Category Archives: music

Should of, would of, could of.. (or, ‘I love me..’)

While completing a music meme on facebook courtesy of Master Chris Hambly, I was caught in a meander down memory lane and I realised that I’ve had many opportunities to live a pretty amazing life.

The meme was one of those ‘list x tracks from your mp3 player’ and because the shuffle function threw up a lot of tracks I don’t listen to very often; mostly from the heavier rock and metal genres, I had quite a few OMG moments; these were the soundtrack of my time in Manchester pre-illness.

I mostly lived in Jillys rock world from the first weekend I ventured out after moving there. The door staff became friends and looked out for me both in the club and out of it (Mo came along on my CBT test and I attended his wedding reception, at one point or another they all picked me and my broken down shitty TZR 125 up from some place or another and I’d house sit every year for the Isle of man contingent when they made the TT pilgrimage)

I started out studying drama at the Abraham moss college where I had my finest theatrical hour as Rosie in ‘My Mother Said I never Should‘, a 4 person 3 hour play directed by a wonderful woman whose name sadly escapes me now.

I was forever being asked to record this that and the other for random people (mostly ‘producers’ using the offer as a pick up line) because the theatre rooms were located at the other side of the recording studios – one time I actually had someone follow us into the theatre demanding to know who had been singing outside the room and while I started apologising they demanded my number for a forthcoming project – much to the amusement of my fellow loveys.

So I guess it’s no shock that I ended up in music (I actually hated the theatre, the people were 90% self-centred/ insecure bitches, 7% couldn’t care less techies and 3% talented actors – loved the acting; hated the people)

From some great collaborations including a local radio promo piece recorded with a talented guitarist called Dave for the MANCAT college I attended (then had to leave when ‘New deal’ came out and my course didn’t meet the criteria for financial aid) to my shining moments of event management..

Perhaps the best work I ever did and I possibly missed my calling there; I first organised a music night for my then boyfriends band, I’d pre-sold a ton of tickets when the head liners pulled out the day before..

After a brief panic I managed to pull some strings (ie begged people I knew) and got the then flavour of the year band ‘Kill II This’ in their place – I was lucky they were willing to do it as a warm up for the already advertised solo gig 2 days later. It was a very successful night and despite spending a fortune on the rider managed to not only break even but make a small profit – which for a first promo event with next to no advertising was apparently unheard of according to Shawn and Russell (the events and bar managers at Manchester Uni S.U)

My second event was even more satisfying – 4 days with 27 bands at the band on the wall; Not sure how I got roped into this..

I was a 1st year popular music student at Salford Uni (another course I was forced to leave for financial reasons) and I was approached by one of the 3rd years for help organising the music performance exams, I had to sort out running lists and stage manage the whole thing – from getting the instruments and equipment to the venue to getting the people on and off stage on time.

It was a roaring success – so much so that I was asked to do the same again at the local pub a few weeks later by 2 of the bands when they were putting on an event.. I kinda miss all that, not just performing but organising things, it was a buzz.

I had a lot of contacts back then because I was part of the student scene both AS a student but also as a bouncer, bar staff and ‘casual crew’ so my work was also my social life and it was a blast.

I was asked to join several bands (even had a 3 fist review for one of my student bands in Kerrang! I still have it, torn out and kept in a photo album; the reviewer LOVED me *grin*) and as I mentioned on facebook; Mark of ‘Kill II This’ fame once asked me to join that very band as a bass player when someone told him I was learning to play bass – sadly I declined but part of me has always wondered what might have been had I accepted..

I passed up several music opportunities; to go on tours as a backstage gofer, to record dance tracks for export (I was an idiot back then and didn’t want to ‘sell out’) and to work abroad as part of a duo.

All this was on top of my day jobs which were generally of the shop assistant/ customer service variety. Until I got a job at the Hard Rock Casino then my life went nuts because those people party HARD. Casino folk are either working, sleeping or partying and they do each of those at weird hours because they do not live the life normal folk know.

It was during that time I got ‘in’ with the car crowd – the guys who do the illegal drag racing up and down dual carriageways and ‘chip’ their cars and always know someone who can get you a part.. I had many a trip to wales at 4am with the lads, night driving is a pleasure! ..So I guess it’s doubly weird that I STILL don’t have a license.

I also had an abortive attempt at a writing collaboration with a guy in Canada – his backers paid for me to fly over there for a weekend after about 3 months of online talks and we spent a night holed up in a room at the holiday inn discussing his (dreadful) screenplay, he’d previously made a film about the treatment of slaves and had sent me a video of it, he wanted to give religion the same treatment.. but upon my return a story (maybe true, maybe not) about his wife becoming terminally ill killed that project and communication dwindled – maybe I should have been less honest with my criticism?

I’ve met so many famous people in the touring music industry that the names have all rolled into a jumble in my mind, a few stand out but generally not for good reasons and I doubt very many of them would remember me any better – I was just the ‘little girl doing back door security’ (as Pantera guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell dubbed me) but I’m still gutted that Bruce Dickinson wouldn’t let me have his flight jacket because that was a cool jacket and most definitely would have been in my size..

I do remember how nice Cass of Skunk Anansie was the night I got talked into giving up seeing the show to work it by my panicked boss – was not best pleased as the tickets had been a birthday present; I’m not a fangrrl and I have zero interest in meeting the artists of work I admire, I just like to watch and listen from a distance (though my one exception to that would be Sandra Bullock; I think she’d be fun to hang out with) He made a point of sitting and chatting to me at the back door and got the side of stage lad to swap with me at one point so I could see at least some of the show.

..Nice guy, great performer; so glad they’re going to be touring again because THIS time I’m getting a ticket and going to see ’em – if it kills me!

Bags of stuff

The latest college assignments had me chuckling; first of all we have to keep a career planning blog, they’re trying to initiate some sort of micro social network within the group with these – at least that’s how it seems. They all have to be public, we are all supposed to keep up to date with each others progress and comment on that progress, they also want us to participate in polls and discussion boards.. This would be all fine and dandy assuming the techie responsible for setting up these career planning blogs had made it possible for us to add new entries *grin*

That’s right, even though these blogs are supposed to be ‘live’ on studynet, we can’t access them. So much for that assignment eh?!

The second one is pretty ace though, It’s given me the kick up the backside I needed to get my audio gear working on the laptop, we’re to create posters and blurb for an educational literacy game aimed at the 5-7 age range, as well as the hard copy stuff we’re to create some animated banners and pictures with sound for the ‘forthcoming website’.

This is why today I’ve dusted off my spirit notepad mixer, plugged in the mic and sorted out recording levels ready to do all the voice overs I need – only problem is I’m gonna need a bigger laptop bag to carry all this equipment into college.

Why is it so hard to find a laptop bag that doesn’t LOOK like a laptop bag? I’ve been searching on and off all day, while there are some nice ones out there, none seem big enough for my needs. I have to be able to pack in the laptop, mixer, mic and stand, headphones and all the leads – plus a pad and a couple of pens with enough space for water and snacks..

..enough space to also carry an external drive with psu etc would be nice – but wishful thinking. Especially in rucksack form.

*grin* I don’t want much do I?

Anyhow, all that playing around earlier meant that now I can start singsnapping again – just as soon as my ears stop playing up, haven’t done any singing in Aaaaaaages and I’ve missed it

Comfort

There are times when everybody just wants a hug, it doesn’t always matter where the hug comes from they just need to feel the close physical presence of another person and the comfort it brings – you don’t even need to be upset or worried about anything, there’s just something in the human make-up that craves physical contact.

Ok, so maybe that’s just me, I’ve always been a tactile person – I’m no longer as upfront about it as I used to be – a few years back a hug was my version of a handshake, it took a while to accept that people (guys) didn’t always understand it was nothing more than my way of saying ‘hello nice to meet you/ good to see you again’ or ‘g’bye, it was great to see you’ Now I tend to reserve that for people who’ve known me for a while – you can always tell the length of my acquaintance with someone from the way I hug ’em, if it’s over 8 years they still get the full ‘G’bye’ body hug off me, anyone of a lesser acquaintance gets a quick ‘airkiss’ type squeeze.

You see I’ve always been a tad naive in some respects – probably still am if I’m truthful.. I just like physical contact, I’m a hugger (hence the nicknames at Uni of hugdealer and/ or cuddleslut)
When I worked at the Hard Rock there was a lad there who was quite frankly terrified of me at first *grin* he didn’t like or know how to handle girls at all – yet by the time I left there, if he didn’t get a hug he said he felt upset, as though I was pissed at him.
To me that was a compliment – he’d gone from being awkward around girls to actively seeking contact (of a non-sexual nature I should add – he’s soooo not hetero lol) and not just from me – but he was one of the people most instrumental in making me see just how inappropriate my behavior could be at times, a part of me knew it but until a long talk I had with him, I’d ignored that part of myself and held to the belief that since my intentions were always ‘pure’ so would the other persons be.

The thought that prompted those memories is that today I’m missing Stef – a lot. It’s been a week since I last saw him and talking on the phone just doesn’t cut it. Watching the wedding date and reading a mills & boon this morning did little to help lift the mood either lol

But I did what I always do when a hug is unavailable and I’m alone in need of a hug – I turned to my music. Singing is not just a release, it’s a comfort, it’s something that I can do well and I revel in the sensation of doing it – it’s not that I love the sound of my own voice because I’ll rarely listen back to anything I’ve recorded – but while I’m singing I feel ‘full’ and complete and there’s no room for loneliness or fear or worry or anything but the joy of singing.

Ok, so my choice of song to start can be a tad on the maudlin side, but it opens me up and by the end of a singing session I’m also dancing away to myself and anyone nearby will hear little squeals of laughter mixed in with the singing as I picture how it would look to anyone walking in on me.

..Which is what I’ve just been doing *grin* I happened to glance out of the open window as I was singsnapping ‘black horse and a cherry tree’ to see an elderly neighbour looking around in puzzlement for the source of the music.

I have three songs that are my ‘virtual hugs’ at the moment and will usually snap me out of any miserable mood and open me up to having some fun:

  1. Incubus – Drive
  2. Sarah MacLaclan – Building a mystery
  3. Dobie Grey – Driftaway

What are your musical hugs? What triggers the lifting of a dark mood for you? I’d be interested to know..

Pandora radio

It’s da bomb!

*grin* Sorry, I’ve been re-living my musical youth this afternoon. (in a none ‘pass tha dutchi’ sense..)
Pandora radio is based on the music genome project:

Each song in the Music Genome Project is analyzed using up to 400 distinct musical characteristics by a trained music analyst. These attributes capture not only the musical identity of a song, but also the many significant qualities that are relevant to understanding the musical preferences of listeners.

The way the site works is that you ‘create’ your own radio stations (1 for every mood and a few beside) you pick an artist/ song and the site then uses the information provided by the genome project to play others of a similar nature you can refine that choice further by giving each track a thumbs up or down – each time you express a preference it will automatically tweak the selection played to you to reflect those preferences.

I started a funky one with Keziah Jones as my lead off artist, since then it’s been like a trip down memory lane with a few new faces popping in for good measure. I’ve sang along to Ralph tresvant (I used to LOVE all this stuff, I fondly remember an all night decorating session with 3 tapes playing, the afore mentioned Ralph, Maxi Priest and Luthor vandross) and today I’ve discovered a group/ artist called Morley – me likee muchly!

To anyone with access to an American zip code I definitely recommend signing up to this site – and best of all.. It’s FREE!

At what time?

There I was having a pretty interesting dream when, as it dissolved around me, I was forced to realise that the sound of ‘More than a feeling’ by Boston was not in fact coming from the car radio of my dream but was actually reverberating around the bedroom through the floorboards.

I raised my still sleep sodden head to gaze at the clock only to see that it was 10 past 4 or 5, it took me three more songs (2 of which were skippy renditions of the Cyndi Lauper version of ‘I drove all night’) to manage to focus my bleary eyes enough to realise that yup, it was only 5.20am and I had in fact been asleep for a maximum of  2 hours.
This is when Stef turned over and asked me if this had been going on all night.

I’ve loaded the washing machine and I’m now sat patiently waiting for the music to stop so I can set it going, an hour of that shaking and rattling just may be enough to piss on his bonfire, sadly i doubt it because rather than being situated above his probably soon to be sleeping head, it’s over at the other side of the flat, the kitchen.

I think my next purchase is going to be taht rock polisher I’ve had my eye on and it’s going right by the front door so as I leave it on all night it can intrude upon HIS sleep for a change.

Petty? Yes, but this has been going on for months and the one time we didn’t just roll over and bitch quietly to ourselves and actually tried to get him to SHUT THE FUCK UP, round came the thugs to kick in my door and police were involved. 

Meh, it’s gone quiet now – I was all set to get the washer going but Stefs said to leave it, he wants to sleep and I can’t blame him. I just wish I could, I’m wound up and I’ve got that queasy feeling you get when your rest is interrupted, I know from experience that it’ll take a good few hours for me to be able to drop off again. So.. Guess I’ll go work my vampires for a bit and try to chill myself into calm.

All I’ll say is, this is some kind of torture, he’s making me dislike music that I’ve loved for years – I now can’t hear Dolly Parton without grinding my teeth in outrage (I know Jay, for you that’s a normal reaction) but If i start to have the same kneejerk reaction to soft rock I may well have to kill him, that’s half my karaoke repertoire and we all know how I love my karaoke!

Speaking of which, this is why we didn’t get to bed til about 2.30 this morning. We went for a drink with Dave to a nice little pub in Swinton, from there we ended up at the staff of life  – which hosts a cracking karaoke on a Saturday night. I got up and did a tune and was then berated by the KJ for not coming in earlier as it was too late for me to do another, i was a little disappointed but the atmosphere was so good in there it hardly mattered.
From there we headed back to Daves for a brew and watched an Allan Davies live stand up video – feckin’ hilarious, haven’t belly laughed like that in ages, then we wandered home and fell into bed, only to be woken now.

I think a nice calming game of Mah jongg and I’ll attempt sleepybo’s again – after all, I’m gonna be really pissed if I’m too tired for my driving lesson this evening.

karaoke heaven

You see, on the one hand I’m missing out on the fantastic company of my in-laws (and obviously the love of my life since he’s there without me) on the other, it’s been non-stop karaoke here this weekend.

I went to the bull on thursday with Kay, that was great fun because there was quite a crowd of us this week, the pregnant lass was giving me loads of stick for always singing stuff they’d never heard of (she is only 19 though, not my fault if she wasn’t born when half the stuff I do came out..) so I did bog standards for a change. Had to leave early though, the CFS was rearing it’s ugly head and I needed my bed.

Friday, again because of the CFS crap, I spent most of the day reading and chilling out – though I did fit in a little singsnap here and there. Even got the webcam working so NOW I have a couple of videos up *grin* I was starting to get a tad frustrated with that aspect of the site, turns out realplayer was interfereing and shockwave needed re-installing, so I uninstalled realplayer (I never use it anyway) and away I went, much fun!

Yesterday was brilliant though, had a flyby visit from my mate Dave en route to manchester airport and then in the afternoon dad came to get me. We went to the 16th birthday of one of his mates daughters, they’ve all known me since I was born – a few of ’em actually changed my nappies (a fact I was reminded of a few times last night) and it was no surprise to walk in and see all dads cronies in the house.
Now, when he’d issued the invitation to me I was under the impression that they’d hired a room somewhere and that it’d be this lass and all her mates plus a few of dads mates. Not so, we went to scottys house and as we went out to the back I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy for the lass – it was basically a house full of her dads mates and a smattering of aunts, cousins and grandparents thrown in for good measure.

The sympathy was obviously misplaced though – it turns out they hold these parties at least twice a year and her being 16 this weekend was just an added excuse for another one, she was in her element! You cannot beat karaoke for a good time *grin* the birthday girl and her cousins did some cracking tunes. My dad, of course, hogged the mic as much as possible (he actually forbade me from getting up again after my first song, he was over ridden though – they all wind him up about me being the better singer *grin* gets a rise every time) Even Johnny got up and had a go – karaoke virgins RULE *grin* The rain didn’t dampen anyones spirits either, when the downpour really kicked in Scotty just shifted all the equipment off the porch and into the kitchen and they were going on well after we left.. I’d pity the neighbours if they weren’t in there with ’em.

I got back from a lazy day at dads today about 9pm and have been chilling since. These kind of weekends rule! The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been for Stef to be here with me – but that’s purely on a selfish level, I think last night would have been pure hell for him lol he’d have fit in well, he’s a social chameleon is my baby, but karaoke is really not his cuppa tea.

Horses in costume

That’s what I’m off to see this evening. I’ll be at the trafford centre by 4pm so we can buy our tickets for the 5pm show. I’m guessing we’ll go straight to karaoke from there since it’s Kay and Rob I’m accompanying to see the spirit of the horse.

The last theatrical show I saw was the Jerry Springer opera with Sketch, that was fun (although a tad uncomfortable to watch in places) I did want to go and see Wicked but no bugger would go with me when I had the money *sniff* I wouldn’t mind going to see Avenue Q or the wedding singer musical (when that gets here) Legally blonde could be interesting but I doubt it’ll make it’s way across the pond, Spamalot could be fun and.. well, I could go on for ages, suffice to say I like musicals *grin*

I’ve also found a place that does Tai-chi near here so hopefully i’ll be taking that up (funds allowing) Nicola was talking about us starting up salsa dancing but I think that may be a bit above my level as far as energy and activities go (which sucks, I love dancing) but Tai-chi should be do-able, it also means I may start meeting some like-minded females if I get out and do this stuff, maybe living here won’t seem quite so bad then..

I’m going to give the driving instructor another bell tomorrow and try to re-schedule the lesson (now that I’m back to being the adorable as opposed to evil twin)

Rightio, best sort out lunch. Hope you all have as much fun this evening as i’m hoping to!

KAAAAAAAAAaaraoke!

I got a call at the nth hour last night to join Kay for karaoke, it was a fun night – although I did walk into the pub just as a drunk was heaving a chair at a disabled guy.. Gotta love the locals in Swinton.

Anyhow, the police showed up about 30 seconds later and kicked him out, the karaoke commenced only 30 minutes later than normal with the atmosphere settling down into the more usual laid back affair (it’s rarely electric at the bull, it’s either kicking off or chilled out) and Rone (KJ) spent the rest of the night referring to disabled guy as a troublemaker and Lou (landlady) as the Sheriff at the OK corall, in and around his usual ‘that was utter shite’ ‘god help us but it’s Kay up next’ and the like..

I didn’t get to do ‘The devil went down to Georgia’ because there just wasn’t enough time, I did however manage a cracking rendition of Limp Bizkits ‘Take a look around’ (mission impossible II theme) I know it was a corker because the guys all pulling their faces at the back of the room actually applauded when I came to sit down *grin* my ego has been happily fed – although the gay lass who sat in my seat while I was singing ‘alone’ to stare at me in open mouthed wonder and then wouldn’t move because she had to tell me for over 5 minutes that I’ve got an amazing voice and I should ‘be on X-Factor or summat’ kinda made me want to curl up and die, say it once by all means and then note the cringing embarrassment about my posture and leave the subject alone godammit! Oh – and get out of my chair!
I know I’ve got a good voice, but the amount of practice I’ve done over the years and the number of bands I’ve been in kinda dictate that to be the case, to say otherwise is false modesty and an outright lie – but it’s not an AMAZING voice and I don’t need to have someone I don’t know argue the case LOUDLY when all I want to do is listen to the next person up singing and enjoy the night.

Still, I guess my goddesslike demeanour was a tad overpowering for the poor lass *grin* perhaps I should cut her some slack, she was pretty drunk after all and her mates were trying to drag her away, of course she’d like to stay and shine in my reflected glory (PMSL) Who wouldn’t..?

It has fueled my need to find more karaoke folks though *sigh* it would be a hell of a lot easier if I lived ‘dahn sowf’ I already have a karaoke network down Surrey way, up here I have no clue where to start. Ah well, perhaps I should’ve been nicer to gay lass last night, unfortunately I’m not good talking to drunk people – especially when embarrassed.
You’d never believe I was a bouncer for 6 years.. Where has all my patience gone?

Pub singers

I, as a few of you already know, absolutely adore going to a karaoke, not just because I can sing (although I’ve been accused of this in the past) but because of the atmosphere a great karaoke can bring. It’s not all about THE BOOK and getting up, although having a cracking selection of songs is important, but it’s the KJ and the other punters who can make or break a night.

I’ve been to karaokes that had a great book and a brilliant selection of singers – but the KJ was useless, one in particular sticks out. She’d play about 3 songs in between getting people up and she never started on time which led to the crowd getting restless and in some cases a tad antsy when she then appeaerd to play favourites by getting the same three people up (me amongst them) over and over again leaving some not getting a chance at the mic at all.

You can’t play favourites at a karaoke, it’s not the done thing – I actually stopped going to that one because wheres the fun in having a sing and a laugh if you’re the only one doing it? Karaoke is not supposed to be about being a great singer, I actually hate it if only good singers get up because then it’s pretty boring – especially since most great singers only do one or two songs over and over ad nauseum.
There is an art and a talent to karaoke singing, you need to be a quick reader, you have to have pretty good relative pitch and above all else you need to enjoy it and not take things too seriously – who cares if there’s a bit of feedback or some static in your song, you’re not in a recording studio and you’re not auditioning for Simon Cowell (thank god!) You’re supposed to be on a night out with friends taking the micky out of yourself and having a laugh in the process.
That’s why I’ll do practically anything, rap/ blues/ oldies/ metal you name it and as long as it’s not something I personally love I’ll give it a go (you can’t in good conscience murder something you love – especially not in front of an audience) You need a good rotation of singers to build an atmosphere, if I feel that’s lacking in a night then I’ll at least try and keep the song selection eclectic!

I’ve found a fairly decent site that has a good karaoke venue search on it – sadly it doesn’t have many in my area – I may have to submit a few for them. I just wish there was a decent karaoke social scene up here. I used to belong to a forum mainly populated by londoners and I met some really cool people on there, sadly London is a little far for me to go for a night out so I’m stuck here.
Trying to find lasses to go to a karaoke with in manchester is not the easiest of tasks I can assure you. When I lived closer to the city centre I used to go out by myself and just meet up with whoever happened to be out – after a while if you become a regular you get to know other regulars. Sadly it’s been a long time since I was a regular patron of anywhere so I’ve kinda lost contact with a lot of people and these days I’m not confident enough to go out on my own.. It’s a bit of a pisser to be honest.

I still love heading out for a night of song and laughter, unfortunately the opportunities to do so are few and far between. Stef will come with me, but I know he’s only there because he loves me – karaoke is only fun if you’re with like-minded people and Stef, easy going and great company though he is, is not a karaoke lover.

Perhaps I should resort to advertising in the paper? *grin* Or better yet, move down south where I can bully my best mate into meeting me once a week for a sing song with the aforementioned forum inhabitants.

It’s been over a month since I had a sing and I’m getting withdrawels to the point of considering sitting in the bull this evening by myself – except I know I wont, I’m too much of a pansy to sit in a corner like a Billy by myself, I’d probably consider it more if I didn’t know some people in there, but there’s awkwardness between me and one of the staff and sitting alone when I don’t know anyone is preferable to sitting alone and having people I know gossip about me behind my back..

Bugger.

So I didn’t get DLA, I’m not shocked, the medical assessment was hellish and I knew in my gut I’d be refused any more financial help. It sucks, just because I look normal and healthy i’m obviously faking it as far as they’re concerned, they don’t see me on the days i need to rest up for 90% of my awake time!

Meh, no matter, Stef says not to worry, we’ll manage, I just hate the fact that I’m not able to put in a full 50% to the house and stuff when he already does practically everything else – If I can’t physically help out I should at least be able to hold my own financially *sigh* I guess in this I have to swallow my pride and live with it, I just don’t have to like it.

We’re looking for a new place to live so to K, Pat and everyone else who’s stopped by recently that’s on the move – we feel your pain, thankfully there’s a lot on the market at the moment. Looks like I’ll be moving waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of Manchester, we’d like to move as close to his folks as possible while still being close enough to the M6 so Stef can go into work as and when he needs to (this freelance consultancy stuff is definitely the way to go!) so i’ve been checking out Knutsford and the surrounding area, there are some really nice properties round there, we’ll probably go and have a drive around at some point next week to check out areas and pick up local papers (that way we can see if there are less stories of theft and violence in them than around here, be a good indication of what the area is like)

I do like house hunting, I just hate moving – seriously, my ideal job would be one of those people who just show houses to people, I don’t want to be an estate agent or a lettings agent, just someone who gets to look around flats and houses every other day.

In other news last night I went to my first karaoke in.. ugh.. God knows how long – it was ace, they have a new guy at the Bull on a thursday night, he’s funny and actually keeps it going, there’s very little waiting between singers and it was a fun night.

..of course that may be because I managed to fit in quite a few songs *grin* he really made me laugh, the first song up was ‘Alone’ by Heart, i’m there with the bog standard karaoke mic when about 3 lines into the song he stopped it, explained to the crowd that it sounded REALLY good – and handed me his radio mic LOL hows that for honoured eh?! Didn’t hurt the pride non either 😉
Anyway, I then went on to do a few more : ‘Whoomp there it is’ by Tag team, Jimmy Olsens blues by the Spin doctors (I nearly creamed when I saw that in the book – ace tune!) informer by snow (always good for a laugh) and ‘Building a mystery’ by Sarah Mclachan.

I will be going again next week – assuming i’m up to it and have nothing planned for the friday, it really battered me and i’ve spent most of today in bed – but it was worth it! Thats the first night out I’ve had in ages!

I know this is a ‘nowhere’ post, I did have a fair few ideas the other day – especially after getting on my high horse and spending a few hours on the govt petition site – this one caught my eye and made me chuckle – especially when I noticed how many people have already signed it.. I declined to, I saved my electronic signiture for things I truly believe should happen to benefit the country (all 60 of ’em I signed before Stef made me get away from the pc) though I did briefly consider it – who wouldn’t?

It proved to be intersting reading actually, you really get a feel for what the people think on there – and it’s a resounding message of no confidence in the govts ability to do its job. [sarcasm] Shock horror.. [/sarcasm]
However, I really cannot be arsed blogging about it right now, i’m still tired and wooly headed so all the interesting observations of the last few days can wait.

c’yall

Vics XX

Oh what a beautiful morning!

It is absolutely gorgeous out there today. Bit cold still, but the front room seems so warm and inviting when the sun streams through like this – and to think I used to avoid the sun where possible (well, ok so I’m not planning on going outside in it for long, but i’m not hissing behind closed curtains either)

We need bread and stuff so I’m going to walk up to aldi later and i’m actually going to hang some washing outside for the first time this year, that will probably wipe me out but i’m in such a good mood I hope it doesn’t – I may ring Kay and see if she fancies karaoke tonight – it’s been soooooooooo long!

Right, the tunes are pumping (quietly) I’m on the Joss Stone, Maroon 5, Amy winehoouse, Garbage, Nickleback, Frou Frou and Damien Rice playlist today, it’s quite fitting for the weather I feel.

Just thought I’d share this dream I had with you the other night, it’s been a while since I did that *grin*

Basically I was a scriptwriter and this is the sketch I was working on for some comedy/drama thing:

Greg – oily smarmy character with a hint of boyishness about him (think guy secretan from green wing)

Olivia – Fairly uptight and insecure, streak of ruthlessness and the ability to melt at the slightest compliment which then completely transforms her actions towards that person.

Sarah – Basically a female guy, feminine lager drinking football supporting.. Jodi Kidd type

The back story is that Greg and Sarah get it on, he shows his true colours she vows to get even. Knowing he loves his car more than life itself she arranges for it to be crushed on reality tv show ‘revenge’.
Unfortunately Greg is not around to see this happen because he is at a conference with Olivia (whom he hates) However, the show is aired live on tv and Greg see’s it in his hotel room, first outrage then grief as he collapses and changes the channel because he cannot bear to see his pride and joy being mangled. This is when Olivia walks in to see whats wrong (she knew about the revenge thing because Sarah asked her to let her know his reaction) Amazed that he isn’t watching the revenge show despite constant priming throughout the day she asks whats up.

Unable to speak, Greg merely gestures at the tv which is now showing a program on the plight of abused children in thailand, tears are streaming down his face and Olivia backs out of the room quickly.

She calls Sarah who is also sobbing wildly. (cut to split screen to see both sides of the conversation)
Olivia: whats wrong – didn’t the car get mashed?

Sarah: Of course it did! it’s not that. I’ve just seen something really crappy on tv is all – its just total shit that this kind of thing still goes on *sniff*
Olivia: um..its not that Thailand documentary on channel 4 is it?

Sarah: Yes actually – now cheer me up, what did Greg say about the car?

Olivia: ah.. well..

Sarah: *giggles* he’s livid isn’t he?

Olivia: No actually he’s in tears in there, completely unable to speak – I think-

Sarah: BRILLIANT!

Olivia: no, let me finish – he never actually saw it happen, I don’t think he knows yet..

Sarah: what do you mean ‘he doesn’t know yet’?

Olivia – well he was just watching the same documentary as you and I’ve never seen a grown man so affected, he’s sobbing like a baby in there, curled up around the remote as if he’s lost his best friend.. Listen (holds phone up and the sound of sobbing from the next room is clearly audible)
Sarah: SHIT!

Olivia: yep – if he’s that bad over some kids he doesn’t know – you may just send him over the edge with this little stunt.. best find him a new car quick if I were you.

Sarah: I didn’t know he was so sensitive, c’mon – did you?! He must be so insecure to hide himself behind that crappy persona of his.. oh my god! what am I going to do? I can’t be responsible for him cracking up – not now.. I mean.. shit!

Olivia: Uh huh, I told you it was a bad idea..

(cut to next scene where Sarah is frantically trying to find someone who stocks Gregs car – a futile task because it’s a classic)

There was a hell of a lot more, in my dream i had practically the whole series down – but this is the scene that had me in stitches – just the look of shocked horror on her face when sarah realises what she may have done.. Priceless *grin* Stef wasn’t half as tickled by this as I was but I guess you have to have ‘seen’ it in it’s entirety – it’s like green wing (which is where I assume I got my muse) you need to have come to like and know the characters to really ‘get’ it.

Right, I’d best get on with my day methinks – the shower won’t start itself..

Devil man

I know, Rob Zombie is not the best artist to listen to before bed – especially that specific track – it’s all Stefs fault though.
He’s playing CoH again and apparently they now have a streaming radio to listen to and he keeps asking me if i’ve ever heard of the artists on there *tuts* Obviously I had to bring up my ‘stefsout’ playlist to prove I’m not as woefully behind the times as he is.. Hmm..  I think I’m starting to warm to this gaming addiction if he’s finally beginning to lean towards my taste of things instead of the usual whingy indie stuff he tends to prefer *grin*

But enough on the CoH musical front the lovely lass who emailed me this piccy earlier:

perfume cartoon

Has also told me about some computer stores (Samsung, she thinks) using electronics-perfumed air-con additives to enhance the ambience of their stores. Surely this cannot be true? I mean.. Really?

K? You are my very own fave geek over the pond, Canada is not the US of A (Thank god! I hear you cry) but google is not being my friend on this point – care to offer clarification or rebuttal? I’d love to know the poor lass is merely misguided and that those crazy yanks are not quite as crazy as us brits think.. (y’know, all election results, movie stars and religious fruitcakes aside)

I’m am now officially a bandless singer, but to be honest, I’m not that fussed because it’s actually quite a relief, it means I don’t have the constant worry of letting them down weighing on my shoulders – though the fact i’ve been asked to do a few more online collabs has helped soften the blow a tad *grin* nothing like feeling wanted to ease the sting of loss eh?!

Oh and a swift “hey how ya doing?” to Gillys mum *waves* cheers for stopping by and telling the wee lassie about me *grin* that email made me chuckle muchly – i’m used to being mistaken for other people in real life so having someone mistake me for someone else in the virtual arena was a pleasant change ;0)

Isn’t it funny how our virtual lives grow to mirror our real ones..?

Valentines day massacre

We climbed out of the pit around midday, slobbed around for another couple of hours then got in the car to sit in rush hour traffic and listen to steve wright and chris evans on radio 2, then we came home, ate take out, watched films and went to bed.

That was valentines – and it beats messing around and making a big deal out of the thing any day of the week!

I’ve asked the band to look for a new lead singer, I’ve said I’ll stick around as a backing singer if they want me to but i’m facing facts, i’m not fit enough to front a band.
Lets face it, if i need to be sat down for a rehearsal (because on tuesday they had a mic stand set up when i arrived with no chair available so I ended up lying down after each song.. not good.) I’m not going to be able to see through a whole gig. It’s something that worried me from day one but it’s been brushed aside – now they have a full complement of players and the stuff is coming together it’s obvious that i’m the weak link – and quite frankly i feel like too much processed dog crap to even do a full rehearsal at the moment – never mind a gig!

Yes I am still depressed but that’s not the reason I’ve made this decision, it’s because there are other more important things going on in my life right now that I need the energy for, Yes i’ve loved being in a band with teh guys because it made me feel as though i actually do have a life despite the illness, but I guess it’s not fair to them to string this along since they’re wanting to gig – and gig often.
The reality is I physically cannot cope with that amount of work. I have memory problems which means I struggle with the lyrics (something which really annoys me, I used to be nicknamed ‘jukebox’ for a reason) and in 3 out of 5 rehearsals i’m too knackered to do more than sit there, I get snappy and miserable when i’m tired and that’s all I seem to be at the moment, i’m bringing it home and Stef doesn’t deserve it.

Much as I love singing and playing with a band, it’s just not working out. I know they say don’t shoot the messenger but i also have to admit to uncharitably bitter thoughts about the new drummer for making this an obvious problem.
Ah well, would have happened sooner or later.

Right, i’m going back to bed, my heads pounding, I ache all over and my throat feels as though someone’s poured acid down it with a wire brush chaser.

Shitter of a day.

I’d set my alarm for 10am, just to make sure I was up and ready for this medical assessment, sadly I was just too knackered so I shuffled the alarm up to 12pm and went back to sleep.
We went off to Albert bridge house where the ordeal was to take place. Stef dropped me off at the gate and went to park the car so I wouldn’t have miles to walk – I think I should just have gone with him and done the walking because I was called straight through to see the doctor without my moral support.

The assessment was just hellish, this wizened little old indian man who i at first had trouble understanding just asked me a tonne of the same questions that were on my form and just kept responding to my answers with the words ‘thats correct’. I stupidly burst into tears again – it’s embarrassingly simple to reduce me to tears these days, all i have to do is think about my life – and it’s not even all that bad in the grand scheme of things!
I tried explaining the tears were a combination of embarrassment and frustration but I got the distinct impression he just thought I was turning them on for the sympathy vote – if only!

It kind of went downhill from there really. The physical examination commenced, he called through to the front office for a female chaperone and this 18 year old lass walks in, looks like a model and has the sneer down pat – Ok, so she wasn’t sneering, but I felt incredibly uncomfortable because i felt as though she was thinking the same as the doc, I hate feeling that people disbelieve me, especially when i’m not even exaggerating anything – if anything I probably left a lot out because I feel totally cowed when in front of a doctor.

Anyway, once that was over with he starts to write up his notes and ask me a few more questions, I’m starting to feel quite knackered again so ask him if it will take much longer, he lets me go and i go out to meet stef who drags me straight over to a cafe for food and a drink.

It was basically an incredibly draining session, i was trying to explain and justify myself to someone who I felt was predisposed to treat everything i said as a big fat lie – which is probably why I reacted so badly this evening.

Despite still feeling incredibly crappy i went to rehearsal, we’ve had a few issues in teh band lately and tonight was supposed to resolve ’em. Those issues were resolved and the rehearsal commenced. By 8.30 I’d had enough and needed to lie down.

I went through another song and just said I felt I should really head off because I hadn’t really had enough rest today to cope with the rehearsal – which is when the new drummer piped up.

I like to think that i’m being overly sensitive when it felt like he was being deliberately hurtful, I get the feeling he doesn’t really think that much of me or even like me as a person – but hey! i’m an emotional wreck at the moment so it’s probably nothing.
but after the day I’ve had today to be made to feel as though i’m useless and  ‘a sick note’ as well as an attack on my ability to see through a gig when i could barely stand up for 5 minutes in rehearsal.. I just packed up my bag and left.

On the way home I’d basically decided to just leave the band, lets face it – he’s right. It’s been my concern from day one – so what if he’s only seen me 3 times in the space of 2 weeks (and i’m still in the grip of an ear and throat infection so his observation of ‘theres always something wrong with you’ is a valid one) But Stef told me not to be daft and make a decision like that when i’m feeling this down, I should sit on it and keep up with them.

I just don’t know. Right now i’m miserable as sin, the move to Liverpool is off which means I’m stuck here with the wanker downstairs, I’m pretty much convinced that this doctor will say I don’t fulfill any criteria for receiving benefits which means I’m going to have to try and find employment that won’t send me straight back to the level I was three years ago – which is just not going to happen, if i could i’d already be working there and not trying to claim benefits in the first place!

Like Stef said, i can have a life with this illness but it makes me unemployable, who is going to offer me a job knowing I could have a relapse at any time? who could employ me for one or 2 days a week and pay me enough to live on for that amount of time?

It’s impossible.

Then to top it off the [insert insult of choice here] drummer has to go and make me feel even worse.
Tonight I really do feel as though there’s just no point staying with the band, I am always ill, I can’tguarantee I’ll be fit for a gig, I can try but all it takes is one little thing to knock me off kilter and i’m straight back in bed sobbing my little heart out in frustration – not really reliable eh?

You see it was alright before, the guys knew where I stood, they knew from day one this was the deal with me, but now.. I’m just fed up. i’m sick of trying to explain, to justify myself, i’m sick of making excuses and most of all i’m sick of people judging me unfairly because they just don’t understand.

I’m in pain, I’ve felt sick with nerves all day, my head has been pounding and my mood.. Well, I guess this post explains my mood.

*sigh* I’m just gonna go watch a film and have a cuddle. Hopefully things will seem better in the morning.

The Anchor and horseshoes

We went to claires showcase and it was actually a cracking night, there are a fair few things I would have done differently had I been the promoter – not the least being select a more suitable venue, but at least there was enough parking for us all.

I’m so sad though – i sat there with my little pocket pc and started reviewing the acts for my blog – stef just looked at was I was doing and laughingly shook his head at me.. I know – I’m addicted to blog. Just as well I had no available wireless connection in there else this would’ve been a real moblog *grin*

Sitting in the pub listening to the first of several acts for the band bookers international showcase and I have to say, impressive.

Tiny, understated and surprisingly not a backing track in sight, just piano and amazingly smooth, rich vocals – yes indeedy, Fiona Johnson has a corker of a voice.

Sadly the tunes are not to my taste, her rendition of the Nina Simone classic ‘my baby just cares for me’ is a tad too vaudeville for my liking, good idea to ‘punch up’ the last song, shame she chose that particular one to do it to.

‘Smokey moon’ are up next – sax and vox this time and kicking off with the jazz hit ‘night and day’ shows they both know their stuff, professional smiles and patter in place – yes they were born to perform.

At least that’s how it seemed until the next song..

Slightly off key and uncomfortable to watch is the only way to describe the singer – she undoubtedly has a great jazz voice, I just don’t think the blues are her forte – or pop, perhaps i’m too critical – maybe she can’t really hear herself but so far i’m having to try not to wince as she keeps looking over here and i’m attempting to keep a reasurring smile on my face. The sax player on the other hand.. Wow.

We take a 20 minute break from the music and I feel a bit of a heel for those last observations as talking to the singer reveals a lass with a stellar personality – sadly that doesn’t change my opinion of their performance. I really think they should stick to jazz..

Anyhow, onto the whole reason we’re here.

Dressed to kill, Saxonvibe take to the stage. Claire looks fabulous and Dave’s not too shabby in that tux. Sadly they falter at the first hurdle – a lead in the wrong socket means some slightly unprofessional faffing on stage before re-starting..

Still, they manage to pull it back (judging by the faces of the other pub patrons – i’m too biased to judge for myself) Claires vocals are impressive – the feedback however isn’t, not once tonight has the sound guy managed to get the levels right and it’s annoying the ex-muso in me.

Looking around, I can see there’s a lot of people wearing the slack jawed awed expession i’m used to seeing when she sings but also this is the first act people have settled down to watch and not talk over – perhaps it was the break, perhaps it’s the performance, either way, people are engaged and that’s not merely my bias talking, Stefs noticed it too.
I know my bet is on the obviously polished standard they are setting for the next acts.
..at least it was until she forgot to pull the mic closer for ‘summertime’ the second she did that and people could hear her voice, the room suddenly seemed a little busier – sadly a couple of bum notes towards the end marred what could have been a perfect rendition – but i’m so proud! She was worried about the patter but everything sounds natural and unforced, you wouldn’t think it was a cause for concern at all.
All eyes are on the stage. I’m amazed – even the guys at the bar have stopped bitching about the music and are nodding along appreciatively..

Nuff said.

*grin* the girl pop trio on later are looking a tad sick and worried – not sure why, if they’re as good as they sounded in the loo earlier there’s nothing to worry about..

Now there’s a shock, it was supposed to be a blues duo next, instead the girls are setting up.

This means that as it’s only 9.15, we may be looking at an earlier night than previously expected.

Ok, the sound in here is atrocious! If that mic feeds back one more time.. Well lets just say no court will convict me..

And they finally start – with a spice girls number..

Interesting choice of act from the promoters in view of the previous ones, still, they have good voices, pretty good harmony – shame the sound guy has no clue how to set a decent level because you can barely hear one of the girls and the backing track is way too loud.

They look good – choreographed dance moves and the guys from the bar have moved over to prime viewing positions.
Sadly one of the girls has gone a little flat – just as she gets to the sporty spice solo too so its really apparent.

All is redeemed with the next track though, on key, mostly.. These girls definitely have their genre down pat, pop all the way and they do it well.

The guys from the bar are loving this act – I guess the fact all three girls are young and gorgeous makes up for the local being over run with muso types, their earlier moaning completely missing as the girls throw down an impressive rendition of ‘backroom’ by girls aloud – complete with raunchy dance moves.

These girls are GOOD!

I suppose its a stereotype that the lass with the weakest voice has a face and figure the envy of any super model *sigh* the fact the other 2 are also stunners if not quite up to her level and have cracking voices just makes me sick.
Lucky wenches.

The blues guys are on next, I’m thinking this could be a lengthy set, guitar and harmonica.. Yup, these guys can go all night, i’m too tired to care right now though so i’ll not say anymore than the harmonica player sure knows his instrument and that as far as this particular venue goes, this is the band most suited to preform here.