Thursday 29 September 2016

#LikeNoOther #5 Dispepsi - Negativland

This is a slight deviation from the formula but also the first time that an album taught me a lot about market manipulation and controlling the minds of the masses who buy products. The album was, I think legally challenged by Pepsi and possibly Coca Cola and there is a Wikipedia entry here which mentions the legal shenanigans.

It contains lots of samples including many famous people , digs at artists selling themselves to corporations and includes some clever and witty songs , woven together into a coherent blast at market manipulation.

Drink It Up
It's one the albums that I still listen to end to end, and suggest that you do the same. It came back into mind after watching a TED talk that said that 90% of the media production was now owned by six companies who an make us think about whatever they want.

That is very frightening and Dispepsi predicted what they are doing now over 25 years ago. The album is very difficult to lay your hands on though Amazon have a few very expensive copies here.

Listen to the Youtube link here, if you want a copy, contact me, I will direct you. Below is the TED talk by Christopher Bell that reminded me of this amazing , educational and subversive record, with its demonstration  that Disney are anti powerful female heroes. Listen then watch my friends.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Connected Disconnection - Talking To Strangers

A thought just came to me, well it's come to me many times , and to others. I'm one of the people who uses public transport rather than having my own car. However when you are on public transport everyone is just scanning their phones, even when they are with friends. Sometimes this is a good thing, it ,means you can get information about what's happening in the world, you can even phone a friend, but you will often see friends together ignoring each other because of their phones.

The mobile phone is effectively a personal computer and connects us to each other and to news streams, but sometimes they do stop us from engaging with our friends and definitely from engaging with strangers. You wouldn't interrupt someone you didn't know if they were engaged with their device.

Come Talk To Me
I've used the excellent "Come Talk To Me" by Peter Gabriel from "Secret World" before, but we should all  engage and talk to each other much more, it makes life so much more fulfilling and enjoyable.

I do like meeting new people, even if it's just for the duration of a bus or train journey, sometimes you make great connections that lasts beyond the initial meeting , sometimes it just makes the journey fly by , usually both. This TED talk here demonstrates the joys to be found from taking that step:

Anyway have a wonderful day and enjoy this

Sunday 25 September 2016

Autumn Equinox and Here Comes The Rain

Thursday or Friday was the Autumn Equinox, this means the nights will be longer than the days. Yesterday looked as though it was going to rain, but didn't but it was very grey. Last night there was a huge downpour although it's fine now. The good thing about rain at night is that your don't have to water your garden (which I mowed yesterday).

The less good thing is that grey skies tend to make grey moods in me, sunshine does lift my spirits. I have LED lights in my house which apparently cat more natural light, but I prefer normal daylight.

The thing is that I am lucky in that I live in a wonderful place, with lots of wonderful friends , with lots of opportunity to do things should I so choose. Yesterday I spent most of the day in the house, reading , watching catch up TV, listening to music, playing guitar and messing about with Garageband and taking delivery of a vinyl version of Status Quo's Piledriver which I had purchased for it's Vertigo Swirl label (see here) I love the 3D optical illusion you get watching it , which is why I bought it. I wrote a blog post about it here

Today's music will be Garageland by The Clash for the simple reason that mentioning Garageband reminded me of it.
Anyway I think today is a good day for doing something to lift your spirits and make yourself feel happy. It may be having a bar of chocolate , a glass of wine or enjoying time with people you like and giving big hugs. Stay positive

Friday 23 September 2016

One Must Write

Well I must. Even if it's just ten words. It keeps my blog going and it keeps me going. I would love to be able to write for a living, like my friend Paul Campbell although then I probably wouldn't want to write with limitations (ie someone commissioning me to do something), though I love the way Paul manages to stamp himself on his TV scripts making them watchable and fun, I still love is "Waiting For Godot", Zombies , Film Noir and Mobile phone stamps on a daytime soap , absolute genius. Actually there's a full length version of Godot on Youtube here.

Anyway this week has been totally mad for some reason. I am shattered, so thankfully the weekend has arrived. That means I may have a chance for a lie in and some rest.

I suppose on of the things about living in Newcastle there is always something going on , and the temptation to join in is sometimes too much, however.....

Tonight Preston play Wigan and I am going to have Fish and Chips for tea. I am not going to wear myself out or anything , just hopefully enjoy my evening as a relaxing precursor to the weekend.

And what should we play?

Maybe go with one of the greatest program intros ever.....Fargo using Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath" from the album Aqualung.

Have a great start to the weekend my friends

Wednesday 21 September 2016

#LikeNoOther #4 Single Ladies - Beyoncé

This may seem an odd suggestion for such a big pop song by a big pop star, but this, in my opinion, is a great original construct. There is a tune and a dance drum beat and that makes it very commercial and listenable. Beyoncé's Single Ladies is absolutely monstrous in the best possible way, almost scarily so enticing with it's pop sensibilities while something threatening lurks in the background.

Then the master stroke is the orchestral drone that creeps in and underpins the record, similar to the dragging bass on Siouxsie And The Banshees Peek-A-Boo (see here) , this morphs into a grating orchestral theme worthy of any monster movie such as Godzilla or King Kong.

This song impressed me the first time I heard it nearly seven years back and it has lost none of it's potency, which is very impressive coming from someone who may be seen by some as mainstream pop.

If you haven't heard it listen to it , listen to it loud and prepare to be steamrollered.

Saturday 17 September 2016

360° of Circles

I am tired, well my body is, but my mind won't let me sleep. I'm up to page 360 in "Who Am I" and one of my favourite who songs is "Circles" which appeared on The Who's "Ready Steady Who" EP (On the blue Reaction label if I remember rightly), I once had that I bought for about 30p from Palace Records in Preston and sold for £20 at Probe Records in Liverpool. I didn't plan to do that, but that's the way it happened. Though if you click through on Circles you will see that The Deluxe My Generation CD which cost me about a fiver , is going for over a hundred pounds. I won't be selling mine though.

Glastonbury When It Was Good
The Palace was a record shop cum coffee house near the old Public Hall and I used to spend a lot ofsixth form time in there when I should have been studying, but listening to music, chatting with friends and drinking coffee was much more preferable that study. Then picking up decent second hand stuff like the original Glastonbury Soundtrack , triple album in it's pyramid sleeve, with the odd dud , like a band called Lucifer the album sleeve was black and the music was a fuzzy bass playing six notes that even I could play.

We used to frequent that place in preference to pubs, and to be quite honest, I'm probably the same now, preferring Bohemian places like Bar Loco to you chains and pubs.

Anyway maybe I will go to bed now, so enjoy your night, and have a nice lie in.

The Limit

Yesterday and today I have played a lot of vinyl on my GPO turntable, you can see a few posts on my Instagram Channel here . Music playing has sort of evolved , my own take on it is here , but while I sometimes use Youtube and did use Grooveshark , I am not a fan of streaming services. Radio stations are good because there is human intervention. Digital storage is convenient when you are on the move , but it can become background music.

I'll Be Bach
Vinyl requires your attention, I have just listened to Wah Heat!'s "Seven Minutes To Midnight" and Holly Johnson's "Americanos" and now I have "The Moog Strikes Bach" by HansWurman playing . All of these records required more than the touch of a button to play , and it's a joy to see the vinyl spinning. You don't get that with CD or digital (although I am playing it through a digital soundbar and I do rip vinyl through the GPO deck to digital, but that is just for stuff that is not available digitally. It does amaze me the number of glaring omissions still not available digitally.


But this is the limit I mentioned in the title, after three minutes I may have to change the record, put it back in it's sleeve , get another one out and put it on the turntable. This is while I am typing this out. You have to give the vinyl your attention.

So I have to get on today, and as Prince Buster left us I am leaving you with his rendition of Judge Dread on vinyl on Blue Beat.

Time to go and do my stuff now, but playing vinyl is therapeutic and enjoyable.

Still Looking For My Swirly Vertigo Vinyl

Friday 16 September 2016


I thought I'd write a poem.

I pretty rubbish at this

But it's how I felt



The Mattress Fits You
The Sheets Do Too
The Feel Just The Right Warmth
The Pillows are Perfect
The Window is Open
The Breeze is Lovely


I don't want to get up
I wish it was like this
When I got into bed
I know work is a neccessary evil
But I have an Hour yet



The thing is it's Saturday tomorrow so this is a distinct possibility for all of us.  And I need some music to go with it, and I think Kites by Simon Dupree and The Big Sound (who later morphed into the excellent Gentle Giant)  but be a perfectly ethereal way to wrap this up. The video is something I took at the Washington Kite Festival in 2010 which I went to with Fiona, my friend Nicky and her children Sharné, Alisha and Donovan

Sleep well and have a brilliant weekend my friends.

Surprises , Thunderstorms, Sting, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen

I was well impressed by Johnny Cash's American series, and "I Hung My Head" always struck me as a perfect archetypal Johnny Cash song, that would fit in with "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" or "The Wall", then my friend Paul said

"Do You Know Who Wrote It?"

I said "Isn't It A JC song?"

He said "No, you want to know who wrote it?"

I said "Yes"

He said "Sting!"

That was a huge surprise to me, though when Sting writes good songs they are good. So I thought I'd include the Sting version, then I found a Springsteen version as well, so in this post you you are getting three versions of a great song, two American Icons and one Geordie.

And when you hear Springsteen sing it, you could be excused thinking it's a Springsteen original.

Then last night we had thunderstorms and rain, and I really didn't want to leave my bed. Anyway it's time for work now and I will leave you with the Sting version, all these are excellent, but I like the Johnny Cash one best , but they are all good.

Tuesday 13 September 2016


I may have written about this before, but I've forgotten about it, but it is an excuse to play Robert Wyatt's beautiful "Memories" again.

My memory , ability to remember things , has never been that good. I can't remember quotes, I couldn't remember case names when I did Law (although I could the remember Case outcomes and the reasons for it), so often people will ask me how to do this and I won't know how to do it, but I will know how to find out how to do it generally, not always but generally.

The other thing is that I can usually do maths, so I can work things out and instantly understand formulas and am OK with algebra but get lost with calculus, and I am ok with the geometry. If I can't remember things how come I can sometimes so things without thinking.

I can ride a bike, drive a car, cook , make meals up and I'm ok with electrics. My home network works though at times that is a bit mystical to me, more "Oooh that did work" that knowing something will work.

These days we have computers , the internet and hand held computers that double as phones. There are very few phone numbers I remember these days. You have an app to solve anything you want, hand held dictionaries and scientific calculators as well as satellite navigation (which I have not yet succumbed to, I would rather trust my own knowledge and intuition).

Anyway that's just something that came into my head today, I can remember somethings but I do use technology quite a bit to supplement that.

Have a wonderful evening , enjoy this baking weather and have a great time.

This Has To Be Quick

I've been getting into work later , essentially with buses disappearing between 8 and 8:30 or just being very slow. I'm sure that that I used to know off blog posts in ten minutes, after all they are just diary entries aren't they?

Recently some of my posts have taken up to an hour to complete, yes they may need links and pictures, and sometimes it's difficult to find just exactly what you want but I really wanted to find out if I could write this and leave the house by 7:30 , I started it at 7:19 , it's now 7:27 , so I am not going to do it , maybe another five minutes,

The music I've chosen is "Where Were You?" by The Mekons which was originally on Fast Records (see what I did there?) and I've bookended it with the live and studio versions.

Oh and it's the 13th , and the number 13 can be lucky , it's just the way you look at things , I'm thinking Bakers Dozen.

How Do You See It?
Anyway you still have two hundred words of mine to pick over , and yes it's taken me about quarter of an hour to write this, enjoy the music and  have a brilliant day.

Sunday 11 September 2016

I Find It Difficult To Get Angry

I started the blog And Annoyingly  to vent my spleen and The Red Tops and their readers and supporters and the idiotic right wing and racists, but to be quite honest I find such things a waste of energy hence the fact I have only put up three posts (so far). While I am exasperated by the electorate and public, unless I do something to change it, it is pointless wasting energy getting bothered about it.

So I won't, it is a Sunday and the weather is wonderful, lots of my friends are running in the great North Run and lots of people will achieve a dream today. It's things like that that spark me, make me feel positive, knowing that people are doing something THEY want to do , often for the benefit of others. It's like Jessica Salmon's "Storytelling Of The Ancients" exhibition (which you can watch here) , Jessica put time , effort and ideas into a presentation that was free for the public, and she provided wine and cake. Absolutely wonderful.

Some people spend their life whining about whatever slightly irks them , instead of doing something positive, but then some people are only happy when they or others are miserable. Bad things do happen but you need to try and find something good to hold onto , however difficult that might be.

Ken Loach is making all his films free to view on Youtube , he doesn't need to , but he is allowing people to see his work effectively for nothing. What he will get out of it is a lot of exposure, and deservedly so.

I thought I'd choose The Rolling Stones I'm Free , because most of the time we do have a choice, and if you get the chance take it, don't  pass it up.

Anyway go out and be positive and have a great Sunday everybody.

Saturday 10 September 2016


I've just got to page 256 in Pete Townshend's autobiography "Who I Am" and again with my recent semi obsession with numbers he's just on about the story and completion on Quadrophenia , the lead single from that being 5:15 . 256 stick out because it's just the number two to the power eight , that is multiplied by itself eight times. If you do the same with one it's still one. One never changes, multiply it by itself or divide it by itself and it's still one. If you go up to 3 then the powers create much bigger numbers 2^8 = 256 but 3^8 is 6,561 , I doubt I will ever read a book with that many pages.

Yesterday the new Nick Cave album Skeleton Tree was released, and it's great that people are still producing things I want to hear, I love the new single and am sure I will love the album when it turns up.

The Vertigo Swirl In Action

I ordered a copy of Rod Stewart's Gasoline Alley album and Black Sabbath's Paranoid single as I wanted some vinyl with the original hypnotic Vertigo Swirl label. I do like the look of vinyl playing and the Vertigo Swirl does look good. I got a copy of Split Enz "History Never Repeats"  on laser etched vinyl which you can see here.

Anyway it's Saturday and I am going to get back to watching Casino Royale , which is enjoyable. You all have a great Saturday everybody.

I just found this unaccompanied performance by Rod, absolutely brilliant.

Friday 9 September 2016

Elysian Feels

I love seeing new things and meeting new people. My friend Ruth hand invited me to an exhibition, Storytelling of The Ancients,  which I didn't realise was being put on by her daughter at the Assembly House on Westgate Road. I started well by going to The Assembly Rooms and then got directed across the road to the correct venue.

Jessica and Oedipus
The day was warm and the door was open and I walked in , impressed by what I thought were some very nicely executed murals. I then noticed a room with a fireplace, some books of Greek Mythology and a small image of Cerberus on the green wall , Cerberus being the guard dog of the Underworld, but maybe he is there to keep undesirables away.

I then saw that the murals were not murals , but diaphanous constructs that swayed in the breeze and cast shadows on the white wile under a ceiling decorated with greenery which I think was ivy but could have Bacchanalian grape vines.

Jessica then introduced herself and told me about the exhibition and her love of the subject. Apparently Greeks always  greet guests with food and wine, and although the wine was finished there was gorgeous vegan raspberry  cake , biscuits and soft drinks.

Her friend , possibly Fiona, was also taking photographs and I took some myself as well as a short video, so that I could create a slideshow.

The images included Pandora, Persephone, Oedipus and many others including a wonderful centaur. I've included the slideshow soundtracked by Tangerine Dream's "Sequence C" from Phaedra , so another Greek Mythological connection as Phaedra was the daughter of Minos (see here)  which I've used as the video here although you can hear my waffle on the instagram video here.

So a great strat to the weekend, but if you get the chance , do go and see it, and if you are lucky you will get cake.

Tuesday 6 September 2016


I am just amazed by the heat, and a pity most of the day has been at work. This is the sort of day you need to be at a beach or in a park and not in work. I just feel I need a cold shower, but five minutes later you need another one. This is the time you need a swimming pool in the back garden. It's definitely not a clothes day and the worst thing it's work again tomorrow.

There are black clouds and blue skies and the atmosphere is oppressive, but I am sure I can find some comfort, at least I am not in work now.

The weather and situation is not exactly causing inspiration so as I am reading Pete Townshend's "Who I Am" I ll leave you with The Who's take on Martha and The Vandellas' Heatwave.

This post consists of a mere 200 or so words, so here I go on again about numbers, but I've said all that is in my head for the time being and if anything else comes upyou know that I will let you know. Well I usually do., don't I.

Anyway that's enough waffle from me.

Have a good evening my friends.

Sunday 4 September 2016

It's Over

The weekend is finished and it's time for work, or will be in a few hours. It's been an odd one for me, not really done much but I have rested, watched catch up TV and read quite a lot and written a few blog posts.

I had a rearrangement of my music and discovered a couple of effective duplicate CDs , Best Ofs The Faces and ELP , plus Janis Joplin's Pearl and Big Brother and The Holding Company's Cheap Thrills , all class albums but you only need one copy and the purchases of some excellent box sets have made them redundant.

I think I got the Joplin stuff from Music Zone in The Metro Centre , a now defunct music emporium, but we are lucky to have a decent number of music shops in Newcastle.

Anyway I will be dropping by a charity shop this week unless any of my friends want to improve their music collection and it's given me a chance to include The Faces That's All You Need , one of my favourite slide driven songs ever.

Sleep well my friends and have a brilliant week.

Saturday 3 September 2016

#LikeNoOther #3 Peek-A-Boo - Siouxsie And The Banshees

Siouxsie And The Banshees were never your average sounding Rock, Goth or Punk band and their canon is littered with some amazing out there sounds. The only standard instrument used in Peek-A-Boo barring Siouxsie's voice is the dragging bass and that is not played like any that I have heard before or since, then the almost military drum beat and accordion / melodian driven complex riff sonding like something gestated from Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper).

Another you can't dance to, well not any normal dance, but there are no guitars or pop sensibilities here, in an almost nightmare sequence that implies horrors lurking at the edge of our sensibilities although you feel safe because you know Siouxsie of old. It is similar to Sparks' This Town in the "can't dance" stakes although this does explore a much stranger furrow.

The video is wonderful and this still sounds as fresh today as when it was first unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

Enjoy the video and if it's not in your collection , why not?


I called this 15 because my last post was 1111 . 1111 in binary is 15 . Some people are obsessed with numbers and lets face it life is very much affected my numbers in one way or another. Almost everything we do to fit into society is affected in one way or another by numbers.

I'm not a fan of money but it allows me to live as I need to, and science needs numbers too. We always need to measure one thing or another.

The computer you are reading this on (yes it may be a phone) , whan it gets down to basic still talks in binary. Without the concept of numbers we probably wouldn't be able to communicate like we can today.

Numbers provide a framework to allow us to actually enjoy life. If we smile at, hug , laugh with , socialise with someone we love or like , outside of that numbers are lurking somewhere. You may need to catch a bus , need your bus fare , money again. Numbers each the mundane things in life allowing us to concentrate on the good.

The post probably sounds pretentious but it's just meandering and thoughts about numbers giving me an excuse to call this post 15 even though it's post number 1,112 , one thousand one hundred and twelve.

Numbers are in music , numbers are used to let us see how time is measured, and lots of other things.
Once in a Blue Moon

Yesterday I put a bet on at ridiculous odds of 66/1 which gave me nearly £30 back for a 70p bet. See numbers and money again. I doubt that will ever happen again but it was a nice surprise from Ladbrokes  would have been really happy because the 1/5 favourite bombed.

Anyway it's almost time for tea so maybe an appropriate song will be "Away From The Numbers" by The Jam from their debut album "In The City".

Have a good night everybody and stay wonderfully positive.

Friday 2 September 2016


Well this is post number 1,111 that's one thousand one hundred and eleven in words. Sometimes I've missed significantly numbered posts and this is only significant because it's a load of ones. It's come on a Friday and just in time for the weekend and this is one of those posts (like most of them) where I'm going to waffle on about nothing significant.

Most of the posts probably come in about two hundred words although when in Craster I did sit down and write two thousand words to see if I could ever be a writer. I suppose it showed that although I did it when I sat down to it, I can't be bothered to do it on a permanent basis, and part  of that I suppose is that I just have a select audience , not a mass audience. Most posts tend to get about 50 views, with the odd ones that have hit over a thousand and many that have no views.

My Nick Cave / Dr Seuss take  on Red Right Hand (none of which is my work , I just put them together) is now closing on ten thousand views. Red Right Hand was the first non commissioned piece used in the X-Files and as such is a favourite of both my daughters , who while having different musical tastes both love Nick Cave.

Anyway it's now time to pack up and get off to work.

This post clocks in at 250 words so it's about average, I can't remember how many words essays had to be at secondary school but I think I would be struggling to hit the required number of words for an assignment, but this is just  like a diary so some days will be a lot, and some days there'll be a little.

It's got me thinking , how few words could I get away with, if I were Yoko Ono I could have a blank post and give it a title, and that's not a bad thing. For something to be art you just have to say that it's art.

With that thought I am going to be out the door now. Have a brilliant Friday everybody.

Thursday 1 September 2016

Power To The People

No it's not about Jeremey Corbyn , although with the state of voting in the leadership contest Owen Smith and Angela Eagles and the PLP will be preparing their next leadership challenge , probably just stopping anyone from them voting.

It Had To Be
Anyway for the first time in months I forgot to submit my power readings (due the face of some extremely enjoyable company). I'm in my third year with Ovo and signed up with them after their CEO accused the "Big 6" of being liars about theire wholesale costs. I was coming to the end of a 5 year fixed deal with E-ON and they told me that to continue for another 12 months I would have to hike my monthly payments by 20%. I contacted OVO and they gave me a two year fixed price deal for a 4% increase on what I'd been paying E-ON. I know I don't get Tesco Clubcard points any more but I get get payed 3% on my credit balance which sounds good but probably works out about a pound a month.

At the end of my deal Scottish Power contacted me (I said they could ring me in the evening, they rang at 1pm the following day, maybe the sun sets earlier in Scotland, and said they could give me a deal for £70 a month, then have rung me several times since causing me to put them on auto reject).

I went online and Ovo recommended I reduced my payment by more than 50% (£60 a month) so I decided to reduce to £100 a month. They are also good and helpful on the phone.

Anyway that's where my power is coming from in the foreseeable future.

September is here, The Smiths are playing on Radio 6 and I'm drinking a cup of tea ready to go to work. I hope you all have a brilliant day and it is nearly weekend. The obvious song is John Lennon and The Plastic Ono  Band's Power To The People.

Have a good one.