Another 4am Start...

So how have I been whiling away the wee hours?

Eventually finished watching The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada!

I knew from the first trailer I'd love it and not sure how it took me so long to get round to watching it. All the right mix of Americana, male angst and road movie.

And Dwight Yoakam and Levon Helm anyone? Two really great performances - let alone Melissa Leo and Mr Lee Jones himself.

Here's Levon in one of his two scenes:

And Dwight Yoakam and Melissa Leo:

And here they are doing their regular thing:

The Band with The Staple Singers: 'The Weight'
(Levon's on the drums)

Dwight Yoakam: 'Intentional Heartache'


So, a few years ago (really, years) I mused that my purchasing of some
crazy PDA thing (m2000 anyone?) would increase the posts to this here
Which it clearly didn't.
Only time will tell whether the lovely iPhone that I'm sat typing this
on will have a more positive effect.
I've been spending a lot of time reading some great blogs of late and
feel I could at least attempt to offer something of worth.
However, the Cropredy Festival, aging heavy metal stars and the bloody
iPhone is all I can garner.
Well, who knows?
(see, exciting already...)

My Body Is Made Of Sunlight


Two Quick Things

Ok, firstly - within 10 years alcohol's going to be treated like cigarettes 5 years ago and within 20 you'll see it being banned by local authorities, creating 'dry' counties.

It'd be ridiculous but it'll happen, I tell thee.

Secondly and in no way related - you wanna see how FaceBook will look when you're sitting having an Xmas Pudding Latte in Starbucks on your iPhone later in the year?

You wanna?
You wanna?

Go on then: make sure you're signed in, click here and resize your browser to iPhone size.


I am so excited, and I quite literally can't hide it...



A Brummy Xmas Anyone?

More info here.


Apple's .Mac service is out-dated.

Google Apps (mail, calendar, docs, bookmarks etc.) work a treat.

Apple has a product launch at 6pm GMT tomorrow.

Google's personalised homepage is called iGoogle.

Apple boss says .Mac service is going to get an upgrade soon.

Andy says: If Google and Apple get together to offer web applications that backup and share all your stuff across any computer (and the, ahem, iPhone) on Google's servers but with an annual charge to put an Apple sheen on the front-end...

I'm writing the cheque now...

Oh Well, Adolf Liked VW Beatles

Full picture here.

'There Was a Manic Feeling in the Air'

Good article on 'Liege & Lief' here..

Zane Lowe, Sweet Radio

If you misssed it, I'd highly encourage you to head over and listen again to the last 15 minutes of Today this morning.

You'll find a very animated and intelligent Zane Lowe discussing, albeit briefly, the new Mark Ronson remix of Mr Dylan's 'Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)'.

A snippet of the track (and it's really good) can be found here.

Well done everybody.

And since I can't find a full version of it, here's Bob doing the Cohen brothers' classic 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' to tide us over:

Good Vibrations

OhMiBod indeed...

Crikey Moses...

...they're dropping like flies!

Michelangelo Antonioni
Ingmar Bergman
Laszlo Kovaks

Talk about the death of cinema.

ChickChickChick (HaaHaaHaa)


One Strike And I'm Out

I've posted more today than Postman Pat!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously though, Royal Mail management has to negotiate and I support the striking Pats totally.

Fraternally yours,

(I'm off to brave the weather for a haircut)

RIP Laszlo Kovaks


Aww, I haven't seen Easy Rider in ages.


A little drink for you Laszlo...

What The..?


Thanks To Mr Gibson (Not You Mel)


The Gods Bullocks

Idea for the revival of the British Barbecue Western:

Shambo Must Die!

A small community of well-meaning idiots band together to protect their precious yet cancer-riddled donkey from a marauding horde of doctors from the future.

When the local sheriff bungles an attempt to oversee the slaughter the townsfolk are joined by nut-jobs the parish over to protect the stupid cow.

Only the arrival of an unelected, mono-syllabic madman, barbecue tongs in hand, stuttering "Shambo must die!" can bring the story to it's inevitable bloody finale.

Possible mini-series spin-off:

We follow the hilarious goings-on at the village of nearby Chokesbury who, when left to their own devices after the entire British Army are re-assigned to kill the foreign-sounding Shambo, slaughter each other over a bottle of Evian in a Tesco's carpark.

You Can...

|, shove your Mars Bar, mines a:


Trailer Triple Bill!!!

'The King Of Kong - A Fistful Of Quarters'


'No End In Sight'

Behind The Wall Of Sleep

Listen to this fucking song. What a fucking brilliant song.

Fucking brilliant.

All of them.

Sabbath fucking rule.


Can't Stop Looking At This:



Look who's the compere on the Friday at Cropredy:

And here's the rest of the stage times:

16.00-16.20 Anthony John Clarke
16.20-17.20 Kerfuffle
17.30-18.50 Wishbone Ash
19.10-20.30 Seth Lakeman
21.00-23.00 Jools Holland R&B Orchestra

Compere: Anthony John Clarke

12.00-13.00 Hummingbird
13.20-14.20 Mad Agnes
14.40-15.55 The Demon Barbers Roadshow
16.15-17.15 Last Orders
17.35-19.05 Viva Santana
19.25-20.55 Show of Hands
21.15-22.05 Liege & Lief
22.30-00.00 Richard Thompson Band

Compere: Geoff Hughes

12.00-13.00 Richard Digance
13.05-14.05 Give Way
14.25-15.45 The Bucket Boys
15.55-16.45 Iain Matthews
17.00-17.15 Presentations and Charity Draw
17.15-18.45 The Strawbs
19.00-20.00 Bob Fox & Billy Mitchell
20.30-00.00 Fairport Convention + Friends

Compere: Danny Thompson

OSX Tiger (Tiger)

The (all be it unofficial) Mac Daily News is getting some real perspective on the days events in London...

4 Days And Counting...

Friday iDay. Marvelous.

Please Welcome...


The Richard Thompson Band live from Friday night.

Free stream from NPR.

Ready, Willing...

& Disabled.

An Absolute Shower...

From here comes this exciting news:

This year's Perseid meteor shower will be the most spectacular for years - and it coincides with Fairport's Cropredy Convention (writes Stevie Horton).

Over the weekend of August 11 and 12, hundreds of shooting stars will streak across the night sky. When the meteor shower hits the earth's atmosphere, a shooting star will light up the sky every few seconds.

The natural firework display results from dust and ice particles of the Swift-Tuttle comet. The grains of debris hit the atmosphere at 30 miles a second and become incandescent as they burn up.

A spokesman for the Royal Observatory confirmed that if the sky is clear, the meteors will be visible across the UK. "Go outside with a chair and a blanket and allow your eyes time to adapt fully to the dark," the spokesman says. "It's not essential to go somewhere remote."

The view will be best between midnight and dawn and it will get better as the night wears on because as the earth turns it will face towards
the oncoming shower. The show will be visible every night from about August 9 to August 15,
assuming the sky is clear, peaking during the last night of the festival.

The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation of Perseus which is well above the horizon, towards the northeast: at Cropredy, that's looking from the stage towards the top righthand corner of the Arena Field. This year will look even more impressive because there will be a new moon. Viewing conditions won't be this good again until 2015, astronomers say.

You don't need any equipment to see the display but you should be as far as possible from lights. At Cropredy, this means you probably won't see anything from the Arena Field because of the stage lights and the illuminated stalls. But after midnight there should be really great views from the dark campsite fields if the sky is clear.

Good Riddance

It's a shame he made it this far but this infamous prick has at last croaked at 84...

In case you don't know him from a great many songs or good old fashioned sixties-fetishizing check the NYT obit here.

Lovely fella.

A Triumph of Viral Marketing?


Not A Lot

It's been a bit spartan on the post front here at the Harbour.

I'd have apologised earlier but presumed I actually spoke face-to-face with any frequent visitors on an almost daily basis.

It comes to my attention, however that a few others actually drop in from time-to-time.

With this in mind (and the fact that a blog without any real opinion or content is a dire waste of pixels) I shall attend to some more thoughtful and considered posts forthwith.

Although not just now, as I'm popping for a drink.

Night Night

Thompson And Twins


Got to be worth a pop out in the rain today.

Some reviews are here. The Sun is a little critical...

Happy 40th Birthday!


Fairport Convention's first public performance was at Saint Michaels Church Hall, Golders Green, on 27 May 1967.

Video's Gonna Kill Me


Dave, over at The Stabbing Robot, is getting all excited about Richard Thompson's new album on Monday and Cropredy in the summer.

And for good reason.

Just to add my tuppence worth, and in case you thought the Strawbs video was as 'how come I can't seem to round up many people to go with me to Cropredy' as can be, here's a couple of real early eighties treats:

And a much more respectable:

Speaking Ill Of The Dead (Belated)



Pants On Fire


So much to say but so little enthusiasm to write it down.

If the last ten years is what democracy is all about I'm in for a troubled and angry existence.

According to my Death Watch widget I die in 25148 days, on 24th January 2076.

That's in 69 years.

The night this idiot got in the prospect of having 17 general elections ahead of me was very exciting. But it seems a pretty hollow prospect after the last decade.

The news-junkie in me is looking forward to the next few weeks, in fact the next couple of years. But the bigger part of me - you know, the part that makes you cry at the state of the world - isn't having any of it.

In fact, as I recall talking to both my Dad and his Dad about elections and the future and money and hope and dignity and justice and peace it seems we're just destined to go round and round in circles.

And part of me wishes it was New Years Eve 2075 and time for one last quick drink.

Thanks Tony.

The Only Places...

...for a decent analyse of the Blair legacy are here and here.

Er, that's it.


Maybe St Stephen Had a Point?


Errol Morris and Miller Light


These ads are great.

They make me want a bottle of beer, some good food and some manual work to do.

I think he's done some other good stuff too...

I'm Tired

Anita Thompson over at the Owl Farm Blog posted this quote today and thought I'd repeat it here.

"I’ve never paid much attention to the Black/Jew/WASP problem; it strikes me as a waste of time and energy.

My prejudice is pretty general, far too broad and sweeping for any racial limitations. It’s clear to me – and has been since the age of 10 or so – that most people are bastards, thieves and yes – even pigfuckers”

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in America

Live From London


An exciting announcement from EMI and Apple or a load of rubbish? In real-ish time, here we go...

Or just listen to the live feed here, I guess.

Eric Nicoli, CEO EMI Group:

He's made a joke

It's not an April Fool joke

There's going to be some music

Damon Albarn and crew - oh, and they're not webcasting that. Brilliant.

Oh, yes they are. Very nice.

The man from EMI said Damon thinks this announcement is '....... brilliant'.

The bloody AA man has just arrived - so er, this is getting cut short (not the announcement, just this 'commentary'.

Er, they're going to get rid of DRM I reckon.

That's it.

Thanks for calling by...

Let It Be?


Get ready for Beatle-mania:

An EMI 'event' in London tomorrow with Steve Jobs as special guest.

No DRM on EMI downloads and chart madness to ensue very shortly...

Much Too Much

Today I have, by any reasonable standards, very little to do and even less to achieve.

Thus far I've listened to Desert Island Discs, not done the first little thing I should have done and eaten two bags of Maltesers with a cup of tea.

And written this.

I'm now telling myself that after the BREAKING NEWS from Iran I'll have a shower and get off my arse.

I'm banking on using the 11.30 - 3.00 'kid's locked in school' window to get out, do the one 'outside' thing and get the fuck back. The rest can be done from here.

Amusingly, I've just been emailed by a 62 year old who'd like to go to Machu Picchu.

I can hardly get out the front door.

I'll keep you posted...

C.S.iPhone Mon Ami!

Ok, so holy-fuckin' shit this is awesome dude. Seriously awesome.

(NB. You've got to let the stupid ad play and then click on 'Remapping The Universe' on the right...)

Mr Pogue at the New York Times hints that this guy is going to be involved with future iPhone-tastic multi-touch Apple craziness.

I am well-psyched.

Yes. Indeed I am.

Well done everyone.

Half A Century High


'Shoot Out The Lights' by Richard & Linda Thompson was released 25 years ago.

It's nothing short of a masterpiece and I urge you to order it forthwith.

Here's the link to Scabazon (a union-busting bargain at £5.97). Or why not borrow it from a friend...

That is all.

Gordon Bennett


Well, clearly this was always going to be an election budget.

And not just centred on the Labour leadership run.

It's a snap general election in the autumn.

He took 2p off income tax...

Honestly, Autumn.

It will be.





'Lectric LP Shortly

In the spirit of posts that do nothing but point at other things:

Released at the end of May. Details, as always, can be found here.

Adbra Cadabra

Why don't we get these types of ads here?

Stabra Cadabra

After your brief stop at the Harbour, why not pop over here.

Well worth it.

Sabra Cadabra


So, just in case you didn't know, the Heaven & Hell tour started last night in Vancouver (Canada always seems to host warm-up tours for the US) and I'm looking forward to seeing them as they pass through London sometime in the summer.

And again, just in case you haven't being following this closely, Heaven & Hell is the touring name for what is essentially the Mark 2 line-up of Black Sabbath.

After Ozzy departed in 1979 they made the albums 'Heaven & Hell' and 'Mob Rules' with Rainbow's Ronnie James Dio. They were a return to form after what were generally considered a couple of lack-lustre late seventies albums with Ozzy after the fucking brilliant 'Sabotage' in 1976.

Although the line-up erupted in personal feuding ('Dio' means 'God') and the excellent Bill Ward was bouncing in and out on drums, the albums marked the last true high-point of a ground-breaking band and set the tone for a certain sound most famously echoed in Iron Maiden's galloping riffs.

And talking of high-points, which bitter Ozzy fan do you reckon was responsible for not cropping the bottom of this photo:

Anyhow, Dio re-joined for an album in 1991 and I met Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler outside the stage door at Manchester Apollo on that tour. I also got into the dressing room and met drummer Vinnie Appice and Ronnie himself. Which was great. And he is tiny but very friendly.

So there we go - it's going to be great to hear the Dio-era songs live again (they've got a compilation album out with three new tracks here and Ronnie's personal assistant's MySpace page is here).

Lest we forget however that nothing beats the 1969-1979 Sabbath, although I think 2005 was the last time I'll see that line-up live.

Bill's website is here and I reckon you'll be able to find Ozzy somewhere.

Cheers boys...


Pictures of the first gig are popping up here. I know you just can't wait to see them...

Two Soups


The prolonged suicide of the Liberal Democrats continues apace.

Sitting here watching Menzies in Harrogate is painful - a bit like watching some old bloke who's wife has just died attending a stand-up comedy class.

This dire speech may have sounded great in the back of the Ford Focus on the way North but his delivery is nothing short of bloody awful. He's easily upstaged by the sign language guy.

Is calling for Blair to go and calling Cameron the new Blair the best he can do? Exactly how many sixth-Formers did that take to write? An 'Axis of conflict' phrase was about as interesting as it got. And that's not very interesting.

And he could hardly raise applause from his own conference floor - the little pauses where his bit of paper told him there'd be a laugh were instead filled by awkward silences.

The thing is - it's not his age that's really the problem, it's the fact that he acts it. So I'm going to start a campaign to get a new Lib Dem leader elected before the next General Election - and my money is on this guy:

He's older than Menzies but can hold an audience like an old pro and only needs one hand gesture to translate his opinions.

Ronnie James Dio for Lib Dem leader. All those in favour?

Fist Past The Post

Saw this on Barack Obama's site the other day and was interested in the pretty choreographed 'bending the arc' gestures.

Check it out:

Just long enough for a photo, not long enough to rock the apple-cart, an attempt at wooing the left and consolidating some Afro-American support away from the Clintons?

Kind of crude, but can't imagine any of our lot trying it.


Dawkin TV Blues

So contrary to my hitherto firmly held convictions, there is a God - and he's a spiteful son of a bitch, not to mention a fucking gymnastic enthusiast to boot.

There's been days when I've chosen to sit and watch back to back seventies detective shows instead of seeing old friends, but for two days when I'm genuinely house-bound there's been just less than fuck-all worth watching on the television - Rising Damp on ITV3 and Beverley Hills Cops III on TMF being the only morsels he could bring himself to throw me.

And just to prove that this isn't a secular coincidence the Freeview box is stuttering, the DVD player is busted and the broadband is playing up.

Clearly in the scheme of things it may not seem much, but as I sit here up to my red raw nose in tissues, full of a cocktail of Lemsip, Beechams, something called Aspo and just a wee bit of booze, I feel like someone's out to get me.

And I was Catholic long enough to know that nothing riles Our Lord more than asking him for frivolous things like good television of an afternoon.

Expenses Habit

Wiped out with a nasty cold yesterday - all day in bed, head feeling like a football.

Not so much better this morning but at least there'll be a Rockford Files on, please God.

Seriously, if there is an interventionist God I'd like it to make sure there's a Rockford Files or a Columbo on this afternoon. And not the fucking 80's tele-movie Columbo, but the real good 70's ones. (Well, the late 90's ones aren't too bad, but if I've got the attention of some sort of God I reckon I might as well aim high).

You know what though, not one of the really generic Rockford's either - finishes one job, turns down new job, doesn't get paid from old job, doesn't understand why he's beaten up by two henchmen, takes new job because he's got no money and he's 'involved now anyway', unwittingly gets his Dad involved, thinks he's been doubled crossed by girl who approached him in the first place, wittingly gets his dodgy mate involved, realises the girl has been a little untruthful but for the right reasons and anyway she's wearing those tight 70's nylon flares.... er, then eventually he doesn't get paid, not even his bloody expenses.

You know what, I don't mind actually, as long as it's not the Columbo with the crazy Architect guy - it's good but I've seen it a million time recently.

How about the Johnny Cash one?



Size Doesn't Matter


A stream of the new Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio track, 'The Devil Cried' is here.

Oh go on, you'll enjoy it.


to you...

We Report, You Decide

Well, here we go.


RIP Benjy's

With the sad breaking news of Benjy's going bust (if you thought the poor sods on £2.30 an hour looked miserable normally, check out Bond Street Tube branch this morning, it's like East Berlin in 1987) here's a picture of their van.

Goodnight and good luck.

Brooker Hates Macs

Charlie Brooker has a lovely rant against Macs here.

Past Tense

Just sat watching Blair making some speech to a Labour Party 'policy forum'.

This may not be the best way to spend a sunny Saturday morning (although having spent Friday night watching The Two Ronnies it may be a step forward) but it's noticable that Tony Blair has begun to speak about himself and Prescott in the past tense.

It's the same tactic as his 'apology' over Iraq. Don't actually say anything, just keep on saying that you have.

And it's palpable that every time he makes a speech, his next sentence might be his standing down announcement. Especially since in Prescott's preamble he basically said there'll be a leadership election in 'the next few months'.


Oh, and he's just used the old "Take the Lib Dems for instance.., no really, you can take the Lib Dems" joke.

Well done Tony.

So it's going to be an interesting year for UK politics, especially if there's a snap General Election in the Autumn, followed by a blinder in the States in 2008.


I feel old.

This is brilliant and is both 'years ago' and 'only yesterday'...


Oh, the frequency of posts here is pitiful at the moment.

So once again, and in lieu of any real blog action, here's a link to a free Richard Thompson MP3 from his new album 'Sweet Warrior', out in May:

'Dad's Gonna Kill Me'

Not only great to hear the Mr Thompson Band, but as 'Dad is to Baghdad what 'Nam was to Vietnam a little bit of politics too, ladies and gentlemen...


... is the deferment or avoidance of an action or task and is often linked to perfectionism.

For the person procrastinating this may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of productivity, the creation of crisis, and the chagrin of others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments.

While it is normal for individuals to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological or physiological disorder.

The word itself comes from the Latin word procrastinatus: pro- (forward) and crastinus (of tomorrow).

The term's first known appearance was in Edward Hall's Chronicle (The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancestre and Yorke), first published sometime before 1548. The sermon reflected procrastination's connection at the time to task avoidance or delay, volition or will, and sin."

Slack Babbath!


I Phone, You Phone, I Want an iPhone


Happy New Year?


Apple's Steve Job makes his annual Keynote speech at MacExpo next week. It's an interesting consumer gang-bang that's sadly pretty exciting if you're that way inclined.

Though this doesn't excuse in any way the fact that I've just had an extensive dream on the subject:

A large building in the desert with a sloped floor and stage area. Mr Jobs is making his speech as I arrive. He is doing a Yoda impression that we all find very funny although he seems to overdo it after the third or forth time and the laughter becomes politely strained.

They take an interval. I realise that this explains the extended 2 hour time-slot on the programme.

As I head for refreshment I bump into my brother. He's sat on some sofas under the main seating area with a friend of his who's in the Army. The soldier is with his sister who seems to have shrunk and looks not unconsiderably like Jimmy Cranky.

There's so many people now piling in that you can't see the stage from the sofas and I've lost my previous spot. My brother tells me he's seen some friends of mine arrive. We meet and look for a seat, although we're turned away from the reserved area even though there's loads of free space.

I suggest leaving and moving around the building to another entrance. I lead, although I'm quickly annoyed that the group is far slower and I'm going to miss the second half. They seem annoyed that I'm annoyed.

I bump into a security guard who's riding around on the surrounding sand dunes (did I mention them?) on a strange buggy with tyres that dwarf him and the vehicle. He offers me a premium spot to see the Keynote, but only for me.

Do I ditch the group and leave them moaning in the sand?

No. I go to a wedding and end up sat at the head of a large table charging all the guest's digital camera batteries.