Sunday, May 27, 2007


The Jam play "The Fez"

Back in March when the email flyer from The Fez came through about The Jam playing there I didn't feel too bothered. Luckily I forwarded the information to Sue who had a completely different opinion and within the hour I had booked tickets. And now nearly 3 months later I'm glad I did. The gig was great and I really enjoyed singing along to songs I'd grown up with.

The Jam were one of those bands I enjoyed musically but not culturally - they flew the Mod colours and I wore denim so it was never really going to work. Of course, by the time I was 18 they had decided to split so I went for the cop-out of the "best of" with an after-the-fact purchase of Snap! when I was at University.

As you can see, the lead singer is thankfully not Paul Weller. Russell Hastings does a faithful rendition of the necessary vocals and guitar

Bruce Foxton on bass is backed up by David Moore on guitar and keyboards. Couldn't get any decent shots of Rick Buckler with this tiny camera.

The set listing seems to reflect a preference for the old stuff rather than the songs they brought out in the year or two before the split and The Style Council (a.k.a "the crap stuff").

From 1977 and the "In The City" and "This Is The Modern World" albums:

From 1978 and "All Mod Cons"

From 1979 and "Setting Sons"

From 1980 and "Sound Affects"

From 1982 and "The Gift"


So no "Funeral Pyre", "Absolute Beginners", "Beat Surrender" or "The Bitterest Pill". No great loss as I never liked them. Their omission is surprising from a success point of view, though - the records were #4, #4, #1 and #2 respectively in the UK charts at the time (1981/82) so I would have expected The Jam to play them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Where are the Poles?

This is a joke from a Polish chap at Microsoft:

Monday, May 21, 2007


Wolves sold for a tenner

I should be happy - Hayward is selling up - but he still hasn't gone for good. According to the Wolves site, the club is going to be sold to life-long Liverpool fan Steve Morgan for £10. Yes, ten pounds with the proviso that £30M is invested "over a period of time".
Sir Jack Hayward will remain as "Life President" and his grandson Rupert will sit on the board. Will his shadow haunt the club forever?

Friday, May 11, 2007


Isn't the Internet fantastic for history?

At the moment I'm preparing a little case for some medals given to relatives during World War I. Rather than just display them as they are, I've decided to research what the medals are called and why they were issued which would be easy enough without the Internet as any library would have a book to help with this.
What I did find interesting was the amount of information I could find for the 8th medal in the collection which was a Royal Navy Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, issued for 15 years of service.
First the monarch on the back was not George V but Edward VII which put the medal in the 1901-1910 period, a number of years before the others.
Around the edge of the medal is name, rank, number and the name of the ship "HMS Cormorant". This ship, a 1,000 ton sloop, I find was launched in 1877 and from 1889 (until it was scrapped in 1949) was stationed at Gibraltar as a "base ship".

Additionally, the ship was re-named ROOKE in 1946, the name to be later given to the naval shore establishment on Gibraltar ... where my dad served in the 1970s.
So how weird is that? My dad served in the same "ship" as my mum's grandfather.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


This means you, pub landlord - you know who you are.


Reading Beer Festival 2007

I managed to make the Reading Beer & Cider Festival this year (missed last time for some reason). One of my work colleagues actually took Friday off as holiday so he could attend Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday. I've just checked the souvenir glass and they gave me last year's, the bastards, so now I have a collection spanning 2004-05-06. Next year I'll have to make sure I collect the 2007 glass!

Sunday is family day so I went along with tee-total Samantha to keep me company. I didn't know if anyone I knew was turning up so it was nice of her to volunteer. In the end I met 3 of my workmates and a dithering couple from gaming ("we've decided not to go Friday night so we'll be going Saturday, or possibly Sunday").

The range of beers available today was heavily diminished by the Saturday drunkards. There were a number of gaps with some barrels up there from one brewery to fill up space - they had beer in but they weren't part of the alphabetical sorting. And the cider/perry stall closed around 5pm, I think. The lack of beers published in the programme meant that it was really hard to create a theme to the drinking so I just randomly chose, as you can see:

2:40Hogs Back TEA (Traditional English Ale)4.2%
3:00Zerodegrees Black Lager4.8%
3:20Loddon Forbury Lion 
3:55Ramsbury Wildly Mildly3.6%
4:10Oxfordshire Ales Triple B3.7%
4:25Keystone Cornerstone 
4:55Loddon Downland Bitter 
5:20Battledown Tipster 4.2%
 Something suspicious going on here. Either I dragged out a half-pint for an hour or - much more likely - I didn't get round to writing in the programme whatever I bought at 6pm.  
6:25Buntingford Pargeter3.7%
6:50Geltsdale Tarnmonath3.8%

One innovation was the choice of glass sizes - "Full pint", "half pint" and "third of a pint". Marvellous idea - with the small glass you can get round loads of beers without having to suffer the ones you don't like too long. Of course, the small size does tend to make a mess of your neatly arranged souvenir glasses.

As I said, it was family day so the larger kids got to get involved in the face painting too:


Friday, May 04, 2007


What are these people on?

According to the BBC website, Which? has reported that "Theme park thrills 'over-priced'". Well, that should surprise exactly 0.0% of the population.

There is a fantastic statement from an unnamed spokeswoman for the Tussauds Group (which owns Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures). Apparantly queues for some of the big rides were part of the experience to help build a sense of anticipation.

I propose that the next time this vile person goes to the restaurant, they should be made to sit for an hour without any refreshments before being taken to their table. I am sure that the meal will taste that much better as a result. And lets hope that they have booked the cinema or theatre afterwards so they can stand in the rain for another hour. Of course, the film or show will only last 5 minutes before they are unceremoniously kicked out again.


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