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Thu 29 Sep 2005

Top Dogs at The Rep

Top Dogs at the Rep. From the very first, as the actors emerged onto the set, one-by-one, sussing each other out, I knew we were in for some great theatre. The acting was particularly strong, each character seemed to have a deep personality behind them, brought out in gesture and stance before even a word was spoken. The play itself was very mixed in style, with some standard (reality based) scenes and some very modern: such as the recitation of "Revelations" or the point at which the actors arranged themselves around the auditorium and each told their own dream/story (all at once) - intoxicating!

I also ate the the Rep's newly refurbished restaurant, having a very nicely presented smoked haddock fishcake, followed by glazed salmon (yeah, I'm sure there's some etiquette about not having two fish courses, but what the hell, I'm a rebel smile ). The fish was presented on a bed of roast vegetable cubes, with a nicely contrasting (but not too strong) olive pate. The lightly chillied glaze had caramelised the edges of the fish steak, giving a rather strange (but pleasent) texture. Verdict: Good food, a little fussy.

Wed 28 Sep 2005

James Cook's Comedy Kav Charity Shop Crawl (JCCKCSC) takes place this Saturday in King's Heath. As he was kind enough to plug me in his email, I thought I'd put some info here, so "Meet in the Pound Stretcher car park, at the bottom end (the furthest bit away from the City Centre) of Kings Heath High Street (the A435) at 11am."

You can see some pictures from last year if you want (I'm the one in the Nike top, not the slightly sinister Mickey Mouse mugger smile )

Tue 27 Sep 2005

I came to this new exhibition at the Ikon Gallery with high hopes. The promise of a machini which plays the guitar in response to the prevailing weather conditions really interested me. In my head, I have am outline sketch of a Weather Fountain which changes its form according to the sun, wind, temperature etc. So, if it's a sunny still day, very fine spray will create rainbows in the air. On a freezing day, a slow trickle of water will gradually build an ice sculpture. But, enough about my Gedanken Kunst, what about the real art?

Posted on the move at 18:25:39

Well, I saw the guitar - though it wasn't very windy, so it was silent for long periods. It's hooked up to 3 weather monitoring devices - one for wind speed, one for direction and a light sensor. The speed seems to control the picking, and I assume that the direction and light control which strings are played. I'd like to go back when it's slightly more windy and with racing clouds to hear the effects of light changes.

The rest of the exhibition is prints, paintings and process from a single artist, over a period from (at least) 1964 to (what I assume is) the present day. I'm more into 3D and interactive works, but these were worth a look. There's a lot of work on the theme of the troubles, including H-blocks and representations of the aftermath of bombs.

When is Google's Birthday?

Today, Google has changed its logo to indicate it's 7th birthday, but interestingly, there's no link to a google search. So I searched Google for "google birthday" and found the following information from,, a page which no longer exists but is still in the google cache. So I googled Google about Google's birthday and found that Google had got rid of the page but it was still accessible in the Google cache. One up to Google I say!

"When is Google's official birthday?

Google's official birthday is September 7, 1998. If Google were a person, it would have started elementary school late last summer (around August 19), and today it would have just finished the first grade. In other words, we're just getting started. To discover more about Google's history, please visit To learn about our mission, please see"

Sun 25 Sep 2005

Day two of Misty's home turf gigs at the Jug of Ale

Bom and his Magic Drumstick

More tales of Dr Ganesh, Timmy and his animal friends. Songs included "the cloak of national security" - which will probably be banned once the government's new "thought-crimes bill" is passed.

The initial audience was bit on the small side, but our story continued once it had built up against. Apparently we're on episode 15 of the adventures, as the fish (from episode 14, yesterday) reappeared for a guest spot, followed by a bastardised cover of "floating in the air" (only 30 seconds or so). Great fun, and one of the strangest acts you'll see giging in Brum. Not to be missed!

  • Bom and his Magic Drumstick:
    Bom and his Magic Drumstick Bom and his Magic Drumstick (2)

The Rips

Didn't see so much of The Rips, but they did do some cover versions which I recognised, and a nice one about "Chavs which give you grief for what you look like".

Misty's Big Adventure

Another storming gig, this time with material from "The Black Hole", Misty's new albumn. A couple more new songs and heart rending versions of "the story of love" and "Bigger than me" stood out.

. We also had an audience sing along while "Bom" leant his guitar to the band, who at one stage were down two guitar strings and a keyboard!

The set went something like: Black Hole; It never stops, it never rests, it never sleeps; Story of Love; All Things Bright and Beautiful (George Bush version); Evil; She fills the places; Everything's Odd; Elevator. Escalator, Stairs; (audience sing song of) The Bear Went Over the Mountain; Microwave ("Please microwave my head and count to 10. Take it out and we can start again."); Waiting for You; Smart Guys Wear Ties; "How did you manage to get inside my head" (new track?); "Serious thing" (great ska-like brass on this one, and one hell of a song!); Two Brains; "The gritter man's come to grit my teeth" (or at least I think that's the lyric); Remind me a Song("You know it's bigger than me..."); Wising up; Hey Man; (Then a 30 second encore due to licensing laws) - Confidence.

Sat 24 Sep 2005

First of Misty's two gigs at The Jug...

Bom and his Magic Drumstick

Live from the Jug Of Ale. Bom played a great set with a wonderful audience response - lots of people listening and laughing. He did a lot of stories, probably more stories than songs, covering the continuing adventures of Timmy and his friends (a mouse, a spider and a flea, oh, and a butterfly, as I remember). He also played some great psychadelic and political songs.

Posted on the move at 21:24:18

The Retro Spankees

Nice set from TRS with their trademark complex vocals. The audience really got into them too.

Misty's Big Adventure

Misty's are playing two sets at the Jug Of Ale this weekend, this is their first and is (loosely) based on their first studio albumn "(Misty's Big Adventure and their place in) The Solar Hifi System". The Jug is their home turf, so they had an audience who knew what they were in for. This showed itself to great effect with a wonderful version of They're Controlling our Minds with the audience swaying in synchrony and singing the "de-do, de-do" backing vocals. Smothered in Love ( the "Monkeys and Donkeys" song) in which the audience join in with the backing vocals in two parts also went well.

Other notable events included a keyboard cable failure which seemed to be facilitated by Erotic Volvo rolling around on the floor. EV also spent a lot of time in the audience, his blue face paint sweating off in short order.

There were a couple of new songs, whose name's I'll fill in when I remember them!

Thu 22 Sep 2005

Roadspace Hogs vs Roadspace Heros

Nice pictures of a Birmingham street from Birmingham Friends of the Earth (see also Indymedia site)

  • Roadspace hogs...:
    Road space hogs...

  • Roadspace heros...:
    Roadspace heros...

Sun 18 Sep 2005

Wierd MP3s

I heard a great version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with vocoder vocals, very much in the Freezepop style today, but I've no idea who the artist was. While searching for it, I ran across this great site with lots of SLTS covers + other strange songs. It's the motherlode!

It turns out the cover was by Dsico. You can get a flavour from this mashup sample ( ) - though ignore the end, that's the mashup mix-in. It's also featured about 11 minutes into this DJ mix from Echo Radio

Sat 17 Sep 2005

Walk with Me

Like stepping into a film of someoneelse's life. This guided walk through Cannon Hill Park with music and voices took me through areas I'd never visited before, whilest listening to memories of happiness, loss and longing expectation which gave a new context to the trees, birds and bridges on our route.

When Sky was Sea

Ikon hit the spot again with another great off-site event. This time, we where invited to turn the world upside down by flying kites in the shapes of fish and octopi in the skies of Digbeth. Beautifully sunny day, with just enough wind, it worked perfectly. So well in fact that the gave out all 200 of the handmade kites within the 1st half an hour or so!

Posted on the move at 16:27:00

Warehouse Cafe

Ate at the Warehouse Cafe for the 1st time since it changed ownership. Had a very tasty feta and spinach pie with a hint of taragon accompanied by carefully balanced salads, each with it's own distinctive flavour including a light but flavoursome rice salad with a hint of sesame, thinly sliced red cabbage with orange juice. I'm certainly going back again.

Posted on the move at 16:15:37

Mon 12 Sep 2005

Chess Brain

Interesting fact of the day: I share my office with a Guiness Book of Records winner for the "The World's Largest Networked Chess Computer". He's not actually a "Networked Chess Computer" himself but he does have more information on his Chess Page.


Queues form outside the petrol station made famous by Mistys Big Adventure in their video for Hey Man. They should really be protesting about beer prices (see )

Posted on the move at 22:25:13

Prev: Blog August 2005 1 Year Ago: Blog September 2004 Next: Blog October 2005

Sat 10 Sep 2005

Diego Brown and the Good Fairy

Saw Diego Brown and the Good Fairy ( ) who sang some great songs in the mould of John Hegley, including a version of Tom Lehrer's poisoning pigeons in the park with an extra verse.

Fri 09 Sep 2005

Sorry, your phonebox has crashed

Please press cntrl-alt-del to make another call.

Posted on the move at 13:49:30

Thu 08 Sep 2005


Ran across this modern shrine in the carpark for the beach where the art exhibition was taking place.

Posted on the move

Ingshowen Peninsula

Got the Lough Swilly ferry across from Rathmullan to Buncrana on the Inishhowen peninsula. Then up to Lough Fad where a pair of "Mission Bells" have just been installed as part of the "Ark of Tides", Ireland's most northerly public art project. The place is plagued by midges, so didn't stay long. Unfortunately there was no wind, so the bells were silent. Next stop was Carndonagh where an ancient cross stands, flanked by two smaller stones. One of the stones features a very strange looking creature which appears to have horns - a representation of the devil or just the way the stone has worn?

Posted on the move

Ark of the Tides

On to the official opening of the Ark exhibition . Very different from your typical arts opening, it took place on a wonderful beach with a wild sea and blue sky behind where we were addressed by one of the artists, a local historian and the deputy leader of the county council (complete with chain) whilst sipping tea from china cups and eating homemade scones! The "Ark" itself is a bathing hut on wheels containing a book on the lives of the saints. It references the original arks which were taken down to the no-man's land of the intertidal zone to allow catholic mass to be celebrated without prosecution. Also on display was Turas, a collecting of photographs showing local religious stones and buildings such as the aforementioned cross and a ruined church.

Posted on the move

Tue 06 Sep 2005

Giant's Causeway

Never seen this before, but I remember being fascinated by it as a kid. It really did seen like a magical place, and a great example of where a natural phenomen generates a supernatural explanation.

Posted on the move at 18:06:31

Tue 06 Sep 2005

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Driving along the A37 from Coleraine to Limavady I saw a herd of Elephants! Slightly bizare, but apparently the circus is in town.

Posted on the move at 17:56:18

Tue 06 Sep 2005

Mussenden Temple

Nice collection of folly like buildings near Castlerock. The temple itself is perched on the cliff edge and has wonderful views.

Posted on the move at 13:24:53

Mon 05 Sep 2005

More Food Bloging

Well, more on a consumer affairs angle actually. You see below two picture. One of the sandwichs which Fly BE advertise in their in-flight brochure, and one of the sandwich you actually get. It's a kind of spot-the-difference competition which costs 4 pounds 50 to enter. I think I lost... smile

Posted on the move at 23:11:36

Mon 05 Sep 2005

Bloging My Lunch (again!)

The lunch blog is unlikely to be the next trend to sweep the bloging world. Unlikely, but not impossible, and I like to think I'm doing my bit to help it on it's way smile , so here's a lovely picture of the fish, chips and pint of "dark island" which constituted my lunch today! Served at the World's End pub on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, which, in the manner of many Of the public houses here, retains a dusk-like gloom throughout the day. Having said that, it was nice food and a nice pub.

Posted on the move at 23:04:42

Mon 05 Sep 2005

Edinburgh Festival Firework Finale

The very end of the Edinburgh Festival is the fantastic fireworks launched from the castle. Not sure of the quality of these, as I'm bloging from my phone so can't see them full size. It will be interesting to see how they come out. The phone camera isn't very good in low light, but them fireworks aren't exactly dim...

Posted on the move at 22:42:29

Prev: Blog August 2005 1 Year Ago: Blog September 2004 Next: Blog October 2005

Thu 01 Sep 2005

Literary Pub Crawl

I decided to go on a literary pub crawl this evening, which worked very well. We started in The Beehive on Grassmarket, we wandered up through the high street and finished just off Princes Street. The actors were warm and funny throughout, and I actually learnt quite a lot about the history of Scottish writers.

Took me quite a bit of effort to get there, as bus information isn't readily available - I even walked to the bus station to find the info point closed and no maps on display. Eventually I walked half the way trying to link up with a bus route which had changed due to road closures, and caught another bus which took me about a quarter of the way. After that I was more than ready for lunch, which I had at the Modern - a very tasty goats cheese tart. Then on to the art! I skipped the pay-in Francis Bacon special - I'm not really a fan of his work. Instead I concentrated on the few sculptural pieces. It's a very small gallery, and the upstairs is currently given over to Jannis Kounelli who worked in the 1930's. The most impressive piece was a room sized curtain of glass/stones suspended on metal wires from a steel frame. The piece was accompanied by a pile of coal and a lantern. Apparently symbolic of man's reliance on the elements, I liked it because it's pretty. The other remarkable w sculpture at the front of the gallery.

Posted on the move at 19:19:17

Across from the "Modern" there's the Dean Gallery, which houses some interesting Dada and Surrealist work, bu very well known artists. I also spotted a nice quote from Andre Breton "The marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, infact only the marvelous is beautiful". Another one for my Quotes Collection. The Dean also has a couple of sculptures by Paolozzi, who donated the sculpture which stands outside my workplace - the School of Computer Science at Birmingham University.

After my trials attempting to get the buys to the galleries, I was both glad and slightly peeved to find that there's a free bus which links the official city galleries, so I got that back - much easier!

Scott Monument

Edinburgh is a city that consists mainly of steps. Nowhere is this more true than the Scott Monument, with its seemingly infinite tightly curving stone steps. They're worth it however as the view is fantastic.

Posted on the move at 14:13:45

I'm Here...

Found a nice internet cafe called "Here" which gave me coffee, muffin and 30mins internet access so I could do a quick update to my "Mobloging" script for September. Looks like there's some sort of minor error which is causing the previous/next section to be duplicated, perhaps when I've been editing using the dreaded IE.

Duke University's Mind Term ( ) allows me to access ssh via any web browser that allows Java applets to run - very useful.

Prev: Blog August 2005 1 Year Ago: Blog September 2004 Next: Blog October 2005
Contact me: Website (at) Andy, try use a subject which will get through my Spam Filter!

See Also: Web Changes for other recent updates, All Blog Pages for previous blogs. You might also want to read other Birmingham Bloggers

This is my blogchalk: United Kingdom, West Midlands, Birmingham, Moseley
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