Watching TV with my mum over Christmas there was a programme on featuring some of the oldest buildings known in Scotland. Discussing them was Scottish comedian and historical tour guide Bruce Fummey, who is black; relevant, as when discussing old New Year traditions, he said he’d have been a very welcome visitor due to being so thanks to the tradition that the first person over the threshold once the New Year commenced should be of dark hue.
My grandfather—mum’s dad—was also from Scotland; my mum said she remembered this tradition from her childhood, which was in London (she being born there), predominately growing up in Dudley House, Paddington, the family having been lucky enough to be offered one of the council flats built in 1938. Continue reading →
When recently writing a post about three of the songs Blondie covered, I included my experience of seeing Debbie Harry live; in the process discovering the somewhat unique circumstances in which I did are barely, if at all, mentioned anywhere on the internet. Continue reading →
Being pulled back in time and down into the London Underground when reviewing Ian Arkley’s two led not only to a couple of memories being stirred, but more so the discovery of a little known unsavoury World War II fact involving Winston Churchill.
Ian Arkley’s second solo album two is compellingly converse. Frequently touching on fiercely hunting, it equally remains subtle throughout. two picks up where one left of with bells on thanks to the addition of a dulcimer, lyre and pitched down acoustic guitar for bass. Mastering and layout are by Michael Shaffer of label Opa Loka Records, on which two is released; beyond that, Ian is responsible for all aspects including photographs and artwork. Continue reading →
Clue One. The three bands covered: The Paragons/The Nerves/Randy and the Rainbows.
Clue Two. My experiences of seeing them live: in 1982, when I was still at school, my mum—who I get my thing for music from—got us tickets to see this band, only for them to spilt up on the tour before playing the gig. They were my top band at the time; I was totally gutted.
In 1991, I was going to spend a weekend at the Hells Angels’ Kent Custom Bike Show. It turned out that on the same Saturday night, the lead singer of the band was appearing as a solo artist at Wembley, London, on a bill that included the likes of INXS, Jesus Jones and the Hothouse Flowers. Continue reading →
A poem written in November 2020, prompted by what exactly I can’t remember; there is truth to a degree in the words, and while this matters not to the reader, a need to expand on the actual facts took hold, from which followed a jaunt across the tobacco industry, teachers always being a-holes, a picture of my favourite gate, cheap snacks, Big Foot, how I used to live in the Lord of the Rings, laughing at my mum (sorry, mum), a real size but pretend Canadian Parliament, the world’s first dinosaur statues, and London’s most popular gorilla.
‘The Elephant and Castle shopping centre, once a symbol of hope and regeneration could be on its last legs…’ started a BBC article published while I was in the throes of finishing the A Life of Crime… series.
If hearing a similar statement when living nearby—permanently 1984 to 86 and then again 1988 to 99—I would’ve partied hard like it was the latter year.
In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events (continued from: Geezers and Goldfish Bowls):
Gotta wonder what kinda image ‘workingmen’s club’ conjures for anyone without a clue.
Almost unique to the U.K. (apart from a couple in Australia and Ireland; at least according to Wikipedia [though citation needed apparently]) they’re private clubs with committees, rules and membership.
Spaces always look smaller when empty; something in this case helped big time by the stage being hidden behind a curtain. The area once full of merry drinkers now occupied by a solitary pool table, five ‘chaps‘ drinking and smoking round it.
It’d become one of those pubs where unless you knew someone already there, everyone there would assume you undercover plod worthy of a good stabbing–up. The fact one of us was a loud Aussie doing nothing to allay suspicions; on the contrary, what better way for a rozzer to hide than appearing to be from a different country.