Monday, August 14, 2006

blast from the past

Well, there has been some real speed bumps in the road recently - ranging from family & friends ending up in hospital, through to the typically insane highs & lows of self-employed business... nuff said.

I've been rather swamped with my work schedule recently and, frankly, the last thing I've felt like doing at the end of the day - is spending another hour or so, at the computer writing a firkin' blog. For the last 2 weeks, I've barely been to bed before 4, 5 or 6am and it really stuffs around your life pattern.

Having said that, I've kinda missed my blog-sessions as there is definitely something cathartic about maintaing a blog and it's kinda fun to see how quickly it builds up into... something ().

I've also actually been setting up a test blog on a local server with lots of cool things and all running off PHP/MySQL, but I can't launch it until I re-configure my server setup - which is another huge impending saga (all for the good... in the long run... surely... *sigh*).

Anyway, I have made it out to a few good things recently. Last week I went to a show by Dylan Moran which was jolly good - although I was seated up in the galleries of this large venue, a good distance from him on the stage (it felt a bit like listening to a comedy show on the radio).

I actually met him once - well, saying 'I met him' would be stretching the envelope of truth

I had been out early one morning watching some international rugby at a local pub. At lunchtime I had wombled off to catch a train and while waiting for it, I had gone around the corner to a local free outdoor performance area.

I had my good camera on me and low and behold, as I approached the area, I see Dylan Moran seated amongst the free-sitting crowd. Sadly, the experienced professional in him had, by now, also, already spotted the lurker amongst the plebs and, already, I knew the game was up! Luckily, i'd had a few beers and any real daytime logic had already already been pissed up against the wall.

I wobbled up to him and ever so slightly dribbled at him "Excuse me, do you mind if I take your picture?", to which, with the understatement of an Irishman, he said "Yes, I do mind!".

Even in that ever so brief holy-exchange, I clocked the consumate professional in him - sublimely avoiding using the F or C word in his reply... but, as a Gonzo, I knew it was there!

So, back in my world, I tottered back off down the road again, dragging my last tatters of pride behind me. I don't blame him - he did have his kids there with him and 'it all' must get somewhat tedious. At least, as I now think to myself, I was in his life for 1.5 secs!

Even if it was only for him to tell me to 'get back out of his life!'.

Last weekend I went to see Howard Jones, the new romantics singer from the 80's from back in the days when I had a lot more hair and the likes of Duran Duran & Madonna ruled the world. I was a bit concerned before going to the gig because I thought his voice might have gone, or that he could have looked like a 3,000 yr old troll or that he would just play lots of new stuff (if he had any - I had not really bothered to look him up at all).

As it turns out, he has a stunning voice and at least ½ of the songs he played were the old ones, played beautifully by him on a keyboard and another very talented wizard on a stunning 12-string Takamine guitar. Fantastic to hear someone who, obviously, is very musically talented and can actually perform & sing their own material. You would have assumed that his 'sound' was completely engineered in the production studio, but you, like I, would be happily surprised to know that his sound is natural - and his songs can be played completely on keyboard & guitar (well, an electric keyboard).

Howard Jone's gig venue was at a personal wine bar with 100 or so other folk, which was really nice especially after having sat in the heavens watching Dylan Moran the other night. I took my camera with me and managed to fire off almost 100 shots. Most of them are terrible, out of focus or of him scratching his ear, nose or arse, but a couple came out alright.

As I left the venue and milled around
the front desk looking at some of his stock for a while, he actually came out of the back. So I, & a host of other idiots, got to have a moment with him.

In that moment & time, I passed on a message to him from the ol' neighbourhood, where I grew up. In future
years I knew that when I ran into some certain old girls/girlfriends, that I would be able to get a lot of mileage out of telling this story. They would, I think, still flip out at the news of someone having met him and having passed on a wee collective 'hi' from them!

Anyway, I did manage to get my photo with him, but, sadly, I 'm not going to display it here. Email me and ask nicely & I might give you a link to the picture.

On a final note, I did notice at the Howard Jones gig that there were a few panty-waving, slightly psychotic, hardcore female supporters in the crowd too (interesting but scary). Seated behind me was also some bloke who kept shouting 'Joneeeess', which seemed like it would be more at home in the Millenium stadium in Cardiff - supporting Welsh rugby.