Can I S-C-R-E-A-M?!

13 Sep


The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 were one of the main highlights of Berlin Festival.

Insane live show with oppressive fury, terrifying electro-NOIZE and intense white light.



30 May


West Coast massive!

I went away this weekend for a little R&R, it was lovely and these were the main features:

Red wine.
Game of Thrones.

Bye x

I love it when a plan (band) comes (back) together!

11 Feb

On an otherwise dull and depressing Tuesday 8th February, a joyful thing happened.  I awoke to read the news that one of my all time favourite bands, Death From Above 1979 had reformed and were set to play a handful of now SOLD OUT shows.  I bloody love this band.  I’ve seen them three times and each time I left completely broken and ecstatic at the aural onslaught I had just witnessed.  If I am being honest, I was properly upset when they split in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences and some gubbins about going gold in Canada.

We started as a punk band with pop aspirations and we met every goal we set for ourselves.  A few weeks ago, the album finally went gold in Canada and that was the final mark I really wanted to reach.

So you can image my sheer joy and excitement at reading this little doozey on their official site:

Jesse and I have decided that what we can do together should not be denied.
Together again, as was always the intention, as a collaboration.
The collision of two different worlds.
As this all takes shape, we will reveal it to you.
All of it happening, as it always has, in our own way.
Thank you all for sharing in our excitement!


YES.  One thousand times YES!  Tickets reportedly sold out in minutes for the one off London gig at the HMV Forum on May 5th and in the paraphrased words of Paul BremerLadies and gentlemen, I got some!

So let’s get this Friday started son, put this in your pipe generic MP3 player and smoke play it!

People can amaze and delight

10 Feb


Today’s post is a positive one.  You may have thought that I was some sort of bitter curmudgeon from reading my previous ones, so thought I’d mix things up a little.   I stumbled upon this chap, JK Keller at some point last year when I saw the above video.  Stuff like this genuinely amazes me.  The sheer dedication to the concept and the execution is incredible.  Apart from it being a fantastic piece of stand-alone art, it also serves as a great reminder that humans will do anything to amuse themselves if bored…

CROWBARRED IN SELF LOVING STORY: It reminds me of a little time last year during snow-11 when I, or should I say my once alter-ego “Greenman”, became a brief local and national celebrity by making the front cover of The Metro.

This strange turn of events started years beforehand with one of my all time favourite shows, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.   I was introduced to this slice of pure televisual gold, by my friend Ian whilst we were living and drinking (lots) together in Manchester.  He would always argue that I resembled the illiterate drunken janitor, Charlie Kelly in every perceivable way.  Charlie’s drunken alter-ego was a character he created to be a fan mascot for the Philadelphia Eagles, called, yep you’ve guessed it, Greenman bitches!  We obviously became obsessed with this character and constantly shouting Greenman bitches! at everyone and everything.  That Christmas I received a mysterious package from a Mister Rhydian John Megick Williams, my very own Greenman Morphsuit!

He quickly became a favourite visitor at house parties, festivals and in jumping out at house mates and shitting them up.  This brings us back to the day of Snow-11 as it is not known, Tuesday 5th January 2010 as it is.  My then house mate and still paparazzo extraordinaire, Pat had been snowed in in our house in Chorlton but was being pressured by his editor to get some photos of the snow.  Now photos of snow are not that exciting are they?  Just lots of white, surrounded by more white.  So what could liven that scene up I hear you ask?  GREENMAN BITCHES!

So down we went to Chorlton Water Park, Pat with camera in hand and me with my secret friend on under my clothes like some green sex offender.  Needless to say the photo above was the eventual product of our insanely cold photo shoot.  Pat never thought that the photo would be used and only sent it as a joke, little did we know that it would create a mild furore.  The next day we were headline news on The Metro in Bath, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle and Sheffield!  We also became embroiled in a rather strange month long battle, based around pitting my photo against other weird things and getting the on-line public to vote on their favourite.

Week One – Snow Bloke Vs Cow on a Roof Week two – Snow Bloke Vs Nann Jesus Week three – Snow Bloke Vs Tallest Man and Shortest Man

I lost eventually to that tall twit, booo.  However the competition did generate one of my favourite, badly written quotes:

Britons – clearly tired of struggling through the snowy weather – have clearly rallied to the cause of a man prepared to fight back against the wintery conditions.  Albeit in a vague and somewhat gimpy way.

So, what have we learnt today then children?  Nothing useful as always, but we do know that people can do incredible or mildly amusing things when given the right mixture of artistic integrity, boredom and green Lycra suits.  Great times.

I call this genre ‘Urban Show Tunes’!

7 Feb

Free music is amazing.  This is the fifth mixtape by rather marvellous funsters, The Hood Internet.  Download or stream, either way, ENJOY x


Where’s Bungle?

5 Feb


Fashion bitch

5 Feb

Why are all men’s clothes so very boring and massive?

I am a slender chap and I find it really difficult to find anything that fits me and isn’t disgustingly dull. Why do women have all the best clothes?! I am mainly annoyed because earlier today I was about to buy a lovely Ted Baker shirt and the button on it broke moments before the purchase. This obviously threw me in to a mighty sulk that could only be calmed with coffee. That is all.

I am Sportacus, here me bore!

5 Feb

I am a man.

I have a penis and everything.

I enjoy drinking fermented vegetable products by the pint.

I hate sport…WHAT THE WHAT?!

Since childhood I have never been interested in sport or sporting activities.  I never collected football stickers or wanted to be the next George Best/David Beckham, not that I had any of the required skills mind.  As a child and teenager I was always more interested in pursuing a path in the arts, and by arts I mean a Spectrum 128K, Sega Mega Drive and Playstation.  I read lots, I played lots of computer games, and I led an incredibly wholesome life running around woods and making bonfires.  I just didn’t get the sport thing, it was an anathema to me.  I guess another reason for my disdain of sport could be attributed to me being a rather sickly young chap and my parents having no interest in it, but it is not so much the act of competing in sport that irks me on a base level, it is the associated nonsense and posturing that comes with it.

A good (depressing) example of this is during an ill advised attempt to fit in with the boys at high school I decided I was going to pledge my allegiance to a football team.  My reasoning was: they all loved football, they all liked each other; I hated football and they didn’t like me, change the variable of football and they will all love me, simple maths surely?  Not so much.   Picture the scene, it’s a crisp winter Monday morning, I am thirteen years of age and filled with all the normal crippling paranoia and doubt that accompanies that number.  I approach school, breath billowing in front of me as I purposefully strut to the beat of my heart,  ears numb to the cold, but with a fresh sense of hope owed to the new football scarf wrapped proudly around my neck and the footballer facts in my head!  I clear the gates with no problems, stroll past a group of X-Banders (the bad band) who shoot me a confused glare, I assume it is due to my new heroic sport fan status so unperturbed I continue to my form room.  *At this juncture may I say that I grew up and attended school in a village in Merseyside*  I burst through the door to my form room like a Greek God and awaited the adulation…  This is what followed:

“Hahahahaha, look at Ben…what the fuck are you wearing a Newcastle United scarf for you prick?!  You  don’t even like football… Look *points at me and shouts to the other sport mammals* hahaha dick head!”

Well, that was certainly a disappointing response.  What did I expect though?!  Firstly, what on earth possessed me to choose Newcastle as my “team” when everyone supported Liverpool or Everton?  I think my reasoning was that I didn’t want to have to choose reds or blues as that was all they ever argued about, but NEWCASTLE?!  Suffice to say the whole football fan reinvention didn’t last long, I brassed it out for a week or so, talking about Alan Shearer and calling them Magpies, but eventually I gave up safe in the knowledge that sport is and always was for TWATS.

So as you can see the incident hasn’t at all informed my opinion of sport whatsoever.  To be fair, I say I hate all sports but I do love to run.  I also like to compete in organised races, however this is a post for another time.

It is soccer that really gets me,  I genuinely and actively hate it.  It is such a grotesque machine of idiocy followed by statistic quoting socially inept sycophants that it angers me to my very pompous core.  I can’t function around this stereotypical football loving male, I seem like a small slug trying to talk about flowers and Care Bears when in the midst of all this statistically aggressive one-upmanship.  I always saw it as a distinct disadvantage through high school and sixth form, but whilst at University I had an epiphany… socially inept sportos are idiots who can be ignored for people of substance.  I found that being around like minded people who had made a choice to leave their town meant I could choose to alienate that section of society for a world of conversation and intellectual banter (Well talking at length about comedy and laughing at farts, but still, it’s better than 4-4-3, huh right lads?!).  No longer did I need to be around expensive nylon clan thugs who enjoyed nothing more than shouting incoherent gibberish at a TV in public whilst ignoring their girlfriends.  Since then I have never once looked back.

N.B.  Just in case you were wondering, I also don’t support England when they play in anything, I actively wish for them to go out as soon as possible so I can enjoy my country once more.

I think that this is enough for now.  The chap below illustrates this point better than I could ever express  –

Finally, snooker.  I hate that too, but it does remind me of my dead Grandma, so cheers for that reader!

We had a seat…

4 Feb

Seriously, how much fun does this look?  I haven’t been on a super fun night out in ages, the sort where you come home with a head full of tales and strange bruises.  I was talking to some pals in the pub last night and we realised that we were still living off stories from five years ago, that is surely unacceptable!  How can we change this though without chasing terrible nights and trying to fix them by throwing money at it?  Maybe three 28 year old men are just meant to drink pints of Landlord, reminisce about the past and then go home at a reasonable hour.  I am sure that there will be plenty of opportunities to have amazing nights out, but at that very moment, what was the point in leaving the pub, because in the words of my brother, Adam: “We had a seat.”


We’re all twats…

3 Feb

The late existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre famously once said:  “Hell is other people.”  He is right. However he was French, so take that with a pinch of salt.  Basically, he was talking about the concept of others, effectively, anything that wasn’t the self.

I have discovered through my 28 tumultuous years on this planet that most problems or annoyances in my life are caused by forces external to me.  That’s not to say that I don’t create some calamitous situations or exacerbate existing ones, because, I do.  It’s more that it is hard to be a functioning member of a society without allowing others to throw giant spanners in your works, so to speak.

To function in a society we can’t avoid social interaction on all levels.  Phatic communion is part of our daily lives, however recognising that has already set you apart in my eyes.   I find being socially convivial a strain.  People’s opinions annoy me.   I easily get irritated by the things that certain people say and do.  I wait with an ambivalent joy for conversational clangers to drop then get annoyed when they do.  This is an incredibly solipsistic blog post, as they all are; it is intrinsic in all self-generated content.

To start with, cultural reference points matter to me.  In Nick Hornby’s, High Fidelity, the troubled muso man-child, Rob explains:  “… what really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films — these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the fuckin’ truth…”  It is the truth.  I genuinely care about what books you read, as soon as anyone mentions Dan Brown or Harry Potter, I automatically subtract one imaginary point from your personality.  Keep talking and mention any televised talent show and I will start to chain point deductions together, and your points will quickly tick down and down and down. Music is of massive importance to me, it is a big part of my personality, I don’t deny this, it helps define who I am and I am proud of it.  You can replace any of these things with something that is important to you and I guarantee you can relate.

Conversely if I meet you and you informed me your favourite film was Predator and you loved listening to Death From Above 1979 I would immediately insinuate you into my life until we were life-long friends.  Shallow?  Yeah.   Awesome?  Defo laaa!

Ultimately, situations of communal interaction with new people or people who aren’t genuine friends cause me to baulk in terror of the inevitable verbal diarrhoea I will be forced to be showered with.  The situation is universal just more common in social and professional captivity.  An example of this is the lunch dilemma at work.  There are three choices available to you:

1- Eat bland odourless food at your desk whilst working, thus effectively reducing your free lunch hour to only the moments where you don’t have food in your mouth.

2- Stubbornly stalk the streets around your office, cramming your lunch into your face whilst religiously listening to new and challenging music on your iPod/generic MP3 device, everyday forever, no matter how cold or wet it is, for your allotted hour of freedom.

3- OR, eat in the communal space, swallow your pride and force yourself to laugh through painfully gritted teeth at their idiotic and frankly facile opinions about Michael McIntyre’s incessant observations about nothing and having to say things like: “Did you see *Insert popular TV program* the other night?  It was *Insertopinion that is in line with the alpha office mammal’s view* wasn’t it?!”

For your information, I obviously do a combination of one and two like some sort* of office sociopath (*read as actual).  I cram food into my face as fast as I can at my desk whilst cueing up my iPod, putting on my coat and ignoring all work related questions, finish then fire out of the building to walk the streets alone trying to avoid any unwarranted social interactions for exactly one hour.

Basically I resent having to portion out my time to people whom I feel don’t warrant it.  I have a small amount of time for fun and frolics and I want to spend that with the people I have vetted and given a social pat-down.

Essentially, the Scotch genius and raconteur, Armando Iannucci put this in terms we can all understand: “We’re all twats!”

Of course we’re all twats, you’re a twat, that person you met at the weekend who talked to you about his holiday plans, he’s a twat, and obviously, I’m the biggest twat of all!  It’s natural, it’s unavoidable, twat.