Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Weekend listening: “In A Sentimental Mood”

September 9, 2017

Duke Ellington wrote some fantastic music.

My hunch, from listening to his music, is that he understood that dissonance and noise aren’t horrible things to be avoided, nor are they ideological ends in themselves to attack the bourgeoisie (an opinion usually held by people who are members of that very same bourgeoisie and think by traumatizing their fellows they are going to make some kind of political breakthrough but usually end up looking pretty bloody stupid), but just another tool in the box of expression.

So I hope the Duke and his descendants will forgive my rather “smeary” moments on this version of one of his greatest melodies. I think they will because the guitar playing of Simon Hopkins is subtle, sophisticated, powerful and operating at a higher level.

Thanks to Simon (and the Duke)…



Weekend listening: “If I Say How Much I Love You”

August 12, 2017

I saw “Casablanca” for the first time this year.

It’s a good film. A propaganda movie. But since the propaganda is: “forgive the people you love and fight the Nazis”, it’s easy to swallow.

In it Humphrey Bogart utters the famous line that people’s problems, “…don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world…”

Which seems pertinent (the headline in this newspaper from Iran apparently translates as “World in the hands of crazy people“, although what’s behind the link may have have changed by the time anyone reads this).

So although it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, it’s still pleasing that this piece of music, (dedicated to the love of my life @AndroidAnnee) has now been played over 100 times on Soundcloud.

I have no doubt that this is down to the masterful and subtle guitar work of my good friend Simon Hopkins rather than anything to do with me.

To anyone who listened, thanks.



Sunday listening: “High Heels Police” #blues

July 2, 2017

behind your back

with their clickety clack

you better cover up

they dont wanna see you

high heels police words

A “Wail of Sound” production.

@DeathValleyGrls on tour – February 2017

April 17, 2017

Death Valley Girls – The Hope and Ruin Brighton – 2nd February 2017

via Death Valley Girls — 16 Beasley St Photography

Yet more pictures of my current favorite band…

This was the tour where I saw them in London…

May! Brighton! #rocknroll !

Weekend listening: “Woven Brand Crumble”

March 25, 2017

So this conversation happened on Twitter. And I thought to myself, “I’d like to see Sarah Brand playing with Woven Entity… How can I make that happen?”


A section of Sarah Gail Brand’s improvisation from Free Range’s Wintersound:

Free-range – Wintersound-lauren-alistair-sarah

A loop from “Trissh” by Woven Entity:

A mystery voice!

Thanks to @sarahgailbrand @Free_Range_ @WovenEntity  @astrogarage and Sam from Free Range.

Follow them!

R C Churchill biography

March 11, 2017

From the dust jacket of “A Short History of the Future”

#rocknroll – update – @deathvalleygrls @thecoathangers @TheDartsUS @ppeachclubb

February 8, 2017

I was going to write a long blog post about how the internet has made music better.

But pictures and sound speak louder than words:


Thanks to @DeathValleyGrls for a fantastic evening last Friday and @carlasalvatore for the photo. People are too uptight! They need to loosen up!

CDs are a rubbish way of listening to music aren’t they. Bits of plastic tat. No wonder vinyl is making a comeback. I’m only got my @TheCoathangers CD at Christmas and already it’s scratched on one of my favorite tracks. This one:

It’s only February and @thedartsUS “My Heart is A Graveyard” is going to be difficult to beat as track of the year:

So which of these bands am I going to be lucky enough to see next?

Death Valley Girls say they’ll be back in May, a The Coathangers UK tour is rumored, and The Darts are in France in May which is not that far… But it might be easiest to see @ppeachclubb as they come from Norwich, not LA…

It’s too late to stop now!

Weekend listening: “Dead White Male” #deadwhitemale

January 14, 2017

2017 gets off to rousing start with DJ Southwold‘s magical sophisticated rhythms and some elderly geezer “singing”…

“He’s a mansplainer/it’s a no brainer”

punk’s not dead!

Merry Blogmas!

December 21, 2016



Let’s be diplomatic and say that 2016 was…  a missed opportunity.

However for me 2016 was a good year, both personally and professionally.

As always I could not have done anything without the help and support of family, friends and colleagues.

So, if you happen to be reading this… best wishes for a hopeful 2017.

Merry Christmas!… (I make no apology for re-releasing my massive Christmas smash from last year)…

…And a happy Hogmanay! (it sounds a bit Scottish)…

The family “Best of 2016” playlist is now available!

Very poor service from @BritishGas

December 7, 2016

Partially redacted text of email I have sent this morning to British Gas complaints department:

“I am a British Gas Homecare customer – account number XXXXXXXXXX

this email is to complain about the extremely poor service we have received around a simple job of replacing the transformers in our kitchen ceiling lights.

To summarize:

We have now had 9 (nine) appointments or visits in the past three months from British Gas to try and complete this simple job.

The first appointment was on the 11th of October. (reference XXXXXXXXXX) when the engineer said he couldn’t do the job as he needed more time.

On at least 3 of the subsequent occasions the appointment has been cancelled the previous day at very short notice.

One one occasion I took leave and waited for British Gas only for no one to come and to be told that the job had not been booked in.

My wife has taken leave on at least 2 occasions to be in when the engineer was supposed to call.

We have been told when some of the appointments were cancelled that “this is a two man job” which is why arranging it is so difficult. However on the 17th November one engineer turned up who had not been told what the job was. He was perfectly capable of doing the job on his own but and only managed to do half as he didn’t have enough of the right parts. The reference number for this appointment was  XXXXXXXXXXX.

The final straw occurred on Monday 5th December. I had double checked the previous Friday (2nd December) by ringing your helpline and I was assured by your operator that the job was going ahead, the same engineer as previously had been booked in with the correct part. My wife stayed in but no one came. When she rang up she was told that the job had been booked in but not the engineer, a direct contradiction of what I had been told on the Friday.

We are now considering cancelling our British Gas Home Care Agreement. We have already complained about this matter and have standard letters from you dated 15th and 16th November.

This has caused us considerable disruption and stress…. I am now asking for you to compensate us financially for our inconvenience. We have already received a small amount from you but I am expecting a more significant amount of money as the job is still not completed and we will now have to pay someone else to do it.

I can be contacted on this email address or on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX”