Monday, 31 December 2007

New Year's Greetings

"and I'll send you a New Year's Kiss, and

I hope you remember me like this..."

Wishing all bloggers a New Year of fabulous experiences, epoch-shattering plays, happy home lives and tumultuous wonderment.

Looking forward to: The new series' of The Wire and Curb; The Zombies and The Boosh; the small business of our wedding

Listening: Flight Of The Conchords radio series (thanks Joy n' Neil! but why did Brian become Murray?); Burial - Untrue; LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver; Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight; Roisin Murphy - Overpowered

Underwhelmed by: Extras - It felt like a sixth-form treatise on the meejah, and was just a bit too smug and self-satisfied for my tastes. Larrys' Sanders and David have surely done it better, and earlier.

Quote: The Triffids (sure hope those Sydney shoeshine boys don't keep you on the run)

Resolutions: Writing; alchemy

Monday, 17 December 2007

Nice look guys, but Dave Hill's gotta go

I know I published this picture of successful Hull beat exports The Hullaballoos on the blog before, but the guy on the right is still great value. There are some great looks - I'm thinking Bowie, Roxy and the Clash here - and others (white shirts, pudding bowl mullets, homo-erotic bank clerks) that just don't cut it. Great pic tho'.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

A McConquest and Plantagenent Burger, please

Could this Barton church, from Anglo-Saxon times, be a protype for the dear old golden arches? A drive-thru and a side order of plague, sir?

The bridge to the north from the graveyard, at dawn

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Springsteen - Thunder Road

A conversation I was having with a fellow Springsteen blogger led me to post this - to any doubters, Bruce here really is the boss ...

Grimsby Nativity

Doing the rounds in Grimsby today.

I only have Ike's for you

Hopefully most of the obituaries for Ike Turner will focus on his amazing guitar work, funky threads and hip speak rather than the fact he was (allegedly) handy with his fists. He certainly looked better in the 80s than Tina, who was peddling a look that spawned a million Grimsby haircuts. And his song titles like Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter know no equal. It brought to mind the fabulous sketch from The Larry Sanders Show where Hank Kingsley, caught in the act of punching his own cardboard cut-out, says he is rehearsing for the Ike Turner skit in order to secure the Orange Growers contract. I guess you've got to see it. Rest in peace, Ike. I think it's gonna work out fine.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Darwin's Evolution

Any further proof, if proof be need be, that we live in a mixed-up, muddled-up shook up world of bizarre media reportage (I can say all this now I've crossed to the dark side of PR). In another time, you could almost regard John Darwin and his wife as heroes, who scammed their insurance and made it, with nothing more complex than Secret Seven-esque beards and hideouts and canoes, to Panama before they were rumbled by a have-a-go search engine blogger. The idea of doing a moonlight flit, a la Reggie Perrin, is almost romantic. I'm sure a lot of us have thought of it at one time or another. So the vilification of Mr D - and I've seen headlines like Darwin's Dungeon and The Liar, The Witch And The Wardrobe in recent days, is a bit perplexing. Let's face it, they've given the nation a good old laugh in these bleak December days. I'll probably regret this when they make a fortune on the film rights, but for goodness sake, they ain't Fred and Rose. And all this while Gerry McCann is nominated for Scot Of The Year.

Whatever happened to Kevin Toms?

A random google search for a Grimsby councillor brought up this flashback picture of game designer Kevin Toms. Anyone with a passing knowledge of computers and footie would remember Football Manager, the game Toms designed in the 80s and was at the time thought to be a zany futuristic glimpse of gaming in the future. It always took 20 minutes to load, leaving the casual punter with time on their hands to study Toms' improbable beard. Curious, I found he's got a wikipedia site which has no real answers about Kev's progress in the world of Game Cubes, Wiis and DS-OS. Has he weathered the storm? Has the beard remained? Is he shouting at Hyde Park Corner about bringing back Manic Miner or Frogger? Kevin, get in touch.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Token generic Australian outlaw facial hair piece

What the blue blazes has happened to Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, of the amazing Grinderman and majestic film soundtracks, like the Proposition and the new one TAOJJBTCRF? I know the music harks back to Xavier Herbert era Oz, but Cavey lives in Brighton. There's plenty of barbers, so why the cross between John Hughes and John Milton? As for Ellis, he seems to have turned into a cross between Rip van Winkle and Robert Crumb's hairy cartoon. Great sweeping elegaic music however.

Listening: The Departed soundtrack; Jonathan Richman goes Country; the Cherry Ghost (goes great for a walk down Grimbo High Street with the prams and WELCOME TO THE BONX (sic) grafitti; Barbara Lewis soul stuff; Burial - Untrue; Oh Laura; Noah Georgeson (well, Dee's away, so I'm allowed to get all cerebral)
Second favourite Aussie related blog post this week:
Favourite Canoe-related headline: "Canoe's gonna explain this, John?" - Daily Mirror
Favourite conversation: A lad on the Grimsby Barton train going through all 27 of the records his boss had given him at work: "Gabba, gabba, grime, evolution, evolution, gabba, grime, gabba" like a demented McCririck. Gabba, gabba, hey hey.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Who the Newton Faulkner?

Does anyone else feel their knarkles rising when white songstrel Newton Faulkner comes on the telly, wrestling every last decibel of goodness out of Teardrop, rocking back and forward in dreadlocked asylum chic? Dee says the only ads they should ban on telly are music and cheese. Combined, in Faulkner's case. Dreads-ful.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Evel forces

The death of Evel Kneivel touched a nerve (it didn't break tho, unlike most of the bones in the stunt-nihilist's body). When I was a kid, I had an Evel Knievel plastic stunt bike, which basically involved winding up a plastic rider and hoping he could maintain momentum long enough to perform a death defying piroutte (like Knievel himslef it always ended up spreadeagled on Rice Trevor lower school's playground. Realisation editor: actually, hang on a sec, that was probably the whole point. Bless the geniuses at Mattel). I saw a doc on Evel a few years ago and he was a narly old cuss who had a tendency to break the hands of any journalist who wrote negative stories about him in a good-ol-southern-bappist kinda way, and made me glad I wasn't plying my trade on Stunt Cycle Injury News or some illustrious publication. But he was a proper hero to the late 70s, early 80s kids, even if he failed at most things. And his disco-funk-country record he made showed a bizarre Barry White bent to his singing timbre. The walrus on wheels, perhaps?

That seals it

Over to Donna Nook for an inexplicable meeting of amazing furry nature (hundreds of pregnant seals, right up close) and annoying people with cameras and kids. The two converge every year on an area normally used as an RAF testing ground. Seals. And bombs. For some people, I feel coming to Donna Nook is more of a box ticking exercise than any love of Faroe Island based aquine-mammalry. I heard one woman say, in a thoroughly pissed off tone: "More seals. Just more seals", as if the crazy phenomenon of the wild was not enough for her and could she please get home for X-Factor. Similary inspired, we hopped it to nearby Cleethorpes to see people playing crazy golf in the December dusk, ate fishnchips in a deserted wildlife garden with the Humber breeze jabbing into our backs and then saw how many actors from The Wire we could spot in American Gangster. The film: basically Heat meets Blow meets every other drugs n' cop story arc. Rise n' fall n' tubby Aussie.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The hip hippopotamus, my lyrics are bottomless

Classic! Steve!


Soz for the lack of postings of late - 2007 will go down as a momentous year of new jobs, two houses sold, a brief period in Donnie-exile and the final calm and stability of a new job in local government (seriously Bazza). It'll take some time to get used to the short-forms, less than palatial office space, weird words like sustainability and best performance and to figure out where the toilets are.The portents though seem good. Well as good as Grimsby gets. In all this weirdness and change, it's nice to see my old HDM comrade Mark Gee make the small step-up from the Advertisers series to the big Male propah (sorry for the (Erykah) Badu spelling). His story about an "assaulted pony shocks woman" (that was seriously the headline on page 2 - the kind of headline only the HDM would mean seriously) conjured up much smirkery. But on closer inspection it turns out one of the black pony's injuries was a black eye. How could they tell??
Listening: Duffy - Rockferry; Horace Andy

Monday, 19 November 2007

"Turn the wrapper round"

A splendid weekend of London contrasts, going to exhibitions (Pop Art at the NPG), panoramic cocktail bars, Regent's Park, Pedro Almodavr's exemplary All About My Mother at the Old Vic and catching up with London buds celebrating babies and weddings and houses. Living close to a city that regards a cavernous shopping centre resembling a down-at-heel duty free but with less shops (St Stephens) as a major attraction, going to London, even if just for a couple of days shows how far Hull has still got to travel. We went past an estate agent which doubles as a bar, so you can take away the attendant pressure of buying a house by getting rat-arsed, and waking up in a ditch with six mortgages. Go into any Hull estate agents with a beer and it's a breach of the peace. Right there and then. A sports shop in the smoke is so keen to take your cash that it provides a treadmill to test out running shoes. And will also let you road-test them around the block. Like that's gunna happen!! We also went past a shop with a stuffed polar bear, which would be great at parties, on rollerskates.

The surrealight was found at Doncaster railway station waiting for a Cleethorpes train (as y'do). We ended up sat next to a crazy old man the colour of bad memories. He offered forward a mangled bar of chocolate. In my face. In the waiting room. "Turn the wrapper down", he said. I assumed he was objecting to the loudness of my crisps (McCoys crinklecrunch). Getting agitated, he repeated his protest, although this time I thought he said "Turn the wrapper round". Confused and bedraggled, I thought the nutter wanted to see the front of my crisp packet, as it was so shiny and aspirational. At the point of turning the crisproduct McCoy way-on, he shouted at the top of his voice "DOOOOOO ITTTTT" and we ran. We later surmised he may have been from the east of Rotherham villages and was saying "tear my wrapper down". Freaky manky chocolate induced waiting room rage. In Doncaster. These things only seem to happen to me.

Watching: All About My Mother; wayward freaks

Drinking: Mojitos in Skylon, overlooking the Thames on the south bank

Listening: 10 Years Of Trunk Records

Thursday, 15 November 2007

A heart-warming tale

Just look at the new Andy Fordham. Ten stone lighter but still sporting a ridiculous proto-truck metal barnet and forearms the size of plates. I would almost be tempted to call him svelte.
Listening: Piney Gir Country Roadshow, Rilo Kiley
Watching: The Mighty Boosh, The Wire; Deadwood, Gavin & Stacey

Surreal Thursday

As Thursday's go, this one is pretty surreal. Off to see a member of the Catholic clergy in Scunthorpe to discuss the bizarre and surreal 'initiation' I have to go through before I get married to Dee (I'm hoping for some dastardly adventure in the Indian foothills). And then we return home for the surreal antics of the Mighty Boosh. At the moment I keep thinking of the Priest And The Beast episode from the last series. I'm hoping the meeting with the Priest doesn't end with a crazy monster made of Beta Max video tape hot-tailing me back to BoH.

Congratulations: Dave and M!
24 hours til: Pedro Almodovar and Pop Art in London

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

A man and his chopper (Insert own bike sex pun here)

Bike sex man placed on probation
Cleaners caught Mr Stewart simulating sex with a bikeA man caught trying to have sex with his bicycle has been sentenced to three years on probation.
Robert Stewart, 51, admitted a sexually aggravated breach of the peace by conducting himself in a disorderly manner and simulating sex.
Sheriff Colin Miller also placed Stewart on the Sex Offenders Register for three years.
Mr Stewart was caught in the act with his bicycle by cleaners in his bedroom at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr.
Gail Davidson, prosecuting, told Ayr Sheriff Court: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.
"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white t-shirt, naked from the waist down.
"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."
Both cleaners, who were "extremely shocked", told the hostel manager who called police.
Sheriff Colin Miller told Stewart: "In almost four decades in the law I thought I had come across every perversion known to mankind, but this is a new one on me. I have never heard of a 'cycle-sexualist'."
Stewart had denied the offence, claiming it was caused by a misunderstanding after he had too much to drink.
The bachelor had been living in the hostel since October 2006 after moving from his council house in Girvan. He now lives in Ayr (is this some tyre-related joke at the end)

Monday, 12 November 2007

The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers

To celebrate my last week of work in mid Lincolnshire, I was going to post loads of charming pictures of Hubbard's Hills and blue plaques showing where Tennyson invented swing tennis. But then I got the call of the weird. Lincolnshire is well known for its strange past-times like the Haxey Hood (kicking a hood violently between villages for a flagoon of ale) and regular ploughing matches (no more boring Sundays!) but this newsy item is just bizarre. Pagan, a tad dodgy and invented by a mad publican. The mentals.

An annual highlight in the Sleaford area is held in Oasby where villagers commemorate the death of Viscount Conningsby, first son of Sir Michael Newton (cousin of Sir Issac Newton) in 1723. The Viscount was only six months old when he was killed by an ape, reportedly a baboon, which was kept as a pet. The family home was Culverthorpe Hall where the child was laid to rest in the family chapel, while the baboon was said to have been buried somewhere on the estate. Several years ago the villagers decided to remember this dreadful occurrence with a now annual event in memory of the Viscount by marching around the village with flaming torches and making a huge row with drums, pots and pans and whistles while herding the baboon (a villager in a costume) towards the Houblon Inn.
At the pub they are denied admission by the landlord until an effigy of the ape is hurled over the roof, only then can they enter to hear the famous poem written for the occasion by Sleaford resident Jeff Challoner. The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers will perform and there will be music and verse, along with a collection for Children In Need. Paul Kennedy of Oasby said: “There is quite a lot going on in the pub after the march and it is a cracking night for a very good cause.”

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Buffet: The sub-editor slayer

Tempted to Sorrento's, an Italian all-you-can-eat buffet for £4.90 and a Louth 'institution' for a farewell meal with the subs and the office nutter, Martin Baldwin. So good was it that MB was back up for seconds before he had started his firsts. A surreal experience, picking the baked beans out of some cheap Lidl Penne, marvelling at the pasta and peas concoction (it was pasta. And peas.) All the while some bad opera skipped on the CD player, while the waitress remained oblivious, until I asked her if she'd got a shotgun. She seemed to understand. Welcome to Louth - 10 per cent eating and 90 per cent experience.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Fancy that

me and D's fancy dress get up for a Halloween do in Leeds, courtesy of charity shops in Louth and the immortal Dinsdales joke shop in Hull, inspiration for the League of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

My hometown unicorn

The Ex Factor?

News that puppydoggish teen wannabe Emily Nakanda has been dumped from X Factor after happy slapping footage of the 15-year-old was released on YouTube recalls a recent Charlie Brooker column. Ultimately, why is when somebody has a heartbreaking story, why can they always sing like angels and not honk like a swan. Mawkish, misleading telly. Now Emily Nakanda, originally pushed into our parents' living rooms as the daughter of a bullied, beaten mother who nearly died or was pushed off a cliff while on fire* is revealed as a happy slapper partial to headlocks and knife threats. Although that never stopped me buying Ike Turner records.

* not sure exactly what mawkishness had befelled poor misunderstood Emily, but I'm certain it was accompanied by strings

Is this sign strictly PC?

New pad

Allow me the luxury of some photos of our new town. This is not our back garden, nor is the house our summer abode. But you could probably secure them for the price of a Cambridge bedsit.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Animal magnetism

Off to see the Super Furries at the sumptuous, elegant Leeds Town Hall (and oh to see Cian Ciaran making some pounding Joey Beltram Hardfloor-esque tune out of the giant pipe organ behind the stage). Having first seen the Furries in 1996, and traipsing off down Ealing High Road to buy Hometown Unicorn, I've grown up with the Welsh oddballs, seen them adopt Golden Retriever suits and Manson beards, and become part of the alt-furniture. Gruff Rhys sidles up to the side of the stage to watch support Jim Noir (who has the look of the Hitcher from Gilliam's Fear And Loathing) wearing a bobble hat n' beard combo. That's good 30s. The band delivered their most trad set yet, a kind of Spanish and bee-bop flavoured prog and freak out melee, with carrots and helmets obviously. And Slow Life, watched by an overwhelmed Noir mere feet from us in a kind of "I'm never gonna do anything as good as this, ever, no way", cooked with gas.

Track highlight: Northern Lites in the style of Husker Du. Receptacle For The Respectable (with home grown carrots), Juxtaposed With U (lounge singer meets vocoders meets Goat Boy)

Monday, 29 October 2007

The deep south

Ventured to the deep south for the first time in aeons for a virtual/actual blogface interface with fellow blogger StoneFee in Bedford. A great night it was too, as Bedders, as we always affectionately called it, looks to uptrendify itself with swank new apartments and rugby and gastro pubs that used to be known as prison-locals, as they were so close to Bedford nick, which acts as an ad-hoc Victorian crack n' porn roundabout in Bedford town centre. There's still parts of the old town that need bulldozing however. The bus station is indeed, as a Facebook group has it, the gateway to hell, and Midland Road is a challenge to get to from one end to another without an aggressive in-yer-face beggar slashing you up for shrapnel. We went into the sensitively named Pilgrims Progress pub, which, unlike in John Bunyan's day, is a place where you can get a pint for 89p and your head koshed for even less. On the way to another pub, a bloke sidled up to us, slovenly and looking like Rory McGrath on hard times. He wanted to know where the bus station was and we were only too glad to tell him, hoping he'd sidle back out of our lives. He did indeed slope off, into the drivers seat of an E-type jag parked nearby. I guess thats where the north-south divide still counts.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Hostage telly

Watched the highly impressive and incredibly BBC Alan Johnston talking through his Gaza kidnap ordeal last night. Not wanting to take anything away from this remarkable and gracious, literate man. But why was the interview conducted in a dim, pokey, "hostage-chic" building, clearly designed to mirror his captivity? And was the hostage set borrowed from Dragon's Den? I mean, you wouldn't see Terry Waite chatting to Gloria Hunniford chained to a radiator, would you?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Stick it to 'em

Got a brochure today for the very swank Normanby Hall, a potential wedding reception venue for me and the Dee. Beautiful grounds, walled gardens, boar statues, perfect wedding fare. Except the very deceptively priced and rather injudiciously named food packages. We love you - our intended guests - and that's why we're looking at receptions at places like NH rather than the bleedin' Campanile, bedding down with the waifs and adulterers. But the pricey Rose Garden Finger Buffet, at £17 a head, is insane. The food includes "items on sticks", "cheese cubes" and "chicken and vegetarian nuggets". Campanile quality at a class A location is still Campanile. Although the items on sticks are seperate from the cheese cubes, tellingly. Maybe its fivers on sticks. Or gimps. Nonetheless, the hunt goes on ...

Sub-species subway

So, by the year 3000, "man" will be divided into two sub-species due to technology and being choosier about your mates. I'm guessing the under-class will be banned from using Facebook (although MySpace would probably be fine). But what's all this about the year 3,000. Surely, a cursory look around Louth, Grimsby, Hull or Leamington Spa would reveal many people who already bear resemblance to the smaller depiction here? I mean, isn't it the strange creature from the end of Don't Look Now? Or the woman behind the counter at Everyman Newsagents?

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Stranger than fiction

I'm reading Patrick Hamilton's The Slaves Of Solitude. Typically exemplary fare by the writer of Gaslight and Rope, all seedy and murky and frustrated. But the intro by Doris Lessing, her of the Nobel Prize indifference, makes me want to read more about Hamilton's father, Bernard. Take this paragraph for example ...

"He was an impressionable traveller, amateur actor, fascist and dogged religious controversialist. At the age of 21, he had inherited a fortune and married a prostitute who threw herself in front of a train at Wimbledon Station. His second wife, the sexually frigid daughter of a fashionable London dentist, filled her time copying oil paintings, singing music-hall songs and writing romantic fiction. She found compensation for a loveless marriage in the possessive love of her three children"
Heady stuff - some one should write that adaptation!
Listening: 100 Broken Windows - Idlewild; Now I'm A Cowboy - The Auteurs; What's Going On - Marvin Gaye; Live At The Apoll0 - James Brown; Third (Sister Lovers) - Big Star
Watching: Spooks (isn't everybody); The Wire Season 3 (Stringer Bell is Machiavellian evil personified)

Monday, 22 October 2007


I saw my first wannabe jumper as I drove across the Humber Bridge in the half-light, muggy over river. Strange the way your mind registers a potential death - it wasn't until I studied the scene in my rear view mirror, crawling towards Hull, that I confirmed the double tragedy of a man the wrong side of the railings, in a jumper the wrong shade of orange. Of late there's been talk of raising the safety barriers at the Humber Bridge, although my guess is people who are that way inclined may well find a way through even those sort of cordons. It was bizarre to observe the people surrounding the jumper tho'. A man ran across the A15 to get to the emergency phone, another furtively extending his hand in the jumper's direction, at a distance. Bikers, unaware of what lay ahead, continued their journey. I hope it all resolves itself.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Fayre and present danger

Attending a wedding "fayre" (don't you just hate these misplaced American spellings?) in the lush grounds of Normanby Hall, with its giant boar statues, walled gardens and herds of marrauding deer and marrows. There was more originality and heart on display in the grounds than the fair, which was booming out with the sounds of Deafman DJ and some woman dressed as a Narnian snow queen playing nonsense on a white violin, under some pink and white balloons shaped into a ceremonial archway, next to a magician called Uncle Dudley, probably. The PA was blasting out tunes that no-one likes but are played at weddings regardless (Hold Back The Night by the Traaaaaamps for example) which would give my 91-year-old grandad a double hearing hernia, and out front, you could take a ride in a pink limo. We resolved to have nothing to do with limos, or brainless DJs or ice queen violinists, and do it our way. You'll be getting our invites to the reception at the local allotment society soon ...

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Schizoid life

Sorry to leave you in the company of a myriad of satsumas, regular (all three of youse) readers. Its just that life's been a bit mental of late with the move. We ventured back into Hull for the first time since installing ourselves in the "yellow" belly of Lincolnshire, trepidatious and trying to make sense of a city that we appear to have lost our survival instinct for. Returned to Dee's old house, where it appears her feral neighbours have moved into her old property, and I'm sure, have built a tunnel between the two houses for easy access. Outside, a gang was throwing an iron bar across the road, at each other. Spring Bank was a mess of badly parked cars, Polish supermarket competitions (Polski Smak or the lurid pink of Polski Market, can't decide), and St Stephen's a rigid grey of faceless optimism. I kinda missed it.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Tangerine dreams

Our creative writing degree teeters on the brink of cliche often, but last night's lesson really took the pith. In two-and-a-half hours, my notebook consists of a page, all about my reaction to a satsuma. All the students were given a satsuma (I'd like to see the expense claim for that), asked to describe it, touch it, sniff it, peel it and eat it. My contribution, a knowing treatise on how ridiculous the whole exercise was, was described as "typical Laurie" by the teacher. Other contributions, after I'd picked myself off the floor looking at a load of middle-ageds sniffing small discoloured fruits, were eliptic, involved and traumatic, with one woman magaing to weave the satsuma into her troubled home-life and Christmas in a scullery. Another called it a dank sphere (the orange, not Christine's home life). I'm hoping my creative instincts are right, otherwise there's gonna be a whole lot of fruit sniffing round our new place.

Listening: New Radiohead downloads (£1.74 paid); Alison Moyet new stuff; Steve Earle

Watching: The Wire Season Three (genius)

Reading (still): Wait Until Spring Bandini; Patrick Hamilton's Slaves Of Solitude

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Hull Fair, from my car

Always love this view. Like a neon city of perils, neer-do-wells, fortunes and folly, with added chip spice. I didn't stop the car.

A sign o' the times

The moment when Loz met Wyatt. The eagle-eyed amongst you woill notice that he signs the name Wyatt in the form of a girl's body, the W doing most of the work. This signature obviously necessitates the need for a giant chequebook, and reminds me of Jackie Treehorn in the Big Lebowski. As I've said before, it's nice when your hero is 61, wears a bodywarmer and tugs on one of those fag replacement jobbies. Wyatt, I salute you...

Pipe down

On the way back from meeting my idol, I was brought down to earth by this 20-something pipe smoker, sat with his equally awful pipe-smoking parents on the town square. I got his picture by pretending to "work for pipe smokers weekly". He obliged, rather than questioning the sustainability of a weekly pipe magazine.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Wyatt Last

I see my hero smoking, cackling, chatting about olives and tugging at old women's polyester slacks most days in Louth. But mostly smoking. When you see your hero most days up close, you become distanced from his star appeal. But today was my chance to finally meet Robert Wyatt, at a record signing in Louth for his new album Comicopera, released today, pop pickers. And I'm pleased to say I was nervy as hell, as he signed my new vinyl, wearing a body warmer and puffing on one of those fag replacement jobbies in the back of Off The Beaten Tracks in Louth, watched by an ancient woman clutching a Soft Machine CD. Pleasantaries exchanged, I returned to work, past a man in his 20s, wearing plaid and smoking a pipe. Heroes and strange-ones do turn up in the weirdest of locations.

Director's note: Due to being at the University of Hull library, I am unable to download pics at the moment. But a Wyatt shot, with my back and his front, thankfully, will appear when my boss's back is turned tomorrow.

I'm well back

Yes, I've been away, but as if some bloke making squelching noises through the powers of only his hands was gonna be my last contribution to the blogosphere. Pah!! No, me and Dee are "installed" in our new Lincolnshire abode, with no communication method yet established apart from shouting, so we've been stood on foreshore at set hours of the day, hoping our communication will carry on the wind and bridge to our old Hull haunts. Its not been a total removal-heavy, gashed fingers, to-me to-you type odyssey tho. I've been applying for jobs, developing a love of Pedro Almadovar (again, I know I should abide the restraining order), Thai "style" crisps, Talking Heads vids, and the weird ways of the brute and beastly shire of Lincs.

Listening: The Go!Team, MIA, Joy Division Live at Manchester Factory, various Studio One stuff.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

manualist plays bohemian rhapsody on his hands!

I will be back soon ... in the meantime, enjoy the Manualist

Friday, 21 September 2007

Jury's out Phil Spector then. Seems the jury can't decide, even though all the evidence supposedly points at the diminutive, wig-wearing freakazoid. One more fact for the prosecution - he has got previous. He smothered The Long And Winding Road with a string orchestra, y'know.


Gesturing to the crowd in the stalls at Bradford St George's Hall last night, Richard Hawley intones: "I've got some news for you three. It's 100 years to the day since the roof last caved in there. Anyway. Enjoy." Sets the tone for a night that includes the phrases "soft as a bag of tits", "Henderson's Relish", "pea and pies night" and a joke about Shirley Bassey pissing in a workingman's club sink. In between the clubland banter, Hawley plays the most elegaic, bruised and battered vintage rock n' roll, dressed in a splendid grey suit and modelling a range of fab cherry red Gibsons. Mouth of a docker, the voice of the Big O, Lee Hazlewood and Elvis singing about Sheffield landmarks. Splendid, quite frankly.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Paddington wear

I may be a bit late to this, but looks like being in the Paddingtons can have rewards other than hanging out in Queens all day. Young Joshh's girlfriend has been getting a fair bit of exposure in the quality Sunday's today, and according to the Telegraph, is living with the studious Pad in his west Hull, ahem, pad. I haven't seen her about, which probably means she hasn't been drinking in the Hole In The Wall or Sportsman. But her presence has surely notched Hull's glam factor up by at least 50 per cent. Jayz, she'd even make a walk down Spring Bank appealing.

Friday, 14 September 2007

And finally

It's taken 10 months, four failed house sales, one police helicopter, several tip trips, hundreds of shouty conversations with smooth-talking, potty-mouthed estate agents and jack-shit solicitors, but Dee's house has finally sold. Meaning we can move into this little beauty on the left next week. I'll miss my new storage buddies, comparing flood damage, moustaches and waterproofs, but think we're ready to start this incredibly exciting new chapter in our lives.