Saturday, December 24, 2005

beer making guide part 4

It's done!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Buzz Crash

We were off to see Pelican in London and for some reason after Buzz picked me up we opted for a winding route out of town through a few housing estates. These estates (by Ipswich standards) are posh ones, white goods and cars on bricks are kept down to an absolute minimum. Down in the trough of a hill in the middle of a strange green oasis in the middle of this 70s beige finger up to architecture there is a small playing field, used largely as a massive dog latrine and drinking area for local yoofs. As you are passing the middle of this field of inequity and at the absolute base of the hill there is a large concrete loop that is attached to the road at either end of it's curve. This man made ox-bow lake is used by buses for turning round. I'm no fan of our local transport and all thier habits (I only collect the numbers okay) but I know this is where buses turn round as there is a big sign that says 'no cars, bus turning space'.
As we three merry gig goers desended this hill the car in front in a shocking (but geographically fitting) fit of anarchy turned into the aforementioned bus only area. Our driver/ navigator did what anybody in his position would do and halted our progress using the traditional method of gentle braking resulting in our carriage rolling to a gentle and dignified halt.
As we continued what was probably a very high-brow conversation I heard Buzz (Barthomelew Stronghold) abruptly change the flow of conversation with a, "WHAT THE FUCK". It would appear the driver behind was not such a fan of the aforementioned traditional driving practice of ceasing forward movement when the carriage in front has halted.
After the most incredible force any of us have ever felt in our entire lives Buzz and Andy in the front seats turned to ask if I was alright. In situations like this you can always count on somebody to utter something very obvious that will come to define the few very strange minutes that you are sharing in this very strangly intimate way. This time it was my turn, realising the gravity of this responsiblity I paused for a moment to give myself a chance to come up with something truely defining, "I need to get out of the car".
You know that feeling when you 'crick' your neck? On impact that's what I got, but multiplied by about 1000%. It felt like the muscles in my neck and back had reached up and strangled my brain. I've got some wicked whiplash but I'm pretty much okay, I have to go for some x-rays later to day to check nowt is broken.
I feel sorry for Buzz, he bought this car about a month ago for £1000 and a week or so later he had to spend £750 on a new gear box, and now this!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


The involuntarily deep intakes of breath emphasised the taste of the air, it was musty and hot, a foul mixture of sweat and cheap cigarettes. Coughing in an attempt to clear the lungs only resulted in a sharper intake of air that sent sharp pains launching like flares across Jay’s chest. Jay fell to his knees and allowed his body weight to pull his arse to the floor till it was resting side by side with his ankles. The strings on the 1976 Rickenbacker 4001 still vibrated wildly, occasionally making contact with the fret board then glancing back off it. Jay mindlessly stared at the orange and green lights dancing back and forth across the body of his bass as his deep breaths rocked it gently against his lap. The effort of another sharp intake of breath pulled Jay’s shoulders back then dropped them forward pulling his arms to hang limply at his sides. The guitar shifted and the headstock crashed into the gaffer taped floor knocking it further out of tune and changing down the pitch of the feedback that reverberated around Jay’s head. A rivulet of blood running down the back of his wrist caught his eye, he smiled weakly. It was done.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lagwagon Tour Dates

Great news, Lagwagon are on tour soon!

Here are the dates;

05.01. UK London – Mean Fiddler
06.01. B Antwerp – Hof Ter Loo
07.01. NL Amsterdam – Melkweg
08.01. D Cologne – Live Music Hall
10.01. SWE Lund – Mejeriet
11.01. D Berlin – SO36
12.01. D Dresden - Thrillbeats Club
13.01. A Vienna – Arena
14.01. D Munich – Elserhalle
15.01. CH Zurich – Dynamo
17.01. IT Cesena – Vidia Club
18.01. IT Milan – Rolling Stone
19.01. F Lyon – Ninkasi Kao
20.01. D Saarbruecken – Garage
21.01. D Wiesbaden – Schlachthof

Friday, November 18, 2005

I offended Australia

Well maybe not the whole country, but check out the message written by the Australian post office on a copy of Beat Motel I sent over there;

Now there's no racist, sexist, homophobic or violent material in Beat Motel so I'm not sure what offended them!
At least they were kind enough to send it back, I was thinking of putting it in a post box with address unknown written on it to ping it back to Oz, and see if I could instigate some sort of global game of zine ping pong!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Stretch Arm Strong UK tour dates

Stretch Arm Strong will be returning to Europe to do a full tour of the United Kingdom in support of their new album, “Free At Last”.

“Doing a full tour of the UK is something that we’ve always wanted to do for a long time,” comments SAS singer, Chris McLane. “Now we finally get a chance to do it. On top of that we get to bring the guys in With Honor to be a part of it. We will be playing places on this tour that we have never played before as well as hitting some familiar stops, so it’s going to be great seeing old friends and making new ones. The UK has always been very good to us and we look forward to returning and rocking out all over the island.”

To help spread the word on the tour and their new album, “Free At Last.” Stretch Arm Strong will be recruiting street teamers to distribute flyers and posters throughout the UK. Interested parties can head to or to sign up.

In stateside news, after positive feedback on Fuse’s Oven Fresh program, Stretch Arm Strong’s new video “The Sounds of Names Dropping” was added this week to Steven’s Untitled Rock Show. The show, which airs 4pm Mon-Friday PST, has featured such bands as Fall Out Boy, Thrice, Coheed and Cambria and many, many more. It’s an honor to have the Stretch boys in such great company.

Headlining UK tour with With Honor

1/09 - Clwb Ifor Bach - Cardiff
1/10 - Ferryboat - Norwich
1/11 - Charlotte - Leicester
1/12 - Cavern - Exeter
1/13 - Furnace - Swindon
1/14 - The Soundhaus - Northampton
1/15 - Star and Garter - Manchester
1/16 - Joseph’s Well - Leeds
1/17 - King Tut’s - Glasgow
1/18 - Barfly - London
1/19 - Rock City - Nottingham
1/20 - Pitz Club - Milton Keynes

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

printer won't print

Printers are affected by loads of variables, especially if they are connected to a different machine via a home network, but here are a few things you can always check;

1 – check the machine that the printer is connected to is on

2 – in control panel go to printers, then right click on the printer and make sure it isn’t set to ‘work offline’. This sometimes happens when the network goes down, Windows in it’s infinite wisdom decided to disconnect from the printer. If there is a tick next to ‘work offline’ then simply click it and it will disappear.

3 – There might be jobs stuck in the print queue. Go to control panel, printers, then double click on your printer and a box will pop up showing the jobs the printer is currently processing. If there are loads of jobs in there then clear them by going up to ‘Printer’ on the menu bar then click on ‘Cancel all Documents’. This may take some time. Also try this on the machine that the printer is physically connected to.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Outlook new mail notification irritants

The ‘new mail’ popup box has never been that reliable, it clashes slightly with the junk mail filters. When a message comes in the popup box appears to pop up no matter what the message is. If outlook as identified this email as being junk then it will remove it to the junk folder. This means that when you click ‘yes’ then you’ll get the next message along in the inbox. This is a similar bug to the one that leaves the ‘new mail’ yellow envelope in your system tray (the bit by the clock on your screen when you have already read the new message. My usual advice is to switch off the new mail notification if you are using outlook 2003 or later as you can set Outlook to notify you another way by a small message appearing at the bottom right of your screen. Another advantage of this method is that it also gives you the first few lines of the email so you can decide whether to deal with it immediately or leave it. The old new mail notification box that pops up will always be on top when it first pops up, disturbing the way you work.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Chixdiggit UK Tour

I've just got word from Fat Wreck Chords that Chixdiggit will indeed be touring the UK!

November 1st Newcastle - Trillian's Rock Bar
November 2nd Leeds - The Fenton
November 3rd Torquay - The Townhouse
November 4th Birmingham - Nuneaton - The Cabbage

More punk stuff 'ere

Stretch Arm Strong Announce UK tour for January 2006

South Carolina melodic hardcore quintet Stretch Arm Strong will be returning to the UK in January 2006 hot on the heels of their recent support to Pennywise and primed to take their latest album ‘Free At Last’ (WPO Records) to the punk rock masses. The dates are:

MON 9 JAN Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach (Upstairs)
TUES 10 JAN Norwich Ferryboat
WEDS 11 JAN Leicester Charlotte
THURS 12 JAN Exeter Cavern
FRIDAY13 JAN Swindon Furnace
SUN 15th JAN Manchester Star and Garter
MON 16 JAN Leeds Josephs Well
TUES 17 JAN Glasgow King Tuts
WEDS 18 JAN London Barfly
THURS 19 JAN Nottingham Rock City
FRI 20th JAN Milton Keynes Pitz Club

Go to:

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Fall/ Horay for Milk

A friend needed a hand getting the battery out of his
old Ford Escort, it seemed like a simple enough task. But the bolts
holding down the battery were seized and my ratchet just couldn't shift
them. Then I had a brainwave, if I used the rotary clothes dryer that
we have in our garden I can use it as a lever on my woefully inadequate
tool and assert a lot more torque on the seized nuts.

It worked a treat, in no time at all I had sheered off the top of one
of the bolts

And before long the second bolt has also snapped off, allowing us to
easily lift the battery out. Now came the supposedly easy bit, all I
had to do was put the clothes dryer back in it's hole in the ground.

But there's a small matter of a 10 ft drop from our patio to the level
of the garden that the clothes line lives on. And I built the step,
quite creatively I think you'll agree. Buoyed up by success of my recent
appliance of the laws of physics I probably wasn't paying as much attention
as I probably should have been at the top of the step. For some reason
my ankle gave way at the very top, sending me down the step at some
speed. My head was nicely aimed for a big plant pot below which I decided
against giving a Glaswegian Kiss. I twisted mid air, like some slightly
plumper Jackie Chan with wooly hair and skillfully landed all 14 stone
of my weight on my shin on the edge of a step. When the six foot something
of the rest of my bulk hit the ground pain went rocketing up my left
shin. The kind of pain that takes away your breath, shrinks your nuts
and make you feel like you are going to puke. My foot felt slightly
numb and for a second I worried that I'd broken my leg. I tentatively
felt my shin and it all appeared to be in one piece. After a few minutes
of rolling in the dirt, contorting in agony I found that the local cats
have started using this level of our garden as a latrine. I eventually
stopped talking in tongues and made my way indoors to inspect the damage.

I'm not the kind of person that bruises very easily, so I was pretty
disappointed with what looks like a feeble graze. It really hurt and
I felt in a daze for about an hour afterwards. Emma's mum (who was a
nurse) helpfully told me that if there's no bruising then it means all
the damage and bleeding is happening internally, which I took great
solace in.

One of the great things about being English is that thanks to a evolutionary
quirk a cup of tea will cure most aches, pains and pretty much any other
troubles. I had a little more milk than usual, after all I'm sure it's
my love of milk that strengthened my bones to the point that even 250
pounds of my man weight falling at height couldn't break my shin bone!
The moral of the story? Don't buy a Ford I guess, it's certainly the
only lesson I'm going to take from this episode!

Footnote - you might wonder why I had recorded this
event in photos, especially when at the start of the day I had no idea
I was about to cobble up my leg. Well I've had a really smart little
digital for a couple of years that fits nicely in my pocket and goes
everywhere I do. It's got a really tough case, which is one of the main
reasons I chose it, in fact I kinda landed on it when it was in my pocket
during this fall, and it's still totally fine! I take LOT of photos
of a LOT of things, I've never really thought hard about why I do this,
I guess it's becuase life is so precious and there's so many things
we take for granted around us that we never stop to fully absorb. Well
plus the fact I have the memory of an infant flea.

Another Footnote - My mate Dave rang me after
I finished my cuppa and told me that he had run out of things to cut
up with his new chainsaw. He wanted to know if I had anything at my
house he could come and cut up, I decided that the law of gravity had
already made it clear to me that my DIY for today was well and truely

Friday, October 28, 2005

Satanic Surfers

Swedish melodic punk rock legends Satanic Surfers arrive in the UK next week for three gigs in support of their new album 'Taste The Poison' on Household Name Records

The dates are:

Thurs 3rd Nov - London, Garage
Fri 4th Nov - Bristol Croft
Sat 5th Nov - Leeds Joseph

Monday, October 24, 2005

Do missing emails go to the same place as odd socks?

These days (thanks to the spammers) all mail is scanned in some form or another, in fact most mail is filtered several times between destinations. Unfortunately the result of this scanning is that more mail goes astray than it used to.

In addition to ISP mail filtering (scanning on the servers) a lot of people now filter mail in outlook. This happens one of two ways. The first being through the inbuilt spam filtering that comes with versions of Outlook later than Outlook XP, mail believed to be spam is automatically moved from the inbox into the ‘junk e-mail’ folder as it is downloaded from the server. The second filtering method is via software installed on the user’s own computer; again mail is moved from the inbox into a designated junk folder. Some users may not be away that this filtering is happening as in the case of Outlook it is set up by default. This is a problem especially with Hotmail users. Often mail that doesn’t appear to have arrived is languishing in one of these ‘junk’ folders.

There are precautions people can take to make sure they receive mail from you. If they are using a recent version of Outlook or a dedicated spam filtering program then they can add your address to their ‘safe list’ (also known as a white list). This ensures that all mail from you is let through without being filtered. Recipients can also add you to their address book or contacts list to help ensure mail gets through.

Mail filtering amounts to essentially what is a big pain in the bum. As the internet evolves there will always be those that take advantage (like spammers), and it’s becoming the role of people like me (IT people) to try and ensure genuine messages continue to move unimpeded, whilst causing the minimum inconvenience to the end user.

More free IT advice -

More spam advice -

Great antispam software -

My hosting -

Friday, October 21, 2005

Avian Flu Pandemic

There's a lot of fuss in the press at the moment about bird flu (also called Avian flu). My own opinion is that these pandemics seem to come round fairly often, and the human race has outlasted every one of them!

However, there is a real impact on business. There is a good resource for Avian Flu Pandemic here -

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bye Bye Broadband

About two years ago I saw the advent of widely available broadband services as a great opportunity to launch a site and maybe make some affiliate money. I launched a site called 'Broadband Suffolk' with a sub-site called 'Broadband Ipswich'. At the time there didn't appear to be many sites offering people comparisons between the deals, so my site gave you straight forward information about the pros and cons of each deal on offer. But as the number of providers grew so did the number of sites providing this comparison information.
So today I decided to close my broadband sites, partly becuase there are now large and professional sites out there doing a far better job than I was!
If you want to have a look at the sites you can see the old intro page here -

Incidently the best deal for UK broadband is this one:
Seriously Internet

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Six Ripped-up pictures from 1990

Written Winter 2005
£? For 56 A6 pages
And it really does have a ripped up photo stuck on the front, mine is an odd double exposure of a bike wheel and a lass with a bob cut having a chuckle. The actual zine is lovingly hand-made, and bound with gaffa tape. The tales inside are of the authors mis-spent youth and are written in a very matter of fact sorta way, almost like a confession. Kat grew up in Phoenix USA and it really is a million miles from the kind of environment we live in here in the UK. One stand out difference is that by about 6pm here in England every shop bar the big supermarkets and petrol stations shut down. There is nowhere to go at all between midnight and the morning, whereas in Phoenix there appears to be an entire subculture that exists only in these secret hours. I have a lot of affection for this zine as it captures one of the essences of what got me into zines in the first place, Kat writes as your friend and after reading this you really do feel that you know her pretty well. She doesn’t bare her soul like some zinesters do, and there’s nothing soppy about the writing style, it’s just kinda ‘warm’. That’s really the best way I can describe it, you’ll have to read it for yourself, and please do! For some reason I can’t put my finger on I was expecting this zine to have a harsh end, I was half expecting that Bridgette would die. Read it and see if you feel the same way. Kat also writes for MRR
If you want to buy this zine let me know and I'll pass the message on for you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Time Bomb #8

£1 for 35 A5 pages
This is a zine that I always look forward to and then read cover to cover within at least 24 hours of it plopping through my door. In one way it’s like a Guildford version of Beat Motel, there are mentions of the zines home town but it’s very much about more than that. The columns are great, the interviews are great (Ten Second Break, Zatopeks, Blocko & Atom and his Package), some of the reviews are a little vague but if Beat Motel was half as eloquent as this lot I’d be a happy man. Two of the bands featured in this band have recently split up, good job we’re not superstitious hey! The print job on this zine has taken a notch up, it’s printed by Foot Printers who seem to be printing all the good zines at the moment, nice one!
Buy this zine -

Check out my zine

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

shipping and freight forwarding

Every since I first started working in IT I've worked for companies that shift stuff round the world. This is becuase I live close to Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in Europe.

Originally I worked for haulage companies, but now I also work with freight forwarders. It's all pretty interesting stuff, have a look here -

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Reading Festival (part I)

I’ve been meaning to go to Reading Festival since I was a teenager. If I had of pulled my finger out and gone then I would have seen the likes of Nirvana and Veruca Salt, if my luck had taken a downturn I could have been the poor sod that Courtney Love’s used tampon landed on. But alas I somehow managed not to go till I was 29, I decided at the beginning of the year I was going to go no matter what the line-up was. But I’m not going to natter about the bands in this wee semi-literate ramble, I’m sure plenty of other people are gonna be doing that! In fact I’m writing a whopping report on the musical side of things for the next issue of Beat Motel.
I travelled to Reading (I drove) with three friends; Dom (the drummer in my band ZEEB?), his lass Emma and the bother of the ZEEB? Guitarist, big lad called Andy. On eventually arriving at the festival site after a seven hour drive and a 20 minute boat ride we spent a good hour sludging around in the mud trying to find my mates Mafro and Pete. We eventually found them (still dunno how) and I was about to get the first friendship surprise of the weekend. To set the scene, we weary travellers were carrying far too much crap to be dragging our sorry asses around a darkened muddy field full of nutters. Being a festival virgin myself I decided it would be a great idea to bring a heavy cool box, a bloody great big flag (and pole) and a gallon of water. By the time we’d found Mafro I’m sure my arms had stretched by about a foot and I’d lost feeling in my fingertips. It made my heart sing that the first thing Mafro and Pete did was offer to share our collective load, I could have kissed them, judging from how smashed Mafro was he probably wouldn’t have minded. On getting to our site the next surprise was that the people we were sharing ground with had reserved us a couple of pitches! Mafro and Pete then proceeded to help put up the tents while I stood around looking useless, occasionally bursting into some very dodgy harmonica playing. That night dizzy with glee (and maybe some beer) I was ecstatic to find I was camped with a bunch of zinesters! The great Mafro (Debunk zine), Chris (12-15, last hours) and the fantastically marvellous Tess and Catherine from the Mute Collective, whom I was about to spend the best part of four days with. And I really do mean the best part. The day dinosaur Jr played I found myself alone on the campsite with Catherine, nobody else wanted to come watch this band or had ‘caved’ through over indulgence and were recovering in their tents. Although looking a little sleepy herself Catherine agreed to come see Dinosaur Jr with me. We spent the next couple of hours together, and I think it must be the fastest I’ve ever got to know someone! For me Reading was defined by friendships formed in the strangest environment, but with (hopefully) the strongest bond, music. I just accidentally mistyped the last sentence, before I edited it the end read ‘strongest bong’, but that’s a whole different story! So I guess if you know you’ve only got a few days together you bypass all the usual bonding pleasantries and get right down to the nitty gritty of friendship. I’m already looking forward to next year, hopefully we can all camp near each other again. Huzzah!

There are a few photos over here -

Friday, September 02, 2005

Priors Inn - Bury St.Edmunds | ZEEB? - Kandi Stick 02/09/05

Priors Inn in Bury St.Edmunds is a great venue. It's
kinda in the middle of some sort of huge housing estate, but when we
played in Newmarket at the Palminos that was a recipie for one of the
best gigs we've ever done. We arrived 20 minutes late at 6.20pm but
the other band wasn't there yet. When we went in we found a huge PA
that had been set up, complete with a mixing desk large enough to control
a space shuttle launch. Only problem was that apparently for the Priors
it's fairly normal for the sound engineer to set up the pa
then naff off home! So we spent two hours staring at the knobs on the
Priors Inn mixing desk in a style akin to a hedgehog attempting to mate
with a balloon. We saw lots of scary buttons that said things like 'phantom
power', fearing blowing up something expensive or accidentally summoning
a phantom super hero we tentatively prodded at various buttons whilst
I free styled over a dead microphone.

Eventually we got some sort of sound out of the thing and sat back and
awaited the crowds of fans. I fell asleep. The set we played was technically
great, but our audience consisted of half the band that went on first
and the occasional bunch of estate kids staring through the windows
pissing themselves. We managed to cram in a record number of lewd probing
jokes so you could say we developed our 'art'. My favourite joke of
the evening was when Graham was explaining to the crowd that probing
was available whatever your sexual preference. I declared that I was

"so you only have sex underground?" asked Graham,

"nah, metro, like the car" I replied.

The Great thing about being in ZEEB?
is that we always have a good time, no matter what the environment,
the size of the crowd or the level of our alcohol intake. At the end
of the set Graham and I laid perfectly still on the floor for five or
ten minutes, which had the effect of amusing then confusing people.
Some cavalier in the crowd decided to approach me and do god knows what
to me, when he got within a couple of feet I exploded to my feet hitting
the neck of my bass making a great CRASHSIISHHSSSPPP, causing the bloke
approaching me to leap back a good couple of feet and cause his mates
to start pissing themselves with laughter! I bounded across the empty
room to the relative comfort of the men's toilets, and join Dom and
Graham who were already half way through returning to normality (getting
civilian clothes back on). We've gotten changed in men's toilets all
over East Anglia, but the Priors Inn in Bury St.Edmunds had remarkably
clean bogs! As is usual though, someone walked in while we were all
stood in our skids, ah, thier look of horror will stay with me forever,
tee hee! The photo below was taken just after I'd gotten dressed and
toweled down, imagine what I looked like as soon as I'd come off stage!
It was only later in a kebab shop that Graham decided to let me know
that some of the dye had come out of my mask and my face was covered
in blue blotches!

The other great thing about our band is that we always find some little
added bonus way to have fun when playing gigs, this time it was the

So overall I'd really recommend playing thePriors Inn at
Bury St.Edmunds
, it's great venue and if you play for
a promoter that can get people though the door then you'll have great
time! We did actually get paid for this show, and on enquiring about
the possibility of further bookings the landlady informed us she's rather
get a blues or covers band, so sorry if we spoilt it for everyone

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

heat bad, make andrew mad

Okay the joke's over, c'mon, out from behind the bush, time to call an end to it, we've all had enough of heat for one year. For crap's sake when will this heat end? I'm English, and as such not cut out for sitting in a 35oC office with the ambient light so intense I simply can't see clearly enough to type. It's insane, and if another person says, "oh I just love the summer" I'm going to twat them with my upright fan (while it's still on full blast and minus the saftey guard).

The heat makes me cranky, it fugs my mind, it's like being inside some sort of intense stupifying oven. I swear I've got nothing of any note done for about two months now. Heat saps my very ambition to do anything more than just sit and try to breath shallow. My freinds all think I'm just a whinger, but they get to go to work in offices with air-conditioning, I work at home and I'm trapped in this sweatbox 24/7. We got double glazing this year to try and combat the frosty winds that run right though our house in the depths of winter, I thought in my innocence that they would also keep the heat out as well as in, I guess I'm wrong. We live on top of a hill so I would at least expect some kind of breeze, we do have one, but guesss what, it's HOT.
What is this obsession with hot being good? I think part of the reason it annoys me so much is that I have no control over it. In the winter no matter how cold it gets you can warm up, when it's this hot in the summer there is nothing you can do other than condem your poor weak body to being cooked at unatural tempratures.
This isn't a new thing, I've felt this way every year for as long as I can remember. I even take my holidays to the beach in the depth of winter, everything is so much fresher and clearer when it's cold. The cold sharpens your senses, the heat just shuts them down.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Andrew's Chilli Recipie

Andrew’s Chilli Recipe.

One Onion
One Green Pepper
One tin of plum tomatoes (not chopped)
One dollop of tomato puree
1lb Mince (or half a bag of Soya chunks)
Salt, pepper, sugar
One fresh or pickled chilli
A gob full of red wine.

Bung the mince in a pan with a very very small amount of oil, have the heat on about 7/10. Buy the leanest meat you can, always get it form a butchers. If you’re using soya chunks skip this bit and boil a kettle or whatever it is you do to rehydrate your soya. When the mince is browned drain off the fat, you don’t want any of that stuff to spoil the taste of your masterpiece.
Hack the crap out of the onion and pepper and chuck the mangled lumps in with the browed meat and moosh it all around until the peppers and onion bits have started to soften, but only a little.
Turn the heat down to about 3, this is a slow meal don’t be rushing yourself now.
Sling in a healthy pinch of salt and pepper, and give it a good mooshing round.
Now get your chilli (make it a fairly biggun) and cut it up as small as you can, it’s best to do it on a saucer so that you can easily tip the lot into the mix. Remember to wash your hands after this bit or you could do yourself a mischief later on, especially if you are a fella and you take a trip to check your personal plumbing. It’s really important to use a fresh or pickled chilli, that powered stuff is crap, don’t insult your taste buds by even glancing at the jars in the supermarket, just mutter under your breath and move right on to the fresh vegetables section and grab a decent looking real chilli.
Now open the tin of plum tomatoes and using a sharp knife hack around inside the tin like Jason hacks around at a slumber party, although if you’re wearing a mask then take it off, the obscured vision could lead to severed fingers, and you’ll be needing those fingers later, well for the rest of your life in fact.
Slop the tin of hacked up plum tomatoes into your saucepan, making sure not to accidentally tip in any fingers that may have become ‘loosened’ by your knifing activities. If you spot any largish lumps of tomato that survived the onslaught, toy with them then cut them to shreds right there in the pan.
Using a desert spoon whack a healthy sized dollop of tomato puree in into your saucepan, whiz the spoon around inside the pan to get every last bit off.
Bung in a pinch of sugar.
If you are using Soya chunks now is the time to bung them into the mix.
Optional, but pouring in about a third of a glass of red wine and it really adds to the rounded taste.
Well you’re about done now, put a lid on the saucepan and return every ten minutes or so and give the whole lot a good jabbing with your spoon. Leave it for at least an hour before serving, but the longer you leave it the better it gets. If you can then double up the quantities here and make a batch for the freezer, this chilli always tastes better when it’s been in the freezer for a few weeks.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Toms Big Elevation/ SOMA/ The Wankers - Ipswich Steamboat 13/08/05

This is the second Gurl Rock night that the ER.... promoters have put on, and this one actually has bands that are predomninantly female, rather than bloke bands in dogy dresses! First up are The Wankers who entertain in a very 77 stylee with lyrics that the Mac Lads would be proud of. 'Singer' BoonDog stomps around forgetting how songs go, getting berated for being too drunk by the two girl guitarists (Klaire and Kris, it was 9pm by then!) and is generally the most genial and chipper frontman you'll ever see! SOMA are just bloody fantastic, they remind us of an old Ipswich band called Nemo, but they have more of a virtuoso edge, to say this lot are genius musicians would be the understatement of the century. They have some Stereolab/ Pixies moments but have a far more agressive edge, but with the most divine female vocals, enough to smash anyone's stone cold heart. Toms Big Elevation have travelled from France for tonight's gig, they were supposed to be doing a 6 date UK tour but four dates got cancelled, leaving just Norwich Ferryboat the night before this gig and the performance we're now stood grinning ear to ear in front of at the Ipswich Steamboat. Suppose they could have called it the boat tour or something... Right, just to get this bit of the review out of the way, the band is fronted by two georgous laydees, and I saw more than a few blokes in the audience look onward with that certain soppy teenage boy stare, they certainly made an impact on everyone. Everyone including the locals in the pub who spent a few minutes trying to chat them up (only getting blank looks from the girls in reply) till we decided to let them know they were French! The sounds they belted out sounded a bit Pixies/ Sonic Youth and dare I say it, Raincoats! They even did a cover of 'where is my head' by the aforementioned Pixies. They were fun, sexy, cheery and looked like they were having a great time. Felt a bit sorry for them having thier tour cut short but chatting to them afterwards they said they really had fun down at our little local venue boozer, and I guess that's what counts. Hope to see them come back soon!

There are some photos here -

Friday, August 12, 2005

Americanized Andrew

Someone wrote a review of my zine that I found today, and it accused me of being Americanized. I don't truthfully give a crap, but when you grow up between two of the largest USAF bases in Europe (bentwaters and woodbridge), have many american neighbours, work for an american bloke and spend a lot of time working on a USAF base (Lakenheath) then yet, you may find you pick up the occasional american word like 'trash'. Well excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me

can I get fit lazy please?

I've been trying to think of ways I can get a bit fitter without actually doing anything, I think I've cracked it! I've decided that each time I nip upstairs for a wee I'll do 15 star jumps. I've also decided it would be best to do them after I've washed my hands, otherwise I'll get plenty more exercise cleaning up.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Gym = Achey Breaky Legs

I've recently started going to the gym again, just for a bit of gentle exercise as I get none whatsoever during the day thanks to sitting in front of my laptop writing stuff like this! I was going about six months ago and kinda making up my exercise routine as I was going along, even on the weights machines. Little did I know that I was suffering a spinal injury and making it far worse than it was already. Well I say 'little did I know', but the agony was a bit of a giveaway that I might be doing something wrong! So six months further down the line I'm back at the gym but just on the cycle and walking machine (or wobbling machine when I'm on it). I've had a lot of treatment for my back now and am starting the long slow process of strengthing my knackered vertibre.

I quite enjoy going to the gym now that I've got a little routine going on. I load up my iPod shuffle, grab a decent book and sit on the cycling machine engrosed in my reading and music. My head is fairly unaware that my legs are pumping away at 120 rpm! I've even managed to master reading on the treadmill without falling off! I think I keep other people amused too, I'm reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Gallery at the moment and keep laughing out loud!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Dysons are cheap now?

My faith in large companies was somewhat bolstered today. A month ago I bought a Dyson off ebay for about £30, it said that it was reconditioned. It worked great for a couple of weeks then promptly blew up (with smoke n all). I rang the Dyson service line and was chuffed to find out they never charge more than £50 no matter what the repair. When the engineer arrived it got even better, because the Dyson was less than two years old they repaired it for free!!!

I'd recomend them to anyone, have a look -

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Kids Are Alright

When I first started playing in bands (when I was about 14) nobody else seemed to be into music around these parts, it was almost like I was wandering around talking another language! I had the obligatory (for an indie kid) logos written badly on my school folders and posters covering every spare patch of the eggshell white walls of my teenage bedroom. This feeling of musical separation is something I think all teenagers heavily into music feel, but it seems particularly strong for us indie kids. Indie music (sic) seems to close our minds to other types of music, when I was a teenager I had three very close friends that I formed a band with. We listened religiously to Mark Radcliffe when he was on Radio late at night and pawed over copies of magazines like Select and Raw. This was all good, and it was certainly more positive than the pastimes that the other yoofs in the village partook in, which almost always involved drinking cheap lager, smoking cheap fags and yelling homophobic insults at anyone that came within two hundred yards of the men’s toilets they chose to hang around outside. But the negative side of being so into this genre of music was that it closed our minds off to so much other music, it was like being in a club with very strict rules, a sort of rock ‘n’ roll freemasons. The very thought of admitting to liking a band that wasn’t on our invisible unspoken approval list just didn’t bear thinking about. The very thought of metal or punk sent shivers through our baggy blue jeans and our overly scruffy lank hair. After chatting with other people that grew up as indie kids it appears we weren’t alone. As a genre indie appears to close far more minds than it opens, your stereotypical NME obsessed indie kids can be the worst music snobs I’ve ever met, and before you put down your sonic youth rarities and start wagging your finger at me remember I’m including my teenage self in this equation! Unfortunately the same can go for some underground indie bands. I’ve booked bloody hundreds of bands for shows over the years and it’s always the indie kids that give us trouble (but still very few of them). Maybe it’s because the punk ethic doesn’t expect stardom, (nay, it pretty much shuns it) that punk bands are generally very grounded people. To give you an example I booked a co-promoted show with a very large music website that shall remain nameless. Four bands were booked, two indie, two punk. The first punk band (Second In Line) turned up, shook our hands, shared a laugh and headed for the bar. The second band (Junk Culture, admittedly my band) helped Second In Line load in their gear then sat around laughing and joking with said first band. Then first indie band turned up (Phoenix Down) and immediately proclaimed, “oh gawd it’s amateur night”. To which I replied, “yes, you’re in a pub”. They then demanded they have five DIs to the soundman or they would refuse to play, to which the sound man replied, “Well you might as well fuck off home then.” Phoenix Down then spent the rest of the night in the corner of the pub refusing to talk to anyone else, because, of course they were above all that. The fourth band, Dive Dive rang ten minutes before they were due on stage to inform us their drummer had the shits so they were heading home, make of that what you will. Anyway, I’ve gotten way off the point here, and as my word count is running out fast I’ll get right to the point and hope this pint of homebrew I’ve been drinking hasn’t turned my entire effort into gobbledygook. My point is, never close your mind to any music, no matter how unappealing something sounds still give it a go. And if you’re in a band don’t be a prick, you’ll get found out soon enough.

Okay, have a butchers at my new band -

Monday, July 18, 2005

self publishing a go go!

Well another fine result of my toil has just been published;

Issue #2 of Beat Motel is now on sale.
Another burst of semi-literate fun containing interviews with The Big and The Ballistics as well as about a billion reviews of gigs, cds, dvds and zines. There's also the usual bunch of miscreants that have scrawled columns and a smattering of imature features about things like yer mates getting drunk and soiling thier slacks! Oh and there's a smart article on Kyuss in there too!

Pay by Card

Pay by Coinage
Stick £1.50 to a bit of card and lob it in the post with a stamped and self addressed envelope (with a 50p stamp) to the address below.
Beat Motel
71 Rectory Road

p.s we trade zines, get in touch!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Why are you reading this?

I've just looked at the visitor stats for this blog and quite frankly I'm agog! Why are you lot reading this? I thought it was dull as a submarines paint job! Well as you're here now I'll tell you what I'm up to.

I'm trying to stay out of the sun for long enough to still have some energy left to go to the pub and see the mighty Ballistics and The Devil Rides Out.

I'm also waiting by the letterbox for the next issue of Beat Motel to get back from the printers. Well not literally by the door otherwise I wouldn't be typing this, well unless I was typing it on my laptop and using my wireless network, I've complicated this now haven't I,,,

I need a wee now, see ya

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Studios and stuff

This afternoon I'm off to go and lay down my final bass parts for this album I'm working on, and I'm really looking forward to it!

I always used to really hate studio recording and found it really stressfully and was ultimately never really all that happy with the results. Then I tried recording a totally different way. Whereas recording used to mean paying by the hour and sitting in a room with no windows trying desperately to get things right. Now recording is a matter of laying the drums down anywhere we choose and are comfortable with then spending a few leisurely days laying down the other instruments, bliss!

And you probably won't be surpised to learn that I've done a website for this great new studio!

Monday, June 27, 2005

HEAT and Music In The Park

Well the heat carries on unabated, this is the hottest summer I can remember and I was born in a drought, but then I guess I wouldn't remember that. In fact I wouldn't even know about it if my mum didn't keep reminding me...

My office is far to hot to work in, it's been getting up to about 37oC in there, in oF that's officially darned hot!

But with any joy this heat will carry on till at least Sunday when my band ZEEB ( is playing at Music In The Park in Ipswich, the full line up is here -

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Summer? I ain't a lizard

Arg, it's so hot here! Well actually the air tempreture is only about 27 oC but for this part of the world that is HOT. I can't work in my office at the moment as it's 33 oC and if I sit in there for too long I go a bit giddy! I've never liked being hot, I'd far rather be cold and if one more person says they LOOOOVE summer then bitches when the sun finally comes out I'll scream, no in fact I won't scream as that sounds like the kind of activity that would only make me hotter, I'd rather go sit in a fridge.

Anyway, a client of mine has launched a couple of freebie books on workplace rehabilitation that look pretty smart -

Friday, June 17, 2005

Holidays, Brighton and Conferecne Goodies!

You may think I have been ignoring my blog over the last few days and you'd be right, sort of. I've been down in Brighton doing a conference for my main client I've never been to Brighton but I must say that it's a bloody nice place that I intend to return to soon! It's a somewhere inbetween Felixstowe and Blackpool with thier amusement arcades and boy racers and holiday towns like Southwold that are like God's waiting room!

Check out Southwold -

Friday, June 03, 2005

Hurrah for the BBC and Springwatch!

The BBC is sometimes very good at showing us just why we pay a licence fee to be able to own a television here in the UK. Every few months they run a daily series of programs reporting on the activity of some local wildlife that is being peeped upon by the BBC cameras.

Have a look -

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another new site is born!

I've just finished another new site that I'm really pleased with. A lot of my work appears to be taking me in the direction of small consultancies!

Have a butchers at

Friday, May 27, 2005

Evasive Cats

Considering how inert my cats are for about 99% of the day you'd think taking a close up photo of their fuzzy faces would be easy. Well anyone with a cat will tell you that when you put a camera in front of a camera they will do one of two things. They'll either put on a full on pose, complete with doe-eyed look and tilted head. Or, they'll insist on sniffing the camera, which I assume is thier way of finding out if they approve of the make and model of your camera or not.

Anyway, the point of all this is that this morning I finally managed to grab photos of the little darlings, have a butchers here -

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thursday, May 19, 2005

snails and stuff!

I'm trying to create a site for a couple of friends to share thier thoughts. Seems a blog has to be the right way! It's coming soon, but in the mean time here's one of thier drawings -

Friday, May 13, 2005

birds and aliens

Hurrah! A new site I've been working on for a client has now been launched. It's a company that sells bird boxes with integrated cameras, just like you see on the telly! What makes these boxes special is the quality and the price, I'm totally impressed! If you want to check them out go to The great thing about this job was that I got it through a site that I set up for something to do one weekend! That site was , it just goes to show these things are always worth doing! If you want me to make and market a site for you check out my other stuff at

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sleepless new websites

I've been sitting here waiting for a new version of a website to upload ( if you want to see what I've been up to). This experience of being up at silly hours working really reminds me of being back at college when I used to stay up for two or three days in a row.

Something I did want to tell you about was a really smart new band my friend Mafro has started, i DEFY anyone not to like this band, no matter what your tastes are, check them out here -

Sunday, May 08, 2005

goonies and guff

In an attempt to kill the planet a little slower, me and Emma only have one car between us now, which works out fine with me working from home, but yesterday Emma was out playing in the mud (well, gardening really) so I was stranded at home with cuboards that even old mother Hubbard would have exclaimed, "fookin 'ell, where's all the fookin food yah chunts". Well she might have said it like that if she was from a Newcastle housing estate. So I had to call my little sister to the rescue, who kindly drove me to Sainsbollocks. She was almost as much of a shopping killjoy as Emma is, she took Emma's list and didn't let me vary from it at all (with £30 bottles of single malt and army surplus size sacks of chocolate). The shopping came in well under budget, so not wanting to dissapoint Emma's low expectations of me and shopping trips I used the change to buy the Goonies on dvd.

After working all day on a new site for a client (with underwater cameras and stuff, really cool!) the missus and I reclined in the lounge for an evening of reminisant joy with the Goonies. Now I only vaugely remember this film and the last time I saw it was at a night they have at the local cinema where they show old films. These nights are really cool, it's like being 7 years old and watching a film with 200 exciteable mates, and boy are they exciteable! We saw gremlins a few months back and the view of the screen was partially obscured by about 100 stuffed Gizmos being waved above excited little heads! The funniest aspect of these classic films nights is that they show the original prints of the film! So watching a film that's more than 20 years old is interesting to say the least! When the Goonies started the film wasn't even on the projector correctly, we could see half the film, whilst the other half of the screen was taken up by the wee holes at the edge of the celluloid whizzing by and a giant white space that looked prime territory for some crude shadow puppets. After a few minutes whoever the projectionist was woke up and wrestled the film back on track. The rest of the film had so many bits missing and broke down so many times you'd think freddy kruger has been in charge of retrieving this flm from storage. Storage (it has to be said) that must have been in someones basement underneath old cat litter or something judging by the 'quality' of the film before us! Far from annoying the punters the shocking poor quality of the screening only seemed to add to the character of the evening, in fact a huge cheer went up every time the dubbing slipped, portions ran in slow motion or when a huge chunk of the film simply dissapeared!

Ah crap, I've just realised how long I've been writing this, so there will be no conclusion as I have to go outside now and attempt to light the barbeque in a force 9 gale with a gallon of 4star petrol. I'll see you tomorow, unless I become this generation's Simon Weston! Pah, I'll see you whatever, and with photos, cos chick dig scars right?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Tescos Suck?

Big Plops
As a result of publishing Beat Motel ( I am being send tons of zine by other people. Now if you've never read a zine you won't know that the perfect place in the house to 'absorb' them is the crapper. This morning I was sent a couple of news sheets called SCHnews. Now a news sheet is like a wee one page zine, normally along the lines of something political. Pretty much every political zine I've ever seen is way over to the left, which sits just fine with me. This issue of SCHnews had a bloody great article on Tescos and how they are pontentially damaging small communities. Now I know that it's all too easy to pick on huge corporations and assume they are all evil, and a lot of the political articles I read are generally far too one sided but this article on Tescos presents the fact with no obvious bias. Of course it did angry up my blood, but that all helps the 'movements' along! I'm reprinting this article in issue 2 of Beat Motel but if you can't wait then check it out here -

Best Badges
We've had another good week at , the orders continue to roll in and Steve continues to be able to cope, star that he is! The enamel badges are prooving particulary popular at the moment, check them out here -

Right that's all for today's blog I've gotta go do my week's shopping now, guess where I won't be going!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Of burberry...

Yesterday I was sat in my office and noticed a burberry cap hovering around by the edge of my garden. On looking out I saw a yoof stsanding in my elderly neighbour's garden trying to force his foot through the middle of my link mail fence. I ventured outside and asked spotty McFuckwit if he had lost something. He retorted in a sort of low frequncy trogladite mumble (you know the one, when teenagers weigh about 6 stone but in a cruel twist of puberty they have a voice like Barry White), he said that him and his posse (or was it Passé) need to get to a street a few gardens down from mine. I told them to go back to the road and walk there that way. Now to get to the point in my neighbours garden that they were now shuffling around in they must have gone over at least four or five other fences, I can only assume they were in althletic training for some sort of garden hurdle race, that would explain the head to toe tracksuits! They were insistant that they go through my garden and then the garden of my neighbour to get to their location and again the spokesmoron pleaded his case. I explained that with the two metre drop into my garden, and the subsequent two metre drop into my neighbours garden (landing in a pond) might not be the best thing for thier fragile looking bodies. They were insistant that no injury would befall them and seemed quite confused and offended with my insistant NO to thier requests, eventually they mooched off to explore what other delights my elderly neighbour's garden had to offer, which is mostly a collection of cat shit in long grass.
I was totally amazed by two things that arose from this encounter;
1 - These yoofs had apparently no concept of the fact that there was anything wrong with being an univited presense in someone elses garden.
2 - With Burberry caps and tracksuits they have obviously never heard of the word 'Cliché'.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wa-hoo I'm blogging and it doesn't hurt a bit!

Welcome to my first proper blog, I'll be using this blog to keep track of my various website and music projects and probably my bowel movements!

I think there's something somewhere that will tell you each time I make a new entry, or you can just come back each day and see what I've been up to! I live a pretty interesting life, some of which I write about in my zine Beat Motel ( so hopefully I'l lhave enough to keep ya interested!


And here's a list of my sites!

My Sites

Sites I've designed & managed
Blue Star Human Resources Ltd
Wardley Electronics Ltd
Sidney Snail and Friends
Ipswich Gigs
Safco Services Ltd
Blank Generation Collective
Simple Speech Ltd
Soundback Studio
Strada Innovation Ltd
Urban Explosion
Jane Curtis

Sites I manage but did not design
Hannah Foden Ceramics
One Night Chef
Polly Gibbons
Real Overdose

Sites I promote

Blogtastic Mate!

Well anyone and everyone seems to be publishing a blog these days, and who am I to be any different! I'm a bloke in the Uk that plays in a band called although not official of course, the true identities of the band members are top secret!

For bread money I run my own internet type company, you can have a butchers at what I do here - In addition to this I'm also a director at another company I started a couple of years ago, we make badges and tons of other cool stuff, you can check that out here - Would you believe it, I have my fingers in yet another pie, I publish a magazine about music and tons of other coolness, it's called Beat Motel and you can check out the latest issue at

I'll be using this blog to talk about what I've been up to both personally and proffesionally and to tell the world about new websites I launch either for myself or for clients.