Poundland, The Bluetones on Cassette Tape and Tarmac at the Darvel Music Festival

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At ABC Glasgow, 2011
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Cheap DVD artwork at its finest

On Facebook the other week, fellow Scottish Comedy scene open spotter Joe McKeown (though in truth he is far more prolific than me gig wise and actually has himself a corner of a Glasgow Comedy Festival show next March, hiy, you should check it out) posted a picture of a DVD of some shite looking film starring Andrew Dice Clay and Teri Hatcher which was on sale for one pound in, well Poundland of all places. I was in that shop this week, my wife’s Christmas present won’t buy itself after all, and I spotted a few copies of it in amongst, what is now, a quite big CD and DVD selection. Their “Replay” range as the stickers on each item say, which I think means they are all second hand but rewrapped in the fiddly plastic stuff. It might be the stuff that websites like music magpie and that get sent by folk clearing out their collections cos they are all iTunes and Netflix now and this is how they are resold. I don’t know. But the Dice Clay DVD was there in multiple copies, I picked it up had a wee read at the back of it, but didn’t buy it, not even for a pound.

wpid-screenshot_2014-12-22-12-22-02.pngI did make a purchase however, the Bluetones “Return to the Last Chance Saloon” on CD. Going back to Facebook again, a few months ago, September actually, there was a wee fad where people were listing their top ten albums that meant the most to you or favourite or best in your own opinion or whatever the criteria was, I can’t quite remember. I done mine, but I made my list up from albums which have found themselves in my car stereo the most.  Standing in the queue with my pound coin in my hand it dawned on me that this album I’m about to buy should probably have been on my list. I have posted a screenshot here for posterity, 4 likes doesn’t say much for it I have to admit. Still pretty happy with it. Auto correct altered Shotters to Snotters at number 7 because I don’t think Shotters is a word it knows but then neither I wouldn’t think would Snotters be a word it knew so I must have taught it.

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Bluetones there, bottom left in amngst the great and the good; KLF, Kulashaker and Oasis both taped off the radio and er, Spin Doctors

Madonna’s Immaculate Collection probably shouldn’t be there as it’s a greatest hits rather than a studio album so that could be the one to take out, or I could just make it a list of 11, who really gives a fuck? As I said, I had decided to go with albums that regularly got taken back into my car over the years and that qualifies from when I got my wee green Polo which didn’t initially have a CD player so I dug out all the old tapes that I still had one of which was this Bluetones album, plus a New Kids on the Block one that we found in a box of old stuff that had been left in our house when we moved in, and played it a lot.

I got it in a bargain bucket at Fopp years and years ago before it was closed down, before it was HMV under another name even. In fact, it might not have been in a bucket, it might have been at the till in a “get this for 2 quid if you spend 5 quid or more” type of deal. Upselling is that? It has what I consider the most perfect pop song ever on it, which is “If”. It also has the theme tune to the old TV show Teachers which had Rick from Walking Dead in it and a really chirpy one near the end called Down by the Reservoir. It’s a good album, I like it.

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Hiding the offensive tache

I have seen them live a few times, The Bluetones, I got tickets for their final tour (for the time being) for my 30th at ABC in Glasgow so I took my wife since no one else was that bothered really. It was a nice night, we went for a wee a meal at Karma Sutra Indian restaurant beforehand, a groupon deal most likely, and I had garlic chilli chicken curry which would have burnt the face off you. It led to a rather uncomfortable night stomach wise as I’m not as good at eating really hot things as I think, great band live I think but when your belly is groaning from being attacked by an internal fireball and your mind is racing as to whether you are going to shite yourself its harder to enjoy. I also never shaved beforehand thinking it would be fine but there are photos taken and I have a shite looking tache.

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See?

The other time I seen them was in Darvel town hall of all places at their (Darvel’s) annual music festival. Never would I have thought it would get a band that we would have known and had been on Top of the Pops and had music videos on MTV and everything to play, but they did. We were in quite early, and saw a Belgian electro type band called Lorraine (I think) who were great but haven’t heard anything about them since. I remember speaking to some people on the night and there was fellas there all the way from Dundee to see The Bluetones, in Darvel. Fucking Dundee to fucking Darvel. Bizarre. Well it might not be that bizarre, but at the time it was. To me anyway.

Nice tanktop
Nice tanktop

But I guess all it takes (bear in mind I haven’t a clue what I am talking about when reading this sentence) is a local music promoter to get some decent contacts and all sorts of great things can happen I suppose, so maybe this was just one of those times. The festival, from memory, was sponsored by a tarmac company who had a poster up, so I guess Mark Morriss and the boys were up here on the back of road surfacing dollar. About them, Darvel town hall isn’t particularly big, it wasn’t a high stage and rock steady security at a minimum. You could get ridiculously close to them. The gig was really good and I got a t-shirt. Which I lost in my mum’s house somewhere. Or maybe I left it in Canada when I lived there, I’m not sure.

What’s definitely not in Canada is my good grey hoodie which has disappeared off the face of the earth after me leaving it hung over the pram that sits under the stairs in my house, but I suppose now’s not the time to start moaning about that.

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Cheryl Coles Tattoos and English Left Backs in General

Last week, in the wake of the unveiling or leaking or however it was carried out, the revelation of Cheryl Coles new arse tattoo inspired me to write a pithy status about it on facebook. I came up with it on my Sunday shift at work and improved it I thought as the shift wore on before finally when I emerged in the daylight at 2.30 from an 8 and a half hour warehouse slog I posted it on my facebook account and waited for a reaction.

But nobody bloody liked it.

Now its something of a hot topic of conversation in pubs and in online group chats on things like Viber about the level of interest a post or photo can get on the likes of facebook. 10 likes seems to be the base level for acceptability. Any less and its as well not being there. A massive fail.

The status was

“Cheryl Cole likes a tattoo to celebrate English footballs full backs eh? First ashley Cole, now Danny rose. Surely next she will get a tattoo depicting multiple images of a bandy legged ex Scotland and Aberdeen goalie in tom hardys mask from the last batman film.”

70704390_cole_20941cNow I think that is a good bit of patter but it appears that no one understands it (or, you know, thinks its shite) so I will take the opportunity to explain it.

Lets kick off with the Mrs C tattoo she has on the back of her neck from when she was still with her husband. Her husband being (C)Ashley Cole, an English full back.

cherlShe now has enormous roses on her back and arse, its really rather horrible I think, but quite clearly its her own wee homage to Danny Rose, who happens to be Tottenhams new first choice full back after being papped out on loan to other teams in seasons past.

So thats two English full backs etched on her skin, what will next trip to the tattooist deliver?

leighton,%20jim%201998aexclusive-image-of-tom-hardy-as-bane-in-the-dark-knight-rises-102438-00-470-75I thought she could get a few images of the bandy legged ex Scotland, Aberdeen, Manchester United and Hibs (and more) goalie; Jim Leighton (left) and team it up with the mask worn by Tom Hardys oddly spoken Batman baddie in Dark Knight Rises, you know, Bane (right) Leaving something that kind of looks something like………

This?

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See? Its a hilarious image that you were supposed to piece together in your minds eye from the clues I gave so that it depicted Everton and England left back Leighton Bane’s or rather Baines.

Oh I laughed when I came up with that, laughed and laughed at how clever I was. She could get it above the roses but below the neck writing, it kind of looks like a cross, folk get crosses all the time……

Right, yer all right, its a pish joke. Time tae move on.

Me versus 5×50 Challenge: Part 2

After the intial post where I described what I am doing and the likes (click the link if its not ringing any bells) here is the continued adventures of me running around Killie for a vague reason. From day 3 till day 10.

Day 3

Well it turns out I might not actually be registered for this challenge thing. I found this out by chance when I was scooting about the 5×50 Twitter account with the idea being when I tweet that this blog is ready to read I @ them and they retweet it. Becuase as nice as it is that this gets read 20 times or whatever, by 15 people (i furiously refresh the stats page (yes, there is a stats page) post publish button press) it would be quite nice to maybe get a wee rub from the challenges over 2000 followers and get some more readers. A wee ego massage you see. They might even be reading this right now. If you are, hello! This is actually my second part of my running oddessy the first part I linked in the first paragraph. Ta.

Anyway, what happened is that on Monday night I clicked and registered but never paid my money due to a concern about how long ago I had used PayPal so I though I would do it when on the laptop and had time. On the Twitter feed it mentioned registration closing and out of curiousity I go on the site and log in and try to pay my fee. Not being able to do it I try sending a private message through twitter but they dont follow me (shame on them) so this option isnt available. Instead i search out a Facebook account and get in touch that way, explain my stupidity and hope that I am accepted and somehow get it sorted. Provided there is a problem, I might be fine.

Run wise, I leave my house and run into Crosshouse past the hospital, i dodge down past the school, round past my Dads pals work and then past the Spar and back into Kilmarnock. Without doing any of the dodging and diving in and out cul de sacs and down back roads and the likes the run lasts just over 5k. This makes me happy and could become a bit of a regular route. I also done it in less than 25 minutes. One of my initial goals. That was nice.

Later that night i got a message back from the 5×50 fb page giving me a email address to contact, so i guess I have fucked up but it can get fixed.

Day 4

Decided to run home from work but apparently they lock the gates to the car park now. Not a problem, in fact it actually solves one as I can strategically place my motor in a parking spot that near Rugby Park so that after the football at night i can collect the car and drive home and save myself a walk. This running thing is helping in ways i never imagined. So i park up at my wifes Aunts and start making my way up to Morrisons (to pick up my wifes car, the reason its in the Morrisons car park isnt important but it is there nonetheless) however the distance between the a of Natalies aunts and the b of Morrison’s isn’t as far as it seems and after a detour around the Howard Park and zig zagging around all the streets it seemed in the area of Killie where the garage and the Brass and Granite is I end up actually having to run around the edge of Morrison’s car park to get the 5k in. I mean no one would have noticed or if they did, cared, but it was mortifying. Also I was a quite a bit slower which I’m putting down to running straight after a day at work, but its still disappointing after improving my times day on day for the first 3.

Day 5

Another day another car journey to a remote location and ran from, only to be picked up later. Tonight it was Tesco as the wife wants us to go a walk with the pram once I have been out my run. Ha. Resting is not an option it would appear. My knees are a bit sore and so are my ankles.

Day 6

I play 7 a side football on a Friday night. Day 6 falls on a Friday. So to get my run in and not completely compromise my night I get a lift down to the powerleague to play football with the intention of running back. It is probably the warmest night of the year so far and when I get there its been changed from 7s to 5s and only 9 folk showed up. Good stuff. Long story short, fitba was shite and I still had to run home. I decided to head up past my old schools and the library and into the Kay Park (just the Dean Park now for the trifecta) where as I come under the railway bridge entrance at the Killie College I am met by the sight of some daft alkie enjoying the last remnants of sunshine lying on the pavement in at the wall cuddling his bottle of Becks. We used to run around the Kay Park for cross country at P.E. when I was at the Killie Academy, in tribute I ran down the oval hill at the Burns Monument, but instead of running back up I ran out the park past the tennis club up through the town and home.

Day 7

My times have been pish as the week has gone on, I put that down to working and then running and generally being tired. My thoughts are that a good sleep and a run on Saturday morning followed by a run on Sunday night will see me go faster with more recovery and sleep and less manual labour. So i head out this morning again from Natalies aunts house but instead of going the same way I decide to try going out the road that runs from the old abbatoir up to the Crosshouse roundabout past the Premier Inn and also past the Heron Bros site across the road and up a bit which i have no idea what is going on in and its driving me up the bloody wall. I saw a few guys making a road into it on the 3rd of January in the dark on my first day back at work this morning and since then its got bigger and bigger with all sorts of diggers and that in there. Bugging that i dont know what it is.

Anyway, the run is pretty much uphill which is bugging, still i do it fairly quickly (certainly quicker than my crap runs in previous three days) so i am thinking my plan is going to work.

Day 8

FUUUUUUUCK! Twenty three and a half minutes (ish)! My fastest time yet but I am disappointed because after a facebook conversation with my fellow 5x50er who said last year he tried for a sub 23 by day ten (sub 20 by day 50 also which is my dream) I had hoped i would have cracked it on day 8. Especially as the running app on my phone which gives time splits every km gave me hope that i was in with a chance as it was looking good at each split. To be beaten by seconds is annoying, especially as i waited off till late on on Sunday to do so and in doing so be well rested. I am taking this serious I have to say. Too serious my wife says.

On this run i went on a old favourite of mine. Out Fardle hill to Knockintiber, turn right and head for Kilmaurs and nip down onto the cycle path and run back to Kilmarnock along the old railway line (or current, im not sure) to the town dump and in home. its about 5 and a half km, a decent run and up and down hills. Do you know i never saw one bike on the cylce path. Or a dog, its usually louping with dogs. I did see a big bird in the sky, a perigrin falcon or a buzzard maybe scouting out a rabbit or some other animal no doubt, it did cross my mind what i would do if it swooped for me, i realised i dont know what i would do, i am trying not to worry about that.

Day 9

After yesterdays strong run I wasn’t expecting much and ultimately it didn’t deliver much. I do however think that the 25 minute plus days are behind me, as I was under that time easily. Also when Victoria Pendelton’s automated voice on my MiCoach adidas running app thing chimed in with the announcement that “distance (beat) three (beat) kilometres” in the fashion she does I distinctly remember feeling that I had a fair amount left in the tank which made my heart soar.

Day 10

When I almost broke 23 mins on day 8 there were a few factors which hindered my progress, one of which was the dog at one of the farmhouse type places on the road to Knockintiber which although didn’t actually make any move in my general direction did hamper my time by a few seconds due to me trying to keep my distance and also trying to keep my cool and not let on I was feart it was going to savage me (which it wouldn’t). I also had to tie my laces which takes a bit longer than you would think and of course the problem with the big bird that wasn’t interested in me. All these variables can be reduced, mainly by tying my laces better before leaving and also, with luck the dog won’t be there on the road since its a weekday and not the weekend (dogs on the cycle path are unaccountable for).

So I head back out on the same route, its a good route because there are no red lights to cross or any real traffic, the only problems seem to be the ones i have already highlighted.

Anyway, long story short, I done it. 22 and a half minutes. I knew i was in with a chance with the splits at each km but when i did do it, when Vicky said the time i was up on the Western Road, just past the dump and i raised my hands in the air in triumph. What a dick i am. I also ended my run on the app and walked home proud of myself.

TIMES

Day 3: 5k-25.34mins, Total run 5.23km-25.54. Day 4: 5k-27.37, Total run 5.05km-28.00. Day 5: 5k-27.09, Total run 5.04km-27.27. Day 6: 5k-27.22, Total run 5.25km-28.57. Day 7: 5k-26.0,1 Total run 5.22km-27.15. Day 8: 5k-23.28, Total run 5.58km-26.27. Day 9: 5k-24.19, Total run 5.4km-26.28. Day 10: 5k-22.30, Total run 5.12km-23.09.

A Diary in 53 Parts: Part 8: Week 7

A week in which i won 70 quid and do a fair amount of cooking.

Sunday 12th February.

Went for another run today, exactly 5k down and around the town and back up. Hips are sore, feel like an old man. Also feel like a fat man so gonna have to put up with the pain. At night I watch Zambia upset the odds and win the African cup of Nations against favourites Ivory Coast (or Cote D’Ivoire as its also know) Cote D’Ivoire is also the subject of maybe my favourite fact ever. That fact being that its illegal to call the Ivory Coast the Ivory Coast while in the Ivory Coast, if you do call it that then its an affront to the King. Now, a few things from that, for one i dont really know if they have a king or even a royal family and it was a while since i was told that gem so maybe using the term fact is a bit of a stretch.

Was delighted when Zambia won, always been a Cameroon man myself but since they never qualified and the Copper Bullets beat other big guns along the way and i am a big fan of the underdog it was a no brainer. Plus Zambia used to be called Rhodesia and Killie toured there back in the 60s so that tenuous link was enough for me to put my support behind the Copper Bullets. I just hope they dont have some sort of horrible record of human rights violations or something….

Monday 13th.

Natalie isnt too well today, I feel fine. I make the dinner, pasta (its those wee pasta parcle things, this time with walnut and gorgonzola which was weird) before heading out the the Trust board meeting.

Tuesday 14th.

Ah Valentines day, the patron saint of buying cards and flowers, both of which i did yesterday. We dont really go in for Valentines much neither we do, Natalie isnt too bothered about it at all which makes me happy becuase for me its a load of old bollocks. The thought of struggling to get a table in a restaurant or a seat at the pictures on the 14th of february becuase a bunch of akward folk are doing a valentines date and are sitting across from each other hardly speaking and finding out they have nothing in common fills me with dread. No, i feel i can take my beloved out any day of the week or month and i think she agrees. instead of all that i augment a frozen magharita pizza with hot sauce, frozen peppers and wee bacon bit things while the wife lies with her feet up watching Hollyoaks. She is still not better and coughing like an old motor but she manages to eat my delicious meal. We finish the night watching those horrendous Gypsy wedding folks which amuses me as the bride has the biggest ears i have seen in ages. The look like the kind of lugs you see on old men in the bookies.

Or any place old men frequent i guess.

Wednesday 15th.

On my first break at work i recieve a text asking if i want to paint the kitchen on Saturday, my kitchen to be exact. Strange how this hasnt been mentioned before that minute. Also, its not as if its a question, more a statement that “you’re painting the kitchen on Saturday”. Its nice to have my weekend planned out.

For dinner i made macaroni cheese from scratch. Top cook this week.

Thursday 16th.

Finally watch the new version of Pointless, its pretty much like the old one except its in HD and there are a few changes in the rounds they play. Not sure i like it, but most likely it will be like the facebook changes where you initially hate them but learn to accept them and forget the old way after about an hour. Need to apply to get on. Also tonight i sort out the arrangements for getting cup final tickets and put plans in place to get back on the Burns bus too. A trip back to the Phoenix club looks likely. Natalie takes control of the cooking duties again and trys to dupe me by saying were getting chicken but actually giving me turkey. She must think i am an idiot. I eat it anyway. She apologises. No big deal. We have golden syrup cake and custard for a wee dessert which is ok but as soon as i taste it i realise it was probably jamaica cake i wanted. Thems the breaks though. As they say in The Wire, “s’all in the game, yo” though admittedly its not the same circumstances.

Or even particularly relevant now i think about it.

Friday 17th.

After work i play in what was probably the best game of 7 a sides i have played in years. Now that i write that i have jinxed any other games i will play but it was nice to have that high point to look back on. Never more than two goals in it and everyone trying for the full hour, cant ask for more. To balance out all the running around i did during said “best game” i had a full pizza supper with grated cheese and curry sauce drizzled on top for my dinner. Havent had such fine cuisine for a good while and fair enjoyed it. Cant beat a chip shop deep fried pizza i dont think, though its pretty likely that calling it a pizza is against the trade descriptions act. I managed to refrain from getting the pizza dipped in batter before cooked so it could be argued i took the healthier option all things considered.

Once fed we took a trip down to Prestwick to visit Natalies old neighbours Joan and Davie who she has always called aunt and uncle. Lovely people who have been very nice to me ever since i met them about 8 years ago. Back then i was still a cinema student and Davie name dropped Eisenstein into the conversation which i picked up on and we still mention it now. Finally saw in his computer room he has told me about for years tonight, his camera collection lining the walls and his imac switched on we tried to find his photos fo our wedding to have a wee look at, never found them though, maybe next time.

He regaled us with stories, most of which i hadnt actually heard, one of which was about his visit in the mid 60s to Kilmarnocks German twin town and the subsequent visit back to Kilmarnock. A great old guy (also a socialist as he likes to point out) and his wife Joan (a tory he tells me quite regularly) keeps him in check. Smashing folks.

Saturday 18th.

A day i fully expected to spend painting my kitchen listening to the football on the radio and trying not to trip over my bottom lip while in a huff about my Saturday activities actually turned out to be a great day. We never actually had any rollers or brushes to do the painting, or any actual paint for that matter so that job has been rainchecked till next week at the earliest. Instead i spent the morning farting about while Natalie heads off to Irvine with her sister before taking in Killie glorious victory over crisis club/tax cheats Rangers by means i dont really want to admit to on here. fair to say it was a steady “stream” of activity for the afternoon. Before I watched that though i stuck on my Saturday coupon and while i basked in the glory of our 1-0 win i checked my bookies lines and found out i was 70 quid to the good on one of the lines. Thats two in three weeks which sounds like a rich vien of form but like all statistics its all about the depth of focus and if you look at my record over the whole season it still stands at two winning lines. However, i dont care, a wins a win.

Head up the road after football the wife and I are visited by our friends and their young kid. The wee fella is going to be a year old at the tail end of April and it strikes me how quick a year it has been for them. A bright wee thing he is as well too. When they leave we take in the best Saturday night telly has to offer, Take Me Out and Johnathan Ross. Both passable for entertainment when you cant wipe a football/coupon win smile off your face.

A Frustrating Likeness 2

Guess Which One

Another month another cracking lookalike. It seems tall and gawky with spectacles automatically makes people think of me. The added feature to hammer home the point in this particular one is the huge head of hair which is sort of like what i am sporting right now as i swither on whether to get my hair cut or finally grow out my Sam Elliott in Roadhouse hairdo which is a dream I have had for more than a while. Roadhouse is probably one of my favourite films and Wade Garrett and his fucking awesome hairdo is makes up for quite a large percentage of that. Now all i need is a bit more grey and roughly 18 months and i will be well on my way, sadly the facial hair might let me down….

Wade Garrett - Idol

But anyway, the lookalike was from this video by Temper Trap of a song called Love Lost, both of which i have never heard of but a friend of mine saw fit to post it on my facebook and i thought i would share it here. Its actually pretty good.

 Oh, theres me, far left, Jock Speirs looking right out at you even before you press play.