Back up and running

I have now finished transferring the site to the new server and my blog is now back up and running. It also includes a new archive section from my previous blogs as I had to delete the old one due to it being the cause of my bandwidth problems last month.

So I will now be using this blog again along with my two other blogs Shed on the Web which will be for music and techy stuff and The Geraghty-Shewan’s blog which will be for family stuff.

Key to the highway

About a year ago I lost my car key. I’d done the school run and parked back at the house before catching the train to London. I’m sure that I went in and left the key in the kitchen but the next day we couldn’t find it anywhere. We asked Ben if he had seen it and he replied “It’s in Diesel’s (the cat) house”. When asked where that was he replied “Very far away”. It hasn’t been seen since and we still don’t know if I lost it in London that day or of Ben hid it. Since then I’ve been using the spare one.

Until today when we were just about to go out and once again there was no sign of it. At least this time we knew it had to be in the house as we hadn’t been anywhere. We searched high and low for over an hour but still couldn’t find it. Ben said he had picked it up and he had put it back down but he insisted that he hadn’t hid it. We searched all his usual hiding places, looked in cupboards, down the back of radiators, everywhere without luck. Eventually I found the plastic key that came with the proper keys when I bought the car and to my relief not only did it open the doors it started the engine as well. This was ok for a temporary solution but I was worried it would snap so had to use it very gingerly!

Back at the house we were sitting watching TV while Lissi was putting things in the oven for tea. Suddenly there was a shout and Lissi came running in holding the car key aloft. It had been inside the oven gloves – hmmm I wonder how it got there!

The A to Z of Music

I thought it would be fun to see if I can get from A to Z using the artists that I have on my MP3 player (a 20Gb Archos) – so here goes…

Ayler (Albert)
Beck
Captain Beefheart
Dylan (Bob)
Eels
Faust
Grateful Dead
Harper (Roy)
Incredible String Band
Jethro Tull
Kesey (Ken)
Led Zeppelin
Misty in Roots
Nyman (Michael)
Osibisa
Pink Floyd
Queen*
Rachmaninov
Shesh Besh
Television
UB40
Various Artists**
Wake the Dead
Xenakis (Iannis)
Yes
Zappa (Frank)

* yeah I know but I still have a thing about Sheer Heart Attack
** This might be cheating!

The Wicker man

The death of Edward Woodward has of course brought the cult film the Wicker Man back into the public arena. Of course I never met Edward Woodward but one of the musicians from the movie lives locally to me. Ian Cutler was the fiddle player that appears in the film and can be seen below playing at the Rochester Sweeps Festival.

Ian Cutler

When I was younger I went to Scout camp and while I was away my parents went away with my brother camping in Scotland. From the campsite, which was on the coast, they could see on a nearby island a giant figure. After a few days my Dad asked what it was and he was told “Oh that was for a film they made up here last year” and then the man added “weird thing was they set fire to it at the end”

and music of the past….

Many years ago I went into a second hand record shop in Newcastle, I’m guessing it was after university but before moving to London. It wasn’t one I included in my blog about record shops from my youth but a good one non the less. Browsing through the racks an album cover caught my eye and on closer inspection it turned out to be a compilation album with some quite good bands on it. The album was called Gutbucket and I bought it.

One of the tracks on the album was called The Wall and was by a band by the name of Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. I then spent many many years looking for their albums on and off. Eventually last week I managed to track tehm down and finally got to have a listen! The band were really a group of poster artists based in London and they designed posters for the likes of Pink Floyd when they played at UFO.

The first album released in 1967 was called Hapshash and the Coloured Coat Featuring the Human Host and the Heavy Metal Kids but the collective had split up by the time the second album Western Flyer came out in 1969 but the album did feature Tony McPhee from the Groundhogs and Mike Batt (who later became the voice of the wombles!)

Since A program a few weeks ago about Krautrock I’d been trying to remember the name of a German band who I used to own an album by. I’d bought it at the Durham Book Centre which was one of the shops mentioned previously. All I could almost see the cover in my head but the only thing I could remember was that we had argued about what one of the lyrics had been! Neither were much help in tracking it down. I was pretty sure I still had the vinyl but I wasn’t about the go and get all my records out of storage and go through them all to find it!

Then one day I was sitting at work and it just popped into my head – Jane. I was sure that was what they were called so I Googled Jane German Band and sure enough there they were. The album in question was the imaginatively titled third album III.