Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Elvis Unplugged

Remember him this way
On the back of The Swede's excellent blog post yesterday, I went in search of other Musicless Videos. The idea of somebody taking the soundtrack off a music video and overdubbing a few rudimentary sound effects (sometimes nothing more than the sound of a pair of squeaky shoes being scraped along a wooden floor, some out of tune yukelele strumming and a few breathless oohs and aahs) really appeals to my inner ten year old.
Anyway, without further ado, here's Elvis throwing a few shapes and not much else. I think it's hysterical.


Not this way

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Round Ireland with no money

My brother-in-law, aka The Prof, is planning a bike ride for the summer: a bike ride with a twist. He's planning to leave his wallet at home, cycle off the Pembroke to Rosslare ferry penniless, and circumnavigate his way around the Irish coastline. His plan, to throw himself at the mercy of the good folk of Ireland, will see him 'pay his way' by telling stories, a few jokes and any casual work he can get such as pot washing in bars or restaurants that can see there way clear to giving him a meal for the night.

Having heard David's material, there's a strong possibility he'll be coming back a Size Zero.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Sisters: standing on their own two feet

Megan & Jenny: doing it for themselves 

My favourite sister-in-law and the current Mrs. Medd dragged themselves away from the kitchen long enough to spend a few hours at the seaside today. The weather held ('it's just like being abroad') and both the long walk on the beach, and the ubiquitous fish and chips, ensured a good day was had by all.
Even the men folk.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nine below zero

Date: 1 February 2016. Weigh-in: 14 stone 7 lbs – Ground Zero.

The start of the regime was always planned for after our shindig at the arse end of January. Mission goal? To drop a dress size and be 13 ½ stone by Summer with, maybe, 13 stone in my sights at Christmas. So, less pies, more moving around and cut out the grazing.

Date: 23 March 2016. Weigh-in: 13 stone 12 lbs. Nine pounds down.

Here comes the Summer.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Soon

Texting. It would appear to have killed off the telegram. Stop. Or had the fax already done that? Stop.
What was once a means of communication given over almost exclusively to the kids is now, arguably, the only sure fire way to reach most people. With the exception of my dad, obviously. Yet, for all the texts I end up sending I almost invariably, wherever possible, 'write' them in longhand. Apart from when my own brand of (still to be copyrighted) shorthand is dropped into the 'conversation'. However, that doesn't mean I won't use the odd smiley or sad face emoji to convey my particular response to something that warrants it. If someone asks me if I fancy a beer later, then a smiley face is usually the only reply needed.
But it's one that Apple have recently imported to my phone (or, more accurately, the one I've not long discovered) that is currently getting a lot of usage. Who knew that one tiny icon could carry with it so much promise?

Friday, 18 March 2016

Pieces of eight

In China the number eight is considered to be such a lucky number that its people radiate to properties with an eight in the address and even pay extra to have an eight in their phone number or car registration plate. On 08.08.08 more people got married than on any other day in history; though how many are still married is not recorded. For what it’s worth it is also my lucky number. Or, should I say, favourite number: I firmly subscribe to the school of thought that says you make your own luck in this world. For the most part. At last night’s Open Mic, at the ever popular Station Hotel, I played eight songs. I didn't, however, drink eight pints, nor did I consume eight of the marvelous sausages that were laid out as part of the bangers and homemade onion gravy supper in the second half of the evening.

Set list

* Hey Hey Hey (A Song For You)
* What Are You Waiting For?
* You’re The One
* Windmill Hill
* Fool
* When The Sun Comes Up
* (The Sun Always Shines On) Camberwick Green
* Help!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Tales from the greasy spoon

Poached egg on toast with beans? No problem!
Beans on toast with poached egg? No!
'Beans on toast and a poached egg on the top please' I said, cheerfully, to flossy behind the counter. A look of confusion stared back at me. 'Beans on toast with a poached egg on top?' she replied. Her brow was now furrowed. Something was wrong. I could tell. 'That’s right' I said. I was trying to remain cheerful. 'We can’t do beans on toast with a poached egg on top.' I was deflated. 'But,' she went on, 'We can do poached egg on toast with beans on the side.' She was being serious. Deadly serious. I was looking for Jeremy Beadle. And Noel Edmonds. 'I suppose that’ll have to do I said.' The greasy spoon is dead. Long live the greasy spoon.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Far From Any Road

It only took us a week; then again, there were only eight episodes. However, quality outguns quantity every time. True Detective was a Crimbo present from The Number One Son, so it came highly recommended.  Set in the deep south and starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, True Detective is crime noir at its very best - with a splash of Twisted Nerve and Wicker Man thrown in for good measure. Well written, stylishly shot and music by T Bone Burnett. And, of course, it's from the HBO stable. What's not to like?

The Handsome Family: Far From Any Road

Friday, 11 March 2016

Windmill Hill

My new song is called Windmill Hill. It’s about a Windmill. On a hill. It was inspired by a letter I wrote earlier this week to someone who lives on Windmill Hill Street. In my head I can hear a string quartet. But in my hands I hold nothing more than six strings and a plank of wood. Does anyone out there have Paul McCartney’s phone number?

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Fade to grey

Getting divorced and moving house: they say these are up there in the Top 5 most stressful things you can do. Yep, I’ll go along with that. A good friend of mine is currently going through a divorce (to be followed by the inevitable house move) and she recently told me it was so stressful she’s recently found two grey hairs on her head that weren’t there before; not having the best of memories I can’t remember how much grey I had when I parted company with the first Mrs. Medd (my hair probably looked as if I’d just painted a ceiling), but as this photograph taken yesterday shows – I think it’s too late for the Grecian 2000 now.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I bet you think this song is about you

In the same way that this blog doesn't follow a Dear Diary format, so too my songs aren't really autobiographical. Despite what some people may think. That’s not to say that there aren't lines in some of my songs that have a certain poignancy. And every now and again, away from prying eyes, I may let slip that a certain line was written with a certain someone in mind. Last night’s Songwriters Circle was a particularly good forum: with nothing stronger inside me than English Breakfast Tea, I stayed tight lipped about the brace of, what one (female) friend of mine refers to as ‘confessional’, songs I played.

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Magnificent Seven

Mark, Landlord at The Station Hotel, was still buzzing when I arrived for the Open Mic last night. The BBC had only just left after being with him for the best part of the day. His Elvis memorabilia collection, which he takes on the road collecting money for charity, is getting a bit of a name for itself: to the point that Radio York ran a feature on it in their breakfast show, and TV’s Look North gave it a coat of looking at during their early evening news. Unfortunately I hadn't come with an Elvis tune, but my seven song set went down pretty well all the same:

* No Gold Or Silver
* Leeds, 1972
* Hey Hey Hey (A Song For You)
* Fool
* When The Sun Comes Up
* Days Like This
* On A Battlefield Far Far Away

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Park benches and dimly lit cars

Some call it ballast
Very occasionally on this blog you'll stumble across a food or drink related item. *Very* occasionally. And nine times out of ten the chances are it’ll be either a new dish I’ve discovered or an exciting new beer. I’ve always loved dining out (nearly as much as I love cooking) and I always get a thrill when I find restaurants or new beers, new pubs and new breweries. But today’s post is as far removed from fine dining as it’s possible to get. It’s all about an often (and by often I mean always) overlooked delicacy (and by delicacy I mean ballast) that, I’ll wager, you won’t see talked about it in any of the Sunday glossy supplements or the million and one foodie programmes currently doing the rounds on terrestrial telly.

Chips and curry sauce is a very British 'dish'. Served in fish and chip shops up and down the land, you've probably given anyone in your local chippy who has ordered this in the queue ahead of you a sideways glance and, maybe, even a silent tut under your breath. It's the poor relation looked down upon by haddock and steak pies. Even Savaloys. But, hey, am I bothered? To my mind, it's the food of Kings. There comes a point in the evening when it's too late for dinner, too late for a sit-down. That's when the chips and curry sauce are calling.

It's perhaps a good thing that the exact consitiutional makeup of the curry sauce is not known (not to me, anyway) which probably helps explain why it's a dish best consumed in semi-darkness: park benches or dimly lit cars being my dining areas of choice. Enjoy!


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Can you keep a secret? I bet you can

Dave Kennedy (left) & Steve Wegrzynski: Jinski
I’m getting excited: I always do when a gig that I’ve had in the diary, seemingly forever, finally approaches. My love of Jinski is well documented and any opportunity I get to catch them in a live situation I jump on immediately. Their songs are so lovingly crafted and tug at every emotion possible. And they tend to play the sort of venues where you feel you're practically up on stage with them. Quite why or how they've never broken through to the mainstream is a mystery to me - Radio 2 would have a field day with them. I guess they'll have to remain a well kept secret a little while longer yet.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

1971

1971: that was the year that was
Next month the esteemed writer and broadcaster  David Hepworth publishes his new book 1971. According to David, ’71 was rock music's golden year. And as comprehensive and as well researched as I know the tome will be, I’m guessing there are a few things about 1971 you won't find between its covers.

1971 It was the first year I’d been on a package holiday: the Medds went loco in sunny Spain
1971 I was preparing to sit my 11-plus and say goodbye to St. Mary’s
1971 My dad took delivery of a brand new Hillman Minx: RTL 707 J
1971 I took out a subscription to Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly
1971 I heard Co-Co drifting from a barbers window and so began my love affair with The Sweet
1971 My mother said I was too young for Clackers, Oxford Bags and a feather-cut
1971 I think I fancied Clodagh Rodgers
1971 I was ten years old when my friend Adele was born in 1971

Adele: she really is a sweetie