Wednesday, September 26, 2007


New Cds

Not much new that’s to report though I have had a CD splurge recently. Hard-Fi’s new album was got for a bargain £7 in Morrison’s. Its very much as they were with their first album and has some good tracks and some mediocre ones. Its also quite short being around 35 minutes. Stephen Fretwell released his second album called ‘Man On The Roof’. This is consistently good from the acoustic maestro. As with his first album the best song is named after an American city, this time called ‘San Francisco’. There is another marvellous song called ‘Funny Hat’ mused about a famous female and her almost famous sister. The downside is perhaps he stays in the mainstream a bit too much and only takes a risk on the opening track ‘Coney’. Dot Allison has her third album out ‘Exaltation of Larks’. The song ‘Quicksand’ is exquisite and the other track are along the acoustic breathy vocal takes that made her first album a classic. Considering the second album experimented with dancey beats this is a welcome return. Finally I ventured into the Metal world by buying the new album from Epica. This is a ‘progressive metal’ album that fuses together thrash and opera with intriguing results. It just about works especially the stuff sung in Latin and as their name suggests there are some over ambitious songs lasting over ten minutes but there are some other proper songs that sound remarkably like Evanescence. Definitely interesting listening. Finally Six Nation State’s debut album was released on Monday. Very much a Specials/Clash reggae indie sound, there are some great tunes on there. Check them out in virtual land and then join me at the Borderline in a couple of weeks!


The Gossip 13.9.07 The Forum

I was well enough to drink for this one which was a plus as I really wasn’t looking forward to it having seen TVs festival coverage of them and thinking they were really awful. The build up drinking was not good as the friend I went with left his phone and tickets on the train at Victoria. Thankfully a lady called Eleanor (perhaps surname Rigby – perhaps not) handed them in at Balham station so a quick trip back there meant we could have a pint in the Exhibit and look at the fishes. We then got the Northern Line up to Kentish Town meaning a beer on the tube rather than another pub and got to the Forum just before they come on. Beth Ditto, Gossips lead singer is huge (literally not in the popular sense) and ill advisedly was a spandex outfit! I realise quite quickly what the problem is musically, in that they only have three people in the band and Beth often has to screech away backed up by drums and bass only. They definitely need a guitarist although on some songs a six string was played instead of the bass. ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ is their best song and was played towards the end of the set. The encore featured a cover of ‘Careless Whisper’ which is an awful song in the first place. This version was just about bearable. The gig was better than expected by I certainly don’t see them as a great band musically. Despite her weight Beth though does add some personality to the indie circuit.


Paramore, Astoria 6.9.07

Been a bit ill recently so haven’t had the chance to up date this blog. Was off work for a while and was on antibiotics so could not drink. Although I did recover enough to see Paramore play the Astoria on 6th September. This is the first gig for a while I have attended without the aid of an alcoholic drink before hand. Paramore are a band fronted by the lovely Hayley Williams. The music is melodic rock with a punky element to it, very much like the 80s metal bands. Their set was mainly pulled from their excellent ‘Riot’ album starting off with their single ‘Misery Business’. The floor of the Astoria was absolutely rammed with an audience of mainly the teenage age group meaning that although I felt older I had a good view. The set was just over an hour with highlights being ‘For A Pessimist I’m Pretty Optimistic’ and ‘Born For This’ with its pounding beat and head-banging shenanigans! The encore began with ‘Hallelujah’ which was their next single at the time before they ended with ‘Pressure’ from their first album. All in all a good sweaty rock show showing that this genre of music is well and truly alive.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Football Season 2007/8

So the football season is well and truly underway. Saints started dreadfully, which is what you get when you haven’t got any centre-backs. At least Thomas has now been bought off of Burnley and looks like the commanding sort you want at this level. Besides the nice barmaids in the Royal Oak before the home games, there has been a few pleasant trips so far in our three games away from home. Peterborough was a place I hadn’t been before. There was a lovely blonde barmaid called Nina in the O’Neills here before I sampled a few excellent pubs. The Wortley Almshouses is a very old world pub with separate rooms and two bar areas. A Samuel Smith’s place where it was less than £1.50 for a pint of lager. The Brewery Tap is apparently under threat from Peterboroughs redevelopment. A shame as this is a large spacious pub with a large choice of ale although Budvar was the most extravagant lager on tap. Good lighting and a nice place to relax in. Finally nearest the posh was Charters. This advertises itself on real ale and is actually on a barge on the river. The riverside doubles as a large garden area which is bigger than the barge itself and as you’d expect the barge lends itself to a long narrow bar, although there was enough room to allow plenty of seating should you wish to stay afloat.
Norwich is a fine place and I managed to find several places I hadn’t actually done before. The Red Lion is a tourist pub (if Norwich has tourists?) set in the old town. A nice horseshoe pub by the river with an old fashioned feel to it. The Jubilee had an estate feel to it with its Tvs and two bar areas. However, there was a large conservatory extension giving it a slight country feel. I was starting ale territory with Summer Lightning on tap. The walls were donned with signed photos to the pub from such people as Phil Collins and even Paul McCartney. I doubt the signatures are genuine but you never know. The Rosary Tavern is a typical small spit and sawdust place. Again real ale is the theme here and I had a pint of the award winning Straw Dog. Affectionate to Norwich City FC, they were showing a video if their 100 greatest goals on their TV. Jeremy Goss against Munich was obviously was up there!
The Coach & Horses is a huge pub that has it’s own brewery call Chalk Hill. Their beer was drinkable and although the pub was packed pre-match this was a fine place with a rustic feel to it. After the match I popped to the town centre where I found the pub called The Murderers. Here I was surprised to see Carling Premier on draught, a drink I hadn’t seen for years.
QPR is always a good trip and this is where we had our first away win. I did the two chains by the Empire music venue (Walkabout & O’Neills) before the Shepherd & Flock which is a small irish corner pub and The Goldhawk, a pub recently turned into one of these gastro thingymyjigs where they had a good selection of lager such as Amstel, Koppers Kolsch and Erdinger.
As for Saints, after a dodgy start (three defeats), Burley appears to have turned it round with the home game against Stoke and away to QPR seeing us putting in the type of performances that should see us challenging. If Rasiak, Bradley and Saga keep scoring as they can and the girl with ‘Siany’ on the back of her Saints shirt keep chatting to me then I’m going to enjoy this season!

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