Archive for December, 2005

King Kong

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

Watched King Kong last night with my cousins. It is pretty fun, but manages to give us the best and worst of what computer generated visual effects can offer.

You’d think a giant gorilla and an island full of dinosaurs would be enough for most directors to work with. Not for Peter Jackson. For some reason he felt his three hour epic needed a swamp full of giant, man-eating penises, complete with retractable foreskins.

How much is your blog worth?

Monday, December 19th, 2005

My blog is worth $6,774.48.
How much is your blog worth?

The Lobsters & Murder Mile @ Project 142

Monday, December 19th, 2005

The Lobsters have stepped out of the rehearsal room and on to a stage, playing as a warm up act for Murder Mile at Project 142 in Hackney. We sounded as good as we’ve ever sounded and the audience made polite clapping noises between the songs. Our secret weapon, Screamin’ Kaz Rubins, managed to distract from any cockups the rest of the band were making.

The Lobsters

From left to right:
Bass Guitar - Pete “Wake Up” Setchell, locked into his best Steve Harris impression and hypnotized by his fingers
Drums - Joe “Prodigal Son” Hoy
Vocals - Karen “I never knew you could scream like that” Rubins
Bass Guitar - Lesley “I can’t hear myself through the PA” Arnold
Guitar - Ant “If I sneak over to my left, nobody can see me behind these keyboards” Setchell

We have two bassists, as it’s the easiest way to make sure we’re always playing two wrong bass notes at once.

Our set:
Bad Guys (vaguely resembles the song from Bugsy Malone)
London Dungeon (Misfits cover)
Do Your Brothers Have Tongues?
Freedom Of Choice (Devo cover)
Strolling Astronomer (Fu Manchu cover)
Caught By Dwarves

It sounds like the minidisc recording we made was pretty crappy, so we’ll try and get hold of one made through the sound desk. As you can see, we’re pretty prolific song writers. In five or six years of rehearsing we’ve managed to get two songs of our own up to a standard we felt comfortable playing live. All the rest were just songs we’ve been covering for fun.

We couldn’t have asked for a better venue for our first gig. Jonas and Murder Mile went out of their way to help us out, supplying amps and letting Joe completely reassemble their left-handed drum kit. After our set, they took the stage and comprehensively blew us out of the water.

Murder Mile

Their new lineup is fantastic. There were one or two rusty spots, but they’ve successfully taken on the mantle of the old one and were full of energy and very tight. Jonas is an incredible singer and front man, writhing all over the stage, strolling through the audience and generally beating the shit out of the songs and himself. If you want to hear them, you can pick up their old “Where dogs go to die” E.P. here.

Finally, here’s a pic showing a little more of the “yellow submarine” style interior of Project 142.

Project 142

The Lobsters! Live at last!

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

With a day or two of notice, my top secret band The Lobsters will be playing a couple of songs at some godforsaken location in Hackney on Sunday evening. It’s our debut gig and is sure to be a disaster. If you’re feeling generous and want to interpose your bodies between us and the inevitable hail of broken glass bottles that will accompany our first song, please do come along.

Joe rates our chances like this:

It could go one of two ways - they see us as utterly incompetent and throw us offstage after two songs, or they view our shtick as an amusing musical trainwreck and let us play a couple more.

Address is 142 Lea Bridge Road, Clapton, Hackney, E5 9RB. Buses 48 and 55. Doors open around 6. Entry is £3 before 9, £5 after. There is live music from Murder Mile (who have a brand new line-up, hopefully as excellent as the last one) and Paul Ronney Angel/Nick March. Artists will be exhibiting their work and there will be some kind of film projections going on.

Hugh & Helen

Saturday, December 10th, 2005

Helen spots Hugh Hugh and Helen look evil

Jamie loves men

Thursday, December 8th, 2005

Jamie loves big, drunken, pouting men.

Jamie & Chris

You can read all about it on the new blog I’ve set up for him. He figured out how to update the title pretty quickly but he’s stuck with my choice of photo [above, now removed from his page] for the next couple of hours.

What he really needs now is abuse from random strangers.

Poetry Archive Launch @ The British Library

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Seamus Heaney

Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Irish Sea:
Green, swift upsurges, North Atlantic flux
Conjured by that strong gale-warming voice,
Collapse into a sibilant penumbra.

Champagne, poetry and tasty ham-wrapped asparagus snacks marked the launch of the Poetry Archive site at the British Library last night. It was a great chance for our production team to meet the poets who’ve contributed recordings and interviews to the site. I’m a hopeless schmoozer, but I remember chatting to Brian Moses, Valerie Bloom, Wes Magee and Hugo Williams in the warm glow of a plasma screen showing off our work and theirs together.

The speeches were very good: Andrew Motion generously called us geniuses, Chris Smith pointed out what a useful resource the site will be for our children’s children and finally Seamus Heaney wrapped up and read two of his own poems: Mossbawn Sunlight and The Shipping Forecast, excerpted above.