The Boys Brigade

When I was about 10 I had a number of friends at a different school and many of them were members of the Boys’ Brigade. One day one of my best friends, Andy Macleod, persuaded me to come along to the band practice where a bunch of people got together to play drums and bugles and march around the place. I loved it. They were a really good group of people and it was good fun. After I turned up a few times it was suggested to me that, really, if I wanted to keep coming, I ought to actually join the Boys Brigade. Continue reading

Tuition Fees

Well there has been a lot of talk about possible increases in university tuition fees recently, with the newly elected (!) coalition government considering lifting the cap on the charges that universities are allowed to make.

As someone who went through university in Scotland when there the tuition fees were covered by the government for domestic students I thought I’d publish some of my thoughts on the matter. Continue reading

Vote For Change?

Well, it’s the day before the 2010 General Election in the UK, and I thought I’d pop up and air my views in public for the last time before the event.

I wrote a nice long note on Facebook the other day about it but, when I pressed the “Submit” button, it said I had to log in and then the text disappeared – what a bitch!

So – who shall I vote for? Continue reading


As you may know, I’m in a band called Tamakaze. We’ve been together for about 2 years now and playing the odd gig around about. We’ve played in various towns and cities around the Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire area, and a couple of gig in Newport.

We generally try to achieve something a little bit different in what we do and, as far as I can tell, it’s not that easy to ‘pigeonhole’ us as being of a particular style. Sometimes this takes a lot of effort, and there are loads of ideas we’ve gone through and decided that they don’t really work so they get abandoned. Continue reading

UK Christmas Number 1 2009 – Rage Against The Machine

Anyone who’s been my ‘friend’ on Facebook for a while may have seen my almost annual rant about the X Factor. Right since it began I’ve seen it as an overblown karaoke competition, with the winners being generally fairly average (at best) performers whose success relies on the massive hype of the X Factor, and the huge financial backing of SyCo/Sony Music. Not only that, but it’s always struck me as a cynical attempt by Simon Cowell to control who gets to number 1 at Christmas time in the UK. Continue reading

Are people really that stupid #1?

Sometimes I wonder at the stupidity of people. In this case it’s in relation to eBay. I’ve been looking for a Behringer FBQ1502, 15 band graphic equaliser with feedback detection. What with the UK <> EU exchange rate fluctuations recently, the prices have gone up a bit, but quite a few have gone on eBay for around £35 recently.

This morning though, one I was watching, went for £75.50 with £10 postage, so £85.50. It was a used item from a private seller with no returns listed (and also not subject to the Distance Selling Regulations, which allow you to change your mind within 7 days). Continue reading

Wear Gloves

Once upon a time I rode a motorbike (a Honda CBR600) all the way from Southampton to Portsmouth without any gloves on. It was a nice summer day in 1993, and I only had winter gloves then, and all that happened was my hands got a little sunburnt.

I have, since then, realised what a very stupid thing that was to do. Continue reading