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Archive for the 'travel' Category

I don’t know how the Rolling Stones do it

Posted: August 9th, 2004, by Chris S

Well, they don’t actually. Ron Woods in rehab and the reason he gave was “tour withdrawal”. The very nature of playing gigs means you’re hyped up and you’re excited. Monday is the fucking shittest if you spent the weekend playing music. This weekend we went and played in London and Brighton with Lords. And every previous weekend in recent memory we’ve played. This band was started for fun and we decided we would only play gigs a) in seaside locations, b) in places we hadn’t been to before and c) with bands we love.

Last weekend we played the majestic Munkyfest somewhere on the border of North Wales. It was massively Led Zeppelin. People dancing in fields, hills, mountains, sunshine, playing in a huge pig shed. It was hard to force the rock from us at 6pm but mincing around Helsby village in cowboy hats avoiding the rock hard locals was a laugh. Phil decided to go the whole hog and camp to maximise his festival experience too.

So anyway we played the 50th Silver Rocket at the Garage on Friday. Felt a little like people should have held up scorecards after every song and MAN what IS it with the comparisons to Shellac? Yeah, OK if you own 2 records and one is Shellac and the other is Simon & Garfunkel then Lords sound like Shellac but people – buy a fucking ZZ Top album sometime. The Garage was extra extra sweaty and minging. Joeyfat ruled as headliner. The SR people have a 2xCD set out to commemorate 50 gigs. It has great stuff from Part Chimp and Joeyfat that makes it a worthwhile purchase alone. It has a slinky Lords track, a very very lo-fi Wolves Of Greece track and a Reynolds live track from 2002 with a hideous bass drum sound made better by the sound of David Crofts yelling throughout it. Ian Scanlon is all over it like a rash as well with an Econoline gay emo live song, a crushing version of Silver Rocket by Hey Colossus and a demo of Ian in his bedroom singing about girls from his days as Drop Bear. Be warned there is also some of the most aggravating bullshit math rock on the CD known to man – REJECT THE MATH!

Anyway, we bombed to Brighton on Saturday and got to Shoreham On Sea nice and early for a swim in the sea. Well, Phil did. I got in to my knees and pussied out. We had fish and chips on the beach. We went and saw Hey Colossus who murdered my ears.

Our gig was super weird. A lady kept slapping my ass as hard as she could everytime I stepped out towards the crowd. I thought I got the weird end of the deal until a young lady who may have been Peaches stepped forward and kissed Phil. Bizarre.

So then it’s back to work today. Stinks.

Couple of good things which happened/are happening lately

Posted: July 21st, 2004, by Simon Minter
  • Gig in Glasgow, at Stereo, last weekend. Good place (including a record shop where I got served by Stephen Pastel – doesn’t get much more exciting than that), good company (stayed at diskant towers, Marceline’s bohemian flat slap bang in the centre of Glasgow), good bands to play with (Uter and Hex), good good good. Celebrating the launch of our new record.
  • Gig at Truck Festival, on the edge of Oxford, this weekend. Playing in an actual barn. With hay around the place.

Couple of capsule reviews to tide you over until my next column:

  • Stuffy/The Fuses 7″ on May Go 0 Records: Nicely heavy, yet nicely melodic. Very pop-savvy, one of those bands who sound like they’re enjoying life. A great live band. ‘Early Blur crossed with late Ash.’
  • Chuck No, Not Ah! 7″ on Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation: Mexican-bandit style heavy surf garage punk with added chanting. Blue vinyl. Pleasingly deranged and pleasingly not of these times. ‘Early Shadows crossed with Man Or Astroman.’
  • Trencher When Dracula Thinks “Look At Me” CD on Victory Garden/Jonson Family/SuperFi/A Tree In A Field/Action Index/La Vida No Es Un Mus: Heavy. Fucking. Mayhemic. Noise. 14 tracks of complex, fast, guitar skroink in around 18 minutes. ‘Early Locust crossed with Melt-Banana.’

Hi all. I am in Australia

Posted: December 18th, 2003, by Chris S

Its HOT as a bastard. And a mosquito bit my index finger yesterday and it’s swollen up so I can’t play guitar even.

Which brings me on nicely to a venture I have in mind for late January when i get back to good old cold Blighty. THE NICE GUITAR SHOP. A revolution in buying guitars. A shop THAT TREATS YOU WITH RESPECT and (get this) doesnt rip you off by ONLY SELLING GOOD STUFF. wow. You’d think someone would have though of it before. Small business advisors watch out, I’m after a loan.

This is how it works. I work from home and I buy and sell stuff. Its all online, with nice big photos so you can peruse. If you want to have a look come and have a cup of tea and spend as long as you like.

If you want a particular guitar or bass let me know and I’ll try and find it in your price range. You just pay me a little for finding it. And by find it I don’t mean “check EBay”, I mean get you what you want.

And if you have something that you don’t use, email me – hunniisfunni@aol.com – and either sell it to me, trade it with me or I can flog it for you for commission (a lot less than normal guitar shops charge).

At the moment I have a white Travis Bean Standard guitar that I should hopefully be selling on someone’s behalf. Its a museum piece. Its that good. So email me, this one’s not cheap, but it is good. Sorry for the pointless ad.

I have 2 columns on the go – one a review of the Michael Moore book “Dude, Where’s My Country?”, the other an article called “The Soledad Brothers are not a Band”.


Posted: November 4th, 2003, by Chris S

After about 1000 attempts I finally got Blogger to accept me. The bad news is the “interesting” segment of my life comes to an end on Friday when I leave Australia so I won’t actually have anything interesting to say after that.

But yesterday I swam in the ocean. It ruled. I haven’t done it since I was about 5. After about 5 minutes my arms were killing me but it was cool. Actually it was fucking FREEZING. Even Australia is cold in the shade at 5pm in the sea.

Then to top it off I saw a Ferrari Testarossa. Parked right next to to the beach where I was swimming. Australia has re-tweaked my interest in cars big time and I felt 12 again. Then I noticed my penis was hanging out of my boxer shorts (I don’t own swimming shorts).

I’m going to write more about Australia for the diskant column but yeah, its been weird but fun.

But I missed some great things back home. Firstly my fellow Wolf Of Greece Simons wedding. What a killer, I hate myself for missing that one.

Talking of wolves, the rest of them went to ABBEY FUCKING ROAD to master our recordings we did a year ago to release on a 10″ (one sided) before the year is out. They even met Paul McCartneys band. But the record: honestly, this time they’re coming out. The man responsible hasn’t updated his site with the info so I don’t know if he’s planning a surprise so I won’t say who’s doing it. But it’s cool. For me especially, it feels good.

And shameless plug coming up:

I am playing in a new band called LORDS (no “The”!). Its me and Phil from Wolves and Elvis from Twinkie. Its two guitars and drums and Phil sings, rather well too. We have some gigs when I get back to Blighty:



15 LONDON BRIXTON SECRET VENUE (with Cat On Form, hey Colossus)


21 LEEDS PACKHORSE (with Macrocosmica and Bilge Pump)


new website too:


Sorry for the plug but I’m excited.

Elvis has been sending me bootlegs of all the gigs I missed at home. How good are the UNIT AMA? I haven’t been so excited about a band for a long while. Wow…

anyway, more lengthy rambles coming I am sure


weird american things

Posted: October 14th, 2003, by Ollie

ok then, taking a cue from chris h, here is my ‘weird american things’ list.

– middle aged women like my accent.

– people drive like insane crazy loons. i have seen more accidents in the last three and a half months than i had in the previous 22 years. i’m not looking forward to learning to drive.

– a lot of people seem to think i’m from london, possibly because it’s the only english place they know.

– a lot of people regard me as simply being ‘from europe’ like there is america and then the rest of the world.

– meat is very popular on sticks.

– american curry isn’t as bad as you’d think.

– americans take charity shopping to bold new levels.

– the omnipresence of advertising is incredible. some days i feel i can’t open my eyes without being told to buy something.

– americans say “i could care less” instead of “i couldn’t care less” which makes absolutely no sense at all.

– the boss was correct when he sung ’57 channels and nothing on’.

– there are big scary killer insects and animals everywhere. locusts, raccoons, possums, groundhogs, and every other big silly weird thing you could imagine. including the guy pictured below who was without a doubt a big scary evil bastard killer.

[picture lost forever, oh no! – ed]

that’s it for now, there is probably more that i may post at a later date. chris h’s new article made me a little homesick. i kind of miss cycling everywhere, something i never thought i’d say. chris s’s beefheart stuff was pretty great too wasn’t it. to keep someone like me who knows nothing interested all through that stuff is no mean feat.

lastly, i am a jobless pauper who can’t afford to buy any records. if anyone would like to send me tapes or cd-rs or anything at all really, please get in touch.

Things I learned in America

Posted: September 28th, 2003, by Chris H

– New York is more interesting at night
– the Subway’s not that scary, Harlem’s not that scary and Brooklyn’s not that scary
– everyone downtown looks like a model and/or is trying too hard
– midtown is boring, downtown is fun but expensive
– on my first night I missed more good gigs than I would see here in a month
– barstaff who get tipped are more helpful and chatty and give you free drinks
– people like Scottish accents and they say “I’m scottish too”
– nobody goes to Central Park to relax, they go to Do Things, like run in a very determined manner
– Johnny Cash’s death got as much attention as some sitcom “star” I hadn’t heard of
– there wasn’t a shortage of people to tell me how much they disliked George Bush
– Boston has more bikes than the whole of Scotland (maybe)
– the Lucy Parsons Center on Columbus Avenue is my favourite bookshop
– even I am better than the average American at football
– any kind of weird music you like, you can easily find a bunch of people who are into it here
– taxi drivers really do keep talking at you after the journey’s over. I met a revolutionary socialist from Romania
– trucker caps are out
– it’s hard to find shops that are interesting and not just big
– you can read the most beautiful poem ever but in a competion you’ll always get beat by the girl talking about giving head
– CBGBs is like punk was never happening; Bowery Ballroom is a top venue
– USA doesn’t get youth hostels

I take back everything nasty I’ve ever said about the place.

Haaaughghughhh! I have gone insane!

Posted: August 13th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

Haaaughghughhh! I have gone insane! We just drove from Sarlat in the south of France all the way to Glasgow in an epic, sleepless 24 hour madness insanity thing. I have had precisely four hours sleep since I got home and am now wandering around slowly going mad. The first thing I saw when I left the house was wee Stuart Mogwai riding a bike and I was so confused I thought I was hallucinating and couldn’t say anything. Then I spent half an hour gazing forlornly at the plasters section of Boots with no idea of which ones to buy. I’m not intending on ever doing such a ridiculous journey ever again but if I do I’m not going to consume only Ribena, wine gums and RAC 124, a crazy Red Bull style drink (Peach flavoured!) made by the RAC and packaged in the greatest can design ever (orange, silver, road signs). I’d believe I hallucinated this too if I hadn’t had the foresight to buy an extra can to take home. “Not to be used as a substitute for sleep”!

France was good though, if unbearably hot. I didn’t really do anything at all actually. But that’s good! and relaxing!

I have to go to work tomorrow – helllp meee.

Big cheers to Camera Obscura too for the free ride to France and back, particularly John and Kenny for taking part in our epic journeys across Europe in a small car during a 50+ degree heatwave with no aircon. Buy their records or something.

woo, first blog in ages

Posted: August 2nd, 2003, by Ollie

woo, first blog in ages, and everything is different and new and somewhat intimidating. diskant is looking good though! for those who don’t know/give a shit, i moved a long way away recently, and my life has been filled with many new and wonderful things. i am very slowly coming to terms with being in a country where people really are proud of where they’re from. of course this didn’t come as a total surprise, but having lived in the vast swamp of apathy that is england for so long, it’s taken some getting used to. people still look at me weird when i speak, which i doubt will ever change. i’m going to start lying to people when they ask where i’m from, and tell them i’m norwegian or something, keep things a bit more interesting. still, these small gripes aren’t a big deal really, and i’m having a lot of fun. the fact that there are always places to go and things to do makes me very happy indeed. at home, going out and doing anything required hours of planning and a bunch of money, but now i find myself unable to pick from the array of options that greet me when i wake. i also now understand how kim must have felt when she moved from the us to the uk last year. i wouldn’t call it homesickness, cos theres not a lot i miss, but i do get this eerie feeling like i’m an imposter or something now and again, and i shouldn’t really be here. i guess it may take a long time to really feel settled and totally relaxed, but i think i’m doing ok so far.

anyway, enough of that crap. dave mentioning sleep spurred me to blog, because i too have been indulging of late. a couple of weeks back i got sleep’s holy mountain, which is steeped in ancient mystical worldplay and huge sabbath riffery. like most things, i missed the boat on these guys, cos they were around a while back, but i guess some of them are still around in other bands (mental note: get some high on fire). i also ordered dopesmoker, which i’m hoping is as good as dave says.

i was very pleased with the first two parts of the gringo records singles club. lavishly packaged 7″ singles featuring hirameka/electro group and erase errata/red monkey. after originally subscribing to this roughly 6 years ago, i was very happy when it finally got sorted out.

and dave, good luck with robbie. i saw oasis at knebworth in 1996. i fucking rock. i’m off to finish making tapes for a very nice tape ring i joined, which reminds me; geeks wanted.

Well well

Posted: May 12th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

I go off to the south of France for my well earned holidays and when I return diskant is broke, my email is broke and no-one has posted on the weblog. No surprises there then. If you haven’t heard, we’re in the middle of a big re-organisation at diskant with me wielding the big scissors. So it’s goodbye to the events, the go see sites, the forums, the guestbook and so many other little things. End of an era really. Ah well, think of all the free time I’ll have.

So, France was fun. My parents spent the time forcefeeding us yoghurt, bread and wine and taking us on wild goose chase drives across the Dordogne in search of aquariums. Sadly all fish seem to hibernate in France and they were all closed. Nonetheless we saw some big crocodiles and scary snakes in REPTILAND, some eagles and scary vultures at Rocamadour and all manner of wonderful scenery. Hurray.

hello people

Posted: February 7th, 2003, by Ollie

i am currently attempting to live on my own for the first time in my life, which is very strange and not entirely pleasant. my wife kim went home to indianapolis yesterday to start work, and i will go there once my visa application is processed and all that stuff. i’m very excited at the prospect of us living comfortably for the first time, going to see some exciting bands and getting away from all the ridiculous english crap that pisses me off on a daily basis. unfortunately in order to obtain this, we now have to spend months living apart. since kim moved here ten short months ago, i had become a shadow of my former self, a walking cliche, completely co-dependent and unequipped to deal with life on my own again. now the reality of spending evenings alone, going to work alone, doing everything alone is sinking in, and it’s scary. i know no one cares, and i hate to sound so lame, but i felt the need to say something about it.

in an attempt to combat loneliness i’m throwing myself into full-on selling / trading / whatever mode. if you haven’t already seen it, look at my stuff here and tell me if you want anything. equally, if you’d like to swap some tapes of random stuff, i’m always up for that. i’m also selling some stuff here so buy it! yeah…

on a lighter note, i like that show marion and geoff a lot. anyone seen it? bewildering cringe-comedy at it’s finest. also been watching some amazing films recently (well, one amazing film) but i should save that for the column.

if anyone wants to come round for a cup of tea and some cake, or send me some nice things, i’d be very happy.