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Rhodri Marsden
14 February 2009 @ 01:28 pm
I know I've posted this before, so sorry about that, but I've just spent 2 hours giving it some much-needed annotation.

 
 
Rhodri Marsden
13 February 2009 @ 08:35 pm
As many people have pointed out to me over the past few weeks, Lily Allen is releasing an album by the name of It's Not Me, It's You. Back on the 19th May 2003, I released a record of my own called "It's Not Me, It's You". Compare, contrast.

 

Those were the days when I still felt moderately excited about the possibility of selling lots of records and people thinking I was great as a result. Nowadays, I want people to just think that I'm great without me having to write any songs, which is a hopeful supposition , but hey, that's the kind of hulking brute that I am. It was the second album by The Free French; the first was kind of an accident, a home project that ended up morphing into a record that suddenly required a band to be formed in order to play it. So this one already had a band formed to play it, but I played everything myself – except the drums – because that's the kind of controlling, hulking brute that I am.

I think it's better than Lily Allen's record, although I haven't heard Lily Allen's record, and I made this one myself, so who am I to say. I have this small hope that fat-fingered simpletons on Amazon will buy my record instead of hers by accident, but as Pinnacle Distribution has gone bust, I feel fairly certain that no money will leak back into my fluff-laden pockets. Oh well. As per Momus and Vichy Government, here's my track-by-track recollection. Cos I'm in, on a Friday, on my own. Read more...Collapse )
 
 
Rhodri Marsden
02 February 2009 @ 09:47 am
There's an odd rehearsal room next to Borough tube station. It's odd for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's a former home of PWL, Pete Waterman's classy, high-concept 1980s label that brought us such thought-provoking concerti as "Big Red GTO" by Sinitta. Secondly, it's cheap. I mean, ridiculously cheap. You're hard pushed to get a four hour rehearsal in London for much less than £40, particularly when all the extras have been added in – ride cymbals, speaker cabinets, Ayurvedic massage and so on – but here it's five quid an hour. Desperate to arrange a last minute practice with Dream Themes for our gig tomorrow night (slick, indie-jazz versions of Bergerac don't rehearse themselves you know) I was told about this place. So I rang them, and they said that they'd be delighted to offer us four cut-price hours on Saturday afternoon, from 2 until 6.

Friday night they rang me to say that there'd been a bit of a cockup, and they'd double booked us. I expressed mild fury, as there's not much a bloke answering the phone in a rehearsal studio has to do, over and above write the names of slightly shit bands in a diary and ensure that they don't overlap. After a 5-minute call that wasn't so much a conversation as a stand-off, he said that he could find a room for us from 4 until 6, if that would be OK. I considered the musicianship of the band, the complexity of the TV theme tunes we were due to play, realised that we were screwed, and just said "yeah alright" because there wasn't a lot else I could do.

Saturday afternoon I tried giving them a call to check on a minor technical issue; no answer. Tried again; no answer. I left for the studio; sexyworld was already there, and couldn't get in. I arrived; we only managed to get in because someone else happened to be leaving the building. We found a spare room; I went off to try and find a cashpoint.

(Sorry about all this – can I stress that anyone persevering with reading this is unlikely to be rewarded by any kind of payoff.)

There's a convenience store next door with one of those machines that charges you £1.99 for giving you £20; for that kind of level of commission I'd be expecting the machine to do more than spit out money, I'd want it to help me secure long-term work contracts and touch me on the bottom. But it still only charges you £1.99 if you take out £50, so I tried to take out £50. It accepted my card, accepted my PIN, made the whirring sound of counting money, but no money appeared. Then it just said "Hardware Fault". I looked at the guy behind the counter. "Do people often have trouble with this machine?" I said. He looked at me, blankly. "Does this machine usually work?" I asked. He just smiled at me, as if I was a bit-part character in "As Time Goes By" (starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer) who had just delivered a barely amusing punchline. "The machine is broken," I said, "it might be an idea to get a bit of paper and stick it on there, warning people that it doesn't work." He carried on smiling. "The machine is fine," he said, smugly, "I suggest you check your account to see if there's any money in it." At this point my splenetic juices exploded, and I'm ashamed to say that I started raising my voice at him in fury. Luckily, the two customers who were waiting to be served weighed in on my side, and didn't start attacking me with Pot Noodles and cans of fizzy guava juice. The manager eventually appeared, got out his own card, put it in the machine, and took out £20 with no problem, which was my cue to leave the shop looking like a sweary, poverty-stricken idiot who tries to take out money he hasn't got from cashpoints.

Back in the studio, none of the guitar amps were functioning, and the sole employee of the studio – who had miraculously appeared by this stage – was pressing buttons randomly on the front of said amps in a lame attempt to get them working. "Don't worry," we said, although not in unison, "we'll sort it out." We did. We rehearsed for the remaining 90 minutes or so, knocked out a staggering version of Bergerac, packed up, and attempted to find the guy to give him some money. He was nowhere to be found. We explored the building. All we could find were rooms in which lights didn't work, in which were sat youthful members of up and coming bands, the stars of tomorrow if you will, all patiently waiting for someone to turn up and take some money off them. "Bollocks," I said, "let's just go." Paul said that doing a runner wasn't really on. I was adamant that I wasn't going to hang around to hand over ten quid to someone who'd probably forget that I'd given him ten quid, and that I'd send them a cheque. After 15 minutes more loitering, we agreed to do a bunk.

At about 8pm I had a call from the studio. "Hi – did you call the studio earlier?" Um... yes, I said, about 7 hours ago, before the rehearsal. And that since then we'd been to the studio, and gone, but there was no-one to take our money. "Oh..." I could send them the money. "Um... no, it's OK." But you're running a business, right? I'm happy to give you the cash. "Uh... no, it doesn't matter. Something... something must have gone wrong earlier. The guy... uh... oh, never mind." As I say, it's an odd place. Cheap, though. Free, in fact.

If the weather doesn't get any worse, Dream Themes are playing tomorrow night at the Buffalo Bar with imomus favourites The Chap. Only five quid. Highly recommended.
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Rhodri Marsden
23 January 2009 @ 01:00 pm
This tweet led me to this review of White Lightning:

On the night, I drank very little. My cousin and a female friend got really stuck in to the White Lightning however. After approximately 5 pints (he was drinking out of the bottle so it's hard to tell!) he was unable to stand up nor make much sense. The female friend was falling over in to trees and bushes as well, after approximately 3 pints.

I had to drag my cousin out of the woods, during which we had to stop for him to be sick at least 5 times. He was wearing a trench coat and by the time I got him back to the main road he had dried cider and sick all over it, his trousers and his face. Squashed hamburger meet from the BBQ had also wedged itself in the zip tracks of his coat.


Contrast this with the second review:

Vibrant and Fresh: The passionate edge you desire

Advantages: Will give you endless Fun and Pleasure
Disadvantages: Can leave you feeling Hot and Flustered...

White Lightning is a vibrant, fresh cider with a passionate edge. People often complain of dull unimaginative drinks – so look no further than this sexy, yet beautifully mature cider. You will not be disappointed.
 
 
Rhodri Marsden
23 January 2009 @ 09:45 am
I'm in my flat. On my own. Tears are running down my face, and I've been screeching with laughter for the last two minutes. This doesn't happen often.



Oh, and while we're at it, there's this, which is just wonderfully poetic and gets better with subsequent viewings.



Apologies if you've seen either of them before.