Upcoming events

dylan-at-the-barge-small

Following on from the 1967 at the Barge event – Medway Eyes proudly present Dylan at the Barge. Hoards of local musicians will be singing their favourite Dyaln songs on 20th June.

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But before that another exhibition organised by Medway Eyes and the now traditional opening night gig. This time the Exhibition opens on a Saturday and the plan is for a family picnic followed by an all dayer at the Barge. The exhibition opens at 10am on 9th May and the gig runs from 2pm at the Barge in Gillingham

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A couple of songs from your old scrapbook

I have this problem and it’s called “Together through life”

In case you don’t know that is the title of the new Bob Dylan album which came out this week. For years and years the prospect of a new Dylan album would have filled me with anticipation and I would have dashed out and bought it on the day it was released. I remember standing outside a shop in Victoria on August Bank Holiday Monday 1979 staring at the sleeve of Slow Train Coming which was on display in the window wondering what it contained within.

Slow Train was the album when Dylan went Christian so there was good reason to wonder. In the end I came to love the album but that took many years but I often listen to it now. The songs on the album work on many levels not just as the fervent Christian message they were intended to portray. As time goes on some of them have actually got more relevant.

Being a Dylan fan has never been easy – even before I had even heard of him he had confounded his fans on numerous occasions. His switch from Protest singer to rocker and then to gentle country songs etc challenged his audience but broadly he went from being a genius in one genre to being a genius in another.

Then sometime ago things changed. The never ending tour he has been on for the past god knows how many years has kept him plodding along the same old path and to be honest I wish he would do something different or give up. It’s like watching an elderly relative slowly declining and there is nothing you can do to stop it. His last two albums were given huge critical acclaim but frankly I thought they were both awful – it was like the never ending tour committed to disc.

Don’t get me wrong I have seen him many times and I’ve always thought, at the time, that he was great. There is something about being in the room with him that’s just overwhelming. Thankfully I seem to have the knack of missing the real turkeys of a tour and by the sounds of things Ihave done that again this time round.

Two of my friends went to his gig at the Roundhouse the other night. One them them posted a review in two words “Absolute Shite” and his friend then followed up with “It got even worse after you left”. The fact that this friend walked out of the gig suggests to me that it must have been awful because he has a greater tolerance level than me for his Bobness.

So back to “Together through life” – It has had a mixed reception – some have said it’s another genius album others have panned it and say it’s rubbish. The lyrics on the album were written in conjunction with the Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter but that doesn’t seem to have been widely announced.

They even gave a free download of one of the tracks from bobdylan.com but although I downloaded it I couldn’t bring myself to listen. And that is where my problem lies – I just don’t want to listen to the album. I don’t think I could bear the disappointment.

Now hear this Robert Zimmerman

Though I don’t suppose we’ll meet

Ask your good friend Dylan

If he’d gaze a while down the old street

Tell him we’ve lost his poems

Pandemic

I could just be being really stupid here but if Swine flu poses as much of a threat as the WHO is telling us then why hasn’t Mexico been shut down? People are still free to get on flights and spread this disease all over the world.

If someone is found here to have it they are immediately quarantined so why not the country. It’s the same thing and it could save millions of lives.

It’s almost as if the WHO, who’ve been predicting one for years, have decided there will be a pandemic and are looking forward to saying “told you so”

Clever stuff

I saw this advert for the Times Spelling Bee on the train last night and it made me chuckle – it’s the sort of thing that I love about the English Language.

times_spelling_bee

In case you can’t read it it says

If GH can stand fpr P in Hiccough
If OUGH can stand for 0 in Dough
If PHTH can stand for T in Phthisis
If EIGH can stand for A in Neighbour
If TTE can stand for T in Gazette
If EAU can stand for o in Plateau
Then the way you spell POTATO is GHOUGHPHTHEIGHTTEEAU Isn’t it?

A Nation of Shopkeepers?

Ok another one of my periodic rants against supermarket chains!

Tonight I went down to my local Co-operative store. To be honest I didn’t really want anything but needed to get change from a £20 note so I could give the kids their bus and dinner money tomorrow. Anyway I looked around and decided to buy some ice creams. On the top shelf of the freezer was a box of Magnums with a yellow box in the corner saying “Any 2 for £3”. Next to it was a box of Mars ice cream bars with a yellow box in the corner saying “Any 2 for £3”.

So I picked one box of each and took them to the till, where the girl rang them in. She then explained to me that I couldn’t have them on the special offer because they were parts of different offers. Basically the Mars could be bought with a box of Snickers ice cream bars but not with the box of Magnums. She asked me what I wanted to do – so I showed her! I picked up both boxes, took them back to the freezer and then walked out of the shop.

Another day I might have argued that “any” means any and therefore they have advertised it that way therefore they should sell it to me that way. If the boxes on the packs had been different shapes or different colours then I would have been able to see which belonged to which offer but when they have the same thing on them surely they are meant to be lumped together. But tonight I really couldn’t be arsed so I went to another shop and spent my money there instead.

At the end of the day what would it have cost the shop to sell me them for £3 – if they can run the offer then they can afford to let them go at a lower price. Their margins would be the same. In the end they lost a sale and in this economically hard world who can really afford to do that?

The Long Weekend

I worked all weekend in the Press Centre for the London Marathon which was based at the Tower hotel – we stayed there on Saturday night and this was the view from my bedroom window.

tower-bridge-day

Getting there on the Saturday morning was bad enough as it took me longer to get from the Limehouse Tunnel to the Tower than it did to get from Gillingham to London. The delay seemed to be caused by them painting the lines on the road for the runners to follow – I always thought they did these sort of things overnight!

I was walking through the foyer on Saturday afternoon when I saw the Hotel manager greeting someone – wondering who was important enought to get a personal greeting I turned round and saw a TV camera. It took me a while to recognise the two celebs but eventually I realised it was Jordan and Peter Andre – maybe I’d have spotted this quicker if she hadn’t had her back to me!!

Sunday was a beautiful day – not that I got outside very often! I spent most of the day working backstage in the press briefing room. I did see the tops of the leading womens racers bobbing over Tower Bridge but that was about it. The race were really exciting with a close run thing in the mens competition but it was eventually won by the Olympic champion.

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The view from my room was even better by night!