Thursday 30 April 2015


Well it is and it isnt. I'm old enough to remember only two channels, being really annoyed when Kennedy got shot because ITV took all their programs off and just had some woman playing piano and I missed my weekly episode of Bonanza. I saw the transition from black and white to colour, the moon landings and England winning the World Cup..

I remember getting BBC2 and that was a 50% increase in available TV , then we got Channel 4 and Brookside and Channel 5 was a relatively recent terrestrial addition , plus there was the proliferation of satellite , Sky's money managing to make and sterilize football in one fell swoop.

When we had limited channels , audiences could be huge , but people complained like hell about repeats. We now have digital channels that are completely repeats. People complain about the TV License but happily shell out five times as much for subscription TV that STILL is full of advertisements.

The switch to digital came and gave most people loads of effectively free content funded by adverts. Plus these days we can have catch up TV and recording boxes that allow you to skip adverts, enabling you to watch what you want when you want.

It's very seldom these days that you need to get home for a TV program unless it's a televised live event, but we now probably watch more TV than ever before. It#s ubiquitous. We have TV on Mobile devices and there's a TV screen visible wherever you sit at work.

And my point is people still say "There's nothing on television" , apart from the off switch you have all the options above. My TIVO box is 90% full and Netflix and Amazon Prime don't even touch my radar. There are times when you channel hopand cant find anything you want but there are so many catch up and record options you should always be able to find something.

And if not, why not read a book or call a friend , that's even better than TV!

Though the Tubes song was appropriate as it gave the  post it's title.

Saturday 25 April 2015

Legendary Times

Not quite yet
Well the last few months have been amazing and the next few weeks are likely to be just as good. Have been catching up with friends, started an excellent new job with some great people in an excellent location, been involved with an amazing start up GeekTalent , done a small amount of volunteer work for Oxfam, taken part in Record Store Day and World Book Night, seen two total music legends, George Clinton and Lee Perry in accessible settings and Preston North End are within a win of returning to the Championship. Joe Garner winning League One Player of the year , and despite having a lengthy layoff still managing to finish as probably the league's top scorer. Here's that goal from last season's playoff defeat , but it is amazing:

So that's what's been happening, this week is more work , and more music with Public Service Broadcasting , Jordan Reyne next month Black Grape as well, with a possibility of fitting in the Fall. I'm just so lucky to be living in Newcastle with all this amazing stuff going on. Oh and there's going to be Summertyne , The Mouth Of Tyne Festival , Corbridge Festival, the Newcastle Unity Festival and The Green Festival, it is looking like an exciting summer.

It kicks off with a half eight hospital visit tomorrow morning which should be just routine stuff. Also lots of garden stuff to do , a new website to design and put live , and to record some songs I've half written (initial ideas recorded to phone now sitting on my PC)  when I finally get my set up running though may just go for recording to system microphone.

So basically it's now time for bed. Enjoy the rest of your weekend , I certainly will. I've include John Cale's Bamboo Floor because it makes me happy , with suitably dark lyrics.

Monday 20 April 2015

Laziness Creeping In

Boots Sushi
Well not really. The new job is so close to home that I hop on the bus , off it , then into the office , it takes less than ten minutes. A side effect of this is that I don't actually hit my 10K a day designated in my Samsung S-Health application. The think is, that I keep trying to do extra walking when I can, so it's not like I have packed in trying to hit the target. Since starting the new job have become enamoured of certain Boots Sushi packs ,falling back on Nudo when Boots don't have the stuff. This stuff is really nice and does fill you and is probably good for you , certainly better than the huge sandwich packs , and bread often makes me feel bloated whereas after this I just feel satisfied , which is good.

As I've said before, my free time has increased and I do feel good because of it, which is improved by the current beautiful weather, and the upcoming glut of music festivals and concerts coming my way , the only real problem being so many clashes.

The new job is Newcastle based , and this is the hundredth time I have tagged Newcastle on this blog, and though I'm not a native (originally from Preston which I have mentioned only 15 times though I still love my home town and all my friends and family who live there) , but that's just some throwaway stats that I am wont to throw in to my perusals.

It's been another good day and this week I'm looking forward to enjoying the challenges of the new job , catching up with friends , maybe getting to a gig or two before a hospital appointment next Sunday (8:30 in the morning can you believe) , but I cannot berate the NHS because they are totally brilliant.

So this is just a short post , talking about nothing , and apologise for not putting anything of substance in here, but I'm sure you will find something brilliant to do tonight , so do it and have fun.

I included a Jordan Reyne song because I am going to see her in May and she is one of the most impressive artists I've discovered in the last twelve months.

Friday 17 April 2015

Everything is Happening and Summer is a Coming In

RSD 2015

Sorry I've not blooged for a while , no real reason apart from laziness , but it has been remarked upon , and I need need to post something given how much is happening this week. So here it is.

This week I started my new job which is basically a 9 to 5 scenario with decent flexibility and good people to work with and it's been very enjoyable so far, managing to track down a rogue tenner in half a million quid to balance a book. The thing is , this new job has given me back about ten hours a week that I wont be on a train and maybe £3K a year I don't have to spend on travel.

This has come at an opportune time because tomorrow , as well as being my great friend Craig and Sheena's birthday it's also National Record Store Day , so I will be in and around Newcastle visiting RPM , Reflex , Beatdown  but may not get to the excellent Pop Recs in Sunderland although I'm sure they won't miss me there. Some great memories of previous days include getting a Facebook message from my great friend Mike asking if I could pick up a copy of the Clash's London Calling about ten to five. It was the most sought after item of that day, so had sold out when the shops opened , although one did turn up in Reflex a couple of weeks later which I snaffled immediately and dropped off.

WBN 2015
This week , also , it's World Book Night on Shakespeare's Birthday (23rd of April). Just 18 books this time but a bit of a trek by public transport to pick them up tomorrow , mine is Roddy Doyle's "Dead Man Talking"  a short , easy to read book , which I shall be distributing around Newcastle on the 23rd.

There are numerous gigs coming up as well including William Control , Public Service Broadcasting , Rhombus and Jordan Reyne, and PSB's excellent go is certainly appropriate for my life at the moment.

As well as that summer is on it's way so the garden will need it's first mow soon and the grass is now growing fairly healthily.

So I'm going to bed now , enjoy your weekend I certainly intend to

Monday 6 April 2015

St Andrews Connections

I'm writing this post partially with a prod from Paul Campbell who wanted to be on Seven Days In (as opposed to Seven Day Sin). I've actually mentioned him once before and so this is the second time his name has appeared in these pages, but you can find that and this and all future posts here. Paul also has his own blog Scriptuality where you can find out about his adventures in scriptwriting and find out when his name is going to be appearing on screen. Paul and Lesley also chivvied everyone for this get together in St Andrews , so he can get people to do things that is actually good for them, ie and meeting up with old friends and people you haven''t met , forgetting real life for a bit and actually enjoying yourself. I don't expect any events from this weekend to appear in Eastenders and there were lots of people talking , enjoying themselves, with lots of smiles and sunshine.

The South Street Kids ....25 Years On
St Andrews is a University town as well has being awash with Americans as there's some golf game coming up.  One of the odd things about St Andrews , or something I noticed is the number of places we visited for food which required and Marco Polo scale trek from the street to the venue. Forgans and The Vineleaf were two such examples , however they were worth the walk , and Forgans finished the njght with a Ceilidh which is basically a formalised mosh pit which ended up with several people falling over , although alcohol may have had something to do with that.

Tonight Matthew I Will Be Val Doonican
While everyone else stayed in luxury caravans we had to make to with the MacDonald Rusacks Hotel which got me £30 back on TopCashBack  and was very pleasant but did have a an Arnold Palmer montage painting in reception which looked suspiciously like Val Doonican.

But I would definitely stay there again as had great service , nice staff , good breakfast and a good nights sleep

It was a great weekend and great to meet and talk people and it's always good to take yourself out of your normal routine and do something to connect with people who matter to you , because then you feel much better in yourself.

Oh I have to mention the numerous children who came along to this one and although there was a probable ten to fifteen year age spread they were all totally excellent in   behavior and engagement.

So it's now Easter Monday and the music I'm gonna put for this is Big Country's One Great Thing , for obvious reasons and because me and Scott were talking a lot about them amongst other things. No go and get them Easter Eggs.

Thursday 2 April 2015

A Very Good Start To April .... Record Store Day Is This Month

Hot Chilli
I was going to do a post on Whitby when I got back from a good weekend on Monday but due to my extreme laziness. Whitby is brilliant , I love the place and I managed to restock my Howling Goth Chilli Sauce , visit lots of place , but got the slightly bad news the the Folk Devils shop is closing in a fortnight although they are continuing online which is very good. While I was in there they were playing some Ty Segall who I've heard great reports of , but not got round to buying , so I've now rectified that with a few other additions to the playpile.

That Building
Then yesterday and my Metro to Sunderland was redirected to South Shields requiring me to go there and take a bus to Sunderland. This meant going into places that I 'd not been for years and I noticed a Barclays Bank , which was handy as I needed to drop some stuff off so that was handy . I also noticed and incredible looking red brick building on Fawcett Street. At street level there's a CEX and some furniture shop, but above street level it is very impressive.

 When I went yesterday to the bank and to photograph the build I then noticed a new record shop opposite , Pop Recs.

Outside Pop Recs
Inside Pop Recs
I went in and it's very roomy and an excellent layout with a lot of vinyl , and a few CDs , settees a stage area and a jukebox, reminding of the new Rough Trade store in New York, which hosts live music.

It's run by Frankie and The Heartsrings , and I was chatting with the guy behind the counter who was telling about how they set it up when HMV shut down, and the fact that they'd had The Cribs and The Vaccines playing for free recently. The good thing about the place its that it has the space inside to support a live band. He also told me that the Red Building across the street was owned by Nadine Shah's family and that she was a frequent visitor to the shop. Nadine is a local girl and has produced two stunning albums so that was just an amazing coincidence.

Unfortunately I was in a rush so only had a short visit and didn't buy anything this time, but seriously this one shop is a reason to actually go to Sunderland. The people are friendly and you can also get coffee and a lot more there, another positive is that they obviously care about people and music , you'll know why when you visit.

With National Record Shop Day coming around in a couple of weeks (18th April)  this will be the place to be in Sunderland , you really should go.

So really it's been a great start to the month and the sun is shining , I hope your month goes as well as mine is going to do.