Week from Monday 6th June 2005

Last night (Sunday) I met up with THE HUMAN NAIL for an evening of VLIETMUSIC at The Wedgewood Rooms, courtesy of THE MAGIC BAND, an all-star conglomerate of various musicians who have played with CAPTAIN BEEFHEART over the decades. JOHN "DRUMBO" FRENCH occasionally played drums (in his own unmistakable style), gave us DAT HARP (BOY!) and impersonated The Good Captain's hitherto inimitable vocals to spooky effect. Glassfinger and angular guitar duties were shared by GARY LUCAS and DENNY WHALLEY and the jovial MARK "ROCKETTE MORTON" BOSTON thrummed a five-string bass guitar. They played 'ALL YER FAVOURITES', including the much-requested "KANDY KORN" (the set highlight - AWESOME!) and my own favourite, "ALICE IN BLUNDERLAND", sadly lacking in the marimba department. This was a performance where even the drum solo was fairly INTERESTING! I unfortunately had to leave before the end to catch a train, but I'm sure THE NAIL will fill in the gaps elsewhere...

Friday has been set aside for my annual FUNWALK on the ISLE OF WIGHT, partly because I once again have a package to send there and it's cheaper to take it in person than it is to post it, partly because the weather is now turning very summery indeed, partly because I will have the rest of the weekend to recover, but mostly BECAUSE IT IS THERE!

I'd quite forgotten, until I arrived on the island, that there is also a Festival Of Pop And Rock taking place this weekend. R.E.M. must be mighty chuffed that they have finally made the cover of "ISLE OF WIGHT BUSINESS" magazine after all these years... A POEM:

Oh! Vectis!
Land of buzzard and bunbun
Where bats have a twenty-four hour
Call-out rescue service
And Henry VIII himself
Once ordered stir-fry.
Tell me, Oh! Wight,
Ye mystic isle of clifftop Lake,
Have you ever Shankled?

Week from Monday 13th June 2005

Needless to say, because I've already said it, I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from my exertions, comatose or veg'ed out in front of a movie or two.
With all the BIKE RIDE stuff printed, collated and paid for, I now await SHELFY (AKA Nothing The Beatnik, AKA Captain Apathetic) to turn up and help with the county-wide DELIVER-A-THON...

Week from Monday 20th June 2005

Oh Gawd! It's Wednesday already and I haven't done the diary yet! ...We did the DELIVER-A-THON last Thursday without getting TOO lost, helped on our way by lashings of STRANGE & BEAUTIFUL MUSIC, in the manner of a good old-fashioned COSMIC RAMBLE. So that's THAT lot all done for another year - I'm now awaiting a generous cheque to arrive in the post!

I paid a visit to the Saturday morning CAR BOOT SALE at the end of our road, where I found some SEEDY-ROMS of varying degrees of usefulness and, for fifty of your Earth Pence, a disc by Portsmouth's very own Cajun band THE FLATVILLE ACES.

The weather this week has been HAHT 'N' STICKY and, by the end of the week, it produced thunder storms and flash flooding. The media once again are banging on about climate change and the like. That is utter crap - it is Midsummer's Day, the weather has ALWAYS been like this on Midsummer's Day! Way back in the dim and distant, when Shelfy and I, as QUASI-HIPPOS, used to go and sit on Tors at Solstice, it would ALWAYS be wet and miserable and never ONCE did we see a real sunrise. We would also tend to get stuck in muddy ditches. It is also TRADITIONAL for there to be an accumulation of MUDDY SUBSTANCES just in time for the hoards to descend on Worthy Farm... So don't try and tell ME that we never used to have weather like this before the Kyoto Non-Agreement...

...And So It Was, thoughts turn to my JULY FESTIVAL SEASON OF SORTS. I've been collecting timetables from the numerous railway operators across the south to see if there is a way of getting back home from Reading in the early hours of a Saturday morning. The published line-up for Guildford's GUILFEST didn't, in the end, thrill me enough to want to buy a ticket. I have got a trip to DZAT LOONDIN coming up, as I have gleaned a ticket to see Brazil's Minister of Culture, GILBERTO GIL, at the O˛/English National Opera's/London Coliseum's "VOICES" FESTIVAL, courtesy of the periodical SONGLINES (my subscription to which has just expired, but who cares?). Getting to and from London is, of course, no biggy. I just hope that Seņor Gil doesn't choose to play only BOB MARLEY covers this time - that would be a MAJOR wasted journey. I still hope to fit in at least one more day-trip to another event somewhere, even if it's only Gosport's own CHEGFEST - sorry! - WATERFRONT Festival, the line-up of which which looks typically unappealing, but is at least close-by and FREE... And, of course, there are the various festival "HIGHLIGHTS" on the radio and telly coming up...

Week from Monday 27th June 2005

..."Highlights" such as BAABA MAAL, FEMI KUTI and BRIAN WILSON at the Worthy Farm MUDFEST and JAGA JAZZIST and the WARSAW VILLAGE BAND at the new WYCHWOOD FESTIVAL.

I finally got 'round to upgrading the seedywriter on this here peecee to one that will read (but NOT write) the new-fangled DVD-sized format. I thought long and hard about whether to get a DVD writer, but I can't honestly see that I NEED one. I do, however, need something to PLAY those funny disks that MERVYN PURVISS gives me, as well a means to take advantage of the BIG coverdisks that are now attached to all the propellerhead magazines. Another added bonus is that the new drive is a lot quieter and doesn't make the sort of "TIGER MOTH TAKING OFF" noises that the old one did, when trying to read the more DIFFICULT kind of seedy-rom. The new drive also comes with a new improved version of the Nero Burning software, which I gleefully tested by doing another "data" disk for my MP3 JUKEBOX and a "proper" seedy of the BRIAN WILSON set from Glastonbury. As I type this, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR are playing in their own window on my desktop.

CARBOOTLAND yielded a FELA KUTI album (they all sound the same, but you can never have too many!), a bootleg cassette of BILLY BRAGG at one of those workers' benefit gigs on the South Bank (back in the halcyon days of Ken Livingstone's GLC) and a tape of "UTE LEMPER SINGS KURT WEILL".

Gosport has become a rather hectic GROCKLEZONE this week, on account of the GATHERING OF THE FLEETS in the Solent and the imminent arrival of Her Madge in her own personal icebreaker. Let there be lots of boats. Let there be flies-past. Let there be 'son' and, indeed, 'lumiere'. Let there be fireworks. Let there be crowds. Let there be chaos on the roads and disruption of public transport.

Having finished yet another comedicfantasytome by TOM HOLT, this week's literary choice is [what turned out to be] the last piece of biographical warfare by HUNTER S THOMPSON, "Kingdom Of Fear".