Sunday 29 April 2012

He ain't heavy, he's my brother-in-law

I read the final draft of David Brodie's Treacherous Games just after Christmas. It's now available as a Kindle from Amazon or as a touchy feely book direct from his website.

The novel tells the story of the run up to London 2012 and poses many what if scenarios: what if a dodgy sports agent was able to get at rival competitors? What if a terrorist cell based in the UK did the unthinkable and penetrated the tight security cordon that rings the Games venues, even as we speak?

It's a cracking read.

Monday 23 April 2012

The day after the Lord Mayor's Show

Like the puppy given as a present on Christmas Day, your record store needs you to be there for it the other 364 days in the year; just because the lines started forming in the early hours of Saturday morning and resembled war time ration queuing by opening time, I'm guessing that, once inside, you could swing a few cats around today.

For the record, I pitched up at Jumbo Records in downtown Leeds. Dodgy, everyone's favourite comeback kids, played an exquisite 40 minute sent on the top deck of an identikit shopping centre; a perfect warm up for next week's gig at The Lexington in London's swinging Islington.

They were well received, even though the slack-jaws on the escalators wired to their i-Pods couldn't work out why anyone would want to take an hour out of their day and watch (free) live music.

I shelled out for a copy of Stand Upright In A Cool Place on which Matthew, Andy and Nigel were good enough to scrawl their monikers. An enjoyable afternoon was had by all.

Monday 16 April 2012

Next stop Norway

North is one of the four cardinal points on the compass. It is the opposite of south. We've just spent a few days in The Highlands - Inverness to be precise. And it is very north. While we were there we pulled in The Bandstand Beer Festival in Nairn; without doubt the most northerly beer festival I've ever been to. But it was only when we went to see Ross County and Dundee kicking a pigs bladder around on Saturday afternoon that we realised just how far north we'd come (Ross ply their trade in Dingwall) - The Osvald Pub in Stord, Norway have an advertising hoarding on the main stand. If only I'd taken my passport.

Congratulations to Ross who have won the league by a country mile. They'll be toughing it out in the SPL next season; I'll be looking out for their results. And I really must praise the food in the tea bar at half time - their Haggis Pies were sublime.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Soldier in the shade

How long do you have to know someone before you can call them a close friend? I don't think there's a scientific formula to work these things out.

We first met when Jenny and I moved to these parts a couple of years ago; right from the get go, he and his GLW made us feel part of the community (yes, we really do belong to a community) and from that day to this we've never looked back. Well, actually, I have. Or did. But that was just a wobble and I came out the other side with my sanity intact. But I digress. Amongst his many attributes he's a fine songwriter, real ale connoisseur, bon viveur and has an outlook on life that belongs in the mind of someone thirty years his junior. He is also, I'd like to think, a close friend.

He has a significant birthday coming up this weekend. Although we're away in Scotland for a few days, we hope to be back on Sunday to sing a few songs with him and toast his longevity* with a glass or two of something dark and hoppy.

* He'll kill me if he reads this

Sunday 8 April 2012

Private Pepper

Still to earn their stripes

In the overly populated world of Beatles tribute bands, news reached Medd Towers this week that a bunch of wealthy hopefuls with familiar surnames may soon be added to the census.

This despite the fact that there must be a homage to the Fab Four playing in every town in the western world on a Saturday night. So what will this hapless quartet bring to the table? And what will they play? The set-list will write itself - any original material they decide to throw in will give everyone chance to empty their bladders and or refill their glasses; I saw Macca Jnr. a couple of years back and despite the fact that he couldn't even fill a small club in the East Midlands, it goes without saying that this new behemoth will have their sights set on the arena and festival circuit.

Anyway, this will play out over the coming months like some cheap docusoap and, hopefully, will soon be yesterday's chip wrappers. But not before, one would like to think, they first bring in Pete Best's son and get their manager to drop him like a stone.