Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are You Troo Balck Metuhl ?

Or is all that horn throwing just a tad silly ? although Madam, I'd beware of taking the piss when wearing that furry jacket, pot - kettle ?
You Sir, Are Not Troo Gangsta

But I like your style, I love the glance his mate on the left of the pic is giving him.

(Nicked from
Five For The Ladies

So tight you can see their religion.
Ilkley Suffers In The Credit Crunch

A 4 bedroom family home can now be snapped up for as little as £650,000.

Estate agents are reported to be weeping into their Krug.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Great Yorkshire Show

It's a country show for country people, there's nothing funny at all about jet washing your heifer.

Sheep, I cannot remember which variety but they are not dyed, they are that colour naturally.

Aaargh ! Tis the Devil's own sheep !

The sheep shearing competition, a skilled shearer can divest a sheep of it's wool in a little over a minute.

The show winning prize boars in the ring, that sign says "Debbie & Andrews, the tastiest, loveliest, most perfect of sausages". Farmers all over the country are in dire financial trouble due to the predations of the supermarkets, but firms like Debbie & Andrew's have agreements to pay a premium price for the pork they buy, this helps farmers to survive and also ensures that rare breeds are kept going.

I had a pint or two at the Black Sheep tent, but I passed on this one.

Look at that poor little thing, isn't that the scruffiest Chaffinch you've ever seen ? It was sat on a bush waiting for its parents to fly in and bring bugs to it.

This is the female parent, the male seemed to be off doing his own thing / having a beer with the boys etc.
Summer Wildflowers

This is a meadow area on the side of the golf course by the 3rd fairway.

Along Nesfield Road just past Low Austby. I know almost nothing about flowers, so here are some white ones and blue ones and purple ones and yellow ones.
Conkers On the Way

Wahey, there should be a good supply of conkers this Autumn, although in these days of the nanny state it's probably against the law to take part in a conker fight unless you are wearing three layers of buletproof kevlar and a ski mask.

Red rag - bull.

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, the rambler's code. Or in my case the trespassers code. There probably isn't a private estate in the Dales that I havn't walked quietly around. So you're big and rich and self important and think that you own the land, you don't own the countryside, it belongs to all of us, the land will be here long after you're in the ground.

Obviously there are rules to be followed, I don't walk off the paths where damage is being caused or where I am obviously going to to cause damage, I don't walk wild when ground nesting birds may be under foot, I (mostly) don't walk where there is a danger warning, I don't walk on sports pitches or golf courses because I don't want to be struck by golf balls or mowed down by the 2nd XV at practice.

Look at this sign at Ilkley College though, yes that's right, Ilkley College. A lot of locals went to study here, thousands of local taxpayers paid their dues so that we could have vital facilities like this in the community, then Bradford Council sold the building for hugely expensive housing. So I took a walk in the gardens of Ilkley College, I sat on your chairs and watched the ducks in your 'private' pond, and then I continued on my way.
Memorial Garden, Ilkley

Say Cheese

This is Paula, part of my waiting on crew and well on her way to becoming commis chef.

That's Georgie on the left, she's really pretty as well, but she's a bit camera shy, which is odd for a person that posts about a zillion pictures of herself on MySpazz.

Georgie again.

Paula and Rob, "Look happy or I'll sack you!", Rob looks like he just got goosed.

Some scruffy, unshaven bugger wandering around the kitchen.
Paula's Pants

No, Paula's not rubbish, she's great, I mean Paula's underwear.

Floppy bright polka dot efforts which steadfastly refused to remain inside her trousers, well done Paula, that cheered us all up on Sunday.
Don't Panic Madam, It's Just Your Local Friendly Social Anarchist

Phil is back from his week's holiday / pummeling his liver with alcohol, so I got a few hours off yesterday afternoon and went for a ramble on the moors, took a few photographs and picked up some smashed bottles and empty cans and crisp packets.

When I came back down off the moor I dropped a bag of rubbish into someone's bin close to St. Margaret's Church, much to the consternation of the bin owner. I know this seems a bit cheeky, but try to look at it this way. Chavs and other assorted scum throw rubbish wherever they go, some people tut and shake their heads and complain and do nothing else, I bitch and moan and then collect litter as I walk, then I drop it in a bin, any old bin will do.

So Madam, you're engaged in my social anarchy project, doing what is right for the people because it is the right thing to do, in this case tidying up our fabulous moors, and all you have to do is to let me use your bin. Thanks again, next week I'll use someone else's bin.
That Doesn't Sound Right

I was taking James and Paula home last night when the car suddenly started making a horrific throaty growl, and then cam a hideous banging and scraping noise from underneath. The front of the exhaust had fallen off.

Luckily I have full breakdown cover and a very helpful mechanic came out within an hour and secured the errant pipe so I could drive the car back home, albeit with it sounding like a supercharged tractor.

You'd think that in these circumstances family would lend a hand wouldn't you ? So when brother in law mk.3 drove past I said to Paula "Oh, there's my brother in law Rob", but he didn't stop. Two minutes later he drove past again, quite slowley this time, and again he didn't stop. Cheers Rob. What was he thinking ? Did he think because I was stood on a street corner with a young girl he'd seen me doing something I shouldn't up to ?

The car made it home, and probably woke up all my neighbours, but that'll pay back some of the residents of Owler Park for their numerous burglar alarms.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Local Man "Has Not Seen Obama"

Strange news from the North of England today as local man Yorkshire Soul claimed that he has not seen the American candidate for President / God / Uber Master of Teh Universe.

Spokesmen for Obama said they were surprised as the American's arse kissing world tour had been planned to take in every small street and avenue in the Northern hemisphere, they said that Barack was very sorry to have missed one of his fans / voters / pawns in the endless American quest for world domination and that he would would visit the UK again soon. Or invade it. Whichever.
Last Week's Listening

1) Thrice 102 - Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Rock

2) Antonio Vivaldi 76 - and that puts Vivaldi top of my TAO

3) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 60 - he was origianlly called Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart

4) Alestorm 58 - All hail True Scottish Pirate Metal !

5) Rush 56 - Are we the only ones left alive ?

6) Nikki Williams 56 - unsigned South African singer songwriter

7) Adam and the Ants 51 - put some wax on the tracks and slide on out of here

8) The Offspring 38 - the Status Quo of pop punk

9) Rage Against The Machine 34 - sonic revolutionaries

10) System Of A Down 33 - I hope your cousin doesn't eat the fish

Yorkshire Soul on Audioscrobbler

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Utter Bastard Arrested At Last

A good news item this week as war criminal and genocide perpetrator Radovan Karadzic was finally arrested. Thousands, or perhaps tens of thousands, of people were executed on this man's orders in Srebrenica during the Balkan wars.

The Balkan wars were probably NATO's biggest failure to date, the genocide occurred right on our doorstep in Europe, we had the massed might of the military power of the European countries plus a battlefleet from the USA, and yet largely we did nothing at all as people were massacred and thousands upon thousands of human beings were consigned to the mass graves.

During WW2 even when rumours of the killing camps were beginning to surface it wasn't possible for the Allies to reach them any faster, but during the Balkan wars there were war journalists reporting on the horrors and atrocities every single day, but we backed off and backed off and made sure we obeyed the law and played by the rules even if that meant letting the odd ten thousand men and boys be machine gunned and buried. We should not ever forget Srebrenica and Sarajevo, they are the biggest failings of our European society since the fall of the Nazi regime.

Of course this would never happen in today's society, we would not stand back now and let people die in their thousands, or tens of thousands, would we ? Of course we would, Darfur - you have no oil, no gold, no riches, no bloody hope at all.
Pub Crawling

I managed a few hours off on Tuesday night, in a week which might have otherwise topped 100 hours worked, and took myself off into Ilkley for a beer or six and a curry and a couple of hundred pages of Reapers's Gale, another Steven Erikson brick of a book.

I had a couple of pints of Deuchars IPA at The Taps, good beer in a proper pub, then I headed off to new venue Hide where escape used to be at the bottom of the Moors Centre. The place looks nice, or at least the expanded dining area does, I wasn't too keen on the works canteen styled chairs in the bar area. Hide does not serve proper beer, I wasn't aware of this or I wouldn't have bothered going in, I had a pint of plastic John Smiths Smooth which is possibly one of the most unpleasant 'beers' I have ever tasted, too cold, too tasteless, just nasty.

After that I went over the road to new restaurant Rani which has open been open for a couple of weeks or so on the site of the former East India. I had a very good mixed kebab starter, then a chicken and keema balti (huge portion which I couldn't finish so I asked for the rest to take out) and a couple more pints of plastic Tetley's, which isn't half as bad as John Smiths.

Sorry for not calling anyone for a night out (Squirt), but sometimes I just fancy a quiet night on my own, and they're hard to come by in mid Summer.
As Featured On Radio 4's Test Match Special

It's here at last, those precious 15 minutes of fame ! We're going to be famous, ex-England batsman and World's Greatest Living Yorkshireman Mr. Geoff Boycott talked about us on the radio and said we were the 'best in Yorkshire'.

We are of course, the Ilkley golf Club's Pork Pies. Mr. Boycott came over to play a round of golf before England's dismal capitulation to South Africa at Headingley last week. Feeling peckish after his 18 holes Sir Geoff indulged himself in a brace of freshly baked pork pies and then during Test Match Special later in the week he talked about the pies on air and lavished praise upon them, thanks Geoff !

I fully expect fame and fortune to follow, don't worry folks, I'm sure I'll remember you when I'm hobnobbing with the stars.

Mr. Boycott can also expect a hefty discount on his future pork pie purchases, ten per cent probably, or maybe five, yes five, after all, we can't give the things away, that wouldn't be the Yorkshire way at all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Album Review : Demos - Nikki Williams****

for Fans Of - Alanis Morisette, Skunk Anansie

Nikki Williams is a 19 year old singer songwriter from South Africa but now based in Nashville. She has a really nice voice and has crafted some well written and well produced tracks for this demo album.

Her influences that come through in the music are as diverse as Alanis Morisette, Skunk Anansie / Skin style vocals on 'Get Back In Your Cage', a little Pink Floyd surfaces halfway through 'Miss Hyde', I migh even say Christina Aquilera, but Nikki doesn't suffer from Christina's tendency to warble, thank the lord.

'I Want To Be Alone' seems a bit of a weak track, with a rather simple and repetitive refrain, but the other six tracks are all good, with an interesting mix of mid tempo pop and light rock. 'When Love Takes A Bow' is a real winner, probably the best vocal performance of the seven tracks and easily polished enough to be a proper record release.

You can download these tracks for free (and without spoilers) at Nikki's Scrobbler page...

Nikki Williams Scrobbler, just scroll down and click on 'Demos' under 'Top Albums'.
Album Review - Captain Morgan's Revenge - Alestorm****

For Fans Of - Folk Metal, Korpiklaani, Battlelore, Benedictum, Turisas

Heavy metal is serious business, grow your hair long, throw those horns, call yourself Gavok - Lord Of Night when your name is really Kevin Butterworth - it's no laughing matter, well, mostly.

The thing about heavy metal is that sometimes it takes itself so seriously that it becomes an easy target for parody, something that Bad News, Spinal Tap, Tenacious D and others have found a fertile area for in jokes and outright mockery.

So Alestorm are a joke bad then ? No, although with tongue firmly in bearded cheek they announce themselves as "true Scottish Pirate Metal" this is actually a very good heavy metal band who just want to be pirates, and who wouldn't ?

In style they could be grouped in with the current European crop of folk metal bands like Battlelore and Korpiklaani, although they are more accessible than the former and less, well, Finnish, than the latter.

Captain Morgan's Revenge is 9 tracks of fast folk metal tales of life, and just as frequently, death on the high seas. Rum, buxom serving wenches and the lash, death by the cutlass and ancient curses are the meat of Alestorm's lyrics, ably backed by a solid power metal band. The music is fast without being furious, the songs have some great lines as well, I can see "I want more wenches, more wenches and mead" going down well with a live audience, this is tremendous fun all the way through.

If you want to sample some of Alestorm's pirate metal, you can download a lot of songs from their MySpace page (with spoilers).

Alestorm MySpace

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Restaurant Review - The Spaghetti House, London

I love going to London! Lived there for 2 years in my youth & my favourite Auntie lives there. Great sights, great culture, great night life. I was lucky to take a day trip down there through work last week & when I got off the train at King's Cross a huge grin just spread across my face!

Auntie M took me to one of her favourite pre theatre haunts "The Spaghetti House".
It's a London based chain and Morag has become somewhat of a regular at the St. Martins Lane one, knowing the staff and the best dishes.

Auntie M was ordering the veal cooked in lemon and served with lightly roasted little potatoes. I ordered the same as she recommended it highly, & asked for a side order of green beans.

Auntie M is never wrong and this was the lightest, melt in the mouth veal I have had in a long time. Veal escalope was always a favourite of mine & Dad's on Spanish holidays and this beat the memory hands down! Auntie M didn't partake in the green beans fearing the healthy food might actually be good for her! The beans were delicious & crisp, though not too healthy as smothered in butter (too much for me).

We had a half carafe of the house wine to accompany which was very pleasant, and when asked if we would like to see the dessert menu, it was an obvious affirmative.
Auntie M choose the chocolate something or other, which looked divine (& must have been coz I didn't get any!) and after questioning if the apple pie contained cinnamon, which is a pleasant spice but always overpowers the apple I find, I had the pie. The pie, though it did contain cinnamon, but not too heavily, was delicious served with lovely vanilla ice cream.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening, lovely staff & great maitre d (I forgive the lack of knowledge on the spices used in the apple pie!!). One waitress thought she had to paid extra to smile, but all in all I highly recommend.

I can't comment on value for money as my Auntie M was v naughty and treated me, but I love her loads.

We then took a stroll, skirting Trafalgar Square which looked lovely in the evening sun, and went to see the newly refurbished St. Martins Chapel (could have the name wrong here). Beautiful Anglican church which must have had millions spent on it, fantastic organ, awesome picture window, though no stained glass. Just superb.
Lovely end to a lovely day. Thanks again Auntie M. xx

Guest Contributor - Squirt
Last Week's Listening

1) Thrice 62 - Elemental concept music

2) Wolfgang amadeus Mozart 59 - requiem, amen

3) Creedence Clearwater Revival 46 - there's a bad moon a rising

4) Dead Kennedys 46 - Jello Biafra's best known band

5) Johnny Cash 41 - how high's the water Momma ?

6) Ian Dury and the Blockheads 36 - NO! I'M SPASTICUS !

7) Feeder 35 - new album Silent Cry out now

8) G.U. Medecine 34 - noisy bastards from Barnsley

9) Black Label Society 33 - Ozzy's axeman makes proper metal

10) Thin Lizzy 33 - so if one lead giter is good, two must be better

Get your charts, now with live updating and all sorts of thingies and widgets, over at Scrobbler

Monday, July 21, 2008

Watchmen Trailer

The first trailer can now be seen over at the Watchmen movie site.

Visually, this looks great, Dr. Manhattan looks good, the glass Mars castle looks awesome, Nite Owl looks a little bit too much like the Batman though.
Nell Bank Centre Ilkley

"Nell Bank Centre in Ilkley provides outdoor education for young people each year.

For many Nell Bank provides the only means of affordable, safe, day and residential outdoor education of the highest quality.

Nell Bank is nationally significant in terms of its inclusion of children with physical and sensory impairments. The Centre aims to build a purpose built residential facility where children of all abilities and disadvantages can stay and learn together.

The unique partnership between Bradford Council and the Nell Bank Charitable Trust means that all money raised is spent on site development.

Thanks to a public vote Nell Bank has won its way to the last 3 out of 750 projects in the National Lottery Environment Project of 2008.

It’s really easy to get at least 10 votes from friends, family and colleagues and can cost you or them nothing but a few seconds ‘online’ or on the phone.

Please help this amazing charity create more opportunities for our youngsters." - Ruth Welch, Senior Training Officer.

Help children?

Before Friday 8th August vote on
Lottery Good Causes Awards, (Environment section)

or (low rate) 0845 386 5373 (instant vote)
Heavy Metal Is The Devil'sThe Good Lord's Music

The heavy metal Capuchin monk

(Thanks to Mr. Moosehead)
Album Review : The Scarecrow - Tobias Sammet's Avantasia*****

For Fans Of - Power Metal, Edguy, Helloween, The Scorpions, Hammerfall, Dragonforce

Tobias Sammet is the singer and sometimes keyboard player with German power metal outfit Edguy, and in his spare time his ropes together a collection of his celebrity rock mates (Alice Cooper, Bob Catley, Rudolf Schenker, Eric Singer, Kai Hansen and Sharen den Adel have all appeared on Avantasia albums) and produces wildly over the top metal opera's. After the first two Avantasia albums (and two 5 track EP's), Sammet said he wasn't doing any more, it's good for us that he changed his mind because The Scarecrow is the best of the lot.

The Scarecrow kicks off with the six minute 'Twisted Mind' a big, Eygyptian sounding riff giving way to great melodies, nice clean vocals and scorching guitar solo's. Over on the continent people never lost their love for proper heavy metal, whilst we got seduced by the largely crap wave of American nu-metal, the Germans and Dutch and Scandanavians continued to produce loads of really good proper metal bands who wanted to write decent songs, sing properly and perform blistering amounts of fret wank.

This incarnation of Avantasia has all the speed and technical ability of Helloween / Gamma Ray, as well it should with Kai Hansen contributing guitars to the mix, drums are there to provide rhythym and direction, there isn't the need for all out blast beats here. The album isn't short on length either, most traks weigh in at over five minutes and the title track is an epic eleven minutes long, plenty of tunes for your pound then.

The stand out tracks here are the aforementioned 'Twisted Mind' with its meaty riffs, the lighter but nicely singable 'Carry Me Over' is probably the most radio friendly at just under four minutes and 'Cry Just A Little' would have had massed ranks of lighters held aloft before the smoking ban.

Sometimes these so called 'supergroup' projects fail to do anything good, there are plenty of project albums put out by groups of musicains that just make you think "Oh I wish they'd just put out an album with their real band", but Sammet had molded his assortment of singers and musicians into a great sounding outfit, on record at least. Avantasia have just finished a world festival tour taking a 15 strong band including Magnum's Bob Catley plus Amanda Somerville and Andre Matos.

Real power metal, played well, is an absolute joy, and this technical thrill ride is the very epitome of the art.
Guess The Nationality ?

Phwoaaaaar !!!

Brazilian ?

Portuguese ?

Polish ?

Yes, Polish.......

(Thanks to MR)
Times Are Hard

(By Evilscary over at b3ta)
I'm Thinking Of Installing One Of These At The Golf Club

Vend-a-goat, every decent golf club should have one.
Moving Home

The problems generated by publishing via FTP from Blogger to LCN have finally driven me mad, every post for weeks has returned publishing errors, pictures won't load until I have made five or six attempts and even when it works publishing is so slow (it can take ten minutes for a fairly small post) that I cannot be bothered waiting for it.

So, from now on I am reverting back to hosting, the site on will no longer update.

Yorshiresoul has moved

See you all over there !
Yorkshire Soul's Long Delayed Quiz Series 6.9

Answers to on/by Tuesday 29th July with "Quiz 6.9" as the header, please don't put any answers in the comments.

1) Would you let goats run free in your vineyard or your tea plantation ? (2)

2) What musical acronym would encompass Iron Maiden, Budgie and Tygers Of Pan Tang ? (1)

3) What is the advertising tag line used on posters on the the London Underground that has caused one American state to order an audit of its own tourist office ? (1)

4) What advice was offered by gas supplier Centrica's Managing director after revealing that prices may rise as much as 60% next year ? (1)

5) Who is this, and what is his most famous and enduring creation ? (2)

6) Who is this, and what sporting record has he recently achieved ? (2)

7) Who is this, and what does she do when she isn't appearing in beauty pageants ? (2)

8) What is this building called ? (1)

9) Who is this ? (1)

10) What is the name of the French political group who tried to prevent the execution of Louis XVI but who were expelled from National Congress by the Jacobins ? (1)

Good luck folks.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Amazing Rube Goldberg Fire Machine

This is very, very clever indeed.

Album Review : Wake The Sleeper - Uriah Heep****

For Fans Of : Melodic Rock, Deep Purple, Rainbow, UFO,

Uriah Heep have been going as a band for over 85 years now and its five members have a combined age of several centuries, so a new album after a ten year gap is likely to be a pile of old crap trading on former glories right ? Wrong.

Wake The Sleeper is a well made, nicely up tempo album. It opens with the mostly musical title piece and then continues with another ten tracks of melodic classic rock. It has been said (in Classic Rock magazine for one) that Uriah Heep are now more Deep Purple than Deep Purple, and this is a pretty fair assesment of the band's current sound, it certainly harks back to the glory days of DP.

Kiss recently said that they probably wouldn't put out any new songs at any time in the future, claiming that the record industry had been ruined by downloads, Uriah Heep see the situation a bit differently despite the problems this album had on the way to release. They parted with thier former record company and signed with Sanctuary, who were then taken over by Universal whic put the album into limbo for a while, but everything seems to be working out to the band's satisfaction. Talking about Kiss' comments, Mick Box recently said "I don't think we ever want to fall into that trap, that oldies circuit isn't for us, we're too forward thinking."

This kind of thinking and the band's obvious passion for their music shines through on Wake The Sleeper, it is a classic rock / retro style of course, Uriah Heep are not going to suddenly re-invent themselves as My Chemical Romance after all, but the songs on this album sound fresh and powerful, they sound as if the band enjoyed creating them.

Highlights then, the six and a half minutes of 'What Kind Of God' are wonderful, Mick Box shows that there isn't such a thing as too much wah-wah pedal, 'Overload' is all power and bluster, guitar solos and swirling supporting keyboards and closing track 'War Child' has both Bernie Shaw at his most verbally aggresive as well as plenty of Uriah Heep's trademark harmonies.

Well then, a really good album from Uriah Heep, roll on Led Zeppelin then ?

Friday, July 18, 2008

This Makes 277

A quick stat seen over on Cricinfo, so far in his entire 1st Class career, Darren Pattinson has faced a grand total of 276 balls.

198-9, it looks like a good decision from Graeme 'Muppet' Smith, who votes that Kevin Pieterson gets issued with a ball gag before any further interviews ?

Perhaps Vaughan should have been dropped instead of poor old Collingwood, Vaughan seems to have England Captain's Disease in lumps, and Flintoff had better be able to bowl because his less than inspiring 17 runs are not going to help our cause.
Free Music ?

Yes, just so long as you remember to cancel your subscription at the end of the 14 day trial period.

If you buy a copy of the excellent Classic Rock magazine this month you can claim 35 free tracks from eMusic, actually, if you follow the link below then you wouldn't have to buy the magazine, but you would be missing out on the best rock / metal magazine in Britain today.

Classic Rock 35 free downloads

The eMusic site advertises 3.5 million songs to choose from, the first band I went for was Manning, whose 'Songs From The Bilston House' I have found hard to find, and so it was at eMusic, they had another earlier album, but not the one I wanted. I was pleased to find the 'Last Orders EP' by Guns On The Roof who I saw live last night so I grabbed that, and then while pottering around on the site I saw Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Bayou Country', so that is 10 of my 40 free downloads. I subscribe to Classic Rock so we get an extra 5 tracks, hmmmm, hang on......

Classic Rock 40 free downloads, perhaps they check your credit card details against your Classic Rock subscription, but if they don't then you should be able to grab 40 free tracks on this link.

The site info says that the songs are not DRM protected, so they should play on all portable players and are permanent downloads with unlimited plays.

Update : Perhaps this site isn't so good after all, after failing to find albums by a few lesser known bands I typed Metallica into the search engine, emusic doesn't carry Metallica, or Megadeth, or Mastodon's most recent album. Perhaps I'll be cancelling my subscription when I've grabbed the freebie 40.
Gig Review - Beasts, Guns On The Roof, G.U. Medicine @ The Parish, Huddersfield

This is a charity gig on behalf of S.O.P.H.I.E., Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere. This is a small charity that has been set up following the brutal murder of goth girl Sophie Lancaster.

So on the prejudice and hatred side, what is Huddersfield like tonight ? After having dinner in a very nice Bengali restaurant I have wander around Huddersfield's scruffy, run down and litter strewn town centre. While I'm looking in a shop window a group of lads in the pub next door suddenly hammer on the window which makes me jump, they all laugh, ok, that's pretty funny in a juvenile way. Further down the street through I'm walking past the beer garden of another pub when I hear something bounce on the pavement, looking down I see that small stones are landing around me, a group of chavs in the pub beer garden are picking stones from the flower tubs and throwing them at me. What sort of town is this ? I walk on, rapidly.

The Parish is gratifyingly full of freaks, tattoos and numerous piercings, t-shirts with skulls and monsters, giant boots with studs, bullet belts, mohicans and multi coloured hair, it feels friendly and safe.

First band on the cramped stage are Beasts, if you like Gallows then you'd like Beasts, it's that sort of hurricane speed full on hardcore. It isn't really my kind of thing but they make a good impression on the small crowd. They rattle through half a dozen or so ferocious but rather similar songs only interrupted by a collapsing drum kit and snapped guitar strings.

The equipment failures threaten to turn the night into some sort of comedy show as Guns On The Roof bring their Oi! tinged punk to The Parish. Despite failing drum pedals and blackouts they cheer up the crowd, singer and comedian Liam Brett makes light of the general air of amateurishness by introducing the band as "Yorkshire's own Spinal Tap" to general laughter. GOTR are sharp and likable, their tunes are simple and infectious and very easy to like and they look to be having a hell of a good time when they play, it's big grins all round on stage and a good reception from the audience.

Headliners G.U. Medicine are loud, good Lord they are loud, I'm still deaf this morning. The band have a huge, tight, riff driven style which nods towards Motorhead / Orange Goblin / Black Label Society, they are fast, heavy and very very good.

On the cusp of releasing a third album on Undergroove records, GUM show off a fair few tracks from the new album tonight, alongside some old favourites like 2nd album title track Saints Of Excess. Throughout the set drummer Murray doesn't look well, he's virtually collapsed over the kit after giving his all in every song but he soldiers on. GUM are a very tight outfit, the sound in this tiny venue isn't the best (they sounded much better on the last Wildhearts tour) but they give their all and stir up the crowd nicely.

Good show, good bands, thanks to the organisers at The Parish.

Beasts MySpace

Guns On The Roof MySpace

G.U. Medicine MySpace

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

They Come In Peace

The strange and wonderful lightscape creations of Michael Bosanko
When Bodybuilding Goes Bad

This is Peter Hiesinger, young Peter wanted to have the biggest biceps in the world, so he started injecting a substance called Sythnol into his arms, then he injected a bit more, then he started adding it by the gallon.

Then he had a heart attack, and severe lung problems, doctors say they cannot repair the damage to his arms so he is permanantly disabled. This case is a bit like the Bride of Wittgenstein and Michael Jackson, what is it in the psyches of these people that pushes them into such drastic actions ? I mean, I'm going to spend the rest of my life knowing that I'm not quite as gorgeous as Brad Pitt, but hell, I can live with that. Better the face I've got now than the one Mickey Rourke opted for.....

AAAAAERGH ! Scary. He used to be ruggedly good looking, now he looks like he fell asleep in the fireplace.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Depressing And Angry Stuff Makes Me Happy

I think my brain must be mis-wired somewhere, I'm sure that normal people are happy when they listen to happy music, but deliberately happy music just pisses me off, Bobby McFerrin - every time I hear that "Don't Worry, Be Happy" shit, I just want to do you serious physical harm.

I was in a bit of a grump at work tonight when a song came on the pod that cheered me right up, Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival......

"I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin.
I see bad times today.

Dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

All right!

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like were in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye."

Yup, that's happy happy joy joy and no mistake. :-)

Worst Cricket Dismissal Ever

Can anyone explain just why this batsman was given out ?

Album Review : Silver Spoons & Broken Bones - Stone Gods*****

For Fans Of - Classic Rock, The Darkness, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy

From out of the ruins of The Darkness comes forth Stone Gods, the wildly flamboyant frontman has gone (to rehab / up his own ego etc.) so the band might just have to rely on their music rather than their image, job done then because this is a cracking good rock album.

Kicking off with the 70's gumby styled Burn the Witch, a solid slab of retro rock with lyrics to match, Silver Spoons courses through 13 tracks of excellent heavy rock. This is not The Darkness with a different singer though, the music is heavier, perhaps enough so that people who thought that The Darkness were right at the deep end of their listening spectrum might not like this new incarnation, bu that seems to be what the band are aiming for. In interviews and press statements they have made clear their intention to break away from their earlier style.

Richie Edwards, who contributed backing vocals in addition to his bass duties with The Darkness, has stepped up to lead vocals for Stone Gods, his voice has a slightly raw and more powerful quality than Justin's, he probably can't handle the screaming and warbling, but he stamps his authority all over this album. From the heavier tracks like Defend Or Die through to the jingly, folky and beautiful Magdalen Street, Edwards handles the job well.

Dan Hawkins continues to show his guitar skills, applying his well honed craft so some nicely constructed songs on this album. First single Knight Of The Living Dead switches between light guitar work for the verses and a fuller sound over which rock fans are going to love chanting "Fuck you, you liar, you're not taking my life" over the top.

Lyrically, Silver Spoons displays more venom and vitriol whereas The Darkness tended towards melancholy and whimsy, but the boys playful side can still be heard on the splendidly daft ode to cheap package holidays Don't Drink The Water and their rant against British licensing laws in Oh Where 'O My Beero.

To be realistic you would have to say that Stone Gods probably won't achieve the glory that The Darkness had, I can't see a run of 6 Top 20 singles from this album. there is a lot to be said for having a media magnet for your frontman, just ask Queen.

Silver Spoons is a strong and accomplished album from a fine group of musicians, it might have a bit of a retro rock sound, but we all still listen to Def Leppard and Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin because they wrote good songs, could play a great riff and put big grins on our faces, so give Stone Gods a listen, because I think they can do just the same.
Yorkshire Soul Could Fail At 'A Book A Week' Shock !

It is this man's fault, blame him entirely. That bloke is Steven Erikson, author of the mighty Malazan Book Of The Fallen series. In January I thought I would take volume 6 of the Malazan series to read on holiday, but on starting the book I realised that I had lost touch with the plot and characters. Eighty or so pages in to The Bonehunters I realised that I wasn't understanding anything that was going on, so I thought I would read the preceding volume again to refresh my memory, but with the same problem.

I ended up taking volume one, Gardens Of The Moon, to Spain with me and re-read that, and then all this year I have been making my way steadily through Erikson's incredibly well plotted and fantastically detailed fantasy world vision.

The thing about these books is, each one is bigger than The Lord Of The Rings, Erikson just does not do short books, and yet the plot weaves and dances through the book, it is rare that the books appear over wordy (although I'd have to admit that The Bonehunters could have been trimmed a little). The numerous plots, sub-plots and distractions are taut and intense, you have to pay attention, a character or incident that may have seemed transitory in volume two may suddenly take on world shaking significance by volume five.

Erikson also delights in the wholesale slaughter of his characters, this is no Harry Potter series, there appear to be no guarantees that any character, no matter how central or seemingly important, will reach the end of the book. I remember literally gasping when Coltaine was killed towards the end of Deadhouse Gates, the Wickan general was one of my favourite of all fantasy literary creations, but no-one is forgotten in Erikson's world, and his death echoes through volume six until its drawn out and blood soaked climax.

So, here we are in week 29 of 2008, last year I managed to get through about 75 books in the year, this year I am behind the pace at only 28 books read so far, but it is Steven Erikson's tomes that are to blame, had I been reading normal books I would be well ahead, as this shows....

1 Steven Erikson novel = 3 Tom Clancy's or 5 Kathy Reichs' or 7 Terry Pratchett's or 15 chick lit books

(Photo by Aiden Moher, Aiden meets Steven Erikson)
Last Week's Listening

1 Stone Gods 122 - From out of The Darkness comes forth a bloody great rock album

2 Antonio Vivaldi 82 - The king of strings

3 The Offspring 71 - Pop punks limp back with lukewarm new album

4 Adam and the Ants 46 - He just wanted to be famous

5 Wild Beasts 40 - Leeds based arty folksy weirdness

5 Black Label Society 40 - Is this Zakk's day job, or is that Ozzy ?

7 Ian Dury and the Blockheads 29 - Dury once called me a wanker

8 Doro 27 - Tuetonic metal

8 Desmond Dekker 27 - The King of Ska

8 Rush 27 - Canada's prog gods

Get your charts at

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Concordokken (more geeky eve stuff)

MySpazz etc

Sorry it has been a bit quiet on here, I have spent some time uploading lots of photos to my MySpace and Facebook pages, including lots of Yorkshire (walking) pics on MySpace, check them out.

Monday, July 07, 2008

In Yorkshire, If You Don't Walk In The Rain.....

...then you don't do walking at all.

As my car appears to have a length of wiring hanging loosely from its underside, my lovely wife offered to drive Lucy and myself up to Horton so we could have a go at the 3 Peaks. Lucy (lucky girl) is going trekking in Africa next week as part of a month long expedition so it was a good training walk for her.

We set off in overcast conditions at just past 7am and made really good time up and down Pen-Y-Ghent, we were back at the cafe at 9.30am. There had been a bit of mist and drizzle, and no view at all, on the top of the first peak. I don't know how many times I have climbed the 3 Peaks in summer, but as often as not they seem to be fog shrouded, windy and wet, and today was to be no exception.

We strode up the long and gently rising flank of Ingleborough in steadily increasing mist and rain, the wind was quite strong on the summit when we paused briefly to eat some of our packed lunch. Neither of us wanted to stop for too long on the top as the wind was cooling us down rapidly and we didn't want to get chilled before setting off again. The far side of Ingleborough is a right bugger, really steep, going down is much harder than coming up. A bit of tiredness has started to set in and you thump down with each step, I could feel a little bit of pain in my left knee and was trying to favour my other leg a bit.

We made it down into the next valley and the sun almost came out, it dried up and we stowed our waterproofs in our packs. Philpin Farm in Chapel-Le-Dale has a snack bar on a weekend to serve hungry and thirsty walkers, we stopped for a comfort break and ice lollies then pressed on up Whernside.

Whernside this year was almost identical to when I did it to years ago with Steve, the waterproofs were back on halfway up as a light rain set in, the the rain just kept getting harder. We didn't stop on the summit as the wind was driving the rain into our faces, stinging almost as if it were hail, the paths on the far side had turned in to streams.

Two years ago Steve and myself (and everyone else that walked up here) had to ford the largest of the streams between Whernside and Ribblehead, since then a foot bridge has been built close to the ford so we didn't have to plunge waist deep into the torrent this time around.

At Ribblehead the sun came out at last, we stopped for a break at The 4th Peak, the burger / bacon butty / tea van that has been here for 39 years, then did the dull and rather gruelling 6 mile road walk back into Horton where we had a couple of pints in The Crown.

Out time including breaks was 10 hours, so about nine and a quarter hours of walking for the 26 miles and thousands of feet climbed.

Well done Lucy, you're a good walking partner and great company and kept the pace up nicely, espcially on the steep uphill sections, good luck in Africa.

I must say that I was in a right old mood on my birthday, stuck in the kitchen all day getting dinner ready for Captain's Day, Mrs YS was down on the course serving drinks so I didn't have her company either. But then all my family amd friends turned up to visit me one after the other and cheered me right up, thanks folks, and the wine / whisky / books are muc appreciated, and the money I received will be spent on further wine / whisky / books etc.

A few weeks ago we were talking about friends in the kitchen, one of the girls was saying that she had dozens of friends and hundreds on MySpazz and was mildly mocking me for not having many friends. Well I don't, I've only got a small handful of really close friends, I prefer quality over quantity.

Special thanks to my Mum In Law for the (full) chocolate cake, yummy, and to Kevin & Liz & Joseph & Ellie for the (half) chocolate cake, I had to strike a deal with my small niece over the cake, we had a shared birthday cake and Ellie stood guard over the cake and made sure I wasn't cutting off more than my fair share. I love Ellie, but I think she loves chocolate cake more.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I Am 41 Today, Bah Humbug Etc.

What am I doing for it ? Working all day, it's Captain's Day here at the golf club, more humbug.

Tomorrow though I'm getting out on the hills, in the pouring rain, don't you love the English summer ?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dumb Britain

(title nicked from Private Eye)

We're running a Summer Staff Quiz, I sent out the first set of questions this week and got this answer in return.....

Q - Which country has the highest per capita murder rate in the world ?

A - The Vatican City

Beware bishops with hand guns it would appear.

I'll leave the culprit nameless, until one of the other staff sticks your name in the comments anyway ;-)
2 + 2 = 753

I am not about to sack anyone.

Since I wrote a piece last week when I said this....."My advice to one or two staff members who don't seem to be picking up many shifts at the moment is you'd better take the work I'm offering now, because it certainly won't be on offer during after September", all the staff have been coming in with a rumour that I'm about to sack one or two of them.

This isn't what I meant, there is no hidden message in the above statement, it means just what it says. Our work here at IGC is highly seasonal, we have lots of customers in Summer, and very few in Winter, and the amount of work / shifts on offer follows exactly how many customers we have.

So, no-one is about to be fired, but do pick up as much work as I can offer you for the rest of the Summer before our trade dies away after the Summer ends.
Barn At Addingham

Along the Dalesway which follows the banks of the Wharfe.
Fly Fishing On The Wharfe At Ilkley

This was on Monday 16th of June, I think there is a fishing ban for a month before that date to allow the fish to breed in peace, but on the day after the band ends there were fishermen all along the river casting their flies.