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As mentioned a while ago, [livejournal.com profile] davefish asked [livejournal.com profile] mrph and I to write reviews of the bands at Whitby. Our words and the Fishy One's pictures are now available on The Independent Voice. You should go and marvel at his lovely pictures. All the good reviews are written by Mrph and all the inferior ones by me :)

Getting Stuff Done )
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Years and years ago I remember to chatting to [livejournal.com profile] timeplease here (I've never met him in person), and him recommending I visit the Pembury Tavern in Hackney (which I believe he ran/runs/owns/invented). It's very much the wrong side of London, and I never have, until last weekend when we were braving the perils of the East End to go to the Oddbox Weekender in Dalston.

Having failed to really consider what time pubs might open, we arrived at the Pembury just as its shutters were going up. I can now report it has a large array of handpumps selling excellent beer (and some cider, quality untested by me), serves good food from an interesting menu, has lovely graffiti on the walls and has a bar billiards table in quite unusually excellent nick. We drank, ate, and played bar billiards before scampering off to see bands. The posters on the wall advertise that it has a chess club, and [livejournal.com profile] zenithed tells me it's also board game-friendly. If anyone is in touch with TimePlease, tell him he was right, and it's a bloomin' excellent pub.

The Shacklewell Arms is slightly less excellent, but does have a moderately sized, muralled and only faintly damp "Dance Hall" at the back. And in it, we saw a number of bands which I will memorialise with mild brevity...

Here )
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In the first few weeks or so or last year, ChrisC and I realised that we already had been to (a) the cinema, (b) the theatre, (c) a gig and (d) a sporting event[*]. Which seemed pretty successful for so early in January, and we made a vague resolution to go to the theatre once a month[**] during 2014.

We didn't quite manage that, but it was a creditable attempt:

January: Strangers on a Train, Gielgud Theatre )

February: Shadowlands, Questors )

(March: Let the Right One In, Apollo Theatre) )

April: The Balcony, Questors )

May: The Drowned Man, a disused building near Paddington )

June: Squirrels/The After Dinner Joke, Orange Tree Theatre )

October: NSFW, Questors )

November: Futures/I Am The Walrus, Questors )

December: The Mousetrap, St Martin's Theatre )


[*] Snooker, obviously.
[**] By contrast, I made it to the cinema a whole one other time during the year. Or three times in total if I count the work jolly to Secret Cinema.
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Mostly what I have learned this week is that you lot are much more into jam jars than you are gig reviews. Still, I shall press on :)

Helen Love @ The Lexington )

Getting chilled to the bone on the stupid bus home )
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As mentioned last Friday, I was under a cold. A slightly weird one, as it happened, in that I went from the awful sore-throat-shivery-achey-feverishness of "coming down with a cold" to the tight chest and hacking cough of "getting over a cold" without ever really having the snuffly bit in the middle.

Anyway, despite feeling moderately ghastly, I headed off to a gig on Friday night.

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing @ The Garage )

On Saturday, I braved hell and (almost listerally) hight water to get over to [livejournal.com profile] bateleur's house for a spot of role-playing. (NB. If you're one of the people playing in subsequent versions of this, it's safe to read this as it contains no details of the game.)

Call of Cthulu )

And, to tie the two nicely together, we have TMTTNBBFN performing Margate Fhtagn:

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As mentioned, I'm suffering dreadful LJ backlog. One of the things I'm keen to note down for my own future reference is the bands at WGW this year. So...

Anyone interested can watch the "band sampler" released on YouTube before the event here.


Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

And that's it. April next year is the 21st anniversary, and is a double-length affair featuring four nights of bands. All you lot who don't do that kind of WGW thing any more, why don't you think about it? It'd be nice to see you :)
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Testing, testing...

New LJ Android app )

Additional: client decidedly flaky without signal/wi-fi. Obviously I don't expect it to download posts then, but it'd be nice if the error pop-up didn't go all woogly and prevent interaction once we're back in internet land.

Additional additional: notifications only work for comments on your own posts, not replies to comments you've made elsewhere. If this is controlled by a setting, I can't find it. The navigation is quite awkward. If I click on the notification of a comment, I'd like to go to that comment, not the post it was made on (and then have to lead the comments separately).

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Leftover from last year's resolutions is the reading list, so...

Book 18 (as recommended by Tony): Persuasion by Jane Austen )

Book 19 (as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] undyingking): Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa )

Book 20 (as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] valkyriekaren: The Passage by Justin Cronin )
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A month or two ago, ChrisC and I were taking a stroll to Greenford tube station to view one of the last wooden escalators on the network before it is replaced. We have all the fun :) (Mind you, at dusk you get a much nicer panoramic view of West London than you might expect from Greenford's platforms.) Anyway, he mentioned the 1p Album Club.

The basic premise of this is that you get paired up with somebody, you buy an album priced at a penny on Amazon Marketplace, and you send it off with your recommendations to your somebody. A nice idea, don't you think?

Obviously, the idea is that you recommend an album you enjoy. Now, it doesn't make sense for ChrisC to recommend albums to me. If he likes an album, then he owns a copy, and thus I have access to it already. He expressed his intention of buying a 1p album on a whim and sending it to me.

Which, by the time an anonymous padded envelope turned up containing a CD, I'd forgotten. However! Here is my review...

The Boy Least Likely To - The Best Party Ever )

If anyone fancies a 1p album-swap with me, drop a comment in the usual manner :-)
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So, as mentioned in among all the gingerbreading...

Rancid / Cock Sparrer @ Kentish Town Forum )

And now I just have to worry about how the spat I had with a Kentish Town cashpoint is going to be resolved. It debited the money from my account, but didn't actually give me any cash. Ringing my bank on Sunday, they took some details and said the money would be credited back to my account in 24-48 hours. Which is nearly up, and it's not back yet :(
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I've written before about seeing Ben Folds; although I've seen him live a few times, and seen him with his touring band, last night was special.

Ben Folds Five @ Brixton Academy )

As an aside: if anyone is reading who doesn't consider themselves a fan of Ben Folds or his Five, can they tell me whether they know any songs by him/them? Ben Folds' singles have rarely charted, which makes it tricky to know which songs, if any, are "known".
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So.. I do listen to music released this century, honest. Even this decade. However... somewhere in my head, it's always the 90s.

Carter USM @ Brixton Academy )
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And so, to Whitby once more. Because I like a challenge, I left my phone at home and decided instead to rely on serendipity and my psychic powers to find people and, indeed, locate the extremely well-hidden house I was sharing with [livejournal.com profile] davefish, [livejournal.com profile] keris, [livejournal.com profile] ceb and [livejournal.com profile] damerell.

(This is not true, of course. I left it behind by mistake. I'm not quite sure how far away from London I'd have to be before I decided it wasn't worth going back for my phone, but can provide as a data-point that north of Coventry is too far.)

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )
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Last night I spent considerably more time on the M4 than intended. When I made it back to West London, the streets were full of tiny witches, miniature ghosts, small Frankensteins, and so on. All clutching bags or boxes of sweets, and being shepherded around by parents. More alarmingly, the otherwise nice pub was also jammed to the gunwhales with little devils, diddy skeletons, and a whole bunch of children who were clearly dressed up but not of any known supernatural genre. Then a zombie schoolgirl brought me a pint.

I'm pretty sure that Hallowe'en didn't used to be such big news. My cub pack always had a Hallowe'en party, and dressing up usually involved being either a sheet-ghost or a binbag-witch. I certainly don't remember the bought costumes that most of last night's micro-horrors were sporting. And we had to make our lanterns out of turnips which - if you've never done it - is bloody hard work. Also, get up several hours before we went to bed, etc. Does anyone bob for apples these days? Or is it all about the trick-or-treating? Round Hallowe'en we used to get people (either in costume, or with lanterns) calling at the door asking for "a penny for Hallowe'en". There was no option of a trick.

Nosferatu @ St Barnabas' Church, Pitshanger Lane )
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Reverend and the Makers @ Shepherds Bush Empire )
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The short version: if you have any interest in folk music, folk dance or contemporary dance I strongly advise you to consult the touring schedule of The Lock In to see if it's coming near you. It's well worth checking out.

The Long Version )
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On them twitters and such, I continually enter competitions to win food. Thus far, I have managed to win pies (from Pieminister, no less) for my office but little else.

ChrisC, it turns out, does much the same thing with competitions to win gig tickets. And last week, one of them finally came up trumps.

Veronica Falls @ 100 Club )
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Crikey... I'd better write up this gig, or I'll have gone to another before I manage it. Which is a nice problem to have :)

Ultrasound @ Scala )
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Right. This post has been a month in the writing, so is hideously out of date. It's also hideously long, being mostly for my future-self's reference. You have been warned :)

The Shows I Saw At The Fringe )
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Continuing my apparent obsession with people called Brown...

Anyone who did not enjoy The Da Vinci Code should take themselves along to the Radio 4 website and listen to the first six minutes or so of Front Row.

Once they've got over the introductory bits, they launch into a review of The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown's latest. At least, they would if they could stop giggling long enough.

People who enjoy levelling accusations of intellectual snobbery at Radio 4 arts programmes will no doubt do so, but it made me laugh.

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