Thursday, December 20, 2012

End Of The World

Shut up.  What a load of dumb shit.  As if the world is going to end just because of some book/film/imaginary planetary alignment.

Hola, hermosa dama, es el fin del mundo, debemos hacer un buen uso del resto de nuestro tiempo que nos queda viva, vamos a volver a la mía y pasar un buen rato, sí puedes invitar a tus amigas otros también, puede mostrar un muy buen tiempo.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Enlightenment From Hull

I wouldn't normally consider a trip to Hull a week before Christmas but there was no way that I was going to miss my Grandma's 80th birthday disco, sharing with Maria Sharapova, Pete Tong's wife and the local bakery (according to the table line-up).  Oh and some nurses.

There is lots of enlightenment, as usual, to provide to my dear readers.

Firstly I would like to prepare you for the step back in time that I took, with the train from Doncaster.  Sadly too dark by this time to take photos from the train journey, but I do have one of inside the train.

Comfort and style.  Art deco I think?

I also discovered that apparently there are lots of Japanese visitors to the tourist attraction that is Hull, so many that they have warnings on the trains in Japanese.

Shops in Hull close at 530pm on the evening as people do not like working however it gave me enough time to buy some green trousers in H&M that I thought would be very suitable - though my mother deemed them totally unacceptable, apparently folk in Hull wear their very smartest clothes for a Christmas do in a chain pub.  I had forgotten how much the standards of dress have dropped down south.  She was actually expecting me to wear trousers and shirt - for a night out!  Seriously!

Anyway the next day and onto Hull City vs Huddersfield, a local derby and one that the police had moved back to a 12:30 kick-off when they realised I was coming back to Hull that weekend so ensuring I didn't have enough time to get drunk and start fights before the game with my legendary hooligan status.

I'm not sure who cares about how well Hull City played, but then again do you care about the modern look of the trains?  I am going to tell you anyway, not that you would expect anything else.

We scored early, played good football, had 27 amazing crosses from the right wing by an immigrant (yes someone who shall remain un-named advised me that because of all the immigrants the schoolchildren are now getting taught to speak "muslim") - conversation always turns to those dasterdly immigrants at some point.

I do not understand why people leave the game early.  The traffic in Hull is crap, leaving early makes no difference.  Plus they missed a fine second goal and a post-match fight.  Between the players, not the fans.

One thing that did amuse me was the amount of local shops which are adorning the Tiger's badge.

Those crazy immigrants again - now stealing the football club.  Oh wait a minute, they own it.

And then the highlight of my trip - the pole-dancing Wallaby.  The video is on my Facebook wall, I uploaded it on Saturday.

Only in Hull.

And then onto the party for my Grandma's 80th birthday - doesn't she look good?

I'll probably get a text to order me to take her photo off the internet!  Assuming someone tells her she is on there.

Anyway, the party I can only really describe as Club 18-80 Christmas Dinner.

The food, well, for a start - look at the gravy:

I do not need to comment further.

When I bit into the vegetables, a whole glass of water ran out.  The beef was well done, despite the DJ informing us it was medium-rare (he also advised that the music wasn't too loud, not that anybody could talk to anybody).  The yorkshire pudding was ok.  I heard someone say it was edible.  I grant it that status.

However this was not all - first we had, ok actually it was that shit that I cannot remember, then we had a contest where representatives of the tables would have to guess whether the track coming up would be Wonderwoman or Superman and make the appropriate body shape, until one person won a bottle of beer.  Woo fucking hoo.  Actually I remember the first one now, we had a noise making competition.  Loving the originality.

Oh what else was there, oh yeah people had to grab his bag of balls (balloons, ho ho) and sit on the balloons to burst them and then do the dare/drink/whatever it was - I do feel some slight sympathy for the member of staff who was snogged by a woman 4 times his size.

Do I need to go on?

I retired to the side bar to talk to my Uncle Peter about the price of beer.  And probably immigrants but I may have had too much to drink by then.

It was actually quite amusing in how dreadful it was and thankfully for my grandma's husbands 80th I hear it will not be repeated.

However I feel proud to have been there at my grandma's 80th birthday, I had a really good time and it was great to see all the family (that we still talk to) even if I did get compared to an upside-down carrot.

Oh and my grandma advised me that "I need to get at it a bit more".  She wants more than 2 great-grandchildren apparently.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Everything Is Good

I have not been blogging as much as normal recently.

But I have been really enjoying life.  I am in a super mood.  Why?

Well Ricardo at fabric and Sven at Cocoon the last two weekends are major contributors.  I might be in my 30's but no way I am anywhere near clubbing retirement, I could even see myself going more next year!

This weekend looks good, gravy tonight.  What more does a boy need?  And tomorrow night I am going to The Star Inn near Twyford for my good friend, Ben's, birthday drinks, and onto From Disco To Disco.

Speaking of which, one thing I have been working on recently is my long-promised website, Ubereadoolische, to help promote the underground scene in Reading.  It is a passion of mine and my future career plan is to do web design.  I appreciate the design itself is still fairly basic but I am learning from scratch in my own time.

Whether the website is a hit is kind of incidental as it is my project where I can test what I learn.

However I will be doing my best to create something special and this week I launched the features page with an interview of Ryan MacGregor, of From Disco To Disco fame.  All feedback appreciated, and suggestions/input, mixes, whatever.  It isn't just done for the selfish reason of my future portfolio.

Kind of also connected is I finally did my techno DJ mix that I have long threatened to do.  I am really happy with it, I know there are a couple of imperfections but I am loving listening to it.  I really think it takes you on a journey - Sven has been an excellent teacher.  I am sure my fellow DJ friends will appreciate how much more you can enjoy your own mixes from most other DJs.

It is called Pavement Cyclists.

Also planned is a trance mix, an 80's mix and a Christmas mix.  Maybe.

Really busy at work too, I am happier than I have been in a job for several years.  Really happy.

So all is good in the world of Winfield.  I just thought I should blog about how happy I am and how much I am loving life and I want you to feel the love too because I love my friends, family and dear readers very much - 100,000 page views not far away!!! xxx

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Cocoon @ Great Suffolk Street with Sven, Cassy, Carl Craig & Onur Ozer

I bought my ticket in June for this.  I like to be prepared.

A mini-disaster nearly struck during the week when my wonderful clubbing partner announced that she would not be able to make it however I had bought my ticket so long ago that there was no pulling out for me.  I didn't want to go by myself but I was up for the adventure.

A slight side-track perhaps but beforehand I went to an all you can eat buffet place for dinner, and had lots of gravy.

Yes, even on dessert.

You can take the boy out of the north...

Anyway, come Saturday evening, my dancing partner was clearly feeling as inspired as my culinary creation and we made our way to London, to a new venue for both of us (clubbing by oneself is just not the same).

Having become very used to the middle-class comforts of fabric, neither of us were really sure what we were going to make of Great Suffolk Street Warehouse however it was a super venue, a bit cold away from the dancing areas but more than enough body heat to ensure coats could go in the well-run and secure cloakroom.

I was not impressed with the crap speakers at the Cocoon event with Sven at Brixton Electric that LWE ran earlier in the year, however I am delighted to say that they employed Funktion One speakers and they did the job.  I wonder if my constant pestering did the trick?!  Ideally there could have been some smaller stacks half-way down the main room, though I am not sure of the logistics of that as they would need to be guarded one would assume.

In fact the promoters, LWE can be delighted with their efforts, as can the venue, almost everything ran smoothly, there were no hiccups despite it being a large scale event in London, and there was a good crowd, no queue to get in, enough toilets, just about enough people working the bars...getting the logistics wrong can ruin what should be an excellent night, so definitely appreciated.

So onto the DJ's.

And there was an excellent choice on offer - Onur Özer is probably my favourite Turkish DJ, not that I can think of any others off the top of my head, and he played a clever warm-up set for Sven, starting off with deeper house but going into tech-house and slightly straying into techno territory in the hour before the man everyone was there to see.  Just as impressive as he was a fair few years ago when I saw him warm up for Sven at Cocoon Ibiza.

And the the main attraction, Sven Väth.  Very quickly into his set the acoustics were perfected and volume increased, and Sven quickly set about sending the dancefloor crazy, and it was off the hook at times.

Annoyingly, my friend and I lost each other less than an hour into Sven's set and spent around half the time looking for each other, myself going across the packed dancefloor many times, and my friend apparently going up and down the dancefloor - no reception on my mobile did not help matters.

In the end I just gave up and danced the rest of Sven's set away.  Albeit only lasting 3 hours - I never knew Sven did sets that short?!  Probably the shortest set out of the 20 or so times I have seen him.

And yes he was firing off techno monsters...thank you to whomever posted this video on Youtube.

Actually the one thing that could have been improved was the view of Sven.  A higher stage would have been welcomed so we could actually see him!  Only Sven am I bothered about seeing whilst he is DJing.

Great minds think alike and myself and my friend headed towards the bar the minute Sven finished to miraculously re-unite, and set about wandering the 3 dancefloors trying to settle on something, and we decided upon Cassy and Carl Craig, who we saw out until they finished around 5:30am.

It took a little while to get into them but they were both top notch, especially Carl Craig who was leading into classic techno territory with some absolute monsters, and he got on the microphone at the end to lead into the closing minutes - I don't recall seeing Carl Craig before although I probably have done, and he was class.  Top stuff.

It is very sad to see so many reports of thefts especially of mobile phones, however it is not just this event that has suffered as I have read many reports of events having been targeted by criminal gangs this year, both in London and Ibiza and I doubt that these are the only two locations suffering, I just happen to visit and read about parties in those places far more than anywhere else.

I constantly check my pockets during a night to make sure my belongings are there and try to keep an eye on whomever my dancing partner(s) to make sure they are not targeted.  I may consider just getting a cheap pay as you go phone if these scumbags are not dealt with as it isn't exactly necessary to have my smart phone at a nightclub - someone else will put pictures up and videos on Youtube, and most people are better at that than me anyway (my only photo of the night is one of the gravel) - and as if I need to check Facebook...I think not.

May I also suggest that people drop their phones on the floor a few times to achieve the artistically cracked look that I have on my new Samsung Galaxy S3.  I have a unique looking phone that nobody will want to steal because the sell-on value is much reduced thanks to the smashed screen.  Or get insurance.  Or just leave anything you don't need at home.

And look after each other.

A super enjoyable night overall, would definitely repeat it, worth an 8.5 out of 10.  Maybe even an 8.7.

By the way, the gravy-topped dessert was disgusting.

Monday, November 26, 2012

10 Years of Ricardo Villalobos at fabric 24/11/2012

To have a truly awesome night out, it takes more than just one’s favourite nightclub, favourite international DJ and favourite resident DJ.  There has to be the initial idea, finding a dancing partner, the week-long build-up of excitement, the over-excitement leading to an accidentally messy night a day or two beforehand, something of a mission to get there/get in, interactions with randoms, the odd hot chick on the dancefloor always helps, the beautiful distress of the journey home, the Sunday afters, a big smile on the Monday along with a caffeine overdose, oh and a review on the blog.

Ricardo Villalobos is my favourite DJ in the world.  However my favourite dancing partner in the world announced to my beforehand that 7am was her limit…I kind of suspected that he wouldn’t start until 8am given that fabric was open until 2pm so was not expecting to catch any of his set…but I remained hopeful.

Margaret Dygas was certainly not my favourite DJ – I saw her at fabric for their 12th birthday and she was dull as (though I wasn’t on form myself that night) and also I downloaded a set of hers and again of no interest whatsoever.  But enough people do rate her highly and I am very happy to say that she did deliver on the night, mixing deep house with more upbeat house and tech-house, and keeping it interesting.

I do not remember the live act.  Maybe I was there, maybe I wasn’t.  I suspect I was there for half of the time.  Not really my cup of tea but always willing to be surprisingly impressed.  I guess I wasn’t.  Live acts are useful though to create some more dancing space and this left me with some good space for the wonderful Craig Richards.

One of the reasons I like him so much is that I never know what kind of set to expect from him.  Sometimes filled with disco moments, sometimes more techno, other times house or deep house – this time was much more up-tempo tech-house than I was expecting which suited my mood and my desire to have a good dance, and I actually recognized 3 or 4 tracks that he played, including a fantastic minimal track that was either Ricardo’s or one he played previously, not sure.

I did a bit of sitting down too.  The stairs seemed a nice place to be at times except perhaps for the projectile vomit landing just a foot away from me.  More sitting down than usual, perhaps cracking open the beers at 1pm was not the best idea, but what am I supposed to do in the run-up to an exciting night at fabric – ironing?  As if.  I also nearly went in room 2.  I say nearly as we just sat nearby it – techno of the variety that is played in said room most weeks is just cold and dark to me, I am unable to enjoy it.  Techno was for the depressing times of the credit crunch – I am a very happy chap now Labour are out of government and dark music has no place in my life.  We also spent about 3 minutes in room 3.  There was a good track playing.  But room 1 has just such a huge appeal to me – it is my favourite room probably in the whole world (perhaps Amnesia might just about beat it thanks to the ice cannons but I haven’t been there this year so have forgotten it).

On the subject of room 1 – Ricardo is the DJ for me that makes the very most out of the room.  I have seen him probably around 10 times, mostly superb, mostly at fabric, a couple of averagely good sets – though the first time was just totally mind-blowing, I could not believe what I was hearing.  Sadly I was still into trance and funky house 10 years ago so I wasn't around for his first ever set at fabric (would love to hear from someone who was there).  My first time was around 2006/07 and I haven't looked back.  I have converted probably around 20 friends to the delights of fabric but sadly only one or two to the slightly more challenging delights of Senor Villalobos.

Aptly in time I finally discovered some wonky delights and settled into the very, very busy dancefloor which was a total delight as everyone was in their spot and nobody was moving, it was a very Mediterranean dancefloor – unlike the English and tourists they always seem to want to get to the middle of the dancefloor rather than dancing around the sides.  I still have a vague tan from Ibiza (at least compared to the white of my backside) so I fit in well and can swear in nearly all European languages if not feeling the intimate lovely crush that Ricardo creates.

The music quickly descended into what can only be described as a beautiful electronic mush, I couldn't quite decipher whether tracks were being played backwards, or vocal samples backwards, whether the sudden short scratching was down to Ricardo’s beauty or just unusual tracks – it was nothing like I had heard before and totally wonderful.

I could have quite happily stayed much longer, however both myself and my dancing partner have to be alert for our 9-5 jobs especially with the delight of month end this week and cannot afford a slow day or feeling crap for half of the week so sense prevailed – and as I wasn’t expecting to still be there for any of Ricardo this special hour really was the icing on the cake.  One is clearly getting old - I even voted for a police commissioner a couple of weeks back.

Cue then a rather special taxi journey home, the taxi driver unable to find Paddington station, not that it is a major landmark at all – he dropped us off nearby (ish) so we had a long confusing walk, followed by rushing to get the train and a walk of shame through almost every carriage to find a seat – topped off with another wobbly walk of shame through the shambles of the being renovated Reading station and seeming thousands of people that we had to zig-zag through to get out.

Without doubt I will be back at fabric soon, though not until 2013 now, and I hope that I actually get to see a full set of Ricardo next time - we did consider getting up at 5am and getting the train from Reading but the logistics are a tiny bit painful.  Maybe next time.

Super excited about the weekend coming with Onur Ozer, Cassy, Carl Craig and a little matter of Sven.  For me, a fantastic line-up with a good variety.  Not sure what I will make of Great Suffolk Street car park after the middle-class comforts of fabric and if the sound-system is as bad as the one at Brixton earlier this year for Sven then that will be the last LWE event I attend no matter who they book in future.  I see no reason why I should not get a Funktion One sound-system at minimum when I pay £15-£25 for a night out and may start only going to events with a an acceptable sound-system in future.  I can see a Facebook campaign (anyone else fancy starting it as I am rather busy?!).

Already thinking about next year's plans and I really have to see Ricardo again, of course, along with tINI, Seb Zito, Enzo Siragusa and Nina Kraviz.  They are my priorities.

Totally awesome night and despite feeling like a beautiful classic car trying to run on coal, I have a big smile on my face still - 9.5 out of 10 for a rating, could only have been better by a little more of Ricardo.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Extreme Weather: Exciting Or Devastating?

It is well known that I get very excited with extreme weather, I love downpours, damaging winds, disruptive snowfall, etc.

I think one could be (wrongly) accused of being heartless as said exciting weather causes great disruption, sometimes destruction to people’s houses and businesses, and now and again loss of life.

But one of the main reasons I do my spot of weather forecasting and run my Facebook page is I want the people that I care about (which isn't just people I know) to have as much information as possible as to what the upcoming weather may be so they can make judgements as to whether they need to make any preparations.

Weather as a part of nature is a fact of life, we cannot change it (well maybe apart from cloud seeding and a few other controversial ideas) – extreme weather affects most people across the planet in one way or another, and steps can be taken to prepare oneself and one’s property from danger if one bothers to take a minute or two to keep up to date with forecasts.

For me, the most exciting weather is the tornado due to it’s almost random nature and the extreme power and intensity in such a short time – but when watching the videos of whole towns completely flattened one cannot help to feel emotion and question the morality of storm chasing.

But whilst there is a minority in America that views storm chasers as scum, many of those in affected areas rely on information from chasers to keep safe.  The fascination of extreme weather for many folks does save lives.

Many are also scientists looking to study the storms to learn further and help future predictions of severe weather outbreaks.

My longest-standing dream is to go storm-chasing in America and I will do my best to ensure I achieve it in the next few years.  Of course I am unlikely to be contributing to the scientific aspect in any way other than part-funding the trip through the fees (approx £1.5-£2k) however the knowledge I gain from first-hand experience of such storms will help my personal education in such is not beyond the realms of possibility to get a significant tornado in the UK.

So whilst there is of course a voyeuristic nature and a sense of excitement and fascination when it comes to the extremes of weather for those of us with this obsession, there is also a greater good at heart and a scientific or education purpose to what many of us do when following the weather.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Love Your European Union

I think it is about time someone argued the positive side to being part of the European Union, in light of the budget negotiations that failed to do anything except increase the sales of £120 bottles of wine which should help the economy of the country said wine was bought from.

1. One of the biggest parts of the European Union is the Common Agricultural Policy which gives money to landowners like the Queen, and the Queen is very nice so she deserves the extra £7m she received over the last decade which hopefully paid for that concert outside the Palace last year.
2. Without the £150,000.00 that was spent researching the social relevance of coffee then we would not know that coffee has a social relevance.  I hope Starbucks appreciates the European Union.
3. £58,000.00 was spent on a Chilli Pepper festival.  I wish our government would stop spending money on boring things like teachers and spend it on festivals instead.  I want a gravy festival - can you imagine that?
4. £196,000.00 was the bargain cost of a nomad puppet academy.  I have really struggled with research into this but it seems on the face of it a sensible investment as not all puppets would want to have a particular homeland.

Now some of these figures are courtesy of BBC research highlighted on Newsnight so you may want to take them with a pinch of salt given recent ongoings.

I guess not everyone has the imagination or intelligence to appreciate the improved cultural cohesion offered by said expenditure, some may even question the validity of thousands of Eurocrats being paid more than our Prime Minister, however not to worry because the EU in 2013 is going to spend €2m to promote the benefits of EU membership to UK citizens.

And just think, with our ongoing membership of the European Union, we might once again end up with Tony Blair as our leader if he overtakes Rumpey-pumpey as President one day.  Finally the whole of Europe will go to war together instead of against each other.

We are definitely living the European dream.  Not quite as much as our tax-loving compatriots in Greece or our friends in Spain with a far larger bullet train system than Japan (that nobody actually uses).

As the accounts have not been signed off by auditors for the last 18 years due to fraud and mismanagement it is really hard to understand why when ignoring undecided voters, 2 in 3 want to leave the European Union.

Why do people not understand the benefits?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Resident Advisor Top 100 DJ Poll

It's that time of year to vote for your favourite DJs (I assume that my readers are cool enough to ignore the bullshit poll from the crap magazine).

To vote, you had to be a member before 20th November and only have until midnight on Thursday 22nd November to vote.  I approve of this short time to vote, to reduce the time for 'campaigns'.  And you can only vote for someone that you are on the rollcall for from an event.

It should provide an accurate as picture as possible as to the most popular DJs in the underground.

My votes as follows:

1. Ricardo Villalobos - Simply the best DJ I have ever known. Was masterful at fabric and cannot wait to see him again this Saturday.
2. tINI - OK I haven't actually seen her but I did mean to go twice this year and I will do.  I absolutely love her music, she has re-introduced me to minimal and very stripped-back underground house through her weekly radio shows and I cannot recommend her enough.
3. Craig Richards - Absolutely never lets me down, and given that fabric is my favourite club and most-visited club, I just have to include Mr Richards as a mark of respect for what is achieved every single week at that most wonderful nightclub.
4. Nina Kraviz - I love her style of music and well just everything about her.  Only seen part of her set at Eastern Electrics as there were too many people in the tent and I wanted to be outside but she was top notch.
5. Cassy - I was really impressed with her set at Cocoon In The Park, very real sounding music and an excellent warm-up.  Really looking forward to seeing her again in 10 days time.

All of these DJs play vinyl.  Co-incidence?  I didn't choose them because of this but perhaps that they play vinyl is a large reason as to why I have enjoyed them so much.

One person is missing - Sven.  I have to say both times I have seen him this year, he hasn't quite done it for me.  His music style went too hard and dark.  Still a favourite but time for others to have their moment.

I look forward to all my votes from everyone on the rollcall from Free House Project.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Police Commissioner Elections

I like voting.  Yes, I actually enjoy the process of voting and feeling that I am part of the democracy that we have that many billions of people across the world do not have.

I have to say that this government policy is not one I am especially convinced about, in fact I would have to say that I am sketpical about it.  However I do not know much about policing strategy and am willing to give it a chance.

I have had a quick look at the candidates for the local area, Thames Valley.  I have to say that they are all much of a muchness.

I would have much preferred the post of Police Commissioner to not be a political post, ie that political parties would not put up candidates.

However this is not the case.  So though I feel that I should vote an independent, I will not because I have to oppose the Labour candidate to vote for the Conservative candidate because I do not want Labour to have any form of power, although this is not the economy so how much damage could they do?

I see no way the government will do well out of this.  Very few people will vote (a friend of mine reported at midday that just 12 people had turned up to vote in the station she is manning), and those that do will probably be those unhappy with the socialists not being in power so the socialist BBC will tomorrow report at nobody voting and a load of Labour police commissioners.

I don't really care who wins, I just don't want to see the government that I support get a bloody nose about crime (which is going down significantly since the government came in, by the way).

So, assuming I can be bothered, I will be voting tonight.  I like being unique.

Oh and one more thing, why are voting places always in dodgy areas?  Is this to put off the middle or upper classes from voting, as they are more likely to vote Tory?  I smell another socialist conspiracy.

By the way, did you know that Labour won 35% of the popular vote in 2005 to win a majority in that general election, whilst Conservatives did not get a majority with 36% of the popular vote in 2010?  We may have free elections but we certainly do not have FAIR elections with this significant weighting to Labour due to smaller constituency sizes in working class areas.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

If I Were American...

Firstly if I were American, I would emigrate to somewhere with more freedom.  Actually I would have guns. Lots of them.  Because I would have moved to Texas to be a wannabe professional storm-chaser and would shoot my guns in celebration every time I saw a twister touch down.  Yeeha - boom.  Another tree ripped up.  Halleluyah.

However I am not American, so thoughts must turn on who to vote for president and also hopefully influence all 2,391 previous American visitors to my blog to vote for the right man today, because apparently it is that close that even the likes of seasoned overseas political commentators like myself and Wayne Rooney could be the deciding factor in persuading the EDM-obsessed Americans to put down their glowsticks for just one day this week and vote rather than rave.

Recently, I’ve heard many people in this country say things like “it would be the end of the world if that moronic lunatic won the election” – I think that they are referring to Mr Romney. Given that these people are often left-leaning that is a call to me to think of reasons why Mr Romney would be the best result for America (and the rest of the world).

For a start, he is a very successful businessman. America is not France – it is actually a good thing to earn money and become rich in America.

He would be more likely to intervene in Syria and probably Mali which are both in danger of becoming failed states – he would also likely to be tougher on Russia which with a belligerent Mr Putin back in charge could be useful. However insisting on branding China a currency manipulator on his first day in charge is very dumb and may start a trade war which is the last thing the world needs. Also an attack on Iran arguably may be more likely given what Romney previously said (though he agreed with Obama's approach in the final debate) and this is the last thing the Middle East needs when Iran may be about to crack under the weight of the current sanctions. Though I do not think Americans have the stomach for another war wherever it may be or whoever is in charge. Unless attacked.

Apparently Romney makes fun of ‘climate change’ Fantastic!

Generally Republicans believe in a smaller state and America’s state needs to reduce significantly but it really isn’t clear what his economic policy is. I do not believe that cutting taxes is what America needs right now – its top rate of tax is significantly lower than that of the UK already. Cutting spending is what is required.

Obama certainly won’t cut spending unless forced by the markets, but at least the economy has improved in the last 4 years with him in charge – including the rescue of the car industry (which I would not normally agree with) and also America has made huge progress in improving the balance sheets of its banks – unlike Europe.  Unemployment is down, a fraction less the UK at 7.8%.

Obama is weak in foreign affairs and hasn’t exactly improved relations with enemies, also he has vastly increased drone strikes which is a tad controversial – however he did get Osama. And he did extend coverage of healthcare to 40million mostly poor people that were without. Costly – but right.

I can only assume what policies Obama might persue from his last 4 years in charge as he didn’t actually say anything in his campaign about what he would do if he got another 4 years. However I am totally confused as to what Romney would do as he seems to have lots of conflicting policies depending on who he speaks to.

On balance – I would prefer another 4 years of Obama, despite a very negative election campaign – but only just. Had a more sensible Republican run and been nominated like Chris Christie, for example, then I would have gone for the more natural choice for a Conservative, of the Republican nominee.

It would however be hilarious to hear the lefties moan if Romney wins.

I wouldn’t however say it is a win-win situation, it is arguably more likely a lose-lose situation as I don’t think either will solve America’s major problems of the fiscal cliff, the deficit or the debt.

By the way, was one of Wayne Rooney's granny prostitutes called Sandy or am I just making that up?

Friday, November 02, 2012

Brightening Up My Weekend (And Maybe Yours Too?)

With all this extra cupboard space in my new house, I realised that I could also hang my jumpers up.

If only I had some extra coat hangers...

But look what I found in Primark tonight:

Nominations for Most Stylish Man of 2012 accepted.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The James Winfield Cure For Famine

I have long thought that I would be one of those rare people that vastly changes the world for the better - someone like Edison, Einstein or Oakenfold.

And finally I can announce my cure for famine.

A product which can feed so many people so cheaply that even I can buy a packet in a reasonably upmarket supermarket for just 37 pence.

Just one packet I estimate could keep someone nutritionally fed for a week.

37 pence.

Yes, I present to you my very exciting cure for famine:

I look forward to my Nobel nomination and subsequent prize.

Hello Winter!

The first throes of winter have arrived. And I have a new winter coat.

What do you think?  Yes I know I should be a model - I was actually asking about the coat though.

I’ve saved up this month on my weekends in to be able to afford it. Speaking of which, this will be another weekend in. I currently have £15.40 left until pay-day, which is 5 days away. I have enough food to be able to survive on, and a £5 winning scratchcard, along with £2 of my Müller yoghurt vouchers and a £2 voucher for soap. I won’t go hungry or get smelly. Bonus.

I quite like being on a very tight budget, as it really makes me think about what I do spend.

It does mean I will be staying in all weekend but I cannot say that I am overly bothered about this. Halloween is my second-most despised event of the calendar (only beaten by Valentines Day). Why do we have a “celebration” that encourages child begging? And fancy dress is not for me. I still have to paint my £3 Primark trainers and do a techno mix. Too busy to celebrate sodding ghosts.

One thing I really want to do…have a guess…go on…it begins with g.  I really want a roast dinner.  I want to cook a proper roast, I think I can just about afford a £5 joint of beef from Sainsburys. This is the one thing that I am really looking forward to on Sunday. I found a really interesting looking recipe to make my own tomato sauce but the ingredients cost £12.65 in total and I cannot justify spending 80% of my budget on ketchup. Not even I can.

And on a good piece of news, I am currently 2.5kg lighter than my fat peak. I am very pleased about this, I have been putting in the effort though I suspect the main contributor was fabric…oh what a night/afternoon that was :-)

Have a fabulous weekend my dear blog readers.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fabric's 13th Birthday

I spent Friday evening lamenting my very poor financial situation and the host of excellent nights I was going to miss the coming weekend.

Fabric’s birthday was the one I really desperately wanted to do as I had been to most or maybe all fabric Saturday night birthday parties since the 7th one I think (forgive me my lack of memory, goes with the territory I suspect).

Story goes I went out for a beer with a very good friend on Saturday afternoon, it ended up many beers, we had a discussion about going to fabric on the Sunday but didn't commit to anything.

Woke up with a hangover on Sunday, my phone went off with a text message saying, "fabric?".

Hell yes.

It was about the shortest hangover ever and a few hours later (somewhere between 4pm and 5pm) we were straight into fabric, and straight onto the dancefloor to see the closing few hours of Visionquest.

The first track they played upon entry was a Prince track, I think 1999 but I have next to no knowledge of Prince.  The atmosphere was very dark and moody with virtually no lighting, the dancefloor was busy but there was space to dance.  The music went from more trippy hypnotic tracks to more techno influenced tracks, with a good variety in between and as time went on the full range of fabulous lighting effects came on.

Really good stuff.

Then came Space Dimension Controller (live) whom I had some knowledge of, and played very weird spaced kind of music with next to no beats, so we retired for a quick drink and service, and popped back down around 20 minutes to see that he had almost pretty much cleared the dancefloor, but he persevered with the plan - I do like a good dancefloor clearance...more dancing space thank you very much, and towards the end it was properly going off, and I have to say that I was very suitably impressed.

Sometimes you just need patience my fellow dancing friends, and you will be rewarded.  Needless to say he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand come the end and a busy dancefloor was reaffirmed.

Then of course, Craig Richards.  One of my true favourites.  Fabric is not the same without him on the list.  No matter whom else I go to fabric to see, I always make sure he is playing.  If he isn't, I do reconsider.  He just has that reliability mixed with that special knowledge of that very special dancefloor.

And coming on at 830pm, he played a blinder as I knew he would, even my friend who wasn't previously much of a fan of Craig Richards said he played a blinder, and it was super good, going from hypnotic grooves, to samples of old school house, some 80's electro and hip-hop in there, at least as samples, and I definitely recognised a few teasing samples of some very recognisable old dance tracks (possibly my imagination?!), not to mention some much tougher beats.

We left around the end of his set - I know when I have had a good time, and it was that good I didn't want to push it.

The crowd was easily the one of the very best that I have ever known in fabric, and certainly the best I have experienced anywhere this year, such a fabulous vibe in there, some good efforts on the fancy dress, the staff were enjoying it just as much as the punters and well - it was a totally fantastic afternoon and evening.

I would say fabric should do more 30 hour extravaganzas but I'm quite happy with keeping it special.

And it was special.

See you next year fabric, happy birthday x

(oh and 17th for Loco Dice, Guti and tINI, and 24th for Ricardo...shhh don't tell anyone, I want some dancing space).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Scottish Independence

Two years until the Scottish Independence vote.

Now I would prefer the United Kingdom to stay together.

However, if Scotland becomes independent then Labour would lose all those Scottish MPs and the chances of future Conservative governments and majority governments would become much likelier.  Oh no ;-)

No more Gordon Brown's.  No more Scottish interference in English (or Welsh or NI) affairs.

Hmmm this is very tempting.

So we would get less Olympic medals.  Oh well.  And we would probably lose much of the oil...not that there is that much left.

However if independence is won, and granted, it must be insisted that Scotland gets its fair share of the national debt.  AND the Royal Bank of SCOTLAND must return to Scotland.  The bank that caused so much damage to the world economy must not remain on the balance sheet of the UK.

Interestingly the most recent polls I have seen see 25% of Scots wanting Scottish independence.

33% of English want Scottish independence.


And in other political news, I see Andrew Mitchell resigned.  About sodding time.  What a disgrace to the government, to the Conservative party and the country.

Weekend Of Dreams Or Weekend Of Austerity?

I can tell I haven’t been clubbing for a few weeks, my dancing feet are starting to itch.

And there are 3 amazing line-ups in London this weekend.

Tonight there is Wolf + Lamb, PillowTalk (live), No Regular Play and Slow Hands at the Loft Studios.

Saturday night the wonderful Nina Kraviz at Village Underground and also fabric's birthday going all through Sunday into Monday morning.

However, I am not exactly blessed with spare funds at the moment and cannot really afford any of them, let alone all of them. I need a winter coat, new trainers as they are developing holes and my ipod type thing appears to be on its last legs. Not to mention all that overpaid housing benefit that the council might one day ask me to repay.

But I want to do all of them. I have even booked Monday off just in case.

This is tearing my heart apart, I know I should be sensible, save money towards a winter coat which could be very useful in the coming Arctic blasts from next weekend, and practice Djing and learn more web design so hopefully I can increase my earning potential in the coming years. I know it is all about the long-term at the moment and I should sacrifice short-term fun in place of planning for my future, just like I kind of did years ago when studying my degree.

Hmmm. Live for the weekend or live for the coming years?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Delicious Delights of Derby

My employers sent me on a mission to Derby this week.  I doubt you have any interest on credit control processes (unless my manager is reading) so I will enlighten you on my personal mission, which was to discover the culinary delights of Derby.

The office I visited was in a modern commercial area, near the football stadium, and had much to offer:

Greggs - but you might need a little imagination.

With all this choice it was a difficult decision but I plumped for the chicken maestro, and wow what a good choice I made as look closely at the bowl of nutrition below and you will be able to see just how much ketchup I was offered - without argument and with full understanding of my language and requirements.

This my friends, was because I was near the north.

There was also a MacDonalds and a Starbucks but I was too busy eating a cupcake of hell from Greggs to photograph them.  You probably recall what they look like.

Things went downhill in the evening as I searched for hot chicks and thick gravy.  As I walked into the city centre, I came across this marvelous building:

Look closely at the amazing decor on the outside.  I just think it is amazing that someone dreamt of a tropical paradise in the city of Derby.  Must have been built in the 80's.  I was most amused.

Actually, Derby as a city is a good city from first glance.  Not one person asked me for change, they have REAL PUBS in the city centre, and one pub which advertised minimal techno on Saturdays - I would have photographed it but I was being circled by hoodies on bikes at the time so I relented.

Anyway, the meal, the search for gravy.  Well I eventually upon a bit of wandering discovered the aptly-named Wonky Table and had a truly delicious lamb shank - yes with gravy.  If ever you happen to be in Derby I can definitely recommend it.

And this morning - all you can eat English breakfast.  Needless to say I am still totally stuffed now.  Not sure what happened to the photo but probably wise in case the hotel chase me for having eaten a whole butcher's worth of sausages.

That wasn't my only portion.  Oops.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Conclusions & Reminders From My Weekend

I had a really enjoyable and fun-packed weekend.

These are my conclusions/reminders:

I still really like beer.

But I also definitely have a new-found taste for not wasting Sundays and being a bit more alert on Mondays.
I love London.
London is ridiculously more exciting than Reading.
£4.80 a pint. Ouch.
I have lived in Reading for more than 14 years.
I really love my new house.
I have amazing friends.
I want to DJ much more.
CDJ2000’s are amazing.
Martin Audio monitor speakers are disturbingly loud.
Morrison’s have upped their game.
I love gravy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Milestone Reached

I reached a new milestone in my life on Monday.
I have reached my heaviest ever recorded weight. 94kg. I say heaviest recorded as I believe that I may have been slightly heavier towards the end of 2004 but I cannot remember for sure and do not have it recorded (yes I have a spreadsheet).

94kg is overweight (something like 14 stone 11 ish for those of you still in the dark ages…can I ask how many furlongs your journey to work is, how many links tall you are or how many shillings you earn each month? No?). As I said I was a similar weight in 2004, but by 2008 I was down to 72kg.

My weight is creeping up each week and has been doing so for several years, most noticeably over the last year. Early 2011 I was 80kg.  When I lost my job last September I was 89kg. When I started work this year I was 85kg. Now I am 94kg. At this rate I will be the average size of an American in 11 years time.

There are two ways to fix it, diet and exercise.  Or stop working in an office.

Firstly, I am not going on a frigging diet. I am not a girl. Nor am I gay (oh did I just finally ‘come in’ in public? Oops, was supposed to be a secret). However I could improve my diet. Last week I made a significant improvement by replacing my sausage and bacon sandwich for breakfast, with a sausage roll. I might have to go further. Perhaps poison myself with cereal.

I am aware of several other things I should do, like not eat so many sweets, not have so many huge roast dinners and not eat before bed.  No sausage rolls, no sausages, no toad in the hole.  But I like sweets, meat, gravy, cakes and sandwiches. I do not want to eat things I do not like.

Secondly, I could exercise. I do not have a total aversion to exercise, but there are only a few forms I enjoy. And I am not going to be motivated or interested in doing something I dislike.

I like badminton, but it requires a second person. I have tried to join clubs, but on the odd occasion that my enquiry is not ignored, I am told that it is not suitable for beginners/plebs.

I like walking. But I already walk well over an hour a day.

I like dancing in nightclubs. But such is the popularity of house music that clubs are often too packed nowadays to do any more than a shuffle.

I might buy a bicycle next year to mow down pensioners on the pavements and so I can finally go through red lights and stop signs and it actually mean a bit more than it does now when I am walking down a street. A bicycle costs money though which I do not currently have.

So, what to do? It is not an easy question seeing as most sports already require a basic level of fitness which I do not have, and I do not have any prior knowledge of what I can do. Answers on a postcard please.  I will consider all sensible James-like suggestions.

I need to sort this out.

Sunday, October 07, 2012


I have done a lot of partying in my life so far.  A hell of a lot of drinking.  More hours on the dancefloor than at school (possibly).  And I have had a bloody good time.

But the last couple of weeks, I have been mostly sober, done very little in the way of "traditional fun" like going out, and I have still enjoyed myself and been happy.

A couple of years ago I would have gone totally crazy had that been the case.

Yes, you heard it here first, I am quite enjoying relaxing, sober and relatively quiet weekends.

Now my redundancy money has totally gone and I have to pay back the council for their fuck-up, my budget does not allow for partying every weekend, so I have to be a bit clever about it.  I can only party 3 weekends a month, so I am kind of forced into it, but in a very accepting kind of way.  So I chose the first two weekends after pay-day to chill out, as I am in London next weekend...and it is fabric's birthday the weekend after (not that I plan on going...but you never know!!).  Also it made sense to have a rest after crazy September.

I am enjoying not hanging out of my arse all Sunday and Monday, actually getting things done and being able to make an effort towards achieving other goals in life.

There is life after partying.

But don't worry, I haven't turned totally boring yet.  All about getting my priorities right.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Ed Miliband's One Nation Bull

So did anyone watch Ed Miliband’s Labour conference speech?

No, thought not. Neither did I. But I did put myself through the highlights, and most notable was that he used the phrase “One Nation” 44 times apparently. I didn’t count but plenty of political observers did.

One Nation. From the Labour Party. Oh please. Shut the fuck up.

Now I am not a deluded Tory who thinks Cameron & Osborne will ever get the votes of the unions or more than a handful of public sector workers. Certain sectors of society will never vote Conservative.

But, wow, Mr Miliband must be totally off his rocker if he thinks that those who are totally disgusted with the Labour party after they totally ruined the economy, increased inequality, gave us ever increasing moral bankruptcy, 90 days detention without trial, next to no infrastructure investment and oh let’s throw in the Iraq War too, will ever be willing to be part of some “One Nation” bullshit.

Of course he will still get the votes of those who depend on the state like those on benefits and public sector workers, and those who want to destroy the economy for their own eneds like the unions.

Seriously laughable if he thinks the party he leads can unite the country that he destroyed. Might as well bring back Hitler to resolve the Euro crisis.

I don’t actually hate Ed Miliband like I hate Gordon Brown, the man whom I have utter deplorable contempt for destroying the once brilliant United Kingdom. Along with of course Tony Blair, who I don’t hate but do generally dislike. No, Ed Miliband is just there. A bit irritating but I don’t actually mind him. He hasn’t had chance to destroy the country further, yet.

However, take a look at the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls.

A viperous political scumbag if ever I saw one. Does anyone seriously want him in charge of the country’s finances? Remember that he was a major part of Gordon Brown’s team that were hugely responsible for the worst economic crisis for 80, maybe 100+ years. (Don’t be fooled that it was because of the banks, although definitely partly to blame, nor the fault of the ‘global recession’ as that government were part of the machine that caused the global recession, which incidentally did not affect many countries with sound finances, such as Australia).

I much prefer Gideon and his yachts to be running the finances.

Anyway, next week I get to enjoy the glory of the Conservative Party Conference which will warm my heart greatly.

Tempted to book the week off to watch the conference. Shame I don’t own enough land to be invited (only joking, even us plebs can go…if you can afford it).

ps Apologies for the lack of blog post about the Lib Dems conference.  I forgot.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How To Have Your Own Property Empire

One house not enough for you?

It is possible to have your own housing empire, in the beautiful city of Hull.

Firstly, for just £5,000.00 comes this little beauty:

Not quite fit to live in yet though

Next comes the wonderful sounding, Raywood Villas, for £19,500.00

Then also for £19,500.00, you can purchase this beautiful end of terrace 3-bedroom house, complete with it's own mini-garden on the roof.

For £12,500.00 you can have this house which apparently has two bedrooms but the estate agent is unable to confirm and you cannot inspect the property before you purchase it.

Perhaps you would like your own modern studio apartment to live in, yours for just £29,995.00

Or you want a 3-bedroom terraced house.  Complete with modern furnishings inside, available for £39,950.00

Just beautiful, isn't it?  Some of you perhaps prefer town centre living though, and this can be achieved for just £40,000.00.  Prime town centre property.  Just a short walk to Yate's.

Or finally, maybe you really want to splash out on the luxury of a 3-bedroom semi-detached, complete with it's own landfill site so you never have to make those annoying trips to the dump any longer.  Just £45,000.00

I think you will agree that for the price of one house down south, you can have a whole empire of housing in the beautiful city of Hull.

So next time you think about buying a house, consider buying 8 properties instead for the grand total of £211,445.00.

Think of Hull.  The destination for your property empire.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reviewing 2012 Goals

I set myself 15 goals at the beginning of the year.  I thought I should do a little review of them:

1. Most importantly, try my hardest to find a good new job.  Success.
2. Open at least one business.  Preferably two.  Failure and I don't have time for this.
3. Launch at least one website.  Nearly there!
4. Continue to learn how to DJ, do more DJ mixes, and play out somewhere.  Success.
5. At least do all I can to look into running an event with house music.  I have ideas which need looking into properly but for now 1-4 are my priorities.  Success.
6. Go to Ibiza.  This year will be my 10th time.  Yes I know I am unemployed but I have budgeted for it.  Success.
7. Go to Cocoon In The Park.  There is no way that I will not be going, assuming Sven, Ricardo, etc are playing.  7th July is the date.  Success.
8. Go back to Frankfurt.  I really want to go back to Cocoon and take a few people with me that haven't been before.  I can live without doing this though, if funds do not permit.  Very unlikely.
9. Go to a new country.  Even if I have to go by myself.  I have only been to 9 countries and I am 32.  This is silly.  Again though, it depends on funds.  Very unlikely.
10. Go clubbing 12 times, and don't always go to fabric - go somewhere else!  Looking forward to, erm, fabric on 14th January.  Did I mention Sven is in London on 18th May?  Success.
11. Do another couple of pieces of art.  Very unlikely.
12. Go to Hull 4 times, and Northampton once.  Will be 3 times to Hull, been to Northampton and have met parents in Oxford and London, so success.
13. Find someone to play badminton with on at least a monthly basis.  Very unlikely.
14. Lose some of this sodding weight that I put on last year - I reached 90kg by December, and considering that I started 2011 on 78kg, this is bad, it must be stopped and must be reversed.  83kg is a sensible goal for 2012 I think.  I was losing it, then I started work and now I am my fattest ever.  Total failure.
15. Ignore the Olympics, except to go to London and persuade some innocent virgin Americans to go to some grotty club in Shoreditch.  Failure, but I went to the Olympics and had a great time, so I am classing it as a success.

9 out of 15 is 60%.  I am happy with that.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ahh, Sweet Reality

I came back from Ibiza in a good mood until I stepped back into Bracknell on Monday, and wow, miserable wasn’t the word. I could feel it in my body, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I am quite surprised that no customers commented on the miserable tones coming from my mouth. And it was written hugely on my face.

Thankfully I soon recognised that these feelings were totally irrational, as I have been to Ibiza! And others in the world do not even have clean drinking water.

I would like to thank myself, my family and my friends for ensuring that I have a life that allows such blessings, and the pot luck draw of place of birth.

This week has been the first full week of work I have done for a month and it has actually gone quickly.

I am finally going to have a chilled one this weekend, which is a relief after the last month of moving house, Ibiza, fabric twice and Free House Project. I do have two short social engagements planned but both will involve apple juice only. I am really looking forward to spending some time sorting out my new house, maybe some blogging, researching new tunes and doing some more work on my website (which is nearly finished, in terms of design anyway, it mostly just needs content and launching). And lots of sleep and maybe a nice walk, speak to my parents, hopefully my grandma – you know, nice stuff. And gravy.

This does mean that I will miss a good night out in Reading on Saturday, by very good friends, JP, Martin and Tim which I enjoyed very much last time. Normally my attendance wouldn’t be in question but I require the rest and need to save money for a winter coat too.

It has my seal of recommendation.

Today isn’t all sweetness and light though, as it is the funeral of a young lady called Heather that I cannot say that I knew especially well, but what I did know was the huge amount of energy, vibrancy and fun that she would bring to a room, she could instantly light up proceedings in a very special and unique way. It is the mark of just how wonderful she was that someone like myself that more knew of her (as opposed to knowing her well as a friend like many of my friends did) can be saddened by her untimely passing, and I hope today is as pain-free as possible for those who knew her well.

I feel blessed for those short occasional moments that she brightened up my life and she will never be forgotten.

The reality of how fragile this thing called life can be.

I would prefer not to end on such a sad note if you don’t mind so I will share with you a DJ that I just cannot get enough of. She is Loco Dice’s protégé so comes highly recommended, she is from Germany and is called tINI.

During the Ibiza season she did a weekly radio show and she really has a unique style of underground house.

My particular favourite is the one from July 12th, it fits the mood of today as it is emotive underground house, it is somewhat sad but yet uplifting, rather minimal at times with moments of surprise, amusement, obscurity and downright hot Ibizan sexiness.  Seriously - the track at around 38 minutes...something else...I feel like I am about to spontaneously combust.

Only Ricardo I hold in higher regard right now in terms of music that is doing it for me.

Take care folks, and enjoy life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ibiza 2012 - My 10th Visit

Before I went to Ibiza for the 10th time this year, I decided that it would be my last trip for a couple of years.

However, upon arrival back upon the magical island that I like to call home, I immediately began to dream of ways that I could move to Ibiza to live there forever.  Or at least a whole summer.

I flew with Monarch from Gatwick as usual, an even more rowdy and party-like flight than previous years, full of young people and far more young ladies than men on board, oh how terrible.  Given the e-mailed warnings from Monarch and police presence upon arrival at the gate, it seems that they have had numerous issues with over-excited, drunken revellers on board – one has to wonder why they do a 10pm flight on a Saturday.  Given the large increase in popularity of house music, and the large increase in twats in London clubs, I guess this has to be expected.  Plus Ibiza is trying to appeal to a slightly different, and may I say it, less mature crowd.

It was however all good fun on board with no trouble, and just the annoyances of an aeroplane MC and someone playing drum’n’bass out loud.  I am going to Ibiza however and have to accept this.

I was staying in San Antonio, yes I know perhaps slightly contradictory given my moan about twats but I do actually really like that part of the island and will always defend it, despite its well-known imperfections.  Given the choice I would have stayed elsewhere on the island, but I was staying with my sister and her friend on their first stay on the island, we all had smaller budgets than ideal so needs must, and it is perfect for beginners like my sister and her friend.

We stayed in some very nice apartments called Sol Bahia, a small family-run business around the corner from Kanya in a suitably quiet area.  The hotel was clean, the apartment had good facilities, it was reasonably-priced and pretty much free of idiots.

Sunday was quite chilled out, just had some drinks around the pool during the day, and then went out for drinks in the evening.  Made the first mistake of the holiday by sitting down at Café Savannah just as the sun was setting, which was very pleasant for 3 minutes and then the electro started banging out.  Loads of people were photographing the DJ, so my sister (who knows next to nothing about dance music) asked someone who the DJ was, to be told, “its Judge Jules, doh”.  This was probably the most painful jug of Sangria I have ever had in my life.  And the service wasn’t exactly to expected standards.  We wandered around and ended up at Orange Corner, with suitably cheap drinks (€5 for two beers and a shot) and much better music in the form of house/deep house.  Not sure what else we did…this is over a week ago now!

Monday my sister and her friend made the first of four failed attempts at catching a boat, leaving me to sleep.  I amused myself with some cans of strawberry and lime Rekorderlig (the drink of the moment it seems) and made my way in the hot sunshine to Playa D’en Bossa, to meet friends (and wander around aimlessly trying and failing to follow direction for quite some time first), before making our way to DC10.

For some reason despite loving the music style and most of the DJs on every DC10 line-up, I have never been.  Mostly because of the stories of over-crowding and the heat inside.  However upon arrival the air conditioning was working and it was really quite nice inside, more pleasant than the outdoor area.  However this didn’t last as the air conditioning broke, it became very hot, the queues for the toilets and bars were ridiculous and it became total chaos inside.  The music was excellent, I cannot remember who I saw except for Soul Clap but I ended up rather frustrated and gave up shortly before midnight and went home to chill out and calm down (which erm took a fair few hours!).  And I lost my shovel inside.

I decided against Cocoon.  This is the first trip to Ibiza since I discovered it in 2004 that I hadn’t done Cocoon and I think I regret it.  However Dubfire was in the main room and I am absolutely not a fan of his, and Mathias Kaden I know little of.  Sven was in the terrace and both times I have seen him this year he has really been banging out the techno and I have well gone off techno.  That and having lost my friends, and the cost of it meant that I decided I would wait until later in the holiday for more dancing opportunities.

Tuesday I met up with a couple more friends in the Welsh bar in the West End (during the day may I add!) for a few cheap beers.  I did want to go to PDB to try to find the sometimes elusive Cocoon after-party but by time several drinks had been consumed it seemed easier and just as much fun to go to Mambo for their charity event with DJs serving the drinks.  I had a crap bottle of San Miguel served to me by Carl Cox which was amusing however it was warm and I didn’t finish it.  The staff were also a tad rude and unhelpful.  It seemed like the customers were getting in their way.   We left earlier than planned.  Carl Cox was on top form though.

In the evening we had one of the highlights of the holiday with a trip to the amazing Tapas Restaurant in San Antonio, slightly away from the hustle and bustle and you wouldn’t find it unless you knew it were there.  Between us we had 9 dishes, and the obligatory sangria.  Culinary highlights including the pork belly which was simply amazing, the battered prawns…oh everything was simply delicious.  Without doubt the best meal I have had all year, and my two accomplices agreed.

Not sure what I did during the day on Wednesday, I assume not a lot.  I really wanted to go to tINI and the gang in PDB on the beach, with the super secret guest from Desolat (well I wonder who that was), however I had bought a ticket for Ibiza Rocks and that started at 7pm so there was a clash.  Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot stand guitar music, especially indie and rock so this was a challenge to me.  I just about stuck it out.  I did dance for about 15 minutes to the headliners, Two Door Cinema Club, but it all sounded the same so I went to the back to drink rather strong vodka and chat to a few randoms.

It was an impressive set-up and as a band, TDCC were impressive, however musically it was just totally anathema to my house music sensibilities.  If you like that kind of thing then I thoroughly recommend it.  I did consider going to Sankeys afterwards but I had lost my excited spirit and was ready to go back and sleep.

Thursday was my last full day and night and I had had enough alcohol so decided on a chilled out and sober day.  I don’t think I have ever had a sober day in Ibiza.  We had a little wander to PDB to see if anything was going on, and walked there from Ibiza Town, but nothing of interest.

Friday we spent the day on the beach, Cala Torida, which was very nice.  I said adios to my sister and her friend in the evening as they went to Ibiza Rocks once more, and I couldn’t resist going back to the super-lovely Tapas restaurant one more time before I caught a super-silent plane home.  I even went for a gander through the West End and made it up the whole strip without anyone asking if I wanted to go in for a drink.  Shocking.

It was a really good holiday, easily the most relaxing holiday I have ever had in Ibiza and unusually lacking in parties.  Said lack of parties was the only real downside but as I was going to fabric the same day I got back, I contented myself with that.

It is the first time I have come back refreshed from Ibiza.  Well...until I ruined myself back in London!

Ibiza seems a calmer island, and it really is a vastly different beast from when I first went in 1998.  It seems a tad restrained and also it is much harder to chat to randoms than I have ever known it.

I would give it a 7.5 out of 10 in terms of holiday satisfaction.  A million miles away from comparison to the amazing and crazy villa holidays of 2007-09.

I am not going to go back next year.  I am going to try somewhere new.  I am going to add to my list of countries visited for the rather embarrassingly first time in 5-6 years.  I am done with Ibiza, at least for a couple of years.

Though never say never.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Art Department at fabric, 22/09/2012

I was really looking forward to fabric on Saturday, having just got back from Ibiza that morning in very good spirits, and the evening started well with a few local drinks for one of my dearest friend’s birthdays.

However it quickly went downhill upon arrival at fabric, and seeing the ridiculous queue, the likes of which I last saw at Jamie Jones night last year, around the same time of the year. The security assured us that we would only have to wait 25 minutes. As a long-time member I am used to this on exceptionally busy nights and this is understandable.

I had to wait more than 2 hours.

Not acceptable.

Part of the problem was that ticket-holders had priority over members (since when?). What is the point of paying to be a member if I have to wait 2 hours to get in?

Part of the problem was the lack of control that security had over the crowd. Not all this can be attributed to the security themselves as there were an unusually large proportion of tossers in the crowd though perhaps the disgusting behaviour of many - pushing, shoving, jumping the queue, etc, was down to the lack of control and the annoyance this caused.

Also experienced was a glass bottle thrown at a passing car, and although absolutely nothing to do with fabric was a drive-by attempted robbery of what seemed to be someone outside the bar next door – I didn’t see exactly what happened myself, having only seen the commotion out of the corner or my eye but it was described by many others and certainly an unpleasant incident.

I finally got inside around 230am, rather deflated, and totally dismayed by the disgusting behaviour of a fair proportion of my fellow humans, fellow clubbers and utterly sick of second-hand smoke being blown in my face. The sooner smoking is banned from all outdoor areas the better.

I am seriously considering cancelling my fabricfirst/fabriclast membership, as I cannot stand half the cds, and only really like about a quarter of them, my members card discounted entry is much reduced, there are never free/half-price entry nights for members nowadays in quiet months (though probably due to improved line-ups) and what is the point if I have to queue for 2 hours? This may be an over-reaction as I have a severe case of Ibiza blues so I will not come to a rash conclusion. And I do not get that glowing feel of being one of the exclusive special ones any more.

Anyway, once I had perked up there was a party to be had though not before I had to endure two minutes of bland, soul-less depressing techno that room 2 has become very well known for. How did I used to like techno? Perhaps it is just the form of fabric techno. Such unhappy music.

Also a matter of frustration that night was that I just could not get into room 3 for Eats Everything. This is not a surprise due to his popularity, I am not convinced that room 3 is the best room due to this.

Room one is my favourite clubbing room in the UK, so we stuck to this for the rest of the night, first up was a live performance by Tone of Arc. A good performance and the crowd generally appreciated it though I think the guitar scared a fair few away. Also the vocals were very quiet and muffled.

Then came Art Department, however I wasn’t really feeling them as I felt the music was too dark and moody. Yes, I know that this is their style but I just don’t think it is my cup of tea any more. More my state of mind and musical preferences I think than their set. They were absolutely loving it as were much of the crowd (surprisingly not that busy with more than enough dancing space…slightly contradictory to the time taken to get in the club).

Also I missed Craig Richards.  Bad move.

It is hard not to enjoy fabric, and I did have a good night but there were too many frustrations and disappointments, and it should have been a far better experience. Also I accept that I was not on usual form.

Perhaps I do have nettle-tinted glasses on due to the worst case of Ibiza blues since 2006 but I only rate the night out at 5 out of 10.

I’ve been blessed with a lot of absolutely fantastic nights out in my life, especially at fabric. I’ll take it with a pinch of salt and look forward to another visit hopefully before the year is out.

Time for a short rest from the dancefloor I think.

Monday, September 24, 2012

I Feel Like...

A crushed flower with just one petal left.

A 70-year old virgin in Bangkok who has just found out ‘she’ is a he.

A war refugee who has been evacuated to Slough.

A butterfly whose wings no longer work.

A superstar DJ who has just gone deaf.

A monkey robbed of his last banana.

A prince, married to a princess who has just chopped her hair off.

A vegetarian locked in a butcher’s freezer.

A duck in the desert.

A kebab van in a pigeon-free land.

A Yorkshireman with no gravy.   Yes, I have the Ibiza blues in severe form and feel like I could cry for weeks.  Deep down I know it is better to love and lose than not to love at all but the reality of Bracknell is causing me deep emotional trauma right now and I am inconsolable.  No sunshine, no parties, no ridiculously beautiful young Spanish ladies.   I will smile again.  But not today.  Or tomorrow.  Even gravy would be futile.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ricardo Villalobos at fabric 08/09/2012

Yes it has taken me two weeks to get round to doing this review...I moved house and then went to Ibiza so I am kind of a little bit behind at the moment!

January was the last time I went to fabric.  I went rather a lot between last September and January, almost every other week for a while which is quite a feat for someone not living in London, as this requires a 9-10 hour commitment in London.

8 months without going to fabric is an unusually long time, one of my longest ever stints without a visit since I started going back around 2003/04 but I think last year’s repeated visits were a bit overkill and I wanted to try other venues, some festivals, also I have spent time designing, developing, promoting putting on my own house music event, which takes up a ridiculous amount of time.  I have to hand it to any promoters reading, especially those who work full time on top of promoting.  Also my most regular clubbing partner had had some time off for studies and holidays this year and clubbing is not the same on your own.

There was no way I was missing Ricardo Villalobos, my only reasonable opportunity to see him this year (thankfully in July I chose Monsoon In The Park over Bloc!).  A year without seeing Ricardo is not a valid year.  Perhaps not my best decision to go to fabric the day after moving house, 2 hours before I was supposed to be catching the train I was rather stressed as I had no idea which of 700 boxes my clothes were in, nothing was cleaned or ironed, no shaver, no toiletries, oh and I was rather pickled from a day in the park.

Going back to fabric, is like going home.  Like a dark version of going to Ibiza with hot girls in short skirts rather than bikinis.

We arrived at midnight to no queue.  Even my friend who wasn’t able to take advantage of the member’s entrance only had to queue for 5-10 minutes.  Very odd for a Ricardo night.  Lots of girls too, well there was in the cloakroom queue anyway.  A hell of a lot of tourists – yes I know this is fabric but seemingly more than usual.

The crowd in general was a good crowd, apart from the two grotty drunken inhuman specimens shouting obscenities to those waiting for the toilet upstairs, not very peace and love, I resisted temptation to tell them where to go, they were horrifically ugly so I was quite satisfied that they must have a miserable life anyway.  No pushing on the dancefloor, very few drunken idiots, just nice happy smiley people all here to experience something very special.

And very special it was.

First up was Craig Richards – one of my all time favourites and fabric without him is just not the same.  A delightful set of groovy music, varying from deep house, to touches of disco and techno.  A magical warm-up, not that I expected anything else.

Then came Mathew Jonson and Minilogue – a 2 hour live performance with some excellent moments.  I recall hearing snippets of Elephant’s Parade, one of my favourite tracks from my minimal era though maybe I was just hearing things.

We didn’t spend too much time in room 1 during the live set as this was perfect opportunity to see what was going on in the other two rooms – all 3 rooms were house music, no techno, woohoo!  I don’t recall who else I saw but everyone was top notch.

But room 1 is my favourite room in the UK, even more than the toilet at work whilst watching Redtube, so we didn’t stay out for too long and were back in time for Ricardo, and the change to complete musical magic, with that super special room 1 fabric vibe that only Ricardo nights and birthdays can give, and though very busy, I have known it far worse and there was room to shuffle, and later on to dance a bit.

Musically Ricardo started off slow and groovy, enticing us into his unique vibe that he creates, before becoming surprisingly tough and techno like, with some recognisable tunes, brilliant inventive mixing (ok there was a clanger or two, but this is Ricardo not a sync button), some weirdness and some house.

We left around 730/8am, though I could have gone on for a couple more hours, and hopefully I will learn my lesson next time as apparently we missed Donna Summer – typical!

Totally brilliant night, well deserving of a 10 out of 10 and I could not have realistically wished for any more.

I will not be leaving it so long until I go back home to fabric next time.

And Ricardo is officially my favourite DJ in the world now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Truth

I was 9 years old when Hillsborough happened, still a shade too young to appreciate the enormity of the tragedy.

However as a young football fan, who had seen running battles between rival sets of fans, and between fans and police, seen the barbaric way that fans were penned in behind tall metal fences topped with rolls of barbed wire and tagged knife-like objects and had groups of hooligans with knives running right past him on more than one scary occasion, without even reaching double figures in age, it was abundantly clear that something was very wrong and danger was manifest.

I have recently tended to avoid such difficult subjects on my blog as it is way too easy to upset and offend anyone, but I have always felt strongly about it as it was the first such tragedy that had a connection to me in that it could have been the fans of any football team in the country.

I don’t especially want to make a political statement, but it was this government who changed the rules in parliament to allow any subject with 100,000 signatures on a government petition to be discussed in parliament which has led to this day which I am sure is a relief to the families. I know because I signed that petition as I have always felt very strongly about the perceived (and now confirmed) injustices.

The bravery and hard work of all those involved in bringing the truth to the public should be acknowledged and thanked.

There are way too many questions left though.

Why did the Conservative government of the day not question the original inquiry and accept the findings?
Why did the Labour government of 1997-2010 always brush the subject under the carpet?
Will there be any criminal prosecutions?
What else has been covered up?
What else have we been lied to about?

Whatever the questions and whatever future answers may be forthcoming, nothing will ever bring back the 96 and my heart continued to go out to all those personally affected and I dearly hope that this brings some peace.