content top

Recomendations From the Grumpy Elf

Recomendations From the Grumpy Elf
Well you would be a bit grumpy if someone had shoved a bell up your nose. So how did 2014 go and what’s in store for the New Year?  I am pleased to report a pretty stellar year all round many highs a few lows (Car repairs and the like just before Christmas). Many things on the Rise and a few things met  their Demise. So the plan for 2015, well there is no plan because I am still working on the list of 40 or so items from 2012 (Which I may include in a blog just to remind people how silly lists can be, or should I say how silly my lists can be). But if you were to push me I will give you this image in reply and I think that’s the plan.     Gibbous Tyke ‘The Dark Antiquarian” is getting written first four chapters are with my secret beta readers ( Kim and Hill, sorry I guess not so secret then) we are full throttle into chapters 5 to 9 and just crashed trough 25,000 words so just under a third of the way so FINISHED by the end of 2015. That is the one concrete thing I set my mind to. As for distractions no doubt. So what was I listening to? Well all sorts, Satan’s helper (sorry Santas helper)  #1 Son gave me three albums currently on the radio here in CANADA:-  Hozier / Hozier,  Milky Chance/ Sadnecessary  &  July Talk / July Talk (Santa actually picked and wrapped them put them under the tree etc on the understanding it was #1 son who was giving Dad a present not Dad.) Also three other bands have been on heavy rotation here also big air play in Canada but may not have trended high in the UK. Finally three albums from “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.” The Grumpy Elf recommend them all. If I was to pick just one July Talk / July Talk is awesome well they are all worth the time but that ones a little bit more awsommeeemmn.  The Kongos  album suffers a bit from intermittent production but has what sounds like a washboard in there somewhere and I am all for that. And the music is great but they all have lyrics that apeal to...

Shades Of A Blue Orphanage

Shades Of A Blue Orphanage
Well here I sit listening to Thin Lizzy, ‘Shades Of A Blue Orphanage’ no less.  Yes I have a copy on CD digitally re-mastered and all sorts of bonus tracks that disturb me. So the question you are asking did I sell my Soul and whats the story with Eddie Prevost? And shame on you who are wondering what I am talking about, do you know nothing ? Did you not read THE FUNKY NOMAD provisos, its what it all about. Now click the link and catch up will you, goodness gracious me unbelievable. ( Yes I know I asked you to subscribe and thanks) So now we are on the same page did I sell my soul, well I don’t think so but it had me a bit worried, had I accidentally made a deal at the crossroads. Does making an offer on the interweb constitute a contract with unknown arcane powers? Probably not, or maybe yes, its hard to tell at this point. In truth I found out a while ago 2010 that this had been re-released, I bought a copy a few months back but have not admitted to it for various reasons. Will the journey now be over for riseanddeardemise.ca has the purchase of Shades killed the whole premise? And of course what of Eddie Prevost. Nothing is straight forward in the world of the Funky Nomad, if it was what would I have to blog about, what would keep me up at night. Question, why didn’t I just go buy it when it came out if it was so important to me, walk over to HMV place an order and just buy it. To be honest it seemed a bit like cheating. In theory I could take the whole list of missing albums pay the price and there they would be. But its not the same, I went to the record store the first time round, both new and second hand (Impulse in this case, that’s where I found Shades. (Of course I did not buy it new, it came out in 1972.) So for those of you sinners asking who the hell is Thin Lizzy? I feel truly sorry. I can say this. Thin Lizzy played their last gig 28th August 1983 at Redding Festival (Well at least for me) Phil Lynott died...

The World of Gibbous Tyke

The World of Gibbous Tyke
I know someone is going to point out that I should probably put this in the control docs or the book its-self, but having already penned 3600 words in those docs and a severe need to get on with it and as I only figured it out Boxing day I thought I would world-build right here. To give assurances to the naysayers and show it can be done.   (There is no reason it can’t appear later in the story. This is an incognito Blog after all and I have no followers, who the hell is there to read ahead.) So sitting here listening to Jethro Tull  “Broadsword and the Beast”  and well if you are going to free-form a fantasy world you need suitable music, if it takes too long I have my Led Zeppelin ready to go. (I did a map thing the other afternoon and am going to use some of my daughters colored pencils to tart it up a bit and no doubt I can post it on the blog for you all to marvel at. One time pass no erasing, what you see is what it is going to be.) Talk of the devil here it is and NO THAT’S A CAMEL (of the dromedary persuasion, I know a song about that but that’s off the point a bit.) So how far do you have to go with this world-building lark? Probably not all the way Tolkien, probably not the Earth just enough stuff to tell the story. Just in case you think I am a real moron I do have some idea what I am doing, I know how Geography, Weather, Land masses, Ecosystems, Populations, Cities, Industry Farming and many ancient and modern societies operate. I know about churches, religions, weapons, fighting systems, sword weights ( looked it up ) and I think I am shifty enough for viable work around’s for most of the pit falls so that even the most bum puckered retentive Fantasy World Watchers can toddle off and go do something more worthwhile. I have fixed the Magic there isn’t any so to speak. I have fixed the Elves and Dwarfs and Dragons, we don’t have any of these either. Language is fixed they all speak English ( or more accurately the same language but we can have some...

Charlie Don’t Surf, West Street.

Charlie Don’t Surf, West Street.
Well Charlie Don’t actually surf on West Street but were playing Live at the West Street in Sheffield. On my recent trip home to the good old Steel City I get the opportunity to use my camera for more than taking pictures of beers. Its been a while since I photographed Live Bands not since my student days. To get the opportunity to see my good buddy Mark (who has had the pleasure of knowing me since before infant school ) and Charlie Don’t Surf in action was something I was looking forward to, It seemed only reasonable to offer my services to take some photos. Having been a Professional Photographer for 12 years+ it seemed like the perfect idea. And to be totally honest as ideas go one of my better ones, however this now requires me to actually put my money where my mouth is. How is this going to turn out? I had been hearing rumors of West Street its changed they say, we better warn you, you might be shocked. Well this was certainly a turn up for the books, I had spent many a year ploughing up and down West Street crawling from pub to pub. I moved in just off West Street ate at the Bombay 3 times a week ( Still don’t know what was in their curry) worked at the Job Center it was everything I knew. How crazy could it be? I remember Pajama Jumps  and other very dubious happenings. I also remember early mornings walking down to the bakery and getting fresh Parkin in November, buying cheap Bavarian larger at the corner store, lunchtimes drinking in the “Frog and Parrot” just because. On a hot summer night just returned from Europe a case of Alsace white in my hands, being collected from the station by the usual suspects. That night it was hot,we went to see “Haze” upstairs at the Hallamshire, oh what glorious days. What ever happened to Gabadon?( Don’t trust my spelling) I have photos of it all, hang around a bit follow my blog, I am not as big an ass as you think. Well probably not. Turns out they were warning me about the girls! Girls on West Street, I knew about meeting girls on West Street, well the ones hanging around the Hoover shop...

Carnival of Thieves “Welcome to the Carnival....

Carnival of Thieves “Welcome to the Carnival.
The other night sitting out in the yard, BBQ fired up, (Once I had been on a magical mystery tour to replaced the propane)  roasting a nice Cajun BBQ Whole Chicken I needed something special to play on the musical rock. It was getting late and still as hot and sticky as it can get, I  call out to # 1 Daughter, still up as school has finished “Give me 2 numbers” (This game corresponds to shelf and CD  allowing me to access truly random music). What The Hell ! out pops Carnival of Thieves “Welcome To The Carnival” So how did a signed copy of this most excellent and obscure (to the uninitiated) album get into my music library? Well sometime around my  Birthday Oct 1995 visiting my home town of Sheffield my best buddy Mark  drove us over to Chesterfield  dragged us up some stairs into a bar to see Mr Nick Harrison & Carnival of Thieves Mark IV play , sort of they were doing a three man show can’t remember why. Now you may think this is when I got hold of the signed copy of this  and you would be wrong. This is how the next morning I ended up in Carlsboro Sounds buying a Westone Thunder 1a Bass as a birthday present to myself. (The first consequence of my Birthday promise to myself to turn over a new leaf, from now on any foolishness uttered while drinking had to be followed up by dedicated action the next day a sort of credibility check, you have no idea how much trouble this has caused and how hard it is to stick by, but mostly believe it or not I have.) Twelve months later sitting in “The Lossie Inn” (a bar at the time that had its fair share off bikers) on the front at Lossiemouth in the wilds of Northern Scotland its  October 1996 I was busy enjoying an Indian Summer and the cold beers that go with it. Discussing how great the summer has been and how as always the three day Folk Festival at the “Beach Bar” had been excellent and wouldn’t it be great if we could have a Rock Festival as well. (Sounds like a sensible beer drink topic while sitting in a Biker Bar feeling very Rock & Roll in...

The Blue Nile “A Walk Across The Rooftops”....

The Blue Nile “A Walk Across The Rooftops”.
I was surprised this came out in 1983/84 completely off my radar back then. Eventually bought this in a Hi-Fi store selling Linn, Rega, Arcam, Cambridge and other equipment I will never be able to afford. Vinyl was allegedly dead and I was busy buying albums at knock down prices so I became a proud owner of the Linn pressing of  The Blue Niles:  “A Walk Across The Rooftops”. It turns out to be the first album recorded on the Linn label and its in 1001. And its a delight a blend of soul and electronica and halting passionate  vocals of Paul Buchanan. Sort of small-town suburbia  passion very similar to the lyrics of Everything But The Girl. Just put it on and play it time and time again. So you will be asking why the hell did I sell it together with all my other LP’s? I can only claim temporary insanity my broken turntable and imminent emigration to Canada. Until recently my desktop slide show at work has been the art work from these missing /sold albums I remove each one as I repurchase it on CD ( Alas a lot of stuff has still not made it off vinyl) . Finally last year Virgin re-released this album 2 CD set with additional tracks and once again I am enjoying the pleasure that is The Blue Nile.  Loved by the likes of Peter Gabriel, Rickie Lee Jones and Annie Lennox. Even my kids are beginning to appreciate there old dad may have some taste in music (No rude comments please).  Recently I was sent on a mission by my son to find music for his girlfriends birthday present apparently I know what sort of weird hip stuff she would like. So birthday present was The Flaming Lips : Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and Portishead : Dummy,  apparently I did a good job however it appears they are not currently on speaking terms. If I did not own copies of these I might have been tempted to ask for them back. Oh the good old days. So the final question what the hells all this releasing albums on vinyl even ones that were not. I will not fall for it I tell you. especially when these newfangled 189g  LP’s  they are whopping  $25-$59 and CD’s are $5-$15...

« Older Entries

css.php