Monday, July 23, 2001

23rd July 2001

Good evening, hope you all didn't work too hard today. Well I am
back after a hectic weekend that began at about 5.30 am on Friday
morning when me and Kev set off for a day at The Open in Lytham & St
Annes. If you don't know where that is then is is just below
Blackpool. We arrived in good time and the organisation was great
and what you would expect from the world's premier golf tournament.
We parked up in one of the big car parks (nice collection of motors
on show) and caught a bus for the short journey to the course. To
cut a long story short we watch a load of golf and a load of golfers
from various parts of the course and generally had a great day apart
from the fact that I burnt the back of my neck in the sun whilst out
on the course. We left just as a few drops of rain started to fall
and made our way back to my folks house for a spot of grub and a few
pints in a couple of local pubs. We went to a pub nearby and I was
greeted by a very familiar face. I ran into my old mate Brian Melia
who I had not seen for about fifteen years and he still looks
exactly the same and I recognised him as soon as I walked in. We
chatted about old times and mutual freinds and promised to get
together in the near future. We then went on to another pub called
The Bridge and on arrival I had a really surreal moment. As I walked
through the outer door I could hear "The Power Of Love" being played
and it wasn't until I opened the inner door that I saw it was a solo
guitar player with a tape machine giving it his best Holly
impression. It was very very loud for a pub and I think the guy must
have thought he was playing Knebworth or something We didn't stay
too late because both Kev and I were knackered and we had an early
start in the morning. We set off at about 7.30 and had a great
trouble free journey home and arrived back in London by 10.30 having
had an enjoyable 30 hours. I then spent the rest of the weekend
watching the golf on telly for the rest of Saturday and then spent
Sunday at Harris' house to watch the last day and the predictable
blow-up by Colin Montgomerie. David Duval was the eventual winner
and gave a nice speech when he was given the claret jug. A very
honest and humble man which is very unusual for an American
sportsman (no offence to our US readers). I spent Sunday night in
front of the pc leeching some mp3's from mIRC and then spent the
last couple of hours in front of the telly watching The Sopranos. I
am off to The Monarch tomorrow night to see Serial POP which is a
band of young musicians from Edinburgh. They are managed by my mate
Grant and I have wanted to see them for some time now and get my
chance tomorrow.on the gig front I have just booked some tickets to
see Low again at the Union Chapel. You may recall from earlier "wise
words" that I have been to see them at this venue before and it was
really excellent and something I am really looking forward to, shame
I will have to wait until November!!! I will report back later in
the week.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

19th July 2001

Before I begin this week I have a big apology to make to Sheryl who
is married to Yash the dodgy car dealer. Now if it isn't bad enough
being married to Yash, she has to put up with being ignored in the
last weeks "wise words" despite being the hostess with the mostess.
So Sheryl, I apologise in front of the world and I will apologise in
person when I see you next. I am very rude and have been reprimanded
by your husband and I hope this mention is some recompense.
It was barbeque time again on Saturday and me and all the family
went to my daughter's school. Spent the evening in the company of Mr
and Mrs Chan and a bottle of red wine. Mr Chan and I discussed food
for about three hours and have arranged for a meal in Chinatown in
the not too distant future. I got lucky and won a prize at the
raffle, not once but twice! So the first time I go up I can select
any prize from the display. Most of the bottles of spirits had gone
and there were a few bottles of wine and a few other nutty prizes
and one which really caught my eye. It was a king size lollipop from
the US that was as big as a tennis racket and weighed 3lbs. When I
went to select my prize I wanted to take the lolly but all the kids
who were surrounding it pleaded "No! no! pleeease mister!" so I
picked a bottle of white wine instead. However when I won again I
was not going to be persuaded so easily and I asked for the
lollipop. All the kids complained because they wanted a crack at
winning it but I still wanted it. Even when a little girl about
fours years old was clinging to it and screaming I still wanted it
so I took it. "What a bastard!" I hear you cry. Well I reckon kids
get their own way far too often, so tough! Life is going to be full
of disappointments so you better get used to it. I find out later
that the woman who was handing out the prizes had donated the
lollipop and the girl who was screaming for it was her daughter. It
turns out that she had got it as a pressie from the States and
didn't want her kids to eat 3lbs of pure sugar so she was delighted
to see the back of it. It made me feel a little less like the bad
guy knowing that the little girl would not have got it even if she
had won.
Went to Barnet General Hospital with my daughter on Monday because
she hadn't been feeling well all weekend. We went to A&E and the
waiting time was four hours!! There was a lady there who was in her
70's and she had a large plaster over her calf and because she
wasn't in pain she had been waiting seven hours. This is a fucking
disgrace and fortunately for me not something I didn't have to
endure because my wife works there as a nurse and we got a bit of
preferential treatment but she was still there at 11.00pm and we had
arrived at 6.30 so it's not that preferential. I hope this
government we have just re-elected will get the NHS back on it's
knees because I think getting it back on it's feet is a pipe dream.
Tuesday I went to France on a wine run with my freinds and fellow
drunks Liz and Janice. Good laugh as usual. It really is amazing how
much wine you can get into a Rav 4. I got 50 bottles and a couple of
cases of Hooegarden. Did my second "bad guy deed of the week" by
ordering veal for lunch!! Ket will kill me! Washed it down with one
of those two pint beers which went down very well. For those who may
be coming to Gosport via the tunnel Le Shuttle is really excellent
and getting on and off is minimum fuss. Seeing as my wine racks are
full I suppose I will be getting a visit from Wal who is as partial
to a red as I am.
I won't be in the chat room this Thursday because I will be going to
bed early as I have an early start on friday morning. Me and Kev
White are off to Lytham St Annes to watch The Open Golf
Championship. It is a bit of a yomp to get there but I reckon it
will be worth it. The only bummer will be if it starts raining. I
have had a look at the website and reckon we might plot up on the
ninth hole, a short par three, so keep and eye out for me. If it
rains i will be the pissed-off looking geezer dressed in black. I
will fill you in on my Northern Adventure when I get back.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

12th July 2001

Had a bit of a vibe on Saturday. Watched the tennis for a while and
then went down to my kids school to do a three hour stint behind the
bar at the school's summer barbeque. It was hard serving alcohol and
having to avoid drinking it. I was going to be driving to a gig
later on so I had to abstain. I was being grilled by Mad Mrs Wilkins
and Mad Mrs Barry about the old days and generally having the piss
taken out of me but in good fun. Left the school about eight and
went into Kentish Town to see Fuse at the Bull and Gate. Fuse have
been in my studio and they are a bunch of young rocking kids. Yash
is the father of the guitar player and a dodgy car salesman but a
very nice man who greets me with "Hello Boooooyyyy"every time he
speaks to me. He cracks me up. Dino's band played well and were well
supported by all their school buddies who were all going on to a
barbeque at Yash's house after the gig. I stayed with a few people
at the gig and saw a bit of the next act and what value they were.
Totally fucking out of it's tree. They have this geeky looking
guitar player who looks like he should be in a chemistry lab. He was
playing his guitar with a metal pencil case and then a portable
keyboard and then with something else. He had his effects making
some mad noises as well, overall quite a vibe. They rocked on a
groove and then this guy walks through the crowd. He is about six
foot six but he is on his hands and knees and crawls to the stage.
He had on a tin army helmet and is wearing a kids silver anorak
which was well above his waist. Underneath the anorak was a nylon
old womans floral dressing gown. Under that was a yellow and black
tartan jacket. He is carrying a holdall which has all his words in.
The band kick off and then he pulls out a slip of paper and goes
right into one. Ranting these mad words and walking around the
audience. Totally nuts. Me and a guy called Noel, (Dino's guitar
teacher) go back to my house in the car and call a cab and drive
over to Yash's for the barbeque. I will now try and illustrate the
scene. The garden is quite narrow but very long. At the end of the
garden is a gate through to another bit of land which has a huge oak
tree towards the back. Yash has put lights up and some nice big
candles and people are supremely chilled. There are beers on ice and
sausages and chicken and all sorts of other vibey stuff. The weather
is just nice and even when a little cloudbust threatened to bum us
out it bottled it and stayed away from drowning us. We took shelter
under the big oak when it started spitting but luck was with us and
it stopped soon after. There were a few characters at the bash and I
will give you a quick run through. A guy called Ted who played the
human jukebox and played some top tunes on his acoustic. A
Yorkshireman called Steve who was a major vibe and to top it off a
young man named Tom who was rather the worse for wear but hugely
entertaining and armed with a bottle of absinthe. We all had a
little slug of it which gave us all a nice warm feeling. I
eventually called a cab and got in a 4.30 having had a top night out
and met some interesting new people.
I have also started to do some renovation on my studio this week. I
haven't got all keen on DIY but I have been forced to take a break
becuase my mixer has a fault and I had to take it in for a service
and a repair. So I thought I would use the time to put a new floor
in the studio because the carpet is looking a bit fucked and
eventually finish off my kitchen area which was left as soon as all
the gear was in the studio. Who wants to be putting up plasterboard
when you can be rocking. Stevie B had rented out his studio to Carl
Palmer this week who was making a huge noise with a couple of young
guns on bass and guitar. It was very loud and a nice change from
some of the bands that rehearse in there. Nigey Nige was green with
envy because he is a huge fan of ELP and especially Keith Emerson.
He has a signed photo of them on the wall of his house along with a
pair of Carl Palmer's drumsticks so I fished a bashed up pair out of
the bin to give him as a pressie. The surprise will be spoiled
because I know Nige reads this so I will post them off to you next
week mate. I have finally filled in the final form for Worldpay so I
should have my credit card thing up an the very near future and
there will be all sorts of goodies available. Until next time.......

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

3rd July 2001

Well we have had a busy one this week. Went down to Wales and met up
with Timbo who installed me down in his pad in Llanelli. I could
have stayed with him and explained to him that I wasn't being
anti-social but if he lived in my house then he would appreciate the
value of four hours slouching in front of the telly with a bottle of
red and a chinese (meal,that is!). Went down to Sonic the next day
and checked out that our digital transfers were all stoked up and
then had a rehearsal for the gig. We tried a few new tunes and
decided to fly by the seat of the pants on one of those. I got up at
a very leisurely hour the next day and went over the road to the
White Lion for a pub lunch before meeting up with the rest of the
chaps for the journey to Southampton. We arrived at the gig to find
a "moist" Mr Mitt and his co-pilot Spot. They had stopped at a
couple of watering holes on the way to the gig from Cornwall. Lucky
them......! Met up with all the Frankie posse whose appearence is
always welcome. Judging by the e-mails I have had and the notes in
guestbook I think we now have a collective noun for this enlarging
posse and they have christened themselves "Nasherites". I don't know
if that has quite the right ring to it so I thought you may want to
try "Babylon Sisters & Brothers" after Babylon Pink with a little
nod to Steely Dan. The choice is yours..........just a suggestion. I
guess I will get to know you all via correspondence and future gigs
and I apologise in advance for not remembering all your names next
time I see you. It is difficult to put faces to e-mail address' and
URL's so I have a small excuse. My big excuse is that my brain is
full at the moment and in need of a data dump. The guy who put the
gig on in Southampton has said their is a free spot at The Gosport
festival on the 11th August and I hope to confirm a gig in the next
few days and it will appear at the top of this page when it is
confirmed. Apparently we will be sharing the bill with Rolf Harris,
Atomic Kitten and James Brown (on the gud fut). We got back to Wales
just as it was getting light and managed to get a few hours kip.
Saturday morning me and Timbo went back in the studio to mix a
couple of new tracks. I won't bore you with the details but we mixed
"Onjerry", "Face The Music", "Mad" and "Solution". Timbo kicks large
sonic botty.........nuff said. On Sunday morning we arrived at the
studio and I decided to go and have a look at Kidwelly Castle which
was a ten minute walk away. I had been to Kidwelly on a few
occassions and had never been to see it and this Sunday was an
opportune moment. The castle was................a castle. I was
walking back to the studio and decided to pop into this cafe for a
brew. This cafe was like a converted car showroom and it had windows
all round the front and it was empty as it was 11.30. I ordered a
tea and took a seat a a window table. I had sat there a minute when
the girl asked if i could sit somewhere else because a family always
sits at the table I was at. Weird?? It was like that sketch on The
Fast Show: "Someone's sitting there mate."
Tuesday morning was an early start as I was going with my son's
class on a school trip to the National Portrait Gallery. We went to
look at some old portraits of Elizabeth I and Henry VIII becuase the
kids were doing The Tudors in school. The gallery is right on
Trafalgar Square and there was tons of traffic and it was way too
hot and humid. It was definitely a stark contrast to the clear air
of Kidwelly and South Wales. Got back home and watched a bit of
tennis on the sofa and had a continual battle to stop myself from
nodding off. Which reminds me.....goodnight.
25th June.
Wimbledon has arrived so that can only mean one thing: the sun is
cracking the flags and it is way too hot. I got up double early this
morning and I have never been so relieved to get into Sainsburys and
walk up and down the fridge aisle..........and that was at 9.30AM.
Too hot for me especially with the nice air quality we have in "The
Smoke". I know it could be worse but I still have the right to
Managed to nail a couple of vocals last week with the help of Wal. I
had a real difficult time trying to get the best take on "On Jerry"
and it was one of those you had to get in one go and it was beyond
me. The only thing to do in these situations is have a few beers,
get in character and go for one. I am not wishing to make excuses
for my shabby performance in the vocal department but I think I may
have been suffering from a mild dose of hayfever because I was all
dried up and felt like a had a big bubble of snot across my throat
(sorry if anyone is eating while they are reading this). I am off to
see Afro Celt Mart to get his help transferring the stuff from ADAT
to CD so I don't have to carry my tape machines to Wales. After the
gig next friday we will be off back to Wales to mix four tracks fro
"Le Grande Fromage".
I won't be in the chat room this Thursday because I will be having a
fat curry with the chaps but i am going to write the bedtime story
before I go and Ket will paste it into the channel for you on
Thursday night. this is one of a number of experiments we will
betrying with mIRC over the next few weeks. One idea is to send you
some snippets of the tracks or low quality mp3's that you can
download while we are chatting so that is something to look forward
to while I am away. I will see you in Southampton!