these moments that I've had.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005  

At the risk of adding to my "square" quotient, here is the full shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize and my thoughts:

Antony and the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now: Dave is a huge fan and, though I can see the merits, it hasn't hooked me. I think you either like a voice like his or... you don't.

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm: One of the young pretenders from the last year or so, maturing nicely. Not got me fully onside yet, though.

Coldplay - X&Y: Album of the year so far. After working on their third album for months, they threw it all away after hearing The Killers album last summer. They went away and came back with this cacophony of sound and melody which is their best yet.

The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike: They keep on pushing and surely, soon, everyone else in the UK(and world) will catch on to what this band have to offer. We saw them in Stockholm at the end of last year. Their energy and enthusiasm on stage is backed up with some ingenious compositions and collaborative styles that just, well, works.

Hard-Fi - Stars of CCTV: This years new pretenders. I'm liking what I've heard so far and can feel the album purchase approaching (no, I'm not a fully-fledged downloader yet. I'm not an early-adopter I'm afraid. I blame laziness).

KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope: Single of the year so far, in "Other Side of the World" and not a duff track on the album. A great voice.

Kaiser Chiefs - Employment: Gonna be huge in the USA this year following their Live8 appearance. I like. But please, someone, get them a new stylist!

The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers: Nice. That sums them up. Sixties throwback of inoffensive ditties. Something of the 'here and now' about them and a feeling that longevity does not beckon.

Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger: Supporting players to Bloc Party, but have the potential to hit the big-time. Heard very little, but what I have heard and seen, I very well might just like these boys later in the year.

MIA - Arular: Not my cup of tea at all, but she's getting rave reviews, along the lines of previous 'original' singer songwriters of years gone by, of who one might say "where are they now?".

Polar Bear - Held on the Tips of Fingers: Some might call it Jazz. I'm sure they would beg to differ. Have been called elgiac and sombre. I like elgiac and sombre, but am not so keen on soaring saxophone.

Seth Lakeman - Kitty Jay: Seems the most needy of the £20,000 prize. "I spent my last £177 on the entry fee for this award. I didn't think I stood a chance in hell". He is probably right.

posted by Darren | 4:21 PM

Saturday, July 16, 2005  

Following a lost weekend of watching repeated news updates on the London bombings and their aftermath, of drinking and eating with Tom, and of general laziness, this week has been rather busier, though the news updates remain. Travelling around the country has moved up a gear at precisely the time I'd rather stay nearer to home, while at the same time not be using the London Underground or our airports. So, my trips to Stansted Airport and Birmingham via Tube and train, were slightly unwelcome events. More travel to come, but luckily no plans for Tube or train travel on the near-horizon just yet.

As Dave heads north for a week's holiday, I'll be gearing up for another busy week at work, trying to get into the garden before the rains come on Monday, while also trying to relax and take it easy in the heat. This will probably involve a trip to Blockbuster, to hire some of those films I know Dave will NOT want to see - Constantine springs immediately to mind - and keeping one eye on The Open golf - "Come on Monty!"

posted by Darren | 10:16 AM

Thursday, July 07, 2005  

As I was at the pub celebrating last night, I didn't have the chance to post about London winning the 2012 Olympic Games. Yesterday's feelings of joy and triumph are now no more.

Todays events in London ensure we all think of how lucky we are to be alive, and how ugly this wonderful world of ours can sometimes be.

My thoughts are with those who have lost someone or who had to go through today first hand, but I'm also thinking of my family and friends and how precious our lives are.

posted by Darren | 6:55 PM

Tuesday, July 05, 2005  


Grill lean meat, fish and poultry…it’s a healthy way to cook.
Complement with pasta or rice salad prepared with low-fat mayo or low-fat dressing.
Fresh fruit salad or low-fat yoghurt will provide a sweet and healthy dessert.

posted by Darren | 6:03 PM

Monday, July 04, 2005  

What does the 4th July mean to you?

posted by Darren | 8:29 PM

Sunday, July 03, 2005  

13 years after my first London Pride, I break the cycle and miss one.

The decision wasn't too difficult. Over the years, the reasons for going have diminished until there is only one left - to get drunk surrounded by 1000's of queers. The park events have disappeared in a sea of acrimony and fraud. The parade may have got better, there seem to be more (professional) floats each year, and our all-welcoming-mayor has ensured the event gets publicity and accepted status within society. I welcome this, though some would say that this goes against what Pride was supposed to be about.

Though this year there is a rally in Trafalgar Square and some form of stage event in Leicester Square(there is hardly any room in Leicester Square by the way), most people will still be clogging up Old Compton Street getting pissed, looking for tonights shag. My old married bones have had enough.

No, we only do international Prides now. We may aswell go and see how Johnny Foreigner does it while we have the chance. New York was great last week, but mainly because it was New York and our first Pride there. We probably won't return for Pride. Though not really a "gay" event, New Orleans Mardi Gras sits near the top of our list, with Amsterdam and eventually Sydney being the holy grail.


Live8 was good, but not great, though it had great moments: Madonna's Like a Prayer, Keane, Coldplay, off-his-tits-Pete-Doherty with Elton John and (yes I'm a bit sad) Pink Floyd.

posted by Darren | 6:12 PM

Friday, July 01, 2005  

Big Brother newcomer Orlaith, has made the mistake of presuming Anthony and Craig's relationship goes beyond just friendly banter.

The lass from Northern Ireland asked Anthony and Craig if they were seeing each other, and was shocked when they both denied the claim.

Although Craig saw the funny side to the query, Anthony did not(surprise, surprise - the lady doth protest too much) - and told Orlaith:

"Are you being fucking serious?! Don't say things like that!"

Orlaith admitted she was being sincere, and Anthony stated that she shouldn't make judgements and told her:

"Just because I've got a sun tan, like to wear pink, I'm a hairdresser and a dancer, it doesn't mean I'm gay!".

He has a point, but smoke without fire? Surely not.

Craig, in a desperate bid to hold onto his dream, told Orlaith that Anthony is "one million percent gay." Maths was never his strong point.

posted by Darren | 7:29 PM