Thursday, 21 May 2015

Post Election Blues, Vic Godard & Subway Sect News & Updates (inc new song & L&R Vol 3 'VICLEKA'),Videos/Pics from Brum & Oxford,SOYS Film 'Big Gold Dream', 2000 Guineas,Newmarket, Horsetail, Moomins, Sansend,Corybants, Gallipoli, Pics,Videos-Gil Scott-Heron,Lighthouse Family & more

'Sunset with Rear View Mirror' 1st May 2015 near Kennett Suffolk

I can't ignore it, have to address it, however I want to get it over quickly. I am still bemused and still cannot fathom it, how on earth did we manage to elect the toffs for another five years??? The Cons didn't have to do anything, Labour botched their chances looking like Con-Lite and lost political control of Scotland to the SNP without a scrap let alone a full blown fight. Mind you I don't fancy any politician's chances going head to head with Nicola Sturgeon, she pretty much won Scotland for the SNP single handedly, inspiring indeed. The Lib-Dem-Cons reaped the whirlwind of their Faustian pacts (hello Mr Cable or rather goodbye and good riddance). The only small consolation on election night was the look on Faraage Man's face when he on realised that he had failed to get elected...........again. His loss, despite being a Con win, also cheered me up as it demonstrated once and for all that if he couldn't get elected then his party is a spent force, sorry got that wrong, it never was a force in the first place, it was a passing wind of protest, in spite of the media's attempts to portray it as a viable political party.

I won't be supporting any electoral change to proportional representation, if we had this system we'd now be stuck with something like 50+ Faraage MPs and yet their support is centred in what is referred to as 'hot spots' and does not spread evenly over the UK. It strikes me they are the same areas that are ignored when it comes to encouraging investment and dishing out funds for regeneration, just thinking there could be a correlation. I think for PR to work you need a near 100% turn out and all demographics can but dream.
PS I know we would also have about 50+ Green MPs if we had PR however that doesn't convince me in itself that PR is a good idea. 
It's a Mad World.

Anyway we don't have to lie down and take what ever is thrown at us, on the other hand that could be an idea, everyone come out on to the street en masse and lie down. Flippancy aside we have a proud history in the UK of protesting to demand and protect rights 
and nothing stopping us continuing, you can show your disgust and contempt for any attempt to repeal the fox hunting ban by signing this petition: 
And there are all sorts of activities going on all over the country including - Saturday 20th June - London
National Demo - End Austerity Now 

                                                The Revolution Will Not be Televised


 Sorry that wasn't that quick, on to pleasanter subjects-

We had a couple of days away round and about Newmarket, Suffolk for the Guineas meeting.
Of course we got lost on the way, in a very small area, very close to our destination, Arran House Stud, Kennett, once again ignoring the directions I'd written as wholly implausible in practise. We stopped the only person we saw where it was safe to pull over and asked if he knew the way to Arran House Stud. Now, admittedly he did look like he'd enjoyed a long liquid  lunch however he took us by surprise when he looked at us incredulously and replied “You’re way, way off course, you’re near Suffolk.....England” So we did the sensible thing and phoned Arran House and the directions were right. Lesson learned? You sometimes have to go in what appears to be the wrong direction to go in the right direction.  
Arran House Stud B & B Kennett Suffolk (very close to Newmarket)
I liked it here. A warm welcome awaits you at this gem of a B+B in the village of Kennett, just outside Newmarket, and it's well nigh perfect if you are interested in horses, racing, birds (wonderful display at dusk of the house martins nesting in the stables) and  dogs, two very friendly and one slightly more human wary so more effort needed to win over, they are kept out of guest areas for those not so keen on mixing). We had a large en suite room overlooking the stables, it's up to you when you have your individually cooked breakfast, if that's what you have chosen, there is also a full selection of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, juices, tea and fresh coffee. The very yellow yolked eggs come courtesy of the hens out the back. Nearly forgot there is an indoor  swimming pool as well.
Ignore recommendations at your peril! 
Our host at AH recommended one of the two pubs in the village of Kennett that serve food to have dinner in, The Bell Inn 
 .......However, we didn't get to try it as Vic and I were starving and it was the other one that started serving first at 6.30pm. I don't like using the words should or but, but we really should have waited the extra half hour. Apart from anything else it took those thirty minutes to get our starters of asparagus and fried calamari to the table. The calamari was the most disgusting thing I have tasted since I inadvertently took a bite of and swallowed some practically raw liver (I got the translation wrong and it didn't look liver coloured having only been shown the shadow of a flame before serving). To say I detest liver is a gross understatement and the mere thought of it can elicit a gagging response and now calamari has been added to that category along with whelks. I forgot how truly vile overcooked, rubbery, fat rings of squid can be, in my minds eye they were going to be thin, tender hoops, fried at a high temperature in a crispy light batter for about 30 seconds, sadly not the receipt they followed, could not even chew my way through the first mouthful (and they were served on a piece of slate  @WeWantPlates ) The only good thing I can say about the experience was we had a friendly and attentive waitress. I didn't complain, I have complained in restaurants before and will do again however I wasn't in the mood and sometimes there isn't any point, we won't be going back.
John Gosden's string returning from the gallops. 

2000 Guineas Day
Cloudy with sunny spells but really nippy at times so opted for woollens and lace ups, otherwise I would obviously have gone for high heels and a fascinator! Killing time before the races we drove and walked past most of the Newmarket studs and stables, a particular treat was seeing John Gosden's string returning to his yard

Frankie Dettori didn't win on this one.
  I expected 2000 Guineas day to be more of an occasion, so I was a bit disappointed with the prevalent 'boys' day out/stag do atmosphere, seemed to be more interest in the bars than the racing. Winners were getting decidedly muted and short lived applause and cheers in the parade ring and enclosure, I thought it verged on the rude, even the Guineas winner Gleneagles, ridden by Bryan Moore and trained by Aiden O'Brien didn't get what I would call a rousing reception.My mood may have been affected by the fact that out of the four bets I placed three came last and the only one I did to win came second. Below is the closing seconds of the 2000 Guineas (at least someone won!) 

VG & SS Live News 

16th May - Thanks to Chris Wave for putting on another stonker of a Seventh Wave night at The Flapper Birmingham with The Cravats and Church of Elvis. This was the first VG & Subway Sect outing of 2015 with Ian Holford back on drums and still liking the four piece 'sound' with Vic on guitar. Lovely to see so many familiar friendly faces including Shelley and Phil and Tracey and Lee. Speaking of whom........many thanks to Phil & Shelley for the photographs : and to Tracey and Lee for the videos, including the new song 'I'll Find Out Over Time' which Vic and the Sect debuted at The Flapper. More of Tracey and Lee's Sect and Cravats videos from the night can be found here:

   Vic's changed the key since the gig! I thought a bit of a 'New Seekers' vibe crept in at The Flapper however Vic was reassured by this tweet: "Had this as an earworm since Saturday. @vic_godard closed his set with a new tune, which kinda reminded me of it"— David N  May 18, 2015

View From The Flapper Brum by Kevin Younger
  Birmingham is a city I feel right at home in as soon as I arrive, quite probably because it 'feels' like London. We stayed at City Nites, an aparthotel with very secure parking, practically spitting distance from The Flapper (however this didn't stop us going astray on the two minute drive to the venue). Extraordinarily quiet, very accommodating and helpful staff, we asked for and got a balcony apartment and extra bed (for which there is a charge, fair enough), they also do a breakfast pack which we didn't have. It is a very reasonable option for five, including the charges for the extra bed and car parking, for a city centre location even factoring in breakfast costs. I definitely recommend, it's unusual to be able to book an apartment for one night at the weekend, in any city and that's also got ample parking.

Stopped at Warwick Services (M40 Southbound) on the way home for breakfast and got to Harry Ramsden's just in time as they were about to change over to lunch, very decent for a motorway services offering (and Vic got extra black pudding).
What's Next -

22nd May - The Wheatsheaf Oxford with Les Clochards & Fishwife's Broadside

Stop Press.....Wheatsheaf gig in Guardian Pick of the Week!
UPDATE 24th May
Apart from the horrendous traffic on the M4/M40 on the way to Oxford it was an all round belter of a night at The Wheatsheaf with rousing sets from Les Clochards and Fishwife's Broadside and a stonker from Vic, Kev, Mark and Ian, all went down well with the appreciative crowd. Big Up to Joal the expert sound man at The Wheatsheaf. Thanks to 'Jane Barnes' for the fantastic videos including 'Somewhere In The World', the final encore which closed the set -
And 'Chain Smoking' -

More of Jane's videos from the night here:

And here's one of Gert's (visuals a bit shudder-y as usual!) 'Happy Go Lucky Girl' -

Finishing the Spring/Summer quartet of gigs with another two specials -

5th June - KOKO London guests of the Sleaford Mods (or Return to the Music Machine!)
STOP PRESS.........Simon Rivers of The Bitter Springsappearing with VG & Subway Sect at KOKO.

13th June - Spring/Summer Finale at the Green Door Store Brighton, Spinningchilli Presents what promises to be another memorable night with the inimitable Asbo Derek and the mysterious Unreliable Witnesses.

Further info/links for all gigs (not all tickets on sale yet) on Vic's FB page and at:  

Early '80s 'selfie' in Richmond Park

 Friday 19th June  2015
Sound of Young Scotland Film 'Big Gold Dream' Premieres at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Vic and the gnu are really looking forward to this trip, Vic's one of the guests taking part in a Q & A after the screening and then there's a very special after show show with a one off very special line up, think it will be one of the highlights of the year. Vic on vocals/guitar, Russell Burn on drums, Douglas MacIntyre on bass and Malcolm Ross on guitar plus the tantalising prospect of more special guest appearances. Tickets on sale 27th May, keep an eye out for updates at:

Big Gold Dream - Post Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream. EIFF Promo from grant mcphee on Vimeo.

Update on VICLEKA Exhibition 10-18th July Belgrade
STOP PRESSS.........Change in Venue, now at: 
Ozone Gallery, Uzun Mirkova 10, Beograd.

To celebrate VICLEKA, an exhibition of works A M Leka and Vic collaborated on, with images by Leka and words by Vic, gnu inc are releasing a very limited edition companion CD Live & Rare Vol 3 'VICLEKA', a mixture of live and recorded numbers. Some are for inclusion in the VL boxes and the rest will only be available at gigs.........unless the gnu can be persuaded otherwise. Vic's looking forward to his visit to Serbia for the opening of the exhibition at OZone Gallery Belgrade and gnu inc plans to  release Live & Rare Vol 3 'VICLEKA' on 10th July to coincide  with  the opening.
Background and more information:
Gert has uploaded a couple of the songs from the cd to whet the appetite including 'Back In The Community' recorded by Lee McFadden at the Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh in 2012. Photograph of Vic and Murray Robertson by Tracey Holloway. ( if you go scroll back in blog time you'll find  out a bit about this somewhat surreal night.......but not everything!)


Congratulations to Derek Philpott on getting to the finish line with his book 'Dear Mr Kershaw', how he got there is a story and a half in itself. Despite having to overcome just a few obstacles (you'll notice the title has changed!!) Derek's determination plus People Power has won the day. Looking forward to receiving my copy later this year. (The first edition of the book won't be on public sale)

 I love The Moomins and looking forward to seeing the new film The Moomins on the Riviera with music by Bjork, hope it is as true to the books of Tove Jansson and original series as reviews say and from the look of the trailer it is.

The Moomins (Original series) Episode 1 'Hobgoblin's Hat'

Only recently came across this Vic interview in Neil Cooper's Coffee-Table Notes blog, from 2012 - had a giggle reading it.

You don't often hear songs from Sansend so Gert uploaded one of her favourites 'Don't Take It All Out On Me' featuring Chantelle Lamond on lead/backing vocals, Holly Cook on backing vocals and Phil Martin on violin.

People who are pedantic
Can be fussy and finicky
Pettifogging or pernickety 
But never corybantic*

  * When I looked this word up it turned out to have quite a tale to tell. Corybantic definition - being in the spirit or manner of a Corybant (see below), ie wild, frenzied as in:

                  "rock and roll corybantic gyrations" 

which made me think of Vic, mind you he can't do the gyrating now he's back on guitar.

Origin  - Mid 17th century, first known use 1642 - from Corybantes, Latin name of the wild attendant priests of the goddess Cybele, the great Phrygian Mother of the Gods, a primal nature goddess worshipped with orgiastic rites and wild dancing in the mountains of central and western Anatolia.

Gallipoli Campaign -  British Commonwealth and French troops struggled and failed to take the peninsula between February 19, 1915 and January 9, 1916. It was one of the Allies great disasters in World War One and that's saying something considering the others. Video below is Liam Clancy with ' The Band Played Waltzing Matilda'

On The Horizon

Re-release of End Of The Surrey People on AED Records still on for later in 2015.

Gnu Inc Vic Godard 7"
I'll Find Out Over Time and Dead Dreamy
Recording in a couple of months and hope to have out by the end of the year.

Marc Riley session! Keep a look out for updates.

This and That

Cheeky Beggars - An example of a cheeky beggar is someone who says they are writing a book and then proceed to ask you to contribute "only about 400 words". Does collating and editing other people's words make you an author? Not in my book, excuse the pun.

  In contrast there is Kevin Pearce, a writer who spent years, researching, gathering information and actually writing his extraordinary, encyclopaedic oeuvre 'A Moment Worth Waiting For' himself. There's an extract here:
And if you haven't delved in to Kevin's blog, you are missing a treat:

  I didn't know what this curious plant growing in the drive was until one of Vic's FB friends enlightened me. It is Horsetail and although poisonous to horses and some other animals it has many health benefits for humans and is eaten as a spring vegetable in Japan.
Thanks to Maresuke Tanaka for the recipe.
Soy sauce (to taste)
I tablespoon Olive Oil
50cc Water

1. Rinse horsetail briefly

2.Heat the olive oil (you can substitute vegetable oil or similar) in a frying pan, add the horsetail and fry on medium heat. 
3. Add the water and fry until it evaporates
4. Add soy sauce to taste

Leaving you with a couple of my fav ravs of the 90's - Lighthouse Family - 'Lifted'
and Sounds Of Blackness - 'I'm Going All The Way'. Play both very, very loud for full impact!

PS If you've got one of these there is someone on FB who wants one and to quote them "Will pay any price"(!!)