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Saturday 31 December 2011

Looking Forward.

Yesterday i wrote a post all about looking back over the past year. It's something that is done increasingly often these days.

But, another thing that happens around this time is that people also start to look forward to, or at least, towards the coming New Year. Once again, the media are the main culprits and the newspapers, tv and radio are full of "expert" opinion on what is going to happen next year.

Like me, i'm sure you've seen, heard, or read at least some of these pieces over the past few days.

But, one aspect that is often overlooked about those predictions that were made the previous year is,
Did they come true?
Were they correct?
Were they in fact wildly inaccurate?

Now, don't forget that some of these predictions concern monetary matters and even recommendations as to where to spend, or invest your money! Of course, they all come with a small print warning, as they should.
But, my point is that these predictions, from these so called experts, can often be very influential.

It can be very easy to be drawn in by these "experts", who you presume have a great deal of knowledge about their subject. But, as we can see in many places these days, experts are not always quite what they seem.

In this blog i have often talked about social media and these days many people tout themselves as being social media experts. But, are they?
You can find examples of this all over the Internet and especially in places like Twitter. I'm followed by many of them myself, for some strange reason.
So, if you are in any doubt, ask questions and "let the buyer beware."

Of course, monetary matters are not the only topics covered. I've seen many predictions concerning which movies will be the blockbusters and which new bands will make the big time in 2012.
Often these are self fulfilling prophecies, as far as i'm concerned. After all, the more publicity something gets the more chance there is of it becoming a success.
If you are put onto a list of the bands to watch in 2012, you're already halfway there.

Politics are, of course, always part of these discussions and i can't help but wonder what predictions were made, by the experts, for 2011?
I have a feeling that things turned out rather differently from what was predicted.

At this time last year, a young Tunisian man by the name of Mohammed Bouazizi, was laying in a hospital bed near Tunis. He subsequently died, on 4th January, from the injuries sustained when he set himself alight on 17th December 2010.
His story is now very familiar to people right across the world. But, i doubt that when those experts considered their predictions for 2011 the name of Mohammed Bouazizi even crossed their minds. And, in their defence, i can understand why.

In many ways, Mohammed Bouazizi could be considered the man of the year for 2011 and quite rightly so. The influence that his tragically early death has had was something that nobody could have predicted.
The so called "Arab Spring" that followed his death, has led to the end of the rule of dictators in his native Tunisia, in Egypt and also in Libya. The effects are still being felt in Syria and Yemen right now.
It could also be argued that the effects of the Arab Spring have helped lead to the recent demonstrations in Russia and even to the Occupy Wall Street protests that have taken place across the world during 2011.

Political events are notorious for moving very slowly. But, as we have seen this year, it is not a good idea to rely on that.

So, predictions can be dangerous things and for many reasons.
Beware of always believing what you read, or hear from the mouths of the so called "experts".

After all, Nostradamus has often been proved wrong and how many times, over the past few years, have we been told that the world was about to end. Even down to what day and time it was going to happen.
In fact, those who believe what the Mayan calendar supposedly tells them, say that the world will end, once again, on 21st December 2012.
So, don't buy next years Christmas cards just yet!

Thankfully, we're all still here at the moment and i fully expect that we will be for some time yet.
In fact, that is my prediction.

Caveat Emptor.

Friday 30 December 2011

Looking Back.

I guess it's inevitable that at the end of a year people start to look back on what has gone before? But, there are some aspects of this "tradition" that have really started to grate with me.

One of these aspects is all of those tv "best of 2011" programs that appear over the festive period. Whilst i accept that some of them are ok, the vast majority are excruciating. The main reason is not always the actual content of the program itself either, but more to do with the presenting style.

Do these programs and the presenters really expect us to believe that what we are seeing is done live? If not, then why do they persist in acting as if they were?
All this talk of Christmas presents, supposed spontaneity and false jollity really doesn't cut it i'm afraid.

I saw a particularly bad example earlier this evening. Well, i didn't see the whole program, as i just couldn't bear to watch it all.

On the BBC there is a daily, weekday program called "The One Show". I happen to watch this show, or at least parts of it, most evenings. But, the "best of" show they had on tonight showed up the worst examples of what i am talking about here.

There were buckets full of false jollity, fake presents and scripted chat. And all as they counted down the shows Top 20 moments of 2011. Of course, none of these shows are complete without the obligatory celebrity guests, either "live", or filmed are they?
All the boxes were ticked and consequently, i switched off.

The best examples of this kind of show, where all they do is basically string a load of old clips together, are the ones where there are no actual presenter(s). The main reason, for me anyway, being that whenever there is a presenter, there always seems to be the need for that person to make some kind of joke when introducing that next clip.

Personally, i blame Dennis Norden.
For those who don't know who he is, he used to present a program called "It'll Be Alright On The Night', way back when. This program was essentially a string of clips of tv presenters, actors etc making mistakes when filming and then swearing.
Sounds hilarious doesn't it?

I'll admit that when that program first aired, all those years ago, it was original and funny. But, as with all these shows, the joke soon started to wear a little thin.
For me, the main reason was that Dennis Norden used to try to be funny between the clips, when all you wanted is for the next selection of clips to start.

This "tradition" continues right up to the present day with such hosts as Bruce Forsyth and those on the "best of" shows. And, would you believe it, "It'll Be Alright On the Night" has been resurrected once again with a new host? Just to rub it in a bit!

Of course, these "best of" shows are easy to make and are also cheap programming for the respective tv stations. After all, all that is required is a producer to select the clips, an editor to put them all together and hey presto, you've got a show.
Then you just get the shows presenters to stay behind one day and record the links between the clips and read the script from an autocue. And don't forget to decorate the studio with some token Christmas decorations, to set the scene.
You don't even need a real audience, although some shows do go to this trouble.

So, i'm not expected them to go away anytime soon.

But, could we just leave out the "jokes" next time around please?

Friday 23 December 2011


I was listening to the radio this morning and happened to hear the song "Billion Dollar Babies" by Alice Cooper. A track that was released in 1973 and a song i vivdly remember from my school days.

Apart from transporting me back to those days, as music so often does. It also struck me that back then a billion was a huge and pretty much unimaginable number.

I have no doubt that when i first heard that song, i probably didn't know exactly what a billion actually was and had to look it up. I can even remember discussions as to what a billion really was. Was it a thousand million, or a million million?
Even a million was a pretty big number to a fresh faced 15 year old, so a billion was mind boggling!

Fast forward 38 years and a billion is a number that is so well known now that just about everybody could tell you what it means. We all seemed to settle on a thousand million as the definition of a billion by the way.
I realise that inflation means that a billion dollars is worth nowhere near as much as it was back in those heady days of 1973, but even so....

Since the banking crash of 2008, we have all grown used to hearing the word billions being bandied about, day after day, by the media and economic commentators. And not just a billion either, but hundreds of billions. So much so, that the word billion just doesn't have the same impact that it once did. Even a few years ago.
We have become numbed to just how much money these people are actually talking about. Which is a rather scary thought in its own way.

These days though, those same commentators now regularly talk about trillions. That's a thousand billion to you and me. Now, that is a huge number. But, how much longer will it be before we have to start thinking about a thousand trillion?
How many noughts is that? It makes my mind boggle just thinking about it.

And talking about noughts. I wonder when we will need to start writing down the number 1 followed by one hundred noughts? That's called a Googol (sic) by the way.

Now, where have i heard that word before?

Thursday 22 December 2011

Solar Power, Yes Please.

Over two years ago, on 15th October 2009 to be precise, i wrote a blog post all about climate change (Blog Action day 2009: Climate Change).
In that post i mentioned my feelings about solar power and the fact that here in the UK it seems to be the forgotten option when it comes to renewable power.

This topic has, once again, raised its head again over recent days.
Yesterday the High Court, here in the UK, ruled as unlawful a decision by the UK Government to change and reduce the subsidies on solar power. These are subsidies that are paid to the small consumer, typically a householder, to encourage solar power generation.

Meanwhile, two Parliamentary committees have also criticised the UK Government over the same issue.

Many commentators think that the Governments decision could sound the death knell for the production of solar panels in the UK, with the loss of many much needed jobs.
Apparently the reason behind the decision is that the installation of solar panels has proved far more popular than anyone predicted. Thereby, costing the Government more money in subsidies.

Whilst i do understand the Governments predicament, especially, in these testing economic times. Surely, we should be encouraging the use of solar power generation, not trying to put people off?
The fact that solar panels on private dwellings have been so popular shows that the general public want to install them. So, why not help them continue to fit them?

I have argued, to anyone who will listen, that we should be concentrating far more on solar power than on wind power to produce the nations renewable energy in the future.
The Government have pumped billions of pounds into wind turbines. Wind turbines that only work when there is a wind and, as we have seen recently, don't actually work that well when there is "too much wind".
Then there is the issue that, in many peoples opinion, wind turbines are a blot on the landscape. I actually quite like them myself, but do totally understand the objections. Solar panels, on the other hand, disturb nobody, make no noise and don't present a hazard to birds either.

I accept that the sun doesn't always shine here in the UK. But, ordinary daylight can still be used to generate solar energy, albeit not as much as on a sunny summers day.

So, for me, there is no issue here. Solar power should be encouraged.
The energy companies and the Government should be looking at ways of generating electricity through solar power and private householders should be encouraged to fit solar panels to their houses. This would then provide cheap natural power to the nation and help protect UK jobs as well.

But, putting on my cynical hat, i can see other reasons why wind power is usually put above solar power.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no plan by the big energy companies to use solar energy as a source of power generation. They all seem to be stuck with this fascination with huge wind turbine farms, both on land and at sea.
I do realise that for them to do this they would have to go down the route that other countries have taken and have solar panel "farms". I have seen this kind of thing in Spain. It takes land to do this and maybe that is the argument against it?

But, maybe another other reason is that wind turbines can't really be fitted to houses very easily?
Planning permission can be a real problem in this area. It can be with solar panels too, but they are nowhere near as visible, or ugly. Wind turbines, after all, are like an extension to a house, or building. Therefore requiring planning permission. Whereas, solar panels are fitted onto the house.

So, if you can't easily fit wind turbines to your house, but solar panels are easy to fit. Why would the energy companies want to encourage you to fit solar panels to your own house, helping you to generate your own electricity and therefore, reducing your need for the energy company in the first place?

If we were all able to afford and fit solar panels to our houses and buildings, we wouldn't need the energy companies at all would we? Or, at least, only for emergency power as a kind of back up.

Of course, the energy companies were created when the UK Government sold off and privatised the energy systems back in the 1980's. Which leads me to wonder, if we still had a Government owned energy system, would we still have this problem with renewable energy systems now?

I'd like to think that if we still had the old system we'd all be encouraged to fit solar panels and save ourselves some money. This way would also encourage householders to conserve energy. Because, if you're generating electricity yourself, you're bound to take more interest in how you use that energy.

This would, in turn, reduce the CO2 emissions of the UK, helping us meet our Kyoto and other targets.
It would also reduce our reliance on energy imported from abroad. Whether that be coal, gas from Russia and even electricity from France. We could not then be held to ransom by other countires and subject to their own price increases.
Surely, that can only be a good thing?

I suspect though, that this will not happen due to the power that the energy companies seem to have over the Government in the UK. They seem to be able to do whatever they want, with very little, or ineffectual Government interference.
All the time the status quo is maintained, the public will keep seeing their own energy bills rise far above the rate of inflation. As they have been doing over recent years.
The price of energy is now a major chunk of household expenditure. Something that never really used to be the case.

In my opinion, it doesn't need to be this way. Solar power needs and deserves to be encouraged and the ordinary householder needs to be given the means, at a sensible cost, to generate their own electricity.
But, what we need is a strong UK Government and some forward thinking to help provide the conditions for this to happen.

Power needs to be returned to the people.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

eBooks, Kindle And Me.

I have been meaning to talk about this topic for a while now & was reminded to do so by a tv program i watched last night.
If you get the chance, it is well worth viewing:

Wednesday 7 December 2011


A trip to London with ex work colleagues & all to take some photos.

Check out my Flickr account to see whati took on the day & have taken in the past:

Sunday 4 December 2011


Yesterday morning, on the radio, i heard a piece about how the current economic problems are affecting different people in the UK. A cross section of the community were asked about their own personal circumstances in these increasingly difficult times.

As we all are no doubt aware, especially here in the UK, this week has brought even worse news. The continuing concerns about the Euro currency and how that might affect us. The statement from the Governor of the Bank of England, saying that even he doesn't know what's going to happen and that things are pretty grim. As if we needed to be told that.
And then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, gave a statement in Parliament saying that things are worse then he thought they'd be and that the end is not in sight yet.
It was also announced that the state pension age is going to raise to 68 and, of course, we had the public sector strikes, over personal pensions.
So, not a good week!

During the course of that radio discussion two teenage girls, aged 17 and 18, were interviewed. When asked what they thought about George Osborne's statement this week and how it might affect them, they both admitted that they hadn't known who he was. One of them had even asked the other if he might be related to Sharon Osbourne, the wife of Ozzy!

While this produced some laughter amongst the other participants, it does pose a rather serious question. If, at this time of world wide economic crisis, two teenage girls don't even know the name of, arguably, the second most important politician in the UK. What hope is there?

I'm not blaming these particular teenage girls for their lack of knowledge, as i know that they are far from alone here. I have a 17 year old daughter myself and i have a feeling she wouldn't know who George Osborne was either.

Politics, even in these testing times, holds no interest for the young. In fact, politics seem to hold little interest for a fair proportion of the UK population, regardless of their age.
This situation is quite probably replicated across the world.

This apparent apathy about politics, especially amongst the young, is a big worry. After all, these are the people who will be voting for the first time at the next general election. They are the people who should be providing us with our next generation of politicians, both locally and nationally.

So, why this apathy?

I'm sure that some of it can be put down to those old favourites, "what can i do about anything anyway?", "my vote doesn't count?", "they are all as bad as each other" and "politicians don't care about people like me anyway, so why bother?"
Those concerns are age old ones and are still as relevant as they've always been. But, i'm sure that things are worse now than they used to be.

Politicans are now, more than ever, distrusted and seen as being hugely out of touch with the people that they govern. You only have to look at the recent scandal here in the UK about MP's expenses claims to see that.
The current UK goverment is run by multi-millionaires, from public schools, who insist that, "everybody is in this together", when it is patently obvious that they are not.

Money has also become a bigger factor in whether somebody can get elected in the first place in many, if not all countries. Running for office, or running a political party is a costly business and this has taken its toll and excluded many from being able to put their names onto the ballot paper in the first place. It also raises the potential for corruption and favours for those who donate, in the future.

Of course, the recent financial crisis and the bailing out of the banks has had a serious effect on the lack of confidence in politicians. The fact that the banks have been seen to have got away with their bad practices, seemingly, scott free and at the expense of the rest of us (the 99%) has hardly helped.
And then there is that small matter of those very same bankers still being allowed to pick up their large bonuses, while the politicians wring their hands and do nothing. Even though "we", the people, own a large proportion of many of those same banks, after rescuing them.
When were you last rewarded for doing a bad job? Exactly....

Another aspect is that all the mainstream political parties all seem pretty much the same. There really doesn't seem to be much to choose between any of them. The fact that we in the UK have a coalition government at the moment just reinforces that.
All the parties seem to be trying to appeal to the same voters. They have forgotten, or chosen to forget, the rest of us. All we ever hear about is "Middle England", whatever that means.

All of the above does mean that it is hardly surprising that the youth of today find politics unappealing. They feel angry, or at least see the anger of their parents. But, they also feel that they can do nothing about it. Except maybe riot, or occupy a small part of a city.

Politics used to be a worthy profession and one that many people aspired to. Thankfully, there are still some who, fortunately, try to carry that on. But, it is now a profession which has been tainted forever. People now seem to be attracted to it for all the wrong reasons, or are just not attracted to it at all.

I don't deny that being a politician is not an easy life, regardless of what some may think. It is hard work, if done properly and the increasing public scrutiny and constant media pressure can't be easy to bear. But, that is partly the result of that public distrust and past misdemeanours.

But, i do wonder if another reason politics has lost its shine over recent years and is not now such a valued career path, is because of the rise of the celebrity? After all, celebrities command more column inches in today's newspapers than many politicians, or world leaders.

Politicans themselves can often now be seen as celebrities. They've increasingly started to appear on reality shows and tv panel game shows. This usually happens towards the end of the particular persons political career i know, but....

So, if even the politicians see celebrity as a future career path, is it any wonder that the youth of today feel the same way and can't be bothered to find out, or care who is actually governing them?

Worrying, isn't it?

So, what can be done about this?
Personally, i can't see things changing any time soon. Well, not until the whole political set up changes. Or, until a completely new political party comes along to shake the foundations of the current system.
Until that time, we will be left with the same levels of distrust and dissatisfaction, with our politicians, that we have now.

Vive la revolution!

Wednesday 30 November 2011

I Did It.

Celebrating a month of uploading content every day.

Well done to all those who have completed their own challenge during November.

 DugalWest's poem:

Monday 28 November 2011

Sadness Is All Around.

I, like many people across the UK, was shocked to hear of the very sad death of the footballer Gary Speed on Sunday.
It appears from reports that, tragically, Gary Speed took his own life.

It took a while for this to sink in as i'd only seen him on BBC's live Football Focus show the previous lunchtime and he appeared to be his normal self. I had to check to make sure that it was actually the same person. Unfortunately, it was.

This news made me pose the question, how could a man that i'd seen, apparently full of life, decide to end that life, at the very young age of 42, just a few hours later?

A possible clue came from a blog post from another ex footballer, Stan Collymore. In this blog post, which was rather scarily written in the early hours of Saturday morning, Stan Collymore speaks about his own struggles with depression.
I have seen it suggested, although i have no way of verifying this, that depression may have been a factor in Gary Speed's death.

Thankfully, i have never knowingly had any contact with depression myself, or with anyone suffering from it. Therefore, i am completely unqualified to talk about it. You only have to read Stan Collymore's blog post to realise how outward appearences can be deceptive and also how misunderstood the condition can be.
So, i will leave that discussion to those who are far more qualified.

On the radio this morning though, during the sports report, they were talking about an annual sports book prize, that is being awarded today. Coincidently, one of the books shortlisted is a biography of the German footballer, Robert Enke, who also took his own life, due to depression, in 2009.
(Update: The book about Robert Enke, "A Life Too Short" by Ronald Reng, won the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award for 2011)

During the course of the conversation it was suggested that sad and tragic events might be easier to write about than happier ones. This was not meant, in any way, to lessen the nature of the stories. But, this reminded me of another discussion i had heard recently about a completely unrelated subject, music.

Some of the best and most effective music you will ever hear, is written around sad circumstances.
The Blues is called that for a very good reason and where would Country music be without sadness and loss? There is that often told joke about playing a Country song backwards and everything becoming right with the world once again.

So often, it is those songs about love, loss and sadness that affect us the most. Possibly because we can all relate to them at some level?
I'm sure that you can think of your own examples. But, i'll give you some of my own.

For example, The Smiths built a whole career around the often bleak lyrics written by Morrissey.
The singer/songwriter John Martyn, who had many issues of his own, often wrote songs about the sad side of life, until his own untimely death in 2009.
A personal favourite musician of mine, Nick Drake also took his own life because of depression, way back in 1974. Nick Drake even wrote a song called "Black Eyed Dog", which contains lyrics all about the so called 'Black Dog', an often used expression used to describe depression.
The song contains the words, "A black eyed dog he called at my door...... A black eyed door he knew my name".
And how can you leave off of this list, possibly the grandaddy of them all, Leonard Cohen?

Winston Churchill, often thought of as the greatest Briton that ever lived, suffered from depression himself and often referred to "his black dog". Here's a quote from Churchill which gives some insight to how he somtimes felt:
"I don't like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don't like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second's action would end everything. A few drops of desperation."

All of this just goes to show that there is often far more sadness in the world than we care to admit exists, or are even aware of.
Depression and sadness may well have inspired some of the greatest art and music in history. But, it may also mask, or hide something far sadder that it is lurking, just below the surface. Even in the most gifted, talented and outwardly confident people.

It sometimes takes the sad and tragic death of a well known and respected sportsman like Gary Speed, or Robert Enke to make us realise that.

NHS - Depression:
Depression Allaince:
Depression UK:
Black Dog Institute:

(I thought long and hard about whether to upload this blog post. As i didn't know whether it was right to link the recent death of a much loved sportsman, with the effect of sadness and depression on music. I would hate anybody to think that i am taking depression lightly. That is the furthest thing from my mind. Hopefully, i have made the correct choice?)

AudioBoo - What A Difference A Year Makes.

What A Difference A Year Makes. (mp3)

This time last year.....

Sunday 27 November 2011

The Modern Gig Going Experience.

A bit of a follow up to a recent blog post called 'Twitter & TV".
Here's a link to it:

There will be a further part to this discussion. I'll post it sometime in the next few days.

Saturday 26 November 2011

A Thoroughly Modern Experience.

The other day i had one of those thoroughly modern experiences.
I forgot the password for one of the myriad online accountts that i have.

Nothing strange about that i hear you cry and rightly so.
I'm sure it's something that has happened to the best of us. Especially in these days of spam, scams and those dodgy emails telling you that you've won lotteries that you've never entered, or even heard of.

You have to be increasing careful out there in the wild west of the Internet. And because of that we now have to have various passwords and usernames for all of those online accounts that have become such an essential part of our everyday lives.

If you're anything like me, you have accounts ranging across a wide spectrum of different interests and usergroups. We are frequently told and quite rightly too, that Internet security is a very serious subject and one that needs to be taken seriously.
I'm always reading accounts of people who have been taken in by the scammers, or who have just been plain stupid and used the same password for all of their accounts.
After all, it's hard work trying to keep track and note of all of those different passwords. Most Internet sites now offer a service which tells you how strong, or otherwise, your intended new password is. So, now you have to be increasingly inventive and start including numbers etc mix it all up.
So, how on earth are we all supposed to remember it all?

Of course, one solution is to keep all these passwords and usernames written down somewhere.
But, what then happens in the event of a burglary at your house? I'm guessing that one of the first things the modern day burglar searches for is that little notebook filled with all your valuable Internet information. Passwords, usernames etc. You just can't win can you?

I would suspect that it would be no exaggeration to say that i have around 100 different accounts of one kind, or another. Now, you may well think that that's a huge number. But, before you criticise, go and count up your own first. The figure may well surprise you.

I have many accounts that i probably no longer use and should really close. I have done that with a few. But, you know how it is? Good intentions and all that....

Also, due to my social networking activites, especially under my 'andymooseman' name. I have tended to sign up to several sites that i've had no real intention of actually ever using.
This may sound a little strange and probably is. But, the idea was to get in quick and grab my online username (andymooseman), just in case somebody else got in there first and grabbed it.
After all, you wouldn't want somebody else using your "name" would you. This could be viewed as being a bit egotistical. But, your Internet username becomes a kind of personal brand name, over time, and one that you will wish to try and protect. Just as any company would do.

I guess that this another one of those thoroughly modern things that you feel the need to do?
And, all those sites need a password, even if the username is already taken care of.

But, my recent predicament took this to a whole new and unexpected level.
I tried to sign into one of those sites that i'd not visited for a long time. Well, not long in Internet terms anyway.
As i mentioned earlier, i realised that i'd forgotten my password and didn't have it written down anywhere. I tried a few variations of other passwords that i've used before. That didn't work. So, i tried the "Forgot your password?" link that you see for just these occasions and then it dawned on me...
I couldn't remember which email address the account was under!

I still don't.
I asked them to send an email, including my password,  to several potential email addresses, but with no luck.

Over my time on the Internet i have had many email accounts and addresses. We've all changed ISP's over time i'm sure? I know i have and many times too. And each new ISP tends to come with a brand new email address. Ones which i have often used in the past.
Thankfully, at some time, i saw sense and signed up for a web based email account. Something for which i am now very grateful. Now, if only i'd done it a lot sooner.

So, be careful out there. They're all out to get you you know.
But, beware of those long lost and forgotten usernames, passwords and email accounts. They may just come back to haunt you in years to come.

Life was so much in the past wasn't it? Especially as a child.
If you forgot your name, all you had to do was to look inside your coat and read the name tag that your mother had sewn there.
How times change eh?

Friday 25 November 2011

Thursday 24 November 2011

Money, Money, Money?

Over the past couple of days, i have noticed quite a bit of talk in the media about people making money from online videos and especially from uploads to YouTube.
I have no idea whether this is a coincidence, or a consequence of people looking for alternative ways to make a little money in these challenging times?
Maybe, it's just a case of the mainstream media finally catching up with what many people have been doing for a number of years now? I suspect that it's a combination of the two.

I saw an article on the BBC last night about just this topic. They showcased the, now infamous, "Charlie Bit My Finger" YouTube video. This video is now the most watched online video of all time and has been watched a staggering 390 million times. Yes, that's 390 MILLION times!

Now, that's a pretty mind blowing figure and one that surprised even me, someone who has been making and uploading videos (over 700 of them) to YouTube for over 5 years now. But, it's one of those so called "viral videos" that get passed around between friends and work colleagues via emails, Tweets, Facebook links etc etc. It is also one of those videos that tends to get watched more than once. I know i've seen it several times and i suspect that you may well have done so as well?
But, that video is the exception rather than the rule.

In an interview with Charlie's family about the video, they talked about how they had managed to capitalise on its success and make some money from it. They admitted that they had made in excess of £100,000 from their videos on YouTube. Money which, according to their YouTube Channel is "going towards the boys future or treats we would not normally have bought".

Now, that may sound like a lot of money? It certainly did to my wife!
But, when you consider that the families many YouTube videos have been watched a total of over 502 million times, is it really?
I accept that we don't know how far above that £100,000 figure the family meant. But, even so....

One thing that always amazes me and was evident on the BBC program last night, is that so many people are still unaware that money can be made from uploading your videos to YouTube. Or, even how popular viral videos are and how many people make and upload their own videos. We all watch these videos online, or on our phones etc, but don't seem to think about it any further.

One other point always seems to be overlooked when talking about making money from YouTube videos. You have to be a YouTube "Partner" to get advertising onto your videos, or channel page. Without this advertising, no money is generated for you.
"Partnership" is still only available either by application, or invitation. I've no doubt though, that if a video of yours started getting huge viewing figures, that invite wouldn't be long coming.

I know of many YouTube video makers who do make what is sometimes a very good living from their videos. But, as with so many things, they got in early, saw a gap in the "market" and are very good at what they do.
These people also generate income from outside of YouTube. For example by having their own website, blogs etc that contain advertising, or even sponsorship. They often also sell related products, such as t.shirts, mugs etc.

This is not a part time, or spare time occupation, this becomes a full time job. These video makers are passionate and knowledgeable about what they do and what they create. They are often artistic people for whom sites like YouTube are a great way for them to showcase their, undeniable, talent. Those people that the world of big media have passed by.
Some of them even end up getting signed up by those same big media companies. Those media companies now use sites such as YouTube as a kind of online casting couch, or talent show. They spot what is popular and think of ways to transfer that to more traditional media outlets.
Unfortunately, due to the wild west nature of the Internet, this transfer does not always have a happy outcome, or ending. There is quite often a very good reason why certain content is on the Internet and not on regular TV.

Yes, there are money making possibilites out there for those with the talent, original ideas, dedication and luck required to make those, hopefully, viral videos. But, just be prepared to be outshone by a cute cat, a sneezing panda, or a baby biting his little brothers finger.

One thing that all of those last examples have in common, is that they're all natural events, or accidents and are not actually anything creative. Although, this doesn't stop people trying to "fake" these kind of events. Don't worry though, those videos are usually spotted early on. So, don't bother trying.

So, as my wife suggested yesterday, maybe the best things to do is do trawl through that all old video footage that you have of your childrens early years, in the hope that there is something funny and unusual going on?

See you on YouTube.

PS: Although i've been on YouTube for over five years, have made over 700 videos, which have been watched over 245,000 times and have been a YouTube Partner for a few years now. I have only ever made a very small amount of money.
Maybe i should go out and buy a cute kitten?

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Five Star Blog?

Yesterday, i had a debate, via Twitter, about 5 star album reviews.

It all started when i happened to Tweet about an album review i had read the previous day. The reviewer had given the album in question a 5 star review. 5 stars being the maximum amount and therefore the highest accolade that that reviewer could bestow on an album.

Nothing wrong with that. After all, we see 5 star reviews, or their equivalent, all the time and i'm sure many of them are fully deserved. But, my problem came with the fact that the reviewer had suggested that 2 of the tracks on the album in question weren't actually that good and should, to use the reviewers own words, "be skipped".

Now, my question and the one that i posed on Twitter was. If there are 2 tracks on an album that the reviewer feels aren't that good, how can they then give the album the maximum amount of stars? Surely the album should only get, at the most, 4 stars?

I've always felt, possibly naively, that if an album got the maximum amount of stars, the reviewer must have felt that it was, in their view, perfect and couldn't really be improved upon. After all, if an album is not perfect, what sort of accolade could you give a perfect album when you've run out of stars?

This could, of course, apply to anything that is being reviewed. Whether it be books, movies, tv programs etc etc.

One other point i made was that i sometimes feel that certain reviewers have made up their mind about the number of stars to give an album, before they've even heard it. Some artists seem to get 5 star reviews regardless. You already know how many stars the album is going to get without even looking. The artist in question is, in my opinion, one of those. That's not a criticism of the artist, just an observation.
But, this probably a another topic for another day.

After posing my original question, one of my followers on Twitter answered: "If an Album has 12-15 tracks and 10 of them are masterpieces, you wouldn't give it a 5 star rating?"
A fair enough question and one that i answered with: "No I wouldn't. I'd probably give it 4 stars & question why they put those "filler" tracks on there".
My friend then came back with: "Even the greatest albums didn't have all perfect tracks, would you give 4 stars to Abbey Road (by The Beatles)?"
My answer was: "Good point and good album, but how about Maxwells Silver Hammer and Octopus's Garden (Both of which are on Abbey Road)?".
We continued, Friend: "The importance of an album is not in the in ideal track, it's in the music and the message and what it inspires".
Me: "Can't really disagree with that and it's all down to personal choice after all. But is it a 5 star album if you don't like all tracks?".

I do see my friends point of view and i expect that many others would agree with him. But, i'm sure we can all think of examples of favourite albums of ours, by our favourite bands that have, at least, one duff track on them.
Now, if you came to have to review that same album, how many stars would you give it? Honestly?
My guess is that many people would give that album a 5 star review. But, if you always skip "that" track, should you?

The Beatles are a good case in point and were mentioned in that original Twitter conversation.
The Beatles are and always will be, one of my favourite bands and their albums are amongst my favourites. But, even the most ardent Beatles fans will admit that there are usually "filler" tracks on their albums. I mentioned "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and "Octopus's Garden" from Abbey Road. But, what of "Yellow Submarine" from Revolver, or "When I'm Sixty Four" from Sgt Pepper?
Other examples are available and not just from The Beatles either.

I have many albums on which i love every single track. Albums with, in my opinion, no fillers, or duff tracks. I'll name just two examples that spring to mind:
Sex Pistols - 'Never Mind The Bollocks' and
Supertramp - 'Crime Of The Century'.
Those choices also give you some idea of my eclectic musical tastes!

So, i guess the question is. Should those favourite albums be rated higher, by me, than albums on which there are those filler tracks? Especially if, as an overall body of work,  i actually prefer the albums with the filler tracks?

Oh dear, what have i started?
Maybe, as i suggested to my Twitter friend. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference? After all, when it comes to music and anything artistic for that matter, taste is very much a personal thing and one persons masterpiece, is another persons worst nightmare.


PS: As it happens, this morning, i read a review of the "new" Amy Winehouse album.
It features demos etc that she was working on before she, sadly, died recently.
I was fully expecting this album to get the usual 5 star review. But, the reviewer was very fair and gave the album 3 stars. Because of what he felt were substandard tracks.
See, it can happen....

Monday 21 November 2011

AudioBoo - Alan Turing Lived Near Me.

Alan Turing Lived Near Me. (mp3)

Talking about Alan Turing, who lived some of his early life near my house.
The tv prog i mention is on Channel 4, in the UK, at 9pm this evening, 21st November.

Friday 18 November 2011

Thursday 17 November 2011

AudioBoo - Walking The Tunnel.

Walking The Tunnel. (mp3)

Another AudioBoo inspired by something i heard on the radio this morning.
Talking about my experience of working in and working in an Underground tunnel in London.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

AudioBoo - It's That Time....

It"s That Time.... (mp3)

'Tis the time to start preparing for and thinking about Christmas. Whether we want to, or not.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Vote For Me, I Don't Know What I'm Talking About.

Listening, as i normally do, to the Today program on Radio 4 this morning, i caught an item on Herman Cain, the prospective U.S Presidential candidate.

The item was about how Mr Cain had had difficulty talking about President Obama's recent policy on Libya, when asked by interviewers.
You can read about it and see a video here.
If you can't be bothered to wade through that, the main talking point was that Mr Cain had pretty obviously no idea what he was talking about.
He fumbled and fudged his way through the questions. He couldn't talk about any specifics concerning the questions he was asked. He even had to question the interviewers to make sure in his mind that they were talking about the same topic.

Here's a quote from when Mr Cain was asked if he supported President Obama's actions on Libya.
Cain: "President Obama supported the uprising? Correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before i say 'yes i agree', or 'no i don't agree'.
He then went on to say: "I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons - no, that's a different one"

It is obvious that this man, who don't forget wants to become the President and Commander In Chief of the most powerful country in the world, doesn't have a clue about a very important topic of recent U.S foreign policy.
I, for one, find this to be rather scary and also extremely worrying.
If you don't know about the important topics of recent foreign policy, what hope is there that you know anything about any of the smaller, but equally important, issues that affect your country and possibly the rest of the world?

This interview comes hot on the heals of another prospective U.S Presidential candidate, Rick Perry, not being able to name the three main agencies of the U.S Government in a televised debate.
See the video here.

All this is very funny to look at, especially from over here in the UK. But, as i said earlier, this is frightening stuff. In little over a years time, one of these men could be President of the USA!

It is, of course, quite possible that Cain and Perry may well have had their campaigns seriously damamged by these huge gaffes and quite rightly so. It's also quite probable that they will give up, if not now, then fairly soon.

But, this does beg the question, why did they think that they were qualified enough to run for President in the first place and also, why did people feel that they were good enough to do so and then support and give substantial amounts of money to them?

I realise that these two men might not be representative of all the candidates and i sure hope that there are better men still left in the race. But, it does make you wonder about the quality of political candidates and not just in the USA either. We see examples like this across the world.
Maybe, in the end, we get the candidates and politicians that we deserve?

The whole political system seems to be weighted heavily in favour of the well healed, well connected and well educated. It's almost a throwback to times past where only the Lords of the manor etc were allowed into Parliament/Government and the ordinary folk were kept out.

So, we end up getting political candidates who may have money and connections, but who have no real knowledge. Candidates like Herman Cain, who rely on advisors to tell them what to think and say. So much so, that when they're asked a question that they haven't been briefed on, they can't answer it.

Personally, i'd rather have a politician who knows their own mind, says what they really think and actually knows what they are talking about. Even if i don't happen to agree with what they say.

I'd vote for that.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Britain In A Day - The Footage.

Here is the rather random footage that i shot & will submit to the Britain In A Day project.

It's just random stuff from my day & yes, i am aware that the day technically starts at one second past midnight. But, i didn't think of that until it was too late.

Here are a couple of links to the project:
YouTube -

Saturday 12 November 2011

Friday 11 November 2011


Today is 11/11/11. Unless, of course, you are in the USA, where it's 11/11/11.

Sorry, but i just couldn't resist that. But, that is the whole point of this post.
Just why is there a difference in the way that those in the USA and, at least, us here in the UK write dates?

I have found this difference a source of confusion and even irritation, for a number of years now. Especially when travelling in the USA itself. The increasing influence of the Internet and it's U.S centric nature has only made this worse.

I think this anomaly really came to most peoples attention after, what is universally referred to as '9/11'. The terrorist attacks on America that took place on 11th September 2001.
When somebody in the UK sees that date written down, we automatically think of 9th November.
I totally understand why '9/11' is written as it is. After all the attacks took place is the USA and that date and the way it is written has now become seared to the memory of us all. But, this is an example of the potential confusion that can be caused.

For me, the way that dates are written down in the USA defies logic.
Why on earth would you put the month first and not the actual day? For me this is just confusing. As i'm sure it is for many non Americans.
Surely, the day should come first, because the day changes, well, daily. Whereas the month only changes every 28 to 31 days and as for the year...... well, i think you can guess the rest?

I have been wracking my brain for other similar examples of the way that important numbers are written down "wrongly". I can't think of any, but i did come up with time and the way that that is written down.

Time is also, usually, written in the "wrong" order. For example, we tend to put the hour first, then the minutes, then the seconds. Just look at a digital clock to see what i mean.
Although this goes against the reasoning that i suggested earlier, it does make sense and is logical. The sequence is just written in reverse order to the way that dates are written, in the UK that is. The number that changes the most is written last, instead of first.

Are you still with me?

For me at least, the time example just "proves" that the way that the USA write dates is illogical.
I'm not criticising the USA in any way, what they do is up to them, of course. I'm just asking the question.
So, can anyone explain to me why this is done and when it started?

One concern, for me anyway, is that the continued influence of the USA might mean that the U.S date system may start to creep into more general use. I'll admit that i would not be at all happy if that were to happen.

But, for today at least, we can all enjoy having a Universal date system.
And, it's an auspicious day all round, as it's also a binary day, Remembrance Day and Nigel Tufnell day (For all those Spinal Tap fans amongst you)

So, let's turn today up to 11 and enjoy it while we can.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Vinyl Junkie - Part 9.

The latest part in a series of videos that i made in 2009.
Trawling through a newly discovered part of my 45 rpm singkes collection.

Here's a link to the rest of the Vinyl Junkie series:

Monday 7 November 2011

AudioBoo - A Corporate Olympics?

A Corporate Olympics? (mp3)

Just talking about the upcoming Olympic games in London, in 2012. Is the corporate side taking over from the orignal ideals of the Olympics?
Have checked & the "Presenting Partners" of the Olympic Torch Relay 2012 are Coca-Cola, Lloyd TSB & Samsung.

Sunday 6 November 2011

Twitter And TV.

Last night, things finally came to a head.

What am i talking about? Well, here goes....

Why do some people insist on Tweeting about every single thing that happens in certain TV programs?
There, i said it!

I'm sure that this is a recent phenomenon, certainly here in the UK anyway?
Yes, i know that people have been Tweeting about TV progs, probably since Twitter was invented. But, not with the frequency that seems to have crept in recently.

In the UK, two programs seem to produce the biggest amount of related tweets. On a Saturday & Sunday evening we have the X-Factor and on a Sunday evening, following the X-Factor, we have Downton Abbey.
These two programs do have some of the biggest viewing figures. But, i'm not sure that that alone explains the amount of related tweets. And, yes, the X-Factor does encourage audience participation through voting. But, i don't think this explains it all either.

I'll admit that i have sometimes felt the need to post the odd Tweet during tv programs myself. But, the volume of Tweets during the above mentioned progs has to be seen to be believed sometimes. Some people are Tweeting, literally, every minute.

What i'd like to know is that if these people are spending so much time writing and posting Tweets, how much of the actual program are they seeing? And, if you're taking the time to watch a tv program in the first place, why not watch it instead of looking down at your phone, iPad, laptop etc?
Another aspect that intriques me is how many of the Tweets are not very complimentary about the program being watched. If you don't like the program, why on earth are you watching it?

I remember a time when the Internet was considered to be something of an escape, or even an alternative to tv. In many ways that is how i still view it. But, it's obvious that, for an increasing number of people, that is not now the case. The two worlds are combining and overlapping. Colliding even.
Of course, the situation is made all the worse when the tv programs being Tweeted about are ones that you have no interest in yourself.

Over the past few weekends i have often found myself turning off Twitter when these two tv progs are on. But, by doing that, i am then denying myself everything else that is going on in the Twittersphere.
Why should i do that?
So, i have now felt the need to take some drastic action and last night i 'Un-followed" two of the worst TV Tweeting offenders. Maybe it's my fault for following certain people in the first place? But, as with many things in life, you don't always know what you're letting yourself in for when you sign up!

Maybe the situation will get better when those two particular tv progs finish their run? But, i have a feeling that's not going to happen. Another show will, most probably, come along and grab the attention of the TV Tweeters.

I guess i'll just have to keep my finger poised over that "Un-follow" button for a while longer yet?

Thursday 3 November 2011

Life In A Day.

On Saturday, 24th July 2010, myself and approx 80,000 other people, from across the world, took part in a very special project.
It was called Life In A Day and the project was all collated via YouTube, the video sharing website.
Many of you will already know that i have been making and posting videos onto YouTube for over 5 years now. So, when this idea was first announced, i knew that i had to take part.

The whole idea behind the Life In A Day project was for ordinary people to film themselves, or what they were doing, however mundane, on that particular day.
In total over 80,000 people took part, submitting over 4,500 hours worth of video footage. This was then edited down and made into a feature length film directed by Kevin Macdonald (Last King Of Scotland, Touching The Void) and produced by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Thelma And Louise).
The result was the worlds first crowd-sourced documentary. Something i was very pleased and proud to have played a very small part in.

Well, as i suspected, my own footage ended up on the cutting room floor. But, what did make it past the editors was some truly great video footage, all of which was then put together to make a really heartwarming 90 minute movie.

Although Life In A Day did get a cinema release, i don't think it was ever seen by many viewers. But, never fear, because the movie is being shown tonight, Thursday 3rd November, on British tv.
At 9pm this evening, Life In A Day is on the BBC2 and BBC HD channels. I've been lucky enough to see the movie, via a special screening on YouTube for contributers and can highly recommend it.

For those who cannot see it tonight, or who would like to see it again, Life In A Day can be seen on YouTube and the movie will also be available on DVD shortly.

But, that isn't the end of the story.
If you live in the UK, you can now take part in our very own version. It's called Britain In A Day and takes place on Saturday, 12th November. Although this is also being done via YouTube, where you will have to upload your own video footage. The resulting documentary will be screened by the BBC in 2012.

So, if you've got a video camera, or any device with video making potential, why not get involved?
I know we all tend to think that we lead mundane and ordinary lives, but that doesn't matter. That is a part of life and needs and deserves to be documented just as much as something special does. Of course, if you are doing something special on 12th November, you can film that too.

Just watch Life In A Day and see what the people of the world were doing on 24th, July 2010. You may well be amazed, surprised and even moved by what you see and hopefully, you'll also be inspired to get involved yourself.
Who knows, you just might end up seeing yourself on the BBC?

Happy filming.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

What Are You Doing This November?

Well, the nights are drawing in, the clocks have gone back and all pretence of Summer has disappeared down to the southern hemisphere.
November has well and truly arrived.

So, what are you planning to do this November?
A quick trawl around the Internet can give you some very interesting ideas and suggestions:
1 - Movember Why not grow a moustache and help support mens' health? I've heard this mentioned on a radio station that i listen to, where the male DJ's are all supporting this worthy cause and growing moustache's during November.
2 - NaNoWriMo National Novel Writing Month. Although i think this is primarily something that happens in the USA, i know of people in the UK who are taking part. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel during November. In 2010 there were over 200,000 known participants! That's pretty impressive.
3 - NaPodPoMo National Podcast Post Month. As above, but the challenge being to record and post a podcast for every day of November. This is in its 5th year in 2011.

These are just some of the ideas around and i'm sure there are plenty more where they came from.
I know that these kind of challenges happen throughout the year. But, November seems to be the month when more come together than at any other time. So, why might that be?
My own theory would be that, as i said at the beginning of this post, the clocks have changed, the nights are drawing in and the outdoor life just isn't as attractive as during other warmer months.
There is also a little bit of a lull between the festivities of Halloween and the coming of the festive season. (I refuse to use the "C" word this early on in the year, unlike some others)

Whatever the reason, it's always good to challenge yourself in some way and the ideas above are all good and productive ways of doing so.

I have participated in challenges of this type before, although not for a whole month. This has been on YouTube, where various people in the past have challenged video makers to make videos every day for a certain length of time, usually a week.
Although i have always enjoyed this kind of challenge, i have never taken them very seriously. Partly because i've always viewed video making as a bit of fun and don't like to think of it as work, of any kind.
Maybe this is why i've never taken part in NaNoWriMo, or NaPodPoMo and frankly i'm really not sure a moustache is a good idea for me!

But, this November i've decided to at least try and do my own version of the above challenges. I do promise that no moustache will be grown, in the interests of public decency.
Being me though, i intend to do it my way and try and produce some form of content for every day of November. This might be a blog post here, a video on YouTube, a podcast on AudioBoo, or even a blog post for a private forum i'm involved with. Except for the private forum content, all will be posted here in some form.

But, also being me, i reserve the right to miss days, or just give up at any time i choose.
Well, why change the habit of a lifetime eh?

Tuesday 1 November 2011

The Digital Long Tail.

Like many people interested in music business in the UK, i listened to the lecture given by Pete Towshend, of The Who, yesterday. It has certainly caused a bit of a fuss in the media, with its seeming attack on Apple, iTunes and digital music services.

Whilst i do tend to agree with Pete Townshend on his views about modern record companies and the idea that digital music providers could and maybe should do more to help new music. It made me think of another aspect of this.

Pete Townshend himself referred to the idea of the Long Tail in his lecture. But, i'm not sure he thought that digital music provision and the Long Tail idea could actually help provide some much needed income for musicians in the future?

In the traditional music business, albums were recorded and then released by record companies on vinyl, or more recently on CD. This meant that the CD's etc had to be physically produced, packaged, packed and then distributed to record shops, or outlets across the world. This, as you can imagine, is a costly business and the distribution companies would take a cut of the cost price for their services.

When a group split up, or stopped recording, there would usually come a time, especially for lesser known artists, when those original recordings would be deleted from the record company catalogue and would therefore be no longer available to any potential customer. Either via the record company themselves, or in record stores.

How often have you discovered a band, or artist, only to find out that they're no longer around and their CD no longer available?
This happened to me only the other day. The band in question, The Aeroplanes released their one and only album, 'Black Hearts And Maladies', back  in 2008. Unfortunately, the band split up in 2010. Meaning that i never got the chance to see them live, except on YouTube. A fact that ties in very nicely with the whole point of this blog post.

How i found them is another story. But when i went to try and buy that album, the only place i could buy it was, rather ironically, on iTunes. The physical CD couldn't be found anywhere, except secondhand. It's possibly that with a lot of searching i may have come across it, but who does that kind of thing these days eh?

So, and i'm sure you're ahead of me here, in the old days i wouldn't have been able to listen to, watch, or buy The Aeroplanes music. The digital revolution has enabled me to buy the music and give a little bit of money to the songwriters and members of that band. Money they would not have got otherwise.
It may well only be a small amount of money. But, that is exactly the whole idea behind the Long Tail theory. Small amounts add up to something bigger.
Especially, as that money would not have been forthcoming in the pre-Internet age.

I'm not suggesting that the Internet and digital music in general is good for everybody, because is quite obviously isn't. But, for The Aeroplanes at least, it has helped them to gain one new fan, some much needed royalties and it's also given me a favourite new band.

Sounds good to me.

Monday 31 October 2011

The Work Family

Another video inspired by a Twitter conversation.
How on earth did we ever manage before?

In case you didn't see it, here's a link to the video i mentioned:

Sunday 23 October 2011

Who Am I To Judge?

I've just sat down at my computer and watched a DVD of The Who live at Charlton football ground, way back in 1974.

That was at about the time that i started going to gigs myself (I was 16 in 1974). I realise that it was, quite obviously, a whole different world back then. Both, in the world of gigs and the world in general.
But, what struck me the most about this gig footage was just how chaotic it was on stage.

Let's not forget that, at that time, The Who were one of the biggest bands on the planet and that gig at Charlton was a very big deal indeed. In fact, during the gig, Pete Townshend comments that that was probably the biggest crowd they'd played to since Woodstock!
Stadium gigs back then were very rare. Unlike today when they seem to be ten a penny.

So, seeing how haphazard it all was came as a bit of shock, even to me. I saw The Who, at Charlton once again, only a couple of years later and remember it as being a very good gig indeed. I wonder now if i was badly mistaken?

The 1974 DVD, filmed by the BBC i believe, showed Keith Moon's drum kit being subject to running repairs throughout the show. Cymbal stands were taken away and brought back again. Roadies were fixing various drums as the show progressed. And this doesn't even take into account Keith Moon himself throwing drumsticks way up into the air and then not catching them on their way back down again. Or, just losing sticks and scrambling for a replacement.
Pete Townshend is seen frequently talking to somebody at the side of the stage trying to get the sound adjusted. Roger Daltrey's microphone has to be replaced. The list goes on.

I just can't imagine this kind of thing happening in quite the same way today. Gigs today, especially stadium gigs like that, are run with military precision. I'm sure things do go wrong, that's to be expected. But, i doubt they go so wrong so publically.
Of course having a birds eye view helps you spot the errors and i expect what i saw was edited (although that could make it worse!), but even so....

The other aspect that really shocked me was the actual quality of the bands performance.
I'm a fan of The Who and they have written some of my favourite songs of all time. But, it must be said, that this was a pretty bad gig. Although the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Don't they always?

The band seemed under rehearsed and, at times, seemed to be making it up as they went along, or jamming. For example, some songs ended in a very haphazard fashion, almost petering out.

Keith Moon came in too early on Baba O'Riley. Pete Townshend was all over the place throughout the gig and appeared "tired and emotional". Roger Daltrey seemed to be wondering what was going on some of the time and stood with his back to the audience for a fair amount of the gig because of this. The band also seemed to go out of time on more than one occasion. The whole atmosphere on stage seemed a little strained at times too.
There was also hardly any talking to the crowd, especially from Roger Daltrey. Just a few random ramblings from Pete Townshend.
To be honest, i was half expecting the whole gig to disintegrate before my eyes.

All this seems a far cry from what a modern crowd would expect at a prestigious gig like this today. Maybe this is just the way things were in those days? Maybe i just notice these things more now? Maybe that's what The Who were always like? I doubt it somehow.
I''ve seen many films and DVDs, albeit usually official ones, of gigs from those heady days and have never seen a performance like this.
In my experience, bands have always prided themselves on putting on a good performance for their fans. Possibly, even more so back then when the music seemed to be more important than making money?

I can't imagine a band these days being able to last very long if they put on a performance like this one. Any band today has to be able to be good live. That's partly due to the amount of good bands around. You need to be able stand out from the crowd. Then again, if you're big enough, maybe you can get away with it?

Maybe things were just different back then? Or, maybe, some things never change?
If you pay a lot of money to see your own favourite band, you are always going to enjoy it, aren't you? No matter what.
Maybe, we just all analyse things too much nowadays and forget about just letting ourselves go and enjoying ourselves?
Who knows and who am i to judge?

Arivmia - Echoes In The Wilderness

Another piece of rehearsal footage from Arivmia, the local band that i am currently managing.
This time playing new track "Echoes In The Wilderness".

Sorry if the sound quality isn't quite up to scratch.
Once again, i filmed this & edited this video.

Arivmia - Event Horizon

I thought i'd share this with you, as this is some rehearsal footage of the local band that i am managing. I've talked about Arivmia in previous videos, so maybe now is the time for you to see and hear what they are actually like.
Another reason for sharing it is that i filmed and edited this.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Where Have All The Apples Gone?

The title says it all really.


It was 20 years ago this month.

Nirvana, 'Nevermind' & why that album doesn't speak to me in quite the same way as it does to others.
And other related thoughts.

Tuesday 20 September 2011


Would you?
Movies, books, bands & music.

Here's a link to the website i mentioned:

I've just found out that the website was started by a fellow YouTuber & here's his video explaining it all:

Friday 2 September 2011

Five Years (My Brain Hurts A Lot)

It's been 5 years since i joined YouTube & posted my first video.
Where have those 5 years taken me?

I knew this would end up being a long video!

Thanks for watching.

Friday 26 August 2011

A Holiday In Spain Pt 2.

In which my son makes a guest appearance.

Sometimes coming home isn't quite so bad.

The day after i filmed this video iwas given an opportunity to do exactly what i was talking about wanting to do. it's an offer i can't refuse.

Thursday 25 August 2011

A Holiday In Spain Pt 1.

I've just got back from another great holiday in Spain.
Whilst there i recorded two videos. This is the first one. Hopefully, it gives you a flavour of what i had to endure ;)
I will be posting some photos on my Facebook & Flickr pages in due course.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Amy Winehouse, Twitter and the 27 Club.

I missed out Brian Jones from my list of people who died at 27. I also included Keith Moon who actually died at age 32. Oops.
That's what you get for making it up as you go along.

The 27 Club:

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Andy and Steve go to Bristol

Well, i went to Bristol, Steve already lives there.

After my meet up with Steve:( in Bath last year, we decided to do it all agin. But, this time in Steve's hometown of Bristol.
Eventually, i remember to record some video on my iPhone.

Sorry about any traffic noise & the slightly dodgy camera angle. But, you didn't really want to see very much of Steve anyway, did you?

ARIVMIA Go To Guilfest

Following on from my previous video. Here is a behind the scenes look at my day at Guilfest with the band ARIVMIA.

The sound is muted during the live shots due to mic distortion!

Check the band out here:
Facebook -
Reverb Nation -

This video was made especially for the bands Facebook page.

Friday 15 July 2011