Thursday, 13 July 2017

Get Better

Image result for the charlatans different daysImage result for phoenix ti amoImage result for lemuria get better

Earl Grey - Bissextile
I stumbled across these guys, whilst reading about the budding DIY Punk Scene in Honolulu, Hawaii on Bandcamp Daily. I love the dirty, noisy, crunchy, quality reminds me of the early Small Brown Bike recordings (See Collection) Some absolutely lush songs, some that just make me wanna pogo. More than anything, I just love the way Bandcamp allows me to stumble across DIY punk bands from the other side of the planet.

Cayetana - New Kind of Normal
The new record is even better than the last, if that is possible, a little more laid back and low-fi in places. Some of the lyrics are incred. I first heard Mesa the day after the general election and "Together we made flowers out of weeds" really struck a chord.

Toro Y Moi - Boo Boo
Again, I happily stumbled across this through the joys of bandcamp daily. It is a flawless slab of bliss. Although, musically it's really uplifting and makes me wanna move, the lyrics are really thought provoking.

The Charlatans - Different Days
The Charlatans are probably one of the most important bands in my life and this follow up to their career best, Modern Nature, was always going to be a hard act to follow, however, I loved this instantly too. It's far more laidback and airy.

Phoenix - Ti Amo
Summer has finally arrived, stick this on turn it up loud and try not to shake your hips, you will fail so many chunes, front to back side to side.


Lemuria - Get Better, Brissle Exchange 

I first saw Lemuria at Le Pub in 2007 on their first UK tour with the Ringers. I really enjoyed them that night, but I never really followed that up. Until I won Get Better on Vinyl in a raffle at a Swansea gig. I absolutely loved it and it became one of those quintessential albums that clearly defines a definite period in my life, as all great albums can do.

I've seen them a bunch of times since and even though they never disappoint, I find I leave wishing they'd played more of Get Better.

So when I saw they were going to be touring Get Better for it's 10th Anniversary, I grabbed a ticket for Brissle, despite not being a lover of The Exchange as a venue.

Also, it finally gave me a chance to experience the joy that is Falafel King. I have tasted the delights from the van many times, one of my highlights of a Brissle visit, but failed on many occasion to get to the sit down eatery. It didn't disappoint I went for Falloumi - Halloumi and Fallafel (genius) together in a huge Laffa with Salad, carrot, cabbage, Lime Mayo, Tahini, Hummus, Mango and a little hot sauce. I also had a Bath Ales Wild Hare to "wash that down". I sat downstairs in The Khan, which is incred decked out like a souk with a small sisha garden, loads of lush cushions and lanterns. I cannot recommend it highly enough and I had the place to myself.

On honourable mention goes to SweetPete aka Petedown Fury aka Columbian Phil who joined me for the escapades.

We also hit up The Apple cider barge, for some delicious ciders and the King Willy "You can't kill, what can't be killed" (see Predator 2) and Small bar.

It was finally the Lemuria gig I hoped for all the hits and loads of tasty Gin & San Pels and an incred Springer Spaniel T-shirt to boot. (see Sookie)

More than anything I just think we could all embrace that mantra

Get Better

Thursday, 15 June 2017


My third year volunteering on the wondrous isle of Skomer.

I had dinner at the Lobster Pot and drank some beautiful/lethal Old Crow Cider 7.4% lush Celtic
drawing of a crow on the bottle, I'm a sucker for an animal label.

The sticker always means happy times! No Puffin'

The now infamous Monkey and toy truck bedding

A different time of year to usual for me, the island looks completely different blanketed in Red Campion and Bluebells, the smell is amazing too.

Puffins at the Wick, again an increase in numbers and a better time of year to see them, as when I usually come they are all leaving.

I have tried the last two years, to see 50 species of Birds in the week, and failed at 49 both years. Here's the Bird log board from one of the days.

I finally however, got my Turtle Dove, after years of wanting to see one and failing. I had heard through the grapevine one had been seen that day. So after duties and a bit of dinner, I went for a wee walk, just as it was starting to get dark, down to North Valley Crossing, just as I got there, there was already a very confused Manxie about, really early still light. As I got to the willows on the crossing, the Turtle Dove was flushed and circled around long enough to get it in the bins for a few seconds. It headed back towards the farm so I followed, but lost it. Luckily, fellow volunteers alerted others who also saw it so I was chuffed.

They have these new swanky Gilets for the volunteers, so no more smelly t shirts Yay!

This is probably my favourite spot I have ever swam in.

This little guy got lost heading back to the boat.

Some amazing fellow volunteers this year, Homemade Bread & butter brioche pudding  by Rachel and Homemade 'Welsh Cakes' by an Englishman, some of the best I've tasted, good luck smuggling that recipe back across the bridge safely Mart.

Me in situe at the Wick waiting to greet the first of many boats.

 Larval web of the Lackey moth caterpillars.

A bee in a foxglove.

The sun setting in my fave place Skomer head.

Minotaur Beetle. 

Serious book envy Skomer island Library.

The best year ever for Short-Eared Owls, at least four pairs hunting all day, amazing views everyday. Flying overhead with a vole barking at you, chicks hissing from the undergrowth at dusk eerie.

As the sun sets on the last night drinking my last Old Crow, reminiscing on another amazing week, on my favourite Island, well-being fully restored.

We had a lift back to the car in the back of a farmers pickup truck, which Rachel found hilarious if anyone knows these two please share the pic as I don't have a contact for them, a wonderful couple!


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Fancy Sauce Friday

On Friday night I drove to gig for the first time ever, it was at my favourite venue in the world Le Pub, which is under threat of closure due to the premises being sold, do not fear they are already looking for new premises so we wait with baited breath...

Anyway the gig on Friday was one of my picks for best newcomer last year Hot Mass.

Support came in the form of KvsD who you can hear here:

There was something very Wayne's World about the whole thing, but I enjoyed it thoroughly the drummer was hilarious like Peter Kaye, the wrestling mask was the end.

I fully supported the diy ethic of walking around the venue giving people stickers of ball bags and fancy sauce which will have pride of place on my fridge and selling demos which no one does anymore.

In the middle was People and Other Diseases, who I thoroughly enjoyed, elements of Wire, Gang of 4 with a dash of Sleaford Mods.

Hot Mass headlined they sounded awesome they covered Fugazi, Full Disclosure, which is no easy feat by any stretch. Control was my stand out track I love it!

If you haven't heard them check them out here:

Their debut album Nervous Tensions came out last year on Brassneck records it's awesome you can get it here:

They also had awesome t-shirts featuring an image of a feminist Science Icon! Punk points + for naming her? ...

Even better was the People and other diseases t-shirt which features Dorien from Birds of a Feather maximum punk points!

Superb night and I can remember everything from a gig for the first time ever, don't know what all the fuss is about I'll be driving to more gigs in the future if you need a ride bro X

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

"All of my prophets were singers of sad songs..."

First new tick of the year in the bag within the first week, and my oh my was it a beauty! I've been wanting to see Waxwings for years. Not only are they absolutely captivating and stunning there is also an excellent band from the 90's  I absolutely loved by the same name (see One For the Ride and For Madmen Only). Also, they look pretty damn punk rock too!

Needless to say it was probably the most undignified bit of birding ever when they report came through via twitter that there was a small 'Museum of Waxwings" in the rowan trees outside KFC on Newport Road of all bloody places.

I sat in work crying into a cuppa knowing they would be gone by the time I could get away...

Luckily I managed to knock off a bit early and get there just in time to see them in all their glory before they vanished.

I can now finally dust off my RSPB Waxwing badge I have been avoiding wearing as I hadn't yet seen one.

There's an epic video of the occasion on YouTube here which isn't mine.