Saturday, December 16, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
The gig is from the Heaven Records Party at The Old Vic Tavern, Nottingham 05.12.1992.
Marc Elston - Vocals,Guitar and hat.
Jyoti Mishra - Bass and suit
Stephen Maughan - Guitar and back
Roland - Drums
If you want to see the other two songs this is the way to go
Bulldozer Crash - Changing
Bulldozer Crash - Headfirst
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Also look out for a CD of all Bulldozer Crash songs that I hope to release early next year, if Marc is up for it. If there are any Bulldozer Crash fans reading this I've just uploaded some very old photos from 1991 and 1992 to my flickr account.
Just noticed tonight that my new single spaceage superstar(3" mini cd-r actually) has just been released on i wish i was unpopular records. You can buy it here
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with? I have on far too many occasions and it's just happened again, unfortunately it's not a girl this time, it's quite sad really because it's Apple computers, for about two hours today I just sat watching quick time movies about the features of the new MacBook and the iLife software it comes with , I have even been watching presentations about the operating system. I have fallen head over heels with it all, if it works as good as it looks like it does in those clips I can see myself converting.
I had a little go on one of the white MacBooks in PC World the other day and thought it was quite magical (it is a computer I'm talking about isn't it?), the buttons on the keyboard were enough for me to want one all rubbery and squishy like Christopher Scotts' old ZX Spectrum, and now that I know all the stuff that it can do and what comes as standard, I want one now. I have ignored them for so long and I just wonder how long they have been this good. There are a few rumours on some of the Music Tech forums I frequent that Apple may update them with better processors just in time for Christmas so I might hang onto until then.
I installed iTunes today aswell, all part of my new Apple infatuation. It took ages for it to organise the library thats on my external USB drive. I love the way it displays the record covers. Today I also purchased my first song from the iTunes store . White Town - "A New Surprise". It was just what the doctor ordered lifting my spirits sky high. It seems such a long time since I heard a new song by White Town I didn't really know what to expect. It certainly wasn't this groovy upbeat handclapping little number. I wish I could get up and dance , but for now though I'll satisfy myself with some serious head nodding and a bit shoulder shimmying. A song I think about loving life , the Jetsons and not golfing on the moon. It makes me smile and laugh and I know it's the song I will want to hear when I first get up tomorrow morning. It doesn't take that much to make me smile just 79p for a download on iTunes. . . . .try it here. Once you hear it you'll want to buy the new 7" vinyl e.p. on the Swedish label Heavenly Pop Hits which it includes "A new surprise" and 3 other tunes.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
The council also come and collect all our garden waste, grass cuttings etc which goes to some big compost pile and they sell it back to us at the recycle centre. I bought some for my little organic veggie patch that I used to have at my old house. I managed to grow some potatoes, carrots, radishes (anyone can grow them, so my old next door neighbour Dave told me as I pulled my first one up, I was over the moon I'd grown something I could eat!) turnips (they were called red top milans, if my memory serves me well) my faourites were peas (karina) they were beauties. I've really missed not growing any this year, once I get myself sorted out I'm hopefully going to dig up a little bit in my new garden and grow some veg again for next year.
I bought a book from Amazon called Save Cash and Save The Planet and I keep delving into it every now again and try and put some of it's advice into practice, nearly every lightbulb in my house is an energy efficient one,I'm looking into getting it cavity wall insulated, I thought a house built in 1983 would have already been insulated but no such luck. As you can tell I've got a long way to go before I save the planet. The Guardian on Saturday had a free Green Living Guide with it and made interesting reading . In it's top 10 recommendations of what we can do now was sign up for an organic vegetable box from a local farm. Well the nearest farm that I could find that delivered here was in Richmond but I thought I'd give it a go and ordered a mini veg bag, a mini fruit bag, some organic butter and 1/2 dozen organic eggs. It all arrived this morning left outside the back door while I still in the land of nod. Thats my organic fruit bowl on the right, I also got some lovely plums aswell. So far I've only tried the eggs, I had a fried egg sandwich for my dinner and it was very nice, it always reminds me of Quadrophenia when I have a fried egg sandwich. I must add that to my DVD wish list. I can see me spending a fortune while I'm off on the sick for the next few weeks. I've already ordered 5 while I've been off...... Ripping Yarns, which I never watched when it was originally broadcast, so need to catch up . Mr Benn which I did watch but I'm buying for Neave, (really!) I'm sure she'll enjoy it. Planet of the Apes the 6 DVD box set of the films, I remember I was a big fan of the TV series when it was on but never paid much attention to films , so now I am. Blakes 7 series 3, the best Sci-Fi show ever as far as I'm concerned. The Complete Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, it always used to make me piss my back off and I'm not sure I've seen them all. I do have a terrible habit of buying DVD's and never watching them, I guess it's a nostalgia thing, it's usually stuff that I remember watching when I was younger. 70's police shows strangely enough, Starsky and Hutch, Kojak, The Sweeney. Some some sci-fi too, Blakes 7 , Tomorrow People, Moonbase. Comedy aswell . . . . Citizen Smith, Scully, Solo. I tend to start watching a couple of episodes then I go and buy something else and start watching that then go and buy something else and it just goes on.
Back to the first reason I started this entry, the enviroment. Included with my organic veg bags was a newsletter and I think the best thing to do is just quote it direct, it makes a nice change to have something important here rather than from me ranting about myself or Paul Weller.
"Dr Bruce Pearce, a customer and Head of Research at Elm Farm Organic Research Centre has made me aware of worrying and imminent government plans to legislate with abandonment the production of GM crops. There is a consultation which ends on the 20th October 2006 and he feels that it is imperative that ordinary people and not just the scientists let their views be known - for perhaps the last time ! He writes to you :
“The Government slipped out a consultation in July on the coexistence between GM and non-GM crops. The coexistence regime recommended for England will allow routine GM contamination – “pollution” – of our food, crops and the countryside. What was understood to be the basic premise that everything should be done to minimise cross contamination has been ignored and will have particular impact on organic food and farming. This is despite Government assurance to the organic sector that everything would be done to ensure that any introduction of GM crops did not compromise the viability of UK organic agriculture. The government are proposing minimal separation distances ( even less than the GM industry body recommended ), inadequate notification to neighbours, a weak liability and compensation system and they do not want a register of GM crops/land. To make matters worse they have made it personal to everyone by saying that gardeners and allotment holders have no right to notification or compensation if their own grown food is contaminated.
The consultation runs until 20th October 2006 and it is important that we have our say. The consultation web site can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/gmnongm-coexist/index.htm
Friends of the Earth also provides information at www.stopgmcontamination.org and Elm Farm Organic Research Centre at www.efrc.com “.
If we all spare a few minutes to make our protest heard, it could really make a difference. Once GM crops are established in our environment there can be no recall and the potential impact could be severe."
Monday, September 25, 2006
It's three weeks now since my hernia operation, the wound is healing nicely, still in a bit of pain but I've almost given up the pain killers, I don't like putting chemicals in my body, I would never have made a rock 'n roll star, I used to love the image but whenever I was offered anything I've almost always said no, (twice I've tried something but neither seemed to have any effect at all, just like the painkillers for my hernia op.) at the time feeling like a square but I felt better for it the next day and even better now.
I spent the first six days of recovery at my Mam and Dad's, I couldn't really do anything for myself, I just stayed in bed nearly all day the first day, only venturing out to go to the toilet. I didn't feel like eating but the nurses told me had I had to eat lots of fruit and veg and fibre and water , but what I really fancied was a Big Mac, sorry but true. The first morning Neave came up to see me and said "Daddy why are you still in bed?" then she just climbed in and laid next to me for ages, which really cheered me up. She was over the moon the next day she came and I was sat downstairs, "Daddy your up , is your tummy better? Are you going to play with me now?" Sadly, not just yet.
While I was at my Mam and Dad's house I watched allsorts of TV that I wouldn't look twice at like Lovejoy and Poirrot and NCIS, don't ask me why I just sat there like a sponge taking it all in. Just couldn't be arsed to switch channels on the remote control. When I did manage to drag myself away I managed to read a book for the first time this year, a terrible confession but I've just never managed to sit down long enough to get engrossed in one. I've started a few but never finished one, not until Margrave of the Marshes by John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft. It was one of last years Christmas presents , it was so sad to read, my eyes filled up on a fair few occassions.
Like most people "into music"I used to listen to Peel in my younger days, taping sessions and whole shows , I would listen back to them fast forwarding any songs that I wasn't keen on and then dub the good ones onto another tape, I've still got a couple of compilation tapes with sessions and odd songs on. Off the top of my head I know there is songs by Double D and Steinski, Men They Couldn't Hang, Sensible Jerseys, the stranger the name the better I used to think. I like the fact that there are quite a few blogs and web sites dedicated the shows and sessions. The first time I heard lots of songs was on Peel. Reading this book brought back all sorts of strange memories, I suppose I should have been out enjoying myself when I was so young instead of listening to the radio, just like I should be out now instead of writing this.. Sometimes I would fall asleep with my headphones on and I'd wake to the sound of his (cowboy-ish) theme tune playing, then the pips for the news and if I remember correctly Radio 1 would become Radio 2 until the breakfast show. Before he died I would only occassionally listen to him, usually in the car on the way home, he still played some good tracks, the electronic stuff was the perfect soundtrack to drives home from Geoff's house on those foggy nights after we'd been practising. Reading the book made me want to listen to the radio again and not just Radio 2 while I'm at work.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
It's a long time since I'd had a good nights sleep, just worrying about all the things that could go wrong while I was in surgery, I won't dwell on them now because I still come out in a hot sweat. I got up last Wednesday morning at half six,I could see it was going to be a lovely day, hopefully if everything goes to plan and I'm one of the first in I should be out by dinnertime, or so I thought. Rachel was taking me to hospital so I could say bye to Neave, I sat in the back with her and held her hand all the way there.. Me Dad was going to stay at the hospital with me. Got there at 8.30, went in to see the nurse for pre-op blood pressure tests etc (100/50) she said it was very good. She said she wouldn't get me to put my gown on yet as there were two more people having the same operation before me. So we sat and waited and waited, watching all sorts of shite TV that really shouldn't be on air, e.g. the Jeremy Kyle show, it was so appalling it almost took my mind of the operation, I would much have preferred some nice calm relaxing music music to listen to while I was waiting , Radio 2 would have been ideal. I wish I'd thought to take my MP3 player. It did cross my mind on a few occassions to just get up leave me Dad sitting and walk out the hospital and try and live with the pain of the hernia but I resisted those urges.
The time came for me to go and get my gown on , they aren't the easiest things to get on by yourself, all that fastening of ties behind your back, I finally managed to get it on and then it was time to wait and wait some more. More crap TV to watch, and my Dad telling me to try and stop shaking like a leaf, easier said than done. It was 10 past eleven and a nurse from surgery came and took me down to room 5 "just here on the right", now I was papping my pants, they got me to sign my life away , well it could have been, I wasn't paying any attention now I could see the table I would soon be lying on. The surgeon came and shook my sweaty palm and then I had to lay down on the bed while they tried to get a vein so they could inject me with the general anaesthetic, I could feel my whole body just shaking it was like when I go to the dentist only a hundred times worse. The surgeon said "Your shaking all over" (no it wasn't Johnny Kidd a his Pirates doing the op!) "are you cold?" , "No" I replied "I'm fucking scared shitless , I've changed my mind, can I go home?" well thats what I might have said, but instead I quivered like a little child " um...I... I... I... I... I'm just a little nervous, thats all" . "Nothing to be nervous about just take some deep breaths into this mask", oh yes, that made me feel tons better. I managed to count to about ten breaths and that was it, out for the count.
The next I knew I was in recovery, the nurse was by my bed "Stephen, are you OK? Stephen", at first I said yes, fine, then I moved and said actually no I'm not, I was in pain. Which was unexpected because the nurse who did my pre-op said I should be OK if I agree to the pain relief that they stick up your bum, she told me it was very effective and got to work straight away and lasted up to 16 hours, well if i'd had one of those and they told me I had , it wasn't working. I couldn't move without a stinging pain that made me shout. I'm not 100% certain but I think she might have given me a couple of tablets to take round about now, but I was nodding off every now and again, so I can't really be sure. I did notice it was 10 past one though, and thought that it was strange I'd been out for the count so long. I just seemed to lie there for ages, every now and again the nurse would ask if I was OK and I would say "No I'm in a bit of pain, maybe I'm just soft", she never reassurred me, it would have been nice if she'd said, "Your bound to be in pain, everyone is after that operation". The surgeon came to see me and she told him I was in a bit of pain (A bit! A lot!) he told her to give me something which she did, no idea what, but she kept injecting it every now and again. Didn't seem to help at all, I couldn't move without moaning. Time was getting on , it was 10 to 3 and said to the nurse that I shouldn't still be in recovery should I? She just said everyone is different, and once she gave me the last bit of painkiller I could go back on the ward.
It was about 10 past 3 , when they wheeled me back on to the ward, the nurse who gave me my pre-op came to look after me then, she was really nice. I was still in pain but somehow felt better for being up there. I had some water and moaned some more. They brought me some tea and toast but then I just started to feel dreadful, a sick bucket was required, thankfully I didn't have to use it. Geraldine, my nurse asked if I wanted an injection that would stop me feeling sick, why not, I've got all sorts of other chemicals running through my veins, a few more aren't going to make any difference. It wasn't long after this that my blood pressure was checked, then checked again and again.... "There might be something wrong with the machine, test his blood pressure manually, it seems quite low." The student nurse checked it manually and confirmed that it was low. I asked what it was but they wouldn't say. Time to shit myself again. My dad came over to see me and said I looked fine, I didn't feel it. He was only allowed to stop five minutes, so that I could rest. Then I heard a phonecall ... " He's OK but not recovering that well, looking at him now I don't think he'll be home today" , couldn't be talking about me, my Dad just said I looked fine. Then I fell back to sleep.
When I next opened my eyes, I felt alright, no lightheadedness, didn't feel sick, just hungry and thirsty. They checked my blood pressure but it was still low. They brought me some tea and toast , which was the best tea and toast I'd ever had, I started to feel really great, still in pain but better in myself. "Thats better" said the nurse "You had us all worried there for a while, your arms are warming up now and you've got some colour back in your lips", my Dad said "You looked terrible an hour ago", eh? "didn't you say I looked fine?", even the sudent nurse said I was looking a whole lot better. All of that got me worrying again.
The nurses told me I would have to make the effort to get myself mobile or else I was going nowhere except ward 32. I had to be able to sit up, which I just about managed. Then I had to get up and walk to a chair, which was very painful, but I knew I had to or else I was going to have to have an overnight stay in hospital, and that was the last thing I wanted. Blood pressure time again, still low but on the up, a can of pop will help they said, so I chose a can of Lilt with it's totally tropical taste. My eyes lit up when the nurse walked towards me with my clothes and bag ,time to to dress myself, it took me a long time but I managed, even got my socks on! The final test was to go for a pee, this wasn't as painful as I expected, butI still can't stand up for one a week later.
That was it, time to go well one more blood pressure test, almost back to normal, the drip had to come out of my arm , which absolutely killed me, I made more noise from the nurse ripping the tape off my hairy arms than when I was in pain from the op, I think they had double insulated it with tape that was stronger than gaffer tape. It really really hurt. The nurse said I could go so I thanked them all very much and I was out of there. Now I'm just resting.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Sorry for all that Jam ranting below , I know there are lot more important things happening in the world at the moment but sometimes you have to get certain things off your chest. I forgot to mention a new blog I started that I am going to try and regularly update. It's all about songs that are my favourites and I never get bored of hearing, the ones on my mp3 player in the car that I never skip over , instead I turn the volume right up and sing along to. If you want to have a look it can be found here...stephen's favourite songs snappy title, eh? Also forgot to mention another great uplifting to the clouds kind of pop single out at the moment by a band called The Legendsthe song is "Lucky Star" and is 2.10 of the kind of synth pop greatness not heard around here since The Big Scientists or They Go Boom!! packed their synths away. Think unbelievably catchy. Have a listen here Lucky Star. Thanks to Tom at indie-mp3.com for that one.
The Syd quote at the start is there because I tried to get my daughter to listen to some Syd Barrett songs this afternoon but she was having none of it,not even Effervescing Elephant. Give her time though , she's not three yet.
Friday, July 28, 2006
You used to fall in love with everyone
The Jam were the best band ever as far as I was concerned , between 1979 and 1982 all I really wanted to do was listen to the Jam, talk about the Jam and pretend I could be in a band like them. The first record I bought by them was Eton Rifles, it was a really shiny glossy cover, bought at Binns in Darlington. When I got home I just played it over and over again. I became a Mod, well I had a fake green Parka with Jam badges on it, I bought loads of button badges from a Darlo market stall nearly every Saturday. I joined the jam fan club that was run by Paul Weller's sister and mother.
I was in love. It was time to start collect all their l.p.'s. Foolishly buying the first two on a cassette from Dowsons in Shildon, which was also the shop that I bought Start! from, I remember it was a sunny day and the shop was quite a hike from my Grandma's, but on the off chance that they had it I was going to risk the long walk. I can remember a lot of the days that I bought my Jam records, Going Underground was one Saturday morning, me Peter McIver (my best friend at the time and whom I formed my first band with, we called ourselves Top Brass, we only recorded one song , the classic "Janice Pearson is a piss pot" (sorry Janice but you did two time us!) strangely enough Peter's sister Marie lives next door to my ex-wife,I should add that Peter's favourite band were Blondie,I'm sure he'd want you to know that). Back to Going Underground, me Peter, Michael Farncombe and John McGlade were off to the baths and I called into Rumbelows to see if thay had it, they did but only the single 7" version, (it was also releasd as a limited edition double 7" with a live e.p.) I still bought it but then proceeded to try and sell it on the way home after we'd been swimming to Donna Mawson, but she wasn't interested.Absolute Beginners was a rainy night after school , I shot down the town on my little sisters Raleigh Strika to get it with the limited insert, from Woolworths again. The Bitterest Pill was bought one morning after I had been to the dentist, it cheered me up after the filling but then I had to go back to school on the afternoon. I don't remember the day I bought Beat Surrender , I was probably too upset with them for splitting up, I do remember listening to all those songs and lving them all, Lesley Watson the mod girl next door who had a real proper parka, could never understand why I loved the jazz tinged "Shopping" the best.
The split up of the Jam also caused me to commit my one and only act of vandalism, it was after the last school disco I ever went to, there was quite a lot of Jam fans at school and on the way home we ran from our school through Hallington Head and up to Fewston Close, calling in at Stocks Green, shaking all the lamposts until they went out and singing "Move on up towards your destination You may find from time to time complications ". we were pissed off but glad that the police never caught us. So why am I writing what must be my longest blog yet? Last Friday I went to see the Gift at the Cumby Arms in Hieghington , which is no more than a 10 minute drive from where I live. The name of the drummer with the Gift is Rick Buckler and his new band so far just do Jam songs, I couldn't believe I was less than a 100 feet from the man who was one third of my favouite band. It annoys me when wankers like Paulo Hewitt go on about Paul Weller being the Jam, as far as I remember there was always three people in the Jam, Weller didn't write the drum parts or all the bass parts, Bruce Foxton and Rick made them what they were as much as Weller did, but the people who write the history of the Jam and Weller whitewash over that. I have nothing against Paul Weller , I really did love the Style Council aswell, they were the first band I ever saw live and I like some of his solo stuff too. Now what gets on my tits is Weller and those who lick his boots saying it dreadful that Rick is going around playing Jam songs in a covers band, how is it a covers band? He was in the Jam who originally wrote the songs! Is Weller a cover artist everytime he plays a Jam song at one of his gigs? Is this a valid argument? I don't know , I enjoyed myself last Friday night and I thought they were brilliant, and it's the nearest I will ever get to seeing the Jam live.The Jam are the only band I ever wanted to see get back together but it will never happen. Mind I was expecting to see a couple more Newton Aycliffe Jam diciples in the audience like Jonathan Hogan and Mark Morgan , who I was in a band with for one summer afternoon, (they were called The Solution) only because I had a guitar and amp, I couldn't play, I'm still not that good. We used to test each other at school reciting Jam lyrics to see who knew the most, I wonder if the kids at school today do that with songs by ........... insert the name a popular beat combo of 2006, I don't know any.
The only new band I can think of that I like at the moment are the Pipettes, I'm old fart who listens to radio 2 most of the day at work, and everytime I hear the start of "Pull Shapes", it lifts my spirits like no other song can at the minute. I'm contemplating buying the LP/CD but then the 14 year old in me jumps up and says just buy the single, but it's probably only available on CD single and that will be £3.99 so I might aswell buy the LP/CD, aaarrrgghhh. Sometimes I do wish the 7" was the only format you were ever allowed to release songs on.
I finally finished a couple of Northern_Electrix songs, and have inflicted or rather sent out copies to friends and labels for possible
comments and criticism. So apologies to all of you who have no doubt recieved it by now without even a slight warning it was coming your way. The cover was my attempt at trying to do something like Cornelius did on the back of his Fantasma record, playing all the instruments himself and looking rather cool too, but it didn't really work for me, as you can see by the picture on the left.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Needed to write something about what is at the moment my favourite song of the year even though it may have been released last year, it's by a band I used to love years ago The Bats, looks like they got back together to record another l.p. and it's like they've never been away. The first song on it "Western Isles"is enough for me, it just breezes in through the window, cooling me down on this lazy hot summer night, ( it's like 1976 all over again). Studio banter in songs always score top marks with me, as do gorgeous acoustic guitars, That never faltering voice of Robert Scott's is great to hear again and there are just not enough of those occassional bo-bo-boo's supplied by Kaye Woodward , they really really are dreamy. This album has more that it's fair share of magnificent moments on it ,I don't really want to spoil the surprise, I urge you to buy "At the National Grid" from Egg Records of Glasgow, Scotland. Now! Apart from falling in love with this album , I finally got around to sending Jyoti and Marc a DVD of our knock out performance in Nottingham back in 1992. Jyoti wore a suit , Marc wore a big hat and I kept my back to the audience. Once I figure out how to cut the gig into song segments I'll post them up on You Tube .You never know someone might want to watch them.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Neave stayed at mine last night and after we'd been to the shop for a paper for me and Fimbles magazine for her we went for a game of football in my back garden and I was taking some photos of Neave and let her take a few herself you can see the results at flickr. Not bad for a first attempt.