Saturday, July 31
I went to the Truck Festivallast weekend, where I interviewed Grandmaster Gareth from Misty's Big Aventure who was very cool indeed.
Phill: "OK, one last important question - who is your favourite TV detective?
Grandmaster Gareth: "Quincy! But I guess he's not really a detective (laughs). Am I allowed my favourite TV pathologist?"
Read the full interview
Friday, July 30
The new Manics album is called 'Life Blood' and it's going to be released in October. Nicky Wire says it's the poppiest album they've ever done, describing is as 'modern, shiny, pure pop', which is slightly worrying. As the band set about continuing to destroy their Richey-era reputation, in the process becoming a bunch of slipper wearing, pie munching grandads - we can only hope it will be their last album.
C'mon lads it's time to split up - you know it makes sense.....
Thursday, July 29
After obsessively watching 24 Hour Party People this week and planning to become Birmingham's answer to Tony Wilson - the news of the new Ian Curtis movie is timely. According to Peter Hook, Jude Law is being lined up to play Curtis in his forthcoming Hollywood biopic. I'm sure he's practicing the 'dead fly dance' in the mirror as we speak...
Council bungle ruins public art
Wednesday, July 28
One Olympus blue dictaphone, excellent condition. Lost in a field in Steventon, Oxfordshire last weekend. Contains tape featuring an interview with popular rock combo Million Dead in which they discuss their new album, attitudes towards pornography and life on the road...
Reward - A copy of Kiss Greatest Hits on CD
Dave is back up and about after his heart op and possibly heading in a new Big Ron influenced direction...
"I'm so pissed off because the last ten months of this tour have been so fucking fantastic. Can't wait to be fully recovered and get back to work again. I tell you what, though, I won't be writing a song about this one."
Remember, you heard it here first.
Monday, July 26
Everyone's favourite mis-capitalised Belgians are finally back!
dEUS are playing at the Birmingham Academy on November 16th as part of their short UK tour that also includes London, Manchester and Portsmouth (presumably so they don't have to travel far from the ferry terminal).
There is also talk of an imminent new single and an album to follow in November.
It's been five and a half years (gulp) since their last studio album - which just like Poirot's moustache, is far too long!
In the intervening period there has been a 'best of' and more side-projects than you can shake a stick at - including the marvellous Vive La Fete who I saw at Roskilde.
Let's hope it was worth waiting for!
Friday, July 23
An evening of eclectic music
Ideosphere - Lo-fi house and dirty electro.
DJ Phillipe Bergeroo - punk-funk, electronica and no wave.
DJ Jeeva - Indie pop with rogue pop undertones.
Also featuring special guests Bag of Nails - The worlds leading Jimmy Nail/Nine Inch Nails tribute band.*
Where? Downstairs @ The Sunflower Lounge, Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham
When? Tuesday August 24th, from 8pm
How much? FREE
There will be some as yet unspecified drinks promotions and nice plastic seats to sit on.
*This may be a lie
Thursday, July 22
If you glance at tonight's Lancashire Evening Post you will find an article about your humble narrator - hopefully with a really cheesy photo taken in my back garden!
Student trades way to success
It's quite a funny article, though it does seem to suggest that this is an award nominated blog and i'm not sure that is entirely correct! It's a nice plug for the blog - i'm sure the people of Lancashire will be logging in by the thousand. But most of all I love the last line:
'Phill has not ruled out a full-time career as a trader on eBay. "It's a possibility," he admitted. "But it might get a little boring after a while."'
Nothing beats ending an article on a high!
At least now I can retire a happy man, knowing I have featured in the premier newspaper of England's newest city and brought some much needed international publicity to its fine market.
Wednesday, July 21
Check out Tablecloth Tim's waistcoat/shirt combination as he headlines on the Thursday night at the Roskilde festival.
Thousands of Danish women were swooning with delight at the sight of Tim's mighty 'axe' playing and 'whispering at the top of his lungs'. In fact, i'm thinking of getting one of those shirts myself.
I'm sure you'll agree, that the 'Danish Bryan Adams' is the height of Scandinavian cool!
Tablecloth Tim - Danger! High Postage salutes you!
Tuesday, July 20
Amy Winehouse - Frank
Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
Jamelia - Thank You
Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions
Keane - Hopes and Fears
Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland
Snow Patrol - Final Straw
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free
Ty - Upwards
The Zutons Who Killed... - The Zutons
Very conservative methinks - though if I had to pick who is going to win - i'd go for the Jaxx or the Streets...
Monday, July 19
Sunday, July 18
I've known some characters over the years, but Kebab Man has to up there near the top of the list. I lived with him for two years whilst I was at university and in that time I think he showered maybe twice - no exaggeration. He also once shared a bath with one of my other housemates during a brief romantic liaison, but lets gloss over that - I may tell you about it another time...
Now he was a man who basically liked three things in life: Kebabs, beer and Fray Bentos pies. I'm still sure that one of the finest days in his life was when they opened a kebab machine in the Union. He was known to eat up to three kebab's in a single evening - he himself was a kebab eating machine.
Basically I ended up living with him due to some bizarre twist of fate (or perhaps the university couldn't find anyone else who wanted to share a flat with him).
As you've probably already gathered, cleanliness wasn't his strongpoint, yet he still somehow managed to be a hit with the ladies. How did he manage this I often wondered? I came to the conclusion that it was most likely due to the laws of probability - hang around in the Union long enough and you'll get lucky.
Academically Kebab Man's studies left quite a lot to be desired. I believe he failed the first year once before he managed to get through, then he failed the second year at least twice. I think the way he managed to stay at the university was by killing off one of his relatives every year - not literally (though I wouldn't have been surprised if there were dead bodies in his room, judging by the smell) - What I mean is that he told the university one of his family had died, to get special dispensation. Finally I think he ran out of relations and when he told the university his goldfish had died, they kicked him out.
Then there was the time he nearly sat the flat on fire. I had got up about one in the afternoon, as I tended to do whilst at university. And I was enjoyed my daily ritual of a long soak in the bath before watching Bergerac (halcyon days). Kebab Man was cooking pasta (an exciting meal for him) and claimed to have asked me to keep an eye on it - even though I was just about to go and have a bath. Anyway about half an hour later the fire alarm goes off and as I open the bathroom door, I am greeted by thick black smoke in the kitchen, as Kebab Man had fallen asleep - I then had to hastily dress and go downstairs to wait for the fire brigade.
After I left university I lost touch with Kebab Man - he was believed to have returned to London - possibly to work in a takeaway.
Kebab Man I salute you.
Well it seems my good humoured German customer Christoph has taken to quoting Sting at me on my feedback. Let's bear in mind that this guy bought a book entitled 'Scandinavian Politics Today' from me (a fantastic read incidently), then took about two months to pay as he insisted on doing an international bank transfer and refused to get a paypal account.
In the feedback, he says 'Reminds me of the second verse of Message in a Bottle'
The verse goes as follows:
"A year has passed since I wrote my note
But I should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life
But love can break your heart"
What is he trying to say to me?
Is he secretly in love with me? - sounds like a future Jerry Springer episode if ever I heard one.
Saturday, July 17
Friday, July 16
James Dean Bradfield from the Manics has tied the knot with his girlfriend. The Manics leading pie muncher married his PR girl earlier this week - rumours that he had a large tiered Fray Bentos pie instead of a wedding cake are as yet unconfirmed.
Thursday, July 15
Ian runs a hostel in Copenhagen and has lived in Denmark for over 20 years. He is a wise man and a man that likes a beer. We stayed at his hostel for two days before we went to Roskilde and he regaled us with tales from his life and we came to know him affectionately as 'Big Ian'.
Now Big Ian is a knowlegable man. He knows all the ins and outs of Copenhagen, where the best bars and shops are and what time the freeview is on the satellite porn channels...
It's probably fair to say that Ian is an alcoholic, so maybe it wasn't the best job for him to sell beer at festivals which is what he did for many years. He told us that he first went to Denmark because of a girl "Don't we all!" he said. After he split up with the girl he went to the government and said i've got no money and nowhere to live and was told "people aren't allowed to be poor in Denmark" and given a load of money and a flat...nice.
When we were at the hostel the weather was bad and Big Ian lent Dave a rather fetching blue coat, which he was later told he could keep. Spurred on by the generosity of Ian, Dave grew in stature, from then own becoming known as 'Big Dave'.
Now the coat protected Dave from many adverse Danish weather conditions, but at the end of the festival to coat had to be sacrificed for weight reasons. So the coat was covered in cheap Danish washing up liquid and left to clean itself the next time it rained in that faithful Danish field.
And that is the story of Big Ian's coat.
Ron's back - he's making a documentary called 'Am I a racist?' and turned down an appearance in the next series of 'I'm a Celebrity...'
It's good to see the verbal amusement arcade back on our screens...
Wednesday, July 14
Well your humble narrator may well be featured in this tonight's Lancashire Evening Post, who interviewed me about how I used eBay to fund my studies whilst in Preston. I fought the urge to make up a load of lies about outrageous profits from buying Chas and Dave Records and shockingly told the truth. I'll be expecting a discount next time I go to Preston Market though!
The water dispensing machine in the new BBC offices is giving me no end of entertainment. My desk faces 'The Blue Oasis' which is basically a place where there are drinks and food machines and stuff.
For the water dispenser you press a button and a cup drops down into a holder, water (in a variety of flavours) is then squirted into the cup by the machine.
This whole process takes exactly 15 seconds, I know this because there is a digital display saying so!
Now the machine is mischievous and every now and again forgets to drop a cup down, instead just squirting water all over someone's feet. It provides me unconfined joy everytime it happens...
He is the boyfriend of my mate's sister and I tend to see him on the bus quite a bit as I work similar hours to him. The thing is, I don't really know him and were it not for the fact that we both favour the transportation services of the Travel West Midlands Bus Services number 51 and 16, I would have no reason to ever speak to him.
However, fate has conspired to throw us together and we share long traffic filled journeys. We talk about our respective jobs ( He works in a bank), about traffic, weather, sheds, the proposed new metro system, about my mate who we both know.
As you can imagine, conversation tends to dry up quite quickly as we generally have nothing in common whatsoever. However it is common courtesy that if one of us gets on the bus and the other one is sitting there with a free seat, we have to sit next to each other.
Once, instead of taking the vacant seat, I said a cursory hello before scampering to the back of the bus to listen to my MP3 Player. I felt terrible about this for days and the next time I saw The Commuter Guy I went and sat straight down next to him and immediately began to discuss the weather. I didn't apologise for the previous snub, but he knew I was sorry - I could tell by the way he fervently complained about the Birmingham Metro extension that he was glad I was back.
Now I'm sure he is a lovely guy and I expect he thinks the same about me, but I expect that he'd prefer just to sit and read the Metro News, just I would prefer to listen to my new electronics CD's and doze off - so why are we compelled to sit next to each other and make strained small talk?