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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Have A Plan

It has become fairly clear to me that the lack of freedoms that office life forces upon me and the lack of challenge for my still fairly active brain, means it is definitely not what I want to be doing long term.

It has been good for me in the short term to get me back on track following 6 months unemployed and I guess will be necessary for the next couple of years to fund the lifestyle I enjoy.

But I do not want to have a never ending corporate life of random jobs and no real future. I do not see myself as ever becoming dull enough to be successful in an office.

I have spent too long thinking about a plan and not long enough enacting one.

10 years ago I was in a similar situation in a dead end junior office job. So I embarked upon a degree.

Now I have other routes I would like to follow and it is time to enact my plan. I want to follow the DJ dream, the party promoting route and probably more realistically the web designing.

I keep planning it in my head but not really doing anything with it.

So as from last week, I now do web design on a Tuesday evening, Free House Project stuff on a Wednesday and practice DJing on a Thursday evening.

Less talk. More action.

I cannot be bored forever and now is the time to stop fucking around and enact my plan for the future.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Openings

I definitely enjoyed this weekend. It was supposed to be my final of three weekends of sobriety and austerity, but seeing as I cracked last weekend, there wasn’t much point in behaving this weekend.

That said, I did stay in on Thursday to record a new mix, not exactly my best ever but my first time behind the decks since the last FHP so no surprise really. Need to up my game there. Friday I stayed in again though I did have a few beers, and watched the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. I certainly was not one of the doubters that thought we would mess the whole thing up, I was always confident that we would pull off a spectacular ceremony, and I loved it. It was absolutely spectacular and anyone who missed it, missed an extraordinary piece of theatre. I did feel like my ears, and in fact my whole body, had been abused by the Arctic Monkeys who once again proved that I am truly allergic to anything vaguely rock based and it seemed rather angry for a ceremony, oh and how dreadful was that Paul guy near the end? Each to their own though I suppose.

More importantly than the Olympics though, Hull City won away at Rochdale in a friendly. Previously we beat North Ferriby in the Billy Bly trophy and Winterton Rangers. Looks like promotion this year.

Saturday night I went to Up The Junction, for a new night of tech-house and techno, organised by 3 very good friends, JP, Martin and Tim. I might be biased but I have to say this was the best night out I have had in Reading for ages (excluding FHP of course), it didn’t take me long to start dancing with some of the more garage-based tune from a DJ called William Baggs, he had quite a wide range of music from house to electro too. Then Tim Sharpe played a really good hour or so of music which was absolutely top-notch, really good underground house and tech-house, reminiscent of Loco Dice. Then JP and Martin came on as Dark Matter and hammered out some underground techno, mixed in with some of their own excellent productions.

I didn’t really stop dancing all night and it was a refreshing dance to do so in Reading, a good 3 hours dancing and I feel good for it. I do hope they organise something on a more regular basis as Reading does need more good club nights.

All in all a really good weekend, but it should be eclipsed by Eastern Electrics on Saturday coming!

I cannot wait.


Azari & III LIVE
Jamie Jones
Kerri Chandler
Julio Bashmore
Damian Lazarus
Andrew Weatherall
Joy Orbison
Maceo Plex
MK
Nina Kraviz
Tensnake
Pan-Pot
Sebo K
Crazy P
Nick Curly
Miguell Campbell
Huxley
Boddika
Richy Ahmed
Koreless LIVE
Amirali LIVE
Geddes
2020 Soundsystem LIVE
Greg Wilson
Ralph Lawson
Bicep
Dusky
Waifs & Strays
Trickski
Maxxi Soundsystem
Futureboogie DJs
Luca C & Brigante
Dan Williams
Serge Santiago
krankbrothers
Lorca
Luca C & Ali Love (Infinity Inc)
Bill Patrick
Duff Disco
Danny Raper
Leon Vynehall
Black Diamond
Alfie

What an amazing line-up :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Olympics & Me

I hate running. I would rather go train-spotting and have needles poked into me whilst doing yoga (on acid), dressed as Bungle in 40’C heat than go running. I sure as hell loathe the idea of watching running. I certainly have no interest in whether someone can jump 1mm further than someone else. Nor do I have any time to see how far someone can throw a pointed stick. And Olympic football? You are having a laugh, surely? Give me the Auto-windshield Trophy any day.

Yes, it is time for the Olympics, and time for us British to do one of the things we do best, which is shrug our shoulders, and nonchalantly pretend nothing is happening and get on with our lives until said event disrupts our way of living, and then moan about it over 10 pints, buy and possibly even eat a kebab and then forget it ever happened and go back to moaning about how hot/cold/wet/dry/misty it is and how we haven’t seen our particular favourite cloud yet this week.

If you have read my blog long enough, you know I like to play Devil’s Advocate at least once every 4 years.

So I am going to embrace the Olympics. I still far prefer being out for a beer with friends, looking for new music, going to nightclubs, etc so watching sports that I have no interest in is not going to change just because of a sense of occasion. I didn’t succumb to watching Andy Murray losing the other week, I just watched Big Brother. I am not changing my life for it.

I do however like a good ceremony, and I am definitely looking forward to watching the Opening Ceremony tonight. The Olympics is time to show Britain off to the world, and to show that despite having democracy, we can still do big events and put on a fantastic spectacle. I am most interested though, in seeing hot young ladies in short outfits dancing and whatever my Olympics hero, Boris Johnson has to say. A ceremonial turn-on for both men and women.

I might watch some diving. I do actually quite like diving. Maybe some badminton. Or archery if Bob Crow volunteers his face to be the archery board for all the suffering he attempts to afflict upon London, and the country as a whole.  My old boss is going to the archery.  Yes, he is a twat.

I am actually going to watch the Olympics live too. I am really pleased about this because on the off-chance that I accidentally get some bird up the duff one year and she has not given me a reason to dress up as Batman and climb onto the gates of Buckingham Palace with the my soon-to-be newly-found agility inspired after Tony Blair’s Olympic legacy, I would not want to risk young Tinkerbelle/Deano ask me why I didn’t go to the Olympics – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Instead I look forward to regaling them with tales of why I got thrown out of the Olympic Park. Though I suspect they would be more interested as to why I didn’t stay until 10am at fabric’s 12th birthday to see Villalobos.

I think I have already been inspired by the Olympics, and have decided that I must get fit, or at least less unfit, so I am going to make an effort to go clubbing more so I can shift some of this ridiculous weight that I have put on the last two years.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our athletes well, I especially hope you kick ass against the Russians. And may I also express my gratitude to Tony Blair and David Beckham for all their hard work in organising this event.

OOOOO

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Feel Good - Because I Had Beer?

Well that was a fun weekend.

I decided against imposing any more austerity/sobriety upon myself - 12 days was more than enough, and I feel much better for it.  No, not for the 12 days of sobriety but for having a few beers, spending time with good friends and maybe the sunshine had something to do with it.

On Saturday, I went to my very good friend's pub, The Star, in Waltham St Lawrence (no I've never heard of it either, but it is a little village nearish Twyford).

It was really refreshing to be out in the country air, not something I have done for a long, long time.  Beer was consumed, normality was returned, good conversation - and the landlord, Ben, did a BBQ which particularly amazing tasting chicken.

Then Sunday I went out for sun and cider in the afternoon which was very pleasant.

Oh and I have booked accommodation for Ibiza, for the week of Saturday 17th September to 24th September.  Well, I say I have, it is my sister who actually booked it.  I think I agreed to go to Ibiza Rocks too last night...maybe I should give up drinking after all.  Idiot.

I have a busy week this week, ok I'm going out on Wednesday.  And also Saturday for Time 2 Groove, hosted by 3 very good friends, JP, Martin and Tim.  It will be fun.  And sorting out references for moving out, fingers crossed.  And I might buy some shorts for Ibiza.

And watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thrilling Weekend Ahead

Austerity weekend number 2 approaches.

Last weekend was actually ok.

My priority number one this weekend will be to get behind my decks.

And to get out in the sunshine, especially on Sunday, and maybe go for a walk.

I just have to keep thinking, it is all for a good cause, the Spanish are in recession much worse than us, and the clubs in Ibiza need my money more than the chain bars of Reading.

I am desperately craving clubbing though.  Not sure I will be able to resist through next weekend...anyone joining me at Eastern Electrics (ha ha sold out) will have the delight of my company after 3 weekends without even a sniff of beer...I'm sure I will be entirely sensible.

As a Friday gift, I offer you this amazing Wolf & Lamb 3 hour set - it put a smile on my face so many times this morning, some amazing music.

Have a lovely weekend
x

Monday, July 16, 2012

Austerity & Teletext Porn


I don’t know what the BBC and all these crackpot socialists are moaning about, in regards to austerity.  It isn’t actually that bad.

One can enjoy life without money.  To be fair, I learnt this when I was unemployed so I do know this, I just forgot it over recent months.

I decided after Cocoon In The Park to take a break from partying, mainly this is enforced upon me through financial necessity, however it is also because I feel that I need a rest, I need to recharge my batteries, for future parties, for my beloved Free House Project (oh any excuse for a plug) and for Ibiza.

I went into the weekend fretting a little about how I would cope, especially with the boredom and mundaneness of not going out, having fun, drinking and dancing, staying up way too late…and then feeling rotten.

However I am pleasantly surprised about how much I did enjoy it.  The main thing was the amount of time I could devote to discovering new music, and I have found some real crackers, and this should give me more time to practise DJing this week, as I do really want to get some more mixes recorded and out into the cloud.  Oh, how groovy do I sound now?

I kind of feel that I am at a point in life where I need to invest more in myself, and my knowledge and abilities, and perhaps less short-term gratification so I can get more from life in the future.  That’s not to say I am even vaguely thinking of stopping the party lifestyle, but getting more balance, having more relaxing weekends and focusing on other parts of life that I have just remembered that I really enjoy too.

There are simple things I want to do more of – like going to Ben’s pub for Sunday roast once I have money, and going to a couple of Hull City away games with my sister, and spend a bit more time outdoors, visit more places, see more of the country.  Go to Leeds again!

Whilst it is on my mind, does anyone remember teletext porn?


Did anyone honestly...?

Erm, back to the subject, the success and enjoyment of austerity has surprised me so much that I even enjoyed 21p ketchup.


See you on the other side of pay-day...unless anyone fancies a spot of English sunbathing this weekend?  I kid you not.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ah Ah Ahh Arrgghh Staying In

I'm not very good at staying in on the weekend.  I never have been since I discovered alcohol at the age of 14/15.

Normally I have various social engagements, friends to meet, parties to attend.  But this time I am purposely avoiding any kind of insalubrious occasion.  Not only do I want to improve health a bit by abstaining - my bank balance is totally depleted, or will be when I repay the overpaid housing benefit.

I have to now think of the big picture - Eastern Electrics and moving house in August, Free House Project and Ibiza in September.  Especially Free House Project and my fledgling superstar DJ career, as I do need to practice and get my music up to date.

So with no parties and no socialising, what am I going to do?

I have a very exciting list:

1. Return unused wellies for a refund.
2. Bank a cheque for £12.
3. Get a photo and season ticket for the train so I can save £2 a week.
4. Write to the council and advise I am only willing to repay £400 of the £1,600 I owe them, and that is a gesture of goodwill.
5. A trip to Poundland, or maybe 99p shop, to stock up on toiletries.
6. A trip to Morrisons to stock up on Gravy.  And stuffing balls.
7. Catch up with washing, ironing and maybe a spot of cleaning.
8. Open the previous month's post.

Rock and frigging bread roll.

Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life?

Is this what people who don't party do every weekend?

It's all good though, I'm still on a post-Cocoon In Ze Park high, and it will give me chance to concentrate on music, and maybe, finally, my website.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cocoon In The Park 2012 (Or Monsoon In The Swamp?)

It is hard to know where to start this review.  It was my third time to Cocoon In The Park.  This time we were staying in a hotel in the centre of Leeds.  This trip there were four of us.  It has been raining quite a lot recently, hasn't it?  However, I recall last year that it had also been raining the week before, albeit not quite as much, and heavy showers were forecast last year for Cocoon In the Park but magically missed us, so I assumed that was all down to the magic of Sven, and assumed he controlled the weather.

The journey up from Reading was delightful, having been soaked already on the way home from work, the road conditions were awful, the traffic was awful all the way from Reading to Leeds.  It should have taken 4 hours at the most, it probably took 6, including a stop to check the engine, traffic jams, more traffic jams, oh and going through a bus lane.  Not the easiest of journeys, massive respect for our designated driver.

Eventually we found our hotel, the Malmaison.  What a hotel.  Cannot recommend it enough, £45 a night each is quite pricey for up north but it was well worth it.  Really good service, really good rooms, superb food for breakfast - and the hotel bar plays proper decent house music.  Yes, real underground, deep house - in a hotel bar.  Maybe it is a Leeds thing?

We made our way down to Cocoon In The Park, by a taxi, who decided to show us a really rough estate in Leeds, and pointed it out to us how rough it was.  Thanks.  Was that a short cut?

As usual the festival itself was spot on, very well organised.  The only negative thing about last year was the toilets, and this year the lay-out of the toilet area was much improved.  The site itself had to be moved due to the rain that had fallen, onto higher ground, at short notice, which must have been quite some achievement.  I have to say a massive well done to the organisers - that is not an easy operation to have to do.  True determination saw it through.  Massively impressed.  And thanks for the wood chip.  Other potentially muddy festivals take note.



Musically, the DJs were all superb.  I am not one to argue which DJ should or shouldn't play a Cocoon event.  Their DJ roster is fantastic.  Personally I love Ricardo Villalobos as a DJ, and would love to have seen him play there as per the last two years, but variety is the spice of life and I also enjoy hearing DJs that I would not normally hear.

Visionquest were very interesting.  Perfect for a warm-up.  I could do a whole night with them.  There was a more floaty, melodic, hypnotic kind of sound coming from their music - call it deep trance if you like.  I do.  And I do like it.  Seth Troxler in particular was playing some very impressive tracks.  Just like last year when I saw him, I really wish I knew what he was playing.  Very impressive.

Cassy was next, and I think she was not the crowd's favourite, a couple of her vinyls jumped, which the crowd didn't seem to like but I say forgive DJs when this happens.  To play vinyl is to truly love records, none of this instant downloading.  They have to be discovered, waited for, paid for and delivered, so they are cherished.  I love vinyl.  I dream of a day when I can afford a vinyl collection of my own.  She played some really good house music and also wasn't afraid to twist it around a bit, with some garage and even some UK bass.  I was most impressed.

Sadly, what had been a glorious day of sunshine up to this point, had clouded over and the long-ominous clouds finally arrived to pour rain on us, to dampen the end of Cassy's set, and the start of Loco Dice.

Loco Dice is a DJ that I really haven't seen enough of, and an hour and a half at Cocoon In The Park was definitely not long enough.  Everyone seems to say that Loco Dice smashed it, and he did smash it but I don't think I wanted to be musically smashed at that point as the rain had put a dampener on it.  But I still really enjoyed it, especially the remix of Artful Dodger, ha ha!  For me, his set was my least favourite, but it is kind of like saying that a blow job is a least favourite form of sexual endeavour.  He was spot on, I just wish he was playing for much longer.

And then Sven, well I have written enough about him in the past, he is truly an inspiration for everything he does, and especially everything he has created.  The sun did come out for him, but not for long because it really poured down for a second time, and by now we were fully soaked and once one person said "I've had enough" - the group consensus soon came to a decision that it was time to go home, have a shower and get ready for the after-party.  We arrive together - we leave together.

And on the way out, of a supremely well-run festival, despite everything the weather had to throw, Sven played some fantastic tracks in the distance, as the heavens opened once more and a true monsoon amount of rain fell, and fell and fell.

Back to the hotel to try to re-engage with a soaked and fried body and mind - water was amazing.  Quite why more water was required seemed odd but yes it was required.  Made it to Mint Warehouse, which had really good music on, however a crazy light show did get to my eyes a bit, especially the amount of strobing - sometimes less is more!  Fantastic venue though, really want to go again and thoroughly recommend it.  Superb sound-system, fabulous crowd and totally chaotic, but in a good way.


I am in love with Leeds.  Such a fantastic city, especially the people.  Everywhere seems to play good quality house music – the total opposite of Reading.  It seems everyone is up for a party, and I totally love the people of Leeds.  One delightful thing was the inclusion of boards all over the city centre where club nights can be advertised.  Unlike Reading where I live, where club night posters “ruin the asthetics”.  Even on the few boarded up buildings they still get taken down by official local fuckwits.



Leeds is rather seemingly chaotic, the road network is non-sensicle, the nightlife is never-ending, the streets are chaos still at 6am, the city doesn’t seem to sleep.  It is a bit every man/woman for himself in places – getting a taxi outside the Warehouse was pot luck, no form of queue like you would get outside a club in London, people just pushing in front of others.  And don’t even think about queuing for a toilet, just push in like everyone else.

So glad I went there rather than the apparently disastrous Bloc, which I did consider to see Ricardo.


I give the festival 9.5 out of 10 - only slightly knocked off perfection by the rain.


Will I go next year?  Not definitely, I have been 3 years in a row now and I might consider doing something different.


But I probably will :-)


***

Anyway, I’m back now, survived the sunburn, a total soaking, hypothermia, dehydration, manflu, bus lane fines, allegedly smoking engine, traffic jams and muddy swamp to have a brilliant weekend.

I love clubbing, and especially Cocoon events – I come back on such a high and so positive, and I am more determined than ever to try and do my bit to try to develop an underground house music scene in Reading.  Going to spend much more time practicing DJing, and do as much as possible to develop the Free House Project to make it a success, and a little less time partying until Eastern Electrics next month.

Reading will never be Leeds, we have no proper nightclubs despite it being an affluent area full of young people, and no venues willing to focus on good house music.  But I am not going to sit here and moan about it - I am doing something about it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

How To Get Free Yoghurt


Dear Mr & Mrs Muller

At 66 pence each it has been rather some years since I have bought a Muller Fruit Corner as there are many more premium yoghurts available for that price, however on special offer recently at 28 pence I decided to give it another chance.

I bought myself a blackberry and raspberry yoghurt.

I have to say I was shocked to find only half the volume of fruit in it that there used to be.  I believe there to be more fruit in a box of Chicken McNuggets than there was in this “Fruit” Corner, or “Fruitless Corner” as they shall know be known as.  I would be interested to find out if you are able to confirm the volume of fruit now supplied in the corner of the Fruitless Corner, compared to say, 5 years ago.

Further to this, I would also like to question supermarket offers such as 10 for £2.  How many people actually have enough space in their fridge for 10 yoghurts?  How many people go shopping and want to carry a bag full of yoghurts home?

I wish you a pleasant, but fruitless day.

***

I received £3 of vouchers and the most boring, impersonal response of a letter ever.  Happy with the £3 but I really would have preferred something other than the standard "I am sorry that you have not found our products to your satisfaction" crap that everyone gets.

Oh well.

First Blog of July

Can you believe that it is the 4th day of July and my first blog of the month?  Last month, I only blogged 6 times.  What is happening?

Well, work seems to have taken over my life. I don’t begrudge it because they pay me money.  And keep me out of mischief for at least a few nights a week. Though it does mean that I cannot sleep as much as I want.


The most important thing in my life now is finding somewhere cheaper to live and it means house-sharing again. Something I thought I had got away from 2 years ago however the appeal of having a garden is rather good. I think I have got rather used to living by myself so it will be interesting how I adjust. I am doing it to save money – it will save me plenty so I can actually afford to go out the amount I am going out. Or maybe I will start staying in a bit and save up to go storm chasing next year. Or just do a bit more of what I love doing – clubbing.  I might have found somewhere spot on to live, fingers crossed.
I have a second date for Free House Project. The first one was immensely enjoyable, especially the DJing part. Must work out how better to promote it though.  Saturday 1st September.  Put it in every diary now.  Including your mum's.

Cocoon In The Park is this Saturday, highlight of my 2010 and 2011. There will be a blog review.  I am so excited.  It is the best thing I do every year and I have some excellent companions this time.

My next adventure is Eastern Electrics in London in August. Oh and not forgetting the Olympics.

Hopefully I will still go to Ibiza in September but my overspending and sums due to the council have put a question mark over the affordability. The sooner I book it the better.

I really need to stop going out for the rest of July. I don’t know how to stay in. I don’t know how not to spend money on a weekend. But I have to do it. If only my bank would say no.

I am trying to manourvere my life away from pointless Thursday and Friday night sessions for the sake of it, towards what I get the most enjoyment out of. I think DJing will be an important part of it, or at least I hope it will.

And weather forecasts.  Not forgetting the fucking weather.

Anyway, that's my life at the moment.  All good, a lot of fun, too expensive, not enough time to blog, and my creative juices are clearly subdued at the moment!