Nottingham Beer Festival. A pleasant distraction for some, a pilgrimage for others, this huge beer and cider festival casts its net far and wide and brings in thousands of punters from the NG postal district and beyond.
It's moved to a new venue this year (not for the first time - I can still remember when it was held at the local swimming baths), but a bit like the proverbial moth, I care not where the lightbulb is: I'll be there.
You should get down too if you are anywhere near. Friday afternoon is always the optimum time for a gander - busy but not rowdy (the office nitwits are still holed up in their cubicles), 99% of the beers are still on (and in great condition), and the floor hasn't yet turned into a sea of beer slops.
See you just after lunch.
Friday, 19 October 2018
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Today I found a beautiful photograph on my Twitter feed.
As the fella who posted it @stuarthumphryes said, it's got nothing whatsoever to do with Doctor Who.
It was from a fashion shoot in the 1960s. London still had loads of these Police Boxes knocking around at the time - they were integral pieces of street furniture.
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
|Who's got a tape measure?|
I'm glad I got that out of the way.
A big thank you to my friend Adele who texted me earlier this evening and put a smile on my face. I'd sent her the photo and she replied back:
"Nice pic of the 3 Amigos, looking very trim xx"
(Can I be Steve Martin, can I?)
Sunday, 14 October 2018
|Grab him, nab him|
I don't know if it was choreographed or not. Either way, the scaffolders working on St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in the background would almost certainly have whistled at the girls 'approvingly' when they walked past: it was written into every builders contract at the time; don't tell me it wasn't.
Westminster City Council prohibited the feeding of the birds in 2003 (wolf whistling at pretty girls probably around the same time) when their numbers reached 35,000 (who was counting them?*) and everywhere in the WC2 postcode was knee deep in guano.
|Me & James|
I don't know where the birds went for bush tucker after 2003. One day they were everywhere, sh*tting on your head, next thing you know they'd buggered off. All things must pass. But not before I live you wthis exquisite slice of Vaudevillian glam from 1972. It was never hip, granted, but this is the missing link between Mrs. Mills and Gary Glitter. And you can quote me on that.
Lieutenant Pigeon - Mouldy Old Dough (1972)
* The pigeons, not pretty girls
Thursday, 11 October 2018
|"Is there a brew pending?"|
But it was OK. We didn't leave the house once - and it was still OK. We played cards. And board games. And more cards. And I drank gallons of tea - while everyone else drank fizz, and gin. I know what you're thinking, this isn't his usual No Sleep Till Hammersmith hedonistic weekend. And you'd be right. But needs must.
You'll be pleased to know normal service has been resumed. My rock and roll lifestyle - such that it is - has been rebooted.
* Megan knows how to fix me: Saturday's evening meal (and Sunday lunch too) both had her to die for homemade custard on the menu. A throwback to when I was freelancing in London a few years ago and lived with Megan and David for three months.
Wednesday, 10 October 2018
|Don't forget the Joker|
I've been a huge fan right from the get go, and have seen him live countless times. He's only playing a handful of gigs in the UK, but it's the two nights at Amsterdam's Paradiso Club that I've got my eye on. I'm very excited. Who wants to come with me?
Joe Jackson - You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want) (1984)
Tuesday, 9 October 2018
I absolutely love this - it's got banjos, it's got finger clicking, and it's got a tune to die for. It also appears that the Dead South are coming to a venue near me not long into the the New Year; there never were such times.
The Dead South - In Hell I'll Be in Good Company
Monday, 8 October 2018
So, I guess, it was only a matter of time until he decided to record some vintage TV themes (and by vintage I mean seventies) and give them a couple of coats of jazz funk.
Tony Hatch would, I know, be very proud.
I read a review of the album recently which said you only have to take one look at the sleeve to know you want to own it, hear it & devour it.
Here is Berry's take on Are You Being Served? Bet you can't listen to it without thinking of Mrs. Slocombe's pussy at least once.
Thursday, 4 October 2018
James and Janneke are getting married early on Saturday morning. It will be a very private ceremony: just the bride and groom, and their witnesses. No two people have ever been so in love.
I can't wait till I toast my Number One Son and his beautiful new bride.
Postscript - 7 October 2018
A few photos from yesterday. More to follow next Saturday when the mums and dads take them out for a champagne lunch - and toast the new arrivals into our respective families.
Saturday, 29 September 2018
|£3.00 in the British Heart Foundation, Dumfries|
I've just read Greg Lake's autobiography: he wrote Lucky Man in 2016 when he knew he was dying - Greg passed in the December, and the book was published posthumously last year. Keith Emerson, the 'E' in ELP, had taken his own life in March 2016, which leaves Carl Palmer the last man standing.
|Brain Salad Surgery (1973)|
Still You Turn Me On is from 1973's Brain Salad Surgery. When the band wanted to dial back the pomp and circumstance running through their long players, they would turn to Greg Lake and say "Write us an acoustic ballad." Their debut album carried Lucky Man, Trilogy was tempered with From the Beginning and this was the point in their live shows where Keith and Carl could slope off to the bar while Greg sat out front on a stool and held court. Whilst simultaneously chewing gum.
Greg Lake - Still You Turn Me On
Sunday, 23 September 2018
Seems he and the Straits would often soundcheck with Dionne Warwick's Heartbreaker, before finally embracing it full on and dropping it into their set. Although, some would argue, not one of the Gibb brothers best songs (even though it went Number One all over the world in 1982), Nick and the band have breathed new life into it and have, I think, made it into an uber cool record*. See what you think.
* It's from a tasty little EP - Tokyo Bay - released in June of this year.
Saturday, 22 September 2018
|"Did you put the hand brake on?"|
|And then there were four|
Next Monday, Dodgy are announcing dates for their Homegrown 25th. Anniversary tour. They did something similar back in 2013, 20 years after they released their debut album.
I shall be pulling in a couple of shows - at least; in the same way that next March/April I'm getting a few miles under my belt catching this lot; I've already got tix to see Phil Mogg and co. at Northampton Roadmenders, Nottingham Rock City and Shepherd's Bush Empire.
Next year's diary is filling up fast.
Dodgy - So Let Me Go Far (1994)
Monday, 17 September 2018
Crows have been looming large just recently, one way or another. I'm not normally someone who goes looking for hidden meanings in this sort of stuff, as it's usually just a hop, skip and a jump to places I'd rather not go, thank you vey much. But... if yer humble crow can shine any light on events to come - in some sort of totemic way - and if indeed they are an omen to the future, then I think, for what it's worth, they represent change.
Even if it just gets that little fella on the middle row - third from the right - turned back up the right way. Cos that's how I've felt these last few days, can I just tell you.