I’m going to be in Edinburgh at the beginning of June – unfortunately only during the week rather than at the weekend – and was wondering whether anyone was likely to be free for a quick drink on the evening of Tuesday 4th or Wednesday 5th June (nothing too heavy, as I’ll have to be serious and academic the next day). Obviously the main reason for asking is that I have hitherto failed to find any decent beer there, and hence was hoping that some local knowledge might help…
I saw a mention of a forthcoming Peter Doig exhibition in the Grauniad last year, and now finally it’s been announced – August 3 to November 3 at the Scottish National Gallery. I’m a huge fan and will certainly be visiting Edinburgh to see the show, so I’m wondering whether any RRers will be going too, and whether we can get a Social organised. Indicate your interest in the comments!
I’ve already got my ticket for this – it was only £13! – and I was thinking it would be really great if some of you others could come too! It’s a Thursday, so not very good for a social, but we could have a drink beforehand at least.
Darrell Scott is an American singer-songwriter in the Americana mould – you may know him from tfd afasarae You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive. Danny Thompson is a bass player best known (to me) for his work with Richard Thompson (no relation) and the Pentangle; but he’s played with loads of other people as well, and he plays in many styles. Darrell and Danny made a live album a while ago, and here are a couple of tracks to show you the sort of thing.
So, on the assumption that the noise they’ll make will be similar to that…here’s where you can book!
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?
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.
Okay, I’m going to interpret two “sorry too busy” and one “it wouldn’t be the same without you” comments as a ringing endorsement of my stewardship of the annual Spill Awards, and put my mind to thinking of a way to top last year’s live blog of the award ceremony. I suppose we could do it on Twitter… If anyone has any thoughts, let me know; meanwhile, it’s time to open nominations. Here’s how it works… Continue reading
Or, Long Ago And Far Away, or even Such was the tale, Socrates, which Critias heard from Solon...
Anyway, songs that tell stories or which are some way inspired by myths and legends. These are my contribution to the lovely West Country Social that was held last weekend Chez Abahachi.
I think that most people should be able to work out who is playing what, but let us treat it as a small game, ‘Spill points available, for getting all the artists and tracks right. I shall exempt the opening and closing selections.
Since I entirely failed to get my Social Playlist onto either a cd or a memory stick, I’ve put it into Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7mal4t39af6ls3n/wfEiz9yuKC. Unfortunately that insists on putting everything into alphabetical order, so I’m not sure if this is going to come out right, but here’s the write-up to give you the proper running order… N.B. Edited since first posted, as I suddenly realised that I’d forgotten one track; apologies to anyone who’d already downloaded it. Continue reading
A couple of minor points in preparation for Saturday’s West Country extravaganza… The scheduled closure of the A371 has been postponed until January, so getting here (whether by road from Bristol or by train) will be a bit easier. The chosen theme for CD compilations is “Once Upon A Time”. Because of technical issues of various kinds, at least a couple of people (DarceysDad and me) are unlikely to be able to produce actual cds, so it would be good if everyone could bring along a memory stick instead to download playlists. I think that’s everything; get in touch (email, or comments here) if I’ve forgotten anything important. Full report and pictures will appear here in due course.
I thought it would be a good idea to have one of steenbeck’s cakes from Out Of The Ordinary at the Social (baked by me), and DarceysDad has provided a list of three favourites for you to vote for. Please only vote if you intend to attend the Social; and don’t vote if you’re coming but don’t intend to eat cake.
steenbeck’s blog has a keyword search function, so you can look up the recipes if you need more info before voting.
At the edge of the Vale of Camelot, with a fine view across to King Arthur’s original seat at Cadbury Castle, lies the little market town of Castle Cary, perhaps best known as the main railway station for the Glastonbury Festival. It is here, on Saturday 15th September, that stalwarts of Readers Recommend and the ‘Spill will be gathering for the first West Country Social, to partake of cider and other hospitality at the Abahachi homestead. The festivities will start some time around midday, and will continue until everyone goes home.
You are all heartily invited to come along. I don’t want to put all my details onto the web, and equally I would like to have a rough idea of who’s likely to turn up, so please write to me (abahachi[at]hotmail.co.uk) to let me know if and when you’ll be coming and to give some idea of preferred tipple and dietary preferences; I’ll send some directions in return, and adjust the menu accordingly.
It’s traditional, I believe, for people to put together a compilation cd for the occasion. In the light of comments below, I think we’ve got a couple of viable options, so here’s a poll…
No, I don’t mean this weekend, but Saturday 15th September, which has now been confirmed – not only by the popular vote but also the agreement of Mrs Abahachi – as the date of the West Country Social, to take place at the Abahachi estate in Castle Cary in the depths of South Somerset. We’re aiming for lunchtime, making it easier for people to come across just for the day (the train connections aren’t too dreadful, either from London or Bristol); for those coming from further afield, there are various moderately-priced B&B places in the vicinity (and lots of less moderately-priced ones), and a handy orchard in which tents could be pitched. The house is the size of a shoebox, I’m afraid, so capacity to offer accommodation is severely (but not categorically, in cases of real desperation) limited.
Full arrangements can be sorted out nearer the time – I just wanted to get the date into the diaries of everyone who might be interested. I think the easiest way of organising this will be for everyone who’s coming to commit to contributing, say, a tenner, and I’ll sort out food and drink; let me know if you have strong views on this idea. Hope to see you then!
Let me introduce you to the newest member of the Abahachi household: Pat (named after my late father-in-law). Pat may look like a galvanised dustbin with a few holes in it, but this is actually my new smoker, in which I put to work the skills and knowledge acquired at a course last week (birthday present from Mrs Abahachi). So far I have smoked bacon, salmon, chicken, scallops (delicious), mackerel, cheese and salt; in this picture you can see Pat smoking some haddock for next weekend’s kedgeree, and at some point I plan to smoke some malt so that I can make Rauchbier. And if you come to the West Country Social – looking like mid-September, but there’s plenty of time still to register your availability – you’ll be able to sample some of Pat’s products, plus my home-produced cider, beer, bread, apple juice…
I’ve been reminded of my promise last year to try to sort out a West Country social; it all got overtaken a bit by events then, but this year looks more promising. We will be very happy to host, if people don’t mind trailing over to Castle Cary (we do have a railway station!), in which case a lunchtime event seems the best bet. The alternative would be to meet somewhere a bit more central like Bristol, in which case someone else will need to identify a suitable venue…
The most important thing, however, is to try to agree on a date. I’ll be busy in June and away for most of August, but much of July or September would be possible; so far two people have voted for September, but they’re the only two people to have expressed an opinion… If you would like to attend such an event, could you indicate your availability below? And if you’d prefer to meet in Bristol rather than the depths of Somerset, could you say that in the comments?
On Saturday, a small social gathering was convened on the once-hallowed grounds of the ancient monument known as Stonehenge. On this momentous occasion, I was greatly pleased to make the acquaintance, in person, of Bethnoir.
The event was everything it should have been; the sun shone, the crowds weren’t too excessive, the picnics were happily (if not fully) consumed, the children frolicked happily together, and the grown-ups had a lovely time chatting. Oh, and nobody put Spinal Tap on their compilation CDs. Or any songs about standing stones.
Fortunately, we both have children capable of acting as photographers. Less fortunately, the subjects proved difficult; in the above image (devoid of smaller children and random tourists), we are looking at the wrong camera!
Edit: Apparently, music is required. The track I wanted isn’t on YouTube, but who needs the video?
Who cares where all the money went? Well… English Heritage snaffled a fair few pennies for admission. But I don’t really care. Right now I’m everso slightly regretting not having featured floral decorations as part of the outing (but the children were enjoying playing with the plentiful chalk).
LOW ARE COMING TO HALIFAX !!!!!
They’re playing Halifax Minster, where I saw shows by I Am Kloot and Dan Michaelson last year, but missed ones from John Grant and The Unthanks the year before. Well I ain’t missing this one.
Tickets for me AND DarceysMam already bought. I’m prepared to pay for one more … for Shoegazer, to return the favour he did for me on the only other occasion I’ve seen Low, [at The Social, in Orlando, FL in Feb 2009]. All you have to do, Shoey, is get here!
Anyone interested? Friday 13th July is the date for your calendars, folks, (if you think you can afford two Northern Socials in three months – I’m still gutted I’m missing DaddyPig‘s 50th with RockingMitch.)
It would be nice if we could make it a bit of a multi-day Social event, but I know I’m working for London2012 on uniform distribution that weekend, and fear I said yes to both Sat & Sun.
Anyhoo, ticket info here:
And deliberately-misinterpreted-to-make-it-look-appropriately-titled Low song here:
I CAN’T WAIT.
Yeah, that’s two coffees and a tea you see being supped in a Manchester City Centre pub by the Tins and my rather pasty-looking self. Incongruous, you say? Um, probably not, actually … or at least, no more odd than some of the other memories I came away with from The Castle Hotel last week.
In the credit column were racking up another miniSocial and chinwagging with old friends; meeting our charming and erudite Resident Deadhead; enjoying a single rather delightful pint of porter before reverting to driver’s drinks; and getting to see a very good band I’ve been listening to A LOT recently. On the debit side, getting ripped off for on-street parking even in the evening; being oven-baked in one of the most inappropriate rooms I’ve ever had the misfortune to see a band in; and finding a dent in my car roof after the event (good job the dealer I’m trading it to next week missed that on inspection!). I really don’t like Manchester – you can tell, can’t you?
But anyhoo, The Deep Dark Woods.
Despite observations from some of the others that their music may be a little one-paced and samey, I’m really warming to this band. Ryan Boldt has a voice that commands my attention – he can do wistful or gothic, melancholy or menacing – and from even a low-rise stage, a physical prescence to go with it. The seam of Americana the band mine is one they can trade with me anytime.
When I get the chance, I’m going to listen to Tinny’s linked interview, but in the meantime, here’s just one of the highlights from the album the band are currently tour-promoting.
This is chris7572, tincanman, alimunday, Darcey’sDad. and gordonimmel at The Castle Hotel in Manchester after seeing The Deep Dark Woods last Monday.
Photo by Mrs Tin
(Someone was going to post this last week, but I’m not one to point fingers at the tallest person in the above photo so shall remain shtum.)
Date: Friday, 11th November 2011
Apologies For Absence: The Rest Of You
We hung out at two wonderful pubs by Port Meadow. It was a misty and coolish day, with little bursts of sunshine here and there. The tang of woodsmoke and damp leaves in the air, and moss on thatched cottage roofs. A perfect late autumn day, in fact for a bit of a stroll to walk off the ale and Welsh Rarebit we had for lunch. The cheese did not, however, induce ghostly apparitions, unfortunately, so we never saw an irritable Inspector Morse shouting “Get Me Evidence, Lewis!”
We didn’t talk about you all (much) except to sing your praises and say what a wonderful, quirky and crazy bunch you are, united by our mutual love of music.
Sadly, we had to postpone the CD exchange for another day, but we had fun getting to know each other.
Cheers, TFD! Love the Mudcrutch t-shirt!
(Not sure why my bra looks like it’s fallen off in this picture. Hmmm!)
Redlands Palomino Company
Sat 12 Nov 2-11pm
Liverpool … £22
Only 250 tickets. I’m going. Unfancy accomodation possibly available
Many thanks to Daddypig for alerting me to a gig at Holy Trinity Church in Leeds last night, (part of Carthy and Swarbrick’s 70th birthday tour).
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that they are two amazing musicians. They have been performing together since the mid ’60s, and have been involved with numerous projects and bands at various stages, including Fairport Convention; the Albion Country Band and Steeleye Span, to name a few.
I met Daddypig and his friend Terry (champion of the Guardian’s Notes and Queries) at the appointed time, in what has to be one of the mini-est Spill socials ever. We took our own beer – it was surreal sitting in a pew in a beautiful 300-year-old church and cracking open a bottle of Hoegaarden. Considering the status of the performers, the audience was small, and we had a whole pew to ourselves. It’s not often you see two folk legends checking tickets and manning their own CD stall!
The acoustics were excellent; the opening number was “Sovay“, followed by other classics including “The Death of Queen Jane” (above), “When I was a Little Boy“, and “The Bride’s March from Unst“, which Dave Swarbrick had great fun in trying to pronounce, with very few teeth. For a man who has survived emphysema and a double lung transplant, he is incredible, his playing as fluid and relaxed as ever and a perfect complement to Martin Carthy’s excellent guitar and dour vocal. In between songs we were regaled with tales of pickpockets, derring-do, funnel-web spiders and how to tell the difference between a slip jig and a reel (it’s all in the timing).
They are promoting a new CD featuring live recordings between 1989-1996 (“Walnut Creek“) – check it out, if you’re a folk fan. I’m sorry the audio on the above links isn’t very good.
My thanks to Daddypig for getting the ticket, to Mrs Daddypig for hospitality and Match of the Day, and to Terry for the lift home. Much appreciated!
Saturday July, 23 2011 , the first ever (and hopefully not the last) Far West Coast mini-social was held in Maple Ridge, Canada with Marconius7 & the lovely Mrs. Marconius acting as our gracious hosts. It was a gorgeous Canadian evening complete with fine food, excellent beer, scintillating conversation & semi-competent Guitar Hero.
A grand time was had by all. Tinnie tried out for the BC Lions Cheerleading squad.
Fintan had a major Ginkgo Biloba moment.
Marco was caught planning world conquest in his underground lair.
And all 3 found new careers as newscasters for a famous website.
Photos by Mrs. Fintan. Butchered artwork by Fintan28.
Hi there Spillers
Here is a postcard from my weekend away with tfd, who very kindly put me up, fed and alcohol-ed me, cooked a magnificent frittata based on a Maki recipe, and generally gave me a lovely weekend. Here we are on the beach outside tfd’s house – tfd is wearing her Springsteen/Clarence Clemons tee-shirt (see her post below).
We looked out on this fantastic estuary view from tfd’s sun room. When the tide is in, a variety of fishing and pleasure boats sail past, and if you look carefully along the shoreline you can find all sorts of different shells, including some very special ones which tfd calls “pelicans’ feet”. It’s fascinating to watch the changing tides and reflections, and there are some great “skimming” pebbles, worn flat and smooth by the waves. Oyster-catchers roam the beach – brilliant black and white birds with long red legs and long red bills. They aren’t having much luck with their eggs, though, as the crows keep eating them.
Here is tfd tending her roses – did I mention that tfd’s charming house is for sale? Perhaps if we all club together …
On Sunday we traveled a few miles inland to Threave Castle, a 14th century tower (former home of Archibald the Grim, and stronghold of the Black Douglases, no less), where we saw an osprey nesting site – complete with osprey – first time I’ve ever seen one. Threave Castle itself is on an island in the middle of the river Dee, and we were taken across by a very jolly ferryman who told us that some swallows had decided to nest in his spare boat. Here he is:
We followed this up with a visit to the local wildlife park where we saw otters (Steenbeck!) and a red panda, amongst other weird and wonderful creatures. My otter picture isn’t very good, because the little so-and-sos wouldn’t keep still, so here is a picture of the beautiful red panda, munching some bamboo:
We spent our evenings drinking (sensibly) (tfd introduced me to frozen margheritas) (there’s probably a contradiction there somewhere) – and listening to music. I think tfd may have converted me to Bruce Springsteen but I’m not sure if I’ve converted her to Radiohead … we both like Dick Gaughan and Tom Petty, so that was easy enough. Meanwhile Drusilla and Tara (big cat and little cat) kept us entertained by jumping on us unexpectedly, getting cactus prickles stuck in their noses or generally behaving badly (as only cats can). I think they deserve a picture too:
So all that remains for me to say is thank you very much tfd, you are very kind, and I had a great weekend. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday, particularly Wimbledon. Don’t forget, you are welcome to come to sunny (well, not exactly, school sports day was rained off today) West Yorkshire, any time! And I hope you enjoy this song from Eliza Carthy:
Normally, I’d like to think I’m not one to be taken in by hype. However, in the case of next year’s Games being in my “home” country, I do think I’ve probably fallen for the argument that it’s the proverbial once-in-a-lifetime opportunity etc. As a consequence, I had decided soon after the venue was confirmed that I would just have to take my daughters to London to see at least one event.
And then they announced their cockamamy ticket sales plans . . . truly a WTF moment if ever there was one!!
Having eventually calmed down, I figured, never mind: it’s gotta be done. So, in spite of my distaste at the STUPID system they put in place to buy them, I put in for over £350-worth of tickets across four events in three locations.
As the allocation, and more importantly, the LACK of information about same didn’t emerge, I got more and more angry. I have to say, the words “piss-up” and “brewery” are increasingly lodged in my brain over this, and the level of officialdom defiance in the face of overwhelming evidence of incompetence makes Cnut look like a wimp.
Well, finally, some information is getting out. Am I happy? Am I f***! I’m sure the UK residents amongst you will have seen the stats last week: 1.9million applied for 20million tickets – only 700,000 got anything. A fair system? MY ARSE!! Just look at the profiteers who already seem to have more tickets than they can shake a stick at. The 1.2million unsuccessful applicants get a second shot at the end of this week, using a different, and EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS application process. Pound gets you a penny, the system crashes by 0605hrs Friday morning.
Well, I won’t be getting up to join that exercise in futility . . . because I’m not allowed to!!!! Why not? Because I got an email “congratulating” me on securing my tickets … to the Women’s Football Bronze Medal playoff game . . . in Coventry. Oh, and of course, they haven’t told me those are the tickets I’ve got: I had to work that out for myself from the amount of money taken from my account.
Now don’t get me wrong, I did put in for those tickets, but in truth, only as a kind of ‘control’ purchase: that event was never gonna sell out in a million years, so I figured I’d get a feel for what was happening in my [COMPULSORY] Visa account when I saw the money for that disappear – a full sixteen months before the event, let’s not forget. Had I known getting those would deny me a second go at getting anything else, I wouldn’t have done it. DarceysSis is at the age where going to London to see part of the Games next year was causing almost as much excitement as our Disney trip a couple of years back. If I could have got hold of Seb Coe (preferably by the throat) when I had to explain to tearful Daughter#1 that we won’t be going to London to see anything next year, I’d have throttled the git!!
Has anyone else looked at the spreadsheet of what tickets are left? It’s a joke. How many ten and six-year old girls will want to sit through Basketball preliminaries, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Synchronised Swimming or the Walking Race? And that’s now. By the time I get my next go, most of those tickets will have been snapped up by the scrambling desperate parents who got NOTHING in Rd1.
And another thing: talking of parents – the scheme for under-16s to “pay your age” for a ticket sounded good, didn’t it? Yeah, in theory. Having asked around, I cannot find even ONE successful child-price ticket purchase ANYWHERE! NOT BLOODY ONE! The next official from the BOA-or-whoever who tries to tell me that the allocation ballot was random and fair will be roundly laughed at … just before I punch their lights out. Unless of course, any of you lot tell me you’ve secured finals/medal-ceremony tickets for a fiver for your infants? No? Thought not.
So, apart from having a rant, why am I posting this? Well, I want to know: is any ‘Spiller planning on going to the Games? Did you get tickets? How are you thinking of organizing your travel and accommodation? . . . And . . . does anyone want to come to the Women’s Football Bronze Medal playoff match with me in Coventry on 9th Aug? I’ve got three spares ………………………..
Tincanman, DaddyPig, Webcore and DsD (Maki behind camera)
And then I found out the makiphone does have a flash!
(As above, with Maki either behind camera or on one of his innumerable visits to the loo!)
Many thanks to all of you for coming and making my last night in the UK such fun. Special thanks to DaddyPig for putting up with my driving and being such excellent company on the drive over the Pennines and to DsD and DsUncle for providing much needed assistance on the trek back to the B&B.
DsD – if you have any photos with me in, please send me them and I’ll add them.
Maki receiving moral support from DsD
Edit: Now with added DBT for DsD This was on a sampler of forthcoming releases that came with a mag I picked up at the airport – don’t know if you’ve already got it but here goes just in case: