Friday, March 30, 2007

one word... MACBOOK!


Yep, that's right folks. I've just bought a new macbook! And, after playing with it for only a short amount of time I have to say that I absolutely LOVE IT!! Coming from being a PC user for about 12 years it's pretty obvious that I've got a lot to learn but when it comes to computers I'm a fast learner. What suprised me most about when I opened the box was the lack of massive thick manuals! And after switching on and going through the usual 'new user' intro stuff I could begin to see why. Everything is totally intuitive. I'm still finding it weird just having one mouse button but I'll soon get the hang of that.

I'll mainly use it for music production. It already comes packed with Garagebands (a piece of software that Matt told me he uses for Tex La Homa) but I'm hoping to get Logic Pro as I'm planning on doing some seriously thorough manipulation. So the more control I have the better. I'll also probably use it a bit for video production, web design, photoshopping and blogging.

But this all stuff which will take me at least the next month or so to get my teeth into. Right now, I'm just gonna explore what I can do with it straight out of the box and go from there. This next week or so will be just simple tasks such as writing and playing DVDs, manipulating photos and surfing the net.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chk Chk Chk at The Thekla, Bristol

On Saturday 24th March, Scott, James, Rob and myself went up to Bristol to see Chk Chk Chk. I have to quite honestly say that it was one of the best gigs I've EVER been to. The gig was originally being held at Bristol University but got moved to The Thekla - which is a ship converted into a night club/live music venue - because one of the stage lights had fallen the day before and work was being done. James drove us up there in his Clio and we had to suffer the wrath of Scott's smelly arse all the way up there!

We stopped off at the Crown Pub just outside Bath on the way to Bristol for a meal and a pint cos we were starving. The pub was dead and our food still wasn't in front of us 45 mins later!
After I complained our food finally arrived. My burger looked like it had been barbecued, the cheese had evaporated and the salad was hot! It was obvious the food wad been stood under those heater lights waiting to be taken to our tables for about half an hour!!

This is our feedback!...

Crown Pub 1

When we eventually arrived in Bristol we had to start looking for a hotel or hostel to crash in cos there was no way were were gonna drive back after the gig. We went into pretty much every main hotel in the city... well, when I say WE what I meant to say was I as I was the one sat in the from passenger seat. Rob and Scott were in the back and we were in a 3 door car so it was easier for me to do all the negotiation. We were looking for a couple of twin rooms - that is a room with two beds. But we figured we could probably get away with getting just one twin room and then sneak the other two in to sleep on the floor. We eventually found a place (Premier Travel Inn) that was doing Double rooms with pull out beds sleeping a total of 4 people for only £55 a night. Wicked skills!! Me and James got the room. We were given two keys so we kept one for us and gave a key to Rob and Scott to sneak in while we parked the car. The room was well bigger than we thought it was gonna be. It's actually a really good value place to kip - I was well surprised!!

somersaults 2 somersaults 1
In the hotel

When we got there all of us needed to 'christen' the en-suite with a turd from hell! Well, it was a long drive and, unlike Scott, we held our farts! Anyway... this is getting gross!

We headed for the Thekla and luckily it was just a straight walk from the hotel towards the city centre and we were there. The Thekla was probably one of the weirdest venues I'd ever been too but after I got my head around the weirdness of it all it turned out to be such a wicked idea!! I want one in Bournemouth!!!

The first band we saw were Blood Red Shoes. They were ok - nothing special. Kinda like the opposite of the White Stripes. Girl on guitar singing, boy on the drums ... also singing. Booze was nice and cheap. It was a student hang out.

Eventually, Chk Chk Chk came on stage and we were stood right at the front. I can't really express how fuckin good this gig was, man. I've got a few pics and some video clips but it doesn't really explain how good it was. You just had to be there. Band members were swapping instruments and just jamming, lots of interaction with the crowd, crowd surfing...although this was accidental. One of the singers was stood on the edge of the stage and got pulled into the crowd. He was surprised but after a couple of seconds was loving it giving a 'bring it on' gesture to his band mates. When he eventually surfed back onto the stage he was dropped on the middle monitor speaker and landed on his back!! Later on in the evening he was stood next to me during the DJ set and I asked him how his back is. He said "Right now I feel fine - I dosed up on painkillers and tequilla" I laughed and said "Man, you're gonna feel that in the morning!" He agreed.

Chk Chk Chk 08
Chk Chk Chk 10
Chk Chk Chk 03
Chk Chk Chk 04

After Chk Chk Chk had finished their set the crowd were whipped up into a hyper-active frenzy. Plea's for "More" and "Encore" were ignored as the sound engineers and roadies started taking apart all the equipment and packing stuff away. After it was obvious that they'd finished their set people grouped at the bar and chilled. They'd certainly left the place in a buzz.

On wondering where to go to next, Rob asked some random person if they could recommend any other clubs to go to. It just so happened that this person was they guy who organised the night at The Thekla! He said jokinly to Rob "Y'know technically I could take that as an insult in that you're literally saying that you'd rather be somewhere else!" But he knew we were only asking cos we thought that the night was over. It wasn't! The bass player was about to start DJing. And he played an AMAZING set!!

That was followed by another touring band called The Mules. They were pretty cool. A bit rock-a-billy-ish, they would be good for Fish Seeks Bicycle. They weren't amazing but after a couple of songs and people started to get what they're about everyone was dancing. The main star of the band was obviously the drummer. He was also the singer and obviously the song-writer. I didn't take any photos of them but if you go to their MySpace you'll see pics and hear some tunes.

Knowing that the clocks were going forwad that night we decided at about 3:40 that it might be a good idea to head back to the hotel! Bearing in mind the DST factor the time was in actual fact 4:40 and we had to get up at 8 to head home! We eventually only had about 3 hours sleep! All too evident in the following picture!

Morning after

On the way home James was starting to feel the effects of the hangover so stopped for a breather! Unfortunately, the field right behind him had just had muck-spreading so it wasn't really the best place to stop!! If anything it woulda made him feel MORE sick. I know it did for me. We were not happy!

James feeling sick

But we got home safely and the first thing I did was have some cereal (cos I hadn't eaten) and then went to bed for about 4 hours before heading off to Southampton to see Lounge play at The Joiners!!

Joiners Gig for Blind Voyeurs

Yet again, I've not updated in a LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG time - so I'd best fill people in on what's been going on!

My band, Blind Voyeurs, had a gig at The Joiners Arms, Southampton supporting Maps and The Longcut. Tone from BHONE has done a full review of the gig. The nigth went really well and we had a great reception from people who had never heard of us before. One guy said we blew away the headline act! I wouldn't have said so in my opinion but thanks all the same.

Taken on my mobile during soundcheck

Below is an 8 minute video clip from the gig taken by Tone from BHone. In it we're playing The Christening followed by Pale Blue Dot. Apologies for the darkness of the clip!

Friday, March 09, 2007