Monday, 18 July 2011


XTC was never a band I knew much about until Dan joined an XTC cover band so when his Kieran I want was to come watch him play – it was Swindon here we come. Turns out he is a multi talented musician and quite the singer. Having not known many if any XTC songs prior to the gig we were treated to a back catalogue bonanza in a pub that might be Swindon’s saving grace (that and the Glue Pot which had quite possibly the best collection of real ales). XTC were never particularly mainstream successful nor trendy or sold vast numbers of records but they were influential and the Fossil Fools did them proud.

After the gig we decided not to tread the well worn local path to liquid/envy style night spots and ended up in Furnace, the indie rock hotspot – but for some reason Saturday is clearly not the night out of choice in Swindon so it would need a reshow of the XTC fossil fools to venture back to Swindon.

On the way out we came across what is quite possibly the scariest junction known to drivers – the Magic Roundabout consisting of five mini-roundabouts arranged in a circle. Turns out (thank you wiki) it was voted the fourth scariest junction in Britain and having messed it up the first time, we had to manoeuvre around it again to ensure us we were set on the right path. It also turns out that it inspired the song ‘English Roundabout’, a pop song by the Swindon band XTC! What a coincidence, not sure it was on the set list though.

Colin and I swung by the village of Avebury en route back to Cardiff which is and I quote ‘World-famous stone circle at the heart of a prehistoric landscape, in Wiltshire. It is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Europe’. A great site although not sure what the people in the village hall were doing to loud techno; random yelps and body shaking seemed to be the Sunday service.

Dan XTC can currently be found during July and August as part of a small group cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats. To add to the adventure they are stopping off along the way to play gigs, busk and put their weary bodies through more torment.

Remember the golden rule: if it looks like it's going to hurt, it's worth sponsoring. The ride is in aid of Cancer Research and they are called Buskers on Bikes. Here's their sponsorship page:

and follow them on their adventures here:

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Ice Cube

You know that feeling when you look at someone and think to yourself, I know them from somewhere and then your brain riffles through your internal address book trying to match the face to a name and some kind of indication of where or why you know that person? Walking out of work yesterday I spotted someone sitting outside a bar I thought I recognised so my brain started to do that internal shuffle; perhaps from London days, perhaps from Radio Cardiff. As I got closer I tried to place them before saying hello completely unannounced. Thankfully just a few metres my brain actually clicked in as on the terrace was Ice Cube. Not the everyday person you expect to see chilling in Cardiff seemingly minding his own business and having a beer by himself.

I knew he was scheduled to play Cardiff at some point but since the closure of the Music Hall I had forgotten to get tickets or find out when or where the gig had been re-scheduled. I resisted the urge to go and say hello because I figured it can’t be often he gets the chance to hang out without people like me pestering him for an autograph. However a quick search and a ticket later I watched the hip hop legend tear down Cardiff Student Union, Solus. He was enigmatic taking the crowd ‘Back to the beginning, Right back to the beginning, the NWA beginning’. He had us in the palm of his hand with all our West Side W’s in the air. Brilliant.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Pulp at Glastonbury

I had my fingers, toes and heart crossed in the hope that PULP would turn up at Glastonbury as a special guest sometime during the festivities. I even made them a T-shirt:

Dear Jarvis,

We’re your Glastonbury Common People, waiting for Acrylic Afternoons, we’re on the Razzmatazz but where are you?

Something Changed, one Monday Morning this F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E came back when Pulp renewed

Please let me I Spy a Sunrise Disco (2000) one Worthy farm afternoon

Dear Jarvis Do you remember the first time? Come Party Hard, your Mis-Shapes are waiting for you

So when the rumors started flying I was in a dizzy state of excitement and could barely contain myself when they showed up asking the crowd if we remembered the first time.

Dear Pulp

Thank you



Sunday, 19 June 2011

Kieran I want you to come to Ascot

The day before we had planned to go to Ascot for Tim’s 30th the paper ran the headline ‘It's Royal Bash-cot’ as a group of folk got over excited and started a fight; plastic tables and chairs flying everywhere. In a similar vein when we arrived for the Saturday races the atmosphere didn’t have that quintessentially British, aristocratic, la di da feeling that I thought it would be. Although the vast majority had dressed up for the occasion seeing some people in jeans and t-shirts didn’t quite match up with my allusions to a regal day out, although having said that a sprinkling of royal fairy dust was created when the Queen rode past waving from her horse and carriage, making for a highlight of the day.

I bet and lost and bet and lost as the bookie’s humoured my £2 to £5 bets. Some of our group got some nice wins and pocketed the winnings, resisting the urge to bet again. In all in, it’s just about the perfect excuse to indulge in an all day drinking session by getting all dressed up, taking a picnic and sipping fizzy wine before battling the masses onto the train platform to squeeze onto the sardine sized tin trains.

But before the night was through for Tim’s 30th I was introduced for the first time to the infamous swan bar and club – which was adeptly described as being like a students union full with people long past their student glory days but seemingly trying to relive their memories by drowning in snake bite black – can’t beat them, join them in rapturous sing-a-longs; ‘I am the one and only’.

And with a suitable snake bite hangover the next morning I went and did what no one should do on a hangover - and that is go shopping – about an hour or so later my bank balance had plummeted as I gleefully came out clutching a pair of inline skates with all the necessary padding. You can’t say I’m not committed to my Kieran I want list…as roller skating to work is most definitely on my list. Now all I need is to learn how to use them and not slice myself open.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Kieran I see Daniel Kitson

For Kieran I want Mr Cobb asked me to place a bet on Swansea making it to the premiership and come to see Daniel Kitson with him. Foolishly I never went to the bookies to place the bet and so never made any money on their promotion but thankfully I did take him up on the offer of seeing the comedian Daniel Kitson.

We saw Daniel Kitson at Aberystwyth years and years ago when Tuesday night at the union started with a comedy night – up and coming acts took the long journey to the seaside to play to a student crowd – we paid a pound to watch them so who knows if they ever got paid, but we got to see some great acts in their infancy on the circuit – I remember Jimmy Carr, Reginald D Hunter and others but Daniel Kitson stands out above all. I seem to remember him telling us at the end of his stint to all go away and listen to Belle and Sebastian – how can you not love a comedian who also imparts musical wisdom to you as well.

Subsequently I have seen him a good few times, his shows sell out quickly so when his latest tour was announced – ‘The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church’ and sold out in Bristol, Jim, Colin and I went down to Newbury to see him perform.

It’s a story of Daniel Kitson’s investigations into the fate of Gregory Church. Having stumbled upon 30,000 letters including a suicide note discovered in Church’s attic, he unravels the story of this middle aged man and it’s unbelievably brilliant.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kieran I want you to take me to Liverpool

My ipod has 8071 songs it can choose from when on random shuffle. 8071 songs that it could have chosen from, but when I stepped off the train at Liverpool it happened to pick a Beatles number and so started a jaunt up to Liverpool with Mum.

Dear Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, I Want to Tell You the trip to Liverpool was a Good Day Sunshine, With a Little Help from My Friends, Mum and I got some great recommendations. A Day in the Life of our trip included visiting amazing churches seeing Lady Madonna and child Etcetera and seeing all kinds of street sculpture including saying Hello Little Girl to Eleanor Rigby. There are plenty of galleries but sometimes It's All Too Much as some of the artwork is Junk done by Madmen. However the idea of a silent disco in the Tate where people can dance All Together Now was very amusing.

One highlight was a Day Tripper; we got a Ticket to Ride on a train to Cosby beach to see the Anthony Gormley sculptures. But the Two of Us shouted Help! when the Rain started to lash down Here, There and Everywhere. In My Life I’ve never seen the rain Come Together with such high tides. We really needed a Yellow Submarine but instead huddled under cover then took The Long and Winding Road along the Long, Long, Long beach; the weather was Getting Better until we were pleased to note; Here Comes the Sun. The further along the beach we went the more bits of Another Place we saw until finally we could see a full sculpture looking out to sea like a Nowhere Man looking out Across the Universe. After a drying off and a cup of tea we thought it would be a good idea to and Follow the Sun and Get Back into town. That evening we managed to get into the Cavern for a Good Night, where people shout Hey Jude to celebrate some band called the Beatles, I know I almost joined Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band so who knows What Goes On after dark Because after A Hard Day's Night it was time to say Good Night ready for another Good Morning Good Morning.

I'm In Love with Liverpool, it gets All My Loving as Every Little Thing was a Revolution it was Something like being on a Helter Skelter or a Magical Mystery Tour. The people are very friendly so If You've Got Trouble or need to shake Yer Blues away I can strongly recommend the ‘pool. Any Time at All it’s the sort of place where All You Need is Love and you feel as Free as a Bird like you are Flying better than Memphis, Tennessee or being Back in the U.S.S.R.

Mum and I had a fantastic time so Oh! Darling I promise It Won't Be Long before I'll Be Back for sure I can’t Wait and will definitely return When I'm Sixty-Four. It’s a shame there aren’t Eight Days a Week and then perhaps we could have seen Penny Lane but Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da there is so much to see and do so I Will try and Get Back soon.

When I get home I will remember The Night Before anytime I look From a Window at Mr Moonlight or spend time Watching Rainbows, or when I’m Down, I know There’s a Place, That Means a Lot. All I’ve Got to Do is close my eyes and I Feel Fine remembering those Strawberry Fields Forever just like it was Yesterday.

So Let It Be said from Me to You, your Paperback Writer this it The End for now but The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill is always on the Tip of My Tongue

Monday, 18 April 2011

Kieran I want...things I want to do before 30...ride a unicycle

Having a go on a unicycle could possibly the best £3 I have spent. I promise you it’s not easy but the giggles and comedy falls you do whilst trying make it all worthwhile. I took a friend of mine and in between fits of laughter resulting in strained stomachs we managed to progress from clinging onto a wall and a kind persons shoulder, peddling for a few inches to no wall, one shoulder and laps of the room. No Fit State Circus in Cardiff offer classes on a Thursday and I would recommend it to anyone.

I may have got a little bit over excited as the next day after a search on gumtree I brought one. After finding two for sale; one in Brighton one in Bristol (strangely both being sold by people called Gary) and a series of text messages and phone calls I brought a unicycle. I don’t think my sister has ever received such a random phone call; ‘Siobhan, I think I have just brought a unicycle’, ‘OK’, ‘Its in Brighton, but he can deliver it to you’, ‘OK’, ‘He can come round tonight, can you meet him and give him £25 for me’ ‘OK’

Siobhan sent me this message when he turned up at her door; Purchased!! It looks good! Battery very low, will call later on. Hilarious. He looked like a clown in a way…xx. Turns out Gary is a kids clown entertainer and parting with his back up of his back up unicycle. His final text to me read; The secret is to practice in a narrowed hallway. Enjoy!