Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kills Life and Money

Say what you like about EasyJet, but they have never dumped me at the wrong airport (Heathrow)  3 hours late, 50 miles from my car, and approximately 10 minutes after the last train has pulled out of the station. KLM? They just did....bastards.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You can't make this stuff up!

So I get on a train after the lovely Sean drops me at East Croydon (bless him and all his progeny) and head for Brighton. I arrive with forty-twelve thousand other people (haven't they got work in the morning dammit, what are they all doing out so late?!) and head toward the Cab rank.

A short wait, and I jump into a random and non-descript Nissan or something, and we head off towards home. Now I like chatting with cab drivers, if they have a view (on anything) it is often different from my own, or at least, from a different perspective, and it's rare these days (you know, the days without a 'local' pub and a circle acquaintances drawn from varied work/life backgrounds) that I get exposed to opinions and observations that are far from my own comfortable middle-class inspired surroundings. (Note to grand-children reading this in 50+ years time : variety is the spice of life and cross cultural/class/attitude interactions are most definitely recommended)

So in my ideal cab driver, I enjoy finding a like-minded soul who, whilst has different likes and dislikes from I, can articulate opinions that extend beyond the 'hang 'em high, this generation don't know they're born, blame the bloody government' standard. Tonight was one such encounter, and we discussed many subjects in my short (but Brighton-ly expensive) ride home from the station. Arriving outside my door, the venerable cabby enquired, "you're not Ben, are you?"

Answering in the affermative, I continued by enquiring, "Yeah, are you still reading my book?".

The random cabby reached under his passenger seat and produced the book I had lent him (in a rather 'merry' state, you may know the " MUST read this, its marvellous" state....?) displaying the bookmark placed about 50% of the way through the 600+ page tomb.

"You cant have it back yet though..." he said, " a mate in another Cab wants to borrow it after me".

Now Brighton has (at 2001) over 249,000+ people living in it, so I wouldn't like to calculate the chances of any particular person, getting in a particular cab, and the driver recognising his passenger out of x thousand of other passengers he has had in the intervening 9 months. But I bet they're quite large.

The lesson I take from this wee diatribe? Never underestimate how much a small act, can impact the rest of the world.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I hate getting distracted

So I'm sitting unwinding tonight, tweaking a blog-post I've been playing-with over the last month or so (fav. albums..I know, who hasn't seen the 'ultimate list', but I figure I have to do one officially). For some background music, I flick to youtube and pick one of the bands I'm writing about (Adams and the Ants).
I start to thinking : youtube is a time machine.

Stay with me here....I, like many others, dangled a microphone in front of the TV speaker (a single, oval piece of iron and cardboard buried behind teak veneer and 5mm of Pledge) in a vain effort to re-listen to a garbled, white-noise flooded mimed rendition of this weeks top tune.

Youtube allows you to see those people playing in early videos, and on fantastic TV shows like The Old Grey Whistle Test'(a show that was always on too late for me to stay up for, and video-recording technology was still several years away from being discovered on a non-officially recognised Alien saucer in Roswell...)

For example, if you thought Devo was a crass late-seventies joke band, take a peek at 'punk-lite' Devo playing 'Uncontrollable Urge'

Now. . It won't make sense otherwise....

Now that will ONLY have been seen by people my Mothers age (probably, ish) and yet it could prove to certain (not mine or yours...)14 year-olds that music DIDN't start with Snoop Dogg, Guns 'n' Roses or even Kylie (but she HAS been going forever, honestly, look at how WELL she's aged, of course, she had that awful thing, you know, the front of Heya magazine where she wasn't wearing makeup, and after all who can blame her, what with that shit of a boyfriend fucking-off with that skinny bird, you know, looks like Courtney Cox after an acid bath...)

Have a search for 'TOTP' and the year you left 'TOTP 1984'

*Links* - some good vide...
Wall of Voodoo - Back in Flesh
Adam and the Ants - Never trust a man (with egg on his face)
Adam and the Ants - The Idea
Kid Koala - Moon River (Look especially for about halfway through, when he starts re-writing the whole song!)
Dave Gilmour & Robert Wyatt - Comfortably Numb

That should get you started!