Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Well today is a pretty big day for Orynthia’s mum, she is moving into a delightful flat, within a warden controlled old peoples care unit. It’s going to be quite a shock, moving from a 4 bedroom house to this 1 bedroom place, but hopefully it will make her life a lot easier. No stairs to climb, much, much less housework, shops and church literally just across the road, lovely garden area to relax in and no worries about maintaining the property. Hopefully all these things will combine to help her enjoy this new phase of her life.

It’s amazing to think that after reaching the age of 70, this will be the first time that she has ever lived on her own (Orynthia’s brother Ashton currently lives in the house with his mum), so this is bound to be a major change. I have never lived on my own either, I stayed at home with my mum until just before we got married, when I moved into our newly acquired flat. Although I was the only one sleeping in the flat until we got married, Orynthia came over every day after work, so I never spent any time on my own. One of the guys in the shop is about to have a new housemate move in and oddly it’s someone he has never met. As I’ve never shared a house with anyone other than family, I’ve always been really intrigued by the whole idea of sharing your home with someone that you don’t really know and may not even like. Choosing the person you are going to live with must be such a huge decision, how can make the right choice after a quick meeting or two?

So upcoming things to look forward to, on Thursday night we are off to see the king of mind control Derren Brown for what will hopefully be a strange, confusing and entertaining evening. It ‘s the first time that we have seen him in the flesh since his humble days working in Byzantium restaurant many years ago. He did some astounding things, whilst sitting with us that evening, will it work so well in the huge space of the hippodrome? I’ll let you know. On Friday lunchtime Joy Zipper are doing a free instore show at Fopp, which I hope to catch, then on Friday evening it’s the first night of Spike Island open weekend, so a chance to see lots of weird and wonderful work from masses of local artists, hopefully after that we will be able to get into the actual Joy Zipper gig at The Louisiana. Then on Monday it’s time for the fantastic Redland Fair, the perfect place to pick up lots of brilliant bargains from the vast array of stalls selling all sorts of second hand treats.

I'm not going to say anything about football. Only 2 games left and it's all very tense, promotion could still be ours but I think it's going to go to the last kick of the last match.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Well it’s been pretty busy since I last wrote. Two gigs, two cinema visits, a celebrity visit to the shop, and we managed to book our Berlin flights as well!

Starting with the gigs, last Friday we both really enjoyed the Matthew Herbert Big Band gig at the Colston Hall. A brilliant mix big band jazz and electronic wizardry, topped off with the superb vocals of Dani Siciliano. Matthew Herbert was sampling sounds from the band, plus assorted oddities like wind leaving a balloon and crockery being knocked together, to create a constantly evolving sound. The surprise was the amount of visual playfulness, which also kept us entertained from the stage, a top show, just a shame that more people did not witness it.

On Saturday evening Katja and Jon came over, so that we could book our flights and start looking at accommodation for our trip to Berlin in June. Katja used to live in Berlin and Jon has visited on a couple of occasions, so it should be great to have a couple of people who really know the city showing us around. They also have friends and family to catch up with, so it should leave us with time to explore on our own as well, should be a perfect combination. After they left we went to The Watershed to see The Station Agent. One of those nice little films, where not much happens except the shifting dynamic between 3 very different people. I enjoyed it, but the ending did appear rather rushed.

On Monday lunchtime we had a mass visit from The Coral in the shop. They are spending some time recording in Bristol and it was great to see the eclectic selection of music that they purchased, truly a band with very open ears, although it did seem slightly incongruous to be selling one of them a second hand version of the first Echo & The Bunnymen LP!

On Monday evening we both finished work and made our way to Petunia’s place for some food, before the 3 of us set off to Bath to Lambchop. We were a bit shocked to the normally empty floor space of Bath Pavilion covered with chairs, but managed to find some good seats right at the front and enjoyed another wonderfully laconic gem of a show from this lovely band. People actually surged to the front for the encores and a mini mosh pit formed when they surprised us with a cover of the old Stranglers gem (get a) Grip (on yourself), most unexpected!

Last night we went to see Shaun Of The Dead with Mark and Babs and although I had my doubts before hand, I really enjoyed it. Lots of brilliant observational humour (particularly about music), we did a lot of laughing and even managed to forget that we were sitting so near to the screen that we almost got splattered by the huge amount of blood which was flying around.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Things are starting to come together with some travel plans of ours. Everything is arranged for our few days in Newcastle in May. Now we are turning our attention to a trip to Berlin. Neither of us has ever been to Germany before, but thanks to the wonders of Easyjet we can now get cheap flight direct to Berlin from Bristol Airport. Looking to go sometime in June or July but avoiding the European Championships if we can.

A couple of good gigs coming up over the next few days. Tonight we are off to the Colston Hall for the Matthew Herbert gig. Should be an intriguing mixture of Jazz and Electronica, which I am really looking forward to. On Monday we are going Bath to see the mighty Lambchop.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Well Jonathan Richman provided he usual mixture of the poignant and the playfully absurd to entertain the capacity crowd at The Fleece. Now The Fleece always had a bit of a reputation for being very uncomfortable at sold out gigs, recently however things seemed to have improved, sadly this weekends gig was a return to the bad old days, very overcrowded.

Then again is it the fault of the venue? It’s fair to say that Jonathan Richman attracts fans of a certain age (which includes us!), some of the more recent sold out shows, such as The Bees have attracted a younger crowd. Now we all know that as people advance in years, we tend to add the odd pound or two of padding, when this is multiplied by a factor of 400 that must decrease the amount of space, which is available in the venue. A couple of years ago a similar thing happened at the Elvis Costello gig at The Academy. Although the capacity had been greatly reduced from nights such as Blowpop, the place received many complaints from fans that they could not see the gig because the place was oversold.

Maybe someone needs to work out a formula, to calculate the average size of a prospective gig goer for every performer. This could then be factored into the ticket sales for each standing venue.

The next gig for us is Lambchop at Bath Pavilion, now we saw Belle & Sebastian play a sold out, but very comfortable gig there before Xmas. My guess is that that the average Lambchop fan is somewhat more substantial than those indie kids, so let’s see how we get on with that one!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

You can see pictures of the Charlie Parr in-store show by going to the Imperial Music web site.

Can’t stop we are just off to see Jonathan Richman for the 1st time since the early 90’s.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Hey where did that week go? Well we went to see the engrossing 21 grams at The Orpheus last week. It’s a very clever film with brilliant editing and is well worth catching if you have a chance. Saturday saw Bristol City return to winning ways, with a hard fought win over 2nd placed QPR. It’s puts us back in with a chance of automatic promotion, just 6 games to go. I reckon that if we can win 4 of them we will go up.

Saturday evening was spent at a small party at Ceri and Simons. During the course of the evening, a friend asked if we wanted to sell our much loved but seldom used 1961 Fiat 500. The answer is yes, but now we have to try and work out how much the car is worth.

Sunday was Orynthia’s birthday, and we celebrated by spending all afternoon in Boston Tea Party. Loads of friends came out and despite the showers we managed to sit outside and stay mainly dry, before sneaking inside at around 4pm. Lots of coffee, tea and cakes helped to speed the time along during a very sociable afternoon.

Monday was a big day in the shop as Charlie Parr did the 1st ever instore appearance at Imperial Music. What a lovely man! Charlie played and sang for about 30 minutes in front of a shop full of admiring fans. You can’t quite tell how these things are going to go and everyone has a story about going to one of these things and the proverbial one man and his dog turn up. Luckily that was not the case here and everyone enjoyed the show. In the evening Orynthia and Babs went to The Rutles, before joining Mark and I at the Charlie Parr gig. It all ended a bit later than anticipated but everyone went home with a big smile on their face.

Easter weekend coming up, not too sure of our plans yet, other than a rare Saturday in the shop for me, as a couple of the chaps will be away.

Talking of which, I better get off to the shop now.