Ghost/Demon Attenborough on London Midland train.

As it says. There are new stickers advertising the use of streaming Wi-Fi on London Midland trains. I was sitting behind one the other day going into the City Centre, advertising the fact that you could stream a new programme by Attenborough on your device. Usually I use the stop between University and Five Ways to gawp out the window at the allotments, the private school grandeur of Hallfield Preparatory and the canal towpath. Not that day, as the sticky side of the poster blurred my vision of the natural beauty. And to top it off, a reverse demon/ghost of Attenborough in shadow was constantly staring at me, its eyes glowing red and yellow and on fire.  Looking for all like Blake, the risen from the sea hook-handed pirate out of John Carpenter’s The Fog.

It was, as they say, quite a trip. Thanks.

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An afternoon with Robert Horrocks – Crossroads of Sabbath, The Queen is Alive, and the opening of the Holy Relic.

The big news here is that Robert Horrocks will be presenting his Crossroads of Sabbath walks this year, from April to November. Full dates and booking information can be found here. This blog also will give details of his next performance at the Sunday Xpress on April 23rd which will be a historical re-creation of an event he played at the Ivy Bush on Hagley Road in 1992, and will include collaboration with me before and after the event, entitled “The Queen is Alive.” Finally, the blog will also feature a recalling of our visit to The Black Eagle in Handsworth, where will be able to open The Holy Relic, a key artefact in the presenting of the story of the Crossroads of Sabbath.

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Sunday Xpress presents – A Field in Hampshire, a performance by Robert Horrocks.

On the 19th of March at Centrala, Digbeth  at 5pm, the Sunday Xpress will be joined by music archaeologist and “the world’s leading expert on the genesis of Black Sabbath” Robert Horrocks.  He will be presenting “A Field in Hampshire”, a re-enactment of a gig he played in 1991, which will be an experiment with music, memory, and nostalgia. I was invited to his home in Handsworth for a private viewing and dress rehearsal of this event, along with a sneak preview of his current exhibition.

It’s the second time I’ve been in this front room in Handsworth. A sumptuous Edwardian build with high ceilings. In the hallway on the right hand side, effects pedals have been lined neatly along the skirting board, pride of place on top of the Minton tiles. After a cup of coffee, I am invited into the front room.

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Book review: The Wires: 2012 by Jude Cowan Montague

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New on for 2017! Book reviews. That’s a first around these parts. Thoroughly enjoyed reading and then writing this. Jude Cowan Montague presents her own show, The News Agents on London’s Resonance FM, and is something of a renaissance person;  writer, artist, musician amongst many other this. This is her most recent poetry collection,  published through Wisdom’s Bottom Press. Below is my review.

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Creative thought processes on the abundance of addiction and choice in our society

New look Birmingham has a lot of ways for people to eat and drink. The advent of hip street vendors, pop-up coffe shops and pubs, cut-price sandwich shops and Wetherspoons’ menus have opened up a Pandora’s Box of different ways to get those endorphins and addictions sated. Here’s a written copy of some thoughts I wrote on this in my diary. Slightly edited, but not much – elements in this will appear in The Wind and The Good Book of course…

Would you like a drink from The Machine? Oh yes. Coffee. Large vodka, nervous laugh. We laugh at our addictions. Most of us are alcohol/coffee heads here, legal downers and uppers. Don’t talk to me before my second coffee in the morning. As soon as I’ve finished work it’s a cheeky pint/glass of RED. Rinse and repeat. “£4 pint of lager to get you through the hell of modern life” she said.

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