Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Nick travels down to London today to talk about our long-running bid to bring this writer's story into the public eye once more. When you start researching a bloke who lived down the road in sleepy North Lincs, you don't expect the road to lead to the old Etonian brother of a High Court judge in leafy Ladbroke Grove.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Smalltown Hicks

I'm all for bigging up Bill Hicks. I may have baulked slightly with the Edinburgh Fringe show a couple of years back which amounted to an acerbic masterclass in just learning his goatboyschtick. Which Dennis Leary already had done. But I was gladdened, and indeed, cheered, by news of a nw film about Hicks, American, which interviews more than 30 of Hicks' closest mates and promises a new take on the life of Bill. Except that, on the film's website, they refer constantly to Hicks as Hick's. I give you:

"Recreating Bill Hick’s story has been a journey all of it’s own; traveling all across America to record extensive new interviews, watching hundreds of performances and developing the animation technique over thousands of hours to fully realize the cinematic vision required."

It may just be a lapsed apostrophe, but, quite frankly, it's a scaley pecker of satany substandardry. I hope the film is good, but c'mon guys!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Tommy gone? Oh no he isn't.

I was listening to Six Music a couple of days back when a bulletin announced that Tommy Scott, the singer from Space, had died. I was mildly upset - even trawled through the CDs to find my copy of Spiders (last played - Britpop) and gave a listen to Neighbourhood, Female Of The Species and You and Me Vs The World. Even reports of death won't make the album good, I'm afraid to say.

The following day, it was announced that this was in fact an erroneous report. The fact I, and the producers of 6Music, and these people all fell for it on March 31 is justified, I feel. You can't April Fool with death, and especially not in March. Nonetheless, I bet Space records were played more than they have been in years!
Listening: Dukes Of Stratosphear; Space

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

View from old soak's chair of Ted's Return Home filming 21/3

Old soak number two

As an extra in me own short film (very Hitchcock), I was somewhat typecast as old soak number two. Not the most illustrious of screen debs, if I make the final cut at all, playing old soak number two (I did try and investigate character's back story, but there wasn't much of one) involved wearing a flat cap, singing "Any Old Iron" and staring at this cut price pot of bitter which, nonetheless, appeared more tasty as the day went on. But wasn't.

Stairlift to heaven

Filming of Ted's Return Home this weekend was at the palatial St Vincents Roman Catholic Club in Hull. You could film allsorts there - out the back there was a small pond which instantly made me think of Chinatown's "very good for glass" coda. And, behind the bar was this stairlift leading to the private, upstairs quarters of Saint Vees. Part Exorcist, part Blues Brothers. Maybe we'll be back after Ted's Return Home is done.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Baggy zimmers

Can anyone else believe it's 20 years since the Stone Roses' debut album? And I haven't even been imbibing peyote.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

You have been Watch-ing

Like most blokes I've talked to, the three hours I spent watching Watchmen were some of the most bum nubing and perplexing I've ever spent in a cinema. Very rare to not engage with a film of this nature, but Billy Crudup's blue doctor with libido and commitment issues was certainly not up there with Hellboy. And Patrick Wilson's sex scene to Halleluliah was a wince and a mince by equal measure. And I still can't make sense of Nixon's prosthetic nose either - what was that saying, or was it just bad schnozz?

Ted's Return Home: The soundtrack

Have now taken delivery of the sublime, Columbo meets sleazy dulcimer soundtrack for our short film. Suddenly seems more tangible somehow. Filming takes place final two weekends in March, and looks like I'm gonna play a boozy extra. Sure Ted'd approve! Spotlight info for the two actors is here, and here and I'm delighted to see that one has starred in Alan Clarke's The Firm, whilst the other has a role in tonight's Red Riding, in a blink and you'll miss it role as a copper.

Saturday, 21 February 2009


Mine and Nick's shortfilm, soon to be brought to life by the lovely peeps at Singlespan along the Humber Foreshore has won a special commission award from Humber Mouth arts festival, Hull's fringe (which is long and jagged). Means we can pay the actors and hopefully have enough left for crisps. But, yay!

Daniels and McGee. Wrong, wrong, wrong

Sorry to break a two-week absence with a decrepid magician man in his keks - but it seemed fitting, somehow.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

John Martyn - May You Never

John Martyn - May You Never (RIP)

I for one will be cranking out Solid Air tonight. Good obituary here. There's something beautiful about Martyn's voice, guitar playing and his bohemian troubadouring. Ever since I first heard Stormbringer and Over The Hill 'I'm going away to leave you, I'm gonna leave you in disgrace, got nothing in my favour, wind in my face...". Fellow blogger Landcroft House puts it like this...

Meeting John Martyn - never mind going to his local pub with him, then retiring to his house for rum and orange juice - was one of the great pleasures - honours even - of my life. John was a heroic person in every sense, not all of them good. He drank and drugged and fought and swore to the limits of anyone's capabilities, but, Jesus Christ, he could really play. And really sing. And really write. He was as alive as it's possible to be when the weight of illness and the discomfort is upon you. He didn't slow up - he still, as I said in WORD's cover feature - stared people out in the pub, and he could still roar with anger when needs be. But he was excellent, hilarious company ...

Friday, 23 January 2009

Only in Grimsby...17

While on a training course in Grimsby's slightly notorious Nunsthorpe estate, I was delighted to see that some families really do stick together. Hanging out the passenger window of a moving car, I see a 20-something tracksuit clad deviant, on a bike, getting a "lift". The driver, it would appear, is his dad, moving slowly while his lad hangs on for dearlife. And in the passenger seat? A woman in her 80s. Like I said - takes hanging out with the family to a whole new level.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Great Grimsbio

Allow me to indulge you with some Lithuanian. This is the opening paragraph of a story about a missing teenager from round our way

Paauglė pabėgo su penkiasdešimtmečiu15min, Lithuania - 17 Jan 2009 paliko namus trečiadienį ir nuo to laiko negrįžo. Liudininkai ją pastebėjo su vidutinio amžiaus vyru Grimsbio traukinių stotyje,

I quite like the sound of Grimsbio. Makes the place sound a bit more alluring, dontcha think? Maybe it could form part of the area's 'rebranding exercise?' Not sure if it works for Goolio, though.

Cheney Reaction

Republicans, eh? Always trying to hog the glory by injuring themselves on inauguration day.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Recession rock

Anyone else started listening to sledgehammer post punk and 80s drums as a soundtrack to increasingly weird recessiony times? Or is it just me? It all feels so early 80s at the moment, so my tunes appear to be doing the same. Not that I really need an excuse to play Orange Juice, The Smiths, Vic Godard, Echo and The Bunnymen and Felt, of course. Vic Godard, of course, knew there was no future in rock n' roll by becoming a postie. He must be nearing retirement now, if his role hasn't been downsized or his hours reduced.

I think, therefore I Ram

Two films into the new year, not counting Persepolis on DVD, with Mickey Rourke's superb performance as Randy The Ram in The Wrestler. Watched in the far better than it sounds surrounds of Scunthorpe Vue, The Wrestler is an amazing film, turning the camera on the seedy malls, strip joints and shopping marts of everytown America. With barb wire, staple guns, tattoos, 80s rock from the Crue and the Lep, a nasty hand slicing episode on the deli counter, trailer park trash and wrestlers with names like the Ayatollah. It's a wonderful, blody, comedic masterpiece.

Friday, 16 January 2009

From wiretaps to corner boyz

I'm a Wire junkie these days. It has ruined television for me. Since the end of the fifth season on FX last year, I've been unable to watch other crime-based dramas cos' nothing else is realistic enough. I've taken to watching Project Catwalk cos it's just so other-end-of-the-scale. Being a junkie. Sometimes pitiful. So I'm delighted that The Corner, David Simon's initial six-part mini series about life on the Baltimore projects is getting an airing. It's not exactly light viewing, and it doesn't quite swing with the same conviction and scat as The Wire, but it's still grimly compelling. And totally bizarre to see the likes of Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters) and Norman Wilson (Reg E Cathey) shaking down as pimps and players. Peters in particular, is a great, grizzled drug dealer, complete with walking stick. And Delaney Williams, who plays sardonic cop Jay, is a good few pounds thinner as Scale Guy. In fact, watching The Wire guys is the only light relief about the show before the show that ruined and saved television at the same time.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Slum as you are

Went to our first film of the year at Cineworld Hull - not the nicest location with its bleachy smells and wonky projector. But the film Slumdog Millionaire was awesome, bringing back chaotic memories of Mumbai trains and slums, with Bollywood hero Anil Kapoor as a demented Hindu Chris Tarrant. Even the overbearing bhangra soundtrack was useful in drowning out the cinema goers. Not sure if its done anything for my ongoing battle to convince Dee we really should book that city break!

Writers Rooms: January 1980

You just don't get writers' rooms like this anymore. This picture of our biography subject Mr Lewis comes courtesy of the local paper. Note the ink pots and copy of the latest Len Deighton.
There should be an update on such literary capers soon, thanks for bearing with me!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy Oh Nine

Despite the nasty bankers at halifucks, we managed to have a lovely new year. Let's hope 2009 brings us all some fab times, short movies and decent tunes. On which note, it doesn't look like the credit crunch has affected musicians. Have you seen just how many of them there are in various backing bands? I mean on the hardly new at all even down to the awful theme music TOTP, I counted about 15 on stage with Girls Aloud, while Leona Lewis and Al-X-andra just wanted to outchoir each other. That must have been some green room. Later with Toss Holland wasn't much better. I counted 12 with Duffy before I fell asleep. Mercy? It seems just enough leg room on the tourbus would be enough for these fellows. I predict far more Ting Tings and White Stripes in 09, just to offset such excessiveness.