Folk night

Nov. 8th, 2011 09:09 am
ramtops: (hat)

Rackaback continues to take over my life :) This week, Pippa persuaded some of us to attend the FirstMondayOfTheMonth folk night at the Black Boy, an ancient pub in the old city in Hull. We had a good attendance from the side: Lynn and Lars (the latter seen above with his accordion), Debbie and her husband Eric (not a dancer, but general supporter) who kindly drove us there, Jamie, Pippa and Pete – who while not (yet) a dancer (but don’t think I’m not trying to persuade him), does most of the social stuff, and plays guitar on music nights.

It was huge fun, although I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to play the melodeon like that. Or possibly at all. Still, I vamped along where possible on my D whistle, wishing once again I had a low D. Pete complained bitterly that he didn’t have anything to bang; Pippa lent him an egg (green plastic with bits in for percussiveness), and he had a bash at Debbie’s bodhran, but he’ll need to take something next time – you need to join in to enjoy it properly., It really was a cracking night, and will be part of our diary every month now, I’m sure.

On the way home, two rather inebriated ladies appeared by the car just as we were about to pull off, and one actually opened the back door. It appeared she didn’t know how to roll her own spliff (!), and required assistance. We declined, and drove off into the night.

Weekend just gone was quiet, as we were both not very well. Indeed, Pete had retired hurt during my birthday music night last Thursday, and I picked it up the lurgy the next day. We cooked a lot for the freezer, I potted up some plants and bulbs, made bread, watched Toy Story (how come we never saw it before? – lovely) and generally slumped.

Mirrored from

ramtops: (hat)

On Saturday we set off for the wilds of West Yorkshire for my birthday Out; we chose this area for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that Show of Hands had obligingly scheduled a gig at Sheffield Cathedral.

We managed to leave the house by 11, by which time the postman had delivered my Merrell walking shoes bought from eBay, shop samples, at £8 – a bit of a result. One of the side effects of losing weight is that my feet have shrunk, and I like my walking shoes and boots to, you know, *fit*. And these do, which is nice.

We trundled first to Moortown, near Leeds, to visit BMF Fires, who are our nearest stockist of Jetmaster fires. Sadly, they didn’t have any Jetmasters in the showroom, but they did have this.

red! shiny!

Piazzetta E960 woodburning stove

I was instantly in love. Red! Shiny! Italian! Like the Ferrari of the woodburning stove world, and an absolute bargain at £1950. I asked for a quote to fit it, and it would come to about £3.5k all in, as we’d have to dig out some of the fireplace as well. We’re budgeting for a fire, and although this is  a tad (ahem) over what I’d costed, we didn’t care. Decision made.

They were short on brochures and staff as everyone was at a home renovation fair at Harrogate; only 12 miles to Harrogate, so we thought we’d go and have a look, as we’d never been. There was a smell there, a smell of serious money. Harrogate makes Bath look a bit low rent, to be honest. We had a croque monsieur for lunch in Debenmans, then mooched about the town. I managed to resist red! shiny! Fitflops, and even a pair of very nice flat brown leather boots much reduced. We poked about in some expensive shops, including a kitchen showroom.

We stuck our nose in the Aga shop; “Can I help you?” quoth the bloke. “No thanks”, said I – “I love them, but I wouldn’t have one, because they’re not very environmentally friendly”. So he asked what car I drove! Then I said I don’t have the room anyway, and he told me to move house. Not, perhaps, the ideal sales patter, really. They do lovely kitchenware in there, and I was very tempted by a springform loaf/terrine tin, but I felt £35 was a bit over the top, so resisted that too.

When we got to the exhibition, they wanted £8 each to go in, so we left it, and trundled over to Ikea at Batley. We examined sofas, and decided finally on the kitchen cabinetry range we want, and on the hobs. Still undecided on oven/dishwasher, and will be getting bamboo worktops. Then we had meatballs (oh, how I miss Ikea meatballs), purchased tea lights, a new trivet, a small baby plush rat (don’t ask), and set off for Sheffield.

A cracking gig, starting with Steve coming down the aisle with a mandolin, and ended with Steve, Phil and Miranda going back up the aisle. A lot of old favourites, stripped right back – Santiago, Crow on the Cradle, the Train, Dive; a glorious version of Keys of Cantebury, with just Steve and Jackie Oates (the support act). The audience were perhaps a little intimidated by the undeniably awe-inspiring venue, and there was little singing along, despite the band’s invitation to do so. But a wonderful evening, nonetheless.

We got home about 1, and thus had a fairly slumpish day on Sunday. Pete fitted another catflap, which I shall write about on the cats’ blog shortly, and we went to Scunthorpe last night to see Jeremy Hardy, who was most excellent, and just stood on the stage and rambled for about 90 minutes. The chap’s  bit of a leftie, mind :)

Lovely weekend, all in all. Now we must batten down the hatches for the rigours of the week ahead.

Oh, and sanity has prevailed, and we have ruled out the red! shiny! woodburner.

Mirrored from

ramtops: (alcatraz door)
Richard Thompson, one of my three favourite live acts, in Southampton, on Thursday.

And Show of Hands, another, in Regents Park on Sunday (with [ profile] ccomley and Liz WINOLJ).

Now, if only Paul Buchanan could be persuaded to play Bristol on Friday, my week would be complete ...
ramtops: (Default)

Show of Hands
Originally uploaded by ramtops.
the extremely fine Show of Hands played an intimate set to 120 lucky people to mark the re-opening of the Village Pump at the Lamb Inn, in Trowbridge. [ profile] perlmonger and I were lucky enough to get tickets 86 and 87 when we were at the Trowbridge Folk Festival this summer, and we were looking forward to the gig more than I can say.

with the very fine Martyn Joseph as support, and the ever excellent, and seemingly permanent third member of SoH, Miranda Sykes, complete with double bass, crammed on to the tiny stage, it was, in my opinion, the very best set we've ever seen them play - 90 minutes of their best songs.

the evening was rounded off with a raffle - we'd bought five tickets for a quid each. First prize was two tickets to the Trowbridge Festival in 2007. And we won! We also had another of our tickets drawn for the third prize, but we threw that one back in, for fear we'd be lynched by the crowd :)

a big thanks to John Alderslade and his team for getting the Pump reopened, and for laying on such a cracking evening - and we'll see you all again in July :)
ramtops: (scream cat)
as just read in a CIX conf, and posted for the benefit of [ profile] thunderbox

Heard on a Late Junction from a few weeks ago what on earth could it be? )
ramtops: (royston)
are you a fan of the bizarre in music? If so, I suggest you subscribe to Music for Maniacs.

this site was kindly drawn to my attention by [ profile] thunderbox - all credit (or otherwise) to him.
ramtops: (Default)
seen on [ profile] swisstone's journal first, but it's spreading ...

done with iTunes on Mac (obviously :)

how many songs
9969, 74.74Gb. We still have literally hundreds of vinyl albums to rip.

sort by artist
first: 4 Non Blondes
last: Yukata

sort by song title
first song: 13 - Lee Ritenour
last song: Zomby Woof - Frank Zappa

sort by time
shortest: Bright Noise - Daft, The Art of Noise (6 secs)
longest: Fred Frith and Jean-Pierre Drouet - Improvisations

sort by album
first: ... And Then There Were Three - Genesis
last: Zeit - Tangering Dream

(lots of tracks with no album tag, mind)

first song that comes up on shuffle
Flying Cowboy - Blue Nile and Ricky Lee Jones

How many songs come up when you search for "death"?

How many songs come up when you search for "love"?

How many songs come up when you search for "fuck"?

please to remember that this is the house jukebox - anything dodgy can be laid at [ profile] perlmonger's door!
ramtops: (eye)
shamelessly gacked from [ profile] thunderbox (and what a splendid icon he has too), I give you the iTunes Signature Maker. Mac users only, I'm afraid, before you all rush to do it.

and here's mine ...
ramtops: (Default)
the music genome,

I suspect I could waste spend a lot of time here ...
ramtops: (spikey hair)
couple of Outs this week ... firstly, Show of Hands on Tuesday at St Georges in Bristol. SoH are probably my favourite live band, even though they are folk :) Moyra (WINOLJ) came up from Berks to accompany us, before wending her way northwestwards for a funeral.

she was introduced to Show of Hands by me - I gave her a CD of theirs. The band are more than happy for people to spread their music around like this, and say so at every concert; if only more musicians were able to do this, but the record companies wouldn't like it, would they?

Phil and Steve were accompanied during the second half by Miranda Sykes, a singer / double bass player from Lincoln with a voice that we knew could do folk, but didn't know could do jazz. Well, she can!

as always, a most enjoyable night.

last night, we went to see Jools Holland at Colsonall. We see him every year during his autumn tour, and sometimes during the summer too, and it's normally a great gig. However, not last night ...

firstly, the sound mix was dire. Absolutely appalling. The brass section were mixed up too high, and you couldn't hear any of the vocals properly. Such a shame, because Sam Browne and Ruby Turner are both fabulous singers.

and then there was the elephant chap in the seat next to me. He was *gargantuan*. He can't have been much more than 20 years old, and while I'm hopeless at judging weight in avoirdupois, he must have been at least 25 stone (that's 350lbs for my transatlantic readers). He bulged over the edge of the shiny new seat, so that I had to sit twisted and hunched. Then he proceeded to eat. And eat. Two packets of chocolate, a bag of crisps, a bottle of coke, a banana (a banana?! in a concert?! oh yes - the smell was nauseating). At least, that was what I noticed, in about an hour and a half, and then we went to have a dance, and find somewhere else to sit. He's probably there still, unless they managed to get a crane into the hall.

oh, and the support act was Chris Difford, who used to be in Squeeze. His voice is gone, and he just rehashed old Squeeze numbers, but Glenn Tilbrook he ain't. Not enjoyable - avoid.

high spot of the evening was the guest star with Mr Holland, one Marc Almond - I must say that a rhythm and blues version of Tainted Love worked remarkably well, although I kept expecting it to segue into the 12" version :... )
ramtops: (Default)
nothing really, except that Family are very fine indeed.
ramtops: (eye)
gacked from [ profile] bradhicks, what kind of Sixties person am I? )
ramtops: (spikey hair)
busy, busy - hurtling round Bristol and its environs:

  • first to Bedminster, to take three boxes of books, some PC games, and a binbag of clothes to the CPL charity shop; a worthy cause, and a visit long overdue. There may just be a chance the server box room may surface again soon

  • thence to Aldi; I love Aldi. We actually managed to spend £44, on diverse things like dishwasher tablets, jars of roast peppers, tinned fish, red wine, bikkits, pasta, etc. If you're careful what you buy, they are terrific value.

  • next, into town, to visit Colsonall box office. Tip of the hat to [ profile] flickgc, who gave me the heads up about the always fabulous Richard Thompson's upcoming tour. We have seats in the middle of the second row of the stalls. W00t, and indeed rar!

  • from there, we travelled up to Gloucester Road, where I purchased 2 kg of belly pork in the organic butcher (you don't seem to get this in stupormarkets, and I want it for cassoulet, and the rest can go it the freezer). We also did the greengrocery run up there, consumed an organic lamb burger with cheese from the barbecue outside the aforementioned butcher (always good), bought some of the gorgeous stem ginger in chocolate from the Scoopaway shop, and Pete got some squit mushroom paté innatube. Also got a new bin for the bathroom (hello dear - did you get the things we needed?).

  • then down to the farm shop at Chelvey to buy a sack of onions and a sack of red shallots, plus a hunk of Montgomery cheese for [ profile] perlmonger, some scones, some Green and Black's almond choccy [drool]

just sitting down now with a Nice Cup of Tea, before [ profile] perlmonger wall mounts the 18" flattie, to give Iggy back his desk space, and stop him thwipping everything off my desk in a temper, then doing battle with the Tivo / Freeview.

I shall be cooking stir fried duck with mushrooms tonight, and making a vat of spiced red cabbage to go with tomorrow's meat loaf. I like weekends.


ramtops: (Default)

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