Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Glory Of A Low Budget Festival

On the Sunday just gone, I had arranged to go for a ride with my brother Dan and his girlfriend Aimee. The weather was slightly overcast which as Tom Jones would say, is not unusual. But we didn't let that stop us and we made plans of where to go. My bro suggested a festival that was happening relatively nearby, where we could go watch some bands and have a few drinks. A couple of years back my brothers band had played the same festival and at the time he said it was really good, so it seemed like a good idea. Here's a little map of our route, it starts from the local train station not far from my brothers house (I obviously don't want to give away his address). Unfortunately when it came time to set off, Aimee wasn't feeling to great, so she decided to stay at home leaving my bro and me to brave the harsh beast that was a local music festival.

The festival itself was in and around the grounds of a pub called The Roaches Lock. The Roaches is right on the side of a canal so the tents and stages were spread out along the banks. They had a stage in the car park (a topic of great interest) as well as a tent with a makeshift bar. Just slightly further on they had a few burger vans where some hippies had seen it as a perfect place to set up some tents selling spiced tea. I thought this was an interesting image, the people in the tents were probably no more than 25, only a few years older than me, and by their standards in seemed, they were living the hippie lifestyle. Maybe I'm stereotyping, but if you saw them you wouldn't believe they were proper hippies for a second. I wanted to walk up to them and quiz them on hippie-history. I bet if you asked one of them when the summer of love was, they'd probably say "Last year when I went to Magaluf". Just because you wear dirty, shaggy clothing and bandannas of various colours of the spectrum doesn't qualify you to sell spiced tea and give advice on all the "far out" comings and goings of the world. I'm also going to assume that a handful of them were Vegetarian, only because of stereotyping of course. Now don't get me wrong, if you enjoy eating animals that's fine, a lot of people do, but IF you do, don't put your tent, directly next to a f***in burger van. Baffling.

Even further on that there was a dance tent (Weird) with what looked like two 8 year olds pilled off their heads, raving their backs out to some mental trance. Just next to that was a makeshift stage in a white marquee where the 15 strong crowd stood at the entrance to it, instead of actually inside it, I bet that was a confidence booster for the band. The last was an acoustic tent, this seemed to have drawn the biggest crowd, I think that's because half the people there knew each other and only came to see one band play.

What really made me laugh though, was their so called "Main Stage". As I said earlier its a topic of great interest, bearing in mind that the phrase "Main Stage" itself brings up thoughts of huge festivals, like Glastonbury or The Carling Leeds/Reading Festivals that are famous for having enormous stages. Hundreds of thousands of people stood with their eyes fixed on the same ginormous structure, cheering and screaming for one band. Mozfest... It wasn't quite like that, here's a picture of the main stage at Mozfest...

Get your tickets for next year, judging by the crowds for the "Main Stage", they will be selling like hot cakes.

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ


Monday, 10 August 2009

So Little To Do, So Much Time

The time has come to pick up where I left off. Before I finished university I was blogging quite a lot, I had tons to rant about and the stuff I whined about always seemed to be important to me. Most things are the same accept I no longer have to worry about essays and deadlines. At this point in my life, I'm searching for a job, broke, but I have a strange amount of time on my hands that I haven't felt in a long time. This abundance of free time has so far been put to good use, spending time with family, riding my bike as much as I physically can, building 2 sets of massive wardrobes from IKEA, taking my driving theory test (I passed by the way, no applause please) and general tom-foolery. But so far I havnt written a blog post, so I'm being pro-active in my laziness and writing one now.

Can I start by confessing that Twitter is officially taking over my life. I love the simplicity of it, I like that I can read exactly what my friends and my favourite celebrities are doing at any given time. I don't usually buy into the whole celebrity culture, I hate gossip magazines and the f***'n retards who sell their stories for some quick cash deserve exactly what they get. They sell em' then months down the line complain that the press are invading their privacy and won't leave them alone. YOU DID IT TO YOUR F***ING SELF! Anyway I prefer to see my Twitter experience leaning towards empathy instead of a psycho stalker type celeb hunter, who lusts after their every breath. I love being able to see what Travis Barker, Mark Hoppus, Lance Armstrong and many others are doing because I have respected them for a long time, and worshiped the ground they walk on (In the case of Travis Barker), so being able to look into their personal lives, instead of what you read on poorly written blogs they leave on their websites is a crazy thing to experience. Mostly though I'm embracing it as kind of a portable venting tool. What I mean by that is, I have an iPhone and I can pretty much access Twitter everywhere I go, I used to have to remember stuff I was pissed off about then blog it all later, but now if I witness something annoying or extraordinary I can immediately let everybody (a limited number of followers) know about it.

Other than that I have nothing to report at this time. Gotta go and sort through all my stuff and decide what needs throwing away and what doesn't. I far too much crap.

I'll leave you with a video from Youtube. It's one of my favourite bands of the moment playing live in their rehearsal room. Just an amazing band. Enjoy

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ


Saturday, 18 July 2009

Oh Say Can You See... The Longest Post I've Written So Far

Well here we are, it's time, it's the post you've all been (very patiently) waiting for, it's the full length account of my 3 week trip to the United States Of America.

You may or may not know, that usually before any sort of event, such as sports games, the American people being the patriotic bunch they are (nothing wrong with that!) like to play their national anthem, so in tradition with honoring America I would like to do the same.

Please rise for the national anthem of the United States Of America.

That version is from the 1991 Superbowl XXV (25 for you non-Romans) and it sends shivers down my spine every time I hear it.

Formalities aside, lets get on with the trip. Onwards!

The trip was a three week adventure for my girlfriend Sam, my Mum and Dad and myself. It all began on Sunday the 7th of June, when we started the trip by flying from Manchester airport to Nashville, TN (with a change over at Philadelphia). At the airport we were greeted by scorching hot weather and also my sister (who I've definitely spoke of in my blog before). We collected our hire car, which as far as I was concerned was not the best looking, but damn was it comfy! And by typical American standards, to open the door you had to push a button and it magically opened itself for you, which I definitely wasn't complaining about. Me and Sam got in my sisters car (for fear of my dad driving on the wrong side of the road and killing us before the trip had even began) and drove to Pulaski, TN where she now resides. We spent a nice relaxing night there, and with a well earned rest, the next day we drove to Atlanta.

The whole reason for going to Atlanta was to go see the Atlanta Braves play. I'm a huge fan of North American sports, I've played basketball and hockey since I was about 15, and over the years a general interest for baseball, American football and other stupid things like NASCAR slowly crept in. Now, I'm a huge baseball fan, and thought of seeing another live game was immensely exciting (The first time I saw a baseball game was on a school trip to New York, where I saw the Yankees play the Toronto BlueJays. Being a juvenile I found the abbreviation of BJ's to be heavily amusing).

So we arrived in Atlanta at our hotel which was a few minutes walk away from the stadium. Our hotel was also right near the Olympic torch and a huge monument to commemorate the 1996 Olympic Games, which was really cool to see.

We got to the game after plenty of happy snaps en-route, and a minor detour for me to buy a Braves jersey, but eventually we found our seats. We all enjoyed the game, the atmosphere was great and everybody seemed to get into it a lot more than I expected, especially Sam, who insisted I did "The Chop" about 10,000 times over the duration of the night. Regardless of the arm ache, the game was awesome. Amazingly the game went to 15 innings, which if you don't know baseball, is like having extra time in football (soccer for you yanks) for nearly as long as the original game itself. We also found out that it was Bobby Cox's (Braves Head-Coach) 2000th career win, which is a nice milestone to witness.

The next day we flew directly from Atlanta to Las Vegas! Cue the music!

Vegas was one of the highlights of the trip, but it's probably the craziest place I've ever experienced. We stayed at the Stratosphere hotel right at the end of the strip, not the best positioning if you want to be on the strip every night, but the great thing about Las Vegas is their Monorail system, it cost us about $25 each for an unlimited 3day pass, and the nearest stop was at The Sahara hotel which was literally a few minutes walk so it didn't turn out that bad at all.

When we arrived at the hotel, we checked in and went to investigate the rooms, after sorting out who had what view from their window we went downstairs onto the casino floor to find somewhere to eat. As we made our way through the casino, we saw hundreds of people buried in a cloud of their own smoke staring intently at a slot machine, just hoping it would just explode in a flash and glory of bells and flashing lights, but unfortunately (and not surprisingly neither we nor anyone else we saw experienced this). Eventually we came to a traditional American diner called Roxy's, being hungry and also wanting to get into the spirit of the trip in general, we decided to eat there. We sat down and ordered our food, the menus were shaped like vinyl records, which I thought was cool.

We also noticed that they had their own in house DJ, playing oldies and things on "Roxy's Radio", we all thought nothing of until one of the waitresses came up from serving a table took the microphone off him and perched herself high upon one of the booth seats. To our amazement she starting singing to the song, and honestly it wasn't bad at all, I expected a lot worse. As we continued to eat we noticed a pattern where slowly one member of staff after another would come forth and sing a song, luckily we were leaving so it didn't get too tiresome, but I couldn't of stayed there all night. Good milkshakes though, oh yeah.

We decided from the beginning to visit all the hotels that were worth seeing over the three days we were in Vegas, overall my favourite was the MGM Grand, but they were all amazing in their own ways. In the MGM Grand they had a huge enclosure off the casino floor where they would bring in Lions at certain times of the day from a specialist ranch that was about 12 miles into the desert. They have about 15 lions so they rotate them so as not to keep one set traveling back and forth. It was incredible to see.

They also had a tunnel going from the casino floor into their gift shop, which was made of a thick plastic (I think) where the lions would sit and you could see them from directly underneath. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly the tunnels roof was pretty scratched so photos didn't come out that well, but here's a few of the best ones.

The Luxor which is the Egyptian themed hotel, was also just as impressive, the architecture was just stunning.

And the view from inside the hotel was just as amazing, I found it crazy how they've managed to incorporate the rooms into the shape of the pyramid.

Excalibur is the medieval, dungeons and dragons themed hotel, and for those of you who know me well, you know that I'm a bit of a geek for stuff like that, so I absolutely loved it! Unfortunately all the photos on this post have been taken on my iPhone, and its range is limited so for Excalibur I didn't really get any good shots of the exterior as its surrounded by a mote and next to a massive highway. Heres a good picture of it though.

The New York New York hotel is exactly what is says on the tin, it's a hotel that looks like the New York skyline, complete with the Statue Of Liberty and a roller coaster going round the buildings, again my iPhone was unable to capture it in full glory. Check it out. At the NYNY hotel they encourage you to...


Or my personal favourite...

Unfortunately I didn't ROK my "Insert Choice Here" Off, because we had other things to do, one of the things was to go and spend a copious amount of money in the arcade whilst Sam, my sister and my dad went on the roller coaster, only to find out that you get tickets back INSTEAD of money! I felt abused, "This is F***'n Vegas!" I took one look around to realize that probably the entire under 21 population of the hotel had congregated in the same place. What a rookie. After losing a number of times on a basketball game (to everyone accept my mum, by that's only because I didn't play against her) I decided to give up my tickets and move on. I did however indulge my childish side by playing on this pointless drum machine thing, you pick a song and the pads just work as a drum machine so you can play along. I chose "Jump" by Van Halen, and lets just say, there was a small crowd gathering and they were moderately impressed by my skills. I was quite happy with my performance, I threw in a few things that weren't in the original recording, only the Van Halen aficionados among them would of known, but of coarse there were none there, just my dad, Sam, and like three American's who I think had never seen a drum kit in their lives. Regardless, It was fun.

The Bellagio was a gorgeous hotel with an amazing interior and a strange indoor garden type display. The highlight of the Bellagio and possibly of the whole trip was the fountains at the front. If you've never heard of these before you may of seen them at the end of Oceans Eleven where they've just scammed all that cash and they all stand nonchalantly around looking at the fountains. Here's a video of them, but I have to say in the flesh it was truly a life changing experience, and one that I'll never forget.

The Mirage was also a really nice hotel, not as nice in the casino's as other hotels but they had something very special that makes me rank it above most. If your familiar with Vegas hotels or you've watched The Simpsons, at some point you will of seen the two famous animal crazed performers known as Siegfried and Roy. At The Mirage they have a specialist animal reserve where u can pay about $15, and when you get inside its like a miniature zoo, I couldn't believe it. They had dolphins, leopards, and various different types of lions and tigers, it was amazing.

My dad, my sister and Sam all did the rides at the top of our hotel, and we got some great shots of the sun setting looking down over Las Vegas, it was beautiful.

After reluctantly leaving Vegas we flew back to Atlanta, this wasn't as straight forward as we would of liked because upon landing in ATL (Wadup Gangsta!) there was a huge thunder storm so literally seconds from touching down the pilot put the jets back on and we aborted the landing. We flew to Charlotte about 45 minutes away and sat on the runway for about an hour until the storm had subsided back in Atlanta, then we flew back.

After a good nights rest we began the journey to Destin, Florida. It was a long drive but when we got there it was completely worth it. After some apartment mix ups on the booking companies part, we ended up in another complex that we weren't happy with. My dad took numerous pictures to show his disgust, my sister had no plug for her sink, and when I stood on the balcony my dad couldn't see my face through the glass because it was so dirty, "Just a silhouette" he said. We spent a night there because it was late, and we were all tired, so the next day my dad (who was an absolute hero) went for several meetings in one day and eventually in the early evening called a family meeting on the balcony. He'd been negotiating all afternoon, and he managed to get the penthouse apartment in the original place we'd booked, we couldn't believe it, it was the best news. Soon after we packed our things and moved to the new place, I am not exaggerating it was the nicest place I've ever stayed in on holiday. I wouldn't even want to guess how much it would be worth, but it was amazing. The balcony looked right out to sea and every morning about 10:30 a huge flock (is that the collective noun?) of pelicans flew right past, about 10 feet from us. We also saw dolphins swimming past whilst having breakfast, that blew my mind a bit.

For just under a week we lounged on the beach, swam in the sea and just had tons of fun, we went to a water park (which was crazy expensive), and we went playing crazy golf (I won and my mum nearly killed a child). It went far too fast for my liking but I just had to put into perspective that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was extremely lucky to have the time I already had.

After Florida we moved on to New Orleans, another crazy place, its like a constant party down there. A friend of my dads, Paul, is a local, so he picked us up and gave us a guided tour of pretty much the whole New Orleans area, which if we wouldn't have had, I don't think I would of enjoyed it as much as I did. We went out drinking and Paul took us to a famous seafood restaurant. Those of you who know me, know I'm the fussiest eater ever, so I had french fries and everyone else had a crazy amount of different things. Sam had her first Oyster, which to my surprise she enjoyed and if I remember correctly had more than one.

The next day we drove to Memphis, where we visited Graceland (The home of Elvis Presley) and also Beale St. It was a beautiful place, so rich with cultural and musical history, I felt really at home there. We also went to The Peabody hotel to watch ducks come out of a lift (elevator), across a red carpet and into a fountain in the center of the lobby. It was a surreal experience and I almost pissed my pants laughing at it.

Before arriving in Memphis itself we took a huge detour to visit "The Crossroads". If your unaware of what the significance of it is, I will enlighten you. A famous blues singer named Robert Johnson, considered to be the father of the blues, reportedly sold his soul to the devil for the mastery of the guitar at those very crossroads, and he wrote a song about it. Cream famously did a cover of it, because Eric Clapton was heavily inspired by Johnson's playing. It was a strange place, and I did feel a strange vibe around the place, like it was somehow important. I don't know if that was me saying to myself, "This is where the blues began, FACT" or it was actually the place itself, I like to think it was the latter, makes the whole selling your soul business seem cooler than before.

In the last week of the trip, we had a pretty relaxing time, we visited Birmingham, Alabama, and we also went to Lynchburg, Tennessee to do a tour of the Jack Daniels distillery. It's a free tour and if your a fan of JD then its a must see. I went for a joy ride in my sisters Dodge Neon (which has no air conditioning, so during the heatwave that was going on whilst we were there, it was very uncomfortable inside the car), Sam also drove for the first time on American roads, from a car park (where we were joy riding) to the nearby Walmart. A few days before we were due to leave for home, we drove to Nashville for a few days to do some shopping and to go on the General Jackson Showboat.

And that ladies and gents was pretty much the trip, I apologise to everyone who reads my blog for talking so long to write it, and if you have been checking regularly for posts then I really appreciate you sticking around. Also apologies to my family if I've missed anything particularly important to you out, it was a crazy trip and half of it is a blur.

8 Flights, 10 States, 9 Hotels, 2 Apartments, 1 House, 11 Suitcases, 1 Trip of a lifetime.

I'm going to leave you with pictures of things I found particularly strange or disturbing on the trip and at the end a link to Youtube to play the song of the trip.

Thanks so much for reading.

Take it EZ


This dude is officially a mentalist, search for the ad on Youtube. Also search for "Slap Chop".

4 of our traditional 2-finger KitKats in ONE PACKET!!!!

That's just wrong

A vending machine that sells, iPods, Sony PSP's, $350 Bose noise reduction headphones. Wow.

I nearly vomited every time I walked past this shop. Just NO.

Go figure

Thanks again for reading. Enjoy

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Update: Back And Forth

Hello there, this is just a small update letting anyone who is interested know whats going down. The large post regarding my trip is still under construction, I've been backwards and forwards from university to home ever since I've got back from the USA, so I havn't had chance to sit down and get it finished properly. So hopefully it will be up in the next week or two.

As I said i've been quite busy working and traveling back and forth, but in my spare time whilst at home I have been watching the Tour De France, which I can honestly say is probably my favourite sporting event of the year. This year is especially important as Lance Armstrong has made his return to the peloton.

Here is a little video Lance posted on his Twitter page, of a famous actor you should recognize, interrupting the pre race preperations. This particular nuisance is apparently a massive cycling fan and also had the honor of awarding Fabian Cancellara the yellow jersey for his 4th day in the lead. Im a big fan of his and its always good to see that not all celebreties, whether they are sports personalities or actors, arn't all up their own arses. Enjoy.

Take it EZ


Monday, 29 June 2009

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand We're Back

This is another small but informative post to let you know I have arrived safely home from the USA (in case you were worried about me). The trip was unbelievable, and within the next week I will regail you with the events of the trip. The post will probably be longer than the independent research project that I had to do for my final year of university, but nevertheless It will be done, and done in great detail.

As always thanks for reading (even the small and pointless posts)

Take it EZ


Monday, 15 June 2009

Public Service Announcement

It has become clear to me on my travels that getting an internet connection has proved more difficult that I anticipated, and as a result I haven't been able to post a blog from every location I travel too. So I've decided that when I return home to the UK, I will forge a gargantuan post from nowhere, and tell you all the tales from my epic adventure.

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ  


Saturday, 6 June 2009

We're Spinal Tap From The UK! You Must Be The USA!

If you know me, by that I mean I actually socialize/converse/debate/argue/laugh/get drunk with you, by now you've probably heard that I'm going on a little trip. For those of you who don't know me, and only have a vague idea of my complex personality through the rants and moans of my blog... I'm going on a little trip. Tomorrow morning, I will be jetting of the the United States of America, with my Mum, Dad and my girlfriend Sam. Were off to meet up with my sister, who as I've said before in an early blog, resides there these days. As soon as we arrive its pretty much all systems go for the busiest 3 weeks of my life, but no doubt the most fun I'm ever likely to have.

So that is how the rest of my June will be spent, and needless to say, I'm slightly excited about it. But fear not, I shall be blogging on my travels, I'm going to attempt to do a new post every few days with small updates and pictures, but obviously it all depends when/where I can get a wireless signal.

For more spontaneous and more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter. You can read them on the right hand side of this blog.

As I'm in a great mood, here's a little ditty for you that always puts a smile on my face. If you don't know who Flight Of The Conchords then I have only one question for you... Are you a hermit in east Mongolia farming yaks? You must be. Enjoy

As always thanks for reading, and the next time I post, I will be across the pond.

Take it EZ


Friday, 5 June 2009

Chin Up Labour

Put this date in your diary, you are probably witnessing the end of an era. The following picture is the election results as from 8pm on the 5th of June 2009.

Thanks always for reading.

Take it EZ


Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Take A Deep Breath... Post Number 25 Incoming... Finally

Well I've finally got round to writing a post worthy of reading, after many short bursts of cerebral waste. Its been a busy few weeks for me, and eventually the crazy ride that is university came to a reluctant stop. All my work has been completed and handed in, and I will never have another lecture, seminar or group meeting ever again (unless I decide to do a Post-Graduate course, but for the moment, it seems permanent). Thinking back to previous years, if I had thought about the position I'm in now (being free from any sort of work) I probably would of greeted it with cheers and celebration, but now I'm actually in that position, I think Melancholia might be setting in. However there have been many things over the past week that have really cheered me up, and in this long winded and possibly pointless post I intend to cite them all. On with the show!

First up was the Friday that every 3rd year student at York St John was waiting for, that was the day of the Summer Ball. For anyone who is unsure of what that is, it's basically a little festival for the students, loads of booze, multiple places to watch live music and a few fair ground attractions thrown in for good measure. It was extra special for because I performed with the YSJ Big Band and my funk band aptly named Super Pelvic Thrust (There were other names thrown around, among them was "Break Your Funkin' Hymen", but that was scrapped for obvious reasons).

Both gigs went really well and the crowd really enjoyed the stuff we were playing, but I think the most important thing for us as a band, was to go out and have fun playing together. This was the last chance we had to play a proper gig and it felt really special to us all. The night was a little messy due to drinking 3 different types of lager and doing about 12 Jagerbombs. If you also examine the above poster you can see that The Futureheads were the headline act at this years ball. When I first found out I was ecstatic, I've been a fan of the band for a long time and I was unbelievably happy that a band as good as them were going to play on our tiny little campus. If you haven't heard of The Futureheads, they are a 4 piece band from Sunderland, and to put it bluntly, they are f**kin' awesome. When I arrived on campus to sort out my gear for the gigs we were playing later that evening, I heard one of their songs in the distance. I thought it was just coincidence that someone was playing it, when they were due to play later that night, but then it clicked... SOUNDCHECK!! I ran round to the front of uni and there they were, playing to an empty room, only me, the sound engineers and the PR woman (pictured).

When it was finally time for the gig, me and a few mates (Sean A.K.A Sloth and Spally) arrived two bands early to ensure we had a perfect view of the action.

When they came out on stage I was directly in front of the bass player (which because of my inebriated state, I informed my friends of about 20 times) but if your reading this Jaff (why you ever would is beyond me but just in case), I showed you about 5 messages on my iPhone and I met you briefly backstage (which I also told my friends about) and you were a legend, so thanks a lot for that.

Overall the night was an unbelievable success on all accounts, everyone had an awesome time and I will always remember it as a night of great fun and laughter, not beer fueled depression as I and a lot of my mates expected it to be.

In conversation with my girlfriend Sam earlier this afternoon I promised I'd include her in my next post, so here's a picture of us in the Acoustic Tent at the ball.

The next day I awoke with a slight ringing in my ears, but it felt good knowing what a great night I'd had. Dont get me wrong it was painful, but a good painful, like when you've been to the gym and you've worked really hard, and the next day you walk like you've been brutally sodomized, that sort of painful. After getting dressed and testing my hearing with some more of The Futureheads, I went for breakfast with two very good friends Edric and Spally, before heading to Scarborough with them and a group of friends all belonging to a Madrigal Choir from our uni. Most people when you say to them "Im in a madrigal choir" they look at you as if you asked them to write down the theory of Quantum Mechanics on the back of a Jacobs Cracker. So to give you an example of the stuff we sing, here's a video of The Kings Singers doing there thing. As the day progressed, the sun was shining and the hangover soon wore off, but even though the company was great and the weather was even better, the day didn't go without a hitch.

Mid afternoon, a number of us required lunch, and where better to go to at the seaside than a chip shop for fish and chips. Harry Ramsdens is a well known and long running chip shop chain that was situated not far from us on the beach, and seemed like the logical choice. Four of us purchased food from there and from what was said its reception was very good (for me it was anyways), but for one member of our group things weren't to standards befitting of a... "human" shall we say. Whilst tucking into her fish and chips which she'd payed about 5 pounds for, she found a bolt. A metal bolt, like the hexagonal shaped ones with the little dome on top in the following picture. It was actually buried somewhere IN her food, needless to say we made her go back and complain about it, to which to she received a free fish and chips as well as a free drink (rightly so). But come on were not f***ing robots, don't put metal in peoples food.

Whilst on our little trip to the B&Q of chip shops I noticed a road sign that really shocked me. I'm not shocked very often but I was actually taken back by what was in front of my eyes.

This is probably the most phallic image I've ever seen that wasn't blatant pornography, and whats crazy is that its on THE main road by the seafront, with families and children walking past just minding their own, not realizing there's a giant penis right above their heads. Why hasn't some prude old woman complained about it? I mean, its incredibly detailed, there's little hairs coming off it, the only thing it lacks is the West Pier road being slightly curved or having a small roundabout, then it would be perfect.

On my way back from the chippy, whilst walking leisurely down the beach, I saw a man and his son kicking around an inflatable ball, I thought nothing of it until it flew into a drove of donkeys. The donkeys obviously have a problem with random colourful objects, so their natural reaction was to scatter, the only problem was that they were waiting only yards from nearby sun bathers. A few people were VERY narrowly missed and the owner of the donkeys didn't seem to think any urgent response was necessary, she just kept on shouting "Don't you dare! Don't you dare!" to which the donkeys didn't bat an eyelid too.

The time eventually came for us to go home, whilst walking back to the train station we stopped at various points along the sea front to sing our little songs. We did stop briefly outside a shop so that one member of the group could buy some rock. Whilst waiting on the street, a flying shit machine, more commonly known as a seagull let rip directly above us, hitting the pavement and narrowly missing everyone. We all laughed and thought what a narrow escape, little did I know the little bastard was just having some target practice. Further along the road we veered off through some gardens up a very steep hill, it was here I was effectively cornered off. I was moving further towards higher ground, enabling the RAF ShitFlicker to get lower. He eventually locked me in his sights and let one rip all over me. I was livid. Ive not felt that angry in a long time, I wanted to find the nearest gun shop and go seagull hunting, the little bastards had ruined my good mood and there was nothing I could do about it.

We arrived back in york, slightly pink and tired, and in want of a good beer, me and Edric traveled to The Last Drop Inn for a pint of Guzzler. It was severely needed and it did help take away the horrors of the day from my mind.

Sunday was work... Boring ... Enough said about that.

Finally Monday arrived and if your are a regular reader of my blog, you might remember from a previous post, that the first Monday of every month is what me and the boys have dubbed Dress Up Monday. This months (the second of many to come) was no exception, we went to the Indian Lounge (just like last time, I feel its becoming a tradition) and had an immense curry. The only thing that could be improved about their service are the waiters photography skills, as you can see he managed to take a picture of his finger at first...

Classy. Then when we informed him he had his finger over the lens he took another, to a poor standard.

Overall the really good times have outweighed the bad these past few days, and It's times like this I'm really glad I started writing a blog, so I can document this sort of stuff and look back on it whenever I feel like it. So my mates can relive stuff that they've done, and so people who have never met me and have no clue who I am can get a taster for it too. There not the only reasons though, most of the time I'm just a miserable bastard who likes to moan about pretty much everything.

Anyways, as always I will leave you with some pearls of Youtube wisdom, and if you have read any of my twitter posts in the last few weeks you might of seen that my girlfriend showed me the video for Beyoncé's single "Ego", and that I liked it very much. So without further introduction, enjoy the sexy beat, sexy horns and the sexy dance moves. Enjoy

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Another Aperitif

Seems recently I'm the king of tiny little posts, but I can tell you a substantial post is on the way. I have handed in all of my university work, but I still have performances to do and compositions to record, edit and produce for a friend. So it will most likely be over the weekend at some point. Keep your eyes peeled for that.

Now however, I wanted to share a little video with, another Fixed Gear related video, but this is a beautiful looking trailer for a documentary around the track bike culture in Germany. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ


Monday, 25 May 2009

I've Gotta' Go Hungry Have I?

Ive got something to share with you, as a little nibbler until I write my full post over the next few days. While reading the twitter of well known author and blogger Michael Marshall (Smith) or for you twitterate (see that? Twitter and Literate? good stuff that) people among you he's known as @ememess. Anyway, his "tweets" are usually very funny, but this one especially made me cry tears of absolutle joy, all because of some severly retarded welshman.

I will set the scene. A man has been to ASDA and bought a pizza. He gets home, looking forward to his little "slice" of heaven, and opening the packet only to find theres no topping. Oh no! So he decides to ring ASDA to complain and here is where I leave you.


Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Feel The Vibes

John Mayer - Vultures. Crazy funky, Crazy talented.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Weeks Of Absence In One Post.

(My Dissertation Minutes Before Hand-in. A Proud Moment)

Its been a while since my last post, but this is not due to a lack of material, its due to a lack of time. In the weeks away I've handed in the single most important piece of university work, performed in multiple concerts and have been preparing for more essays, and more performances.

My university life is drawing to a close now, and to be brutally honest, I'm not f***ing happy about it. I love university, I like my friends here, I like having my thirst for knowledge quenched to the point of confusion, but more importantly I'll miss the places. The music block, where I've spent hours and hours singing and drumming, the library (where I've spent less time than anywhere else, but thats not the point) reading and learning. The chapel, where every tuesday for the past 3 years I've either watched or performed in the Lunchtime concert, and finally the students union bar. This place holds some of the fondest memories, no matter when it was, whether after after concerts and in betwixt lessons, times were always fun. Im so glad I know people in their second year so I can come back to visit and use their student status to visit my beloved university once more.

Enough of the sob fest anyways, I've got more annoying matters to attend to. First things first.

The Eurovision Song Contest. Now don't get me wrong, I watch it every year and I laugh my arse off at some of the s**t that perform, but it used to be funny because of the unbelievably politically incorrect comments Terry Wogan came out with. Graham Norton who took over from Wogan this year, was, to put it frankly, shit. There was no outright ribbing that would of been commonplace with Wogan.

Because of the lack of my mate Terry, I decided to make notes on all of the performances, as if I was commentating. So here is what I wrote. These haven't been edited from when I wrote them as the performances happened.

1. Lithuania - strange guy with a stupid hat - Shit.

2. Israel - Drummers playing biscuit tins - Shit.

3. France - Woman who sounded like she had a "FROG" in her throat. Pun definitely intended.

4. Sweden - Happiest but weirdest woman ever... POP-Opera with the Magic Flute-esq Queen of the night aria bit... White stage for chorus is a bit weird, can hardly bloody see.

5. Croatia - Huge pervert right off the bat. Crazy creepy smile. Keep your children away.

6. Portugal - Shit.

7. Iceland - A young, normal looking Girl... woah is it possible? Great voice. not a bad song. Mammoth backing singers though... PUT DOWN THE FORK!

8. Greece - Gayest Guy Ever... WORST ROUTINE EVER!!!!! - Shit.

9. Armenia - Sisters... Inga and Anush... An amalgamation of Shakira, The Corrs and Depeche Mode... weird... Strangely catchy...Everytime I Hear it back it gets better.

10. Russia - shit song...Weird that her face is all over the stage slowly aging. Disgusting.

11. Azerbaijan - boy and girl duet - very ricky martin. weird dancing/Gymnastics. Again... Shit.

12. Bosnia & Herzegovina - A Band - apparently have supported the rolling stones. Absolutely wank...REALLY WANK.

13. Moldova - Weird woman, good voice. Shakira style. Muppet men backing dancers. They look like there desperate for a pee. One bloke backing singer stood way back, with a huge spear thing. no idea why. Shit.

14. Malta - Voice sounds like the opposite of what she looks like. Michelle McManus springs to mind. Power ballad, not bad to be honest.

15. Estonia - a sextet of string playing ladies. Nice song, classical yet modern.

16. Denmark - written by Ronan Keating... Very stars in your eyes. Hes singing doing an impression of Ronan Keating... WHY?... Surprise surprise, Shit.

17. Germany - Dita Von Teese is on stage and gets down to her smalls... Gay electro/swing song...Lead singer has SILVER sparkly pants, For f**k sake... Awful scatting section... AND Tap Dancing! f**king tap dancing! Shit.

18. Turkey - Yet another Shakira/Beyonce wannabe. Shit song. Skimpy costumes... for Turkey... STANDARD!

19. Albania - Shit. Weird.

20. Norway - favourite to win... How?

21. Ukraine - Weird set...centurian dancers... Joan Rivers face, Shit.

22. Romania - Lovely ladies, but still poor.

23. UK - here we go...shit song. Powerfull voice but a bit too screechy.

24. Finland - I feel like I'm 14 again, one bloke rapping, 3 girls singing. Catchy dance song, nice harmonies. One of the best (of a REALLY bad bunch).

25. Spain - Weird dancers again. Rubbish song with stupid lyrics. "I wanna shake me, I wanna shake me".

Grow a pair Norton. You've got big shoes to fill, and sort your voice out. Muppet.

Moving swiftly on, I went to my local supermarket the other day to purchase some much needed food items. I went to the appropriate isles, collected the things I needed then proceeded to the checkout. The choice of which checkout would turn out to be my downfall. When I arrived at the checkout (The last one at the far back of the store, probably about a quarter of a mile from the entrance) the man was serving a girl in front of me. I thought nothing of it as I was texting my girlfriend at the time. The girl gathered her stuff and moved on, and I moved forward, "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeello" said the man, I looked confused for a second, whether I had dreamt his strange greeting, but he stared at me waiting for some sort of confirmation of it. I quickly muttered "Hi" to break the strange staring match, snap, immediately he proceeded to run all my items through the till. When he finished he told me the amount to pay and signaled to the chip and pin machine with no less enthusiasm than Vincent Price reading Edger Allen Poe. I mean for f**k sake, you work in a supermarket, your not Patrick Stewart doing Shakespeare at The Globe, get some perspective. He even folded the receipt in the most peculiar way, he looked at it for a few seconds before starting it. I thought to myself "Jesus christ, judging by the 'Enter your pin' performance he's gonna go at this hammer and tongs and make some sort of f**king swan out of it". Inside I was crying with laughter but on the surface I looked confused and slightly angry, I don't think he noticed to tell the truth, he probably gets it alot. Make no mistake I was gone before he could break into a parting song.

On monday afternoon/evening I went for a few drinks with the usual suspects from uni. Edric, Dave DB, Dave "Windbag" and Mark, or alternatively, Horse, Bull, Meerkat and Badger respectively. Sean and Phil (Sloth and Otter) were indisposed so were unable to make it. Needless to say, we had a great laugh, we were all half cut and DB was off his face on nicotine patches so that provided plenty of entertainment as well. We moved from a pub called The Last Drop Inn (which does a cracking pint called Guzzler, try it if you know where it is) to another old man pub called The Handsome Cab (which is a Samuel Smith's brewery pub, which means 2 things. Good quality and cheap). After a pint and 5 bags of Mini Cheddars for the badger, we were just about ready to leave, but previously the badger had told me about the prophylactic machine in the mens toilets and that I had to check it out (No idea why, he can be quite strange). But I was curious to what could of amused him so much, and behold, the answer lay before me.

Notice the amount of time taken to brand their product, oh wait, there ISN'T a brand, only the name of the company who owns the machine itself. Now I didn't purchase any of these, I wouldn't even bother out of curiosity, because quite frankly, a plastic shopping bag and an elastic band would do a better job than these "Super Lubricated Protectives". I thought the small piece of information on STI's was a nice touch too, nothing gets a mans juices flowing more than the thought of some genital disease.

As always I will leave you with a little slice of Youtube, and this week comes in the form of an A Cappella performance of a Randy Newman song by The Kings Singers. These guys are absolutely awesome and the whole performance is just top class. Enjoy.

Thanks always for reading. My next post might not be for a few weeks, but keep your eyes peeled.

Take it EZ


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Things That Just Don't Mix

Tonight I went out for a few drinks with friends at a local restaurant. En route, my friend Edric and I were walking innocently along the pavement (as a pedestrian should do) and unbeknown to us there was the mother of all f***ing puddles ahead of us by the side of the road. In fact I would go so far as to call it a pond, this thing was gargantuan. Anyway, we continued along the street towards our destination when some brainless f*** chose to drive directly through the puddle thus giving us the soaking of a lifetime. Needless to say we weren't best pleased and as such, we hurled every name under the sun at the driver. After a good few moments of moaning like disgruntled old men, we continued on to the restaurant called El Gringos, which is a tiny Tex-Mex place that does a student night on a tuesday.

Picture 4
(Thanks to Google Maps for the Picture including a Chavvy Mum)

We got there, less than happy, more than damp, and ordered some beers. Edric and myself sat at a table at the far end of the restaurant with a large group of friends, on closer inspection of the interior decor, as I expected there were obvious native american paraphernalia, as well as american junk too, but for some strange reason, completely un be-known to me (And I think other people too) they had Jamaican flags and posters of Bob Marley. Please can someone explain to me what that signifies? Because I really don't have a clue. But upon a second probing I noticed something else that was extremely disconcerting, the ceiling was leaking directly over the light fixtures. 

Now I'm certainly no expert, and please do forgive me if I'm wrong, but electricity and water, aren't they two things that should be kept separate? Like Manuel Uribe and McDonalds? Yep he definitely is "Lovin' It". Call me old fashioned but come on, isn't that something that shouldn't really happen in a restaurant? I bet they payed off the health and safety officer with San Miguel and Burritos.   

So in summary, things I have seen today that just don't mix.

1. Pedestrians, cars and puddles
2. Tex-Mex restaurants and Jamaican Paraphernalia 
3. Electricity and water.
4. Manuel Uribe and McDonalds

As always I will leave you with a treat from the bottomless pit that is YouTube, but seeing as though it worked so well in the past... Heaven or Hell awaits. Enjoy.

As always thanks for reading.

Take it EZ


Update On Last Nights Events...

This is just a small post to confirm last night was officially a success. A few people who should of been there (not naming names Sean and Phil), weren't, so there was an air of disappointment at the beginning of the night, but all was soon forgotten.  There were also a few issues where to eat (we visited two places before we decided on the third) but when we did decide it was apparent that our choice was completely justified. We settled on a place called the Indian Lounge, which is situated in the centre of York. I'd heard great things from a few friends who have made this their regular curry house. 

(Sorry for the shit picture)

Anyway, after ordering four glasses of water and four bottles of Kingfisher, we tackled the menu. After much deliberation we ordered, and we waited in anticipation of the a variable smorgasbord of delights that was incoming and also to the evening ahead.

(Mark and Ed clearly happy with their food selection)

The food arrived after a short wait and its safe to say we weren't disappointed. No time was wasted getting stuck in to it, and soon all four of us began to feel quite stuffed. The food was absolutely awesome and I think I speak for Ed, Mark, Dave and myself when I say that.  

(The Post-Feed Destruction) 

We continued on to a few bars for some drinks and a good night was had by all. Thanks to all the boys for making an effort and roll on the next Dress Up Monday. 

As this is only a tiny post I won't leave you with anything crazy, or funny. Just a great song with a great video. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks as always for reading.

Take it EZ


P.S - Apologies to anyone who tried to decipher yesterdays post title. The last two digits were spelt incorrectly in the morse alphabet. I have rectified the problem, so consider the competition re-open. Thats of coarse if you really care. Thanks - LW

Monday, 27 April 2009

.--. --- ... - -. ..- -- -... . .-. .---- ---..

If you are wondering why the title for this post consists of only dots and dashes, you might recognize the seemingly unrecognizable jumble as Morse Code. It is in homage to Samuel Morse who would of celebrated his birthday today. Unfortunately he died along time ago, but I enjoy the simplicity of what he invented, so I thought I'd use it. If you want to decipher it, be my guest and I might even arrange a little prize for the first person to do it and email the answer, probably in the form of a congratulatory note or something of equivalent value.

On my time away from posting, I've been on my travels somewhat. I've been back to Manchester for a few days and I also traveled to London for 3 days with my girlfriend Sam. I was looking forward to going to "The Big Smoke" as they call it, because I've only been when I was younger and when I've been accompanied with my parents so this was a guaranteed dose of adventure heading my way. At Manchester train station I spent £10 on a new razor and some shaving gel only to leave it on the train when I arrived at London so it wasn't the best start for my wallet, but the excitement soon over shadowed it. Sam had an audition at Laban dance school on the friday, so our plan was to do as much sight seeing on the wednesday and thursday. And god damn did we do some sigh seeing! Our tired feet were dragged everywhere, and here for your viewing pleasure is a small slideshow of our trip. 


1. Tube Map
2. Random Fixie
3. Two sharks Chillaxin'
4. Nemo
5. Dory
6. Me stood above the sharks
7. London's equivalent of York's stupid Purple dude.
8. The Eye
9. Relaxin with some legends. John Cage, Merce Cunningham
10. More legends. Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still
11. Me after some experimental surgery
12. Random nice street in Shoreditch
13. St. Pauls

I hope you enjoyed that, obviously the trip was alot more involved but I didn't take a great deal of photographs, so do forgive the lack of consistency. But Sam and me both had an amazing time and if you've never been, then I would urge you to make the effort to go. You won't regret it.

Moving swiftly on to more current matters. As I'm writing this, I am in great anticipation of the night that lies ahead. Tonight is the first of many events that we have dubbed "Dress Up Monday". Basically for no apparent reason, were going to get gussied up, go out and have some beverages. Its only going to happen once a month so its important for everyone to make an effort. Im sure I'll be posting a few pictures of my friends making idiots of themselves or a certain friend trying to attract the opposite sex.

(Its O.K to want a piece ladies!)

On that note, I will leave you with a classic song that I somehow stumbled across again. If you don't sing along then you really arnt human! Enjoy.

Thanks always for reading

Take it EZ