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Sun 26 Jun 2005
Saw the Pricillas up in Lost Vagueness. A great 4 piece band with a rocky sound.
Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain
They were great, with Uke versions of wuthering heights, miss dynamite, a fantastic finish on smells like teen spirit.
Posted on the move
Not sure of the quality of these pictures I'm posting from my phone, but here's some more.
Posted on the move
Stone Circle Field
Posted on the move
Sat 25 Jun 2005
Ring Your Mum
Not quite Your Mum Rang (see stickers link on left) but I spotted this on the hughart group painting from 1995.
Posted on the move at 16:49:58
BBC Stopped in their Tracks
BBC 4X4 tries to drive through mutants. Nearly knocks off stilt walker. Mutants block car for 15mins. Eventually, driver thinks to wind down window and talk to them. It works, and she is free to film Mark Lemar.
Posted on the move at 16:12:54
Random Street Performers
- Ministry of Meaningless Measurements:
- Flies. Giant Flies.:
Another darkly interesting piece from Carnesky, with themes of madness, prostitution etc. Our hatchling (see below) sang a great version of "Love for Sale", and there were various tableaux featuring trapeze. The three ghoulist narrators were great, despite some microphone problems.
- Carnesky's Caberet - An Egg:
- Carnesky's Caberet - An Egg, Hatched:
- Carnesky's Caberet - A doll dances for our amusement:
- Carnesky's Caberet - A rather macabre dance:
I'd never heard of Baaba Maal before, but decided to forego the pleasures of Coldplay, Razorlight or even Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel to listen to something new. I'm glad I did. The dozen or so drummers, accompanied by a couple of keyboards, misc. stringed instruments and very "traditional" dancers were a delight, full of energy and easy to engage with. The reason I refer to the dancers as "traditional" is that the two women came out with a variety of food preparation implements to dance with, in-between having what could only be described as "booty-shaking" contests!
Fri 24 Jun 2005
It's Raining and Everyone's Complaining
Nope, Misty's Big Adventure isn't playing Glastonbury, but last night about 5:45 it started to rain. And Rain. And RAIN.
And to be fair, I didn't hear anyone complaining - most people seemed to be enjoying it (apart from those washed away).
I was working in the morning, and had to build dams to divert the water from entering the marquee!
After work, I wandered down to the markets area where some sections were completely flooded. The "Poi Poi" stall always has someone outside "Poi Poi-ing" but today it was under about a foot of water. No matter, they had a boy of about 7 floating outside on an inflatable mattress and "Poi Poi-ing" away... Talk about the show must go on.
Two guys nearby were paddling away in a canoe. I can just imagine the scene as they packed for Glastonbury. One of them insisting that they pack the canoe, and the other saying "Not again Steve, we take it every year and it's never any use..." How wrong he was
Seize the Day, Turn the Weather
Great set from festival favourites SeizeTheDay playing shackle shuffle, power of the people, I ain't gonna take that card, and United States (the song banned by radio 3 after winning their world music awards). Went in, it was still p...ing it down, but after a few songs, someone decided to turn the sun back on.
Posted on the move at 15:15:25
- Seize the Day:
Sun and Mud
Although some well trodden paths were so treacherous that the infamous "Mud Guy" was required to direct people, the grass high on the hill above the pyramid stage was pretty dry. The soil had been so parched that it absorbed the rain with no ill effect. Only at the bottom of the valley was it flooded, and only where it was busy was it muddy.
- It's Mud-Guidance-Man...:
However, the water had caused problems for some tents, notably "La Belle Epoch" which appeared to have collapsed on one side. Rumour says that the Avalon Stage was similarly effected.
- "No Fires":
Performances went on despite the mud, with "Martinez and Fabrega's Incredible Bull Circus", whose bulls are mostly mounted on remote control cars, ploughing on with only the occasional kick needed to "get them doggie's moving."
- Bell Epoch Marquee has problems...:
- Squished Car:
Caberet tent hosted StuartLee, ArthurSmith and RobRouse. A particular star was BrendanBurns, a great Ozzie comedian, who came down from the stage to spend most of his set dealing with two hecklers who were utterly and completely off their t*ts! He did a massive amount of ad-lib material, and was one of the funniest and warmest acts I've seen in ages.
- Tiny Stuart Lee
- Rob Rouse:
Later, Royksopp played the other stage, with some quite different versions of songs from Eple plus some which were new to me. FatBoySlim followed up with some great projections. He sat in a kind of balcony half way up the back drop and appeared as part of other scenes such as a cassette recorder.
Posted on the move at 16:50:37
- Brendan Burns:
- Fat Boy Slim:
- Royksopp Thru Happy Glasses:
Thu 23 Jun 2005
Carnesky's Ghost Train
It's on here at Glastonbury. The queuing started at about 8.20 and we're still here more than am hour later. It's the 1st time I've ever queued for anything at Glastonbury, but we're in good company. Michael Evis is about 40 minutes behind us in the queue! How nice is that? You run the festival, but you still queue up with the punters!
Posted on the move at 21:41:35
Michael was later turned away, as the back of the queue were told that there was no chance that they'd get in! Hope he managed to see it later in the festival.
Posted on the move at 20:34:53
More pictures including the fantastic insect circus museum collated by Mark Copeland who had seen my mention of the museum as "the best thing at Glastonbury" last year and recognised my name from the website.
Posted on the move at 20:29:03
Sunny pictures from sunny Glastonbury!
Today I've been wandering aroung the site in the sunshine.
Posted on the move at 14:15:10
Wed 22 Jun
Visited a couple of great fancy dress shops, so passed some time trying on hats and clothes. Found some live music late at night, with this lovely Australian couple singing and playing guitar.
Met up with fellow bloggers Phil ( http://www.philhux.blogspot.com/ ) and Ben ( http://silentwordsspeakloudest.blogspot.com/ ) at the Pear Cider bar in the Jazz World field.
Changes over time
Took some pictures of the site which I'll attempt to take again from the same positions as time goes by.
Sun 19 Jun 2005
LeamingtonPeaceFestival is an annual event, which brings a real festival atmosphere right into the heart of the town. There's a lot of great bands, lots of the most interesting of the stalls which you'd find at Glastonbury or the BigGreenGathering, and masses of sunshine.
Sat 18 Jun 2005
Went on a tour of Digbeth and the Jewelry Quarter organised by Karin and Reuben of the Springhill Institute. We met at the Red Lion in the JewelryQuarter (the place where the Complaint Choir performed). It was a really sunny day, and we wandered through the JewelryQuarter using pubs as "way marks". For lunch we stopped at ???????the Queen's Head???? where a buffet was laid on and the a group called something like "Bite Sized" Gypsy gave a great performance.
After lunch we walked fairly speedily through the city centre to the new "green" and a pub with connections to the Birmingham band UB40.
We gave us badges and a beautifully done map/guide in a little red bag. There were a number of different badges, each representing one of the pubs on the way.
As we walked through the back streets of Digbeth, a group of us came across a old fashioned typewriter (aren't all typewriters old fashioned?) and a box-brownie camera along with misc. rubbish, all dumped by the side of the road. The typewriter contained a very neatly written letter from a woman who had just given birth to her first child, describing her feelings about this "new life".
I also spotted loads of Street Furniture Stickers on our way through Digbeth.
We finished the tour in The Rainbow. What an excellent day!
Thu 16 Jun 2005
Went to the opening of an exhibition at Vivid in Digbeth. Once again, I failed to see all the work properly... must make more effort! The pieces I did get a good look at included a terminal screen showing a traceroute to www.endfile.com I didn't realise until I got up close that it was actually rendered in cross-stitch! Also a nice GPS trace of taxi cab routes animated over time, and natural car alarms with bird sounds. Will try pop in again to see the rest!
Also took some pictures of Digbeth.
Wed 15 Jun 2005
Found this site with some nice pictures of grafiti and
sticker - http://www.woostercollective.com/ One of the stranges things I find about some of the grafiti is how "sameish" it all is. There's a couple of very stereotypical styles going about, although there is some great creative and fun stuff too.
There's also a link to a very retro podcast:
which I might well have a listen to.
This site is more in the style of my StreetFurnitureStickers - http://akav.dk/pics/archives/cat_postersstickers.html - Their images seem to be clocking in around the 50k-70k mark, much bigger than mine, which aim for 5-30k (with 30k only for something special). Maybe I'm being too conservative with bandwidth...
Addded Stu ( http://spiderstusworld.blogspot.com/ )
and "but she's a girl..." ( http://www.rousette.org.uk/ )
to my list of BirminghamBloggers
Everytime I see this sign, I think it's in French.
Posted on the move at 17:18:28
Tue 13 Jun 2005
Added Yet More Street Furniture Stickers, including a couple which Phil ( http://sixmonths.blogs.com/ ) kindly sent me.
Tonight We Are Golden - Vivid
My first visit to Vivid's new premises, at the Junction of Heath Mill Lane and Fazely Street in Digbeth (or should that be "Eastside"?). I went to see "Tonight we are Golden), 14 artist led short films, totaling 90 minutes.
My favourite (and that of most of the audience), has to be "I am a Boyband" by Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, in which he sings a 16th Century poem ("Come Again, Sweet Love" by John Dowland) in modern pop style, first on his own, then with another differently dressed version of himself, and then with 2 and 3 duplicates. Really fun, and funny. I think this was the only film to get a spontaneous round of applause. The song was good, but the dancing was fantastic! Incredibly camp.
You can see a samples at http://www.kurzfilmtage.de/... (Windows Media), and http://catalogue.montevideo.nl/... (Real Media).
Othe "goodies" included Jetzt im Kino by Matthew Noel-Tod, very long shots from train windows crossing Berlin; the semi-schizophrenic world of Graeme Stonehouse's obsession with Mike Nelson and and ice cream van in "The Nelson Riddle"; and another very long, single shot, in Night Out by Francic Gomila, a kind of real world drama showing a group of drunk people from above, and tracking one in paricular as he weaves his way through the world.
Sun 11 Jun 2005
Cat Power / Want you soul
Been listening to Pete Radio No. 11 ( http://peteashton.com/radio/ ),
and two of the tracks have really struck me.
One is "Lost Souls in the Supermarket", a cover/re-write by McSleazy, with vocodor style vocals, and great lyrics - dah! I can't describe it right now, but it's about being placed in the inescapable position of being a consumer rather than a person... at least that's how I read it. If you get Pete Radio 11, you'll find it starts at about the 15 minute mark. It was available as a free (make a charity donation) download, but that's down now and you can buy it on CD.
The other is "Cat Power is a Good Cop" (mp3) by the Mathletes, the thoughts of some guy who's obsessed with Cat Powers (a musician), seems to think she's a "whackjob" but also that "...I could benefit by dating someone that unstable". It's about 8:07 in. Full lyrics at http://www.allstarpowerup.com/jestandearnest/6.html, and band site at http://www.allstarpowerup.com/
Both pleasant musical songs. Tune you can whistle, lyrics you can hear etc.
Sat 10 Jun 2005
Cats are evil
Well, they drive you mad and make you sad...
I remember reading about this in NewScientist magazine a while back, but I ran across it again courtesy of metafilter.
Cats are often infected with a parasite known as toxoplasma gondii, whose other host is typically a rat. However, if you come into contact with cats, particularly their faeces, you may well be infected too. In the UK, about 1 in 3 people have the infection - though probably don't notice any symptoms as it goes into a "dormant" stage. This doesn't make you safe from it's effects, as the evidence (see Flegr's papers below) is that the changes it induces increase over time.
So what is the effect of being infected? Well, it looks as if the parasite changes your behaviour in certain ways. The best known (to readers of RichardDawkins or popular science evolutionary parasitology) case of this is dicrocoelium dendriticum which induces infected ants to climb to the top of grass stalks so they're more likely to be eaten by their next host, a cow. There's a nice diagram of this at http://workforce.cup.edu/...
Now remember that the toxoplasma typically infects a rat, and so it wants the rat to get eaten by a cat (a bit Dr Seuse, but there it is). So some of the changes in rats and humans are to do with the slowing of reaction times.
The personality changes which are mentioned (Flegr 2000) include:
- High superego strength - "Concientious, persistent, moralistic, staid"
- Affectothymia - "Warm-hearted, outgoing, easygoing"
- Surgence - "Enthusiastic, heedless, happy-go-lucky"
- Parmia - "Adventurous, thick-skinned, socially bold"
- Protension - "Suspecting, jealous, dogmatic"
- High strength of self sentiment - "Controlled, exacting, will power, socially precise"
Fri 09 Jun 2005
Bizzare Record Covers
If you ever need a laugh, check out this collection of bizare albumn covers:
Some of my faves include:
Wed 08 Jun 2005
The Original Misty's
Added some information on The Original Misty's Big Adventure - yep, before there was a band, when Misty's were but a twinkle in the eye of Grandmaster Gareth, and he but a twinkle in his parents, Another Misty went on an adventure...
Tue 07 Jun 2005
The University of Birmingham's botanical gardens at Winterbourne were the site of a number of explosions yesterday, but don't worry, the were all in the cause of art. Coloured smoke grenades were set off in the trees and bushes, glades and ponds of one of Birmingham's best kept secrets. The university botanical gardens are a hidden oasis of calm and beauty, not too far from the city centre, and well worth a visit, particularly on such a wonderful sunny day. What you won't see on a normal visit is the crowd of 40 or so people staring upward as green, red, purple and yellow smoke transforms the backdrop of natural greens and browns, bringing a wonderful contrast and vividness. Well done Ikon and Winterbourne for making this happen!
Here's some Pictures I took of the event
Posted on the move
Wed 08 Jun 2005
Ikon Gallery Opening
A giant game of "Names of Famous" is being played out in the Ikon Gallery. There's a whole host of interesting, individual and accessible pieces on show, my favourites including a periodic table with entries such as "Pb, 82, von Zeplin"; a map of ancient Babylon with circuits including cuniform writing superimposed; a film mixing aircraft safety instructions with magic, and commentary in both English and Japanese. Lots more to see too!
Posted on the move
4 June 2005
Lost and Found
The Fierce Festival is drawing to a close, and this will be the last event I see this year.
Lost and Found is a performance piece by Curious ( http://www.placelessness.com/ ), who put on the "On the Scent" last year (see: October 9th 2003). The Fierce Festival brochure told me it takes place at a "mystery location" - this turned out to be West Bromwich bus station! We boarded a "charabang", sitting one per double seat, and off we went.
After a brief tour of the back streets of West Brom, another passenger boarded the bus. She seemed to be from the lost property office, she told us of the things which people lose, the objects, the items and also the feelings and the people. She told us she could see the things which we would lose, before we lost them. She also gave us paper wrapped sandwiches - mine was a cheese and mustard!
Our next passenger came with a lot of luggage, which she loaded onto our bus in a lively and speedy manner. She was from the left luggage office. Each bag tells you something about the person, both from its outside and from the contents.
Our third and final passenger talked about travelling. When she was nine, a friend asked her "if you could choose between never being able to leave home, and leaving home and never being able to come back, what would you choose?" She talked about people in her home town, a man who lived in the same place his whole life, gradually watching as his childhood baseball hoop was swallowed by the swelling trunk of a tree. She told us about her aunt, who didn't used to drink, but who started drinking a glass of wine a day after she heard it was good for you. She graduated to "Cosmopolitans", and this became her signature drink. She talked about what makes a place cosmopolitan, as we drove along the (cosmopolitan) Soho Road. She asked us if we had ever drunk Cosmopolitans, and told us we would soon. The bus stopped, she got off. The driver told us to "all change" - it was the end of the line.
We were by the canal, led down to a pumping house, where two stacks of cocktail glasses were laid out, with shakers, cranberry juice, vodka and cointreau. Here came our Cosmopolitans! Our host started to mix, throwing bottles in the air, catching lime in shakers and finally stacking 5 or so shakers on top of each other and pouring them all at once into the 5 stacked glasses, very impressive!
- The Curious Charabang:
So we each got a cocktail, a few of us were interviewed on the question of "something we'd lost", we re-boarded the bus, and off we went back to West Brom bus station.
Best Bit: The cocktails!
- Cosmopolitan's are go!:
Worst Bit: I almost didn't manage to get tickets due to the Hippodrome's dodgy call waiting system
In short: Go see anything by Curious! You won't regret it
Misty's Big Adventure + The Retro Spankees
Misty's Big Adventure played the Jug of Ale, with support from The Retro Spankees ( http://www.theretrospankees.iwarp.com/ ). Misty's had asked TRS to play as they'd heard their CDs, and they were great. 3 guitars, plus drummer, lots of rhythm, and tons of "Wooo"s, infact, I think there was a "Wooo" in almost every song. Fun, funny, happy sound.
Misty's were excellent as always, still seeming fresh despite being recently returned from a mamoth tour!. They played a couple of new songs, "A Serious Thing" and one I can't remember! The set also included: Remind Me a Thing, Mulling It Over, Singsong, She Fills the Spaces, I Don't Need Anybody (Especially a Dog Like You), Hey Man, Misty's Big Adventure...
One of the best bits for me was when Gareth invited people from the audience to join them for "Smothered in Love" - the "Monkeys and Donkeys" song in which the band and audience are divided in two and sing with a slight delay. I was up there like a shot, to be a Donkey (at least I think I was a Donkey, the 2nd singers anyway). I've been on stage with Misty's
There were two encores - thanks Misty's!
3 June 2005
The phrase ""an error occurred while processing this directive" occurs around 2.6 million times on the internet (check on Google). Someone isn't looking after their websites...
I love random play, I was listening to some music, and up came The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, episode 9 (from the original series). Douglas Adams was such an excellent writer, he really tapped into some hard-core english comedy vein.
1 June 2005
Masque of Water
Saw "The Masque of Water" at the Rep Door. Well, I've seen so
many performances at the Fierce Festival, I don't know where to
begin! Maybe I should get some sort of season ticket next time - it would certainly be cheaper!
The Masque of Water was a mixture of very stylised dance (some some just postures/poses), and "songs from the shows". Ned Sherrin would have loved it, featuring as it did a former body building champion and many nice tunes, including as "I Go To Sleep" in hilariously serious stylee.
The audience was a bit unsure how to react - was this a performance piece, in which you clap at the end, or should we applaud each song and set piece. I, and I think a lot of the audience realised only too late that the performers wanted our applause all the time... or was this part of the performance? I don't think it was. So, they seemed slightly put out. Looking back it was actually quite funny, though it felt uncomfortable at the time. At one point the singer took several bows (without applause) and called the dresser to "catch my tears".
There was lots of costume and finery, some risky (I mean "Risk-ay" but I've given up trying to check my spelling with google, think I need an accented "e" or something) bits, but nothing compared to the Judas Cradle (see BlogMay2005). The references to "tableaux" from the era of stage censorship were pretty clear.
In Brief: Guaranteed Hurst St hit
Best Bit: "Catch my tears"
Worst Bit: Some of the set pieces were too long.
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