Saturday, December 29, 2007

nothing is ever as good as it was

I've started ripping more of my cd's into iTunes over the Christmas holidays and in one of the crates of cd's was a copy of the unreleased Bulldozer Crash e.p. Accidental Bleeding. The five songs on it were once going to be released on James Brands' Maladjusted Electronics LTD label, but James just vanished never to be heard of again, so the songs have just been collecting dust ever since. I thought that I would stick one song up here , it's a little different to most of the stuff released on Sunday and Heaven records, I don't even think we used a guitar on this track. I was just getting used to using my computer to record audio. This session was the guinea pig session, so I'm not sure if all the distorted levels were intentional. I'd like to put all five songs up eventually but I really need to get permission from Marc first, seeing as the other four were all written by him, whereas this one was a joint effort. Are you there Marc, yay or nay? Over the last year I have a few requests for a Bulldozer Crash compilation, I don't think any label would be interested so it would have to be a self released one. I have been slowly remastering some of the songs Jyoti sent me from his master copies, so I would like to do it sometime, just not sure exactly when it will all come together.

Accidental Bleeding MP3

Friday, December 28, 2007

shaking, laughing and everything (I wish I was!)

I'm feeling a bit sad and lonely tonight so probably not the best time to be writing in my blog, I just thought I would write a list of some of stuff at this moment in time I really want to do next year, I hope I manage some of them, so in no particular order ....

1. record an l.p.
2. write a real fanzine
3. fall in love at least once
4. read more books
5. organise a gig in newcastle with michael
6. make a good go of working for myself
7. stop buying dvds and not watching them
8. buy more cd's
9. take more photos
10. go to more gigs
11. visit some of those ancient sites around Britain mentioned in Julian Cope's The Modern Antiquarian

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

porterfield 73

Ian Porterfield has died today. He scored the stunning goal for Sunderland against Leeds in the 1973 F.A. Cup final. It was a beaut. Me and Geoff also named the studio where we recorded all the Kosmonaut songs after him. When I was younger and enjoyed football I scored quite a few goals as Ian Porterfield then as Gary Rowell, then I started collecting records and wearing glasses full time and my football career and interest in it came to an end. I think I'll watch the final again on Saturday though.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

if i could settle down, then i would settle down

indietracks festival 28th and 29th July 2007 Midland Railway, Butterley.

Admittance code printed. Google Maps printed and numbered 1 to 4. Travelodge reservation printed. Camera and camcorder batteries fully charged. Clothes all packed. Time to go.

It seems so long since I was in Derby, once upon a time when we we young and foolish and thought pop music could change the world and Marc lived in Normanton we would head over to Jyoti's Satya studios all the time, well it seemed like every other month, but I know it wasn't . The streets of Derby have changed so much since my last visit, next time I come I will be investing in either a Tom Tom or Garmin Navigator, it's got to save me a fortune in wasted petrol and hopefully stop me driving the wrong way up and down one way streets. Google maps are not ideal when your driving on your own , it's far too dodgy trying to read directions aswell as keeping an eye on the road.

I finally found my way to Butterley Railway station. It's really nice and quaint, my Uncle Brian would love it, he's really into his trains these days. It's very 50's with a Railway Children vibe about it. I got my ticket for unlimited steam train travel for the weekend. I decided to leave my car and go for my first ride up to Swanick Junction where all the action was taking place. The train ride was over far too quick, as I stepped onto the platform I could see indie kids and indie old folks all over the place. I thought I was going to be outnumbered by all the young 'uns but didn't feel out of place at all.

I went to the big engine shed to get my red wristband ,free indie tracks badge and buy a copy of the festival guide. I managed to catch the last couple of songs from the first band of the day the Loves, then my tummy started rumbling so it was over to Johnson's Buffet for a cup of tea and a ham bun. Then it was time to leg it back over to the shed for The Hermit Crabs, who Jimmy Matinee has been known to rave about. After their I walked out and bumped into Jyoti, who was taking care of Cats On Fire for the day. When they took the stage they looked like pop stars in the making, especially Mattias the front man with a ton of style and attitude. You can just tell he knows he's probably in the best band of the festival, just the way it should be. Their guitar infused music was incredibly exciting and thrilling and a total pop experience that reminded so much of the first time I saw The Love Parade at the Broken Doll , they put a great big smile on my face, I just wish I could grow my hair like Mattias , oh how I long to have a quiff again!

Seeing Rose McDowall live was one of the big reasons for me coming down to the festival, I loved Since Yesterday so much. I can remember it being played on Radio One for months before it was a hit . They did a live session on Richard Skinners Saturday afternoon show probably around that time , they played a beautiful song called Sunday Morning and that was I think my first introduction to the Velvet Underground. I wasn't really expecting any Strawberry Switchblade songs but I was crossing my fingers, hoping that just maybe. Rose played her set in the Church and I loved it, not only did she do Since Yesterday and Trees and Flowers but Sunday Morning and a beautiful version of April Skies to finish with. I managed to camcord some of the songs with my new camcorder, but I really should have had more practice with it before the festival, it might make you feel sick when you watch it. I'll put it up on YouTube as soon as I get chance, at least you'll be able to hear the songs.

I never saw the Orchids in their Sarah heyday so I wasn't going to miss this one. It was a treat to hear some of my favourite ever songs played live for the first time. Everyone knows the songs so well but hearing them live they seemed even more uplifting.. I've never seen a bass player so high on playing , he looked like he was having the most fun out of any of the bands I'd seen all day. A George Clooney look-alike commented to me the next day that he reminded him of Mani's dad!

I didn't stick around for the How does it Feel disco, thought I'd better find my Travelodge in Mansfield , I left it too late to get into the one at Alfreton, I won't let that happen next time. It took me about an hour to find it, according to Google maps it was only 22 mins away. Still better than camping out.

Got up on Sunday morning and headed for the festival, first band on were A Smile and a Ribbon who I didn't want to miss as one of there members is Chris/Kris the author of the excellent And The Rain Fell Down blog, which like one of my other favourite web sites Tangents has ceased to exist. They didn't disappoint either, a fine blend of all the best girl bands going as far back as the fifties, certainly not Fat Tulip/Talullah Gosh copyists as I had been lead to believe. They looked the part aswell, not sure which one was Chris though.

Then it was over to the church for Horowitz who were probably my favourite band of the weekend. There was only three of them and a drum machine but they made the poppiest , fuzziest and catchiest perfect pop tunes. One of them is apparently a ex-Rosehip , a band who they said received their very first fan mail from my friend Michael Robson , each member sent him a separate reply, so he told me the other night. Jyoti remarked that there was something a bit Bulldozer Crash about Horowitz, I had to agree and maybe thats why I liked them. The singer also a reminded me of Pete Shelley when he was rolling his eyes up to the sky. I bought the bands LP and their Tracyanne single and if you are after some exciting pop blasts I suggest you do the same. Every now and again I toy with the idea of starting a record label , if I was to start it next week instead of fitting a new kitchen I would ask Horowitz if they fancied being on it.

Another band who I would want on the label would be Countryside who may have been the youngest band at the festival. The noise they made was gorgeously warped yet splendid. I've no idea what FX pedals they were using but the sound that was being coaxed out of their guitars and synths was dreamy.

The last band I saw was Wake The President who were much better than the "new Belle and Sebastian" label some have tagged them with. They've got there own sound and style, I loved all the songs I heard so I was gutted that I'd only managed to squeeze into the packed church halfway through. The finale was their cover of Psycho Killer, where they managed to get the whole audience up on there feet.

I buggered off after them, I was shattered, shame I missed Darren Hayman as I have since grew to love his Caravan Song. It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed my first festival. If I'd known they were as good as this I wouldn't have waited until I was 40. As I was checking out of my hotel in Mansfield on Monday morning I passed two of the guys from The Electric Pop Group , I was going to say something but didn't.

Friday, June 01, 2007

last night i nearly died but i woke up just in time

I don’t know what is going wrong with my insides, but I have just spent the last six days in hospital with terrible stomach pains and a temperature spiking at 40 degrees at times. I have never felt so ill in all my life, at times I really did think maybe I was never going to get better. I had been having pains in my stomach for a couple of weeks and everytime I went to the toilet I would double up in agony, not wanting to go to the doctors I just put it down to eating something dodgy and my insides would put it right on their own. Only that didn’t happen, the pain just got gradually worse, until last Thursday night when it felt like hot lava was running through my veins one minute and the next I was camped out on Everest with no clothes on unable to stop shaking .

I decided tomorrow I would go to the doctors and get sorted, so I did. She wasn’t impressed I’d waited so long and immediately had me admitted to hospital. Then the tests began, I won't go into all the gory details, but it was very painful. They found out that I had an Urinary tract infection, but that didn't explain the stomach pains or the high temp, I was put on a drip and given tablets to bring down my temp. Over the next 5 days, I was suffering with high temps, low temps, low blood pressure, a blood thinnning drug was stuck straight into my stomach with a couple nurses saying, there wasn't much to get hold of. I was put on an antibiotic drip, then in tablet form which brought me out in red blotches all over my body as soon as I took one, but they made me take another just to make sure that thats what I was allergic too, so I took another one later in the day and sure enough I went ever redder and blotchier. Another sample came back and I had a small bowel infection, but apparently that wouldn't have caused the high temp either.

I couldn't sleep on a night, because I was sharing a room with someone who talked out-loud in their sleep, someone else who snored at incredible volume and another who was a sleep walker.When I did get to sleep I kept having Life On Mars moments, Jack Regan, Kojak and Kwai Chang Cain featured heavily , saving my life on numerous occassions.

I'm so glad that I had treated myself to an ipod for an early 40th birthday present to myself, the battery just managed to make it until I got discharged, I just wished I'd had time to put a few video clips on to watch before I went in, but I guess the batteries wouldn't have lasted quite as long. Have to go back and have a scan on my kidneys in a few weeks. But for now I'm just pleased to be home. Now I'll quit whinging, I'm still alive.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

my last fm album quilt and recently played widgets

Isn't that sweet?

Monday, May 07, 2007

She changes colour with the sky, as the cars go rushing by

Took Neave to see the Angel of The North today, she'd seen it on Nina and the Neurons last week, and recognised it from trips to Newcastle and the Metro Centre and asked to go and see her. It's quite disgaceful living only 20 odd miles away from her and never actually going to see her until now, I just got used to passing her on the A1, and that seemed enough. I knew she would be big but standing right next to the giant rusting 50's sci-fi movie robot with wings made me feel so small. I was quite disappointed with Gateshead Council for allowing BNP graffiti to be daubed on the angels feet and the dog poo smeared up them was an unpleasant sight. Apart from that though she's incredibly impressive.

Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I woke it was the first of may, wading through cherry blossom falling

I used to always try to play this song by the Rain whenever it was the first of May, if I ever forgot I would be gutted because it just wasn't the same playing it a day later. I had been thinking about it today and would have loved to have heard it, but like all my vinyl, it's still in a crate at the back of the garage. I probably would have hunted it out tonight if my garage door wasn't broke so I can't get it. New door been fitted tomorrow though. I usually check the Rain fell down blog and noticed a new entry today DROP 55 is all about the Rain song and there is a downloadable mp3 available, have a listen to hear a lost classic, and then remember to play it early on the morning of the first of May next year for best effect. Chris/Kris who writes the rain fell down blog, didn't think the song had been released but I have definately got it on an LP by the Rain , with this song on it,I think it's called To The Citadel, can anyone confirm this?

Me and Neave had a walk in Bluebell Wood on Sunday morning, well I walked she scootered, took my new camera that I am still fumbling about with so photos aren't that great,but put a few up on flickr if anyone fancies a look.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

if only i had john lennon's hair, i'd shake my head wildly and sing yeah, yeah,yeah!

Just thought I would post a few MP3's from the Denver single that was put out on the Spanish Elefant record label back in 1996 (I think). My favourite band at the time were Felt, (they are still up there in my top 10 of all time) as you might be able to tell if you have a listen to "World of Pages" . I recorded the songs on my Tascam 688 just after Bulldozer Crash decided to go on an extended vacation. "World of Pages also features the keyboard wizardry of Jyoti Mishra who also indirectly named the band . I used to always have short hair, then for some foolish reason decided to grow it and Jyoti said I looked liked John Denver ( I always thought more Harvey Williams), so again I foolishly thought Denver sounds like a good name for a band! If only I'd been thinking ahead and thought that with a name like Denver the chances of my bands name ever coming up during a Google search was going to be zero! The b-side "Elizabeth Brown's Wedding Day" was me trying to sound all summery like Long Hot Summer by the Style Council and failing miserably. I have also included the song "You, Me and Brian Epstein" recorded at around the same time and released on a compilation CD from America which I never received a copy of. If you would like to have a listen to the songs you can download them from my public account here....

world of pages 7"

Monday, March 05, 2007

i was bitter for a while but now i know it's true, look for the good in others and they'll see the good in you, fa fa fa faaaa

Once again it's been a while since I wrote anything in my blog. I thought once I bought this MacBook I would be keeping it more up to date with at least one entry a week. I have been adding bits to my northern electrix web page a little more regularly. There has been a free mp3 download of Ocean Child which managed to use up all my regular bandwidth allocation on my web providers server so I had to upgrade to another GB , which was duly used up. Thankfully it was the end of the month so my bandwidth got reset on the 1st. Every thing seems to have died down now, I think it was the review on that created the traffic. I'm not complaining though , hopefully a few of those who downloaded the song liked it.

David Macmillan the Radio Cleveland DJ who has been playing Spaceage Superstar has asked me to go on his radio show to talk and play some more of my songs. It's one of those things I've always wanted to do while I've been in bands, it's just a shame I'm doing it on my own instead of when I was in a band. I am really happy about doing it, but scared about it it as well.

Like loads of people for the last few years I have been buying all sorts of stuff off the internet , records, dvds, music equipment, computer bits and bobs and local farm produce. Everything has been fine until last week when I noticed a couple of payments on my card that I didn't recognise. So I googled the name of company and it was connected to online poker sites, knowing that I hadn't visited one of those sites , my heart sank, some bastard has my card details and spending my money. But who? It could be any number of the company's where I have bought goods from in the last few years. I didn't notice the unauthorised payments until 3 days after they occurred and it was 11 at night. I still searched for numbers for my bank. The fraud department was shut. Customer services couldn't help , the cancel your card number kept hanging up on me and the lost or stolen number couldn't cancel it because it wasn't lost or stolen, even though I said "OK then it has been lost", they still wouldn't cancel it. So I had transfer all my money out into another account in case they tried to use it again before I got to the bank to cancel my card. Now I can't get any money out for five days when my new card arrives. It has made me rethink my use of my card on the internet. I'm so used it. Not sure what to do. But I'm pissed off.

I've decided to board out my loft so I can get loads of the stuff that is blocking up my garage into it, so that I can then convert that into a room that I can use as a recording studio. Even though I have just set up all my gear in the corner of my bedroom. You wouldn't believe how happy having all of musical equipment at my fingertips has made me feel. I haven't recorded anything yet, I'm just re-acquainting myself with it all. Some of it has been boxed for over three years. It was packed away before Neave was born. Lifting some of it out of their boxes was like when I first bought them. Back to boarding out the loft, it was going so well until I came out, tidied everything away hoovered up etc, then went to turn the light on and nothing! I must have screwed through an electric cable without releasing it. Shit and bricks. I couldn't be arsed to go back up that night and sort it so I did without lights upstairs for a night. Next morning I was back in the loft looking for the hole in the wire . I ended up taking up every board that I put down the day before and some from the previous week, but could I find the damaged cable, not likely. So I went back down tried the lights and the buggers worked fine. All I can think is I kinked one of the cables and then unkinked it whilst looking for the damage. Arrggghhh, now I have got all those boards to put down again. I may have damaged a few in my anger to find that cable.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

listen to the radio

Spaceage Superstar has just had it's first play on the radio. BBC Radio Cleveland's Pure show has just given it a spin, I'm smiling from ear to ear. Why did it sound better coming out the radio? David Macmillan the DJ said we were from Darlington which is fine and he really liked the robot and panda on the cover.

surely some mistake

I'm over the moon because northern_electrix are one of this weeks recommended listens on the front page of Here is what they had to say.....

"northern_electrix 'Spaceage Superstar'
When musicians claim they like messing around with instruments, it usually spells trouble. Not so with northern_electrix who here serve up a total corker which kicks off like Primal Scream before swelling into our favourite tune of the year so far."

Thanks very much indiestore.

Buy our tracks from

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

tell my girl that I miss her

Well I went to my first gig of the year last night. I hate going to gigs on my own but thats what happens when you don't have friends who share your "weird and strange" tastes in music. I'm glad I ventured out on a windy northern night ,my little Polo was getting blown all over the A1, but I got there in one piece . Parked up in Fenkle Street car park, unfortunately I didn't have enough change on me to last all night, which meant I was going to have come back out at 10 o clock to top the meter up, I do it everytime,forget to take change. The gig was at the Head of Steam straight opposite the railway station, after turning the wrong way I asked a lad I was passing, who was a bit of a giant , (at least 7 foot tall) if he knew where it was , he was heading there aswell, so showed me the way, I should have bought him a drink but I never, sorry mate. This was the first time I'd been to the venue, but what a really great basement. I was really expecting it to be full of young people but I would hesitantly say they were outnumbered by the over thirties, not many as old and bald as me though. Anyway I stood around like a plank on my own drinking coke because the dry cider was off.

The evenings star attraction were Perth popstars Sodastream, having only heard a handful of songs but read Alistair's rave reviews, I knew I would enjoy them. Also playing were ex- Lust boy band St James Infirmary and Milky Wimpshakes Pete Dales new folk combo.

First band on were Ashington, Northumberland's St James Infirmary, It was probably The Broken Doll a very long time ago where I last saw them, I'm sure I've got a tape of it somewhere, I used to always take my recordable walkman to any gig I went to, I really wish I'd taken it with me tonight,quality was never great, but it was always nice to listen back. Seeing as it's more than 10 years since I heard the band all the songs were new to me, Gary the singer always seemed a bit of mad songwriter or maybe that should read eccentric, he hasn't changed going off the songs the band played tonight. The first one being Young People Fuck Off, mmm nice, I'm 39 so I knew he wasn't talking to me. They played some beauts, including Matty Cabbage House, which reminded me of some of the houses I have painted in the past. A short walk is a modern folk classic. They also did a great song with a female member of the audience supplying the vocals. I was hoping for The Boy Detective, maybe I should have shouted for it.

Next band on were Pete Dale and the Beta Males with some great political songs. Unfortunately mid-way through their set I had to make my way back to the car park and drop another 70p in the meter. I did manage to catch a handful of songs before I went though, best were Why I am a terrorist, Menwith Hill with it's jazzy tinges that reminded me of the Beiderbecke Affair, Music Rules is my favourite though, that sorrowful violin is heartbreaking, just wish the song was twice as long. After running around the streets of Newcastle like a mad man looking for Fenkle Street ,I am unbelieably shit at re-tracing my steps. Ray Mears has taught me nowt. I found it eventually, totally shattered, not used to dashing about. I made it back in time for the last 10 seconds of the last song. I was going to go and say hello to Pete and ask him if he still had my copies of Are you scared to get happy which Mike from They Go Boom!! had lent him years ago but chickened out, might e-mail him about them though.

After getting bashed in the back with the yellow case of Sodastream's double bass, it was time to enjoy some of the best songs I'd never heard before, I had read about the band being the best Australian band since The Lucksmiths, who were the best Australian band since The Sugargliders who were the best Australian bands since The Go-Betweens. So I had to go and see them. They are but two .... a singer guitarist and double bass / saw(!) player. The songs they played just soared straight into me, yes they were a little like previously loved Australian bands but they also had something else, something special, something that made me feel warm inside . Not a song played that I disliked, not a song played that I didn't love. Sodastream, my new favourite band,I am now furiously searching the internet for the bands back catalogue and can't wait for those CD's to start dropping through my letterbox.