Thursday, 29 April 2010

More Election Guff....

I know it’s really common to talk about the election and yes I do realise that I have already made one comment on here about it. But fuck it! It’s my Blog and I can post up here whatever I bloody well feel like.

Obviously yesterday the PM Gordon Brown made a huge error by insulting a voter. That’s surely his challenge dead and buried to win this election for Labour. But the thing is where do these votes go? You’d think Lib Dem’s would pick more up than the Conservatives. The hatred between Labour and Conservative would see Lib Dem’s take the votes I’d have thought and mount a real challenge to win.

I am also not watching these poxy live debates, because I’m honestly not interested in watching three boring men stand there and talk about things. Yes some of these things are important, but I have more important things going on in my own life. These debates will not change my decision on where to cast my vote. So fuck them.

And fair play to the SNP for trying to get in on the debate. If it’s going to be fair they should invite the leader of every party to a debate. Imagine seeing Lord Sutch on there back in the day, how great would that have been. But to make it fair they should invite the Green’s, the UKIP’s and the others – but a big fuck off to those arseholes in the BNP!

But let’s face it, all of the parties are as crooked as each other. They’ll say anything in their promises to get you to vote for them and 9 out of 10 times they won’t deliver (probably too busy filling out their poxy expense forms on their umpteenth residence or for massages cause of the stress of being an MP).

I have never missed a chance to vote personally, whether it is a general election or a local election, I feel I should go and cast my vote. With a general election I do vote properly for who I believe in. But like so many others my confidence in politicians is shot to fuck. My views have changed so much recently, it’s coming down to the fact that I will probably go and vote for the party who doesn’t go about slagging the other parties off. Maybe if politicians spent more time on their policies and making a positive change instead of looking for ways to have a go at the opposition.

I can see what’ll happen, I’ll get in the voting booth and if temptation takes over I’ll spoil my form. None Of The Above – Monty Brewster had the right idea in Brewster’s Millions! Either that or maybe I’ll vote for the person with the funniest name – done that before in the local elections, ha ha ha!

I also love it when they come knocking on my door to represent their party. I have to give them back chat, seems only fair. In my town it’s always a two horse race between Conservative and Lib Dems. If either come knocking then they are of course expected to field many questions from myself and given the chance to respond and persuade me to vote for them. Of course if they knock and cannot answer a question on their policies they will get called on it and told to politely fuck off! So far this election no one has knocked to ask if they can count on my vote, maybe I’ve been blacklisted for giving too much lip! Can’t say I’m fussed.

I also love to give shit to the people who sit at the entrance to the voting station. Sat there in their rosettes and asking for my registration number. They don’t need it, they just wanna scroll through their poxy list to see if I was a voter who said I’d support their party. I’m quite looking forward to it this year so that I can give them some chat back, it’s one of the best things about voting for sure!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Getting Older?

Sometimes I worry that I am getting a bit old for things. I am sat here at work yawning and struggling to keep my eyes open.

Last night I went to my second gig in three days. I went to see Dropkick Murphys in Brixton. (For the record, they did suck and I only wanted to see the support band, Face To Face. Who absolutely rocked by the way!). A Sunday night and I managed to roll into bed a couple of minutes before 1.30am. Up at 6 for work. Not a whole lot of sleep I know but when I was younger I used to go to three or four shows in a row and never be this tired!

This weekend saw me in Oxford on Friday and Brixton on Sunday - but Saturday was a night in with a movie as I turned down three potential offers of shows to attend. I can remember when I was younger seeing Ned's Atomic Dustbin in Wolverhampton on a Friday, Suede in Southampton the next night and then Sunday seeing Eat Static in Reading and though nothing of it. And that was much more mileage than the weekend I just had.

As I've got older it seems like I want more days to just chill out and not be out at gigs. I love gigs, don’t get me wrong, but I guess as I've grown up, my priorities have shifted. Obviously now I am married and have two children - so I want to be spending time with them and not be out every night at a show. Maybe it's not getting old, more of a change in my attitude. Having children changes the way you look at things before. I want to spend time with them, they're awesome and so much fun to hang out with.

Maybe I am getting older, but maybe it's not really a change in tiredness but a change in priorities and knowing when you're taking the piss by being out too often.

I have to say I am looking forward to the days when my daughters wanna come to shows, hopefully they won't be too embarrassed to hang out with their Dad!

Monday, 12 April 2010

The Story Of Cum Mouth...

I mentioned before that I might relay some stories from days gone past and gigs. So why not! I'll do an instalment every now and then, don’t want to give you the whole deal in on go, need to show a little flesh just to keep you interested and then get my claws into you!

I was on before about days with The Slingbacks, but the more I think about it, the more I realise that these times were more about being drunk than anything super duper exciting happening. There was the one time that we went down to Exeter to see them play and a mate of ours (James) had another friend who said we could all crash at his house as he was away. Sounds like a plan to us. So anyways Gavin, The Slingbacks drummer came to crash as well as Fish the roadie and I think there was someone else, maybe Sploote the guitarist, I dunno. Just remember this house had snakes and we found all these dead mice and stuff in the freezer. A crazy night pretty much.

I promised a story, so why not. There was a time a few years back that one of my bands played a show a couple of hours away. I need to be careful not to mention any names of course. But this story has gone down in history amongst us and he will never live it down! Anyways, so we're at the show and we're playing with a mate's band who hail from The North (oop north if you need a translation). We play out set and all goes well, then it's our mate's turn. But one of their band is missing in action. No sign of him for ages and eventually he comes back with a young lady who we later learn has enjoyed some time with the fella. Further details would reveal she performed some action with the lower part of his anatomy and her mouth. Enough details. They play their set, great stuff. During it, one of my band (the nameless one) is chatting to this girl and is obviously pretty keen. We pack away, some people are pretty drunk at this stage, the nameless one is all over this girl, really trying his luck. I think she pretty much gave in to get rid of him and the two of them went on to share a lip locking time before we finally got him in the car so we could get on the road.

Once in the car, this is when we reveal to him the events that had occurred earlier in the evening between her and the other fella. He is devastated and I am sure it didn't help with us lot teasing him all the way home! A two hour drive can go really quickly when messing with your mate's head, but I am sure it felt like a long time for him. Especially when being told how he could taste the other guy's man juice and might as well have just sucked him off! This is three years ago now and we still get on his back about it, he will never live that one down! And that people is the story of cum mouth!

Friday, 9 April 2010

A brief political message on the upcoming UK general election...

May 6th sees the general election hit the UK. Now I wouldn’t like to reveal who I will be voting for. I know they say it’s a secret ballot although I’m sure it’s not – don’t even get me started on that. My point is more who to vote for?

You have the three “main” parties of course, Lib Dem, Conservatives and Labour. Let’s be honest they’re all as bad as each other, guilty of abusing expenses and what not. I’m not writing this to comment on all that stuff. More the fact that I was discussing the upcoming election with Mrs. T when she made a comment that she will have to vote for one of the big three because the others have no chance.

To me that’s a really defeatist attitude. All the parties are there and available for you to vote for. I know in realisation there are plenty of parties that don’t really have a chance of getting in and some parties I really hope don’t get in (and we all know who I’m talking about there!). But if everyone thought along these lines then there would never be a chance of a change. If you wanted to go and vote for a party called “None Of The Above” for instance, then you should. I do appreciate that there is a slim to none chance of certain parties gaining power but the change can be made in a small stage.

If you look at a local area of say 10,000 people. Now I am just roughly plucking these numbers out at random. Say in the last election the winner was Conservative and they had 32% of the vote and the Green party took just 6%. If enough people choose to vote Green and say next time they take a 10% share of the vote, that’s still 400 votes that would change the hands, and in total an 8% swing!!! If this continues each time then power will change!

I believe that you should vote for the party that you want to vote for and not feel like you should vote for one of the main parties, or the party you think will win.

With a general election, I know you have to look at the bigger picture. Local elections not so much. But the names of these political parties are on your ballot sheet, so you should vote for the one you want to, not feel pressured into voting for one of the so called “big three”.

If you want changes, then you need to vote and make your vote count. If enough people think they have to vote for the main three parties then no change will ever happen. If you want to vote for a “smaller” party, you bloody well should. Change can start on a small scale. So use your vote and vote for the party you believe in, it doesn’t have to be a three party race only!

(Obviously this is just my point of view, I am not asking you to take everything I say on this site seriously. It's my opinion and you are of course allowed to have your own. And opinion cannot be wrong!)

Lights Go Out Zine

The majority of you that read this blog of mine will know that I write a zine called Lights Go Out. And let's face it, there are not many of you who do actually read this little random scribblings of mine. I'd like to think that's because it's still very new and not the fact that I am basically a boring shit. Anyways, people do sometimes ask me why I write the zine and what I actually get out of it.

It's certainly not for the money, the zine will never make money and as soon as I get enough cash I just print a new one anyways. I used to write a zine years ago, back when I could photocopy it for free at work and distribute it for nothing. At the start of 2008 I decided I wanted to get back into the zine writing scene and came up with the idea for Lights Go Out. I'd been reading zines like Beat Motel, Fracture, Debunk for example and the odd other one here and there that I managed to pick up. I'd also been writing columns for other zines like Beat Motel and Unsigned Showcase in Reading and just felt it was time to start my own one up again.

I sold a Marshall 4x12 cab to Dan from Bastion and used that money to get the first issue of Lights Go Out printed. It felt great to have a zine all printed properly and with minimal hassle of sorting the pages out and stapling them myself. Obviously with the printing costs I stuck the cover price on the zine of just a quid. Pretty good value if you ask me, especially considering the amount of effort I'd put in and still continue to! Issue 1 sold pretty well to be honest and I made some great contacts thanks to the zine. People asked me about a second issue, so indeed Issue 2 was produced and printed once again. This one too did pretty well so I kinda guessed this was worth pursuing. Issue 7 is currently at the printers and is due out in a week or so.

There is nothing quite like when that box of new issues turns up and I get to open it up! The new issue is always really exciting for me, both for myself to see the fruits of my labour and also to see what others think about the zine.

But what do I actually get out of it? Nothing really. I like the fact that I am bringing a positive product to the scene, helping to highlight bands people might not know and would like to check out. I realise it may not be the greatest in terms of using a resource in the fact that the zine is paper but let's be honest it's much nicer than a webzine. I admit webzines are great for a source of information and are free to access, but I personally much prefer having a physical product in my hand. It's like getting an album, why download it when you can have the actual product complete with art work. Incidentally, I would always prefer to buy a band's record than download it. And if possible direct from the band at a show rather than using some online purchasing place or shop.

The zine isn't easy to put together. It does take time and effort. I don't use the many design packages available to do this on a computer - I prefer the old way of cut and paste. The scissors get well used and the gluing the little bits together to try and form something worth reading is half the fun to be honest. Finding the time to review stuff is always an issue as well. I probably get about 6-10 CD's a week fall onto my doormat (the postie probably hates me!) and I do have a great team of people who help out by adding their thoughts on releases. But the hard part is chasing them up to get them back to me in time. Something I hate doing to be fair! Of course the inevitable happens, the reviews are just about finished, I'm caught up with the review pile and then a bundle more turn up! I do have to just make a cut off point at some stage and hold some over for the next issue.

Another of the hardest things is the interviews. Contacting people/bands and requesting interviews takes a while. Loads never respond back to me. And on more than a few occasions I have sent interviews over and never got a response. This does my head in to be honest. I appreciate that people come back and say they're up for it, but then not to bother answering is more than a tad annoying. It's great when some bands come back really quickly and I appreciate that big time, it really does help with the zine process.

The other thing is when people rip you off. I have a few people who have taken copies of the zine and never paid for them. We're not some big company, I'm one bloke doing this pretty much all by myself. People who rip me off like this put the future of the zine in doubt. There are many great zines out there, please do not rip them off!

With Issue 7 on it's way in the coming days, it is once again pretty exciting for me. I can't wait for the box to arrive with the new issue in and off I go to sell as many copies as I can. So please if you see me at a show, do get a copy from me, like I said the zine is only £1 and I think it's well worth it. I would love to be able to give the zine away for nothing to as many people as I can, but with the costs of printing, I just can't do that! Of course we do have the online payment option. This can be from the main website: and via the Myspace page which lives at - so please do check them out if you get the chance.

I’d like to think that the zine is moving forward with each issue. We kinda have our format down now, the front covers seem to be getting better and better as well. Of course I am happy for suggestions for the zine, so please get in touch via the website with any ideas that you may have.

So for now the future of Lights Go Out does depend on the readers. If people keep buying the zine and want the zine to be there, then I am more than happy to keep on producing issues. Once the call for the zine seems to cease in existence, I will probably have to call it a day. I won't deny that I love writing the zine, it does take up a whole lot of my time, but it's time I am willing to give to be able to bring the zine into the scene.

Please do support Lights Go Out and other zines. Without you buying it, the zine just won’t exist.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Clash Of The Titans

The remake – something that Hollywood is constantly churning out. Now I admit that there have been a few decent remakes but overall not too many really. I enjoyed the remade Planet Of The Apes, but that was because they set it to a new story and didn’t copy the characters – a much better move.

I always get really worried when they remake some of my favourite movies. King Kong for instance. The 1933 version is one of the movies I remember as a kid and made me really get into the whole stop motion thing. The remake was a bit of a let down but a whole lot better than the 1976 remake – where they made Kong a bit of a perv! Another movie that left a huge impact on me from those days was Ray Harryhausen’s The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. This led me to check out as many Ray Harryhausen movies as I could. The Sinbads, Jason & The Argonuauts, Valley Of Gwangi and more. But of course this included Clash Of The Titans. A great fantasy movie where Harryhausen created some amazing beasts like Medusa and the Kraken. I love this movie and when I found out there was a remake of it I have to admit I was very worried about what they would do to one of my all time favourite films. (Note: I am also worried by the upcoming Karate Kid remake!).

Of course curiosity got the better of me and I had to go and see the remake so I could at least have an opinion on it. Only available in 3D – always a worry as I’m not really a fan of the 3D movie.

So what was this remake of Clash Of The Titans like? Honestly it was a huge pile of donkey poop! I hated it! Mrs. T enjoyed it though. The story was messed around with, there was one glimmering hope for me when we saw the metal owl, Bubo – a huge star in the original movie. But this one glimse was all we were permitted to in this remake. I am honestly struggling on what to write about this film. The budget was big, the effects were as expected from the current big blockbuster studios, but the story was so far from the original I couldn’t help but feel totally let down.

Is it possible to write to Warner Bros and ask for my entrance fee back? Two hours of my life that I’ll never get back….lost forever!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Music I Lost Touch With....

Isn’t is strange how you can forget about bands and songs yet years later you suddenly remember them and still know all the words to their songs? This happened to me recently, I was on youtube watching some classic videos from bands like Senseless Things, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and then Thousand Yard Stare.

Then there it was, a link on the side for a related video. The band? Airhead. The song? “Funny How”. I had to click it and remembered how amazing this slice of indie pop from the early 90’s really was. Then of course to check out their other singles, “Counting Sheep” and “Right Now”. I seriously loved this band when I was about 15, I used to play their album “Boing!” constantly. Not on CD though, on vinyl of course.

My rekindled love of Airhead then took me onto Myspace and there was an unofficial page and also I found an unofficial website. Just a shame I couldn’t get any free MP3’s of the songs. I never owned any Airhead CD’s but have all the singles on vinyl, but because I am now a Daddy, my vinyl collection resides nicely stored in my loft. Then I hopped onto eBay and it seems that “Boing!” on CD is quite sought after.

It then got me thinking about other bands I used to go and watch loads in the early 90’s. I can remember when I got my driving license in 1993 I just went to every gig I could for the next few years. Taking in loads of shows by bands I have no idea where they are now. Thousand Yard Stare, Voodoo Queens, These Animal Men, Kinky Machine, Mexico 70, Whiteout, Mambo Taxi, Joyrider, The Slingbacks, Compulsion and The Family Cat just to name a few of the bands I saw regularly. But back in those days, gigs were much cheaper, I could go see a signed band for £4, you’re lucky to get into a local show with bands you’ve not heard off for that price these days.

And of course punk shows were much cheaper then and the American bands seemed to come over more. We were always able to catch bands like Good Riddance, Ten Foot Pole, The Vandals, Lag Wagon and Strung Out in a smallish venue normally supported by Snuff or Vanilla Pod.

These were good times indeed and I wish I could still afford to head to as many shows as I did a few years ago, but as you grow up you get responsibilities and have bills to pay. And what with the global economy being as bad as it is, petrol prices are high, even though they have come down recently compared to a few months ago and tickets for shows are expensive. However much I love the excitement of a gig, I also love chilling out and spending time with my kids. I guess I’m just growing up, still it was nice to enjoy the songs I loved when I was 15 and I was so impressed I could still remember all the words. As I keep growing older that’s bound to be one of the things that changes…

Footnote: I will relay some stories from these days soon, especially of The Slingbacks!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Wham Bars!!!!

Do you remember the days of struggling with sticky sweet wrappers? I am of course thinking about the main culprit of the sticky wrapper that just refused to all come off - the Wham bar!

Now for those of you unsure on what a Wham bar is - luckily it isn't anything to do with the camp as you like 80's chart toppers! Club Tropicana drinks may well be free, but the sweet wrappers still won't come off! Anyways, sorry! A Wham bar is a long sticky bright pink mess of a sweet. If the colour didn't put you off then the fact it had little crispy bits in (I'm sure they were called something like space crystals!) then the fact you just couldn't ever get the wrapper to come off really should have! But as kids these were our sweets of choice!

Wham bars were huge in the 80's! I remember we used to get them from the vending machine at the local sports centre. For just 10p we could enjoy the Wham goodness and moan about the sticky wrapper.

You open the bar and of course the paper would rip and parts would stay stuck to the chew. Of course looking back this should have put us off, but in fact it fuelled us into wanting the bar even more. Something that sticky surely can't be good news for your insides! Then you had to contend with the fact that if you did manage to get the wrapper off a bit decent like, then it would surely rip and little you'd be left with a shredded wrapper effect down this bright pink chew. The next option was of course to use your finger and pick at the remains of the wrapper. This lead to the inevitable really sticky fingers and more often that not, pieces of the pink wrapper getting trapped under your fingernails along with anything else that you'd managed to pick up at the sports centre. You had to leave it until you'd finished because you’d only get more stuck in there and picking out too early was not wise.

If you were still struggling with wrapper then the inevitable happened. You started eating it and eating around the wrapper. Pulling at the pink chew like a lion would pick the flesh of a recently caught gazelle. Oh yeah, we're talking primal instincts taking over right now. Gnawing and ripping away at the bright pink chew. Sometimes this could work well as it helped you get more chances to pull further wrapper off, including the options to rip upwards. Hell we'd try anything to get this chew in our system. And if still you have wrapper, the final option (which I dare say was taken a bit too often), would be to just eat the paper and try and spit it out. If it didn't come off then down the hatch it went! I dread to think how much Wham bar wrapper I would have eaten back in those days. I once worked with someone who used to bring their dog (Hamish) into the office. Hamish used to enjoy a cake or two and she used to let him eat the paper case the cakes would come in. She explained it would of course help them come out the other end all ready wrapped! What a lovely thought that was!

I'm not really sure when the Wham bar stopped becoming a part of my diet. Maybe around the times we stopped doing sporty things as kids and discovered parties and booze. Not sure which is actually worse for my guts? I have of course stopped drinking alcohol all together these days, but Wham bars found a recent resurgence into my life. Well a few years ago now…we bought a massive box of Wham Mini's and they helped us stay awake when getting the ridiculous middle of the night call from one of our kids as babies who needed a bottle, a change or a cuddle. Downstairs heating the bottle up, scoffing a few Wham bars to keep us awake. I know it's not ideal, but you do what works in these situations! I was most disappointed that they have obviously changed the texture of the wrapper as they cam right off. No more struggling and picking away at it. I guess that was most of the charm of the Wham bar and I missed it!

Pepsi Max.....Maximum Taste

I have to admit I am a fan of Pepsi but today opted to not purchase a can of the regular Pepsi and went for the no sugar option known as Pepsi Max. The tagline it gave me was how it had maximum taste. Honestly if that's the maximum taste, I would seriously hate to taste the minimum taste. It's like how I would imagine cat's pee to taste, seriously foul.
I will not fall into the "but it's better for you" soft drink trap ever again....from now on the sugar is an essential!


Right then - so here is my Blog for your reading pleasure.

Don't expect to read things here that will change the world or even change your perceptions. I plan on filling this with enough random scribblings to keep myself entertained - hey if it keeps you entertained for more than 5 seconds, then double Brucey bonus all round!

I never really got the whole blog thing, but have recently started a movie blog and need somewhere to add random thoughts. Twitter just doesn't cut the mustard as you only get a certain amount of charactors allowed - hence we now have this bad boy!

So stay tuned for plenty of random thoughts from me!

Mr. T