Needle in the Hay

Brand New @ the Manchester Academy 18th April 2014

Friday night I saw Brand New at the Manchester Academy.

Brand New are one of my all time favourites and Friday was the first time I’d seen them live since around 2005/6.

The place was rammed and absolutely boiling hot, it was a beautiful sunny day in Manchester and the academy clearly forgot to turn on the air conditioning.  I was at the back and felt like I was roasting, anyone who was at the very front must have been truly hardcore and I salute you.

Brand New were great, it wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen them but that set list in 06 at the Apollo is almost impossible to beat, it was perfect. Yet Friday’s 19 song set was bloody great. 

They started off a little ropey to be honest but by the time they kicked in to The Shower Scene the whole place was alive.  There was a bunch of kids around 17-19 years old stood next to us who gave us the strangest look for screaming along to The Shower Scene. As if to say why are they going crazy for this old stuff, well I’m old, I grew up on this shit.

The fan base wasn’t as mixed as I thought it would be, it was mostly my age or older which helped me not feel like a relic at 27.   I also bumped in to Nancy from Hollyoaks, now that was surreal.

Jesse Lacey is known for keeping quiet between songs but on Friday night, you couldn’t shut him up.  It was great to actually hear him have a chat with the crowd and compliment the beautiful Manchester weather.

They played Mixtape and changed the line featuring Morrisey to Johnny Marr which got a huge cheer and really made me laugh.  Guernica choked me up a little as it always does, Jesse’s voice always has such power, passion and conviction. 

They may not have played Moshi Moshi but It was a great show and a fantastic day out in Manchester. 

There was no new songs on the set list (Although they opened with a Nine Inch Nails cover) as to what that means I don’t know, they haven’t played anything new in years.  Was this a farewell tour in disguise?  are they even planning a new album?  in the end you have to live for the here and now and I was just grateful to hear them play live one more time.

Whatever their future is, I’m thankful for what I’ve got.

Thanks Brand New

So Record Store Day 2014 came and went, did everybody get what they wanted?
I sure did, my RSD14 haul is as follows
Ray Lamontagne - Supernova 7”
Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea 7”
Conor Oberst - Hundreds of Ways 7”
Ray Parker Jr - Ghostbusters 10” Glow in the dark
Haim - Forever 12”
Although I felt the selection wasn’t as strong this year and some of the prices borderline ridiculous I managed to get everything I wanted for under £50.  My cheapest RSD to date.
Me and my friend Tom started queuing from 4:45am and we were about 18th in line.  I’d heard about a One Direction release and certain fans were moaning that the day would be ruined by kids.  I for one didn’t think that kids would bother with a record or know enough about RSD to turn up early.  In the end they wasn’t after the same records as me so it didn’t bother me one bit. Why not let everyone enjoy RSD.
Turns out their fan base was a little more dedicated than I thought.  Beating all the hardcore collectors, the front of the queue was three young girls after the 1D release and a free cassette by some group called 5SOS.  They’d been there since midnight, since midnight!  I wish I cared that deeply about anything in life to queue for that long.  
So I managed to get everything and was rather pleased, it meant that being there since 4:45am was worth it. I only got back from Manchester at 1:30am so I felt like the living dead and it was one hell of a cold Saturday morning, at one point I could no longer feel my toes.  Some people were just stood there with earphones but one of my favourite things about RSD is meeting fellow vinyl fans in the crowd.  We met two blokes behind us who kept us company for 3 hours and made the time fly by.  That is what RSD is all about to me.
I was a little gutted that the Death Cab, Heatmiser and Butch Walker releases were US only, that’s the only thing that could have made it better. Maybe next year I’ll have to propose a transatlantic trade, anyone interested?

So Record Store Day 2014 came and went, did everybody get what they wanted?

I sure did, my RSD14 haul is as follows

Ray Lamontagne - Supernova 7”

Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea 7”

Conor Oberst - Hundreds of Ways 7”

Ray Parker Jr - Ghostbusters 10” Glow in the dark

Haim - Forever 12”

Although I felt the selection wasn’t as strong this year and some of the prices borderline ridiculous I managed to get everything I wanted for under £50.  My cheapest RSD to date.

Me and my friend Tom started queuing from 4:45am and we were about 18th in line.  I’d heard about a One Direction release and certain fans were moaning that the day would be ruined by kids.  I for one didn’t think that kids would bother with a record or know enough about RSD to turn up early.  In the end they wasn’t after the same records as me so it didn’t bother me one bit. Why not let everyone enjoy RSD.

Turns out their fan base was a little more dedicated than I thought.  Beating all the hardcore collectors, the front of the queue was three young girls after the 1D release and a free cassette by some group called 5SOS.  They’d been there since midnight, since midnight!  I wish I cared that deeply about anything in life to queue for that long.  

So I managed to get everything and was rather pleased, it meant that being there since 4:45am was worth it. I only got back from Manchester at 1:30am so I felt like the living dead and it was one hell of a cold Saturday morning, at one point I could no longer feel my toes.  Some people were just stood there with earphones but one of my favourite things about RSD is meeting fellow vinyl fans in the crowd.  We met two blokes behind us who kept us company for 3 hours and made the time fly by.  That is what RSD is all about to me.

I was a little gutted that the Death Cab, Heatmiser and Butch Walker releases were US only, that’s the only thing that could have made it better. Maybe next year I’ll have to propose a transatlantic trade, anyone interested?

I can no longer feel my feet. 
Soooo cold! 
Been here since 4:45am and i’m around 18th in the queue, only one hour to go!

I can no longer feel my feet.

Soooo cold!

Been here since 4:45am and i’m around 18th in the queue, only one hour to go!

Let the fun begin :)

Let the fun begin :)

Tomorrow i’m off to see Brand New in  Manchester!!

I really can’t wait, I haven’t seen this band since about 2007, maybe even longer.

I’ve heard they’ve been playing Moshi Moshi, one of my very favourite Brand New songs! Which i’ve sadly never heard live yet. So fingers crossed they play it on Friday night.

So here’s to a day in Manchester that will involve a trip to see Spiderman 2 and copious amounts of beer.

Everybody wins!

For some time I’ve had the urge to watch Veronica Mars, maybe it was the recent publicity of the film (and the fan base big enough to raise cash through Kickstarter to fund it) that raised my interest.  Also my friend Holly has been going on about it for years, but until now I’d never seen it.
All I knew about the show was that it featured Kristin Bell and that she was some sort of teen detective.  For some reason I was expecting an early teen demographic, something that might have been on Nickelodeon or ABC but what I found with the pilot was something quite different.
It had a surprisingly darker tone than I expected, whilst this is a show that would initially appeal to 14-18 age group it really isn’t your run of the mill teen drama. 
I really enjoyed the Veronica Mars pilot, enough to say I’ll definitely be giving the series a real chance.    Yeah it featured its fair share of cheese but I absolutely loved our lead protagonist, Veronica, she’s feisty, independent and incredibly smart.  
Another thing I loved was the soundtrack,  The Dandy Warhols and Ivy are enough to win me over straight from the start.  Many people overlook soundtracks but I believe they create a real strong sense of the time, the setting and the world are characters are part of, If done correctly that is. 

The show felt like something out of the late 1990’s  a feel of maturity in the writing and characters that you just don’t get anymore.  I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Miss Mars.

For some time I’ve had the urge to watch Veronica Mars, maybe it was the recent publicity of the film (and the fan base big enough to raise cash through Kickstarter to fund it) that raised my interest.  Also my friend Holly has been going on about it for years, but until now I’d never seen it.

All I knew about the show was that it featured Kristin Bell and that she was some sort of teen detective.  For some reason I was expecting an early teen demographic, something that might have been on Nickelodeon or ABC but what I found with the pilot was something quite different.

It had a surprisingly darker tone than I expected, whilst this is a show that would initially appeal to 14-18 age group it really isn’t your run of the mill teen drama. 

I really enjoyed the Veronica Mars pilot, enough to say I’ll definitely be giving the series a real chance.    Yeah it featured its fair share of cheese but I absolutely loved our lead protagonist, Veronica, she’s feisty, independent and incredibly smart.  

Another thing I loved was the soundtrack,  The Dandy Warhols and Ivy are enough to win me over straight from the start.  Many people overlook soundtracks but I believe they create a real strong sense of the time, the setting and the world are characters are part of, If done correctly that is. 

The show felt like something out of the late 1990’s  a feel of maturity in the writing and characters that you just don’t get anymore.  I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Miss Mars.

Exploiting fans?
First of all let me say this, I’m a massive fan of records and Record Store Day.  I’ve been there at stupid o’clock in the AM queuing up for what will be my 5th year this Saturday but with this year’s price list released over the weekend I’m starting to feel a little like a mug.
RSD helps out thousands of independent record stores up and down the country, many may rely on RSD sales alone to stay afloat, so I’m not here to criticize the stores as their prices are based on what their supplier charges, they have to make a substantial profit to make it worthwhile.
It’s just £10.99 for a single 7” release is absolutely ridiculous,  and some 12” albums are priced at £22-30 and over.  Whack a sticker on them saying limited edition and we as fans tend to shell out whatever the cost.  £30 for a re-issued album is daylight robbery,  last week I bought Nirvana – Unplugged in New York 12” for £14, brand new.  If that album was released on RSD I’m telling you they’d charge £30.  Why?
Not all releases are this extortionate, I think the cheapest 7” are around £7.99 and 12” around £17.99.  So it’s not all doom and gloom even though I personally still think they’re priced a little steep but then I think “what the hell, it’s RSD it only happens once a year”…and that’s exactly why they charge these prices.
Usually I’ll blindly pay whatever the cost, I’m a fan and some of those singles/albums I really would like but I swear the prices are increasing year on year.  When it comes to Nirvana or Elliott Smith I’ll pay whatever they ask and the labels know this, are we being exploited for our passion?  This year I took a look at the price list and just shook my head. For the last couple of years there’s been enough stock for almost everyone, a limited edition release really shouldn’t have these prices attached especially the re-issues.
RSD a fantastic day out and something to look forward to for vinyl enthusiasts worldwide,  I adore it and as I’ve already said it does wonders for the independent record shops but to me it feels like record labels have caught on and are milking us for all we’re worth.
Saying all the above I still can’t wait for Saturday, where come rain or shine I’ll still be there at stupid of click in the AM.
Do any other fans feel the same way?  Or is this the price we have to pay for saving our local stores?

Exploiting fans?

First of all let me say this, I’m a massive fan of records and Record Store Day.  I’ve been there at stupid o’clock in the AM queuing up for what will be my 5th year this Saturday but with this year’s price list released over the weekend I’m starting to feel a little like a mug.

RSD helps out thousands of independent record stores up and down the country, many may rely on RSD sales alone to stay afloat, so I’m not here to criticize the stores as their prices are based on what their supplier charges, they have to make a substantial profit to make it worthwhile.

It’s just £10.99 for a single 7” release is absolutely ridiculous,  and some 12” albums are priced at £22-30 and over.  Whack a sticker on them saying limited edition and we as fans tend to shell out whatever the cost.  £30 for a re-issued album is daylight robbery,  last week I bought Nirvana – Unplugged in New York 12” for £14, brand new.  If that album was released on RSD I’m telling you they’d charge £30.  Why?

Not all releases are this extortionate, I think the cheapest 7” are around £7.99 and 12” around £17.99.  So it’s not all doom and gloom even though I personally still think they’re priced a little steep but then I think “what the hell, it’s RSD it only happens once a year”…and that’s exactly why they charge these prices.

Usually I’ll blindly pay whatever the cost, I’m a fan and some of those singles/albums I really would like but I swear the prices are increasing year on year.  When it comes to Nirvana or Elliott Smith I’ll pay whatever they ask and the labels know this, are we being exploited for our passion?  This year I took a look at the price list and just shook my head. For the last couple of years there’s been enough stock for almost everyone, a limited edition release really shouldn’t have these prices attached especially the re-issues.

RSD a fantastic day out and something to look forward to for vinyl enthusiasts worldwide,  I adore it and as I’ve already said it does wonders for the independent record shops but to me it feels like record labels have caught on and are milking us for all we’re worth.

Saying all the above I still can’t wait for Saturday, where come rain or shine I’ll still be there at stupid of click in the AM.

Do any other fans feel the same way?  Or is this the price we have to pay for saving our local stores?

This weekend True Detective came to an end on British television and I for one, will be very sad to see it go.
Warning, there may be spoilers ahead. Only slight and I’ll try to avoid them as much as possible, but read at your own risk.
True Detective is the first show I’ve been patient enough to wait weekly for, in what feels like years.  In this day and age of box sets, on-demand streaming, Netflix and downloading I’m so used to binge watching shows and not having to wait for each installment. 
I could have downloaded the entire series (as it was shown in the US prior) but I so enjoyed looking forward to my weekly dose that I avoided my usual practice and became patient for the first time in years and it really paid off.  It built up anticipation for the weekend and made me appreciate it more, an event to look forward to.
True Detective really was top class television.   The acting in this show, especially from the two leads McConaughey and Harrelson was absolutely phenomenal.  You could cut the tension between them both with a knife it was that intense, this really was a master class in performance from the two of them.
McConaughey won the Oscar for best lead for his amazing performance in Dallas Buyers Club, I personally believe he eclipsed that role as the dead behind the eyes Rust in True Detective, and that’s no mean feat.
This week’s finale was edge of your seat stuff, the climactic finish was nail-biting and the trail through the catacombs was like sitting on a knife edge.
I just wish that the man with the scarred face would have died more slowly, I know that sounds sadistic but I wanted him to know his time was up, to know that he’d failed and know defeat as he dies in excruciating pain.  The gunshot to the head was far too good for him, but alas in the state the duo was in they were lucky to even hit him with that.  Yet I couldn’t help feeling that after all the pain he’d caused to all those children, I wanted him to feel the same, to know defeat.  He was a psychopath so he probably wouldn’t have even felt that anyway, in his warped mind he was probably ready to ascent to whatever god he worshipped.  I can’t win lol.
One of the many things I loved about the show was how well it flowed, something that I believe to be down to the fact that the show had one director Cary Joji Fukunagaand one writer Nic Pizzolatto throughout.  Every single episode was written and directed by them and it definitely shows.  The pace, style and tone are incredibly consistent throughout, something that many shows with large episode orders & multiple writers/directors fail to produce.   The direction was flawless and having just one writer is definitely the reason why the characters developed so well.

True Detective was something special and if it doesn’t win several accolades for acting, writing and directing I’ll eat my hat and if you’ve sat and read through all this, I salute you.

This weekend True Detective came to an end on British television and I for one, will be very sad to see it go.

Warning, there may be spoilers ahead. Only slight and I’ll try to avoid them as much as possible, but read at your own risk.

True Detective is the first show I’ve been patient enough to wait weekly for, in what feels like years.  In this day and age of box sets, on-demand streaming, Netflix and downloading I’m so used to binge watching shows and not having to wait for each installment

I could have downloaded the entire series (as it was shown in the US prior) but I so enjoyed looking forward to my weekly dose that I avoided my usual practice and became patient for the first time in years and it really paid off.  It built up anticipation for the weekend and made me appreciate it more, an event to look forward to.

True Detective really was top class television.   The acting in this show, especially from the two leads McConaughey and Harrelson was absolutely phenomenal.  You could cut the tension between them both with a knife it was that intense, this really was a master class in performance from the two of them.

McConaughey won the Oscar for best lead for his amazing performance in Dallas Buyers Club, I personally believe he eclipsed that role as the dead behind the eyes Rust in True Detective, and that’s no mean feat.

This week’s finale was edge of your seat stuff, the climactic finish was nail-biting and the trail through the catacombs was like sitting on a knife edge.

I just wish that the man with the scarred face would have died more slowly, I know that sounds sadistic but I wanted him to know his time was up, to know that he’d failed and know defeat as he dies in excruciating pain.  The gunshot to the head was far too good for him, but alas in the state the duo was in they were lucky to even hit him with that.  Yet I couldn’t help feeling that after all the pain he’d caused to all those children, I wanted him to feel the same, to know defeat.  He was a psychopath so he probably wouldn’t have even felt that anyway, in his warped mind he was probably ready to ascent to whatever god he worshipped.  I can’t win lol.

One of the many things I loved about the show was how well it flowed, something that I believe to be down to the fact that the show had one director Cary Joji Fukunagaand one writer Nic Pizzolatto throughout.  Every single episode was written and directed by them and it definitely shows.  The pace, style and tone are incredibly consistent throughout, something that many shows with large episode orders & multiple writers/directors fail to produce.   The direction was flawless and having just one writer is definitely the reason why the characters developed so well.

True Detective was something special and if it doesn’t win several accolades for acting, writing and directing I’ll eat my hat and if you’ve sat and read through all this, I salute you.

This weekend has been bloody fantastic.

It’s feels like it has lasted forever and I really don’t want it to end.

Today I picked up a copy of Now Then, a free Sheffield magazine that focuses on local trade, art, music and the community. 
I was immediately drawn to the front cover which featured a huge image of one of Kid Acne’s Stabby Women. 
I love Kid Acne’s art especially the Stabby Women which appear all over Sheffield, if you’re lucky enough to find them.
The magazine features an interview with Kid Acne and several full page posters of his art. 
Amongst which I found this one, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. 
These Are Handsome Times, now this is one cool cat.

Today I picked up a copy of Now Then, a free Sheffield magazine that focuses on local trade, art, music and the community.

I was immediately drawn to the front cover which featured a huge image of one of Kid Acne’s Stabby Women.

I love Kid Acne’s art especially the Stabby Women which appear all over Sheffield, if you’re lucky enough to find them.

The magazine features an interview with Kid Acne and several full page posters of his art.

Amongst which I found this one, which I thought was absolutely brilliant.

These Are Handsome Times, now this is one cool cat.

One of my favourite books is Andy Greenwald’s Miss Misery.
Yeah it’s cheesy but I bloody love it.  I want to be in that novel, I think I need an experience like that to wake me up a bit.
It’s littered with references to the bands and times of the early 2000’s and it’s an incredibly enjoyable read.
When I think of New York I always think of Miss Misery, that novel and the film The Warriors.  They couldn’t be further apart but for some reason those two are always New York to me.
My friend is in New York right now, I think that’s what inspired this rather random post.  One day I’m sure I’ll make it out there.

One of my favourite books is Andy Greenwald’s Miss Misery.

Yeah it’s cheesy but I bloody love it.  I want to be in that novel, I think I need an experience like that to wake me up a bit.

It’s littered with references to the bands and times of the early 2000’s and it’s an incredibly enjoyable read.

When I think of New York I always think of Miss Misery, that novel and the film The Warriors.  They couldn’t be further apart but for some reason those two are always New York to me.

My friend is in New York right now, I think that’s what inspired this rather random post.  One day I’m sure I’ll make it out there.

So Shameless (U.S) series 4 came to an end this week in what was quite an emotional goodbye until 2015.
I’ve said It before but Shameless is one of my very favourite shows on TV.  There’s two shows I really look forward to all year and they are Game of Thrones and Shameless, I absolutely adore them.  So I guess it’s kind of fitting that as one ends the other begins.
Series 5 of Shameless should be a corker, dealing with Ian’s decent in to bi-polar disease and the unexpected return of spoiler alert…Jimmy.  Who should he appear with but Katya from Neighbours!  (probably more recognisable as the her from Dollhouse). So many questions that will have to wait until the new year.
Episode 12 really was an emotional episode, the final scene with Frank and Carl was incredibly saddening although fantastically filmed.  When the whole family rallied around for Ian, man that was tough and poor old Mandy Milkovich.
Every time I post about Shameless U.S.  I feel I have to defend the show and myself from any UK readers.  Yeah it’s a re-imagining and a re-hash of storylines from the original but it’s evolved into so much more than that.  I never watched the UK version and because of that this is all new to me and I love it, I can understand why people who did love the original completely disregard the U.S. version but I honestly think it’s one of the best things on television and I’m really going to miss it.

So Shameless (U.S) series 4 came to an end this week in what was quite an emotional goodbye until 2015.

I’ve said It before but Shameless is one of my very favourite shows on TV.  There’s two shows I really look forward to all year and they are Game of Thrones and Shameless, I absolutely adore them.  So I guess it’s kind of fitting that as one ends the other begins.

Series 5 of Shameless should be a corker, dealing with Ian’s decent in to bi-polar disease and the unexpected return of spoiler alert…Jimmy.  Who should he appear with but Katya from Neighbours!  (probably more recognisable as the her from Dollhouse). So many questions that will have to wait until the new year.

Episode 12 really was an emotional episode, the final scene with Frank and Carl was incredibly saddening although fantastically filmed.  When the whole family rallied around for Ian, man that was tough and poor old Mandy Milkovich.

Every time I post about Shameless U.S.  I feel I have to defend the show and myself from any UK readers.  Yeah it’s a re-imagining and a re-hash of storylines from the original but it’s evolved into so much more than that.  I never watched the UK version and because of that this is all new to me and I love it, I can understand why people who did love the original completely disregard the U.S. version but I honestly think it’s one of the best things on television and I’m really going to miss it.

Look what came in the post today!
I only ordered it yesterday, god bless Piccadilly Records and their speedy delivery.
Let me just say this album sounds absolutely amazing on record.
Unplugged in New York is one of my very favourite albums and its one of the very finest recordings of Kurt’s voice that was ever made.
That last verse on Where Did You Sleep Last Night still sends shivers down my spine.
I’m so damn pleased with this purchase :D
And yeah my t-shirt is of Edge spearing the Beatles on the Abbey Road crossing lol.

Look what came in the post today!

I only ordered it yesterday, god bless Piccadilly Records and their speedy delivery.

Let me just say this album sounds absolutely amazing on record.

Unplugged in New York is one of my very favourite albums and its one of the very finest recordings of Kurt’s voice that was ever made.

That last verse on Where Did You Sleep Last Night still sends shivers down my spine.

I’m so damn pleased with this purchase :D

And yeah my t-shirt is of Edge spearing the Beatles on the Abbey Road crossing lol.

Rest in peace dude

Rest in peace dude