Blancmange Private View

This is the latest album from one of my favourite bands, and released 40 years after their first album. I bought it on vinyl, CD and cassette. It is a good album and there are some good songs on there. I’ve played the vinyl, which is always a lovely experience, but I doubt that I will ever play the cassette though.

As an album it is good. Some songs are better than others of course. A few are excellent.

Over the years I have listened to almost everything that Blancmange have made, and I hope to continue to do that, and I hope that Blancmange will release many more albums in the years to come.

Modified Toy Orchestra – Silfurberg

I make no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of the Modified Toy Orchestra. In fact I think that they are a national treasure. I have a lot of their material including a 7″ single of their amazing version of ‘Pocket Calculator’. In my view it is a great improvement on the original.

So I was really pleased to see a new release from them, ‘Silfurberg’. I bought it on Bandcamp as that is where I buy most music these days. I got the download included in the purchase of the CD, which arrived recently. The CD itself is a work of art and a beautiful object to have. Here are some pictures (quite a lot of pictures actually).

The album itself is pretty good. I have quite enjoyed it. More than anything though I am just pleased that the Modified Toy Orchestra is still going and doing what it does best.

If I have DayOne and this site why have both?

It has been a while since DayOne was acquired by Automattic, the owners of WordPress. By now I was expecting some kind of tight integration between DayOne and WordPress. However, it makes me wonder what is the point of having both? Obviously one is very much public (a wordpress site), and DayOne is the exact opposite. Perhaps that is the essence of the problem though, perhaps that is why there has been no news on some kind of clever integration. I doubt it though.

It leaves me stuck with this question. Why have both?

Colas I have enjoyed

This might sound stupid and perhaps it is, but I thought I would write about some of the alternatives to the original cola that I have tried. A couple of which were quite recent.

Bona ColaKarma Cola

I always try to sample different things when I travel (not just cola to be clear), and whilst in Scotland recently I tried these too. The bona cola was not to my taste at all. In fact, I would characterise it as fairly horrible. The Karma Cola on the other hand was quite good. Not the best, but good and I would happily have it again.


Fritz-Cola was really good. I had this in Berlin a few years ago. Sadly I haven’t been back to Germany since, but I would gladly have it again.

One variation that I miss a great deal is Dalston’s Cola. That was lovely, but unfortunately now discontinued. So I have to content myself with Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola, which is lovely.

Tom Waits for no man

Tom Waits for no man flyer

This was the last show I saw at the fringe this year and it was a truly great way to finish off the trip. I have been a fan of Tom Waits since my teenage years, which is why this was of interest. It was brilliant and reminded me just how much I love his music and lyrics. It prompted me to listen to his music again, and since then I’ve been making my way through his entire back catalogue. It has been a very enjoyable experience.

If you get a chance to see this show, I would thoroughly recommend it.

Edinburgh Fringe 2022

The last time I was at the fringe was in 2018, before the pandemic. I was looking forward to coming back again as it’s something that I’ve enjoyed for a number of years.

But this year it felt smaller, much smaller. Probably because it was smaller, and that’s likely to be because of the pandemic. It’s a shame, but I take some comfort in the fact that it is still there. Plenty of other festivals and events have fallen by the wayside.

Even so there were some good shows. Some less so, but I won’t focus on those. I enjoyed the good ones and also just the ambience of being back in Edinburgh after a long time.

I’m not sure when I’ll go back to the Edinburgh Fringe, in the current climate it’s hard to know what will happen next, or indeed to plan ahead with any certainty, but I think I’d like to do it again at some point. It’s a good festival and one worth supporting.

Shriekback, the lyrics

I have enjoyed the music of Shriekback since I first heard ‘My Spine is the Bassline’. I think it was on John Peel’s radio show. Which tells you how long ago that was. I have mostly kept up with their music and also backed the last couple of their crowdfunded albums.

When I found that they were releasing a book of their lyrics I knew that would be something I would enjoy, and I was right. When I got it I have to admit that I was a little disappointed as the lyrics for my favourite songs weren’t included. But never mind, I’ve enjoyed it nevertheless.

It’s not just the lyrics though, it’s the stories behind the lyrics that make it really interesting. Overall I would say that this is a great book for anyone who has enjoyed their music. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading it.

It has been a while

I have been aware that it has been a while since I posted anything here. There are a few reasons. First off, life just gets busy. Not busy with interesting and fun things sadly, but just busy. Secondly, and probably in part as a consequence of the first reason, I have very little to say.

I’ve had a few things in draft for a while now, and I would like to get some of them finished off and posted. None of them are startling, but they may be of some small interest. The plan is to get some of these out over the next week or so. Whether that will happen or not is another matter entirely.

In the unlikely event that you’ve been waiting for some new content here, then please accept my apologies.