Monday, 13 September 2021

Fast Cars

Julian & Kerry

Who wants to live forever? Cryogenics, anyone? Nah, me neither. This kind of appeals tho' - my friends Julian and Kerry have been immortalised via the medium of Scalextric. You heard right; slot car racing is a big thing at The Dragon pub in Nottingham. So much so, not only can you take part but you can be in the crowd; as in be in the crowd. Pretty cool, huh?

Buzzcocks - Fast Cars (1978)

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Joy Orbison

London DJ and electronic musician Peter O'Grady a.k.a. Joy Orbison has finally got round to releasing his first full length album. And true to form Still Slipping Vol. 1 has been recorded and segued much like a mix-tape: beats and ambient rhythms that work, I think, just as well in my car as it would, and I'm really going out on a limb here, in a club (though, for reasons too many to list here, please don't quote me on that).

I'm not sure where you'll be listening to it, but throw your headphones on, go for a walk and see where it takes you; literally. Here's a wee taster... 

Joy Orbison - in drink (2021)

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Young and beautiful, but someday your looks will be gone

Dennis Wilson (1944-1983)

Dennis Wilson was a proper Beach Boy; the only Wilson who could surf, for one. Probably better than his drumming, that's for sure (his percussion parts were regularly overdubbed in the studio by session guys). Not that it bothered him; Dennis was a rock star - he had money to spend, drugs to take, gangs to join, women to fuck and cars to trash.

But the middle brother came good during the band's fallow period in the early 70s when Brian's head began to unravel. Some of his songs, whilst maybe not as pitch perfect as his elder sibling's symphonic masterpieces, nevertheless had a certain unique quality that carried the group through their quieter years. Cuddle Up, co-written with 'Captain' Daryl Dragon (he and his partner, Toni Tennille, were both bona fide Beach Boys [and girl] at the time) is a nailed on classic. It's a timeless song that sits rightly at any top table of classic Beach Boys records. I love it.

The Beach Boys - Cuddle Up (1972)

Friday, 3 September 2021


I've had better weeks; that's for sure. Though, truth be told, testing positive for Covid on Monday didn't really come as a major surprise. I just think I've been riding my luck for the last 18 months; we all have. 

And has it put a crimp in my life? Hell, yeah. Just in the immediate term I had to cancel my blood donor session last night, get a refund on my Leeds Beer Festival tix this weekend and then put a call thru to friends cancelling our visit to Scotland next week. But, you know what? It doesn't matter. Really, it doesn't matter; in the grand scheme of things. I'm still the right side of the grass - and for that I'm eternally grateful.


A couple of things that I'd like to share with you as I sit here self isolating. The first of which I'm sure a lot of you can relate to. We've all seen those 'Lost' and 'Missing' flyers stuck on telegraph poles. Cats and dogs. Sometimes hamsters. But nearly always cats. Sherwood in Nottingham - where I live - is certainly no exception. But what happens if and when they're found? And how do we know? The owners often take the posters down, but that doesn't definitively tell us that Tiddles has turned up after 48 hours spent under next door's spare bed. But last week there was lovely bit of footage I saw of an owner taking down her Lost poster whilst carrying the recently found feline under her arm. The perfect story arc. Frustratingly, I can't find the film for the life of me; instead I'm posting a rather quaint photograph (above) I think is self explanatory. Or is it?


KEXP Radio in Seattle have been knocking it out of the park for well over 20 years; their live sessions have gained legendary status with featured acts, from both sides of the Atlantic, using their appearance as major bragging rights. And Vanishing Twin are no exception. If you ever find yourself having to self isolate, stick the kettle on and give their sesh a spin. Until such time, however, here's a quick fix: this is their latest single:

Vanishing Twin - Phase One Million (2021)

Monday, 30 August 2021

Where the air is good and the day is fine

Nearly all my walking these days falls under the banner urban walking; living in the 9th largest city in the UK it's hardly surprising. Steel and concrete outnumber trees and grass 10:1, probably. During LD1 especially, all walks begin and ended at my front door; escaping to the countryside was, at that time, simply not an option. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Moving back to Nottingham in 2017 for all the reasons I left in 2010 says it all. I traded in living on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors for a bustling city - no questions asked. (What's the point in having a mind if you're not prepared to change it?)

Which is all a long winded preamble for me telling you that I went on a country walk yesterday. And barely saw another soul the whole time. Field after field of...nothing. A distant tractor was the only sign of human existence for the whole trek. Though the pub half way round was full of real people drinking real beer (talking real bollocks, too - some things never change).

The town where I started the walk is well served by both trains and buses so I may well be making a habit of this particular route; at least until Winter arrives. It'd be a shame not to. 


A word to the wise - they keep their beer particularly well at the Royal Oak in Car Colston; you won't be disappointed. However, if you want to order food after 2.30pm, you may well be.