Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here Endith 2008

This is a record equalling post. Over the last 3 Decembers I've managed no more than 2 posts for those months. I really loathe this time of year and generally speaking my communication levels drop through the floor. I dare say this will be the last post of 2008 and it's going to be brief. I'll more than likely be back to normal levels of erratic blogging come January. Expect more gigs, some trips (2 of which are already booked!!), rants, ponderings and other such stuff.

In the meantime, I'm going to leave you with a video to see in the new year with. I can't even begin to say how much I love this song, and if you don't like it, then quite frankly you do not belong on here. Originally written by Weller when he fronted The Jam, this is him singing English Rose on Jools Holland.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ham Shank Me A Fist

Not the intended post. Have had "technology" issues. Managed to contract an STI (Stupid Technology Infection) which completely killed my browser. I then had to move ALL of my valuable files onto an external hard drive (which took ages due to all the music), then reload Vista and all of the software. I then had to go through all the updates from Microshaftyouallthetime. Half way through downloading the necessaries the broadband decided to up and fuck off, leaving my laptop in limbo with sod all working. By this point it was 1.30am and I gave up and went to bed.

The next night I spent AGES on the phone to Virgin Media. We recently changed from Orange because they were utter shite (I've never known such bad customer service). Virgin Media on the other hand were completely brilliant. The woman on the other end of the line was patient, had all the right answers, and most importantly talked me through getting back online. Top marks to Virgin Media.

I've now managed to reload all the missing updates, and I'm back. Minus all photos and music for 1 more night. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

However, in the meantime, does anyone know where I can get a copy of winrar that won't cost me owt and won't bludgeon my laptop in the arse with a large virtual rubber dong?

Also...saw this HERE and as I don't think I've done one of these on this blog, and it's music orientated, I thought I'd give it a bash.

If your life were a soundtrack, what would the music be?
1. Open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, Zen, iPod)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the name of whatever song comes up

Feel free to either post your own, or leave your answers in the comments below!

Opening Credits - Sweet Amber by Metallica

Waking Up - Ride A White Horse by Goldfrapp

First Day At School - We're Not Supposed To by Supergrass

Falling In Love - Marriage of Figaro (Act 2) by Mozart

Breaking Up - Dune Buggy by The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Prom or Similar - Listen To Me by Buddy Holly

Life's Ok - November Has Come by Gorillaz

Mental Breakdown - Sleep Now In The Fire by Rage Against The Machine

Driving - Since I First Met You from the Pulp Fiction Soundtrack

Flashback - 100 Years by Dr Dog

Getting Back Together - A Change by Sheryl Crow

Wedding - Let It Grow by Eric Clapton

Birth Of Child - Where Are My Panties? by Andre 3000

Final Battle - Blow Ya Mind (Yomanda Remix) by Load N Load

Death Scene - Married With Children by Oasis

Funeral Song - Disco Science by Mirwais

End Credits - All You Deliver by Jose Gonzalez

Wow...and there was no rigging of this either! Way too many of them are fairly apt in my opinion. Particularly like the School, Breakdown, and Birth Of Child ones. And no Weller...hmmm...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Paul Weller And Friends In Brixton

Ok, so who has missed me then? Excuse the absence of anything blogwise recently, I've actually been busy for a change. Much to write about, including a visit from Beth from Books Etc! However, for my return it's the last 2 Paul Weller gigs of the year for All Mod Cons, both at the Brixton Academy in London.

I'm going to try and roll both nights into one post, so bear with me as things might get a little jumbled.

A little over a month ago I had a really nice email from a reader in the US saying that they were coming over to London to see Weller and would I mind giving her the lowdown about the area and about the general UK "way" of gigs. Needless to say, I was more than happy to do so and said that she was more than welcome to hang out with the Viking, Chickenfoot and myself whilst she was here*.

Waiting for the others I bumped into the young emailer in the queue, who shall now be known as TM, and I found out that she was only here for 3 days so that she could see 2 gigs! Now that's what I call dedication. And, as I've found with pretty much everyone at a Weller gig, she was a bloody lovely person.

All Mod Cons, TM, and The Viking (who looks like he's about to sneeze)

All Mod Cons, Chickenfoot, and The Viking (looking normal this time)

As usual, when I have standing tickets, I arrived fairly early so that I could get as close to the front as possible. Much as Weller tends to play smaller venues, there's just something extra when you're up against the barrier with nobody between you and the performance.

Before Weller arrived on stage, we were faced with the "warm-up" acts. Tuesday nights The Hosts were not my thing. Whilst the lead singer had a fairly good voice, the songs left me feeling flat and disinterested. And when he tried to crack a joke about it being a band members birthday and asked us all to sing Happy Birthday, things got worse. And judging by the reaction from the crowd, the request went down like a sack of the proverbial. Wednesday night however we had Little Barrie as a warm up, the lead singer having also been a guest guitarist at the recent BBC Sessions recording. I thought they were excellent, so much so I went out and purchased their album (which is good, although I prefer their live stuff).

With all 4 of us right at the front, and TM and I on the final night in the same places (does that even make sense?!), we were treated to 2 quite incredible gigs. As soon as Weller appeared on stage the crowd went nuts, everyone was really up for it. Including Weller himself. I've not seen him on stage as relaxed and so full of attitude, really feeding off the live-wire audience. The amount of energy pouring from him you would never have guessed he was finishing such an extensive tour that took in Europe, Australia, Japan, America, Canada and even South America.

Both nights had everything. Songs from The Jam, The Style Council, his solo career and even some Beatles numbers. Tuesday night was particularly good for me as he played Out Of The Sinking, Changingman, Wild Blue Yonder and All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You), which are 4 of my favorite live songs, within the first 6 of the evening. Before we were even a quarter of the way through the set I had almost lost my voice. By the end of the night I sounded like I had been eating chalk for a week. Would I have it any other way? Not on your life.

I also had a souvenir bonanza from both nights. I managed to bag myself setlists and 2 plectrums, both Wellers. Normally you have to battle with people at the end of the gig to get what you can, but Brixton served up a surprise in the shape of a security guy on the other side of the barrier. Weller had just played Push It Along, and with a sweep of his hand across the guitar strings, he threw the plectrum high in the air. It landed on the edge of the stage, feet away from me. Knowing which song had been played with the shiny piece of plastic meant I just had to have it. I managed to get the attention of the security guy, who I'm going to call Dave, and he slyly picked it up for me before the next song started. Kudos was his to revel in, glory was mine. Dave immediately became the most popular orange coat wearing man in the building, the entire front line trying to get him to pick up memorabilia for them. Instead, he calmly stood back and posed for a photo for us. Top lad!

Security Man Dave

All Mod Cons smug look. I own the plectrum. 'Ave It.

Wednesday night was almost an exact repeat. Only it was a different song. Dave was again on hand to provide the mobile arm in grabbing me the plectrum used to play Changingman. I think he just liked reveling in his new found popularity, can't say that I blame him. And I certainly wasn't complaining. I even managed to get Dave to grab a 2nd Wednesday night plectrum, again of Wellers, for the lovely TM. I couldn't have her come all the way from the US and go home without a decent souvenir. That's just not cricket.

The Wednesday night even threw up an unexpected guest appearance from Carleen Anderson, who had previously provided backing vocals for Wellers Stanley Road and Heavy Soul albums, providing more vocals for People Get Ready and Come Together (which was so outstanding, I'm not even going to try and find the words to explain it). Her voice is absolutely fantastic and really provides another dimension.

The only dampener was the montage of images from Vietnam and 9/11 that is projected on the screen during Whirlpools End. Does it shock and hit the desired target? More than likely. But it also brings the crowd down a few notches. So much so that I didn't look at it the 2nd night, and found something a little kinder on the eye to look at. Fortunately Weller's encores were so good, we all left with huge smiles on our faces.

This year I've amassed 14 Paul Weller performances, each one has been special in its own way. I've met some excellent people from all over the world and everyone has played a part in making each gig unique. Brixton was something different altogether. Not only were the brilliant people from PWBF there (although I didn't get to see them for too long this time unfortunately), but I had 2 of my closest friends there, I had fantastic company for the 2nd night, the venue was top drawer, the crowd were on form and Weller gave a performance that will survive as one of my all time favorites.

I would like to say a special thanks to all those at PWBF, for a great many things. Especially Sakura and Woodcutter, you're both great.

I've now got an extensive break from Weller gigs. He's taking a break thank god, I can't afford anymore! Although I'm very much looking forward to seeing Oasis in January. Plectrums and setlists from there? I doubt it. But I'll have a damn good sing-along!

All Mod Cons "Wella Brella"...thanks to TopMod for this!

Tuesday nights setlist, plectrum and ticket!

Wednesday nights setlist, plectrum and ticket!

Motley Crew

As a side note...all of the photos on here were edited in some way by All Mod Cons and are the property of All Mod Cons. If you want to use them, please do so but ask first. Or at least drop a link in to here as a nod. Cheers!

Please also take a look at the new Song Of The Week...Little Barrie and Pay To Join. Feel free to let me know your thoughts!

*You can't have Americans wandering around the city on their own, you never know what might happen (joke!).

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Mystery Of The Missing Words

I was coming home from work the other night, rain bouncing off the tarmac in front of me as I pulled up to a set of traffic lights on Little Steed. I balanced the bike nicely, not having to put my feet down as I waited for the lights to change to green. The man on the rather expensive looking road bike had been following behind me for a few streets, not managing to overtake me because I was able to take the rather more rugged route through the London traffic, jumping off curbs to avoid the lake sized puddles that had formed because our sewer system can't take anymore than 8 litres of water. Which is beyond stupid when you consider how much it rains in this sodden country.

The lights turned green, and because I've got a sprightly gear ratio, I shot off up over the bridge. Coming down the other side of the crest of the bridge, the flash racer man belted past me at a rate of knots. As he went past he looked over his shoulder at me and shouted "Nice *mumble mumble* back there mate". I couldn't make out the whole sentence because my earphones were funneling the sweet liquid of The Jam and English Rose into my brain. Flash cycling man had sounded genuine in what he said...there was no trace of sarcasm or anger in his voice. As I carried on down the road I tried to imagine what those missing words were. Could he have been referring to my wet weather control of Little Steed? Or the poise that was evident at the lights? Was it really sarcastic, only said in an utter dead pan way, and he was highlighting my blatant disregard for public safety by hopping the curb to avoid the otherwise inevitable watery deluge? Or could he have been referring to the striking wet line of water and grease that was splattered up my jeans and over my back in a perfect line with the back wheel?

Or was he simply pointing out that there was some nice roadkill back there and that as I looked like a damp hillbilly he thought that I may have been interested in knowing in case I wanted it for dinner later on.

I doubt I'll ever know.

Because of this line of thought, I can't remember any of the rest of my journey home. It's a wonder that I made it back at all really.

If this had happened to you, what words would you have used to fill in the missing ones?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

All Mod Cons National TV Debut

Sounds rather grand doesn't it? Well...it wasn't. The BBC Sessions was broadcast last night (and will probably be available on the BBC iPlayer for those of you in the UK) and I appeared in the middle of the screen for about 0.429 of a second during Eaton Rifles. To be honest I was fairly happy that I wasn't shown more, I really hate being on camera. Although, a small appearance was most satisfying. Sakura was front and centre, and appeared more than once, shaking her booty!

Can't wait to get a copy of the gig on DVD, it was great reliving the evening. I'm also hoping that some kind soul puts the version of Wild Wood on YouTube as it is utterly outstanding, and I'd love to post it up for all to see.

I also made my return to XFM this week and managed to get 4 of the 5 questions right on the Random Question Generator segment of Rick Shaw's show. The question I got wrong...Do Reindeer's like bananas? Apparently they do. We live and learn right. I also learnt that Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indiana Jones ahead of Harrison Ford. As Rick said, Indiana with a tash just doesn't fit. We also swapped stories of the famous people we met. Obviously I told him of meeting Weller, whilst he met Paul McCartney. I win. Just.

In just over a week I'm off to Brixton for the last 2 nights of Weller's tour which will bring this years gigfest to a close. Plans for gigs next year are already underway. As I posted before, I'm off to Germany to see Oasis in January and there's a potential visit to see Weller in April. I'm not going to give anymore details on this one because it's stupid far away, both in time and in location and I'm not sure that my finances will allow such extravagance. But you never know, I may win the lottery in the meantime. I could also find the Moon in my jacket pocket. Chances of either happening are fairly similar.

I'm also trying to broaden my musical horizons. Ciaran has sent me a list of some hipperty hopperty tracks to listen to and thinks that there may well be something in the list that I'll like. I'm keeping an open mind....

Another "Stat" update. I'm amazed at some of the search terms that lead people over here.

1. My Wet Knickers Pictures
2. Hairy Assed White Women - This is just gross. No matter what way you look at it.
3. White Wet Nickers You Tube - Spell it properly and you may have more success...
4. How To Kiss A Hairy Woman All Over - Wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG!!!
5. Drunk Wet My Knickers - Begs the question, why did you give your underwear to a drunk in the first place?

To all these people, try adjusting your search term. Replace the word "knickers" with "panties". Knickers is more used in the UK, and the grand old US of A is where the majority of porn comes from. Panties is much more widely used over there. Just trying to help you weirdo losers out!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Racist Content - Be Warned

One of my more eye catching titles don't you think? I've wanted to do a post about this for some time, only I've never really known how to approach it. I think things like racism and religion are very hard subjects to address at the best of times. I could give my religious views, but because there are so many varieties of what people believe in, I would inevitably say something that another person wouldn't agree with. And I'm all about not making enemies.

Anyway here goes.

I have a Yahoo! email account and when you go onto their homepage there's this little box in the middle containing the most recent headlines for your choice of current affairs, entertainment and sport. Obviously top of my list is the sport section. Today I saw THIS story about former Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso being gracious to the new Champion, Lewis Hamilton (congrats Lewis by the way, BBC Sports Personality of the Year wrapped up then). Now with the Yahoo! Eurosport stories you are able to leave comments at the bottom, which I think is a great idea as it lets people have an intelligent debate about whatever has happened. Unfortunately it seems that there aren't that many intelligent people out there, who are now free to express their rather childish, moronic, closet minded attitudes and subject the rest of us to it. Bearing in mind this is about 2 guys being polite to each other, I find it incredibly ironic that someone can leave a comment like this....

"Don't get taken in by Monkey tricks!!! Monkey Blood & all Indians come from the same family tree line!!! They talk smoothly but within them lies different intentions & motives!!! Ask any Japanese who have done business with Indians with Monkey Blood & they tell you how they got cheated every time by these DEVILS with Monkey Blood!!! Do not be deceived by Monkey Blood's words for it's as cunning as it's Indian counterparts!!! If you see an Indian & a poisonous Cobra, kill the Indian because the Indian is more dangerous than the Cobra!!! It's a fact!!!"

What else really surprised me about this is that it was only the 4th comment left about the article. No banter even leads up to it, it's just smack, right there in your face.

You can also give each comment a "Thumbs Up" or a "Thumbs Down". Needless to say I gave it a Thumbs Down, and it got reported as abuse. I think it's disgusting that there are people out there that a) believe this shit and b) are allowed to express their view to so many people. I was told a reason as to why these comments can't all be moderated, but I can't remember it. But I think it's a shame that they aren't all checked. The concept of being able to leave comments on news articles is brilliant, there's great potential for a decent debate and to be able to leave your constructive view. It's just a shame there are people out there that are abusing it in this way.

The fact that there were also 8 Thumbs Up's on that comment was a little disturbing. However, there's a flip side to that. Several people after this comment expressed their disgust at it too and also reported it as abuse. There were also 88 Thumbs Down's. Yeah, 10% agreed. But, I bet that's a lot less than there would have been 30, or 20, or even 10 years ago. I find that reassuring. That at least we're going in the right direction.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hot News Just In

I'm off to see Ze German sisters in January in Dusseldorf. Excellent!

Oh, and we'll be seeing Oasis. Ave it! *insert bow legged monkey man walk here whilst sticking out chin with attitude*

Expect a full run down of the trip after the 19th of January 2009!

And now to show exactly what Noel Gallagher can achieve when he puts his mind to it (not that I'm still rather miffed as to the general blandness of the new album) here's a video of him singing The Masterplan on MTV Unplugged. Outstanding.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cough Me A Mixture

I've found my Mojo, but he's currently being rather uncooperative. The bastard. I think he's just disappointed with the new Oasis album and is sulking. The Doctor has prescribed more Ball Hanging music, to be taken at least 3 times a day, for about 2 weeks.

Anyway, onto more pressing matters. First I would like to thank those for guest posting. You all did a rather fantastic job and I'm most grateful. Maybe next time some of you others will join in?! Even those of you that are lurking behind the scenes. Don't be afraid, you can't get it wrong. Unless you post a Celine Dion video of course.

Back to the stats post again. Ever since this was posted I'm having an obscene amount of people searching for "http://phoque.me". Really, I've no idea why. Firstly, if you know the url you want to go to, why type the damn thing into Google? Secondly, you won't find any answers here! The name of my old blog, or more specifically the url, was phoqueme.blogspot.com....which as far as I'm concerned is completely different. What's on that website anyway? I haven't the guts to type it in just in case it's something awful.

Also getting a lot of searches for "Beatfillings". Mostly by people in Turkey. Again, no idea what this/these are but if someone would care to let me in on it, then I might just do a post about it to help you out. Again, this isn't a place at the moment that you'll find answers, but if it's interesting then that could all change.

I would also like to say that my thoughts are with my friend Ted (and his family) because his Nan passed away yesterday. Much sad news. Chin up buddy.

Subsequently I won't be going to the Paul Weller gig on Monday night in Dublin. However, I do now have tickets for the final night in Brixton (as well as the 2nd night). This will be the end of the European tour, so I'm hoping that it's going to be rather special. Although with Oasis now on tour, it's unlikely and unfortunate that Noel Gallagher will not be joining in on stage like the last time.

In honour of this, and to keep up the recent trend of Weller videos on here *cough cough* I'm adding this YouTube effort. It's Noel Gallagher singing To Be Someone by The Jam (from the album All Mod Cons no less!). The original is fantastic, but I really love this version too. It's also All Mod Cons Song Of The Week.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Walls Come Tumbling Down (Hopefully)

I have to say that I feel very lucky, and slightly nervous, writing this guest post for the mighty AMC. He might claim that he's lost his mojo, but I'd suggest that even a mojo-less AMC is the better of 90% of other bloggers.

With that in mind I've decided to tackle a subject outside those that are normally covered here (though not entirely as you'll see), but it's one that will undoubtedly affect us more than just about anything else. I'm talking of course about what Jonathan Ross will do next. Sorry, I mean who wakes up on Wednesday morning as President of the USA.

I realise that the Obama-McCain election has probably been one of the most written about in the history of modern democracies, but I still feel it's worth talking about: I also realise how dangerous mentioning race or politics can be online as I recently wrote about an occasion when posting about these things went terribly wrong, but I'd like to think the readers of AMC are open to a bit of adult discussion.

It was whilst reading an excellent analysis of both candidates in yesterday's Observer that I realised quite how much this election matters, and quite how much I care about the result. It made me think about how it has often been somehow trendy to mock the US: its culture, its people and its institutions. Certainly, the way in which many in this country and around the world seemed to display schadenfreude after the events of Septemmber 2001, or were willing to line up with the sort of extremists they would normally throw their copy of The Guardian* at, just so long as it allowed them to oppose Bush Jr, left a nasty taste in the mouth. But I often think that this attitude comes out of a mixture of jealousy & disappointment.

Jealousy, in the same way you secretly envy your cooler younger sibling: they might be headstrong and rather naive, but at the end of the day, they always know what's hot before you do. And let's be honest, how many things that you hold dear originated in the US? I listen to rock, funk, jazz, soul & hip hop - all American inventions. I love the fact that the British have so regularly managed to add their own flavour to these genres, but at the end of the day, we're only improvising with an American recipe.

Disappointment because underneath it all, we want America to be all that it aims to be. Anyone who watches as much West Wing as I do will know the feeling that often comes when watching it: if only Jed Bartlet was real, if only the last 8 years were just a bad dream. But he's not, and they weren't. Which is why I'm hoping so strongly for an Obama win: if nothing else, whilst we Brits may love acting superior, we've never managed to get someone with dark skin and a funny sounding name anywhere near Number 10.

And it seems I'm not alone in my desire. A website set-up by an acquaintance of mine encourages the citizens of the world who don't live in the US to cast their vote, as this is probably the one election which truly impacts every single country on the planet. At the moment it's showing the world desperate for an Obama landslide. I doubt it will be that clear-cut, but for all those of us who honestly want the US to at least attempt to live-up to its own standards, I hope he wakes up on Wednesday with someone calling him Mr President.

Of course this being All Mod Cons, it wouldnt be right if I didn't end with a video, and so I give you the mighty Weller from his (in my opinion) highly under-rated Style Council days with a track which has a very apt name: here's hoping Obama can be like the horns of Jericho.

*I should add that I'm card carrying Guardian reader myself.

Wall image by seier+seier+seier on flickr

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The One Where I Talk About Hot English Boys

So AMC put out a call for guest bloggers, and since he’s totally my blog crush (he volunteered for the job, honest!) I oh-so-generously offered.

But let’s face it, I have one of the girliest blogs ever, so if you’re wanting a post about my own “Little Steed” or Paul Weller, or home improvement? Yeah, totally not today my dears.

I’m thinking a post something along the lines of: Why British men are so much hotter than Canadian men. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Reason # 1: You know Shakespeare? Totally like “Man of the Millenium.” He can make a girl all swoony just with this words.

Reason #2: Jude Law. Colin Firth. Alan Rickman. Gary Oldman.

Reason # 3: Like Harry Potter could have done his magic anywhere else!

Reason #4: How many royal Canadian guys are there?

Reason # 5: Charlie Chaplin. Legend. Hilarious. Enough said.

Reason # 6: James Bond. Shaken not stirred. And there must be something about him since all the Bond-girls seem so willing to do his bidding. And c’mon- anything with Sean Connery - Puuurrr….

Reason # 7: King Arthur. Oh yeah – he totally pulled the sword out of that stone. (Did that just sound dirty?)

Reason # 8: As much as Hugh Grant might have his misdemeanors – I do love him for this:

Reason #9: Mmmm Davy...

Reason #10:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Much Ado About Mojo

Greetings to AMC fans from Beth of BooksEtc.

While AMC searches for his Blogging Mojo (have you checked under your bed?) I offered to do a guest post. Since I’m on extended blog leave (as in, not sure if I will be returning…) it’s kind of nice to take a brief dip in the blogging pool.

But as I compose this guest post, I find the haunting spirit of AMC looming over my shoulder. (The left one.) I am trying very hard to resist the urge to write about hedgehogs, a Little Steed, a pet cactus (none of which I own), London traffic, chicks and Mr. P. Weller. I am also resisting the urge to use words such as arse, plank, sod it and shite.

Really, as a guest blogger I should write about something that is true and real to me - in my own words.

Oh, bollocks - I’ll write whatever I bloody well please and just hope AMC doesn’t wield his red pen to slash and edit.

I might even include a YouTube video of Justin Timberlake or Celine Dion in this post. Would he allow such rubbish to tarnish the musical standards of his blog? Do I want to invoke The Wrath of Con? Perhaps not…

So what I will write about is what I’ve learned from reading this man’s blog since waaay back when…back to those Teabags and Ashtrays days. (Can I mention that? Are we still in hiding here?) And what I have to say will not swell AMC’s head. It can’t get any larger than it already is.


1. To expand my taste in music.

2. To see my own country (Canada) through the eyes of someone who has a passion for its beauty and an appreciation for the opportunities it offers.

3. That with determination and hard work, a dream can be achieved.

4. That the English have some pretty damn funny expressions. Knackered, eh?

5. That one’s blog can die and be resurrected many times. (I might try this myself…)

So, hey, AMC, while your minions tend to your blog, find that missing Mojo and get back here ASAP to regale us with further tales of the life of an Englishman.

We’ll be missing all that arsef*ckery…

One more thing. (Yeah, I’m wordy…I do need editing.) What kind of a post would it be on AMC’s blog without some music? So here’s a video that combines a Canadian icon (Gordon Lightfoot) with a British one (Paul Weller).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guest Post Request

I have decided that I need a break from blogging. My Blogging Mojo has taken a recent hit and the flow isn't flowing.

So, in the spirit of Universal's recent guest blogging bonanza, I'm also throwing out a request to those writers on my sidebar. If you wanted to partake and put fingers to keyboard on All Mod Cons I would love to hear from you. Posts can be about whatever you wish and as short or as long as you see fit. There are no rules really.

Drop me a line and I'll figure out how to make you one of those "Contributors" things. I'd be most grateful if you give it a whirl!

Other brief news...I've had a really good weekend with a wonderful visitor from afar, although I will expand on this another time. In the meantime, I'm going to go looking for my Blogging Mojo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Of Those Days

Yeah, it's been one of those days. Nothing dramatic, just a pain in the arse.

Woke up a little late (due to playing Playstation with the Viking until 12.30, which is way past my bedtime on a weekday), threw my clothes on, left the house and found that I had a puncture on the Little Steed. Fixing a puncture normally takes me about 4 to 5 minutes but due to having only woken up 15 minutes previously, it took freakin ages because I kept forgetting things. One of which happened to be doing the bolts up on the wheel. Glad I remembered that before leaving again.

Then I got lost on the way to work. It should be a straight line (ish) according to the AtoZ but I swear someone moves parts of London around whilst I'm cycling. Either that or my sense of direction is bollocks. Probably the latter. Then I get beeped by some Polish workman in his van for cycling through some roadworks. Ok, I shouldn't really have been there, but I wasn't anywhere near him, so he got told to "go away" in no uncertain terms.

When leaving work, I had yet another puncture. Which meant finding a bike shop, which happened to be fairly close. Although due to someone moving the street from where it should have been, took longer than I wanted it to. New inner tube fitted, but the pump didn't work, so back into the shop I went to use theirs.

Then I got thrown out of the supermarket when I was picking up some pasta because I had Little Steed with me. It actually took longer to have the conversation with security and get out of the shop than it would have done to just let me buy my pasta. I also can't understand why I couldn't wheel my wee BMX around the shop, it's smaller than any of the bloody pushchairs that get wheeled around. And there was only about 8 people in the shop anyway. Bleeding jobsworths!

See, nothing dramatic. Maybe I'm just cranky today. Some days I genuinely believe that I would be significantly happier living in a log cabin on the side of a mountain with nothing but the wildlife to keep me company. As long as the animals kept quiet after bedtime of course.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stats And Fings

I must admit, I kind of like this internet thing. It's amazing and scary in equal measure as far as I'm concerned. The amount of information out there, accessible to anyone, is absolutely astounding. You really can find out about anything. All that knowledge at your finger tips, and all you have to do is tap your digits on your keyboard, and up pop about 1,210,000 results in 0.23 of a second.

I already know what I search for, mainly things like gig tickets, new songs on YouTube, the name of the pair of trainers I wanted (Adidas Stockholms, just in case you were interested...decided not to get them though..too blue for the rest of the ensemble), a recipe for Flapjacks or for finding out cheap flights to places.

What fascinates me is how some people come across my blog. I've got 2 little stat counter things telling me all kinds of information about those that stop by, and I've become a little bemused by some of the search terms. Some are quite ordinary, and to be honest quite expected. Others are a little off the wall in my book.

I thought I'd share a few of them, and try and expand on the queries for any future searches that are the same.

1. allmodcons, all mod cons blog, all mod cons weller blog - these 3 search terms mean you have indeed arrived at the right place. Give yourself a gold star!

2. things to do to prepare for parenthood - this most definitely means you are in the wrong place. Parenthood advice would be considered fairly low down on my expertise list. It's right below "building a rocket from pubes" on the expertise list.

3. i met noel gallagher - Yep, so did I. Leave a comment next time and we'll compare stories.

4. nose and eatingwoman - I have no idea what this really means. And I didn't leave out a space, the person doing the search did.

5. batman beats of rage mod - I personally think that someone had a fit whilst typing this into Google. It doesn't make sense. At all. Anyone care to enlighten me?

6. why doesn't paul weller speak to bruce foxton - He just doesn't ok. Let's just leave it at that.

7. photo german beating up irishman - I wonder if the person actually found this? What have the Germans got against the Irish? Unless they thought he was English?

8. larges hairy ass - I don't know who larges is, but I'm guessing that he/she has a hairy ass.

9. wetting knickers blogs - This is my favorite. Really. Who on earth writes blogs about people wetting their pants?! Mind you, there's obviously a market for it. No wet knickers here though, I can assure you. And I double checked too.

I also got told the other day via email that someone "stumbled" across my blog. Funny really, considering that I knew this person had been looking at my blog for some time. In fact, they already knew where it was when it was called allmodconsonvideo. I may be many things, but I'm not totally stupid. A little bit, but not totally. The wonders of IP addresses and stat counters eh! No longer on BT, but blueyonder...I'll have to make a note to tell the Viking, I'm sure they'll be along there at some point, if not already. I'm no longer bothered by it all, just sadly amused.

I also have a visitor this weekend, which I'm very much looking forward to. I have to plan "Things to do" if it's sunny. And have another plan if it's raining. Knowing my luck, it'll do both. At the same time.

...just realised, that would mean there's a rainbow! We could go hunting Leprechauns and pots of gold!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shining Personal Endorsements And A Video!

Housekeeping is the name of the game people. As I've mentioned before, I rely a little too heavily on Google Reader to keep up to date with the blogs I read. It makes for a lazy blogger, and my comments on what I read are becoming thin on the ground. Which is shameful behaviour.

It also means that my little list of Places That Interest Me is somewhat out of date. Instead of just editing it and hoping that people notice some new additions, I'm going to make a statement of it. Here are the extras...

LIVE Music Photography
by John Rahim
Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts by Aunt Reeny (Another excellent Canadian!)
A Somewhat Old, But Capacious Handbag by MissPrism (Not a prolific blogger, but check out the most recent post on books)
Just Another Social Profile Really by Ciaran (Lots of music stuff, videos, and just a different take on things)
Paul Weller News by DaveB (For those of us that just need to know)
Stuart Peel by Stuart Peel (An excellent read and fantastically written)

And after much verbal abuse, The Viking has finally given in and started up a new blog. Those of you that read his efforts on the rather shit Yahoo! 360 will know that he's pretty good at stringing a sentence together. There's only one post up so far as he only started yesterday, but please go over and show some loving at Wired-On-Sea. He'll love the attention.

All of the blogs I read and that are in the section on the right are all worth reading. They wouldn't be there otherwise. If you don't know each other, drop by and say hello.

I have been trying to organise all the photos and other rubbish I have on my laptop. I'm a great one for Folders and having things in their right place. I found an old video of me taken in March 2006. I've no idea why the video was taken, but we were all sto...erm...drunk. I think. Anyway, check out the short barnet! Considering I loathe cameras being pointed at me, I'm quite surprised that I allowed this to be taken. Must've been off with the fairies.

Song Of The Week this time round is Up Country by Mancini. I've posted about them before, but make sure you take a listen. Outstanding tune. And yes, she is frighteningly hot. But that's just a bonus.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Paul Weller Plays Heidelberg

I've had 2 colds this year. Both of which started just before leaving the UK bound for Heidelberg. The last one arrived first thing on Friday morning, and I prayed it wouldn't take hold until at least Saturday. Unfortunately I wasn't that lucky. I was coughing and spluttering like a trooper by the time the gig arrived. Unlike most men, I do actually know the difference between a cold and flu, but my god I felt like crap. I was also determined to not let it detract from seeing Weller.

As I mentioned in the last post, I was met at the airport by my old housemate (Ze German) and her mum. It's been a pretty long time since we saw each other and it was great to catch up with her. I also firmly believe that driving fast is something that is built into the German DNA, Ze German's mum really didn't hang around! But I was extremely grateful for the lift, thanks again ladies. We hung out for a while in Heidelberg and had something to eat whilst I let my cold firmly set in.

As we said our goodbyes I met up with Sakura and Rainbow Girl outside the venue. We were also joined, albeit fleetingly, by Stefan who was there to take some photos of the gig.

This is All Mod Cons, Stefan and Rainbow girl.

And this one includes the lovely Sakura, possibly giving it a "Hey you" point towards the camera!

I've not been to a gig that was all seated before. And to be honest, I was actually looking forward to taking a load off. Sakura managed to save RG & I seats right at the front, a totally uninhibited view of Weller! First up though were support band Moke, a Dutch based band that I hadn't heard of before, although the lady a couple of seats down from me (who kindly gave me some tissues, cheers luv) said that they were pretty good. And to be fair, they weren't bad. I'm always a little sceptical of hearing bands live when I've never heard any of their stuff before. I like to taste their music over a few "listens" first before hearing them live. You only get one shot at listening to a live song, and if the acoustics are wrong, or the set up isn't right, then you're going to lose my interest pretty rapidly. Much like Glasvegas did at Koko earlier this year. Moke were fairly good though. The set they played built up nicely in tempo and their penultimate song, Here Comes The Summer, was absolutely excellent. Although the last song, unfortunately, missed the target for me entirely. I've had a little listen to the song snippets on their website, and would recommend them. It's just a shame they don't have the full versions of at least a couple of tunes.

Then came the man himself. Having witnessed a gig at the BBC just a few weeks ago that was probably a once in a lifetime experience, Heidelberg as a follow-up was always going to have its work cut out. And whilst I was glad for the sit down, I wasn't entirely convinced that having everyone in seats was such a good idea. I've seen a fantastic collection of Weller gigs, both acoustic and full on, but this was the first time that I had seen one that was, in essence, split into two halves. Straight from the off I thought the sound was a little wrong though. The vocals seemed to get lost behind the guitars at times and when Invisible was played (one of my favorite songs from 22 Dreams) I could hardly hear Weller at all. Having said that, All On A Misty Morning was outstanding (and remains the top song played on my iPod, not that that has any relevance to this at all!). I also felt, at times, that the band were kind of just "going through the motions" when it came to the slower songs. Change overs weren't up to their usual slick standards, with Weller wandering off stage for a few minutes leaving the band to do an impromptu "fill in" instrumental. Maybe playing in front of a crowd, all pretty much sitting on their backsides, in such a small venue isn't that inspiring for the performers.

A change of pace was definitely needed. From both the crowds point of view, and Wellers. And when Out Of The Sinking (1 of my personal all time favorites) started, the blood started to pump. Songs like Sea Spray, From The Floorboards Up, and Push It Along were equally excellent. And the version of Wild Wood, similar to the one played at the BBC, was astounding. However, again there were times when the vocals were almost lost, especially behind Cradocks guitar which seemed incredibly overbearing. Whoever did the sound check, and I know there was one because we heard it when we were outside the back of the venue, needs to go back to basics I think.

Before the first of 3 encores we were all told to stand up and make our way towards the stage. I think everyone, including Weller, had had enough of all this sitting around malarkey. And believe me, it was worth doing. It was like a completely different gig. Weller had that familiar swagger back, his chin jutting out as he strutted around the stage totally owning the place. The crowd duly paid it back, singing every word and cheering at any given opportunity. Broken Stones was amazing and Wild Blue Yonder (which is getting close to being my all time favorite live song) was complete musical heaven for me.

All in all it was a pretty good evening. Apart from my cold and the dodgy sound. I met some really nice people, including some German lads who were obviously huge Weller fans. Massive thanks again to Ze German & her mum for the lift and to Sakura for saving us seats and giving me somewhere to quite literally crash at the end of the night. Without you all I would've stayed at home and nursed my swollen, dripping, red nose.

Weller! (Courtesy of Sakura)


I also managed to get hold of Cradocks setlist at the end, mainly because I'm lankier than most people and could reach it, before they started handing out the photocopies. I also got hold of another plectrum of Weller's! I now have 3, all different! I'm going to need a bigger frame on my wall!

Whilst I'm fairly happy with the photos I took, here's a very small example of the quite incredible work from Stefan.

More of his work can be found HERE. Please note that the images are protected by Stefan Duerr Photography copyright. If you wish you use them, please contact him and ask for permission!

As a little "aside", if you drop by from any other sites to read this review, please feel free to leave a comment. Any feedback is welcome, as long as it's not too harsh!

So there you have it, another Weller gig. Normal "Blog" services will now be resumed until the 10th of November when I'll be off to Dublin to see Weller there, and have a good catch up with Ted, another old housemate!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Please Ensure Your Seats Are In Their Upright Position

Rant And Swear Modes Activated.

Initiating Finger Coordination Programme 73G93X

Attempting To Contact Blogger....Please Wait....

....We Are Sorry For The Delay. Your Call Is Important To Us And We Will Be With You As Soon As Possible...

....Connection Established....

Please note that this post contains strong language from the outset. Some viewers may find this offensive. This is what is called a *Warning*. If you carry on reading, and don't like it, don't fucking moan about it you moron! That's what warnings are for, to let you know about stuff coming up.

If I go to an Internet Cafe to use a computer and print some things off, I do not expect to be confronted by someone behind the counter that has failed to master the standard greeting of "Hello". I also do not expect to stand there waiting for several minutes whilst you stare intently at the empty desks, trying to remember which one of your dodgy ripped off PC's actually works, and then grunting to me whilst thrusting out a bony finger in the general direction of a grubby seat. I do expect this PC to work. At least to the point of being able to maintain an OPEN and WORKING browser. This is, after all, supposed to be a business that works on the premise of being an INTERNET CAFE. When the grubby PC doesn't work, and I tell you that it doesn't, I do NOT expect you to repeat the entire process all over again without even muttering an apology.

Also, whilst I'm waiting in a queue to pay for my new purchases, I do not expect the short, fat, bag laden wench behind me to stand SO close to me that my sphincter starts to get hot from her overbearing body heat. Who then has the cheek to whinge because my bag hit her when I turned slightly! Just because I'm not facing you, it doesn't give you the right to be in my personal space! Back off bitch! If I did turn around, we'd be arrested for copulating in public!

When I become Mayor of London, I'm going to ban short people from having umbrellas. Sorry, but anyone under the height of 5'9" will just have to get wet. Or stay at home. Until you lot learn some manners, and notice the fact that your pointy umbrella ends are exactly at my eye height, then bollocks to you. All you have to do is raise your arm a few inches! I do not enjoy having metal and nylon pushed into my face, or feel like I'm auditioning for an Indiana Jones part as I leap, duck and weave my way around shops. I just want to shop like a normal human being.

Another thing, buggy's the size of a small family saloon car. Not Necessary. Ever. Having disc breaks on the thing is quite frankly utterly ridiculous. It hasn't even got pedals, let alone an engine, and with your hugely fat arse you're never likely to get it up to speeds where disc breaks are going to make a difference. No part of our public transport network is designed to cope with such enormous buggery! No matter where you go, you are in the way. You block all the doorways, congest the buses and tubes, make the rest of us walk in the road. Either get a smaller buggy or keep your legs shut next time.

Also...if you're sharing a house with me, do not have the heating on full blast then sit in your bedroom with the fucking windows open!! Is your brain that small?! Have you not read about fuel prices?!? Have you always been this stupid or have you had to work really hard at it in evening classes? And if the toilet is blocked, or the drain is over flowing, or the gas isn't working properly, stop coming to tell me about it! You are just as capable as I am of putting an arm down the drain to unblock it! I don't get paid to be Mr Maintenance, believe it or not I do just live here.

Rant And Swear Modes Deactivated.

Off to see Paul Weller in Germany tomorrow! Not staying as long as originally planned, so I'll be back on home turf by 6pm Saturday, but had a serious result for when I land. There were issues with my travel arrangements, one of which meant that I was going to be sitting at Frankfurt airport (not the proper Frankfurt, this one is in a field in butt fuck nowhere) for almost 3 hours waiting for a coach. However, my former housemate, and altogether utter star, is driving down with her old dear to meet me there and drive me to Heidelberg! Complete result! Friends eh, they're bloody blinding sometimes!

Might take my tiny little speakers so that I can plug them into my iPod and play Weller songs the entire time I'm there. Just to let everyone know who I'll be seeing in the evening. I almost feel like it's a calling, the people of Heidelberg are desperately in need of knowing that I'll be at the gig. They just don't know it yet.

Monday, October 6, 2008

1 Week On

It's been a strange old week. I felt a bit weird having met Weller and thought I'd be bouncing off the walls all over the place but it didn't really sink in until the following Friday. When I met Noel Gallagher last year, all I could do was show people the photo & babble on about it for days and days. However, I have pretty much spent most of the week wandering around with some creepy half grin on my face. Yeah ok, I showed a few people the photo & told the story more than once, but by Monday morning things were almost back to normal.

Then on Friday I went out to try and get some new jeans, failed miserably, and ended up spending more money than I can afford in HMV. One of my purchases was a Paul Weller Hit Parade DVD (bargain at £10 for a double DVD!!). There's a little run of some of my favorite songs on the 2nd disc, and as I sat there watching the videos and listening to the tunes it all came rushing back.

I almost always associate a song with something. Be it a feeling, or a person, or an event, and that song will always remind me of that. But Weller's music is a bit different for me. Each song does have a meaning behind it, but it can vary to the extreme. It's like it's adaptable to whatever mood I'm in, or need to be in. Watching the video footage of some of the songs brought back exactly how I was feeling that night, and kind of enabled me to replay it all in my mind in slow-mo. Meeting him is like listening to his songs, I'll be able to remember that night and get whatever I want from that memory, and each time it'll be different. Not sure if it actually gets any better than that, at least for me anyway.

More "Weller" related news...this Friday I'm off to Germany for the evening to see him play in Heidelberg. My travel arrangements are a bit tight for getting there on time due to some last minute changes, although an alternative might mean that I get there early. It's one of those "up in the air" things. Hopefully it'll come off because I'll get to catch up with an old flatmate and friend of mine. I also wish I had a better damn camera, because my phone blows at taking gig photos. Just a little too brassic in order to be able to afford a digital jobby. I actually have better things to save money for...could well be good news on this front too soon, at least I'm hoping so.

Talking of money, I picked myself up a Lottery Ticket last weekend. I've never won a single penny off the lottery, ever. Ok, I've not done it every week but I'd say I'd spent a couple of hundred quid over the last 10 years, or however long it's been going. Well, all that changed at the weekend. I took my ticket in to have it scanned to see if I'd won or not and the guy said that he couldn't scan the ticket for some reason or another. I came home and checked it manually, turns out I've won £10! Result! Kind of typical it won't scan though. Bastard machine.

Also this week, I managed to successfully stab myself with a screwdriver. In that bit of skin between your thumb and finger. Kinda hurt.

I also refused to pee in someones garden (even though they had given us permission on the job we're on because the toilet is out of commission). 2 reasons behind this. 1. The hedge had spider webs in, and I don't "do" spiders and 2. I've hurt my damn back again (is this what happens when you get older?!?) so if a spider DID land on me, and I freaked, then I couldn't flap my arms and legs about with wild abandon as per normal because I'd probably pass out with back pain. Thus enabling said spider to crawl up my nose and nest in my brain. Which is what spiders do.

Song Of The Week is The Stone Roses and Love Spreads. Give it a listen, let me know what you think if you want.

Oh, and here's the photo of me and Noel Gallagher...check out my "I'm at work and have an inbetween haircut" look...*sigh*

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Post To End All Posts

It's 11am on Sunday and I've already had the weekend to end all weekends. No exaggeration.

Rewind a few hours to Saturday morning. I set off for Central London to get myself some new stuff for the up coming Heidelberg gig. Whilst on my travels through the hoards of people I found a couple of Weller DVD's in one of the many music shops, both heavily discounted, which I had planned on watching in the evening.

I got home, got comfy, and started to emerse myself in the DVD of Studio 150 (Weller's Covers album). Halfway through the interview I get a call from Woodcutter (remember, no real names policy!). He had managed to get hold of some tickets for a BBC show that Weller was doing and told me that if I could get to the TV studios within about half an hour, then I could get in as well.

Not needing to be told twice, I was calling taxi firms by the dozen whilst getting dressed so that I could get there in time. As with all All Mod Cons' journeys, it's never just plain sailing. Traffic lights insisting on being red, idiot drivers, drunken pedestrians and roadworks all conspired to stop me getting there in time. Thankfully my taxi driver was from a country where other road users are a secondary thought and I made it. Wristband on, I went in to meet the others. Woodcutter was accompanied by Sakura, TopMod, 1967 and a few more (my memory isn't functioning properly to remember everyone's names, sorry!).

We were all hanging around, having a few drinks (cokes in my case) before the show started. It gave me a change to get to know some of the other people a bit better. Stories were being bounded around by everyone, we all had our little anecdotes of Weller experiences to share and I soaked them all up intently.

On the table next to us was a face I recognised. It was non other than Eddie Piller, whom I'd met last year on the way to see Weller in Germany and who had very kindly got my ticket signed by Paul after the Berlin gig. I spoke to him for a little while, duly getting him the beer I owed him for my autograph.

After a few delays we were all let into the studio, the whole thing is due to go out on TV at some point, so all of us piled down to the front. Due to some fuck up with the ticket allocation, there was only about 120 of us instead of the planned 500. Talk about intimate!! Anyone of us could have reached out and grabbed the mic stand, we were that close! To one side of the stage was a Strings section, and to the other was the Brass. A full on musical cacophony!

Weller came out and continued to play a set of about 20 songs, including some of my favorites. Wild Blue Yonder was fantastic (a former Song Of The Week), Wild Wood was utterly amazing (Eliza McCarthy accompanied Paul centre stage with her violin and was magnificent), Peacock Suit, Seaspray, All I Wanna Do and Invisible are all ones that stick in my mind. Graham Coxon (of Blur fame) and Gem Archer (of Oasis fame) also played. Gem played Echos Round The Sun, a track co-written by Noel Gallagher, although I must confess that this isn't one of my favorite songs. Because it was being filmed, we weren't allowed to use any sort of cameras, which I was pretty gutted about. I didn't think I would ever get this close to Weller again to get a decent photo...

I, personally, thought that the whole session was incredible. I'm much more of a fan of intimate gigs than heady stadium shows and last night was just about as good as it gets. Everyone sang to all the songs and much "Weller Lovin'" was had by all. When the set was over I dived the whole 1 foot to the stage and grabbed not 1, but 2 plectrums! Both of them were used by Paul! The evening was getting better and better! But it wasn't over yet...not by a long way...

We slowly edged our way out of the studio, all loitering around and going through the songs that were played. Winding our way through the maze of corridors that make up the BBC I heard Woodcutter mention that there was a bar & get together up on the 4th floor. So off we all went, although I'm not sure if we were meant to be there or not. Sitting outside with Sakura, I met Ed the Manchester lad and City fan, along with his lovely (and slightly mad) other half, Mel. Ed is probably one of the nicest blokes I've ever met, and another avid Weller fan. He had managed to get a small collection of setlists, and he gave Sakura and I one each, "As long as I've got one each for me and my boy" he said. What a legend, and I'm looking forward to meeting them again in Brixton.

So...I'd managed to see Weller up close, I'd got 2 of his plectrums, and now a setlist. Doesn't get any better right? Bollocks it doesn't! After half an hour of mingling, the band turned up! Including Weller himself. I was standing a few feet from the man and Sakura looks at me and says "Get your camera ready, we'll get you a photo". She's known Paul for a fair while, and went to talk to him. I followed like a nervous child. After talking to him for a while she says to him "This is All Mod Cons, can he get a photo with you?". And this is where it get a little surreal for me. He looks straight at me and says "Hi, how you doing. I've seen you at a few gigs". If there wasn't so much noise going on, he would've heard me let out a little schoolgirl squeal. "Yeah, I'm good thanks, would you mind if I got a photo?", "Yeah, no problem". In my book, that constitutes a conversation. I was utterly over the moon. I stood next to Weller, his security guy took the photo, I shook his hand and said thanks. I've not been able to stop smiling, I even fell asleep with a grin on my face. I've made phone calls to pretty much everyone I know, sent copies of the photo to anyone I know that has a mobile phone.

I got 4 hours sleep last night, and I feel as fresh as a daisy. There was nothing bad about last night. At all. Everyone I met; Topmod, 1967, Ed, and the others, thank you for helping make it an amazing night. But especially to Woodcutter for getting me in and making that call to me. And to Sakura, without you introducing me to Paul I wouldn't have had the guts to speak to him myself. I don't actually know how I can thank you. For once words actually escape me.

This was the most perfect evening, ever.

Here's a few photos!

The Stage! (Before filming started)

My setlist (courtesy of Ed) and my 2 plectrums.

And the BEST ever. Paul Weller and All Mod Cons. Fucking Perfect.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 100 Club

A little while ago I was invited to see The Jamm at the 100 Club on Oxford Street by a friend of mine, whom I shall call Sakura (keeping my "no real names" policy). Not only is she a completely lovely lady, but she's also a huge Weller fan. She's seen The Jam about 70 times, and Weller since he went solo around 50 times. Now that's what I call a serious fan!

Anyway, we went to the 100 Club, which is situated on London's Oxford Street and has been hosting a plethora of music since 1942 (originally a restaurant called Mack's). The list of bands and artists that have performed here is way too long to list them all. But to give you a little taster, some of the acts that have graced their stage include...Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, The Who, The Kinks, The Clash, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Oasis, Kula Shaker, Echobelly, The Jam and of course Paul Weller. The club has also had Metallica and The Rolling Stones perform secret "warm up" gigs there.

I'm not sure if the size of the club has changed over the years, but I doubt it. It's incredibly small, and the stage consists of just a few stage boxes. It's effectively just the basement of a building. You're right there with whomever is playing. I can't even begin to imagine the atmosphere of the place when headliners are filling the dark confines with their musical bonanza. Even though the smoking ban is a good thing, this place is just screaming out to be filled with layers of hazy smoke, peppered with lairy stage lights and vibrating guitar chords.

We took our place to the left of the stage and I listened intently to Sakura's stories of The Jam, flipping through her exclusive photos of Paul Weller, some of them with her in as well (oh the envy!) whilst we waited for the Jamm to come on. The Jamm are, obviously, a Jam tribute band. They've been performing together for years and years but have decided to call time on playing at the end of this year after a fairly extensive UK tour. Having never been to a Jam gig (being only 5 years old when they disbanded!), I was eagerly looking forward to hearing some of their music played live. I'd checked out their MySpace page and heard a few of their tracks before going, and in my humble opinion they sounded pretty damn good. Well, I wasn't disappointed. They played a really good selection of songs, and were even persuaded to come back on stage and do an unplanned encore, much to the delight of the rather energetic (and slightly middle aged) crowd.

I did manage to video a few of their tracks, but my phone seems to be unable to cope with any sort of bass at all. I've picked the 2 better recordings, which are below, although the quality of the sound does fall away a little. Keep an eye out for the extremely strange man bouncing away at the front of the stage. You can't miss him. He's the only prancing around with a full on silver mullet. Sakura had seen him before and told me that he has modelled himself on Bruce Foxton (bass player of The Jam). I went to the bar and he was standing next to me, he turned, looked at me and introduced himself..."Hi, I'm Bruce". Hmmm...of course you are mate. Whatever flicks your switch!

The first video is "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight".

The second video is "Saturday's Kids"

If you go to their MySpace page, make sure you check out the song "David Watts". It's one of my personal favorites. Hopefully they'll play it in Putney in December...when I'm off to see them again! Feel free to come along!

Posts to come include....music review, Paul Weller in Germany, more DIY (even more challenging than the last one!), and a good old fashioned Rant.