Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Modern advertising - is anybody watching it?

Having spent a few weeks at home has given me a chance to catch up with the advertising around at the moment whileb hoovering, etc. yes, this is a bass player who does housework heh heh!

It's total pants, isn't it? (the advertising)

I mean, there are some tragic obvious bits like continuous wobbly camera to try to make it look like "real footage" (despite the fact that all modren camcorders have stabilisation), negative positivity (by that, I'm referring to ads which say the service provider doesn't do something obviously nasty like "talk down to you" - what company would, you morons?), a profusion of CGId nasties (domestos-you can keep putting different voices over that crap "bug" but it won't make that ad work).

I think even less people really take notice than we think. But this is another unaskable question, isn't it? We can't kill the advertising industry, so it just strides on, the money gradually drying up and everybody keeping their heads firmly planted in the cat tray...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

O'Neills last night.... nutters!

Well, that was a fun gig, from the bass point of view ;)

I took the minimum I could, and didn't regret it - walking across Oxford with all my gear meant it was easier to get out of town at the end of the night, I didn't have to drive back across town to the pub. Oxford is a pain in the arse for the jobbing musician, the one-way system means you spend huge amounts of time driving up and down the same two streets to get to that part of town.

Had to park in the multi storey again, that small weird shaped car park was full with the usual zombie-like space-crawlers trying to grab a place quickly, and as usual, we'd just finished soundchecking and I needed to park the car and get back to O'Neills asap! It is cheap (certainly cheaper than a £20 parking fine, which I've had a total of 3 times now)...

The gig went well. We thought it seemed a bit quiet for a friday night on a bank hol weekend but figured it would get lively. Lots of hen parties and large groups of large women in small denim shorts with turn-ups (this season's widely-adopted crap fashion choice) and a large group of pink cowboy hat wearers who seemed to convene on O'Neills en masse over an hour (which is pretty scary if you're about to whip the whole place into a frenzy).

Steve and I ripped out a wicked groove for the soundcheck - his time off has freshened up the whole vibe. In fact, he was in seriously good form the whole night... the bruises on my right shoulder have definitely faded already heh heh! :) I suspect Steve thinks I'm not listening sometimes and cues me by giving me a quick hit. Steve, I'm not a cymbal. But ta for the cues mate!

Great at the end of the night - a lot of compliments, and a bunch of guys Jay knows who haven't seen us for ages who I did recognise! Thanks for the shouts guys, appreciate that loads. A big shout to the guy who said they'd been out to see a pro band that night and then come to see us and thought we were better (!) - and thanks to the guy who said we knew how to really milk a guitar solo! Richie was really havin it last night, his solos on the last two tracks really soared. That's a good word for it, they soared. Definitely. Thanks for doing Comfortably Numb last night Jay, I made sure I got the chorus on there for the big exit solo (which I'm sure went on for at least 8 minutes, maybe more!) and we had that HUGE SOUND.

The fella at the front who bought Jamie a whisky - ta mate, pity Jay doesn't drink whisky but then Steve will drink pretty much anything so it didn't go to waste. The same fella rang his wife on his mobile during the Proclaimers(!) so she could hear 500 miles!

A great night all in all, with loads of people at the front, loads of people singing (what is it about Oasis and Guns n Roses???) - BTW, I heard from a fella last night a band called "fake plastic chairs" played in O'Neills during the week and they JAMMED their way through "Sweet Child O'Mine". HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? Answers on a postcard to and we'll publish the worst ones here!

Cheersh m'deersh!

Friday, May 18, 2007

loki and bartleby again

Here's me, once again, the victim of over zealous estimation of how crappy the drive to terminal 4 heathrow would be. I suppose the pessimistic amongst us might propose that this was sod's law in action, and the geeks would have suggested I check traffic reports properly in future. The hippies would tell me to chill out, the middle-class parents would tell me to stop being so self indulgent, don't i know grammar schools are threatened, the bloggers would accuse me of another tragic waste of bandwidth. The musicians would tell me to find a bar, the drunks wouldn't have heard me, likewise the deaf.

But this does give me a moment to reflect outside the house, where I have been working flat out for the last 3 days, and briefly spy on people as they wait for other people. I may come down here again next week, this could actually build some faith into me.

If you've seen "dogma" you'll know what I'm talking about. Kevin Smith's witty philosophical flick on the absurdities of Catholic Faith includes a great scene in an airport arrivals lounge (although I reckon it was actually filmed in a departure lounge to give them the seats they needed) with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck debating if, at the moment of greeting on arrival, humans are at their very finest, that all traces of the crap we stack inside ourselves are momentarily forgotten and we reveal our true love for one another. I'm not seeing that right now, sitting here in Starbucks watching the arrival gangway-in fact I'm not seeing any smiles at all!

I still believe though.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Anyone else out there ever moved a hundredweight of gravel 50m using nothing but a spade and a huge plastic bag as a sled?

Just wondered if you had as hard a time as I did...


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gig in London last night!

Yep, I gigged in london.

First time since the last Janeiro gig at Pop Bar in Soho... a bit of fun in the grand style, a la Aspen bar. Justin, Mr S-Bar himself, saw us in Soldeu and decided he wanted us to play in London. I'm pleased he did!

Thoroughly enjoyable, and the first time I've ever mended a speaker cone using gaffa tape and superglue ;)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cool, now I'm an electronics engineer! Well, a hacker anyway.

I've got a Warwick CCL combo - wicked little piece of 250W 15" kit, works well with the 2x10 trace cab. However, it has suffered from the usual warwick problem of crappy internal connectors which partially fell off during transit last year - on powerup, it clicked wildly then crapped out, all the LEDs come on but no poweramp - can't unmute it.

I've got a multimeter now after Andorra, so i decided today to try to diagnose the problem and fix it. After a little investigation I've got an order in with RS for a few cheap components in the signal path from the switch for the mute (no probs there!) so I'll have a crack at replacing them from smallest to largest and see what happens! If it works at least it'll be easier to sell!

Damned if I'm going to give someone £80 or so to fix it when I could do it...

That's me all over that is. Wish me luck ;) It's not a valve amp btw, so little chance of my frying myself. heh heh

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Big shout to James for the comment. New job!

Thanks for the LDV parts site link James, appreciate that.

I've got a new job, phew. In the end it was a choice between local (less than 3 miles!) with really good money but some of the hallmarks of the management pointyheadedness that narked me off an Panasonic (large company, odd people promoted, possibly to places they can't make a mess, etc etc. Very dilbert.) or more distant (but still half the commute to Panasonic) with slightly less cash but a really keen bunch of guys who pulled out all the stops to make a position for me (initially they wanted a 6 month contract, but now it's permanent - they liked me that much and that counts).

In the end, short commutes and more cash didn't win. I'm just not that kind of employee - the job's got to be good: after all, you're there for a bloody long time each day, it's got to be something you take pride in and I can sacrifice £3K and a few minutes of commuting time for a job I actually want to do. I'll even brave M4 junction 11... you heard me.

So that's a new day job sorted. Cool. And I don't start until beginning of June, so there's time to work on some tunes for the Myspace site, give my website a kick up the arse (just got a new URL - - telivo rule, dead easy to use and cheap too) and sort out other things around the place, like fitting my Car PC (which is totally ready!) and getting my bike license! I need the Virago overhauled and MOTd as well mind... but that could be a cool way to beat the J11 blues and no mistake.

Right, I'd better go fix the house aerial, which appears to have stopped working. Bah!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tragic spam and complete rabbiting nutters...

I thought emails like this one were a thing of the past...
Good day,

Its my pleasure to inform you that your draft has been stayed more than necessary And I went to the bank to confirm if the Cheque has expired or getting near to expire and Mr.JOHN YABAGI the foreign operation Director of Financial Trust Bank Plc, told me that before the cheque will get to your hand that it will expire.
Then I told him to covert the $800.000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid loosing this funds.However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $800.000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with GLOBAL diplomatic COURIER COMPANY here in Cotonou Benin Republic,
Mr.JOHN YABAGI the Director of Financial Trust Bank Cotonou have packaged the sum of $800.000 in consignment in your favour. Then he also helped me to Register the Consignment with GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY. Thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing goes smoothly.
As for our agreement with the GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY they promised that your consignment will leave this Country as soon as you provide the necessary information to enable them deliver your consignment to you,as the Director of the GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY said that they need your contacts informations to enable them locate you immediately the Diplomats arrived to your Country.
Please write a letter of application to the given address below including the below registration number,

Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they need from you.
Please make sure you send this needed info’s to the Director general of GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY MR SANI MBAJI with the email address given to you above.
Note.The GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY don't know the contents of your consignment. I registered it as a BOX that contains fabrics materials. They don't know it contains cash,this is for security reason. don't let them know that it contains money .
I am waiting for your urgent response as soon as you have received your consignment.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.

Mr Denis morh

and I hope you die in your sleep, you sad muppet!

BTW, check this blog out. It's insane and appears to be written by a bunny oiler. No missing B there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cool, P990i on apples!

Apple blossom
Originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
I'm very VERY impressed with this camera on the P990i. You really can get some decent shots with it... now, to buy that 4GB memory stick... :)