Tech help required, AGAIN!

See? I can’t even embed this properly! Curse you, BBC, for building me up, then bringing me down. :mad:

There are three sets from this year’s Glastonbury festival that I can’t stop watching. Elbow’s mellow sundown set on Friday was just ace. BUTBUTBUT ….

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Gig Review – Midlake at Halifax Minster

Midlake 3 v3

Sorry. I’m a bit late with this. The gig was last Friday evening, and I was supposed to write it up and post within 24hrs. But first of all I had a bit of a cider hangover (thanks Bruv, Gordon & Ali), which took out Saturday. Then I ended up working all the way up on the Cumbrian coast on Sunday (took me so long to get back I missed the World Cup Final). And finally I got an email from Michael Hann on Monday morning saying that The Graun wouldn’t be using the review even if I sent it! So that kinda took away any sense of urgency I might have had.

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Frame Thissen, Lad … Only 2,276 miles to go!

TdF 2014 Holmfirth TdF tin man crop



And so, it’s almost upon us. A whole weekend of horrible road disruption, blanket media coverage by reporters with not an ounce of topic knowledge, fat blokes (Yes: like me!) inappropriately dressed in lycra (NO! Most definitely NOT me!), and overpriced tat being sold at the side of the road. Yup, the Tour De France 2014 starts … in Yorkshire.

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Minnesota To Wisconsin – an alternative route



You may all have noticed by now that leaveitallbehind’s musical taste is possibly the one most closely aligned with my own amongst current RR/Spillers. That’s one of the main reasons I’d decided to hitch a ride with him on his tour of the US.

But this week in particular, that companionship is theoretical only. On our trip down from the 49th parallel to the Gulf of Mexico and back, I’ve ended up ignoring LIAB9’s recommendations, and instead revisiting many of my oldest [musical] friends. In truth, there are only two of the following selections that I had to seek out to follow the route. The rest of them, I could find my way to blindfolded.

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URGENT! Paging the 1980s … Please contact Reception immediately


I’ve just been told that the friend I’m being Best Man for on Monday wants a glorified 1980s mixtape to play at the wedding reception when the band isn’t on. I’m going to see him over the weekend to put a CD-R together. We both have lots of 80s stuff, but we were both out-&-out metalheads back then. There’s a file in the ‘Box if anyone with DJ experience/sense wants to Drop anything more generally suitable than HM for a 25-85 year-olds (i.e. no kid, but lots of older folks) dancefloor.

Off to work; back later.


Aw F***!!!!!!!!!!!!

Xmas canx

Oh joy … not. Just found out that the customer who owe me my entire December takehome pay (& who were most of the work I had lined up in January) have gone bust.

Will now be spending this evening trying to giftwrap naught-but-smoke-&-mirrors, and juggle zeros with a calculator without the lights on.

Tell me something to cheer me up, folks, ’cause I soddin’ need it.

What are you staring at? . . . Oh. Oops!

cropped-embarrassed_polar_bear_w1 Embarrassed? Me? Oh hell yeah.

One of the “problems” with headphones/earpieces and music is that I tend to lose myself in the song. Frequently that results in my singing along. I have a terrible singing voice, but what the hell, even I can’t hear it with the earbuds in.
Occasionally though, I find myself doing it in company. Not good.
This morning I have been sat in the canteen area of the school DsSis has her Orchestra practice at.
Noticed I was being stared at. Realised I was singing along. Looked down at my Walkman to see what the song was.

Oh shit.

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More Numbers: let’s be Social about this.

DsD Social

1: sunny afternoon (much to the relief of the host).
2: invitees who sent their apologies for absence.
3: barbeques lit at once to keep this lot fed.
4: RRers in attendance.
5: long-suffering spouses / other adults who put up with the motley crew you see here.
6: empty wine bottles in the recycle bin this morning (don’t even ask about beer bottles!).
7: vegetable kebabs left uneaten at the end of the day (everything else got wolfed).
8: kids running free round the DsD garden.
9: hours the event lasted before the last of us crashed out.

My thanks to saneshane, DaddyPig, gordonimmel and their families for the wonderful time I had – I dunno about anyone else …
Therefore, huge apologies if my vigilance to the cooking detail to mean I was a less-than-attentive host to our guests.
And my even huger apologies (as well as my undying love and admiration) to DsMam for the unflappable way in which she dealt with an invasion three times bigger than she was expecting – my fault entirely.

There was just one detail missing: we failed to exchange the contractual-obligation CD-Rs necessary for the event to be granted fully fledged RR Social status. *** That doesn’t mean there was no music: oh no no no. Here’s one from an album played on the day that Shane and I have discussed several times over the years. ***

But I digress – I humbly submit to the committee that there were sufficient alternative goods and chattels changing hands for official Social standing to be approved. Can we vote? Let me count the hands . . . . .

SOFAR, so good.


I met up with DaddyPig the other night, supposedly for me to treat him to a night out for his birthday, but as per everything-DsD at the moment, it didn’t work out as planned. What were we doing? I’d gotten myself an invite to a gig organised by SOFAR, or Songs From A Room to give them their full title. Has anybody else here heard of it? If you have, how was your experience? If you haven’t, read on after the pagebreak …

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It’s My Round on The ‘Spill Challenge


First of all, my apologies to all of you – and particularly amylee - for being a pain in the proverbial about which week I would finally get to host. Let me make it up to you: the [virtual] drinks are on me! House rules? Help yourself to as much as you like from the following dozen boozers. Pick one to add to your list of future presents when someone asks what to get you, and one to pour straight down the sink before it makes you sick.

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May Mini-Social Gig, anyone?

I finally got an email from WeGotTickets that made me sit up and pay attention. Southern Gothic murder balladeers The Handsome Family are coming over for a short UK tour in May, and three – yes, THREE – of the dates are easy commutes for me. Can I have a quick shout if you’re interested, please, and with a preference for which venue and date?

Manchester @ The Ruby Lounge – Friday 17th May
Leeds Brudenell Social Club – Wednesday 22nd May
Hebden Bridge Trades Club – Saturday 25th May

Tickets are in the ten to fifteen quid price range, and if we choose either of the weekend dates, I’m considering combining it with hosting a daytime Social on the Saturday.

I don’t know The Ruby Lounge, but HB Trades Club isn’t a big venue, and the guy at The Brud told me he expects this to sell out quite quickly there, so if you can feed your pigeon some go-go juice before you send back your replies attached to its leg pouch, I’d appreciate it.

Cheap Jersey required …

timthumb No no, not THAT type of jersey!

I’m not after a jumper, I’m after some Spillers’ tips. We don’t have a holiday booked yet during the school summer break. Lifelong Gerald Durrell fan DsMam has always wanted to go back to Jersey with the kids, as the last time we went was before DsSis was born. (Technically, Jess has been there: Julie was six-or-seven months pregnant with her at the time!) The trouble is, an awful lot of things have changed over the last dozen years, and therefore we’re starting our search again from scratch. We don’t know anybody out there; we don’t know anyone who goes there for holidays; and even my wife’s old school friend the travel agent has long-since sold her business. That means we’re randomly throwing ourselves at the mercy of the mainstream tourist-fleecing holiday companies, and so far it’s looking prohibitively expensive. Tentative forays into independent internet searches are producing some very dodgy results …

… so that’s where you lot come in. Does anyone know of any independent / private cottage or caravan rentals on the island which are clean, green (don’t really want to be crammed into the fourth-floor attic of a St.Helier B&B) and not too dear? Discussions of any vaguely relevant experiences in the last five years or so welcome. Tips of any hidden gems-to-seek-out or pitfalls-to-avoid will be gratefully received.

If you don’t want to discuss them openly on this thread, you’ve all got my email and/or telephone details.

♫ “OK you lot, take it …” ♫

Ah, it’s great to see a band put some effort in. After years of trying, I finally got to a Thunder Christmas Party gig. After this evening, and with pretty much all of my customers having finished work for the holidays at Friday lunchtime, I think I can safely say the holiday season has started.

2012 has been a strange old year, and in some respects I won’t be sad to see the back of it, but on the other hand, there was the Olympics, LFC collecting silverware again, DsSis at the Royal Albert Hall, the West Country RR Social, the truth about Hillsborough, etc., etc.

But as we get to the end of another year (or even a 5,125 year cycle, if you’re Mayan), let’s start the “out with the old, and in with the new” chit-chat, shall we? I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a better 2013 than you had a 2012.

‘Spill Game, Week 15. – “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

You WILL like what DsD has posted, or we’ll send da boys round, capiche?

The last couple of weeks’ selections from Abahachi and AngryIrishPunk gave me a dilemma: do I continue with their policy of driving us down a narrow track, as a way of trying to make you all listen to a dozen (i) classic rock cuts; (ii) Americana adventures; or (iii) minimalist mood-pieces? My long-lists for this thread included enough options for me to do any of those things. Or was it time to give you all a bit of relief; play safe, pick a load of Spill faves, and see how they ended up being ranked? It might have been fun to watch you agonize on how to split one vote four-or-five ways each!

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Hello Boys & Girls – I’m B-B-A-A-A-A-C-C-C-K-K-K !!!

Oh the joy, the relief, the sheer “Thank-F**K-for-that”-edness! (Sorry yet again for the swearies, TFD; I really AM trying to cut down on my bad language.) Computer back, seemingly fixed, installed, online, and all elements so far talking to each other without any problem. Better than that, the PC is now sat on my new one-piece desk which feels so much bigger than the old one I almost feel like inviting you all over to come and have a picnic on it!

So excuse me a little noisy indulgence, whilst I sit back at my workspace and enjoy a few stress-free minutes, before the reality of just how much admin work I’ll now have to catch up on dawns on me.

The Spillers’ Google Map – RRdond&spill

Dunno if this will link you all directly back to the map, but when AliM said she couldn’t find it, I felt I ought to, as an apology for dissing her “Keep One, Kick One” list.

Cauliflower owns the list, but Tinny is a ‘Collaborator’ with editing privileges, apparently.

Unsocial at the Social

… Leeds Brudenell Social Club, that is, the venue of last night’s sets from Damien Jurado and Megafaun.

“Unsocial, DsD?” I hear you ask. Well, yes, in a couple of ways actually.

First of all, I was on me own. No crocodile tears required folks, this gig was never gonna be gordonimmel or DaddyPig‘s bag, though with hindsight, AliM may well have enjoyed it: sorry, Ali.

Secondly, I was of course driving myself to and from the gig, so sobriety was the order of the day. But as I was feeling a beer thirst (it’d been’n’sticky most of the day, despite the bursts of torrential rain), I had a pint of lager shandy. Gawd only knows why, but it gave me massive, constant expulsions of gas all evening. If I knew who the poor sods behind me were before they made a rapid exit at the end, I’d’ve been obliged to apologise!

My third gripe is a bit mean of me: I had every intention of getting a T-shirt this evening, but Damien doesn’t do ‘em, and Megafaun only had XS to M left: not a lot of good for the, um, ever-more-generously-proportioned DsD!

Next was the non-appearance of the promised support band. 7pm arrival doors, 8.35 still playing Yahtzee on my phone whilst hiding my new-found gas-propelled levitation skills. OK, the gig was dirt cheap (only a tenner), but if there ain’t gonna be a support band, either don’t put it on the tickets, or at least tell us on arrival.

So anyway, at 8.45, Megafaun climb unannounced and unassuming onto the Brud stage, and for the next 3/4 of an hour give us a happy-go-lucky, slightly shambolic selection of their songs, concentrating very much more on the Grateful Dead / Beach Boys hybrid end of their sound, rather than their “headily absorbing, occasionally unsettling, full-bore concrète music, harsh noise salvos, and wild free-jazz interventions * “ thankfully for me. DsD-fave Get Right (from last year’s eponymous album) was slightly underwhelming – I can lose myself in the 8m30s studio version – but I put that down to it being played early, before we’d all got into a groove. However, they more than made up for that with an extended runthrough of Kaufman’s Ballad, which rocked out much more than the folky album version. They ended the set with Real Slow, which they turned into a lovely noodling jam, and meant they’d left the stage before I realised they hadn’t played Hope You Know, probably their best-known song, and one which is an early contender for the DsD 2012 Festive ‘Spill selections.

I was going to insert a show video of Alberta (the blues number made famous twice by Bob Dylan) here, but my iPhone and YouTube seem to have had a fallout, and aren’t now speaking to each other.

* from Pitchfork reviews … oh, and whilst I’m at it, here’s another quote on the subject of “unsocial” – from the BrightestYoungThings website Megafaun gig review of a show in Washington DC – which after tonight I heartily agree with:

A brief note to the latter half of the audience at the Megafaun show this past Thursday night at the Black Cat’s Backstage: do kindly shut the fuck up next time around.  You can go to any random bar on a Thursday night in DC and have a loud, inane conversation while music plays.  Why buy a ticket just to ruin a great show for people?

Despite my post title and all the moaning I’ve done so far, I have to say that Megafaun themselves were as social and courteous as it is possible to be. I’ll take this opportunity to thank multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, for taking the time to write down some links for live sessions I can find on t’interweb, after I’d gushed about that live version of Kaufman’s Ballad. I however, was a little unsocial, or at least ungracious, to Phil in return, as Damien Jurado came on stage as we were talking, and I kinda hurried him up and snuck back to my seat.

Damien Jurado is a very intense performer. With the exception of the idiot couple sat on the floor next to me giggling about Canada, pretty much everyone in the room was absolutely rapt. I swear the old line about hearing a pin drop whist Damien sang is true. But again, you could easily describe his stage prescence as unsocial; the amateur psychologist in me would even have guessed at Asperger’s / borderline autistic had I not been pre-warned (by Shoey amongst others) about his lack of audience interaction. But the performances – WOW! You didn’t need to see his eyes behind those dark glasses to feel the blackness and pain; the lyrics, and that voice brought it right to your spine. Abilene and The Ghost Of David in particular were given extra chills by the power of the live performance from the man sat twenty feet in front of me. OK, so I didn’t get to hear either of my two all-time Jurado fave songs (Big Decision and Bad Dreams, if you’re interested), but we did get an ace rendition of Rachel & Cali, amongst several highlights.

When Damien did finally speak to us, it was to tell us that Megafaun would be joining him to play some songs at the end of the set. “At last”, I thought, as I’d been sold this gig on the basis it would be a three-set show, the two artistes on their own, plus one where Megafaun would back Jurado on a selection of his louder songs. Sadly however, we only got two, and no encore. Not very social of you, Mr. J. But here’s one of the two: Nothing Is The News, the opening song from DJ’s new album Maraqopa


His final twist of the knife – though I’m being churlish now – was that he used his longest spoken word speech of the night to tell us he won’t be back “probably for a few years”.  Gee thanks, Damien, rub it in why dontcha? US tour, huh? Check. Other commitments, too, is it? Check. Oh. Wait. What was that? “And I’ve got a baby on the way, so I’m gonna stay home and be a dad.” Aw, damn! Now I feel guilty.

Good luck on that adventure, sir, and oh yeah, parenthood, and committing to it that fully: that DEFINITELY makes you seem unsocial to the rest of us, but you know what? Go for it, with my best wishes, and see you round . . . . maybe.