Belated V-Festival Blog Post
So we left at about 2pm on Friday afternoon. Me and Maz already had Kev and Jo's tent. A quick swing by Tesco for food and beer and we're off. My POS phone has gps and googleMaps dor direction but a shitty battery life (mainly due to my incessant twittering) but its old too. So having dropped back past my house for the car charger we're actually off about 3pm. Still, no fucking traffic, anywhere. We literally drove straight to the parking space (Y2, row 16) without stopping, even for a roundabout, trafic light, queues of thousands of people arriving, car crash. nope nothing, can you tell I'm amazed by that? We arrived about 4.30, set up camp, opened a beer and had a wander about.
The actual campsite area is a bit weird there is either Yellow or Red camping, and thats it. You can't go in the Red camp if your a yellow and you cant go in the yellow camp if your Red. Weird huh? (Apparently the 2 campsites are operated by diferent companies and therefore some complex legal stuff says no cross over...basically the red campsite is the main campsite provided by the v festival. the yellow campsite is a campsite next to the festival on privately owned land.) We were in Yellow.
Anyway, through the evening Kev and Jo turned up, camps set up, bought program, planned bands to see and times etc. The layout of the times on the lanyard is shit, more adverts than times and in a really frustrating format so you have to flick through 10 pages of info to see whether Alphabeat and Lady Ga Ga clash. We planned and wrote out the stuff we HAD to see in advance, which pretty much comprised of Biffy Clyro and ... well, just Biffy Clyro really.
About the place were the usual food stalls, camping supplies and the like, lots of the portaloo toilets. Kev said "I prefer a long-drop to a portaloo", I think I'm with him on that one.
Having been ro Reading festival loads of time, VF seems a little, family orientated or tame, whichever you fancy. Its less unhinged, less rowdy, less intereting. But still cool and relaxed. Depends what you want from a festival. I want drunkardness, fires and gas bombs, trolley! trolley!, "dude i've lost my phone" and "you, yes you...." (memories...). After looking at the line-up to Reading this year, to be honest I'd have much prefered to be there.
Here is a list of things you can't do at a VF campsite:
FOR YOUR SAFETY DO NOT BRING:
GLASS. No glass will be permitted in the campsite or the arena.
PETS. They are not permitted on site, except guide dogs for the blind and deaf.
CANDLES. They are not permitted, for your safety. Bring a torch and a good supply of batteries.
AIR HORNS. They are NOT permitted, for the sanity of those around you.
FIREWORKS. They are illegal. Any fireworks found on entry search and thereafter will be confiscated.
DO NOT bring anything that could be interpreted as an offensive weapon, i.e. a multi purpose style tool that contains a knife, mallet, etc, as they will be confiscated and held at Festival Welfare.
DO NOT light fires, as they could prove fatal due to the close proximity of the tents. All fires will be extinguished.
See what I mean? All that stuff is Fun, and absolutely fine at Reading Festival.
Also, Highlights from the 'Important Information' section.
TELEPHONES Those smashing people at Virgin Mobile will once again supply Virgin Mobiles for you to use for a small donation to charity. They will also supply free mobile charging points regardless of your usual network.
Read - 'Theres a pole somewhere with about 100 mobile chargers sellotaped to it. Don't steal them, just sit and wait for your phone to charge.'
RUBBISH - There are plenty of bins provided which are emptied each night.
Read - 'There is a bin somewhere, see if you can find it. First one to tip it over wins a can of Strongbow. GO!'
After having a wander about the areana, which was half open friday night from about 8pm, but with nothing to do, just look at the shops and stuff. There was loads of black material on the floor. Why? Dunno, odd. There was 2 big outdoor stages and 4 tent stages (2 more than Reading), LOADS of food stalls, and plenty or Bars. The bar idea was odd too. You had to queue for ages to buy beer tokens. Which were a reasonable £3.50, then once you've got them, you have to queue again for drinks, hassle. We skipped the initial token queue buy buying them at the furthest token place so there was no one there. Right, then, get this. When we finally managed to get to the bar the girl Id'd me, and apologises so profusely as I was 25 that she forgot to take the bloody tokens. Pointless system, £7 saved. Also, there were also cash bars. With big signs saying 'Cash BAR' so, tokenless saturday afternoon, I ordered 2 (180ml) bottles of wine to be told I needed tokens for wine, but cash for spirits. Ridiculous system.
Festivals are about music and thats why we went so lets get to that. Firstly our firends Underline The Sky, who won the Road to V compettion, Played well opening the E4 (2nd outdoor stage) and i've seen them a bunch of times and they are always good, but having McFly open the Main stage (I bloody love Mc Fly) at the same time was a killer as loads of peopl watched UTS while walking to McFly. I saw most of the McFly set to, they are good those boys. Catchy, sunshine pop, Beach Boys for the Naughties.
I honestly can't remember the bands so i'm consulting the VF website to remind me...is that bad? NO. Also I was gonna write it like a story, but it would take FOREVER, so below is the line-up and my comments...if there is no comment below i didn't see them.
Main Stage Saturday
* The Killers
* The Specials
* Lily Allen
* The Script
* Taylor Swift
* Mcfly - see above, excellent. 8/10
Main Stage Sunday
* Oasis - pulled out as last minute. bastards 0/10
* Snow Patrol - stepped up to headline. knew evey song, mix of slow and up beat. brilliant! 9/10
* Biffy Clyro - The Mighty Biff. I love them and I'm heavily biased, but not the best show ever...8/10
* James Morrison
* Ocean Colour Scene
* Bjorn Again
E4 Stage Saturday
* Fatboy Slim
* Pendulum - Maz really liked them, i thought they played one 45 min prodigy cover. 5/10
* The Ting Tings - Lots of Backing track, squeaky vocals, nothing like the CD. (better then Pendulum) 5.5/10
* The Wombats - missed them as i was asleep.
* Dizzee Rascal
* The Noisettes - Actually pretty catchy, seen them on Jools Holland before(better then Pendulum). 6/10
* Red Light Company
* Mr Hudson
* Underline The Sky - Good, didn't really get good sound, frustrating(better then Pendulum). 7/10
E4 Stage Sunday
* The Enemy
* Paolo Nutini
* Katy Perry - Actually really good. Nice stage setup, good songs, plus i think she is hot. 7.5/10
* Alesha Dixon
* The Proclaimers - I knew more than i thought i would, ha ha, they're pretty good for two ginger, scottish music geeks (better then Pendulum). 6.5/10
* Lightning Seeds - Really boring versions of catchy pop songs, plus a few boring new ones. shame (better then Pendulum). 6/10
* The King Blues - These were pretty catchy, raggae-pop, politics and stuff. bit preachy (better then Pendulum). 6.5/10
* The Last Republic
The ARENA Saturday
* 2 Many DJs
* Calvin Harris
* Happy Mondays
* The Saturdays
* Will Young
* Asher Roth
* Tinchy Stryder
* Pixie Lott
* Carolina Liar
* Matt Trakker
The ARENS Sunday
* MGMT - didn't get to see them, but glad i watched Snow Patrol instead. 0/10
* Lady Gaga - Fuck, so busy. could barely move. Didn't manage to get inside the tent and listened to 1 song before walking of frustrated. (still...better then Pendulum) 0/10
* The Streets - missed them as i was asleep.
* The Human League - head them from camp site "dont you WANT ME BAAAAABBBYYYYYYY!!! WHHHAAAAAOOOO!!!
* Natalie Imbruglia
* Daniel Merriweather
* Sneaky Sound System
* Bens Brother
* The Blizzards
Virgin Media Union
Hylands Saturday/Weston Sunday
* Peter Doherty - Ok, I knew the press, but apparently he's good at doing music. wanted to see what all the fuss was about. better than expected. 8/10.
* Alphabeat - yay! saw these lot. Catchy Danish Pop. HappyBeat, CatchyBeat, Alphabeat. 7.5/10
* The Sunshine Underground
* Howling Bells
* Pete Murray
* Goldie Lookin Chain
* V V Brown
* Kid British
* Ray Gun
* Wallis Bird - looked her up before hand and she wasn't as good live. (better than pendulum) 5.5/10
* Exit Calm - missed them, bugger.
Weston Saturday/Hylands Sunday
* British Sea Power
* The Twang
* Mystery Jets
* Gary Go
* Seth Lakeman
* Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong
* Miike Snow
* One Eskimo
* Iain Archer
* The Gay Blades
I've probably missed a bunch of stuff, and I'll post what few pictures I took too.
My New Pedalboard
Well, here we go.
I'm not a masive fan of pedals and effects, but they make the live show more entertaining and since I got my Zoom G2, its been a hassle to set them up, 3 seperate plugs and not enough cables to have them all at the front of the stage, and then during the set I'm all over the place on stage pushing different pedals here and there...SO, I made my own, custom board, for cheap, and its exactly what I needed, it took a couple of afternoons in total.
This is a blog about how I made my new custom pedal board. You can buy loads on the internet, they are either, really BIG or come with a flimsy soft case (not good for tour). The good ones are really expensive too, about £150 for one with a power supply and a hard case.
First I made a template of my pedals so I could plan them out on a piece of board, at this point I also looked into a flight case for it and the cheapest one the near enough size was 450mm x 300mm, silver case from Maplin for £30, so I had a rough guide of size before I started, but in honesty I wanted to keep it as compact as possible.
Once I had it the Right size, I covered it in black gaffer tape to make it look nice, and attached some sticky-back velcro (the fluffy bit) in the places I wanted the pedals.
Then, I had a cup of tea and figured out what I'd need next to make it work. Turns out i needed loads of stuff!
Multi Power Supply
6Meter jack-jack cable (with 1 x 90 degree jack and 1 straight jack)
50cm 90 degree jack-jack patch cable
90degree jack end (to modify an xlr cable I use for my wireless pack)
Once I got all that. I attached the rubber feet to the underneath of the board just at the back so it was at a slight gradient. Attached the handles to either side of the board.
I stuck the grippy velcro to the underside of all of my pedals. That way they would all be secured in place and won't slip about. It was tricker than expected and I'd stupidly misplaced some of the velcro (yeah, I'm an idiot), but got it all sorted eventually.
Just to show how good the velcro is at keeping the pedals stuck down...
Once the board was finished and the pedals were in place I modified the foam inside the flight to fit the board exactly so it fits snug and secure once its closed for transport.
All that was left to do was wire up the board and sort out the long cables from my amp to the board at the front of the stage.
Wiring in the the multi power supply, turned out to be trickier than I'd expected. (its gets a little techy here so skip this bit if you want). I looked on the net for a multi power supply and the dedicated guitar pedal ones ranged from £20 - £200 (yes £200!). I guessed that they were for loads of pedals, and the cheaper ones didn't seem too complex so bought the nearest thing, a multi voltage adaper from maplin £10 and a power daisy chain £5. Turns out, Regulated Voltage, Polarity and Ampage are serious things to consider.
The unregulated multi voltage adapter doesn't provide a consistant power the pedals so is a bit dodgy and it was also a 500mA supply. My Zoom G1, wireless pack and tuner have a combined current draw of 500mA so I thought it would be fine. But with drawing the maximim curent from a supply the actual voltage output can be nearly half of the rated voltage. Apparently you need double (at least) ampage for you requirements, so I needed at least a 1A regulated 9V dc supply. Also, my wireless pack had a centre +ve polarity and my tuner and zoom G2 have centre -ve polarity, which was going to be another trip to town and another £5 for a reverse polarity adapter.
Finally and almost more annoyingly, the daisy chain for the supply had straight 2.1mm ends which hung over the end of the board and wouldnt fit in the flight case which meant I'd have to plug them in every time, which defied the whole point of setting up a pedal board!!
I took the whole power supply back to Maplin and opted for one of these for £35. It a 1-spot power supply from Visual Sound, the pack comes with a 1.3A, 9v regulated power supply, a reverse polarity adapter (among others) and is the only available power supply with 90 degree plug ends. SWEET. Meaning I can power everything on my pedalboard with 1 mains plug, and it all fits neatly into the case.
So, the power aupply arrived in the post a couple of days later and I hastily wired it all up and it worked perfectly. Excellent. Just a few cable clips and a bit more gaffer to tidy it all up and its good to go. below is a pic of the wired up version.
Total Spend £90. (materials £10, case £30, power supply £35, cables £15)
got an email today:
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griswold investor pius? acropolis, bridgewater neumann.
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So I missed Say Anything, but it was kinda worth it.
France was amazing, a little rural town about an hour from Boulogne. Check the pics here.
I spent most of my time working at the Les Tourelles Hotel, which was pretty similar to the work I do in Felixstowe, except in French. I made sure my French was up to scratch, and by the end of the two weeks, I could just about talk and get myself across properly, I'm still not fluent but I'm much better. (That's more than I can say for Luke, who still cant really speak any at all, I did have a head start though) Not much else to say about that really, apart from that we got invited back, so I might go again, but for longer next time.
The care that i went to on the last day was also perfect. Its owned and run by Pippa and Pete Derbyshire, Pippa is an Artist and The Relais-de-la Baie is a Cafe/Art Gallery in one. The cafe is a way of passing the lazy French days and the art gallery to make some money. No 2 chairs or tables match, there is no till system and no fixed price list. Well OK, there are prices on the menu but who needs that when there is only 3 meals on it. But it worked perfectly, it was charming and relaxed.
Managed to bring back a rucksack full of Cheese and Wine home.
Please don't let me get started on the appalling travel issues. OK, I've done it. 12 hours from Felixstowe - Le Crotoy. (6.45am -4hr coach-London. 11.30am-2.5hr coach-Dover. hang about for an hour. 3.15pm-1.5hour Ferry-Calais. french time 5.35pm 1h Car-Le Crotoy. Arrive at the Hotel 6.30pm.) Apparently when Dominique, the manager drives to Felixstowe it takes 4hours. Getting home was worse. The 7.30 train to Boulogne was delayed by an hour which made us miss the connection to Calais, miss the Ferry to Dover and miss the coach to London. Paid extra for a train from Dover-London and caught up with ourselves about 4.30 in time for the 4hr coach journey home.
Also travel within France was crap, i thinking that had to do with the fact we were in a remote place, but 2 buses a day? 8.30am out and 5.30pm in. I'm just gonna stop now, but you get the idea.
But I'm home again and have to go back to work and play. I was only away for two weeks but it felt like longer and I nearly didn't come back, and I'm already looking at ways to go back for longer.
Can I Have A Go With Gunny?
Peep Show is really good isn't it? Just agree, OK? I've been watching the new series avidly.
We, that's Kevin, Max, Hicks and I, went to see All Time Low at the Cambridge Junction yesterday and it was pretty good. Max seemed more interested in the sound guy than the bands, which speaks for its self. I thought Cobra Starship, the support band were better than they were last time we saw them (supporting Fall Out Boy) but still average.
More interestingly, probably not to you but it is to me. Ms Chuckles and I went to see Daniel Kitson again, I've said it before and I'll say it again, he is amazing, intelligent, thought provoking and yet stupidly funny all at the same time. The show was called "The Impotent Fury of the Privileged". Making us laugh about how we all know that the world is in a mess but none of us are doing enough (or possibly we're never actually able to do enough) to change it. How he managed to make that so funny for an 1hr and 45 mins, I don't understand, but he did.
The trip did slightly skew my views on public transport. 2 return fares from Ipswich to Norwich only £20. Get in! Taxi from Ipswich station to Woodbridge, £23. I fucking hate taxis. But maybe trains aren't so bad.
one:day:life are currently re-recording Brand New Enemy.
I've got a new phone, its cool. It does things. I was wondering the streets of Norwich with my unlimited data tariff and a maps application trying to locate the Norwich Arts Centre (we succeeded) which was nice.
I have just got my dates through for my bus mans holiday to France, I'll be working in a french hotel as a waiter, just like I do in sunny old Felixstowe. A bit like a butcher looking at meat brochures. That all sounds great, I leave on the 10th June and get back to England on the 24th June. I do however have to take a coach from Felixstowe to Calais. Lengthy. Hmmmm, 2 weeks near Boulogne though. (As a side note, to anyone reading this from where I work. I TOTALLY do not see the trip to France as a holiday. It is a valuable, learning experience which will benefit me and the company, for which I am extremely grateful for.)
On the opposite side of that joy, is the fact that one of my favourite bands, Say Anything, are playing in London, at a tiny little venue, the Kings Cross London Student Union, on the same day I leave. DAMN IT!!! I literally am SO GUTTED about that. Have I got a ticket to go? Yes of course. Am I going? NO...Grrrrrrrr........Think about France, think about France, think of the fun your gonna have in France Dan, say anything, France, fun, France.......
Have been back in the studio a bit recently. Is cool. I like playing guitar. Plus I got to play my new guitar, its a Faith Acoustic, in black. Its' great. The song "I am the Sun" went up exclusively for the Street Team and we're working on some new stuff to maybe release as an EP later in the year. hmmm.
I have been working, actual work, work, not band work (thats different). yep.
Got my tooth fixed, I dunno, I think it looks odd, but I'll get used to it. Better than it was anyway.
My laptop is currently going to shit, its old. It needs to go the the Laptop Hospital. (That is a new TV program with Rolf Harris)
Facebook is fun. MySpace isn't.
On the Kate Nash album there is a song called "shit song" (apt as it ain't that good...). When my mum cooks dinner, or wants me for something, and I'm in my room, she shouts up the stairs "DANIEL". Firstly my name is Dan and it winds me up(there is a point to this...hold on), secondly I'm usually listening to music or doing something and often don't hear her. In the song "Shit Song" there is a really faint sample in the verses that sounds EXACTLY like my mum shouting up the stairs "DANIEL". Annoying I think you will agree...it gets me every time.
FRANK TURNER...his new album Love, Ire and Song is great. Buy it. I did.
Firstly - If you see me wearing my blue stripy hoody when I'm not supposed to, dont' tell Max.
On we go..here is what actually happened...
Tuesday - Never made it to London to Daniel Kitson due to some idiot getting himself killed on the A12. We sat in the car for 3hours and turned back home approx ten miles from where we started!! Bugger. We did manage to eat a massive bag of Minstrels some crisps and 2 bottles of Coke.
Wednesday - Played battle of the bands. Got through to final. YAY! (well as yay as can be for a BOTB as they suck). The final took place on Sunday 10th of Feb and we lost miserably, as predicted as we are a pop-punk band...
Thursday - Gig in Nottingham got pulled. Interestingly enough I found out that the gig was off while I was sitting in my car in the traffic jam on the A12 Tuesday night. Its moved but all promoters say that when they pull a gig. Plus there were people we know in Nottingham coming too. (also note, I totally missed out on toast and marmalade courtesy of Lizzie). As I'm writing this I'm pretty sure I did something else on Thursday....but I can't remember it.
Friday - Still went to london just had a bit more time to get ready. Had a cool time ambling around london. Hicks came with us wearing a pair of bright red boardies. Paramore were amazing, New Found Glory had limited PA but I knew their songs well enough to cary it. No Starting Line, Kids In Glass Houses instead...poor. Shoreditch Pub and Club after. Lots of money spent, good time had. Hicks didn't get let into club wearing his shorts and they had to leave early. I managed to get back to Lauries about 5am. Yeah!
Saturday - More time spent hungover and bimbling about in london looking for stage clothes. We din't buy anything but had plenty of ideas. 6pm showing of Cloverfield, which was really really good. Honest. After that we (me and max) went for a beverage with Charlotte and Kay form the Alex. All im gonna say about that is that I had a good time.
Sunday - Really busy at work. Finish at 5pm. Pack up drive away. Totally as expected.
Monday, Tuesday and Friday spent being cool, as promised. (Wednesday got moved to the 13th so we got an extra day off...hmmm I think I spent the whole day asleep...I enjoy my total disregard for anything sometimes)
Saturday - went to my Mums play. It was actually really good. For an amature production the acting was great. The story was really good, kinda intellectual comedy about bereavement and loss. Good. It did have lots of swearing in it. I think they got in virtually every swear word I can think of except 1. Cunt. But kudos anyhow. It was odd to see my mum swear and kiss some old chap who ain't my dad but hey ho.
I have spent the last week doing much the same. Gigs, sleeping, occasional work, drinking too much coffee, reading and living.
I am now in the possession of a stripy hoody that me and Max bought. Mine is blue and black. His is grey and black. I can honestly say that we look fucking stupid wearing them at the same time so we agreed...I can wear mine on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Max on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Here We Go....
Loads of stuff coming up for the next couple of weeks. I'm excited. Thought I'd tell you all too.
Tuesday (tomorrow) - Going to see Daniel Kitson in London. He is a comedian, Google him he is very funny. Doing a secret gig for his new stand up show in May.
Wednesday - Gig in Naaarwich. It is a "Battle of the Bands" night. I always wonder about playing them as they are usually judged on a crowd vote or some other clearly flawed method which invariably ends up with us loosing. We only get to play 3 songs and all the bands have to use the same equipment to make it fair. Anyhow, a gig is a gig and were still gonna be playing in front of people.
Thursday - Gig in Nottingham. Kev's lovely lady Lizzie is at Uni in Nottingham and we made her put posters up and hand out some flyers so people should turn up. Another good thing is that we get to crash at Lizzie's house instead of the van or a late drive home. Lizzie also has a ready supply of Earl Grey and Toast with Marmalade.
Friday - Drive home from Nottingham, Shower, Change clothes, Drive to London. Were going to Paramore, New Found Glory and The Starting Line at Brixton Academy. Yes you did read that correctly. 3 of my favourite bands all playing on the same night at the same place. WHOOOOOO!!!!! Followed by a few drinks in London with our friend Laurie. A different floor to sleep on, another night away from home. Rock and Roll baby, don't 'cha know.
Saturday - home. Drinks with the girls from the Alex in the 'swich. The fun just doesn't stop with me.
Sunday - Work - Boring. Pack up and load out for a bunch of School Tour dates. Sleeping in the van, teaching kids about the importance of "Rock Music". Cool.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - Being Cool.
(note the break on Thursday - home, shower, back to being cool on Friday)
Saturday - In my continual endeavour to be a good son, I'm going to see my mum in a play. Its called Humble Boy and its by the Mustard Theatre Company. It will be good because my mum is in it. I've got nobody to go with at the moment though so if anyone is stuck for things to do on Saturday 9th Feb drop me a message. Please.
I'm currently having real trouble getting out of bed, it's not the waking up bit, just summoning enough physical effort to move in the mornings. I wake up and just think, ahh fuck this, I'm just gonna lie here knowing I've got stuff to do, knowing i should get up but just not. For ages though, longer than my normal usual lie in time.
Not sure if I'm really tired, really lazy or actually ill?? (Is that even a thing?)
Its about 10:15 and I'm on my own. Been playing my guitar (with my sexy new capo) for about an hour and my fingers hurt. Could have gone out to a couple of places but chose not too as I'm tired and I've gotta work tomorrow. Was at work today from 11-4 which was easy and i was getting paid triple time. whoo. My family even delayed Christmas dinner.
Got lots of cool presents. A Moleskine notebook which I've wanted for ages, some new Cons, some tools, a few puzzly gamey things...chocolate...nothing majorly expensive though. I got all the cool stuff for my birthday a few weeks ago.
I played this crazy Christmas present hunt game on my family and which involved them opening up a clue to the whereabouts of their presents and culminated in them wondering about the house looking for their presents. Ohh yes...I'm one Crazy Cat.
Was drunk on red wine at the Bader on Christmas eve (some drinking game involving me downing lots of red wine...hmmm). I was up and feeling perky by 9am with a bacon sandwich and a cup of tea. (mums are great).
Hope everyone had a good day and like what they got. I did.
I semi-drunk-a-diddley was giving a piggy back and tripped and fell over. Landed pretty much square on my face. Went to hospital. Got stiched up. Need some dental treatment.
half of front tooth missing
various facial cuts and bruises
I'll be all healed up pretty soon but won't be able to get my tooth sorted until the new year. Bugger.
Some stories and thoughts on birthdays.
I'm not such a fan of having my birthday and Christmas time so close together. (I know they are two weeks apart and lots of other people have their birthdays closer to Christmas than me, including some of my friends. I wonder if they feel the same) But it winds me up, can't explain why I guess. It just does. I attempt to stop Christmas decorations going up in the house before my birthday (but fail) and I'm definitely not a fan of joint-Christmas-birthday presents. Unless I specify that I want something expensive and pool my resources just like everyone else does.
When I was a kid (read - ages 9,10 and 11) I used to think birthday parties were great. I did however think that there should be something to do...I used to get a bit tired of going round a friends house, watching some TV, eating jelly and ice cream and getting a party bag. So I decided that a theme was the way forward. I thought sport competition. (man, I was COOOOOL) I think over the 3 years that I stuck at it I had round robin subbuteo, pool, and mega drive World Cup Italia '90 tournaments. Whoo. I remember the first year I won the biggest box of Malteasers and everyone thought I'd rigged it. The next year I got my grandad to referee....the fun never stops with me... (there's fun, and there's safe, fair fun that's even better)
I think during my last year of Primary school, I had a brief girlfriend. I took her to see my mum in a play and I bought her a rose. Dunno if it was for her birthday or not. Think so.
The oddest birthday party I ever went to was when I was at high school. James Lay. Most birthday parties at the age of 15 consisted of a free house, sound system and a fridge full of beer. Easy. We (most of our form/class...when did it change from a class to a form???) went to James's house in Levington expecting a party. We turned up and then we all went for a walk. James had planned a route around the fields/woods of Levington that took about an hour. We all trudged and chatted, got lost and found out way, laughed and moaned. After ten minutes everyone got into the swing of the walk and I seem to remember, on reflection, we all realised we'd actually had a really good time.
Ages ago when I was a cruel 14-15 year old, there was a (nameless on here) girl in our class who used to get her p's and q's the wrong way round and also her b's and her d's. (I'm pretty sure it wasn't the fact she was just stupid, dyslexia or something was affecting her handwriting and spelling) Anyway, as it was all in her text book we only found out due to reading some stuff of each others out loud in a lesson one time. Shortly after finding out it was her birthday and our teacher made us sing happy birthday. I remember a few of us singing "haqqy dirthbay to you, haqqy dirthbay to you, haqqy dirthbay beer *name here*, haqqy dirthbay to you". I know its pretty cruel (well...really cruel), but we did it. I still remember it every time somebody sings the happy birthday song. Always will.
Playing a gig on my, or any ones birthday is not a cool as it seems. You have to be cohesive enough to play (or not) and you have to lug equipment and you don't want to loose it and you have to take it home..and...and. It sounds like a good idea but isn't.
Going to a gig on/around your birthday is cool though. I've seen Foo Fighters at Brixton Academy. Wicked. I took myself to Glasgow on a train and stayed on my own in a b&b to see Biffy Clyro. They played the whole of their album "Vertigo of Bliss" in full, in order. It was AMAZING. This year I was gonna go see Frank Turner but my car crapped out on the way and we had to get picked up by the AA and missed it. (That was in fact last night and I've still got the tickets in my pocket).
In my family we hardly ever get take away food as a family. Its kind of a tradition that who ever has a birthday picks a takeaway (usually KFC or a Chinese) and my parents pay. It's odd but I like it. This year however we didn't and I opted to get some lush free food from The Alex instead. (I get a managers allowance if I fill in a detailed feedback form on the quality of meal/service....sweeeeeeeet) I even got a table by the big window and some coloured napkins and some decorations on our table for two. It was just me and my mumsy and we went birthday shopping in Colchester after and I got some cool new stuff.
Hand made birthday cards.
Blank cards you write yourself.
Getting exactly what I asked for.
Surprises that I love but totally don't expect.
Meaningful presents that don't cost much.
That's all I have to say about that.
Happy Birthday To Me...
Happy Birthday To Me...
Happy Birthday Dear... I-just-got-home-from-work-am-wide-awake-
Happy Birthday To Me
During the adverts in Scrubs the other night I skipped through the channels, past BBC3, and then back to BBC3 to find a program called "Can Fat Teens Hunt?". I watched it for about 1 minute and realised that the title of the program was literal...It was basically some overweight kids in a campsite in a forest arguing and moaning and crying and whinging and moaning and crying and ...
Once again we converted my bedroom, the humble dwelling where I spend lots of time doing what I do, into a professional photo studio. Much like this time last year for the album artwork.
This time we needed some hi-res band shots for the PR package we're putting together. We made some phone calls to some photo places for some thick photography backing paper for the background (which we picked up for free), painted some MDF bright white for the floor, emptied my room, and moved the studio in. Flicked on two 500w industrial halogen lamps and set to work making ourselves look pretty.
We took over 700 photos in 3 hrs and generally they look pretty cool. Kev managed to fall out of sync with the move/pose/move/pose situation and was moving when me and max were posing...crazy. There are some already up in the photos section of our website. We did a whole load of individual shots for later use, they might be up later. My room is back to how it should be now, and I even got Max to vacuum for me as he made some mess.
Tonight we spent some time in front of the camera, the video kind, for some updated one:day:life interviews. We're going to be posting some video interviews of us (yes...much like the Same Old Story one, you hardcore one:day:life fans) for you to watch. I can honestly say I'm the most boring person I know...besides Max. So you're going to have a ball watching them.
Also in the last week we have recorded podcast number 4. We recorded podcast number 3 but never put it up on the website as the track at the end isn't finished.
A frenzy of media activity. Strange since my Internet has been down for the last week (due to my mum not paying the ISP bill) its been good to get out of the house. Or at least back in it but with some different stuff there.
As my Internet is back I'll get back to series 2 of Peep Show on 4OD...every episode is up there for free.
School Show - looking after the gear
Max has got this clever new toy, by toy I mean Wireless Internet connection. Sweet.
It basically means that I get lumbered witht he job of looking after the Lifers website (Captain Diddy anyone?) and looking after the gear. (fending off school kids with a sharpie and a bannana)
good news is that, as it's Max:
1 - he pays for it.
2 - he accidentally leaves his Facebook logged in...ooh the mischief.
humph...needed a new wing mirror and didn't want to pay for it.
I phoned the Peugeot auto spares and they are £30 + v.a.t - bugger that.
Ebay - £15 - £20 plus postage £5 - Nope.
The big scrapyard in town doesn't have one.
"Drive to the scrapyard in Elmsett" I hear you say, hmmmm. The one I've never heard of and doesn't have a website? The one at the bottom of the suffolk listing on Yell.com? That one?? "That sounds like a good idea. Better call them first though"
**ring ring...ring ring...**
Old Sufolk Man (OSM) - "ya' reet buh"
Me - "Hello, I'm looking for a wing mirror for a Peugeot 106"
OSM - "yeeer buh moit av un. gorrafew en buh"
Me - "Right, thats good. Have you got a drivers side one spare?"
OSM - "yull afta cum luk buh"
Me - "Ok, I'll be there soon"
OSM - "reet oh, buoi"
Look at map, looks fairly easy. (It's just past the middle of nowhere in case you wondered)
Got lost on the way, no map.
Googled the number once I managed to drive to a road where I had a signal. Call him back and ask for directions.
4.45pm - Got to the place and the 2 old chaps in sitting in a porta-cabin. In silence. OSM 1 sitting behind a desk, OSM 2 sittin in a chair by the door.
Me - "Hello, I phoned earlier about a wing mirror for a Peugeot 106"
OSM 1 (behind the desk)- "yeer buh, gorra few dun thend neer t'skips buh"
**i look about a MILE down a hill to the skips and the biggest pile of cars you've ever seen**
Me - "I'll go have a look then, have you got a screwdriver i can borrow?
OSM 1 - to OSM 2 "He want a ruddy droiver dohee Ted?"
- to Me "dint ya bring yer awn buh?"
Me - "err...no"
OSM 1 - to Ted "gerrim the set then Ted"
Ted - to Me "over ere buh"
**Ted takes me over to a knackered old car, pops the boot, there is a whole bootfull of assorted screwdrivers**
Ted - "one o thosull dooyah buh?"
Me - "Cheers"
**I take a couple and hike my way down the hill. Have a bit of a rummage and find 2 106's, one had a broken drivers side mirror, the other one is impossible to get off due to all the screws being too rusted over to screw out, so I hike back up to the porta cabin after spotting a fairly good looking 106 parcked away from all the other cars**
Me - "Hello, can't find what I'm looking for except on that red one over the other side. Can I have the one off that one?"
Ted - to OSM 1 "wotya reck?"
OSM 1 - to Ted 2 "ah dunt care buh, worrevuh"
Ted - to Me "yeer go awhn thun buh"
Me - to Ted "Before I go back down there, how much is it going to cost?
Ted - to OSM 1 "wotya reck?"
OSM 1 - "tenner buh"
Me - "Cool. Back in a sec"
**It's now dark and cold, about 5.15pm and I have to take off the wing mirror in the dark. I use the light on my phone and have to hold it in my mouth as the interior light is broken. My fingers ache... I Trudge my way back to the porta-cabin and hand over the tenner**
Me - "Bye then, thanks"
OSM 1 - "reet buh, buoi"
Ted - "buoi son"
The two chaps seem happy to go back to sitting silence, as I walk off.
I arrive home at 6pm after getting stuck in a crapload of traffic at 5.30. But I do have a new wing mirror for £10
So the fireworks were a bit of a wash out...**sad face** (emoticons are so last summer) We got to the park with 5 mins to spare, watched the fireworks (which were really good), handed about about million flyers to the kids at the fairground and bailed. Just me and Max, nobody else wanted to/managed to turn up. Shame, I got all miserable.
We did however catch the late showing of Saw IV, really good, definitely recommend watching I, II, and III first, as there are a few tie-ins. A bit of late night gore to cheer me up. Cineworld stop serving hot dogs before we got there so I had to eat a crap load of popcorn as I was starving...
Work 8.30 on Sunday, got a nice surprise in my tray which made my day. **Finish work at 6pm** Dinner at the Ship in Levington made my evening.
I was supposed to be going to watch Daniel Kitson (pick up his podcast feed, its funny) at the Hob in London, but I'm going next week instead. He is funny and trialing stuff for his new stand up show for a few nights. I've been wanting to catch him live for ages, so I'm pretty excited about it.
We have a radio session to do Monday night, should be fun. I'm sure we will post the details of how to listen to it.
Gravemakers and Gunslingers
Aquired lots of new music the other day, latest albums by All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Coheed and Cambria and Say Anything. All very good, I'll repeat that for the sake of C&C and SA, Very good (capital V..).
Mayday parade were recommended to my by amazon btw. Its good, very similar to All Time Low.
Fireworks tonight, Yippee!!! Set to the music of queen, I'm sure they have done that before but it's a classic approach anyhow. If they manage to top the James Bond theme from last year with A helicopter and an exploding car I'll be tres impressed. Incase you didn't guess I'm a BIG fan of fireworks night...BANG!!! whoo...BANG!!! arrhh...BANGBANGBANGBANG!!! WHOOOAARRRHH! love it.
We went and kicked your asses 'oop north this weekend. I had a pretty good time actually.
Trust The TomTom - It told us an odd way to get to Louth which Max insisted was wrong until we looked at the map...we had to turn around at the next junction and go the way it was telling us.
The guys promoting the OxJam stuff in Louth were really cool, they put us up in a B&B for the night. (Kev and Me had this weird room, looked like a big sauna with 2 beds in it. It had this open shower/wet room...no lock on the door, no curtain nothing, just open....i liked it.) John was a little disappointed with the turn out, but i thought things were cool. There also was a cool photographer guy, he took loads of great photos - the ones of me were the best...they will be on our flikr page soon we hope. Also, on Friday night we finished playing and packing down and we were hungry, the only kebab/pizza place in Louth is actually inside one of the clubs there, genius. We strolled in a 1.55am and looked for the counter, and it was kinda in keeping with the rest of the decor as well. awesome, "3 pizzas please" and off we went.
Wigan...although we hadn't heard much good stuff about the place in general...everyone we met was cool, we literally parked up outside loaded, played and went home, so we never actually saw anything else of Wigan...(probably for the best??? ha ha). The promoter Andy had his stuff together and the sound guy was damn professional too. The venue, called Club Nirvana, was wicked, really big stage, massive ceilings, lots of levels, neon/fluorescent lights etc etc. The place has under 18 rock nights on a Thursday, and under 18 gigs one a month on a Sunday afternoon. So although it was 4pm stage time, we rocked pretty hard. It payed off too..
Stupidly long drive from Wigan, according to Mr TomTom - 250 miles, 4.5 hrs. according to shitty English roads/traffic/Max's ridiculously small bladder - 250 miles, 6 hrs.
Today. - Back to school show booking.
In other news, Me and max went to see Ratatouille the other day and accidentally managed to go to the first interactive audience participation game...bugger. It was honestly the lamest thing ever. It involved the audience waving their arms around in order to direct a (Volvo sponsored) car down some track avoiding....blah blah blah. Useless, ours didn't even respond to the idiots who actually attempted to play and then we all gave up, and we still came 4th out of the 10 other cinemas that were playing (read - tortured) at the same time. Anyhow, the good thing is Max and Me reckon we'd pay money to go to an interactive massive game of Buzz (music, film, general knowledge, whatever. ooh...maybe thy could switch it up on a weekly basis...the idea is endless - Prizes..."somebody stop me"..."somebody stop him please")on the big screen, with keypads etc...no film, just Sunday afternoon Buzz. So if anyone who can do that/knows somebody who can is reading this (unlikely) then get your ass in gear, and sort it out for me and max.
My toe/foot is finally healed and I'm no longer gonna bitch about not being able to walk....sweet, it only took 2 months.
I have an idea for a latte glass that I wanna put out there. You know that shitty glass like a V-shape with 1 little handle at the bottom. Too many times I've seen people wobbling around, holding the little handle and having to steady the top...well why not put another handle at the top, on the other side? Simple. Does anyone already make these? They should totally be everywhere.
Facebook - I recently added a link in my profile to this blog. If anyone is reading it after clicking on it from my Facebook then (your as geeky as me, get over it...) let me know.
New tattoo-ness today. I think it looks good, but it is at the moment somewhat minimal.
The design changed a little when I was chatting to Stan the tattooist and we came up with something pretty cool. Exactly what i hoped to happen really. The rough outlines are in place and he started to do the blue background stuff on my wrist then my hour was up!
So, I'm going back in December to carry on (ages i know, but hes really busy and you have to book way in advance) then some more at the end of Jan, then hopefully it should be virtually finished...
All About the Destination
I got an email from Amazon this morning explaining that my Pre-order Frank Turner DVD is gonna be delayed until the middle of Oct...(sad face)
The show in Doncaster got pulled by the promoter, not us. They had double booked themselves. I did however add some other shows to the list today, whoo.
Work is currently boring the hell out of me...
So i only work 2 days a week, but everyday time its the same...I just wanna play guitar every day really.
I found some cold chinese in the fridge last night, and ate it. Mum told me off. whoops.
I have been carrying on with calling schools. It always starts off slowly.
My toe still hurts, damnit.
We have a gig in Colchester on Sunday night supporting Fandangle. Nobody want to come. Hmmm.
We're definately going to hell..
Damn, Frank was really really good. Always. Jonah Mantangle was pretty good too, way better live than I expected after listening to the songs on his myspace, he was in Far and Gratitude.
Started calling schools, attempting to book the new school tour dates, its boring becasuse its lots of leaving messages, but it the same way its pretty exciting, as I'm looking forward to being back at school tour. Its the best fun ever, talking to people who are into our band.
Got the new Motion City Soundtrack album the other day, its really good, carries on pretty much where the last two left of, no new direction or experimenting, just good pop-punk songs as always, I already like it alot.
She calls me Daniel
So, my shopping trip went well. I didn't buy much though, I'm terrible at shopping. Norwich is good for overpriced girlie clothes, but just the same as everywhere else for clothes I like. "I don't like it". Purchased a t-shirt, a grey pair of trousers and a pair of bright blue skinny jeans, which Max and Kev laughed at for about a hour. (I like 'em even if you don't).
Last Saturday I went to a little place called Thorpness (excellent first-date setting) with a new ladyfriend, the sun was shining, I was in my new skinny blue jeans a Top Man shirt and flip-flops(stylish). In Thorpness you can go to this big lake an hire a row boat for an hour, we opted for one called Jill. The idea of first-date rowing is: Girl picks boat. Boy rows boat. Girl looks suitably impressed. What actually happeded was something along the lines of: Ruth picks boat. Dan can't row, flaps round like an idiot for 10 minutes. Ruth rows. Dan looks suitably impressed. Sweet.
Took a short trip to Aldeburgh after and had chips and a Jumbo. There is a great book shop in Aldeburgh (The Aldeburgh Bookshop) and I randomly bought two books. Ruth looks suitably impressed...ha ha. I already had one in the post from Green Metropolis anyway, so now I've got 3 to read. Brett Easton Ellis - American Psycho, Irvine Welsh - Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs and Irwin Allen Sealy - Red. I've started the Irvine Welsh one already.
Other stuff below:
Drove for ages in the wrong direction to Tamworth yesterday afternoon because of a crash...made it to the gig in time to find the other bands hadn't turned up and wern't going to. Great start. We loaded in, rocked out, loaded out. It was fun. We got invited back to play there on a busier night, plus the promoter(Emma) promotes/know people who promote other nights nearby, so was well worth it. Some shows we end up playing to not many people but end up with some great contacts. Late drive home, work 8.30am, I was a little bit late, whoops.
Got Frank Turner's Real Damage EP yesterday too, its good, 4 more excellent Frank Turner songs. I can't find a song by him I don't like. Some of us are going to see him on Thursday (yes, thats tomorrow!!!, I'm excited) in London, I'm definately going to be picking up a copy of his DVD.
I'm going shopping tomorrow...whoop. I'll be wondering around Norwich with my freind Jessica picking up some new clothes.
Just had a bitch of a weekend at work, my foot hurts (still), but tonight just about made up for it.
We played a blinder last night, well i did anyway, that's like my opinion man...Lots of people singing and dancing, I always like that.
Me and Max went to a local indie night after and met up with our new ladies, sweet. My foot hurt so no dancing for me (my toe went green after the show, long and gory story I won't bore you with), max is just a looser so no dancing for him.
Spent some time yesterday afternoon pondering over the quality of the podcasts and came to the conclusion the first 3 are pretty bad, so we decided to attempt to make future ones a bit more structured/professional (if that's possible) with proper segments and jingles and cooler stuff. Keep an ear open.
In reference to the title of this post, today was my last Saturday at work. whooo! I'm now a total 2 day a week part-timer. Go me.
I am so not a morning person, it's 9.43 and i've already bee up and about for 2 hours. I went flyering this morning for the show on Friday.
Finally, we're up and running and everything is sorted.
New website, new myspace, album out, gigs to play. Sweet. Band-related-stuf-a-go-go.
Dan's life is all change. Jane stayed in Britsol and that means I'm single, but I guess I'm happy. I'm still in Ipswich with the boys, still working 2 days a week to pay the bills, I'm a Shift-Leader now so it makes me cool/responsible which is cool/bad.
Winamp playlist top 5 - (no order)
Brand New - The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me... (give it about 10 listens, it helps)
Paramore - Riot!
Frank Turner - Sleep is for the Week
Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (post Reading Festival eye opener)
New music - Frank Turner www.frank-turner.com he is wicked. Ex Million Dead singer, now doing folk/punk/accoustic stuff. Sounds odd but its great, I promise.
Since my last update I've been totally converted to facebook. (I hated it for ages, but like most things I came around eventually) If you know me, add me, I want to look popular.
so i crashed my car.
dont you all worry, im just fine, thanks to a fully working airbag.
i missed paramore sunday night. left max in london without a ticket...
i think my car is actually gonna be ok, with a mish mash of second hand bits. (bonet, radiator, left front wing...) Its being towed home tomorrow.
I'l post a pic when i get the chance.
appart from that everything is fine, were gonna record the album for real in Nov/Dec.