Foo Fighters in Waterloo Station tunnels mystery show

I saw the Foo Fighters at their House of Vans show the other week – oh you know, the SECRET one they played under Waterloo Station before the Invictus Games closing ceremony, that one.

It was alright.

But seriously. I can honestly say it was one of the most electrically charged shows I’ve ever seen. Nothing beats seeing a band play with energy, passion and enjoyment – and the Foos had all 3 in spades.

photo 4

I remember the first time I heard Monkey Wrench – which coincidentally was the first time I was introduced to vodka. At the time I thought it was the heaviest and greatest thing I had ever heard.

From my perch on the garden wall, occasionally shifting slightly to empty my stomach and coat the garden in vomit, I heard The Colour and the Shape from start to finish many times.

Hey, Johnny Park faded into My Poor Brain and New Way Home made way for more vomit. And then another play.

Despite those disturbing memories, it remains my favourite rock album of all time.

Anyway, the day after the gig, I chucked the whole setlist into Grooveshark and re-lived every crushing riff at work, nodding my head along and grinning obligingly.

Some records become boring, stale, as you get older. This one has only gotten better.

I’ve since put together a couple more compilations of my favourite music – Oceansize, ISIS, Jeff Buckley, A Perfect Circle, Everclear, Bonobo, Karnivool, Hell is for Heroes, Nine Inch Nails, Pelican… I could go on.

Anyway, they’re here for your (the mystery viewer’s) enjoyment:

Oh, and here’s the Foos setlist:

The point of this post? Err, music is great.

Yes, that’ll do.

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Tell you what, Elbow are great.

One of those already here and been around for ages discoveries. Yeah, them.

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I went running

I went for a run last night. Eventually.


Being new to the Farnborough area (I moved approx. 4 miles up the road 2 months ago), I decided I would enter the Yateley 10k last night.

A new race and a nice change to the resistance training, I thought.

I’ll just rock up and register on the night, I thought.


“Sorry mate, it’s full – we’ve had over 1,200 entries”.


I didn’t realise this was the London Marathon in disguise.

Long story short, after an hour of waiting, a Farnham Runner friend managed to get me in via someone else who wasn’t running.

On the start line, I started to wonder why I’d waited around so long to do something I could have gone anywhere in the country to do. On my own. For free.

Good point, brain.

I guessed it was a combination of wanting to experience a bit of community spirit and being in the presence of some like-minded folk – while getting some exercise, of course.

I’m always amazed by the variety of people who enter these events. I was comfortably ploddy and middle-of-the-pack, but the race attracted everyone from super endurance athletes to pensioners and those wanting to lose a few pounds.

A seriously impressive show of willpower and endurance from some.

Not only from the atheletes but the hundreds of people who came out to provide race numbers and marshal the runners.

The human race (no pun intended) can be quite good sometimes.

I’ll probably register in advance next time though.

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Last ride on the cat bus

With any luck, the news in circulation today about Studio Ghibli’s demise is premature. Hopefully much has been lost in translation.


Either way, it looks like the animation studio is taking an extended hiatus.

If true, it’s very sad news, but with Miyazaki off and so much influence seemingly lost, maybe it’s for the best.

Miyazaki made an astonishing impact on animation, culture and the lives of hundreds of thousands of his loyal fans – and I severely doubt any of us will forget the first of his films we watched.

I’ve cheekily lifted the section below from Robbie Collins’ superb article in today’s Telegraph, who sums the whole thing up wonderfully:

“My Neighbour Totoro aims to be a happy and heartwarming film, a film that lets the audience go home with pleasant, glad feelings. Lovers will feel each other to be more precious, parents will fondly recall their childhoods, and children will start exploring in the thickets behind shrines and climbing trees to try to find a totoro” – the benign, half-owlish, half-ursine woodland creatures invented by Miyazaki who give the picture its title.

That’s an ambitious remit for a children’s cartoon – particularly at a time in which Japanese animation was produced, sold and guzzled like fast-food. Further down the page, beneath some more preparatory thoughts, Miyazaki wrote down three phrases, each one describing something he wanted cinema-goers to see in his film: ‘what we have forgotten’, ‘what we don’t notice’ and ‘what we are convinced we have lost’. 
(Robbie Collins on Hayao Miyazaki, Telegraph, 4 August 2014)
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Last weekend I went camping.


Camping is one of those things I used to get dragged along to as a child, only to eliminate it from my life when I gained independence from family decisions.

Now, though, I’m going camping voluntarily. I even looked forward to it. This getting older thing has a great deal to answer for.

It’s a funny concept, really: driving into the middle of nowhere, setting-up a temporary existence in a field and letting go of all the amenities you’ve come to rely on.

Oh, and it costs money – albeit not that much.

Our little group visited a campsite called Llanmadoc in the Gower, near Swansea. It wouldn’t have been out of place in a slasher movie.

Its main selling points?

  • Hot water costs 50p
  • Showers are open for approx. 5 hours per-day
  • Really long grass
  • Toilet rolls cost 50p
  • Only location in Britain to sell Astro Belts (remember those?)

Still, the hot weather proved enough to tempt people away from hair-dryers and Challenge TV for at least 2 days, as the place was bloody packed.

Apart from running into the same guy in the shower block on 3 consecutive occasions – made worse by the shoulder-height cubicles allowing for an extremely awkward atmosphere – the whole thing was terrific.

Those youthful days spending hour upon hour racing around on a warm beach, being battered and thrown around by the waves, thoroughly sunburnt and sea-weary, throwing yourself off rocks into the water below? They all came racing back with a sense of invigorating glee.

No frills. All fun. Would recommend.

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