Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bad equals good...

Playlist
The Bad Plus - Prog
Happy Apple - Youth Oriented
Jonatha Brooke - 10 Cent Wings

Tonight, my most keenly anticipated outing of the Festival Season - The Bad Plus...



Anne was along this evening and we met up with photographer Stu Cobley of Creek in the outdoors bar beforehand for a drink and a chat...

We decided we need to do some more Creeking and Stu is going to take charge of organising the calling back together of the group's members...

As we made our way into the hall, we met none other than Dr Prog on his way in with his friends...

The gig was sublime...

As ever, there were the occasional distractions from other audience members (why can't my favourite bands just come and play in my living room?) but, all in all, I was able to concentrate for the full 90 minutes...

They played almost everything from their great new album, "Prog" including my favourite three tracks, "Giant", "Physical Cities" (their encore) and an exhilirating take on David Bowie's "Life on Mars?", and added a few brand new numbers...

Suffice to say I was more than happy on leaving the concert with Anne and Stu - even though we failed to relocate Dr Prog in the aftermath...

Stu took a bus home while Anne and I had a meal at Gordon's Trattoria before making our way home utilising this same mode of transport...

Your correspondent was the proverbial happy bunny...

Highlight of the Day : The Bad Plus of course...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Talent is an asset....

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Souvenir XV
Josquin Duprez – Missa La Sol Fa Re Mi
Return to Forever – No Mystery

The first four of the expected CDs arrived today but I had no time to give them a proper listen – a quick spin of Josquin Duprez impressed while Return to Forever accompanied me in the car as I ventured forth for my third night at the Jazz Festival, this time making sure I was there early having not procured a seat for the Kalerdahl gig on Saturday...

And so there I was in the front row with my ubiquitous bottle of Budweiser Budwar...

The Alyn Cosker Trio comprised three young men of precocious talent, lead by a brilliant drummer (Cosker), with the both equally brilliant Ross Hamilton on six string electric bass and David Dunsmuir on electric guitar...



With all that brilliance on display, the music all in all, while excellent in places, left me a little cold - there was just something a little bland in the content....

There was no denying the virtuosity on display but somehow it just didn’t feel like a band...

On researching the members I found Mr Hamilton leads his own funky pop rock band, Rosco, where he sings and plays guitar, while Mr Dunsmuir is in various Glasgow bands, sometimes playing bass sometimes guitar...

Alyn Cosker has a string of recordings under his belt and is undoubtedly an in demand drummer – and deservedly so on the basis of tonight’s performance..

The felony of the pick up band was compounded by the introduction near the end of a female vocalist for one song – as you know, there is no place for vocals in jazz...

So, all in all, just an ok night despite the speedy fretwork and manic but meticulous drumming...

The Bad Plus tomorrow...

Highlight of the Day : More jazz...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lucky pink shirt...

Playlist
Alice Cooper – Singles 1980 – 2001 (CD-R)
Fabian Kallerdahl Galore – Maxi Music (S-CD)
MusicMusicMusic - Macbeth

Slept in till 8:15 then up and burning a few copies of the Souvenir disc to take along to today’s gigs…

We discovered the phones at Crispycat Towers are on the blink so we’d need to get replacements at some point today…

After breakfast we set off for Aberdour just after 11, arriving with around 20 minutes to spare before my set…

By all accounts the sound was good but, to be honest, no one was really paying that much attention to the music, treating it as background noise as they went round the various stalls or queued for their Buffalo Burgers…

I still enjoyed it though and the set went without a glitch (although I had to pause a couple of times for announcements regarding badly parked cars, lost children etc -the usual stuff…)



We headed back to Edinburgh just after 1, to see about getting some new phones - an hour later, mission accomplished…

Then some quasi-DIY as I replaced a bulb in the light outside the front door…

A quick run through the songs in tonight’s set which I hadn’t already sung today and I decided to do all the new songs at the start, with all the better known ones (in fact this morning’s set bar two songs) at the end…

Then round to Anne’s mum’s for the family tea - the first for a while where everyone was in attendance and a good time was had by all - including young Ollie who insisted on quizzing me as to whether there had been any episodes of Dr Who which I hadn’t enjoyed and, if so, which ones…

I couldn’t think of any…

I left around 7:30 and headed for the Listening Room gig, feeling a bit nervous about “me and an acoustic guitar”. I’d invited James Jamieson to accompany me on a few tunes but had received no word back…

The evening kicked off at 8 with my old chum Ian Sclater doing a couple of songs including one from the album we recorded together in 2005…

Jamie did turn up after all and was encouraged to do two songs, “Welcome to the World” and the excellent “The Morning After”…

I finally took to the floor around 9:30 and must say this has to have been one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve ever played. I was relaxed from the off and even managed some almost witty inter-song banter. The audience was very supportive and to have them singing along to the likes of “A Nice Job in a Small Town” was amazing...

Although Jamie didn’t play guitar with me, his harmonies were a welcome feature in many of the songs...

I was even forced to get my guitar back out of its bag and play a couple of encores...

An unrehearsed “Skylines Full of Cranes”, with Jamie shouting out the chords and compere Scott Renton singing the words in case I forgot them (which I of course did), was followed by a request from Scott, “Very Small”, which I’d sung earlier today in Aberdour...

A great night...

Home around midnight – all over till the next time...

Tomorrow – back to the jazz fest...

Highlight of the Day : A great gig with a great audience...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

Playlist
Chris Lyons – The Ill Tempered Klavier
Esbjorn Svensson Trio – Strange Place For Snow
Various – Now That’s What I Call Music June 2005 CD-R
Alvin Curran – Inner Cities (Disc 1)
Alice Cooper – 40 Years (Disc 2) CD-R
Dylan Howe Quintet – Translation
MusicMusicMusic – Macbeth
Fabian Kallerdahl Galore – Maxi Music
The Bad Plus – Suspicious Activity
Halloween, Alaska – Too Tall to Hide

Up at 6 with a busy day ahead...

But before that, here's a pic of Meg the Black Cat - for no other reason than she is cute...



Prepared the package for Jorg and Yvonne (turned out the post is on strike though so I didn’t post it today)...

Also burned a wee MP3 CD of some recent classical purchases and a few interesting albums to pass on to Dr Prog along with his promised Telemann box set. I was due to meet him uptown at 11:30...

After breakfast and running late (as ever), I first had to take some old rubbish to the municipal dump...

Then parked the car and walked into the town centre, where I happened upon Dr Prog parking the prog-mobile outside the National Museum of Scotland - (how very apt, Dr Prog)...

We headed to the music library and each took out far too many discs for listening pleasure over the next three weeks (even though we have far too much music in our homes already)....

My haul?

Jordi Savall - Les Grandes Eaux Musicales de Versailles
The Divine Comedy – Fin du Siecle
Alvin Curran – Inner Cities (4CD)
Mile Davis – The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 (6CD)
Esbjorn Svensson Trio – Tuesday Wonderworld
Jordi Savall – Rosenmuller : Sonata da Camera e Sinfonie
David Bowie – Sound & Vision (4CD)

Tasty...

With the demise of Fopp, our further browsing opportunities were limited and we decided we had enough to be going on with (especially with the 12 discs I’m now expecting, postal strike permitting, from e-bay)...

We lunched and chatted about music as we do – with Dr Prog regaling me with tales of his recent excursions to Berlin and Manchester to see the Genesis tour...

Then it was home time for me while Dr Prog went off to see Chris Lyons at the Jazz Bar – a gig I was disappointed to forego but I had a prior appointment with Barcelona...

Anne and I drove round to her mum’s and we walked along to Murrayfield for the 58,000 attendee attracting friendly between Hearts and the mighty Catalans – the latter using this as a practise match – easily soaking up all the bluster Hearts could muster...



At 1-1 Hearts were doing not too badly, and Barca’s only goal thus far had been a (deserved) penalty. But two further goals, the build up to which cut through the Hearts defence like a hot knife through butter, did for the Jambos...

Our nephew, Craig, was in the press box , penning the official match report for the Hearts website...

On the way home we went for an Indian Takeaway to a place we’ve often driven past but never sampled, the Bombay Feast. Their kitchen is in the front shop and I watched as the expert chefs prepared all the orders....



Very tasty indeed and will be subject to our future custom I think...

After the meal, I had a swift run through the 30 minute set for Aberdour tomorrow (I’ve not got time to go through the Listening Room set again so it’s a one rehearsal job for that one)...

Then out to the Jazz Festival – tonight Fabian Kallerdahl Galore, a quartet of piano, guitar, stand up acoustic bass and drums...



OK they had a hard task living up to Chris Lyon’s performance last night but they just about pulled it off – they were really “cookin’, man” during several of their extended numbers...

Once again, I bought a CD even though it was by a different band (MusicMusicMusic) featuring MrKallerdahl...

I bumped into my old friend Roger Spence of Assembly Direct, Jazz Fest supremo and erstwhile five-a-side buddy – he managed to bag me a free CD single of the Galore band and regretted he’d be unable to come along to my impending performances due to his obvious prior commitments to the Jazz Fest but I’ll send him a CD – great to see him again – I miss the footie....

Once again ended the day driving home to the strains fo some new jazz in the car...

A busy, enjoyable day....

Highlight of the Day : Two goals from Ronaldinho...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Discovery...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Souvenir XV 29 07 07
John Coltrane – Soultrane
Chris Lyons – The Ill Tempered Klavier

Tonight was the first night of an almost five week extravaganza as I began my concerted effort to sample all the artistic fayre on offer in my adopted hometown during the various Festivals now commencing...

Before that though, I needed to rehearse my acoustic set for Sunday night and the chosen set clocked in at just the right time. I’ll be playing 15 songs in all (a list has been provided to James Jamieson though there’ll be no time to rehearse but he knows quite a few of them already)...

Looking back through my records I found that I played 15 songs on each of my previous headliners at The Listening Room in 2003 and 2004....

At 10 I headed into town to The Lot for tonight’s concert on the opening day of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2007....

The Chris Lyons Trio – absolutely brilliant – so good, I shelled out a tenner for their CD at half time...

The music was similar to some of the more out-there moments of The Bad Plus – Lyons is classically trained (and still only 20!! – and annoyingly handsome) - not really "jazz" per se - more interesting than jazz - with constant time-signature changes and dazzling technique - it was (and I don't want to put you off with this comparison but here goes) what Emerson, Lake and Palmer could've been had they not been swayed by crass commercialism and had they stuck to their roots (and Greg Lake hadn't been singing)...



Young Mr Lyons was accompanied by Kevin Glasgow and Slavek Justynski, stunning performers on bass and drums respectively...

So good I just wanted to give up and become a non-musicking person...

Back home around 1 am with their CD on the headphones as I retired a happy old man...

Highlight of the Day : Brilliant new music discovered...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sadness and joy...

Playlist
Dittersdorf – Symphonies
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Souvenir XV – 29 07 07

A sad morning spent at the funeral of Meg the Black cat’s ex mum Julia’s dad…

As is usually the case with funerals though, the sadness was to some extent tempered by the celebration of a life well spent – with a fine tribute from the family and a particularly moving poem read by Julia’s sister Margaret…

Some joy (tempered by trepidation) later in the day as an invite came through to be the featured act this Sunday at The Listening Room…

So that’ll be two gigs in one day, the first a “full band” affair at Aberdour (with backing tracks as a crutch) the second an acoustic set in the evening (with no crutch*)…

And so the rest of the day was spent practising various songs, compiling the Souvenir XV CD for sale on Sunday...



... and, erm, surfing e-bay for more CD “bargains”…

Of course there was the now familiar Thursday night 90 minute comedy session of “Hyperdrive”, “Still Game” and “My Name is Earl”…

*My old musicking cohort James Jamieson called this evening while on his way to OOTB – he may pop up in a supporting role for a goodly number of songs on Sunday night…

Highlight of the Day : Another gig offer

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Short and sweet...

Playlist
Boyce - 8 Symphonies
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay
Huelgas Ensemble - Lamentations de la Renaissance
Various Composers - The Art of the Oboe
Marin Marais - Grand Ballet

Bought some shirts (3) and a new pair of trousers...

Rehearsed my set...

Surfed e-bay for CDs...

Watched the first two episodes of "Heroes" - looking good...



Surfed e-bay for more CDs...

Now bidding on 15, of which I'm winning 12....

Waiting on 7 to pop through the door...

I am an idiot...

Highlight of the Day : Probably "Heroes" - though it's not as good as Mr Bowie's song...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Contact...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Various Possible Setlists
Handel – Music For the Royal Fireworks
Albinoni/Corelli/Locatelli/Stradella*/Vivaldi – Various Concertos

I think I have my setlist now – I’ve abandoned the idea of all new material as I could never learn all the songs in time but there are a few different numbers in there from the last time I played...

In the evening, to Homebase where we purchased a little cupboard thingy for the bathroom...

Back home, a quick rehearsal was followed by “CSI : Miami” – David Caruso is dreadful...

Then, some lovely baroque music accompanied the sound of a man drilling through his fingers and thumbs as I constructed “the cupboard”...

It’s kind of like some of the things in this pic, though it’s not actually there...



A couple of recent comments alerted me to the fact that my old school chum and erstwhile musical cohort, “Dood” Hamilton (the man who taught me how to write songs) is popping by the blog occasionally. We’re hoping to get together at some point during the Jazz festival...

Creek buddy Stu Cobley has also intimated his love for The Bad Plus and hopes to meet up with Anne and I at that particular gig...

Looking forward to it...

Also, I am watching e-bay – in a bit of a misguided frenzy last night I put bids in for 13 different CDs in auctions due to close at various times over the next few days...

I am an idiot...

I have enough CDs...

*Alessandro Stradella was a baroque composer who had a dangerous taste for seducing the mistresses of rich, powerful, bad-tempered men. News of a forthcoming assassination attempt, financed by just such a man, convinced the composer to flee from Rome. In 1682, having returned to his old habits, he was murdered in Venice.

Highlight of the Day : Old friends keeping in touch...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Undecided now....

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Various Possible Setlists
Various – Music from “Destination Out”
Various – Music from “Pitchfork”

No telly tonight other than the excellent “University Challenge” – how on earth do these kids know all that stuff? What possible use can it be to know it, other than if you happen to be on “University Challenge”?

As usual, Anne and I came third...

The rest of my time today was spent trying to decide on a setlist for Sunday...



I now have eight different setlist backing track CDs and still don’t feel I have it quite right...

I’m learning the songs though if nothing else, and should be able to play once again without my music and lyrics in front of me...

Highlight of the Day : Practising...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oooh, new shoes...

Playlist
Various – CBQ DJ Mix No 5
Various – Music from "Destination Out"
Various – Music from "Pitchfork"

Up around 7 and designing the covers for Jorg & Yvonne’s Yes and Pet Shop Boys CDs respectively – I’ll be sending them to Germany this week...
Out to Patisserie Florentine with Anne for breakfast around 10...
On the way back, some shopping, ostensibly for some new furniture for the bathroom (nothing satisfactory found), then to M&S for some food and, finally, some browsing which ended in the purchase of "several" pairs of shoes (two for me, one for Anne) and a bag (for Anne)...
Back home, old shoes were either tossed or put into the charity bag...
Golf and lunch then a wee trip round to Anne’s mum’s for coffee, followed by a visit to Anne’s best chum Lynn and her partner Ross’s place. Ross was in the garden laying slabs...
I commented on how much more useful he is around the place than me with my hours on end sitting at the PC and working on music very few will ever hear...
Lynn countered with a well-chosen "ah but when you’re rich and famous" which was in turn countered by "it’s a bit too late for that now"...
Home and rehearsing – I made the mistake of filming it – I need to work on the stupid faces I make when I’m singing (by work on, I mean cut them out)...
More golf with our evening meal, then more rehearsing...
Faces removed as best I could...
Finished the day with an entertaining South Bank Show on soprano, Emma Kirkby...
Highlight of the Day : New shoes

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Millimetres....

Playlist
Fehlfarben – Handbuch fuer die Welt
Various – The Wire Tapper 17
Ordonez – Symphonies
Various – Ibiza Euphoria

Up at 6:10 and spent a couple of hours working what to see at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival...

All in all, the various Edinburgh Festivals are spread out over around six weeks starting from next weekend and I’m going to try and see as much as possible, be it jazz, classical, opera, comedy or film – and the diary’s starting to fill up nicely...

People are asking if I’m doing anything at the Festival this year following performances in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 but I’ve not had any suitable offers this year and, in any case, I’ve only got a few spaces to fill now over the next six weeks so it’ll be a nice coincidence if I’m offered a particular date...

Which leaves the Aberdour date next Sunday...

I woke Anne at 7:45 and we were breakfasted and out less than an hour later as she was off to the optician while I had my regular podiatry appointment – my “carer”, Helen is expecting a baby in the autumn and so this was my last date with her...

I didn’t go uptown but returned home to book tickets for our 13 chosen films – three were already sold out but 10 films in 11 days is probably enough for anyone (unless you’re a film critic)...

Then I set about preparing for next week...

I’m currently rehearsing 16 of the 20 songs from the forthcoming album and will finalise the setlist shortly – I experimented today with three or four different mixtures...

Also watched some golf today - with my headphones on to block the commentary of course, listening to weird music (The Wire Tapper 17, my 51st “free” CD from this magazine) followed by some uplifting 18th Century classical stuff...

There really ought to be a way of blocking out the wittering nonsense that the commentators talk on sports programmes – I mean, the crowds who are actually at the event don’t need anyone talking into their ears incessantly, so TV viewers ought to be given that choice too...

And of course all the so-called experts were going mental for Tiger Woods before the Open even started and I said to Anne on Thursday he wouldn’t win it...

Looks like I’ll be right...

In the evening, following our first Indian takeaway for several weeks, a police frenzy as we watched the last two episodes of the season of “CSI : New York” followed by a taped and a “live” “Law & Order”...

As Anne dragged herself off to the Land of Nod, I stayed up till 1am watching the excellent “Insomnia” starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams...



Highlight of the Day : Filling up the diary

Friday, July 20, 2007

38 years on...

Playlist
Telemann – Concerto for Trumpets, Oboe and Timpani
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Aberdour Setlist
Annie Lennox - Medusa
Mozart - 100 Best

Up early and a nice breakfast with Anne – she was off on the hovercraft to Fife today with her friend Lynn and Lynn’s family – partner Ross and the kids Scott and Stewart...



The craft is on trial for two weeks with a view to possibly becoming a permanent crossing between the Lothians and Fife...

It sounds like fun...

The second of my two recently-purchased-on-e-bay Annie Lennox CDs arrived. A cringe-worthy cover of “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is included, however, this is easily offset by “No More “I Love You’s””, and her cover of Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” is top notch too...

In the evening, we visited my mum as the work on her bathroom I arranged was completed today – it looks excellent – a huge improvement and mum’s very pleased with the outcome...

Obviously it would be in bad taste to show it all but here’s a glimpse...



We sit and chat about this and that and reminisce about 20 July 1969 when we were all at my Dad’s mum’s house in Glasgow and stayed up to watch the moon landing...

38 years ago....

Hardly a mention of it anywhere today in the media though..

Back home around 10 and I hade my first run through of a proposed set for next Sunday...

Highlight of the Day : A visit to my mum

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Invitation...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal
Got word today I will be playing a set at the Aberdour Festival...
At first I’d understood it was to be at the end of August but on checking the website I realised it’s actually next Sunday (29 July)...
I’ve decided that, following their successful use at South Queensferry in June, I’ll be using backing tracks again...
So, I spent most of the evening tidying these up - the set’s just half an hour or so and I’ll take the opportunity to air a few songs from the upcoming album rather than any oldies, giving live debuts to at least a couple of the five pieces which have yet to be played in public...
Whichever of these debuts is played first will be the 100th different song I’ve played live since January 2003...
I was finished by 9:30, at which point I watched “Hyperdrive”, “Still Game” and “My Name is Earl”, finishing off the evening with “This Week”...
A good day...
Highlight of the Day : An invitation to play

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pasta frenzy...

Playlist
No Man - Together We're Stranger
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Various tracks from the last 10 years
Annie Lennox - Diva
Handel - Water Music

Lunch today with Kris-with-a-K and the lovely Michelle. I managed to splash my shirt with some lovely pasta sauce...

Chicken Supreme Special I think it was called – spaghetti in a very thin, almost soup-like, cream sauce with finely chopped onions, chicken breast and asparagus...

At home, more pasta and, I know it sounds hard to believe, but Anne’s was better than that from the restaurant earlier in the day...

Penne with a tomato and mascarpone sauce with mushrooms, onions and chorizo sausage...

On Sunday, on our return from Manchester, I was on Youtube looking for Blue Nile stuff and found a duet by Paul Buchanan and Annie Lennox of Eurythmics’ “Here Comes the Rain Again” live on French TV around 10 years ago...

This reminded me of Lennox’ heart rending version of the song “Why” from Live 8 a couple of years back. A few minutes later I’d bought “Diva” and “Medusa” for around £5 for the two on e-bay...

“Diva” arrived today and is a pretty good album. Of course when it came out in 1992, it was extremely popular, which is probably one of the main reasons I couldn’t like it then...

I am an idiot...

I await “Medusa”...

Today on Youtube I found two duets between Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson earlier this month in Bucharest – surprising...

Also tonight, I bumped into old chum and music cohort Peri Urban as he alighted a bus I was about to board – I let it go and we had a couple of minutes to chat. I was honoured I must say as Mr Urban seems to seldom exit his house these days, preferring to broadcast to the world via his computer...

And finally, mention of a cruel joke at my expense over on ankle-breaker, Jim Park’s blog....

Luckily I saw the funny side...

By way of (rather pathetic) retaliation, here’s a picture of Jim with a pineapple - make of it what you will...



Spent much of the night on the net, downloading more free music (I’ll never listen to) from Destination Out and Pitchfork...

Finished it off with two taped episodes of "Law & Order"...

Tasty...

Highlight of the Day : Pasta frenzy

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Decades...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Anthology 1977-2007
Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Works (1968-2005)
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Deeperdown
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Callingstill Yellow

The August issue of The Wire arrived today...

This is the last one on my current subscription...

I debated the renewal and decided to go ahead...

I almost bought tickets for David Sylvian in Glasgow in September too but got cheesed off with the £4.25 x 2 “service charge” and the £2.75 “postal charge”...

The tickets themselves are £29.50, which would be £59 for two. The extras represent a rip-off of almost 20% of the price of admission...

Dirty bastards...

Wasted an hour and a half watching Scotland Today, the ITN Evening News and The One Show before finally getting of my backside and heading up to the computer to waste another 90 minutes updating the third and fourth days of our Germany trip...
Whilst doing this, spurred on by the good reports received from my drinking buddies of Friday night re my performance, I set about transferring MP3s of my song-based output over the last 10 years into the Jukebox...
Callingstill...
Doveloveshawk...
Ampersand...
Anotherhappyday...
Deeperdown...
Then wasted another hour watching the first of the new series of “CSI Miami” (which was dreadful) before returning to the PC to finish off my tasks....

Highlight of the Day : Listening to Callingstill again...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sad song...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Anthology 1977-2007
Hans-Joachim Roedelius – Works (1968-2005)
No Man – Together We’re Stranger

A night away from the computer but spent in front of the TV...

Two episodes of Corrie (I can’t resist) which sandwiched “University Challenge” – I was a damp squib tonight...

A quick call to my mum as her bathroom works got underway today – as with most building projects it’s not going 100% according to plan but she’s pleased with what’s happening so that’s the main thing...

Then “Law & Order : Trial By Jury”...

Finally, as Anne watched some Indian cookery programme, I listened to my new Roedelius collection – tasty!

But not as tasty as Anne’s home made Red Thai Curry....

Ended the night with the No-Man album which replaced the erroneous Porcupine Tree purchased on Saturday...



I must declare “Together We’re Stranger” to be the duo’s best yet - choc full of beautiful, sad songs...

Highlight of the Day : Home Made Red Thai Curry

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Exterminate...

Playlist
The Blue Nile - A Walk Across the Rooftops
The Blue Nile - Hats
The Blue Nile - Peace at Last
The Blue Nile - Rarities
The Blue Nile - High
The Bad Plus - Prog
Soft Machine - Volume One
Soft Machine - Volume Two
KTU - 8 Armed Monkey
The Dylan Howe Quintet - Translation

Up at 8 feeling pretty tired after the last two nights...

We decided to breakfast at the hotel for an extra tenner between us then packed our bags and walked along to the Museum of Science & Industry for the Dr Who exhibition…

Nephew Ollie would’ve loved this and hopefully he’ll get to see it somehow before it comes to an end in October…

The Face of Bo...



The Cyber-Controller...



The Ood (Ollie's favourite)...



A Dalek...



..and I couldn’t resist this “me and a Dalek” cheesy fan pic…



We also found Granada TV and could just make out the very end of the street set for Coronation St…

Around midday, the heavens opened and we trudged up into the main part of town, taking refuge in the enormous Arndale Centre, enjoying a Starbucks coffee before moving on…

We returned to Vinyl Exchange as I’d found that one of the discs in the Porcupine Tree 2CD set I’d bought yesterday was the wrong disc…

I exchanged for a set by No Man…

With the rain still pelting down, we headed for the station, lunching at Burger King and buying some sandwiches for the journey home…

During the wait at the station and our time on the train, I managed to listen to the entire Blue Nile catalogue…

Alighting at Haymarket, we caught the bus back to Crispycat Towers where Meg the Black Cat awaited us with a bit of a story on the old meowing front…

A very enjoyable 36 hour trip which seemed like a lot longer. We both liked Manchester. It was so easy to get around the city on foot – a very compact city centre with plenty of attractions. We will visit again…

Highlight of the Day : Encountering a “real” Dalek

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Not the longest river...

Playlist
Various - Prog Rock Jukebox Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay

Up at 7 and feeling not too bad all things considered...

With bags packed, Meg the Black cat was suspicious something was happening...



She was right - we were off to Manchester to see The Blue Nile...

We took the bus to Waverley Station where I purchased Classic Rock's Prog Rock Special for train journey reading (despite having "The God Delusion" in my bag). Surely the free Yes DVD attached justified the £7.99 price tag - it remains to be seen...

We left Edinburgh just before 10 and enjoyed the trip to Manchester arriving around 1:15, to not too bad skies...



We found the hotel, dumped the bags and set off around town - making a beeline for the Northern Quarter, where there must be around a dozen or so 2nd hand music stores...

I purchased discs by Soft Machine, KTU, The Dylan Howe Quartet, Porcupine Tree and Roedelius...

We continued our walk around town, now enjoying the sunshine...

A bottle of chilled white wine at a pavement cafe added to the ambience. We texted chum Craig Harding re a possible meet before tonight's Blue Nile gig and received a "yes" in response...

But first to Manchester's Chinatown for dinner and, with the masses of restaurants vying for our custom, we chose the International Buffet and enjoyed some excellent fayre...

Then to the Temple of Convenience where we met up with Craig and his brother Pete, whom Craig had drafted in as a last minute replacement for his girlfriend who'd been taken ill...

The Temple of Convenience is so named because it is a converted public toilet...

Certainly one of the more "interesting" bars I've visited over the years...

Then to the famously acoustically perfect Bridgewater Hall around 7:30 for the Blue Nile (supported ably by Hayley Hutchinson whom Anne & I saw supporting Paul Buchanan in Glasgow a year or so ago...)

Unfortunately, the tallest man in Christendom sat in front of me while another chap who insisted on explaining everything mid-song to his partner was to my right...

Sensing my unease and building frustration at these distractions, Anne very kindly swopped seats with me...

The concert featured the same six man line up as the Paul Buchanan gig last November - so perhaps he has now obtained the rights to call his 2/3rds of the original trio The Blue Nile...



Although a little under-rehearsed (this was to be their only show this year), the performance was nonetheless superb - the highlight for me being the sublime "Family Life" from the album "Peace at Last"..

Post gig we met up again with Craig and Pete and made our way, on their recommendation, to the Gay Village - the famous area around Canal Street...

We enjoyed drinks and transvestite spotting at Eden before moving on to Via Fossa where the music was thumping on the dance floor but where we could still find a spot to sit and chat...



A good time was had by all, including several laps around the nooks and crannies of this strange bar...

Anne and I eventually headed for the hotel around 1:30 taking one last look at Canal St in all its glory (including one bikini clad girl who'd collapsed in the street - not unconcious, just unable to walk any more)...



No pic of the swimwear incident I'm afraid...

Highlight of the Day : The Blue Nile - though Canal St ran it a close second...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Arnold, Loch and Palmer

Playlist
Various – Hit after hit in a DJ Mix Stylee (Vols 1-5)

To Loch Lomond today for a wee trip...

First a buffet breakfast then onto the bus and the first couple of the CDs I compiled last night went down well as we drove for around 100 mins before arriving at the loch-side for an hour long cruise around this beautiful stretch of water...

A couple of drinks to keep warm and then it was back on the bus and round to the Cameron House Hotel...

A buffet lunch and another quick drink then on to the nine hole golf course for my first ever game...

The first hole was a par 5 and I took nine shots but didn’t lose any balls in the rough or land in the stream which crosses the fairway...

All in all, over the whole nine holes I took 59 shots and made 11 points (I didn’t quite understand that but I think I got two shots added on to each par for the holes and if I made par on that basis I got a point)...



I even won the last hole...

A shower and then another drink in the bar before getting back on the bus...

The drive back to Edinburgh was a bit more raucous than that I the morning as we were all piling into more drink...

Prizes were given out on the journey home and I was surprised to get one - (a silver hip flask and cup) for best endeavour of the day – i.e. best score for anyone playing their first game (or who wasn’t really a golfer)...

By the time we got to Gordon’s Trattoria on the Royal Mile it was just after 7pm and we enjoyed a rather splendid meal...

I opted for the home made pate followed by special penne with pancetta, chorizo and tomato and cream ace – it was delicious...

I didn’t particularly like the Tiramisu due to the coffee flavour (but Anne advises that’s how it’s supposed to taste)...

And of course this was all accompanied by some lovely red wine...

By this time it was drizzling down outside and a few of our party decided not to venture out for the ghost tour that had been organised...

It was an interesting 45 minutes or so, based mainly around the torture of witches and various stories of unfortunate deaths – the girl who led us round will apparently be appearing as a extra shortly on Scottish soap “River City” – she said she was paid £100 for walking around on set...

The tour ended up in the vaults in Niddry Street, where I used to practise with various bands back in the early 80’s (and there were no ghosts there then)...

Finally, the last few die-hards of the day ended up at Nicol Edwards bar where Out of the Bedroom regular and percussionist extraordinaire, Stuart Clark happened to be playing a set...

I think he got a bit fed up with my cohorts shouting “Davee, Davee” at the end of every song and trying to get me to play some songs – I protested advising that this was Stuart’s set...

However, Mr Clark invited me up to play a couple of songs while he took a break...

By that time, I had drunk the following:-

2 glasses of Champagne
2 bottles of Magners
1 bottle of Beck’s
1 bottle of Isle of Arran Blonde
5 or 6 Bacardi Breezer/Smirnoff Ices
4 or 5 large glasses of Red Wine
1 Pint of Kronenbourg Blanc

Despite this, my renditions of “20/20 Vision” and “This is All There Is” (the latter popularly introduced as “a song about killing children”) seemed to pass off without incident...

I left the bar soon after having thanked Stuart for letting me play, and stotted off into the night to get a bus home...

I got completely soaked in a pelting rainstorm as I waited on a bus, any bus, to take me back to Crispycat Towers...

Got home around one in the morning feeling not too bad considering and looking forward to our trip to Manchester tomorrow to see The Blue Nile...

Highlight of the Day : Winning a prize for my golfing prowess...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I got believers, believe in me...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Anthology 1977-2007
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal
Craig Armstrong – Best Laid Plans OST

I’m off on a bit of a day out tomorrow to Loch Lomond (the golf thing I mentioned) and I am in charge of the bus-music...

So tonight, I put together 4 discs of what might loosely be termed “entertaining” music – i.e. no jazz or obscure nonsense I normally listen to – just hit after hit – all melded together in 80 minute “DJ Mix” stylee...



Of course I had to take a big break to watch “Hyperdrive” – so bad it’s almost funny – “Still Game “ – so funny it’s funny – and the sublime “My Name is Earl”...

The fifth disc will be compiled quickly tomorrow morning...

So – a day of DJ-ing and comedy...

Great...

Highlight of the Day : My Name is Earl

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm a crocodile...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Craig Armstrong – Best Laid Plans OST
Telemann – Oboe Concertos

Dr Prog was looking for a copy of my reasonably recently purchased “Tafelmusik” 4CD box set by Telemann and so today, when I noticed in HMV that they had this in their sale for a mere £7, I called him to ask if he’d like me to buy him the set instead of copying it for him – he replied in the affirmative..

I returned to the shop and then came a cross a 10CD set “Masterworks” by Mr Telemann, which included the “Tafelmusik” – so I bought that instead and will bequeath my previous box to the good doctor...



Arrived home to find that a Craig Armstrong soundtrack had arrived from e-bay – along with Mr A’s patented string-laden melancholia (which I love) it also includes tracks by Neneh Cherry (not a favourite), Mazzy Star, Patsy Cline, Massive Attack, Eagle Eye Cherry (not a favourite) and Gomez...

All in all a good find for a couple of squid...

Anne was out on the ran-dan with her chum Lynn tonight so I took the opportunity to visit my mum (I am trying to organise a new bathroom for her) – accompanied by Telemann’s oboe concertos on the car stereo...

Mum advised that nephew and musical cohort, young Andy Wilson had just discovered after having some tests done, that his hearing has deteriorated quite badly over the last couple of years and he is, understandably, a bit down re this..

He has a congenital hearing defect with which he’s coped since birth (his brother, non-musician Alastair has the same problem) – so there we are, I told you the other day I had nothing to be depressed about...

So I drove out to Penicuik to see him and offer my support – he seemed to have cheered up a bit but isn’t looking forward to paying almost a couple of hundred quid a month for some new fangled digital hearing aids which the NHS have been stalling him on for a couple of years now whilst funding nonsense like fertility treatment for childless couples...

We talked about some possible song-writing scenarios in the near future once I have the infernal “Erstzreal” finished off...

Finally back to Edinburgh with Mr Telemann again, to pick up Anne and Lynn and taxi them home...

Highlight of the Day : A new Telemann box set

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Plaster...

Playlist
Philip Glass – The Hours OST
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Cloudland Blue Quartet – The Virginia Man EP
King Crimson – Heavy ContruKction
Schumann – Fantsiestuecken

It’s a struggle to keep this going – can’t even be bothered right now updating the entries for the German holiday…

Anyway, as I pass my 900th entry of pish, another night spent in front of the telly…

Three documentaries on BBC2 all from The Open University…

“James May’s 20th Century” – despite a few new facts, it was the usual puerile nonsense you’d expect from a member of the “Top Gear” team – I enjoyed it though…

Then, while Anne nipped down to her mum’s with our rubbish (our dustbin mysteriously disappeared last Wednesday!!), I watched an episode of Coast – which, amongst others, covered the area of Ireland we visited in May. I’ve never been interested in this series before but I have to say I found it quite fascinating…

Then, “Paris” – unfortunately 3/3 and we missed the first two. An excellent informative and interesting programme which made me want to visit the city again – we’ve not been there for 25 years…



Elsewhere – despite my decision on Sunday to practise more, for the second day running I have not done so – even although I had plenty of opportunity…

An e-mail from family friend, Moira alerted me to a new blog, now added to my links. Moira’s daughter Lindsay, whom I’ve known since she was a baby, and her husband, Guy, gave up their affluent life in London to work in Ski Chalets, followed by Gites and now have their own place near Avignon...

Their blog gives insights to the area in which they live and also offers up some mouth-watering recipes – take a look

Another new addition is the blog of Impossible Songs’ daughter Emma, who’s currently out in Sri Lanka working for an NGO in the wake of the Boxing Day 2005 Tsunami – also worth a look

Ended the day with a DVD of the 1998 “Bottom” live show “Hooligan’s Island”, which I’m sure we saw when it toured back then but I’d forgotten all about it and so was amused by the antics of Richard Rich and Eddie Hitler all over again…

Highlight of the Day : Some good telly

Monday, July 09, 2007

TFK...

Playlist
Paisiello – Piano Concertos
Various – Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Flower Kings – Instant Delivery (DVD)
Vanhal – Violin Concertos
Laura Pausini – World Tour 2001/02 (DVD)
Laura Pausini – E Ritorno Da Te

Scorching evening - and, as I stepped off the bus to walk down from the terminus to Crispycat Towers, Alice Cooper's "School's Out" came on the jukebox...

I recalled that it must be almost exactly 35 years now since I first heard it - the piece which seriously turned me on to music....

I figure I must have spent at least the equivalent of a whole 24 hour day since then listening to this 3'26" song....

It was the album version I heard tonight and I remember when I first got the LP, I thought my record player had broken when it came to the end and the school bell and children screaming slowed down and stopped (unlike the then more familiar single version where it just faded out)...

Happy days...



I suggested a road trip to Anne due to the weather but she preferred to stay in - what with two episodes of Corrie and all...

Watched the Flower Kings DVD provided recently by Dr Prog (who's just back from seeing the reformed Genesis in Berlin and Manchester) and thought TFK to be pretty damn good...

Paused this to watch "University Challenge", the first match of the new series. I was "on fire", answering around 15 questions...

Then I watched the second Corrie, having to ask Anne what was going on as I've lost track of all the story lines...

Today from e-bay came the Laura Pausini live DVD so we watched that before calling it a night. Funny to see people singing along in Italian while we don't even know what the song titles mean - though Anne did some nifty translating using her old trusty English/Italian dictionary....

Highlight of the Day : Reminiscing about The Coop

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Over par...

Playlist
Yes – Rarities Vols 1 - 7
Pet Shop Boys – Live Setlist 2006/07
Boyce - Symphonies
Rheostatics – Last Concert

Up at 7 and to work immediately, compiling a 7 disc set of Yes rarities for Jorg – this will be winging its way to Germany “shortly” along with Yvonne’s Pet Shop Boys CDs...

Also burned the aforementioned PSB discs, one set for Yvonne and one for Chris-with-a-Ch to be returned with his DVD...

After breakfast, there was a mountain if dishes to be done – piled up from the last few days, before we could head out to.....golf...



We went to a driving range/putting green/pitch and putt type place out at the airport...

It made for an enjoyable, if at times very frustrating, couple of hours...

I can hit the ball quite far – but with absolutely no control whatsoever – and my putting is abysmal...

Then to Tesco for some shopping, back home for lunch and, finally, it feels like July as we sit watching the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final (a struggled-for win for Roger Federer – his 5th in a row equalling the Borg’s record) while the sun shines outside...

I decide to rehearse some songs and find that, due to lack of practise, I’ve forgotten the ones which a month ago I could play without resorting to music/lyrics – I must practise more...

Dinner is Anne’s patented superb pasta with chorizo, to which has today been added some lovely crunchy yellow and red peppers. It’s accompanied by some excellent polish bread from the Tesco in-store bakery (some of which I’d already had for lunch)...

Then back to the tennis and the Mixed Doubles final which results in a win for the unseeded Jamie Murray and his Serbian partner – well done...

I return to the computer and end the day as it began – with some Yes music...

Highlight of the Day : Being rubbish at golf – but giving it a go...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

S-h-o-pp-i-n-g, we're shopping...

Playlist
King Crimson – Cirkus
Debussy – Complete Piano Works
The Shadows – Very Best Of
Francoise Hardy – The Way of Love
2Raum Wohnung – 36 Grad
John Gorka – The Company You Keep
Laura Pausini – Io Canto
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Asia – Fantasia Live in Tokyo
Pet Shop Boys – Cubism
Various – Back to Mine : Pet Shop Boys

We were both up early today – Anne because she had an appointment at the optician – me because I was looking to buy some new clothes...

On Friday - get this - your correspondent will be playing golf for the first time ever...

A trawl through Mr Quartet’s less than extensive wardrobe however, did uncover some items which could be suitable for whacking a small white ball witha stick and so, after a quick breakfast, the intention was for me to drive Anne to town (paying careful heed of course to our carbon footprint) and then to come home and potter around doing, frankly, eff all...

Instead, I walked around town..

I passed the now closd FOPP – scene of so many CD purchasing expeditions in the past...



...and then ended up going into various clothes shops – not something I do very often....

Indeed, I actually bought some clothes - trousers, a jersey and a t-shirt – none of which was black...

I met up with Anne at Avalanche (no CD purchases today) and we walked down Cockburn St to Princes St Gardens where we stopped for coffee at the museum coffee shop, sitting outside in the sun (just for the record, it poured with rain later in the day)...



On our way back to the car, we stopped off at another couple of shops, allowing Mr CBQ to buy some Cloudland Blue Gym Shoes and a black shirt – I suppose something had to be black...

Back home, I continued with the updating of the diary and then we watched (and I recorded the soundtrack of) the Pet Shop Boys live in Mexico City last year – a great show...

I cycled round to the local shop for a lottery ticket (for those waiting a cut of our winnings, no numbers yet again I'm afraid)...

I also found a supply of a nice Rioja we've been looking for - called "Muriel" - this is the 2000 vintage and is v tasty...

Post evening meal, I spent several hours transferring the PSB soundtrack from mini-disc into the computer in real time, editing out glitches, putting in track codes for CD and finally wrapped up in time for “CSI : New York” at 9 followed by “Law & Order” at 10...

During the ad breaks we caught glimpses of various stars salving their conciences re Global Warming...

Then to bed...

Highlight of the Day : Some new clothes

Friday, July 06, 2007

Outside...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
2Raum Wohnung – 36 Grad
Explosions in the Sky – All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
Fennesz/Sakamoto – Cendre
Holdsworth Bruce Cobham etc – A Meeting of Minds
Cluster – Sowiesoso
Stars of the Lid – The Ballasted Orchestra
Asia – Fantasia Live in Tokyo
David Bowie – Outside Outtakes

A wave of depression swept over me today but I did my best to fight it off. I don’t know why that sometimes happens – there seems to be no reason for it at all – what do I have to be depressed about?

So, this evening was much like any other on this blog – watched “Coronation St” – my first for a while but it was easy to get back on track...

Then we watched taped episodes of “CSI” and “Law & Order” then I surfed the MP3 download sites and gathered up a new album by Stars of the Lid, Asia’s new 2CD live set from Tokyo and some pretty weird out-takes from Bowie’s 1995 album “Outside”....



Also spent some time writing up the German trip and adding more pictures – I took so many, I might as well put a few more up...

Highlight of the Day : Beating back a depressive wave

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bad covers..

Playlist
Pet Shop Boys – Alternative
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Laura Pausini – Io Canto
The Bad Plus – Prog
The Bad Plus – Motel
The Bad Plus – These Are the Vistas
The Bad Plus – Give
The Bad Plus – Suspicious Activity
Yellow Matter Custard – One Night in New York

I’d thought I might go along to the 5 a sides game tonight and even possibly try and play but the weather put paid to that, the weather and the pain I’ve been having in my ankle over the last few days...

So I stayed in...

In the evening we listened to the new Laura Pausini album followed by The Bad Plus...



Then we watched some TV including, of course, the new series of “My Name is Earl” then “Question Time” which, for me, was accompanied on headphones by all the cover versions to be found on The Bad Plus’ five albums to date...

Then ”This Week”, then downloaded some new tracks from "Destination Out" and Pitchfork before bed with the Beatles...

Highlight of the Day : My Name is Earl

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

One of the best pounds I ever spent...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay
Laura Pausini - Io Canto
Pet Shop Boys - Cubism
Dave Holland Quintet - Extended Play Live at Birdland
Dennis Chambers - Outbreak

Through the letter box today, the new Laura Pausini CD, "Io Canto"...

I became interested in her after finding one of her early CDs in Avalanche for £1 sometime in the mid 90s and was struck by her great delivery of songs despite not really knowing what she was singing about...

She is huge in Italy, Spain and Latin America with a large following both in the rest of Europe and certain parts of the USA, but virtually unkown in the UK...

I now have 8 of her CDs...



It's rubbishy pop music, with no intrinsic musical value really, but I like it - much in the same way as I like both Uriah Heep and Grand Funk Railroad in spite of myself...

Weird...

Also behind the door was a card from the postie saying he'd been unable to deliver a package - presumably the Panasonic CD Walkman I bought for a couple of quid the other night on e-bay...

Anne's work colleague, Chris-with-a-Ch, lent us the Pet Shop Boys DVD today so I can record the soundtrack to CD for him and I'll do a copy for unsere Freunden in Deutschland too...

On first shifty, it looks like an excellent show...

I have weaned myself off "Coronation Street" recently, having foregone all episodes recorded while we were in Germany and having viewed just one since...

So the only TV tonight was last night's "CSI" series closer cliffhanger - great stuff...

Finished off the night doing some tidying, listening to some tasty jazz and writing this nonsense up, including starting the entries for the recent Germany trip...

Highlight of the Day : Laura Pausini's new CD

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sodom and Gomorrah..

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay
Pet Shop Boys - Live Setlist 2006/7

An evening of TV and PSB...

Our German friends Jorg & Yvonne saw Pet Shop Boys on 8 May and Jorg, never a pop or electronic music fan, found the show to be quite brilliant...

Yvonne was already a fan, even although only the greatest hits collection "Discography" resides amongst the thousands of LPs, CDs and tapes in the Sonnenschein household...

Accordingly, I promised I'd do them up a wee compilation based on the setlist of the show they saw (now conveniently available on the new DVD "Cubism" - which I don't have)...



So I spent a couple of hours asssembling a 2CD set which will be burned and sent "shortly"...

Elsewhere, more "The Thick of It" while we recorded "CSI" for later viewing sans adverts - then another excellent "Law & Order : Criminal Intent" on tape...

Tasty...

Highlight of the Day : Listening to the Pet Shop Boys

Monday, July 02, 2007

Rock me, Amadeus...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay

Still mourning FOPP, I went to the HMV sale – nothing purchased despite a few temptations in the classical department…

Back home, watch the Falco DVD bought in Deutschland – what a handsome young man he was – and with some cracking music too…


Then the two hilarious episodes of “My Name is Earl” followed by “CSI”, all taped in our absence…

Ended the night transferring a few recent CDs to jukebox before buying another trusty Panasonic CD Walkman on e-bay – my last one broke a few months back and the replacement machine I bought from Tesco is just not up to the job – so I’ve gone for one I know…

The postage is more than the cost of the machine…

Technology eh?

Highlight of the Day : My Name is Earl

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Down, down, deeper and down...

Playlist
Craig Armstrong - World Trade Center
Karl Bartos – Electric Music
Fehlfarben – Handbuch fuer die Welt
The Bad Plus – Prog
2Raumwohnung – 36 Grad
2Raumwohnung – 36 Grad (Remix Album)

Today is the second anniversary of the writing of the first song for the album I’m working on – so, that’s two years so far…

Mind you I didn’t write the second song until March 2006 and the last album “Deeperdown” was only finally completed and released in November 2005 – so there’s a bit of an overlap there…

Post holiday, I was up early and transferring the 450 or so pics from my memory cards to the hard drive…

While doing this, I looked through my links (having been without internet access for ten days)...

Turns out the Craig Armstrong CD I bought in Glasgow on 21 June will be my last from FOPP as the chain has gone into administration citing lack of support from stakeholders and suppliers – i.e. cashflow…


In a link from the article on the BBC website, I see HMV’s profits are down by over 70%...

A further link leads me to discover that many of the CD shops in London’s famous Berwick St area are closing their doors...

Looks like I got out of the record shop business just in time…

Read Robert Fripp’s diary for almost the whole of June – King Crimson will reappear for their 40th anniversary – but that’s not due until January 2009...

Then catching up on other blogs and e-mails etc...

Was about to go to the shops on the bike but it started to pour with rain so I took car rather than get soaked...

Apparently it’s been raining here every day since we left…

Had a yoghurt and some muesli for breakfast before watching the first of the series finale of “Dr Who” on video from last Saturday...

Brilliant stroke in bringing back The Master…

Then continued on the internet while listening to my new CDs before heading to Anne’s mum’s for the family tea – a Chinese takeaway today – I drove through the thunder and lightning with an excitable nephew Ollie to pick up our order…

Back home by 9pm to catch “The Thick of It” followed by part 2 of the “Dr Who” finale before buying the new CD by Laura Pausini and one of her live DVDs on e-bay…

Highlight of the Day : Dr Who Double Bill

Retake with evidence....

Just back from a visit to Germany - principally for the documenta 12 arts festival in Kassel (here's the NY Times' take on matters and Artnet's)...

We also made a long overdue visit to our old chums Jorg & Yvonne and their kids Xenia, Ansem (our Godson) and Teja..

We then had a very relaxing five days down by the Mosel river, living on a winery - which, as you might expect, was fun...

I've posted some pics initially but will update the entries for these ten days over the next week or so...

A good holiday but good to be back too...