Saturday, 30 June 2007
Charles Cooper Henderson
Guide of Dunkirk
Queen Boadicea II
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Pie porn! (Lot’s of flickr pics of pies)
God’s own pie from god’s own county
Review of Pies and Prejudice
Things I learnt this weekend
That I like the Arcade fire a great deal. They are truly wonderful live, even from back in the crowd they engaged and exhilarated. So much so that at other gigs this weekend people where singing thier “ohh oooh” number not the T’monkeys etc.
That I like hot spiced cider. I’ve never been a fan of mulled wine, but when you’re really cold and wet, spiced Burrow's Hills cider is great. It had a hint of mail coach about it , of Dr Johnson warming himself after a downpour, good stuff.
That you should only drink Brother's Perry in a field and that no drink for adults should be that red!
That age and guile and a bit of stage craft will beat youth and bad hair cut, to whit the Waterboys were excellent.
That even in a badly run tent in a muddy dell with not great sound that Madness where excellent. Which other band do you know every word of 15 great songs?
That standing up in mud for 3 days can get a little dull!
Oh and according to a sixth former (standing in a stone circle) with a voice to put Celia Johnson to shame, that I speak “all common”. She wasn’t impressed when I pointed out that most people speak like me, people such as Wordsworth. She didn’t think “I was a man you don’t meet everyday” either!
That the paths of excess don't open the doors of perception: judging by the nonsense and banality of some conversation we heard as we struggled through the mud of Saturday evening.
That fire lanterns are very pretty even if they are a bit hippyish, see my film.
Oh and people who go out of their way to be strange or wacky characters generally can be confused or “weirded out” with a few well chosen non sequiturs!
Oh and that you can spend £750,000 on drainage that doesn’t work.
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Monday, 18 June 2007
IT ALWAYS WAS, listening to amplified rock music in fields is a middle class idea, we invented it along with most other good things in life i.e. democracy, medicine, the internet, cake and sexual perversity. Maybe in the past there were a few more Crusty new age type but most of them were called Justin and simply preferred smoking to washing or passing their A levels. So the change has really been in what kind of middle class people turn up.
Has it got more commercialised NO in the 1980’s the festival was filled with rabid free marketers, they wore balaclavas and had a distinctive cry of “hash for cash” “poppers for coppers”! Now days, the balaclavas have all but gone but the free market is in place and its selling tasty exotic pies, silly t-shirts and of course nice cakes.
Of course it could be worse it could have got more upper class like Glyndebourne or Henley Regatta (bad music, dodgy sport and vomiting) or more working class like Blackpool (bad food, dodgy pubs, inflatable phalluses and vomiting
What to eat at Glastonbury?
You can take your own food and there are even stalls selling perishable staples (bread, milk etc). But if you not on a budget a part from brewing a morning cuppa you may want to buy your snap. Here are some musings on what’s good and what’s not.
My first falafel:
Back in the day (isn’t that terrible phrase, what does in mean, you hear 19 year olds saying it , what 3 years ago when you were sixteen it alludes to a mythical past presumably when they were 1920’s gin runners or a drummer with the Four Tops, “back in the day” my word what nonsense) Sorry I’ll start again.
I had my first Falafel at Glasto 1989, that sort of food was that prevalent then, and the food area at the festival was about 3rd of the size it is now. The stalls still at the festival and I would try to tell you where it is but I get confused. It sold falafel and coffee with whiskey, veggie stuff.
Falafel are basically deep fried hummus, being that hummus is delish, deep frying it doubles your pleasure. Falafels are also pretend health food a sort of kebab that safe to eat. I do love the fact you often get hummus on falafels so you’ve got fried hummus with hummus on top, it’s like having chips with dollop of mash on the top.
Here’s a plea to falafel venders on the correct way to pack a pita!
Toast pita and split
Smear of sauce in side pita
Small bed of salad
Add falafel the more the merrier
Layer sauce/and salad on top.
Usually the falafel go on top and what happens one squeeze and brer falafel does a perfect triple salko into the mud cue grumpy fat bloke in stupid hat and British Sea Power t-shirt.
Welsh Oggie Company
Oggie are Cambrian pasties. The origin of your pasties is lost in midst of time, too annoy those silly Cornish Nationalist I believe they were invented in Devon. Oh and I like with peas and carrot too!
Anyway the oggies are huge they sell them cut in half for lightweights. Think of them as you one stop all day meal delish.
Pies of Peace
There has been an explosion of pasty and pies shops at Glasto, I think there’s even a Gregg’s (hurrah!) you can get Ginster’s (hard G or soft?) and similar and there also foody pie companies on the way to the main stage. I am conflicted on aspirational pies, partly because I shouldn’t really eat anymore ever again but also I’m not sure they know how to make normal proper pies before striking out with their fancy Danisms. They are bit like those cheeses you see with apricot and blue berries on the side. It’s always chorizo and goats cheese or rabbit mayo and mango chutney. Basically I think the balti pie was far enough can we perhaps leave the experiments to the veggies, that is unless someone wants to put black pudding in a pie more which later.
Garlic Baguette (mushroom ?) Company all day breakfast baguette.
A thing of beauty is pleasure for ever (well tea time). Basically this is a Full English in half a French stick with and here’s the killer USP beans over the top. Like mangoes it probably best eaten in shower but with care and the use of shirt sleeve one can enjoy Britain’s true world beating dish, which not is only tasty but will fill you up for the rest of the day.
The Best festival food I ever had!
Well, without getting too poncy it was a black pudding sandwich at a Pixies concert in Madrid. It was simple, a big fresh hot black pudding (morcilla) on good bread. The pudding was so juicy I don’t think it had any sauce delish! English pudding just as good so how about a pudding stall maybe from Bury or Barnsley where else!
What not to eat?
Does anyone really like those noodles they sell at festivals, the one that come in chip trays, the noodles are the chow mein flat style ones, smeared with Soya sauce and possibly some dilute black bean gunk. Mixed in there will be 2 bits of onion, a mushroom and possible a bit of green pepper. Perched precariously on the top (see falafel rage) will be a tempura either a “veggy” or “prawn” usually with some synthetic chilly jam sauce on the top. We’ve all seen Katherine Tates views on veggy tempura and these are just that badly” battered veg” usually a damp bit of carrot maybe some limp broccoli. The prawn won’t be fresh from some Cornish fishing smack, so I tend avoid them. So not the best example of Chinese street food. They do have long queues though so what do I know.
Sea food: I love a bit of fish, one of the best meals I ever had was a plate of squid in Spanish fish market café, only the other week we pulled fresh codling from the North sea and last night I had a brace of undyed kippers for me tea. But I wouldn’t have seafood at Glastonbury (not on the first day anyway). I’m sure the sellers are perfectly fine people it’s just not worth the risk of a dodgy cockle. Save the fruits of seas for another time, you are in cow field a few miles from Cheddar gorge that sounds like the right place for a well done cheese burger doesn’t it.
Generic burger vans: You shouldn’t but the smell of the onions drags you in. The bacon butties aren’t too bad. They also specialise in selling 3 damp chips in a pointy cone (sorry for the redundant adjective there) for £3.50. The price for burger has gone up to close to price of high street burger joints. If you can fight the smell of onion or the waft of donuts you’ll find loads of nicer things.
What to drink at the Glastonbury.
I’m not the sort of socialist who equates descent coffee or tea with capitalism. A decent mug in morning is the only way forward. There’s loads of coffee stalls all over the site.
I was reading about a Californian festival the other day and apparently in a similar way to football grounds you can’t drink in view of the bands! So let’s get this right several thousand people have stand listening to The Tedious Tepid Silly Peppers sober! What total nonsense partly when you think how smashed most rock starts are or have been for the crowd to a sober as Methodist funeral is madness
Thankfully this being England half the flooding at Glasto is from people spilt pints.
The bars are all over the sites and run by volunteers so be nice to bar staff.
Apart from the one near the acoustic stage they tend to be dominated by
Budbloodyweiser. Deep breath,.
Why Budweiser USA are scum.
Firtsly bud isn’t very nice it’s bland, anaemic rice wine not beer (yep they don’t push it that much but basically bud is a very runny fermented risotto).
From their inception they have stolen other peoples brand names and beer styles and then used their wealth and lawyers to see off any complaints (for the full skinny on scum bud why not get a copy “Three sheets to the wind” by Britain’s leading beer writer, if you bring your copy along to Glasto he may sign it for you (he’ll be the cheery type wearing a Spiritualise t shirt hanging on to an over excited Welsh women to the left of the sound desk at the other stage)
So what good beer do they sell? Usually a British bitter Wherry’s(?) which is alright but not great personally I often stick with Carlsberg, I quite like Danes.
Which brings us to the cider bus or don’t sip out of the green cup!
The West Country is famous for it’s scrumpy, which is responsible amongst other things for that bloke who shouts at the traffic as you drive through Glastonbury town Centre. Lacking the finesse of the finest French ciders scrumpy is characterful and strong, the stuff from the Cider bus and its Green cups is a singular pleasure in fact the beverage you should most weary of is their Perry (pear cider) it’s responsible for all the semi clad 6th formers rolling around in the mud wearing fairy wings. It’s a angel faced killer of drink lovely and palatable, sweet without the bitter aftertaste of your usual scrumpy (I’m sure the vendors would recommend savouring it) unfortunate it’s strong you’ve been in the sun it’s Saturday night, your in the zone and the next thing you know you arranging to form a salsa band with some scally you met on a straw bale. You have been warned.
As for other intoxicants all I would say is you’ll be waking up in tent, which even compared to a your average student flat isn’t the best place to recover from the effects of some cheap whiz so think on and let’s be safe out there
Sunday, 17 June 2007
The moment it rains …… “it’s like the Somme”
The best reposte to this, is a quote by (rock writers) Paul Du Noyer (or possibly Jon Savage ?)
“it’s a common quip to compare rock festivals to the Somme but here’s one difference the Somme probably involved more teenagers”
Update Monday 18th morning : as if by magic a cliche appears from today's Guardian
Coo eeh Travis cop a load of these!!
Either in the papers or on TV we are bound to see the obligatory shot of an attractive bikini clad girl dancing on her boyfriend’s shoulders.
Arcane Language pt 12.
We know that only in the papers do people have “12 hours sex romps” and so it is with Festivals, where a strangely old fashioned word gets rolled out…….the word is “revellers”.
As in “Rain doesn’t dampen the fun as revellers at Glastonbury Festival enjoy the laid back grooves of….”
If you want to have a good gig at Glasto here's some pointers.
Even if you are headlining the main stage on Saturday night, don’t be fooled that the audience are there to see you, they are not. Its simple all the tickets were sold before you name went on the bill.
- So whether you are the Killers or some second string indie outfit on the second stage, play your hits/best songs. If it’s going well you can maybe sneak something new mid set. Does this mean glasto punters are narrow minded? No, the opposite is true, if someone is any good people are looking for new stuff, it’s just the sheer range of bands means often half the audience have never heard a band so play your best/popular stuff.
- If you only have one hit play it twice.
- When you play your best songs don’t throw them away. For example in 2003-4 Electric 6 (Detroit funky punky semi comic band) where riding hi in the UK’s affections (no 5 in the Charts). They attracted a large crowd at the other stage waiting to hear their 2 Hits “Fire at the Disco” and “Gay Bar”. So what do they do, they play them quickly in speed reaggae style, result crowd pissed off and Electric 6 aren’t heard of ever again.
- If there’s been rain and it’s muddy, don’t expect to wear a Johnny Borrel (Razorlight) all white number without a barrage of mud coming your way.
- The odd cover can go down well.
- Only invite your show biz mates on stage to join you in singalong if they any good.
- On the pyramid stage if you climb down to meet the fans be prepared to look like a muppet as you struggle to climb all the way back up.
- Cheer up! shoegazing introspection is fine in some sticky floored Camden pub, this is a festival, the odd word of thanks, a joke, or acknowledgement to the crowd will go along way.
- Don’t slag Glastonbury off, acts such as the Fall, Bunnymen and Manics have lashed out at the Festival in the past and then had to come cap in hand begging to be allowed play a few years later.
If you are camping see my handy "what to take to Glastonbury downloadable checklist" at the top of the page.
Friday, 15 June 2007
It’s Glastonbury next week hurrah!
First things first Glastonbury is the biggest, oldest and best festival in the world. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or probably looking forward to an alternative event where Blondie are the headliners, I mean god love ‘em but I mean Blondie. I’ve been to lots of festivals both here and abroad and had some very good times but I’d swap a day in the rain in Somerset for a weekend with all the sixth formers and lightweights at Reading, V or T in the park etc.
Glastonbury Myth Buster Vol 1
The Rain and Mud.
Glastonbury has become associated with rain and mud. For years I thought this was just bad luck. However a little local knowledge and research shows compared to several other festivals Glastonbury is in a unique situation to have bad weather.
The clues are there to seen, to the west of the site around Glastonbury town starts the Somerset levels a large area of boggy wetland. This area of land only recently drained is below sea level and has been used by man for millennia. It’s where King Alfred the Great is meant to have hid and burnt his cakes during his fight with the Danes.
Part of the reason for the bog is there, is the higher than average rainfall around 1130 mm a year. Which higher than average for Somerset (not high as the impressive 2,000 mm average for the Lake District)
The warm prevailing west winds come across the sea and hits the hills that surround the levels. Pilton farm where the festival is held, is set in the valley of these hills. Compare Pilton with the sensible Cambridge folk festival which is in the drier East of England that only gets 506.mm a year on average.
So Glastonbury is at the end of wet valley in a wet bit of the world, so no surprise that it gets sodden for the festival. In fact Mr Eavis wouldn’t have it any other way, as for the rest of the time the rain grows nice grass for his cows.
In fact the festival organisers are being disingenuous when they say they are improving the drainage because as farmers they want the rain to stay in the soil and grow grass not speed off and get lost to the local rivers.
One last fag packet theory. I’m not sure but I think the tents may aid the flooding. If you imagine that several hundred acres of soil are covered up by tents when it rains the water runs off the nylon tents onto the ground but there is less soil for it to drain into so it runs off as flood water. This is added to by the fact that all the main stages etc are in the base of the valley straddling various streams, hence the mud and floods. To be honest the mud is annoying and tiring to wade through but it’s never ruined my times at Glasto. That being said let’s hope for 4 days of sunshine.
Glasto Tips for beginners.
1. Don’t roll around in the mud on Friday afternoon you muppets. Yes, you’ll get in the papers (especially if you are attractive young women). But you’ll never be clean again.Ever.
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Xipe Totec: This is the one that started all this off, he is a South American god no idea what the journals about, could be weird.
Coal Preparation: Seems excessive my Nan use to knock the spiders of a shovel load and use the big lumps to keep it all going when the fire had taken.
Classic Recorder Collector: Ah bless them sometimes it’s too easy to be nasty.
Australian Voice: Presumably all the articles have to end on a upward inquisitive note. Large letter page full of whinges about everything everywhere not being as good as everything in OZ!
Area: Comes in several volumes! Sister journals diameter…..
Aries: Typical they are so big headed that they have our own magazine,..
Synthetic Communications: Observer Women’s monthly magazine’s real title! (oh satire)
British Poultry Science: Full of articles about how to contaminate your own farm and claim loads of money for it and also new recipes for watery chicken breasts, “cheese” and bread crumb combinations.
Hemingway Review: Poor old Ernest, do you think he’d have carried on all those year ago, warming his hands on his coffee whilst struggling to simplify his paragraphs before heading back to his icy garret, if he’d have known 70 years later people would be picking apart his prose to see if he was impotent?
Grey Room: Might need to think about changing the title?
Granular Matter: Sister journal to “Dust Bunny review”, “Tumble drier fluff quarterly”.
Dermatology Research & Practice: Don’t read before you have your tea plus makes you all itchy.
Explosion Theory & Modelling: Lots of pieces explaining why Kate Moss et al are unknown one day and then on every magazine cover the next. Or has there been some Zoolander style incidents on catwalks lately
Combustion, Explosion, & Shock Waves: Some people get to turn school boy hobbies into a career, lucky devils. Do you think there’s section on them “Chinese bangers” you had to buy on exchange visits to France. Also the audio book version was failure as most readers are deaf.
Cold War History: Cool stories about the Baader Meinhoff gang and Fidel’s beard we hope.
Trabajos de Geologia: Aren’t foreign names cooler
Symptom: rather large subject area don’t you think
Seminars in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: oh please really.
Gothic Studies: Based in Manchester (appropriately enough) full of over written dodgy florid poetry from people who use too much kohl, drink cider and black and who what to be called Cressida Buckthorn but are really Kelly Cartwirght. The letter page is in purple ink.
Executive Speeches: Formerly the Journal of insomnia treatment (I thank you)
Emergency Librarian: “Dammit if we don’t get that Dewey decimal code soon the whole place will go up!”
Breast Journal: Sorry I’m a child.
Beaver: (Canada's National History Society) No really, I’m sorry, I really am a child. I looked up you know what and those as well and I think they are in the following, in a leg crossing, uncomfortable way.
Urologic Nursing & Current Medical Literature: Urology : no free cd with this is one methinks.
Nomadic Peoples: How do they get it delivered to the right place?
Studies in French Cinema: the winner of the magazine with most uses of “Dialectic” and “paradigm” per article 1960- to present
The beauty and poetry of lists no 34:
Skin Research & Technology
Sky & Telescope
Slavery & Abolition
Sleep & Biological Rhythms
Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism
AANA Journal American Association of Nurse Anesthetists:
How the Yanks get to the front of every list (except this one!)
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
After some inspiration from here. I humbly offer some suggestions take them up or don’t or suggest some of your own or don’t. It is the summer let’s enjoy it.
The new HEM ep: Do yourself a favour and get the new HEM songs. Try their first cd rabbit songs (yes I know it’s a crap title) it’s a good way in or their ep of covers I'm Talking with My Mouth (2002). You won’t regret it. Promise.
Old Sharpe: Have enjoyed UK History reshowing of Sharpe (from way back in 1993). Apart from being big dumb fun. A couple of things spring to mind, why do old programmes look old? Sometimes it must be old tapes etc making them look old but also fashions in lighting etc changing. Old Morse seem exist in pea soupers from the exessive use of smoke machines.
Another thing how many peak time ITV films would have long passages in subtitles these days. I’m sure (and maybe in later Sharpe’s they do this) now a days we would have some English thesp doing the full “allo, allo” rather than fine Spanish actress like Assumpta Serna.
The thing that saves Sharpe apart from having great characters (some who get shot in their first 5 minutes on screen) war is hell after all. No, the aspect that brings the whole thing a live is Sean “is tha owl or Blade” Bean because he takes it so seriously he carries it all, otherwise it would fall apart under the weight of the whole 10 extras running back forwards on some hill side in Portugal production values.
It’s good but would you join the S.A.S to express your love.
Youtube does answer the question on everyone’s lips who’d win in a fight between Sean Bean and Daniel Craig!
Now I am man I put aside childish things. I think along with olives, capers and of course anchovies, Campari separates the men for boys or broads from the babes. It’s a proper grown up drink, the perfect aperitif.
Campari and soda is the classic but I prefer it with either bitter lemon or grapefruit juice and lemonade plus big slices and big ices.
In Venice we had it with sparkling procesco and huge local olives. It’s a northern Italian thing, there’s a pleasingly large sign for it as you approach the Lido from Venice and it is the perfect thing to sip in your flannel suit as you watch lithe young things dance in the surf prior to having a brain haemorrhage (spoiler warning). WAITER!
Oh and the bottle’s looks cool too.
Bought a punnet of English strawbs this weekend added a splash of Campari (half a cap full) with castor sugar to let them macerate and mixed in some sponge, custard and cream to make an excellent trifle.
Found this site this week. What I like about it is that it’s just one page but it’s useful, if you want to know where the quote “badges, we don’t need no stinking badges” comes from or is quoted in popular culture, this is the page for you.
I made a mistake and fed them before they had set fruit (apparently everyone knows this) so they are a bit tall. I can see flowers so hopefully I may get fruit. My worry is my basil will go over before they have chance to meet on my plate. Boo!
Y tu mamá también by Alfonso Cuarón
I’m behind the curve on this, it came out 2001 but Film 4 had a gap between showing their usual 5 films and showed one, not in English. It’s a really cool sexy film with engaging characters and good pacing.
It helps that the lead actress Maribel Verdú is gorgeous and the two juveniles male lead are convincing too. The mock portentous voice over is a little over worked but the ending is very striking and moving.
More Spanish films please film 4 preferably not at time when I’m crying with tiredness. (NB. no one ever watches films they video or sky plus)
Monday, 11 June 2007
The idea that myths and legends don't get "re-invented" is nonsense, it's all they do.
Here's a test ask a young acquaintance (son, niece, family friend)to retell a popular story and they will immediately add or take a way bits. They will emphasise the bits they like and complain if you are telling it "wrong" in return. The same happened here it's not cultural imperialism "Robin Hood" is an international character now like Sherlock Holmes.
Also the press has rewarmed the chestnuts about Robin not coming form Nottinghamshire, well in fit of magnominity not often known in Yorkshire we'll let the midlanders have him. Let's face it what with their footy team doing badly , Rayleigh bikes not being made there anymore and even Paul Smith lives in London, Nottingham hasn't got much going for it. So seeing as god's own county is full of interest and culture, Robin can stay in his fictional home land. I sure he'll sleep safely in Kirklees abbey until he's needed again.
the two sides of Robin Hood
Sunday, 10 June 2007
It's a shame but it comes to all movements in the end, Goth took so long because it was never style mag cool, was a bit suburban, probably a bit too white and strangely geeky
At 6th form the coolest kids where Goths (to my mind), the girls where sexy in haughty corsety way, the guys tall aloof and coolly cynical. I was never goth material I was always too tanned, joked too much, enjoyed my dinners and couldn't pout for long enough.
My only goth claim to fame was that I was at party once which Andrew Eldridge from the Sisters of Mercy was meant to be at. I fear it was more likely the drummer from the Mission or worse still all of Ballaam and the Angel.
Friday, 8 June 2007
Over heard in the street:
one middle aged suit to another " It's true, Hasbro, fisher Price the lot of 'em, can't be trusted, it's all bloody toy town I tell ya."
Also all this stuff about Damien Hurst cheesy jewel encrusted skull:
One thing that occured to me is it real? They say it's worth millions but we only have Damien's word for it, it could be a scam. Does it matter that it's not? If it's an aluminium cast with so zirconiums off the shopping channel does it change it's meaning? The security guards at the gallery could be just part of the performance. Just a thought.
Speaking of great things in little packages, over the weekend as well putting the world to rights, cooking fish etc discussion turned to the subject of sweet meats. As always with 3 men there was a difference of opinion to wit, which are better Wine gums or Midget gems?
The discussion went back and forth. My take on the subject (the correct one) is that Midget Gems are the Beatles to Wine Gums Rolling Stones. Gem's are elegant and perfectly formed, they give up what they promise, wine gums on the other hands are just like the Stones they aren’t what they seem, no port in wine gums the same way that Mick Jagger comes from Kent not Kentucky. Case in point wine gums sourz the last refuge of the knave.
Oh and one thing the little black ones have to be licorice not black currant flavour it’s the law. If you, like every other right thinking person thinks this way ,sign this petition to lion brand, to keep the dark ones Spanish flavoured.
Nice pictures of gems
A silly boy eating too many
Odes to the mighty mini sweets
Bring science alive with these little smashers
And lastly the question on everyones lips "can tall people eat midget gems? "