Wednesday, June 23

Apparently there was some football match on the other night, but I went to see Radio 4 instead...

Radio 4 @ The Academy

New York's Radio 4 blend politics, punk and funk in a way not seen since the heyday of seminal post-punk band, Gang of Four.

Opening with the persistent groove of 'Party Crashers', the lead single from their new album 'Stealing of a Nation' - it's clear that Radio 4 have moved onwards and upwards since 2002 album 'Gotham!'.

Anthony Roman's bass remains at the forefront of the band sound, as he twitches around the stage, blending perfectly with his vocal partner Tommy Williams' jagged guitars.

But it's percussionist PJ O'Connor that steals the show. Here is a man who is serious about percussion - just look at the determination in his eyes as he smashes his bongos with his fists and plays not one...but an entire rack of cow bells!

O'Connor's bag of percussion tricks adds weight to the rhythm section of Roman and the anchor provided by Greg Collins powerful yet funky drumming.

The switch from a 3-piece to a 5-piece that took place a couple of years ago during the 'Gotham!' period, is finally paying dividends for the band.

The addition of percussionist O'Connor and particularly Gerard Gerone on keyboards is showcased on the new, more dancey, keyboard-laced tracks like 'Money' and 'Absolute Affirmation'.

Whereas their Big Apple contemporaries !!! and The Rapture are content to let the music do the talking, Radio 4's political awareness gives them an extra dimension.

With issues ranging from Aids awareness, to the outlawing of dance clubs in New York on the agenda, a Radio 4 gig is never likely to be dull - though their complex messages are sometimes lost in their lyrics.

The highlight of the set comes at the midpoint, with the one-two punch of 'Pipe Bombs' and 'Struggle'. The former is a slow reggae influenced Clash style jam, the latter a full blown punk-funk explosion.

Finishing with an incendiary version of 'Dance to the Underground' the band leave the small but appreciative crowd at the front of the stage demanding an encore.

Reappearing to shouts of "New Disco" from the audience - "It's ask and you shall receive time" quips singer Anthony, before launching into the requested track, the most straightforward and punky in their armory.

"Where's Har Mar Superstar?" shouts a member of the crowd near the end of the gig, referring to the balding funkster's impromptu appearance on bongos at the band's Reading Festival show last year.

"He doesn't travel with us everywhere" replies singer/bassist Anthony with a smile.

The truth is, Radio 4 don't need gimmicks to get their message across, though with their new album not yet out and a certain football match on this evening, an appearance from Har Mar may have boosted the sparse crowd.

The New York five-piece are now finally realising their potential and new album 'Stealing of a Nation' looks like it's shaping up to be one of the albums of the year - now they just need to get people to listen.

Sunday, June 20

'The mullet of a nation'
Oh Fernando! What have you done! I'm talking of course of Spanish striker Fernando Torres' decision to shave of his marvelous mullet before Spain's defeat against Portugal. A match that we marked by poor heading from Torres because he obviously had less friction when his head was making contact with the ball, therefore he couldn't control it as much.

Just before halftime a corner was whipped into the box and Torres heads over the bar, unable to keep it down.....a miss that cost Spain a place in the quarter finals, thus proving how important mullets actually are. The mullet would obviously of cushioned the header, keeping it down and into the back of net.

Therefore proving that Torres decision to shave his mullet has meant the disappointment of a nation of more than 40 million people...how will that hairdresser live with himself, as Fernando Torres mullet, 'the mullet of a nation' lies on the floor of a Lisbon barbershop, as does Spain's Euro 2004 challenge - metaphoricaly of course...

Burnt out pub, Alum Rock, Birmingham Posted by Hello

Yes...it's another phonebox... Posted by Hello

Debris Posted by Hello

No Smoking Posted by Hello

Mangled Mangle Posted by Hello

Friday, June 18

Japanese invent invisibility - It all looks a bit technical, but shall we use it for good or evil?

Wednesday, June 16

Flower in my back garden Posted by Hello

Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham Posted by Hello

Alleyway, Selly Oak, Birmingham Posted by Hello

Fancy Dress Shop - Pershore Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 15

Random Paris 1968 Situationist Graffito
- 'Boredom is counterrevolutionary'
- 'In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure
the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society'
- 'Those who make revolutions half way only dig their own graves.'
- 'We don’t want a world where the guarantee of not dying
of starvation brings the risk of dying of boredom'
- 'Let’s not change bosses, let’s change life'
- 'Socialism without freedom is a barracks'
- 'Never work'
- 'Please leave the Communist Party as clean on leaving
it as you would like to find it on entering'
- 'The passion of destruction is a creative joy'(Bakunin)
- 'The tears of philistines are the nectar of the gods'
- 'Coming soon to this location: charming ruins'
- 'The most beautiful sculpture is a paving stone thrown at a cop’s head'
- 'Abolish copyrights: sound structures belong to everyone'

Situationist International
Guy Debord and the Situationists
Situationist Bibliography
The suicide of Guy Debord (Guardian Article)
Buy this book, Guy Debord - Society of the Spectacle
And this one, Raoul Vaneigem- Revolution of Everyday Life

Classic Word Documents
Clearing out my computer I have found some 'Classic Word Documents' - surely a contender for a new satellite TV show on the Microsoft Channel....

Phill's Poundstretcher resignation letter August 2000

One Stop Shopping Centre
Perry Barr

Dear Garry,

This letter is to confirm to you that after the 17th of September, I shall no longer be able to work at Poundstretcher. This is because I will be returning to study at Keele University.

I have enjoyed working for the company and would like to return to work over the Christmas period should there be any vacancies.

Yours Sincerely,
Phill Huxley

And who could forget the classic Asda job application of 1999

Ms L Lawton
Asda Stores Ltd
6 Old Horns Crescent
Off Queslett Road
Great Barr
B43 7HA

17th October 1999

Dear Ms Lawton,

Following my group interview in June and your subsequent letter dated the 3rd of July, I understand that you are requiring extra temporary staff for the Christmas period.

I have just returned to Keele University for my second year of study and I am looking for work during the Christmas period.

I return home most weekends, and would be available to work Saturday mornings or evenings, Sunday and alternative Monday’s. This is up until the Christmas vacation, when I will be home for at least four weeks, and would be available to work other days as required.

I am a reliable person and if given the opportunity to work for Asda I would not let you down.

Yours sincerely,
Phill Huxley

After being rejected in 99, there was then the speculative Asda job application of 2000 (as featured on the TV series 'How not to get a job') - note the use of yours faithfully this time...potentially important I obviously felt.

3 November 2000

The Personnel Manager
Asda Stores Ltd
6 Old Horns Crescent
Off Queslett Road
Great Barr
B43 7HA

Dear Sir,

Re: Christmas Vacancies

I understand from your customer services that you are recruiting temporary Christmas staff.

I am currently in my third year at Keele University, and I am looking for work during the Christmas period.

Please find enclosed a completed application form.

I can be contacted at the above address and telephone numbers, or at my email address.

Yours faithfully,
Phil Huxley
Email address: philhux@hotmail.com
Is this going to make brilliant TV? I think so!

The trees of doom! Posted by Hello

Ye Olde Scaffolding Posted by Hello

The big debate
What constitutes a mullet? - It's the discussion that's sweeping the nation...

Are you allowed to have a mullet if you also where a hairband - where do you draw the line?
Can you have an accidental mullet?
What about a semi-mullet? Maybe you haven't got the guts to go through with the full mullet.....so you end up sitting on the fence (like the Liberal Democrats of hairstyles)

Mullets Galore has 100 classifications of mullet - pick your favourite - personally i'm digging number 65.

Monday, June 14

Mullet update
Italy's Francesco Totti has some lovely plaits but not a mullet...a wasted opportunity...

I've yet to see any more mullets during Euro2004, but with the Bulgarians and the bemulleted silver fox Rudi Voller primed and ready to enter the competition, it's surely only a matter of time....

Also see The Football Mullet Cup

Sunday, June 13

'Serious Issues'
I think it's time to talk about some 'serious issues' on this blog....'what do you mean?' you may cry, 'are you saying crazy golf isn't serious?' Well it's time for some serious political debate...so let's get the ball rolling.

Let's start with Ian Mathers Top Ten Least Favourite Philosophers of All Time - link via SWSL

Now everybody I knew who studied philosophy at university ended up having some kind of life crisis or nervous breakdown. Coincidence...I think not.

I'd describe my own personal political/philosophical view as Socialist-Anarcho-Liberal (not in the Liberal Democrat sense mind you). Now i'm not going to elaborate on that right now as i've got something in the oven and i've already set the smoke alarm off once today with my culinary skills - but I just wanted to let you good readers now where I stand...!

I'm looking for Mr Bob Tidmarsh himself to get involved in this one! So Bob, if you are out there, drop in and say hello!

Is it only me that's noticed the Sunday Express trying to build that cheeky racist Kilroy up into some kind of serious political figure. Now I don't buy this rag - my mother in her infinite wisdom gets it - but in recent weeks it seems to have turned itself into some kind of a UK Independence Propaganda leaflet.

I mean c'mon now - Kilroy as a serious political figure...next thing you'll be telling me that Richard & Judy are a serious force in the world of literature....oh...erm...hang on a minute

I didn't actually vote for any party in the local election, choosing to spoil my paper by writing 'you're all rubbish' on it, in a petty, stupid, though ultimately satisfying act of defiance.

I know that the local election should be about local issues, but as not one party chose to address the issue of the closure of the crazy golf course in Red House Park, then they don't deserve my vote.

Over at Bloggerheads, Tim Ireland has started his Big Intervention. And it's something I wholeheartedly support, though i'm not sure i'll get round to putting a banner on my blog or anything like that...apathetic moi?

And The Beatles were crap...
Did anyone see Late Review on BBC2 on Friday night? Amongst the pretensious plays and artists were The Killers. A bit of a curveball by the programme there, no doubt trying to get down and hip with the kids...Germaine Greer was unimpressed, dismissing them with the classic 'not as good in my day argument' used by all old people EVER.

Why don't you just face it Grandad...The Beatles were crap!

I think it's best we leave this one until another day shall we...

Saturday, June 12

Spider Web Posted by Hello

Urban, urban, urban.....a painter and decorator goes on the rampage Posted by Hello

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham Posted by Hello

The European Mullet Championships
Well yes everybody judges football by the number of goals scored. Goals, PAH! Goals are for squares.....in my eyes, the winner of these 'ere football championships will be the team with the most mullets.

The championship started slowly with a mulletless draw between Portugal and Greece. However, things picked up in the evening game. Spain and Russia, were quickly locked at one a (hair) piece, with each team having a mullet. In the second half, Spain upped the ante by bringing on Fernando Torres, a man who looked like he's spent a fair bit of time grooming his blonde streaked mullet for the occasion. Russia had no answer to this, leaving Spain to win 2-1 and top the table at these early stages.

Tomorrow sees England enter the contest, though they are unlikely to be challengers unless someone plays a cruel trick on Ian Walker while he is asleep.

Next week favourites Bulgaria will be hoping to make a mark on the competition. Although without inspirational be-mulletted captain Ivan Ivanov (pictured above) who has retired his mullet from football, the Bulgarians and their team of cowboy barbers will still be a force to be reckoned with. As is usually the case, the main opposition will also come from those cut price Eastern European hairdressers of Croatia and the Czech Republic, with dark horses (light donkeys), Latvia not to be ruled out.

European Mullet Championships Standings
Spain 2
Russia 1
Greece 0
Portugal 0

I Hate The World Posted by Hello

Hedgehog in my front garden last night Posted by Hello

Shady trees Posted by Hello

Five! Posted by Hello

Vandalised phonebox Posted by Hello

Six month anniversary
Well i've been writing this weblog for 6 months now, and in that time it's gone from a tiny and insignificant blog...to a small insignificant blog...and i'd call that progress!
I don't know what the six month anniversary is called...probably plywood or something.

There have been readers from all six continents of the world and i've managed to convince several other people to start blogs too. Not bad for someone that hates writing about himself.
In that time, what have we learnt?
Much more about newsreaders than we ever wanted to know.
Crazy Golf is the new rock and roll
Big Ron is loved by many
As is the Anfield Rap
And above all:
Don't start an anonymous flaming campaign against someone and then write about it on your blog...

Thursday, June 10

Hounded by the paparazzi
I've got reporters camped on my doorstep trying to get a quote from me about my awards nomination - but I remember where I came from, that's why i've given an exclusive interview to the University of Central Lancashire Journalism Department.

I know humble reader that you've been desperate to find out more about me, my motivation, my hopes and dreams - and now you can find out as I "reveal all" (copyright Daily Star).

In other news
The crazy golf phenomenon grows - Don't miss your chance to enter the Birmingham It's Not Shit Crazy Golf Competition

Enter Dave's Web of Lies (especially for Dean)

Tony Hadley "Reveals All" - he hates rice pudding, tinned vegetables, dishonesty and brown nosing - but what I wonder inspired this bizarre collection of hates...was he sold a dodgy can of mixed veg as a small child? Did he nearly drown in a bath of rice pudding? We can only speculate...

Tuesday, June 8

no caption required.... Posted by Hello

I like taking photos of flowers don't I...! Posted by Hello

Mr Egg, Birmingham City Centre's finest cafeteria Posted by Hello

Tree type thing Posted by Hello

a flower...it's yellow and stuff Posted by Hello