !!!! "FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!!"

I tried to look pleased for him and didn't mention that I had applied for that job and heard nothing back. I asked if he was Catholic and he said he wasn't. Even better I thought! tonight i think I'll decide what form of self harming to partake in.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

...likes her hair to look real orange

So I went to see The Flaming Lips last night in Manchester...which was nice, although sadly from this moment forth I shall be unable to enjoy anymore gigs unless fifty or so giant balloons are released into the crowd and confetti cannons fired repeatedly by an enigmatic mad professor type front man a la Wayne Coyne. Wacky props aside, they sounded pretty close to amazing too. It was also incredibly refreshing to see a band perform a set of crowd pleasers rather than delving into their more lengthy and diverse back catalogue or perform a tedious amount of as yet untitled future B-Sides (thanks again Hot chip). Also opening with my favourite Flaming Lips' track 'Race for The Prize' really was a statement of intent- and whilst playing the 'hits' along with several of the better tracks from their current L.P meant there was no predictable finale or encore (thanks again Young Knives)- in fact coming back on stage to carry on the song they left the stage to 5 minutes previously was good, but not as good or surprising as their fine rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, which was barely audible over the crowd's jubilant voices screeching along with every word. Okay so Wayne Coyne has a tendency to take a eon when introducing a song and can appear a little Bono-esque (without the evil smugness) but it's all coming from a good place and said with genuine intentions so I did feel incredibly cynical when I realised I was rolling my eyes at another 7 minute song introduction- but hey when the song kicks in all was forgotten.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stanple Umbrage

This profession of mine- by which I mean my role as an office administrator is a perilous one. As moment ago I injured my index finger on my right hand (my favourite finger on my second favourite hand) when an unruly stable took umbrage with me from wanting to remove it from a wad of papers. I was forced to take flight and retreat to the kitchen whereupon I dressed my wound with an elastoplast.

I'm think of asking for a pay rise to reflect the dangers to my life I encounter every day; I doubt they'll succumb to my wants.

Once more my mood has fluctuated from contentment with my status as a dog'sbody to sheer resentment and bitterness. I have yet to hear anything from the two jobs I applied for and my hopes that they will invite me for an interview diminishes daily. Cunts,.

So I need something to prevent me from self harming or turning up to work one day and doing something totally outrageous like leaving my dirty cup on my desk when I leave the office or use my telephone for a personal call. With a dwindling music career and an as yet un attempted career as an illustrator, my best hope for escape is my sit com…just need to find the right motivation to do it.Of course, after my old pal Ant's unsuccessful TV project entitled 'Matt McPartlan : who's that twat?' my expectations are low.

On a positive note, how good is a three hour drive on your own in a hire car whilst singing badly along to your favourite songs? A simple pleasure in life. Future birthdays I may just treat myself and hire a big car for the day and just drive and sing,..and snack. Of course listening to Sports radio whilst driving is also a joyous activity and can provide some much needed rest time for ones tired vocal chords- especially when your team beat Chelsea.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Probably for the best, but I pulled out of doing Hitler at the weekend- by which I mean dressing as him for a recent Halloween party of course. I also pulled out of doing a priest- but that's another story.

On a sad note, I watched the final ever episode of Arrested Development last night. The Season Finale included many obvious and subtle messages about saving the series (S.O.B – Save out Bluths) and was reportedly culled mid season, hence the odd self referential ending.

Once more we see the cut throat world of American TV killing one of its finest ever creations due to ratings, or lack of.

It was sad to watch- especially the lack of G.O.B's bad ass -black (though accidentally bleached white) puppet Franklin.

I've got the last three episodes of Curb… to watch this week too. A sad week indeed

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rockin' it with the kids

More often than not, I stop and wonder how i got myself into this career vortex that I am currently drowning in. (After much discussion I am aware you can't technically drown in a vortex- thanks Gareth)
Today, more than most days I am constantly questioning the very nature of my administrative role within this department and with it, the nature of my being.

If it wasn't for the effects of a few too many Guinness's last night's pub quiz, I'm quite sure that I would be more despondent.
Sadly, today ranks pretty darn high on my list of crappy days. I have been 'working' on a spreadsheet for several weeks and today, I'm double checking it- cross referencing it with another database. It goes without saying that it is dull, dreary and boring.

Aside from the sheer unhappiness my working life brings me, my social life has never been so good.
I've already seen Lambchop last Tuesday and tonight I'm off to see The Young Knives. No doubt there shall be a stark contrast between these two acts, most notably - the audience...for today I shall be rockin' it with the kids!
I have promised myself that I won't be stood at the back with a look of disinterest thinking to myself "you know what? They're nowhere near as good as The Fall" which is what happens quite often at gigs. Boy o' boy I love The Fall.

Anyway, on Saturday i shall be attending a Halloween Party, which sadly requires some form of fancy dress. Obviously being a grouchy s-o-b, fancy dress isn't really my thing, but in keeping with the spirit of the times, I shall be wearing some form of "costume". When the idea was first put to me, I immediately thought that I could go as a priest. After all, it wouldn't exactly be a hard task- chose one of my many black shirts and stick a bit of white card under the collar, and Bob's your uncle. Sadly, have divulged this information to some of my chums, and each on of their reactions has been less than enthusiastic.
"What's scary about a Priest?"

Firstly, this responses shows a lack of knowledge a) of the catholic men of the cloth and b) the history of horror films.
Lisa in a optimistic bid to try and encourage a suitably scary look purchased me a large green monster glove fro the Pound Shop. I tried to be polite when she gave it to me, but the crappyness of it made this extremely difficult. I politely suggested that not too many Priests have large green oversized hands, and that if they did then surely they would have two.

Since the response has been poor to my proposed disguise, I have been forced to think of a suitable alternative which I very much doubt I have the moxy to wear. Again, it's not going to be difficult for me to get the necessary regalia in order to pull off this transformation, it is more of a moral question, after all, with the exception of some hell raising Royals, who turns up to a small house party dressed as Hitler? This would require a shave for starters. I could go as an Administrator, as after all my job/career is pretty terrifying when you think about it- but clever costumes never impress.

I wonder if I could go as Heather McCartney....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I was a 'floater'

So further to my reasoning that in a previous life I must have been Jewish-I've encountered a fatal flaw in this theory- Jews don't believe in re-incarnation (well as far as I'm aware). This is going to make it a tad difficult to fully embrace my newly discovered faith. It also raises many unanswerable questions on the teachings of my Catholic upbringing, as like the Jews – we don't believe in re-incarnation either.

Thusly, had I been re-incarnated then perhaps there's more to the Buddhism lark than just shaving you head and being a pacifist. Perhaps I should investigate this way of life a little further? Perhaps, rather than being a Jew in a former life, I was in fact adopted? Or perhaps there's a little Jewish blood in the family? David Cross did that whole "once a Jew, always a Jew" stand up routine- perhaps this is the case. Alas, the fundamental flaw in this theological theory is that despite the Jewish mannerisms, the whole 'gingerness' and Celtic look I was born with lead me to believe that perhaps the same could be said for Catholicism? "once a Catholic, always a Catholic?" The mere fact that I feel pangs of guilt writing in a jocular manner on the subject, leads me to believe that this must be true.

Perhaps a 'super religion' must be considered?

It's all a far cry from my day's at Harrogate Rossett High School, where after being educated in a severe Catholic way (is there any other way?) during my Primary School days, I crossed the threshold like a young Mo Johnston, and decided to join the aforementioned heathen educational establishment. Surprisingly, because only two of us went from this Primary School, we were constantly asked questions along the lines of :

"Are you a Bible basher?"


"but you're a Christian"

"Yeah- I'm a catholic actually"

"then you ARE a Bible basher"


"because you're a Christian"

"You're Christian too you know"

"F*** off! I'm C of E"

And that was the R.E teacher! Thank God (literally) that I hadn't discovered my Jewish roots then! Oye!

Anyhow, aside from my Jewishness queries, the reason for this faith led blog is not to offend anyone , rather to explain that I completed a job application form the other day in an admin role for a school in Southport. Ace! Better money and it's only term time! Huzzzah I thought- I could do the the xtra time to work on my SC3 project (more on this in the future) Anyway, I only spotted the advert an hour before the deadline- so I completed it at break neck speed. I thought it best to give the school a phone call to see if it would be okay fro me to send it by e-mail. I had a short chat, and used my extra special refined telephone voice, that never fails to impress. They said it would be fine.

I double-double-double (okay treble) checked the application so that my usual grammatical and spelling errors were non evident, and e-mailed it over.

Half and hour passed, and I received an e-mail stating:

Thank you for your application which I will print off for the headteacher's

attention. However, you have completed the wrong application. As a

Catholic school we must use the Catholic Education Service application form

which I attach for your information.

Please do not go to the trouble of re-doing your application. If you were

to be successful in your application we would ask you to complete the

correct form for our records.

I checked the intranet where I spotted the application and there was no such 'Catholic Application Form' there. They were kind enough to enclose a Catholic Application form, which I checked and it was EXACTLY the same, with the exception of some religious motif letter head.

This was nearly two weeks ago, and I now feel that they have tossed my application away due to my un Catholic ness. They probably saw that the school I went to was not R.C. and noted that I hadn't used my confirmation name. They then no doubt assumed from my phone call that due to my Jewish sounding voice that I was 'floater'- you know those poor kids who were brought up by parents of different faiths, and in order to stop any controversy was brought up a bit of both in order to avoid any conflict. So I have been shunned by my own kind- persecuted for not being Catholic (despite actually being catholic) – My God I've never felt so Jewish!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Moxy & Madness

My reign of terror and crime as a Mersey Rail passenger came to a sticky end yesterday when I was caught not having a valid ticket. I adopted a "it's a fair cop" type attitude and provided the gentleman with as much information as he required, stuffed the £20 penalty notice in my pocket and bit him fair thee well. I wasn't bothered as I hadn't paid a penny for three weeks saving myself £45. It was an inevitability that I'd get caught, and getting off the train and spotting the ticket collectors I felt like the mayor of Hiroshima- I could see it coming but little I could do about it.

I've been caught a few times previously, but not since the bleak autumn of 1999 when I was caught- tried to lie my way out of it giving a false name, false address, panicked when they phoned up to check my address, lied some more, tried to run, got caught (ripping my all time favourite coat*), 'fessed up, brought out my switch card, was accused of stealing someone else's bank card (as it had my name on it not the false one I had provided) paid the meagre £10 fine and proceed to avoid public transport of any kind for nearly two months for fear of reprisal. At the time I was devastated, but on reflection I needn't have been seeing I had not paid my daily £3 fare for nearly three months- so I was certainly still in the 'plus'. Obviously living in this city has hardened me in a way I'm not particularly proud about.

I once saw a late night film starring James Coburn, the name of which escapes me, romanticising the train hopping life in the depression era America. I enjoyed this film immensely and in one of many Walter Mitty moments I imagined myself as of these noble hobos of the rail. God I need to get out more, other wise I'll soon be trying to replicate one of my all time favourite films :'Cool Hand Luke' and in all honesty I don't think I'd be very good at being a member of the chain gang in the deep south as my complexion wouldn't handle the heat- plus I don't like eggs.

*my "tele-tubbie coat" – a fleece jacket with a pointy hood. On the very first day I wore it I felt chuffing marvellous, until two drunken local types, proceeded to follow me down Renshaw Street laughing a me calling me a Tele Tubby. Paralysed with fear I kept my hood up and walked on at break neck speed, thoroughly dejected and demoralised. Further to the effect of becoming a city dweller, should this have occurred today I would like to think that I would have confronted the two men in question. Sadly I have progressed to confronting people but unable to follow it up. A good example was last weekend when I confronted 15 or so drunken Rugby League fans on the late night train from Manchester when they were making really sleazy and derogatory remarks about a friend of mine and what they'd like to "do" with her arse.

"Come on guys, we can fucking hear you!" I shouted over in an caustic and loud voice- giving them a unsavoury and surly stare. I instantly thought "uh oh". I averted my gaze and tried to make small talk with my friends. A moment later I felt a tap on my shoulder and the main pervert/culprit/knuckle dragger wanted to shake my hand for "having the balls to defend her"…at least that's what I think he said, I couldn't hear anything except the violent pounding of my heart, but it was certainly words to that effect. Had this been the great railroads of the depression era America, he would have said "I like your moxy kid" which would have been much cooler, sadly thus far in my life no one has said that to me, then offered me a job like I've seen in so many films.

I then spent the next twenty minutes plotting a quick exit should they decide to kill me. Essentially, I've become quicker to shoot my mouth off at the wrong people. Hardly progress I agree- regression if anything. As a rambunctious youth (okay- I was a smart alec), I did have a habit of not being able to keep my mouth shut, this was beaten out of my by the plethora of older kids whom I had conflicts with. I know I'm rambling here, but the worst occasion was when I was 14 on the top tennis courts at school when our football had escaped from one of the many holes in the fence. The ball had stooped by the feet of a kid in the fifth year, who ignored our requests to kick the ball back and proceeded to boot it on to the first year block's roof. I shouted some abuse at him, and to my surprise he slowly walked over to us, flicking his fag away whist doing so.


"Did you say that?" he sneered.

Another moment to do myself proud…"no it was him" I said pointing to our year group's whipping boy, Fryer. He walked over to him and preceded to twat him hard about his head until he fell to the floor. As the twenty or so of us watched silently- no one having the guts to step in. I felt guilty as hell, but as he walked away sparking up another cigarette, Fryer got to his feet and gingerly carried himself off to the school matron with his bloody nose, limping badly, I realised that could have been me and that was a blessed relief.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

“Oh great, another instrument”

I have recently acquired myself a ukulele for the princely sum of £25 and so smitten with it am I, that I have recently incurred the wrath of Lisa by strumming it at any given opportunity.

On Saturday, I was sent to town to purchase some new threads as the money I recently accrued from a loan was burning a hole in my already hole ridden pockets. I dislike buying new clothes, as I am particularly picky about what I wear. Yes, I appreciate this may not seem possible if you take into account the shoddy garments I don but it's something of an ordeal for me, so after purchasing a couple of shirts and the obligatory visit to Probe Records (whereupon I purchased the new Bonnie Prince Billy and Beirut L.Ps) I found myself enticed at the idea of adding another feather to my musical bow (or should that be another string to my hat) and I was soon bounding home like a school girl, uke in hand.

Lisa wasn't impressed, and it was as if I'd spent money on magic beans.

"Oh great, another instrument" she wearily exclaimed.

Perhaps I'd set my self up for this fall, as I had walked though our flat's door bursting with joy and something hidden behind my back. Lisa's initial thought was that I had bought her a present, but she should have known better really.

In the past, Lisa showed great compassion and understanding whilst I was engulfed in a grip of a mild obsession with buying cheap (and mostly rubbish) Casio keyboards, after all she enjoyed the pleasure of pressing random buttons and laughing and the resulting cacophony of sounds that ensued. My brief flirtation with playing the harmonica was not tolerated at all (understandably so) and of course my constant guitar playing was always relegated to the spare room. Eventually she did lighten up to the idea and described it as "cute". Still it has been threatened that she would hide from me it to give her some peace, so I must tread with caution and have my wits about me. Perhaps the wearing of my new shirts will have some positive impact on this delicate situation.

Back to the more trivial and banal- I have once more been enraged by the total lack of consideration and common sense displayed by them's chaps at Mersey rail. Firstly I missed my train by seconds as I decided to purchase a ticket as opposed to my rebellious recent streak of sneaking on without paying. What does honesty cost? £2.65 and being late for work. Lisa and I then waited in the fine drizzle until the next train arrived some 15 minutes later. Unbelievably, despite the 8.30 train being the busiest of the day, they only provided 3 carriages and the train was jammed packet before its door had open for us. When the guard stuck his head out of the window, I asked "Is there any room on the roof?"

"yeah we've got a luggage rack" he retorted.

We stood looking at the open doors with the other 70-80 commuters on the platform. There was little to no space.

"There's another train in fifteen minutes" he yelled to the masses.

"Balls to this" I said to Lisa and plunged myeslf into the mass of bodies and squeezed in…just. When the doors shut, I was unable to move at all, except to slightly move my neck to I could talk to Lisa. At the next stop, Brunswick, the doors opened and the commuters took one look and burst in to laughter. A tannoy announcement proclaimed that "due to severe overcrowding –please do not board this train." This was ignored by several plucky commuters and I was thrust further back in to the sea of sweaty office attired bodies. I did see one noble act as a man told his lady friend to "go on without me darling- I'll get the next train" I thought this beautiful until the said lady proceeded to stand on my foot for the duration of the journey until we arrived at Central station.

All of this had a resonance of de ja vu, and reading a previous blog entry from 12th Oct last year

I seemed to be in a most unsavoury frame of mind regarding the state of the public transport system then. Having said that, last year I wasn't the proud owner of a ukulele as I am now- so things have improved somewhat.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Alas Gerry broke my Lada mug. He feels sufficiantly guilty and I feel sufficiantly sad.

My dad got it for me one Xmo years ago-I now require something to numb this pain.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reluctantly pluck for the water.

My brain and body appear to be working in conjunction for the first time in an age and with my newly acquired aerodynamic hair cut I have been quite the effervensant professional much to every one's surprise, though my usual razor sharp wit and sarcasm has taken a momentary hiatus as a result- a small price for commerce me thinks.

I've even become helpful, and suggested tedious tasks I could embark upon, much to my colleagues and superiors' delight. The fog is lifting my thinks- winter is on its way…hosanna!!

So it was time for my quarterly haircut.

The usual place and once more I booked and appointment with my pretty but slightly dim hairdresser Holly, and this time I felt more relaxed than ever. The usual politeness in declining other peoples' hospitality lay dead on the floor amongst the cocktail of different hair cuttings beneath my shoes. This time when I was asked if I wanted drink, I declared that a "lager" would be most favourable and to my astonishment she smiled and said "no problem." This was a moral victory for sure, as despite frequenting this peroxide, homosexual laden establishment at least 8 times now, I have only be offered a beer once- which I cherished way too much than I ought to. Since that fateful time, my only offerance was: "would you like a drink?" and being slightly embarrassed that a 16 year old man/boy had just washed my hair (still too proud to admit that his feminine fingers worked small miracles on my tired scalp) I tended to nervously ask what drinks are on offer despite being fully aware that a small, stubby bottle of Asda's own continental lager was sat waiting for me in their fridge. The usual crap reply would be "water, tea or coffee?" to which I would reluctantly pluck for the water.

My previous encounter saw me brave newer territories (which turned out to be a deciding factor in my newly found confidence) as being given the aforementioned list of beverages I asked curiously "what cold drinks do you have?" thinking this a more polite- if not indirect approach to being offered a beer. My response:

"We've got orange?"

Anyway, this time as I watched some chap quaffing a glass of wine, I figured "what the hell" and decided to push the boat out.

As I strutted out of their premises I stopped by as many shop windows to ensure that the 'do' still look sensational. I rode on the train with a new sense of purpose and confidence. I enjoyed the attention from the female commuters. I felt like Arthur Fonzarelli. Upon striding into the flat, I found my better half in the bedroom surrounded my reports, writing at break neck speed and looking stressed and full of woe. "aha- she looking vulnerable, she's already on the bed- and I look like a new man…a sexier man" I thought. I checked my hair in the mirror one last time and stood opposite her for a minute until her eyes caught mine.

"I thought you said you were getting your hair cut- it looks exactly the same" she said sincerely.

Still- at least for those twenty something minutes I felt great.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Old Puma Shoe Box

Despite my usual shortcomings as a lazy sod, I disposed of 8 years worth of bank statements and pay slips on Sunday. I decided upon using my strength and tearing the aforementioned articles rather than using Lisa's lousy paper shredder. This proved to be a most prudent decision on my part, though Lisa reacted in a most sensitive manner when she asked why I was doing it manually and my response was to refer to the shedder as "shite". I often wonder if she loves that shredder more than me.

We now have an old Puma shoe box going spare. Fool hardy plans on a grandiose scale of putting this shoe box to good and practical use kept me awake half the night resulting in my weary appearance today. Thankfully, after establishing myself in the office as looking weary at the best of times, my unkempt appearance has remained undetected to my fellow office dwellers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Professional Facade

I've decided to wear a lead propelling pencil (the Pentel Sharplet-2 0.7mm) and pen (pilot G-2 05) in the breast pocket of my shirt in an attempt to look wiser and more professional. Thus far this has been unsuccessful.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Spin Clarissa

Finally- after ordering the same sandwich for the past two and a half years (cheese salad, brown roll, no onion, mayo) the quasi friendly staff at the nearby sandwich shop finally acknowledged my existence and remembered my order. I felt proud and ashamed in equal measure- I was "proamed" you may say. My happiness was short lived as the sandwich they made for me was of poor quality. I may take my business elsewhere in the future.

I also, with it being pay day, I purchased a packet of Ready Slated Crisps and in error I opened the packet upside down. Some may say this is bad luck-not I though, not I…

Whilst on my designated luncheon break, I tended to my elastic band ball, which to my dismay is getting depressingly smaller. Having cherished and nurtured this ball of surplus rubber bands for several years, through cold and dark winters and warm unpleasant summers, I feel a great affinity with her. After all it was a childhood dream of mine to be a rubber band ball owner.

I called it Clarissa.

Tony's step-son who worked in our office on a week's work experience earlier in the year, looked thoroughly bored and disinterested throughout his placement, the only moment I saw him animated was when he clapped his eyes upon my beautiful creation during a moment of relaxation in the office during which I proceeded to spin Clarissa in manner which caused it to return to me once it had hit the floor.

"How long did it take you to do that" he asked.

"2 and a bit years me'lad…man and boy" I said.

He asked to have a go. I declined and put her back in my drawer.

Now she withers and is a shadow of her former self.

Gorging myself on the upside down ready salted crisps and an over familiar cheese and salad sandwich of poor quality did little to lift my spirit

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

“Others find pleasure in things I despise…”

So the Mercury Prize went to those articulate little fella’s from the City of Steele. Watching the show last night I totally forgot that the rather excellent Richard Hawley had been nominated too- and despite my obvious affiliations with Hot Chip (of whom the TV sound engineer did a particularly poor effort of replicating their live sound) I was certainly routing for the chap. Once again the ceremony was, for a lack of a better description, a load of shite, as once more Jo Whiley’s over sincerity had me rolling my eyes, though there was a rather hilarious interview with the newly crowned winners- who appeared to have consumed a rather large intake of alcohol and quite possibly other substances. Obviously her renowned patience had worn pretty thin whilst trying to get a straight answer out of them, but nothing could top Marcus Brigstock’s attempts of trying to engage Mr. Hawley with witty banter:

(On watching footage of Hawley playing with Pulp at a previous Mercury Award Ceremony he noted the guitar he was playing)

RH: “Oh- that was a great guitar- someone stole it”
Brigstoke: “who stole it?”
RH: (With look of annoyance) “If I knew that I would find them and jump on their bastarding neck”
Brigstoke: “ah”


Also boredom produces interesting random internet searches and after looking up details of Steve Irwin (RIP), once more I wasn’t let down by those (perhaps that should be “them’s”) crazy Yanks. Over here we had cock-er-nee wide boy chef Jamie Oliver on a crusade to make school dinners healthier, which no matter what you think of him is a really great thing to have happened, however; in Good Ole’ America, rather than spend money on improving food standards and re-educate the fat youth of America they’ve come up with an ingenious way of a) scanning in fingerprints of all the students for the continuation of the Big Brother prophesy, b) Ensuring that the School gets as much cash from its kids as possible and c) spending an exorbitant amount of money on this pile of

  • pish

  • Anyway, disillusioned with it all- please find several MP3s below for no significant reason- except I like them:

    Casiotone For The Painfully Alone- Tonight was a disaster.
    As referred to in my last blog.

    Lisa Germano -Small Head
    I was given this CD during my short lived life as a Student Magazine Music writer. I never got round to writing up the review- but this song is a corker- Lisa loves this album, and stole it from me during one summer break from university.

    Kate Bush -- Hounds of Love
    Barking mad and brilliant.

    Dinosaur Jr –Whatever’s Cool With Me
    Apparently this song was written after reading this blog.

    Guided By Voices- Hold on Hope (XFM Acoustic Session)
    There rides the Cowboy….

    TV On The Radio - Dry Drunk Emperor.mp3
    Best thing I’ve heard for a long time- gutted that I missed them in Leeds.

    The Louvin Bros. - The Christian Life.
    The Raconteurs covered this at the recent Leeds Festival- “Others find pleasure in things I despise…” Sums it up really.

    Preston School Of Industry-Whalebones
    A song about coming back home after a long tour- this song might have made Terror Twilight a better Pavement send off.

    Sparklehorse -Happy Man [Memphis Version]
    A better version than the ‘Good Morning Spider’ album- great riff and dedicated to all those who’ve woken up un a horses stomach.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    fancy pants trainers and cocaine

    Tonight is the music industry’s annual farce other wise known as The Mercury Music Prize. Once again, I roll my eyes to the back of my head and chuckle to myself that the holy trinity of the British Music Industry chose to nominate such irksome toss pots such as; The Editors, Muse, The Artic Monkeys and The Guillemots for the “prestigious” award. In the words of someone wiser than I once said: “What da fook?” To make matters worse they’ve paired up these big selling artists with Thom Yorke (who it is obligatory to nominate so he can do his generic Anti-Bush/Blair speech) the usual bunch obscure folkies just to make up the numbers and the head scratching, befuddling inclusion of Scritti Politti!!!???.

    Surely any prize that requires a £500 entrance fee just to be considered automatically eliminates a large section of the smaller British bands for entering and paving the way for the “big boys” on their big fat major record labels to enter and in doing so it has reduced the prize to a back slapping exercise for selling more records a la The Br(sh)it Awards. Surely The Editors’ album (which alas my nearest and dearest purchased) does not warrant receiving an award for innovation? Surely the only accolade they should be receiving is the ‘Getting Away With It Award’ for managing to sell as many records as they have. For Chissake, they sound exactly like Interpol (who aren’t the best band on the planet to imitate) only with the same bloomin’ melody/rhythm on every song and in general sounding as dull as dishwater. I saw The Editors live out in Spain at The Benacissism Festival and they were every bit as boring live as they are on their record only the singer was a bigger tit than I had previously given him credit for.

    The Artic Monkeys will no doubt be really hoping they win as their record isn’t selling too well I hear and they’re short of a few quid no doubt. Of course the AM album is quite good, and they’ll no doubt walk away with the prize and spend the prize money on fancy pants trainers and cocaine.

    For what its worth, I will be rooting for my band de jour Hot Chip to win- but reluctantly so, as no doubt it will result in an significant increase of their ticket prices, but their excellent album ‘The Warning’ is surely a million times more deserving than any of the above on the grounds of it being innovative, interesting and different from the plethora of dullard guitar bands that get nominated year in year out. So what is the best British album of the last year? Aside from Hot Chip’s, by my reckoning it’s got to be ‘Chops’ by Euros Childs, but funnily enough I didn’t see his name on the list of nominees. Perhaps the judges would be kind enough to publish a list of all the artists who entered so I can see for myself just why some of these bands were selected for the shortlist. I reckon they didn’t have enough entrants, and chose to call upon The Guillemots as a favour, promising them a crate of beer and the opportunity to appear on Jools Holland’s 'Later' show if they turned up to the event.

    Surely it’s about time someone nominated The Fall on their behalf (I can’t see Mark. E. Smith filling in the application form can you?) after all it’s about time the best British band of the last 30 years basked in a bit of their(his) deserved glory? I can’t see it happening though.
    Anyway, another excellent recommendation from the chaps at Aquariam Drunk led to the discovery of :

    It’s a unfathomably great music website. Please check out the ‘sessions’ section and listen to the Bonnie ‘prince’ Billy tracks (including a version of ‘New Partner’) and Casiotone For the Painfully Alone, who does a full band version of ‘Tonight was a Disaster’ which the Lo-Fi genius, tape hissed Casio keyboard driven original was one of my all time favourite songs: “crying in the cab ride home/with Frank Sinatra on the radio/but it might as well have been Lil’ Kim/when every song you hear still reminds you of him”

    Anyway, I found this CTFPA video on you tube as I don’t have the origional ‘Tonight was a Disaster' on this computer. Not my favourite song-but is very (Smog)-esq.


    I’ve just learned via the CTFPA Myspace that he/they’re playing in Manchester soon (24th Sept)- woo and indeed hooo! X2

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Death or Glory

    Stop the Press!

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    Okay so I was going to waffle on about in my usual un-grammatically-correct-poorly-spelled way about the recent Leeds Fest- but aside from the fact that you probably couldn’t give a damn about the irksome conversations with Tex-Mex vendors who almost drowned my spicy potato wedges in Salad cream rather than Sour cream, and upon querying the former condiment (is it a condiment?) he said “oh we don’t do that” in a curt manner, despite the large sign above his poorly written menu stating that they if fact did, or the Glaswegian girl who told me she’d woken up to the sound of my voice after I was talking to (or should I say ‘at’) Lisa about why you don’t see the old NHS style wooden crutches anymore for nearly half an hour, she said I had a soothing voice- and I sounded like Mr. Scruff (A Manc no less- not for the first time Johnny Marr thought I was a Mancunian too!! Although some old bird in Benacissism asked me, after overhearing me talking, where in Liverpool I came from- I’M FROM ‘EFFING YORKSHIRE YOU DOLTS- WHAT DO I NEED AN EFFING WHIPPET!) or conversely the forgetting tent incident and the “ah a fellow fence dweller” conversation with the chap whom Lisa thought was chatting me up and who took umbrage when I suggested his appearance could easily be misconstrued as being Emo. Sadly I have to report all this has now been put on the back burner due to the sad news that Aussie Legend, Steve Irwin sadly “copped it” from a Sting Ray whilst filming out in the Barrier Reef yesterday.

    It was the first news I heard on the increasingly annoying Chris Moyles’ Show this morning, and not since the loss of John Peel/Rod Hull have I felt sadness on a par with this. How could anyone not warm to a man who spent his adult life wearing the same beige jungle clobber whilst charging up to a plethora of dangerous animals with that look of Aussie determination upon his simple face? The same guy who cried like a baby over the death of an alligators and said : “I loved it like I love my wife”. In the continuing dumbing down of television programs- especially those aimed at children it was good to see someone actually being enthusiastic towards sharing his knowledge with the viewers.- surely the last kids’ TV presenter over the age of 25.

    Why are all the kids TV presenters slightly effeminate schmucks with spiked hair donning crap Top Man polo shirts? Do they think as far as educating children via the medium of TV that the presenter must either be an animated character or a bland no-mark with a provisional driving licence? Johnny Ball and Rolf Harris are kid’s TV legends who surely demonstrate to me that eccentric old (er) men have just as much to offer without appearing sinister. Conversely; they still use the bearded old paedophile Captain Birdseye to promote his fishy fingers, abducting several hundred wide eyed kids on his boat over the years- I mean would you leave your kids with him? Would a genius show like Tony Robinson’s ‘Maid Marian and Her Merry Men’ be made today? I think not- which in the words of the late Mr. Irwin is “a bloody shame” and I feel the time has come for me to stop watching kids TV.

    Anyway, I would like to make light of the news, but sadly as a mark of respect I will resist- no doubt a barrage of joke e-mails, predictably involving some reference to the Gerry Anderson created TV show ‘Sting Ray’ will clog up my various e-mail inboxes in the next few hours. At least Fat Karen and had a little bonding session as she exclaimed in a childlike voice “oh no- I loved him” when she learned of his sad demise.

    Tonight upon my return to my domicile, I shall open a can of Fosters and doff my cap to the loon and perhaps get Lisa to dress up as a crocodile whilst I gently wrestle her to the ground as homage to the guy.

    Adieu Mr. Irwin… adieu.

    The Clash -Death Or Glory

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    "Onions"- The Gist List

    Start wearing Purple….

    So it was the Leeds Festival last weekend, and boy does my liver know it.
    I’ll get to the knitty gritty of what went on there later this week (when I can be arsed)- trust me there was SO incidents of disaster (like forgetting our tent). and comical/farcical conversations (Salad Cream/Sour Cream) But firstly I’d like to draw attention to the many good musical moments and have compiled a sequence of lists so that should you have been unfortunate not to attend – or just didn’t fancy it- then you may get the gist- hence the following ‘Gist List’.

    Today’s Gist list:

    Top 5 finest Cover Versions Performed:

    1. The Raconteurs – I Like The Christian Life (Louvin’ Bros cover)
    When they started this song I got overly excited and sang along to the lyrics at the top of may voice, only stopping to note that none else knew the song- which kinda’ made me feel ill at ease- but I just shrugged my shoulders and continued to wail “Whist others take pleasure in things I despise/I like the Christian Life…”

    2. Semi- Finalists – I Want to Dance with somebody (Whitney cover)
    Great set from this band- really good! I knew nothing about them, but given the choice of who else was playing we headed over to investigate them. They finished on this song- best band there who I didn’t know.

    3. Pearl Jam- Rockin’ In the Free World (Neil Young Cover)
    Loved it! Their finale- I had that Neil young style da-da-da-da-da-da dang- dang! Riff in my head for the rest of the weekend

    4. Giant Drag – Wicked Games (Chris Issak cover)
    I didn’t actually see them perform this as such. I was waiting near the Radio One stage for Lisa who was off to brave the toilets when this songs started- the singer’s sugary voice lifting its way over the masses to caress my ears.

    5. Dresden Dolls – I predict a Riot (Kiaser Cheifs cover)
    We walked past the stage thinking that it was a recording of KC’s playing in reading- then noticed the singer was in drag-which after several moments of confusion I realised wasn’t the KC’s annoying tubby singer it was Dresden Dolls- considering that there’s only two members in this band it sounded remarkably similar to the original.

    Another list sometime tomorrow perhaps?

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    like a monkey with a miniture cymbal

    It's been another successful week of doing nothing, but eventful nonetheless.
    Most significantly, Lisa decided not to go into work on Monday and Tuesday with the old faithful excuse of having the trots. Of course she was fine but decided that she'd prefer to sit in bed watching such TV abominations as 'Trisha' and other shows of that ilk, whilst slurping coffee from her inexcusably large coffee mug that she loves so. Naturally, I wasn't impressed that I had to go to work whilst she stayed at home, especially knowing full well that at some point she'd get another hair brained scheme that would result in getting me further into debt. Having recently acquired tickets for pretty much every single gig that is coming to town, I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was when she called me at work to exclaim excitingly that she'd located a website that was selling tickets to this year's Carling Leeds Festival. There would be no use in me trying to worm my way out of this I thought, so in keeping with my passive idiom, I went with the flow like a twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream.

    This will be my 5th (and a quarter) Leeds festival, plus two Reading Festivals, a V- Festival and Benacissism- so I've become well experienced in these matters. Every year I note with a heavy heart that the other revelers seem to get younger and more stupid. No doubt in several years from now, I shall have evolved into one of those Bergahaus clad oldies, sat on a camping stool on the fringes of one of the smaller stages, sipping tea and thumbing my way through a paperback whilst some miserablist band chunters their way through their set. Should my life pan out this way, I wouldn't become too despondent providing that I had people go with- the life of a Festival "loner" is not a good one me thinks.

    I’ve been quite busy on this for me ole mucca Luke’s band Lanterns:

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    I've also been on GIS MAP Information Services Training in The Liver Building yesterday- only the second training course I've been on since becoming a local Government employee. As you can imagine - it was every bit as dull as it sounded, although many of the issues covered will no doubt provide great assistance in my day-to-day working practice (seriously!). Of course, as is the way with these things I was once more surrounded by the usual type of dullards who took it all far too seriously, notably three pleasant enough folks from Liverpool City Council (well; not technically Liverpool Council anymore- I learned this in an excruciatingly boring exchange during our thirty minute dinner break) plus Sally from our office.

    There was two large middle aged women, and sat in between them was a skinny chap – who I’m guessing was in his late thirties and probably lived with his mum. They started immediately with the small talk when I arrived- discussing at length the Krypton Factor style elevators the building had. It wasn’t long before the conversation got more inane and we were soon discussing glasses. One of the two women- who appearance was quite bizarre announced that the ridiculously small spectacles she was wearing, only cost £1. I looked to Sally who had just arrived, with a look of polite and subtle astonishment. “I must get my eyes tested” she followed. Her female colleague who’d stated several times she didn’t have a clue with computers, reliably told her that it was the computer that was ruining her eyesight. “NO- IT’S THE EFFING £1 GLASSES YOU PURCHASED FROM HOME & BARGAIN THAT’S RUING YOUR EYES YOU FRZZY HAIRED WEIRDO” I screamed with venom in my head- and smiled politely. I joined in the conversation adding that my eyes deteriorated when I started to do my school work on my Commodore Amiga. Granted it wasn’t helped that I used a 14” reconditioned TV as a monitor which was usually only several centimeters away from my eye lids. The skinny bloke, then started to go on about his love for his Amiga, at which point I slumped in my chaior and gave up on the pretence that I was interested in what he was talking about.

    The girl giving the training was pleasant enough too I suppose. She was about my age (late twenties) with ginger hair, an odd mole on her slightly flaky skinned face and a surprisingly capital pair of knockers , but this didn't stop her from getting on my wick. Firstly, I was led to believe that Tea & Coffee (which in my book also means the provision of biscuits or small cakes) was to be made available throughout the day. After 15 minutes of dull introductions etc, a large metallic flask was finally brought into the small training room along with a number of mugs by a overly happy office junior (Oh youth! I thought- when I am required to provided a meeting with beverage I look as grumpy as I can be and always chunter under my breathe "don't mention it" when I'm not thanked appropriately for my endeavors- which is more often than not).
    I noted immediately the lack of biscuits but decided to be professional about it and not let it affect my day. When the trainer finally stopped reading aloud from her manual we were at last offered a drink.
    "Great" I thought, noting that it was nearly 10.30 am- back in my good ole office I would usually have consumed 3 cups of varying quality tea in this time. Alas, to my astonishment and disappointment, the rest of the group all declined a hot drink. I felt awkward and didn't answer her – choosing to give her a look of sadness that I've been trying out at home in front of the mirror should an occasion such as this arise. "Would you like a drink?" She asked in a very negative manner. A bottled it - and said "No it's alright- I'll struggle on"- which was greeted with a vague titter.
    I sulked a little bit, ruing my missed opportunity and naturally blaming myself! All those hours stood in front of the mirror practicing the sad puppy dog look where wasted…wasted I tell thee!
    As the training continued, I noted that the trainer was sipping continually from a bottle of water. This annoyed me greatly. "I'm dying of thirst here" the echoy voice in my head screamed at her. I also noted with a degree of contempt that she was drinking from one of those bottles which had a sports cap as opposed to the traditional screw top. Not really her fault I guess, but I dislike them intently. They’re difficult to drink from and I find the spectacle of someone chugging liquid down from one of these containers most vulgar.

    The training continued slowly, but I was still distracted by my thirst. Eventually close to 11.30ish we were once more given the opportunity to have a break/drink but cleverly given the option of "working through it" so we could finish earlier. "Fantastic" she wants to be home in time to watch Big Brother's little Brother and because of this I was to suffer the indignity of dehydration. I decided to make my opinion known.

    Once more when this offer was made the room's occupants shook their heads and politely declined. I leaned back on my chair and asked nicely if I could have cup of tea but insisted that we continued to work- surely we can listen to her drone on whilst having a drink. After all it's hardly multitasking is it? After an hour of rolling my eyes every time she put that sport's capped bottle of Highlands Mineral Water to her slightly flaky lips I wasn't going to adopt a policy of appeasement when it came to refreshments- after all training/away days are similar to staying in a Hotel. Grab as much freebies whilst you can.

    She continued talking to the group whilst she struggled to open the flask. After a minute of struggling (whereupon I noticed that she had gone red with embarrassment- he he!) I was horrified to learn that the flask did not contain tea; rather it was full of hot water. Our beloved trainer had to make me the tea in front of the group whilst still babbling on about ‘rasters’, 'vectors' and ' polygons'. Instead of passing me the cup so I could make the tea to how I like it- she ragged the tea bag around in the cup for a few seconds, squeezed the shit out of it and added the tiniest splash of milk to the cup. I tried hard to look grateful but inside I was seething. Quelle Surprise- the tea tasted like dishwater.

    The meeting slowly trudged on until 1pm when we were allowed out lunch. "Ha Ha- this is what I came for!" I said to the group in jest- yet once again my hopes were dashed when I saw the pitiful display of food that was on offer. My fantasies of Onion Bargies, Samosa's, Sausage Rolls, chicken wings Etc were extinguished fast. A tray of generically obscure flavored butties, a handful of tortilla chips was the savory choices on offer. The desert options consisted of a fruit kebab and a mini muffin. Oh joy!
    As a bit of a fussy eater, I loathe the generic corporate butties that turn up at nearly every business shindig I drag my carcass along to. The only two food groups I cannot eat are (as you may know) Mayonnaise/eggs and fish, and usually every little triangular sandwich contains on or both of these culinary no-nos. I reluctantly nibbled a small cheese and pickle (although I don't really like pickle) sandwich and ate my allocated bun and fruit kebab. I was starving! I was also in dire need of the toilet- and as with everything else this too proved problematic. Apparently the visitor’s pass we'd been given wouldn't give us entry to the toilets "what the...?!". Our trainer said she'd try and find us a suitable pass. Thankfully the bloke from Liverpool Council had a toilet pass "I made sure I got one when I arrived...funny tummy!" he said giving me a look of discomfort.
    "Thanks for sharing that” I mumbled as I dashed out of the room.

    The training slowly trudged on after an even more boring 30 minute lunch break- in which I held f the most bland and boring exchanges with the other schlums there (Council politics). Eventually lunch was over and it was just a matter of keeping awake until 4.45pm, which I thankfully managed.

    Anyway, tonight should be interesting as I plan to do the monthly shop at Asda all on my own. I’m actually pretty nervous as no doubt Lisa will want to see a schedule of everything I bought…and of course I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss something important like bog roll or bread. I’m starting the psyche myself up for the task- I shall of course inform of the results sometime in the future.

    In the meantime please find some random musical choices:

    Jose Gonzalez’s career took off when he covered this song- but that’s no reason not to like it. It’s everything that Jose’s version isn’t…
    The Knife -Heartbeats

    Childhood nostalgia- best song in the Jim Henderson masterpiece ‘Labyrinth’
    David Bowie- Magic Dance

    One of the few occasions where the cover (Nirvana) is better than the original…erm here’s the original.
    The Vaselines- Son of a Gun

    I love this song (sigh of contentment) – undoubtedly one of indie rocks finest moments:
    Sebadoh- The Freed Pig

    I love this band and finally got to see them out in Texas at last years SXSW- also I stood behind the their bass player whilst queuing to try and get in to see Stephen Malkamus/Laura Cantrell/Dead meadow/Lou Barlow gig the next day. I made a fumbled attempt of a conversation which went badly. Great song though…

    Radar Bros.- On the Line