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Part of me wants to break down barriers, set people free and make the world a better place. A bigger part of me wants to sit on the sofa, drink tea and play through old Nintendo games.

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Category : Memories and nostalgia

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16/06/2008 : Vagabond Kiss

I came across an old photo album whilst sorting out a cupboard recently. Behold: Vagabond Kiss in early 1996.

Vagabond Kiss 1996
(click for bigger)

People still occasionally get to my sites by googling Vagabond Kiss, which always surprises me as we only had local success, split up shortly after the above photo was taken and weren't actually that good.

I'm in the middle, to the left is Johnny (one of three bass players we got through) and to the right is Andy (one of about ten drummers). Gav, now my brother-in-law is at the back and at the front is Jim, the lead singer.

Looking back I think we were actually better when we started out a couple of years earlier. We still had the big choruses but a more unique sound - big chunky guitar chords, tinkley piano, funky bass (from a guy called Luke, not pictured below for some reason I can't remember) and ultra-tight drumming from Jim, who sang lead vocals from behind the drum kit. I can understand why he wanted to get another drummer and be at the front, but none of the other drummers we had were a patch on him.

It was Jim that led us towards the more "80s hair rock" sound we had when photographed above. He was a weird guy really, the sort of person who would be your bestest mate until you disagreed with him over something, which he would take personally as if you have done whatever it was just to piss him off. Totally self-centred and misanthropic (I seem to attract such people) but a pretty good singer and songwriter, and the best rock drummer I've known.

Vagabond Kiss 1994
(click for bigger)

UPDATE : Just googled the band myself and found out that some of the former members have "reformed" the band with a female lead singer . . . I wonder if they're doing the same kind of stuff as before or whether they just couldn't be bothered to think of a new name? Seems a bit odd to me.

Posted by Tim at 18:36 [ permalink ]
Categories: Memories and nostalgia, Music
Comments [ 13 ]


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16/01/08 : On nearly being bummed

I said in an earlier post that my "nearly being buggered in the woods" story deserved a post of its own - and here it is, with a bonus story - for there have been two occasions when I have come close to being an unwilling participant in hot man-on-man action.

The first time was at a cottage (public toilet building resembling a small abode in a rural area - see here for the sexual relevance) in Poole Park. Now, female readers may not be aware of this, but there are two unwritten laws of urinal etiquette.

Firstly, position. If there is no one else standing at the urinal (or "trough" as I used to call them) then one must position oneself at the far end. If another person enters and wishes to use the facilities, he must stand at the other end. If a third person enters, then unless the urinal is particularly wide, he must stand around awkwardly - pretending to adjust his clothing, combing his hair etc. - until a space at either end becomes vacant.

The second rule is simple. Under no circumstances do you look anywhere other than straight ahead.

Anyway, I had positioned myself correctly and was about to "go" when another person walked in and, after standing around for a while, walked over to the middle of the urinal. This immediately made me tense up - and I am sure that female readers will be aware that when one is tense, one cannot go. So, I'm standing there, tackle out, not actually doing what one is supposed to do whilst standing at a urinal with one's tackle out, with some guy dangerously close to me, presumably also tackle out but not actually doing what one is supposed to do in such circumstances.

Then, out the corner of my eye, I saw him edge closer. At this point, I realised that not only was I not going to be able to relieve myself but that it would probably be best to leave. I hurriedly zipped myself up (luckily not too hurriedly - otherwise the story could have ended rather more unpleasantly) and turned around to leave. The other guy was practically looming over me.

The second time was rather more sinister. It was a hot night in the middle of summer and I was at the Neptune bar by Boscombe pier. Me and my then pal Jim decided to leave to get some fags (incase any US readers get the wrong idea I should point out that "fags" is UK slang for cigarettes) from a local shop. We took the shortcut through Boscombe gardens, but instead of using the proper path, we cut through a trodden path through one of the wooded areas. As we were walking along I noticed that there was a man standing behind one of the trees, completely motionless. This seemed slightly odd, but we walked on - and then a little further down the path noticed another man stood behind a tree. At this point we began to think that something weird was going on - I found myself saying "misty up here, init?" just for something to say (it was actually misty). Then we noticed more of them - at least ten - all stood like statues behind trees. I remember hearing myself say "... misty up here init ..." out of nervousness. Our pace quickened and we soon caught up with a guy and a girl and asked them what was going on. The bloke simply said "They're gay".

It took a few seconds to work out what he meant. I remember thinking something along the lines of "So what? Why would that have anything to do with why they're all hiding in the woods as if waiting for . . . . . oh shit."

We ran like we had never ran before.

Still, we laughed about it (possibly with an element of hysteria) later.

UPDATE:  googling the words "urinal etiquette" led me to the urinal test . . .

Posted by Tim at 20:48 (edited on: 13/04/08 22:44) [ permalink ]
Categories: Memories and nostalgia
Comments [ 0 ]


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11/11/07 : Top tunes

More YouTube-ery for your viewing pleasure. I thought some individual songs would show a bit more variety to my musical tastes than the best albums ever I listed previously.

Part two to follow next time I'm sat in a darkened room in front of a computer screen at two in the morning (while I am a bit of an insomniac, I think it's more of a case of my body clock being out of sync with everyone else's. A bit of a bummer if half the week you have to get up at just past four).

Still got the blues - Gary Moore

Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a slightly clich├ęd, melancholic blues-rock song. Watch until the end and you will see a fusion of human being and guitar. No one has more soul than this guy.

Hit me with your rhythm stick - Ian Dury and the Blockheads

One of the first songs I remember liking as a kid (I would have been 5 or 6 when it came out). Still an amazing song, with more groove than any disco track of the era. I can never understand why this song tends to feature in "songs you're embarrassed to admit you like" lists.

Jump - Van Halen

Simple but perfect peformance-style video. Dave Lee Roth was the ultimate rock god. I'm not gay, but it I was . . .

My baby just cares for me - Nina Simone

Simple, mellow jazz with a great piano solo. Re-released in the 80's (hence the video).

LDN - Lily Allen

Something a little bit more up to date. Cute chick, great song.

Turn it on again - Genesis

Genesis may have "gone pop" by this point, but they've always kept that progressive feel. Another simple performance video.

Love action - Human League

I was seriously into synthpop in the mid 80's, until the rave thing started and I started listening to rock. My favourite band was probably the Pet Shop Boys, but this, from earlier in the decade, is probably more interesting. Known as "the one with the synthesized cat intro".

Lay your hands on me - Bon Jovi

People take the piss out of Bon Jovi a lot, probably because of how they looked in the 80s (when they were at their best). I chose this particular video - recorded at Wembley Stadium, June 25th 1995 - because it's got a seriously cool keyboard and drum intro, and I was there!

UPDATE - forgot this, my favourite song of the last few years.

UPDATE 2 - and how could I have forgotten this?

Posted by Tim at 20:20 (edited on: 13/04/08 22:43) [ permalink ]
Categories: Memories and nostalgia, Music
Comments [ 0 ]


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25/10/07 : Bod. And stuff.

I used to like the Have your say section on the BBC website. Now it just irritates me. The vast majority of the people who leave comments fall into two categories: the ones that, no matter what the subject is about, manage to do nothing more than complain about the government, liberals, immigrants, single parents, the left-wing conspiracies of the BBC etc. etc. - and the ones that think all of the problems of society could be solved by bringing back hanging, national service . . . . . hold on a sec, these are the same people! [must .. fight .. urge .. to .. start .. rant .. against .. daily mail readers ...]

Anyway, one of the recent subjects was about the "golden age" of kid's TV. For the most part, when people talk about the golden age of anything, they are talking complete bullshit. This is no exception. Some of the old kids programmes are shown in the evening on Nick Jr and they are slow, badly animated and just plain dull.

There is however one exception, which shows that sometimes simplicity is genius. Semi-animated, crudely drawn characters on sparse or non existent backgrounds doing not very much (but doing the not much in that weird 70's spaced out way). The music is just perfect, with each character having their own leitmotif. Enjoy!

Back to the subject of HYS, added to the sidebar: spEak You're bRanes - a blog showing some of the worst of the have your say comments - the sort of things you don't know whether to laugh or cry at.

Posted by Tim at 19:56 [ permalink ]
Categories: Film and TV, Memories and nostalgia, Thoughts and rants
Comments [ 0 ]


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