Tag Archives: music

The Edge

This morning, I was just finishing getting ready for work. One final, cursory glance towards the mirror before heading off, and I realised, with a jolt, and indeed some large amount of alarm, that The Edge was staring somewhat morosely back at me. This strange…illusion, for it surely must have been such, was so… perhaps…veridical that I remember spinning wildly around to grab the sleekit wee fucker. Just like how, I would imagine, one might body-tackle and pummel an unlucky leprechaun in order to squeeze out some of his luck.

Alas! My attempt was futile. I reckon that you’d definitely need the edge, to catch The Edge. But can you imagine – a somewhat scruffy, but well kent Irish intruder creeping up behind you, in your own house?!

Can you imagine!

Continue reading The Edge

Terminal tinnitus

One of the many things I hoard pointlessly like a senile squirrel is ticket stubs. I was going to count them the other day, but life’s too bloody long; there’s hundreds. Sweet Jesus, the amount of booze I must have both drunk and worn in venues across the country could refloat John Darwin’s canoe.

Factor in those stubs I’ve somehow shredded, accidentally set on fire or dropped in piss, plus all the e-tickets that exist only in Sundar Pichai’s brain, and it’s fair to say I’ve done my tour of duty. I know the game.

And the game’s changing. Not for the better.

Continue reading Terminal tinnitus

Cinema elephant ballroom marathon

Cinema elephant ballroom marathon.

Is it a word game, do you think? Say four nouns that you know with virtual certainty nobody in the history of human speech has ever uttered in that order before. Parsnip crank owl trousers. Finger bassoon withdrawal bingo. Mountain wafer pinball theory. 

It could be some fucked up game of Cluedo, but the ballroom makes that a bit obvious so it must be the word game. However, I have said ‘cinema elephant ballroom marathon’ many times before I’m afraid, so it’s a hands-down triumph for me. I like to call it ‘the full boat’. And bugger me if I’m not a jolly sailor.

Continue reading Cinema elephant ballroom marathon

A dip into the bargain bin

Like everybody else, I’m using this period of indefinite detention to have a bit of a clear-out.

It’s incredible the amount of utter shite you find yourself stockpiling in cupboards you’d only ever open if you weren’t allowed out. Among other cherished keepsakes, I’ve found a router from the 1990s, two shit hip flasks – Christ knows where the decent one’s gone – and a length of bright green cloth I had sent to me for a specific purpose that’s since vanished into that part of my mind that resembles a misty tundra with drunken Finns stumbling about on it. I’ve said the words “What the fuck is that for?” so many times I no longer associate them with glancing down in the shower.

So you set about throwing all this crap away. And physical music is a great place to start, because it takes up so much room and can so easily be digitised, if you’re even arsed with that since everything you’d ever want is online anyway. That stack of CDs you’ve had in the corner of the room for years? You could have a lovely pot plant there. Bin them, that’s what I’d do.

If I didn’t have 3,000 of the bloody things.

Continue reading A dip into the bargain bin

Touching me, touching you

You are a filthy paedophile.

You must be – why else would you be singing gaily along with every litre of lung capacity to a song about the delights of an 11-year-old girl? You’re doing an awful lot of ‘touching’ of a pre-pubescent teen – ‘reaching out, touching me, touching you’. Bill Wyman shakes his head in disapproval and Tom O’Carroll senses his time has come at last.

But it’s fine. You carry on parading your nasty sexual perversions in front of thousands of sports fans, each of whom is merrily doing the same in some kind of bacchanalian wankathon in a concrete bowl. I’ll slip out muttering that you’re all twisted ghouls, somehow making myself the killjoy in the process.

Because I really, really fucking hate Sweet Caroline. And apparently I’m completely alone.

Continue reading Touching me, touching you


In 1971, windswept crooner Don MacLean penned a little-known ditty (presumably inspired by the Weitz brothers film of the same) in which he warbled about “the day the music died”. Though MacLean was actually referring to the tragic 1959 plane crash which claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson, the true fate that has befallen music has proven to be far longer, more drawn-out and exponentially more painful.

Not that careering Earthwards in a ball of flame would be a fun way to go, but at least it would be over in a matter of minutes and carries with it a certain poetic panache. Come to think of it, there are few deaths that are more protracted and boring than the one in the throes of which the music industry currently finds itself – death by streaming.

Continue reading Humdrumification

The Grange Hill sausage

The band are on fire.

Not in a Bataclan sense, but they’re tearing through their set like a chainsaw through trifle. The crowd are going batshit and no-one will leave without tinnitus. And you’re in the middle of it all, mainlining life.

From nowhere, a boot is thrust into your eyeline like the Grange Hill sausage. It thrashes about and whips at your eyebrow, ayabastard. By rights you should be furious; there’s no reason for a boot to be up there by your head, nor the ankle poking out of it. You grab it, pull it and drag it over yourself. Sweet Jesus there’s a whole body coming with it, a fat fuck of a man punching the air. He’s shovelled forwards, crushing the pink mohican of the lunatic in front.

It’s brilliant and you’re having the time of your life. But enjoy it while it lasts, because they’re coming for it.

Continue reading The Grange Hill sausage

Imploring clocks

A few weeks ago I was asked if I knew of a decent podcast app my friend could pipe idiots talking bollocks about nothing into her ears through. Pausing for a couple of deep breaths, I turned to the computer and pressed roughly 19 buttons to establish that the best such app out there was something called Pocket Casts. Tens of thousands of users, rave reviews, and not a bug in sight.

She thanked me for my skill at using the internet, all too rare in these days of increasing dependency on the Encyclopaedia Britannica. But there was a problem.

“It’s £1.49! Fuck that!”

Continue reading Imploring clocks

Folktronica shoegaze

I had the pleasure of going to see Caribou recently. The man and his supporting band were perfect. Heavy bass, high vocals and sharp beats; I expected nothing less.

But the crowd was beyond sub-par. Before they even came on the stage, there was a fellow almost blackout drunk behind me and as the show went on I noticed all around how sloppy people were. I was stuck in the middle of a giant vortex of debauchery. During “Sun”, in-between being elbowed multiple times in the head and having a whole pint spilled on my feet, the thought occurred to me: “Why would you pay a lot of money for an experience you’re not even going to remember?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for drinking and having fun, but if you paid for a ticket to the show, then I think it’s OK to assume that you are a fan of Caribou and if you’re a fan, wouldn’t you want to at least enjoy the music? These guys came all the way from Canada to put on this show. No matter how big they are, or how much they’re getting paid, you should fucking respect that.

This is not the first time I’ve dealt with this either. I was fourth row at an Interpol show, and there was a man in front of me blitzed out of his mind blabbering on about some battle gear startup he had invested in. He got so out of hand that security was called to remove him. Mind you, these were not the cheapest of seats.

There’s a time and place for everything. Clubs exist for a reason; pubs exist for a reason. Don’t show up to a folktronica shoegaze concert and drunkenly try to start a mosh pit. Apparently I was one of the squarest people there for sipping on two whole pints throughout the night and dancing without causing bodily harm to others and myself. Afterwards on the way to the cloakroom, I saw a girl fall into the wall multiple times trying to wait in line. I’m pretty certain she wasn’t even sure where she was, let alone which city. I cannot exaggerate enough that at least 70% of the crowd was wasted. I’ve seen more sober people leave The Nest at 3am.

I hate being a judgmental person, so if paying copious amounts of money for an experience you could have replicated for significantly less at some spot in Shoreditch is your thing, than be my guest, but don’t include me in your downward spiral. That’s where I cross the line.The best part of the drunk guy behind me (we’ll call him Man-bun for the purposes of this story because of his stupid hairdo) was that his friends were trying to calm him down – not only was Man-bun ruining my night, but his mates’ as well.

After his 5th or 6th drink, he started calling all of the women around him “cunts”, fell down, and leaned on strangers for support. I wish Man-bun’s story could have ended there, but I had the pleasure of witnessing him vomit outside all of the beer he had managed to ingest and not spill on me. You’re a real champ, Man-bun. I hope you drop £83 on the Field Day weekend tickets and don’t remember a single thing.

Music for airports

The most ambient album in the world, I reckon, has got to be Ambient 1 (Music For Airports) By Brian Eno, and here’s my reasoning.

Firstly, here’s Brian himself, from the album sleeve:

“Over the past three years, I have become interested in the use of music as ambience…I have begun using the term ‘ambient music’. An ambience is defined as an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint. Ambient music is intended to induce calm and a space to think. Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular, it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”

So there you have it, argument number one – if it was Mr Eno himself that invented, and labeled, the term Ambient Music, then it stands to reason that it would most probably be him himself who’d produce the most ambient album in the world…ever, innit?

Yes, it does.

My other, much more convincing argument for this particular album, the first in the genre remember, to be dubbed The Most Ambient Album In The World, is based on the following true story.

A while back I was tuned into that Pandora website, wherein it generated customised music playlists based on my preferences for different bands and music. I was playing my Orb playlist; a nice mix of ambient-type stuff that I’ve found makes a good, unobtrusive background, useful when reading, or writing or just wanting to subtly drown out the noise of shrieking from next door’s TV.

On this occasion a song had been delicately playing away for about 10 minutes, chilling me out nicely, so I looked up to note what this particular interesting/ignorable track was, and saw that it was from Ambient 1 (Music For Airports) by Brian Eno – available, a helpful ad informed me, to buy now from Amazon.

Aye, sounds good that, I thought, I wonder how much Amazon is selling it for? The minimum amount of clicks later and my basket was once again empty, Ambient 1 (Music For Airports) by Brian Eno was collecting air miles, and a hefty carbon footprint in the process, as it winged its way across the sea from the States.

I was looking forward to its arrival until a couple of days later when, searching my CD collection for something suitably ignorable/interesting to play, I noticed that there, already in my fucken collection, was Ambient fucken 1 (Music For Fucken Airports) by Brian Fucken Eno!

I mean, how much more fucken ambient an album can you get? An album I’d listened to on a good few occasions already, and I end up buying it again cos I didn’t even recognize it when I heard it!

“Intended to induce calm” is it Brian? Not that night it didn’t; I was fucken livid. Seven fucken quid that cost me, for a fucken doubler.