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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

James & JP Against The Strikers - Get Back To Work You Lazy Bastardoz


Anyone who knows me, knows I am ardently against strikes and especially the disgusting trade unions.

And a lot of people seem to be very upset about the strikes, the majority of the people I know are.  So I enlisted my good friend JP and we headed down to the strikes in Forbury Gardens, in Reading, to get our point across.

There were about 1,000 people in total as expected, which took me a little by surprise.  I won't be surprised if the trade unions estimate 5,000.

At first we just got a few smiles and laughs from people in attendance - shouting "Love your banks" and "Get back to work you lazy ****ards" seemed to get a bit of attention.

Most people took us in good humour - after all if they can protest against something we vehemently disagree with, then why can we not protest?  Someone has to get across the views of the majority of hard-working people - many of whom are suffering due to the selfishness of the strikers - we spoke to one gentleman who has had to take a day off work to look after his kid due to the strikes - he wasn't especially against them having their say but questioned why the strike couldn't have taken place on a school holiday?  I wonder...

But there were a few who were noticeably aggressive, mainly women I have to add, who were in our face rather aggressively and clearly trying to provoke us - shocked that anyone could possibly have an opinion differing to theirs.  A few quite horrid people.  Maybe they were just angry.  I am sure they don't have a high opinion of us either.

Most people however took it in good humour, and we had some good discussions and met some very nice people, who just happened to have a difference of opinion.

Apologies that there are no photos, but we were photographed and interviewed by the Reading Chronicle, Newbury Post and Reading Live - maybe another one too, so my moment of fame has finally arrived and JP's domination of the local press continues.

Anyway, my work for the day is done, I shall get back to being a lazy ass, just like the 1,000 people in Forbury Gardens.

I look forward to the hate mail following the newspaper articles...and the obsessive argument from a certain someone when I post this link on Facebook ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Never, Ever, Ever


Keep them well away from my plate unless you want them in your face.

That is all.

Have a nice day, love James.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Very Enjoyable Night At Mango!

As much as I love going to see my heroes like Sven and Ricardo, and going to amazing nightclubs like fabric - there is something almost equally satisfying as going to see very good friends DJ, especially when they pull off an absolutely superb set.

Three good friends of mine were playing on Saturday, Matt and Dan first for a very pleasing three hours, and a superb warm-up of really good quality house music - exactly up my street and I absolutely loved it!  Honourable mention also for Rick who played some really good tunes in amongst possibly a few too many deeper tunes which kind of lost me from time to time as I was looking for something a bit more up-tempo but not to take anything away from an accomplished DJ - I was just a bit too lively by 1/2am ;-)

Not too lively to enjoy the electro-house which frustratingly finished the night both outside and inside.  Other people's music.  But it is Mango and I think you still have to mix it up a bit.  It is not fabric where the crowd will accept and love pretty much anything, especially if they have never heard it before.

Anyway, in a month I have seen several friends play good sets, very good sets or truly excellent sets.  You know who you are.  I like this.  It is much appreciated.

Also very pleasing is that my local club, Mango, seems to have got it's groove back for the first time since 2008.  So many people fell out of love with it 2009 onwards, myself especially, and finally it seems like it might be a place to go for good house music again in Reading (and similar genres) and a good dance and this has been sorely missed the last couple of years.  If I can be suitably impressed, and I am a hell of a tough one to please, then it must be getting something right.

Until 4 weekends ago, I hadn't had 3 good nights there in 3 years - now I have had 3 in a month.

Why has it changed?  Well, the soundsystem is improved.  Still far from perfect as it sounds awful in some locations especially near the bar, especially when some DJs play too loud so it sounds crap (that'll be the red parts on the mixer in case any crap DJs are reading), but on the dancefloor it is clear and not too loud - but loud enough.  The crowd are much improved, less twats and almost back to what it was in it's hey-day, and the security have chilled out and are not in your face, which may be to do with the crowd being much improved perhaps.

And most importantly there is much better music being played.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Resident Advisor DJ Poll

Yes, we all know the DJ Mag poll is wank.

However, the Resident Advisor one is excellent.

I encourage you to vote.  But you can only vote if you are already a member.  And polling closes on 30th November.

Do not worry.  Tiesto will not win.  He is the favourite of just 1,000 members.  Maya Jane Coles gets 3,000, Sven 5,000 and Ricardo 10,000.  That is the way it should be.

Anyway, based on how much enjoyment I have gained from their DJ sets that I have seen them perform this year, this is my fairly predictable top 5:

1. Ricardo Villalobos (Cocoon In the Park, July)
2. Sven Vath (fabric, May)
3. Art Department (fabric, October)
4. Nina Kraviz (Cocoon, Amnesia, September)
5. Danny Daze (fabric, September)

And I can only recall being impressed with two live acts so they are:

1. Maceo Plex (fabric, October)
2. Nicolas Jaar (fabric, July)

Sadly you cannot vote for me, because I do not have a DJ page, despite that infamous Ibiza after-party.  I cannot create a page until I have played at an event listed on Resident Advisor.  And yes, I did previously think about inventing an event but you then need to create a venue.

Next year folks ;-)

---------------

Three blog posts in one day?  No, I don't have a job, honest!

Did James Sort Out Mixmag's CDs?

Those of you that know me, will likely know that I am normally not one to complain.

But a series of shite Mixmag CDs led me to have a rant one drunken evening back in 2010, and the world has changed significantly since then.

I give the history leading up to the monumental event of my complaint, and the proof of my influence:

August 2009 - Tiesto.  Shit CD.
September 2009 - Bestival.  Shit CD.
October 2009 - Armand Van Helden & A-Trak.  Very shit CD.
November 2009 - Cassius.  Shit CD.
December 2009 - Kissy Sell-Out.  Very shit CD.
January 2010 - Diplo.  Very shit CD.
February 2010 - Mylo - Very shit CD.
March 2010 - DJ Zinc - Very shit CD.
April 2010 - Sub Focus - Shit CD.
May 2010 - Crookers - Very shit CD.

But - May 2010 featured a letter, from me:


OK, it took a couple of months to sort out, but one assumes these things are arranged in advance.

June 2010 - Joris Voorn - So-so CD.
July 2010 - Fatboy Slim - Shit CD.
August 2010 - Calvin Harris - Very shit CD.
September 2010 - Alex Kidd & Kutski - Shit CD.
October 2010 - Sebastian Ingrosso - Poor CD.
November 2010 - Jamie Jones & Seth Troxler - Very good CD.  Finally!
December 2010 - James Zabiela - OK CD.
January 2011 - Jaymo & Andy George - Shit CD.
February 2011 - Jack Beats - Shit CD.
March 2011 - Mark Knight - Poor CD.
April 2011 - Felix Da Housecat - Very shit CD.
May 2011 - Radio Slave - Very good CD.
June 2011 - Shy FX - Not my cup of tea.
July 2011 - Cassy - Good CD.
August 2011 - Above & Beyond - Not my cup of tea
September 2011 - Sven!  Excellent CD!
October 2011 - Riva Starr - OK CD.
November 2011 - Maya Jane Coles - Good CD.
December 2011 - Sasha - Good CD.

And of course, my thank you letter:

Rotate it yourself lazy asshole - I fixed Mixmag, what have you done?

So, you can see that every month was the same old shitty Annie Mac electro-gash every single month until I wrote my letter, then there was increasingly more variety and during 2011 there have been some rather excellent CDs.

Plus the magazine actually started covering underground house/techno too, and not just electro-gash.

So, feel free to buy me a drink or ten to celebrate me fixing Mixmag.

Being King Of Morocco

Last night I became King Of Morocco.

It was truly amazing.

I had all the women I wanted - not even the hottest would turn me down, I had so many servants, I had my own amazing nightclubs and all the hottest DJs played there on demand, it was party party party, and anyone who upset me ended up in prison.

And the food was amazing, amazing joints of meat, amazingly tasty fish - though I don't recall there being any gravy.

I was in complete control of the whole world around me and I could do anything I liked - it was so much fun.

And then I woke up.

I guess though that it wasn't really much different to my real life.  Perhaps with a lack of servants but I just need to import a few from Tajikistan and all would be good.

Oh, and I have to go to the Job Centre today.  So perhaps life isn't quite all in my control.  Well I guess I don't have to, but I kind of want that free money that many of you pay tax for so I can go on the piss this weekend.

Speaking of which, I feel a beer or two could be required at Cape this evening, and then a little trip to Mango tomorrow night where three friends of mine are DJing so there should be some good house music.  Proceeded by a drink or two in Sahara - they play nice space disco there on a Saturday evening too.

Thankfully, the bank still know who is king.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Berlin Architecture

Those of you who know me well, will know that my upbringing in Hull has led me to appreciate beautiful architecture.

There were many interesting examples in Berlin so I thought I would capture a few of them for you:






In case you missed my review of my trip, it is here.

I hope you appreciate the beauty as much as I did.

James Did Time

No don't worry, I haven't been to prison.  But I did watch Question Time.

However, this time I am talking about a little night called Time, run by good friends, JP and Martin, at Mango in Reading.

I missed the launch night due to sunburn post-Ibiza so I felt more than compelled to make sure I was in attendance this time, and avoided all possible sunburn/natural disasters last week.

I was a little wary given my musical snobbishness however I am pleased to report that I gained a healthy amount of enjoyment out of the night, and there was some good music.

Firstly, that I saw anyway, was my good friend Sam Red, clearly inspired from our Berlin adventure, though she had to cope with the DJ before playing horrid electro-house to finish which was anything but a warm-up, however she did well to calm it back down to a normal level, giving enough for a pre-midnight dancefloor, as I would expect.

Next was Tim Sharpe, who runs the Groovetech nights in and around Reading, and he definitely took it up a notch with some nice techno grooves - I only caught half of his set as I was busy socialising but I enjoyed what I saw.

Then JP and Martin, as Dark Matter - I was really hoping I would enjoy some of their set, I know they have a propensity to play more crowd-pleasing electro-house which is pretty much the antithesis of what I enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised, at least for the first half of their set by some good underground driving techno beats, though the second half was more what I was expecting and I struggled somewhat, but that isn't to take anything away from them - I was at Mango - not fabric, and they had a fair amount of people dancing.

Fingers crossed they get their album sorted out in time for next summer, as they are starting to fulfil their potential, and have come quite a way since I first saw them play together over a year ago now.

And finally, erm, Janette Slack the headliner - the less said the better!  She probably was enjoyed by others but I hated it, just horrid ra ra ra electro-house - other people's music, not mine.  But I expected no less.

Outside had a nice contrast of hip-hop for the first half of the night, again not my cup of tea but thankfully not something to scare me - unlike the dubstep which finished off outside.  Aaarrrgggh!  Again - other people's music, not mine.

The were enough friendly faces in the crowd to keep me amused when I struggled with the music, though not quite as busy as one would have hoped for two of my favourite promoters - but considering November is never the busiest month in clubland, I think they should be satisfied.

In summary, it is a good little night, with something for most people and I look forward to my next time.

This coming Saturday is another night at Mango (3 in a month - who would have thought it?!), with 3 more good friends DJing, Matt, Dan & Rick.  I look forward to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Post About Hull City And Our New Manager

I don't post often about Hull City so forgive me if I mention them now our manager has left us.

Ever since Adam Pearson has been involved with Hull City, as chairman/owner/whatever he is now (rugby league club owner I think), he has had a record of appointing one really bad manager followed by one really good manager.

Firstly, Jan Molby, when we were in division 3 (now known as division 2).  Say no more.
Second, Peter Taylor, who guided us through two promotions into the Championship.  Then he left for Crystal Palace and subsequent obscurity.
Third, Phil Parkinson who lasted about 34 hours, guided us towards relegation and was swiftly sacked.
Fourth, Phil Brown, our ultimate hero who rescued us from relegation, then the next year got us promoted to the Premiership for the first time ever against all the odds, and even more miraculously kept us up there.  Second season in the Premiership he was sacked by the returning Adam Pearson (well put on gardening leave to be more accurate).
Fifth, Iain Dowie.  The ugliest football manager ever.  And one of the worst.  Relegation.
Sixth, Nigel Pearson.  Very boring but got rid of all our shit players, even Bullard eventually, and shaped a really good young squad which could have got promoted this year.

Now, Nicky Barmby.  Hull legend, but has never managed anything or anyone.  However, his sister used to be my babysitter when I was very young sometimes, and she was quite a looker.

If his sister could manage me as a child, I therefore conclude that Nicky Barmby may be able to do a good job.

His dad was also a very good electrician for Hull City when we were at Boothferry Park.

I can think of one or two footballers who an electrician may be quite suitable for.

Don't worry, I won't mention football again for a while.













Boobs.

Youth Unemployment

I watched Newsnight a couple of nights ago and they had a piece on youth unemployment which has just gone over the 1,000,000 mark.

Noticeably, they pointed out that it didn't start rising significantly with the Coalition government in 2010, nor did it start rising when the shit hit the economic fan back in 2008.

It started rising significantly in 2004.

What struck me even more is just how deluded some of the young people on there were.

I have to admit that I think I was probably just as equally deluded when I was a youngster, and I blame it partly on the education establishments for not setting realistic expectations.  And on the inexperience of youth.

Certain young people on there made me burst out laughing - one demanded that graduates be given good jobs just because they had a degree, as if doing a degree entitles you to a good, well-paid job instantly.  So arrogant.

Another complained that only 1 person out of 100 on her Media Studies course got a job doing what they wanted to do, ie work in the media.  Erm...

And another was complaining that her college had withdrew the course on song-writing that she wanted to do, because she wants to be a singer.

It is a massive problem, and I do feel a lot of sympathy towards them because when I left university in 2000, you didn't need a degree to get a jobs - companies were struggling to find people to employ, at least here in the boom town of Reading.

I didn't get to do what I wanted to do when I grew up, ie become a Meteorologist - but I am more than satisfied with running my weather blog.

It would be nice if there was something I could do to help other than blog about it - I wish I owned a company!

Anyway, I'm busy, I need to get back to applying for those Chief Executive Jobs that I deserve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

James Went To Berlin

Anyone who knows me, knows I love Germany, and especially Berlin as I had the most amazing time there back in 2006 for the now-defunct Love Parade.


So when two of my closest friends, Matt and Sam, booked flights to Berlin and asked if I wanted to join them - there was no way I could refuse.  3 days and nights in Berlin, with lots of amazing clubs and bars to visit - I got proper excited...on the day before anyway.

I seem to have developed this inability to hold my excitement back for my adventures recently, especially this year - ideally one would go away fully stocked on sleep without a hangover.

So, me being me, I went out for a drink on the Friday before.  Which turned into more than one.  And went to bed an hour before I had to get up to pack my suitcase and get ready.

Not the brightest of ideas but I knew I could sleep on the plane and my excitement carried me through anyway no problem - no problem until we collectively decided to be rebels - after all we are going to Berlin, the coolest city in the world allegedly and the most anti-rules place I have ever been to, so ignoring the words "Go To Gate" until there were just 12 minutes until the flight was due to leave - when we arrived there with 5 minutes to go, we were advised with quite some scorn that our bags had been taken off the plane.



Oops.  For some reason, whenever me and Matt go on an adventure, there is always some sort of mishap!  But I like a story, we all took it in good humour, waited an hour and a half for our bags to return, paid £50 for a flight the next morning (there was one on Saturday afternoon but only two spare seats).

So, I grabbed a few hours sleep, went out for a quick drink, again came home many drinks later and then was too excited to sleep again.

Oops.

This time we got the plane in plenty of time, and arrived in our apartment which was, as one would expect in Berlin, rather minimal in style.  In a good way though, just simple colours, simple decorations - Richie Hawtin would approve.  And at €60 for 3 nights each - a total bargain.  It was in Kreuzberg which was a little like a Ghetto with the amount of graffiti on every single building, but it is Berlin and that is part of it's charm.

Sunday afternoon, we went for a wander, I bought a Bratwurst.  Then I bought another Bratwurst.  Not eating sausages is like not eating a bacon sandwich in Dubai.  It has to be done otherwise you are disrespecting the country and their religion.  We found a nice bar with lots of deckchairs outside to sunbathe on, and yes there were people sunbathing despite it being a nippy 5'C at best.  This is Berlin, ja?

Oh and I must mention the highlight of my trip - I got a free hug from two German hotties.  Happy days.  Love is in the air.

Cue a few hours sleep to take my total to around 4 hours for 50 or so hours (I had slept loads the week before so clearly lots of stored energy), and a good chunk of Jagermeister to warm us up, and some good tunes to get us prepared for the night ahead, we found a little random bar nearby, and ordered a meat platter to share which had one piece of meat and 500 pieces of cheese.  Ish.



It was kind of like a tiny, intimate version of the Oakford, cool tunes too.  The toilet was a little more interesting - opposite the toilet in the cubicle was an office chair facing.  These Germans certainly have a strange sense of humour - at least I hope it is that.


Anyway, ready to hit the night-life, albeit on a Sunday evening but as the coolest clubbing city in the world there would surely be plenty of choice.

We spent a good hour or perhaps more walking around trying to find a target and decided to go for the most difficult one - Berghain.  For anyone who does not know, this club has the reputation of being the most difficult nightclub to gain entrance to in the world.  Even Richie Hawtin has been thrown out...though not sure if that is too much of a surprise as I heard he isn't welcome in one or two London clubs too though I won't repeat them here in case they aren't true (ask me and I will tell you).

Anyway, we walked up around 1am, hearing some really angry shouting and there was some very scary looking guy stomping up and down the walkway to the club and kicking the fence, shouting mostly in German but he did now and again shout a bit of English, something along the lines of "You fucking English skinheads are French" - anyway we approached the entrance, can hear the music, can see the lights, get excited but get to the door and there is no way in.  Not even the world's scariest bouncer to tell us where to go.


At least we tried to get into the most difficult club in the world - surely we get brownie points?

So we give up, pop to this totally empty and quiet bar with no music - though she kindly puts on some electro-house for us, realising we are English and probably didn't get into Berghain, sit down to have a beer and work out a plan.


We opt to go to this derelict area next to the river which had some lights on, and looked like a cool place.  We got to the door and the bouncer asked if we had a stamp, to which we replied "no".  Not a good sign.  He kindly explained that most people in there had been partying for 2-3 days and that we were too sober.

Me...too sober?  Seriously?  That is a new one.

Back to the drawing board, and the map and it was around 3am.  One place we knew was open was a club called Weekend, which we knew was in an office block and we knew the direction, so continued walking in the frosty air looking at various tall building until I spotted flashing lights - this was our last chance of Berlin night-life (unless we risked going to Tresor on Monday night and going straight from there to the airport).

Walking through the entrance, we are stopped by someone at a desk who clearly sees we are English (I don't think anyone spoke to me in German the whole trip) and asked us for €250.  Each.  We laughed at him and thankfully he was joking and waved us through.

Yes, we are in a club in Berlin!  But then he says "hey, wait a minute guys, do you realise this is a gay night?".

With a line-up of Gloria Viagra, Barbie Balls and Richard 'Dick In A Dress' (ok I made the last one up and cannot remember Barbie's last name), we had already come to this conclusion - so we said "of course, gays have the most fun" and he was like "ok".

Phew.  Maybe?

Inside, on the 12th floor, give or take, was a fairly simple nightclub, quite dark and painted black, with nice minimal lighting, a reasonable sized dancefloor, reasonably priced drinks and a sizeable seating area with many people making out.  Noticeably a girl in a black dress with rather muscley legs and a not-so-feminine jawline imitating sex with everyone she could get eye contact from.

Oh yes, we so looked the part.

And musically, wow, it was quite something.  Many tracks I didn't recognise but I did recognise this classic (go on have a listen - I dare you), which seemed to go down well.

Somehow we managed until the end around 6am, but we stuck out like a sore thumb on the sidelines - and I didn't dare go near the dancefloor - it is difficult enough at fabric having to fight off the attention of so many women, no way was I risking it ;-)

So we went back to the apartment and had a few drinks in the fridge to finish off and lots of good music to listen to so carried on as long as possible...which was quite a long time, and then later on the hangover started to kick in so the planned sightseeing went the same way as the underground clubbing idea...oh and the Saturday morning plane.

So it didn't go to plan.  Nowhere near to plan.  But I had a super time, and so much fun.

I thoroughly recommend Berlin to anyone - the city is wonderful, it is charming, it is strange, it is quirky and it is very cheap for western European standards - I spent just €120 in Berlin, with €60 for 3 nights in an apartment.  I probably spent more in Reading on the Friday and Saturday night!

You have to go to Berlin.  Simple.

But plan your weekend and stick to your plans!

Ausgang!

2 Months Unemployed

So I have now reached two months unemployed (three months not working).

It isn't so much fun any more.

Generally speaking I remain confident, and positive about the situation - but I do have a few temporary moments of despair, but they are very short-lived, never for more than a day...I just have to keep plugging away!

The worst thing about it is the amount of time I spend by myself, inside the same walls, driving myself a little crazy sometimes - but I do set myself plenty of tasks to keep me occupied and I have a good, sensible routine now - waking up after 10am is very rare now.

My job hunting statistics so far read 57 applications (mostly serious, the odd silly one - I decided against applying for the Nuclear Power Plant Engineer) and 2 interviews.

The first interview was a total waste of time as she had clearly already worked out who to employ.

The second interview was much better, I thought I did well but always realised that I was very experienced for the role I was applying for, and I assume it went against me as I did not get invited back for a second interview.

More possibly in the pipeline, awaiting confirmation, and two more agencies to see this week.

A couple of my good friends have made some good suggestions to me too which are very appreciated - if anyone else has any suggestions please let me know.

Oh, and today I had the job centre experience.  I wasn't the only beautiful looking person there either.  Clearly I have competition.

I definitely want a job now, I really am bored of being unemployed.  It will happen.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Two New Blogs

Yes, whilst you have been chilling out at work, relaxing at your desk eating apples and chatting on Facebook all day, I have been busy expanding my empire.

Two brand new blogs for you to read whilst at work - don't say I don't think of you all.

Firstly, a blog for my artwork.  Simply because I wanted somewhere separate to profile my burgeoning artistic career - I think you could call it a portfolio.

Secondly, because I have bought some CDJs, I thought I should have a separate blog to chart my rise from bedroom DJ, to becoming Hull/Reading's version of Sven Vath.

Don't worry, I haven't yet lost grip of reality and my place in society - I am aware of who I am.

If anyone is kind enough to give me some feedback on the design of my new blogs compared to my original ones, I would much appreciate it, and I will let you be my groupie for either my first Cocoon set, or first exhibition at The Tate.

Much love, I wish you all a super weekend x

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Searching My Blogs

One of the many useful things that I am doing whilst out of work at the moment is looking at my blogs and how I can improve them.

You may have noticed two new blogs that I have designed, both of these have a different template which I think is much better looking than my original blogs - feedback would be welcome before I update my other blogs.

Please!

Also, I have put a search box on each of my blogs now, so for example if you wanted to search for Jamie Jones, and then click the section "My Other Blogs", it will show results for all the times he is mentioned on all of my blogs.

I hope it helps someone.  Actually that will probably just be me so I don't duplicate my top tunes like I just discovered, ahem.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

James Does Something Manly

Hello ladies, and/or future employers.

This is proof that my amazing abilities as a human extend further than my art, my music, my weather forecasting, my gravy skills and my superb dancing - I can also do manly stuff.

Yes, I have built a desk.  Well, put it together.


And then the finished desk.


And the set-up complete:


Manly credentials proved I think.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This Is My Life - All 4 Sides (24-hour viewing advised)

One assumes that you may want to better emphasise with my current situation - I cannot have all my blog readers in my habitat 24 hours a day - it is not practicle.

Firstly, this is the front wall of my living area:


This is the rear wall:


This is my right wall:


And finally, this is my left wall, which completes the picture:


This is where I am spending approximately 12-15 hours every day at the moment.  Mostly by myself.

I think I am getting a little bored of the same walls.

I think I might want a job.

It might not be too long before I go insane!

Yes, I do require and seek attention!

I keep going into town to buy a sausage roll just for something different to do - ok eating sausage rolls is hardly different to what I have been doing for the last 31 years - I shall rephrase - some place different to do something as opposed to the place that I have been doing stuff all day.

Please join me and print up this blog post and keeping it handy at all times, perhaps attach it to some empty toilet rolls like you would if you were following something on Blue Peter.

Insanely Shocking Blog Post - I Enjoyed A Night Out At Mango!

Insert shocking expletive here!

For those that are not local to Reading, Mango used to be the little club that many of my friends since 2006 were met initially, and were most friendships around 2006-2008 blossomed.

Not the most underground club in the world by far, but all we had in Reading, and there was good music at times but more noticeably a really good crowd.

Fast forward a few years and the club decided that it wanted to do everything to push the good crowd away and attempt to attract high-spending drinkers.

They succeeded in attracting dick-heads - surprise, surprise.  Has anyone not been to dick-head infested Sakura before?!

I stopped going, as did many of my friends as trouble increased to the point where they had their licensing hours cut back, the crowd became as horrid as some of the god-awful dated electro being played there at ear-bleeding distorted volumes.

A night out would last perhaps an hour before we would all find an after-party!  And eventually we gave up going full stop.

I have made a point of going back once every six months approximately, but for various reasons it would be a night of frustration and disappointment.

Anyway, I had had a good night out in town this Friday celebrating the arrival of baby Sophie who belongs to lovely good friends Ben & Carley, and a few other bits of random celebration just because it was Friday, I declined to sleep much before going out for drinks on Saturday afternoon...and despite my inevitable tiredness, I was in the mood to go out.

However the only option on the cards if I wanted some company was Mango...I took persuading from three separate people before I decided to brave it, the first two to attempt just about succeeded but then someone threw an unexpected spanner in the works of a night elsewhere, but just as I was about to change my mind, I had it twisted back again.


I was in a very good mood that day, a strange one though, one that anyone who knows me knows doesn't come around too often where I am willing to dance to anything - where my levels of music snobbery are for some unknown reason eroded, and not for reasons of consumption of insobriety either.

I missed the majority of Ben's warm-up so I have nothing to comment.

My good friend Paul-Jay was playing a warm-up just after and he asked me to go crazy.  I could never compete with the gurning nutcase clubbing virgin (I assume) on the dancefloor who insisted on giving everyone a headache with annoyingly loud whistling every 1 minute - I tried to look and stare at him to ask him to be quiet but he thought I just wanted to hug him - I wasn't in that frame of mind.

Anyway, I am curious about exactly what effect musically a night at Cocoon in Ibiza had had on my friend Paul two months ago when I took him there for his first time (it took ages for us to persuade him too!), who is more known for one peak-time track after another with the same a cappellas repeated over and over (sorry!) but yes certainly for the first 30 minutes it was stripped back warm-up house, of the kind that one might hear Loco Dice play.  I was suitably impressed.  He's changed!

Then he played a headache inducing electro-house horrifying thing to which I nearly decided to leave Mango...I went to sit in the garden, finish my vodka and to listen to some more horrid electro-dubstep thing but at least I could rest my feet.

Aaaarrggh!

I cannot argue with what Paul played though as he was doing a warm-up for the Hoxton Whores - not a warm-up for Loco Dice.  And just as I was on my way out I bumped into the Hoxton Whores, one of whom impressively recognised me from a very blue after-party at our villa in Ibiza a fair few years ago and both of whom plied me with more than enough vodka red bull to last a good while longer.  And towards the end of their set, they actually played a few from my Top Tunes Blog, which went down most well with me!  I think I might have out-danced crazy flailing arms guy, though I didn't quite have his double-sized eyes.

So, yes I really enjoyed a night at Mango.  For the first time in at least two years.

I ain't getting my hopes up that I finally have somewhere I can get a regular good dance in Reading, but I am going back on 19th November for my friend's night, Time.  Or two of my friends to be exact.

Anyone dare join me to see if I can get two enjoyable nights at Mango in a month/year?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Why The Hell Would I Want To Go On A Cruise?

Normally I would wait for a response to my e-mail before publishing it as a blog post, as I believe that it is more humorous that way, however it appears that the joke is on me after drafting the following e-mail, and then spending the best part of an hour trying to locate an e-mail address for the company inside its 148 glossy brochure or their website.

That is the brochure.  I had to ask them why they sent it to me.  I really did not know that I would be of the demographic to go on a cruise.

As they had no e-mail address, I just had to send it to admin@pocruises instead, which will likely be a functioning e-mail address but not likely to get to its intended target.

Wait a minute...they don't have e-mail on ships do they?

Doh...

Anyway

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Dear Sir

I just wanted to know why you thought that you should send me a brochure for P&O Cruises 2013 for around the world.

I am quite happy living in Reading, and going to Ibiza every summer for a week.

So why target me?

Perhaps you heard about my redundancy and thought that I might want to spend my money on a cruise?  Nah, you know me better than that, as I have spent the lot on hookers, cocaine and 77 vuvuzelas.

So I guess the real reason is that you just wanted to join me in my quest for global warming, and I thank you therefore for the glossy 148 page brochure that you sent me that I will not recycle, as I can put it into landfill instead which should help warm up the planet that fraction more...I cannot afford these high heating bills now I am unemployed.

I note that you have a dress code, for example "Evening Casual" - A jacket and smart trousers can be worn but are not compulsory?  What does that mean?  Smart dark denim is also fine, but not trainers, football shirts or tracksuits.  What would happen to me if I turned up in my bright pink chinos and a t-shirt saying TOX12 to commemorate the legendary tagger, topped off with my neon-blue trainers?  Does that fit the dress code?

I would love to hear back from you, just in case I win the lottery on Friday as a cruise would be a hell of a lot less hassle than all those airports.

Kind regards
James Winfield