Sunday, March 27, 2005

Spring Is In The Air

Image hosted by
Spotted near Hadrian's Wall

Friday, March 25, 2005

This and That

A few observations and things I've been up to:
  • I should have been in Prague right now. The plan was to join Mike for a few days on his travels, but I'm still waiting for my paperwork (and my passport) from my friends at the Home Office. I'm saving that rant for another day though...
  • Another fun concert from Athlete, which always turns into a crowd singalong. The boys are the master of the hook, and their album Tourist is a gem.
  • Caught a production of two Samuel Beckett plays at the Arches. Can't say I cared much for the first one (a bit too artsy for me) but Krapp's Last Tape won me over. It was the first time the Arches have staged a production in the basement, which is directly below the underground train lines. Very atmospheric.
  • Razorlight at the Academy - very much a "rock" concert complete with flying beer (a Scottish speciality), sweat, and smashed stage equipment. The band may be cocky, but they put on a good show. And by the way - the kids don't hold lighters aloft for slow songs these days. Now it's all about picture-taking mobiles.
  • A comedy showcase at the Tron called Canada Dry featuring two Canadian comedians. Avoided answering the question "So who here is from Canada?" to avoid being picked on allowing them the opportunity to take the piss out of the Scottish accent. Craig Campbell in particular was funny, doing the "Canadian in Scotland" observational thing. Sounded like me after a few pints at the pub. But with better delivery.
  • This Right Here is Buck 65 - an excellent intro to the man and his music.
  • The Twilight Samurai. I haven't been caring much about film lately (Broadband and iPod will do that to a guy) but this particular film has me looking at the cinema listings again. Wonderful stuff.
  • And more to look forward to - the Easter long weekend is here and the days are getting longer and warmer. Plus I've booked my first proper trip - the Great Glen Way - where I'll be joined by my Dad and brother Cam. Shall be brilliant.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Cobbler

On a beautiful spring Sunday, Robbie and I took a trip up to Arrochar to tackle Ben Arthur, known as The Cobbler (as apparently the peak resembles a cobbler hunched over listening to his wife). Last August, Christy and I make it about halfway before having to turn back as there was a train to catch. It would not be the case this day however, as we did make it to the peak. But despite starting with the sun on our faces, it wasn't long before the soupy fog descended upon us to the point where we weren't seeing much of anything (including the supposedly gorgeous view from the top). Still a great day out though!

Image hosted by
Starting off promising...

Image hosted by
...but here comes the fog!

Image hosted by
Back to the bottom along the banks of Loch Long

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Coming Back Stronger Than A Powered-up Pacman

I went to see the brilliant Irish comedian Dara O'Briain tonight (and for those keeping score at home, the same bloke we saw almost one year ago today). He said something that struck me as so very true - "Nostalgia is heroin for old people". At 27, I'd like to think I don't fit the criteria of "old person", but how true is that? Case in point: With the discovery of these two sites (found here and here), I'm in retro gaming heaven. How well I remember playing some of these - those classic 8-bit images and songs as familiar as ever. Despite the fact that some are nearly 20 years old (!!!). I can't help but think that while new games may be more advanced and much better looking, they simply aren't as fun as the classics. Simplicity is beautiful.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Two at Tut's

I haven't been to a gig at Glasgow's legendary King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in nearly a year, and then two come along at once. Just like that proverbial bus.

We caught Sondre Lerche on Saturday night. It was just he and his guitar this night, but if anything the minimalism of it enhanced the music rather than it taking anything away. A fun night with a great crowd. And much like his fellow Norwegians Kings of Convenience, the man is the master of the dry wit stage banter.

Last night was Canada's own Leslie Feist who took the stage with a 3-piece band to a packed room. Speaking of Kings of Convenience, she opened with The Build-Up - a song she featured on with the KOC on their latest album. She proceeded to run through most of her debut "Let It Die" as well as a couple of great covers and a haunting version of Lover's Spit by Broken Social Scene. Her voice is absolutely beautiful. She made brilliant use of a live sampler whereby she would sing and record a piece, then repeat it with a different harmony, and so on until she had an 8-part harmony loop which she would then sing lead on top of. Awesome stuff, enough to shake the lethargy of a Monday evening.