Ive and the Apple.

Ive – flung out with the potato peelings.

I was more than rather amazed when I came across this red iMac flung out on the pavement, smashed.

That this icon of uber-chic design from Jonathan Ive — the heart to Steve Job’s brain of Apple — was simply flung out on the pavement shocked me. I walked away wondering what Ive would say.  Would he care, and more’s the point, why did I? I took the photo and walked on, looking back a couple of times to make sure I hadn’t been dreaming. No, the smashed red iMac was still there.

I’ve worked in ‘media’ and when I did we used nothing but Apple products. Apple is lauded for it aesthetics, and that the majority of artsy-fartsy types use their computers. Pragmatically Apple and the arts work well together. Music, design, photography, et all use Apple kit (I use a G5 for music). From a visual point of view it can’t be beaten, and that is all down to Jonathan Ive’s eye. Yes, Steve Jobs might have made Apple the power house it is today, but he’d never have achieved it had it not been for Ive’s designs.

Yet, since Job’s untimely death, Apple has started to become something else. Rapaciously litigious comes close to describing their present philosophy. And, when comparing the iPhone to the stunningly beautiful Samsung Galaxy, Ive has, in my view, lost the plot.

Maybe Apple has reached the point of obsolescence in its design. Maybe Ive has had his day — though I’d like to think not. Maybe the entire magic of Apple relied on the relationship between Jobs and Ive, and now that Jobs is gone so has the magic spark?

I reached the end of the street and turned back one last time. The red iMac was still there: it hadn’t been a dream.

It was as if I’d come across a Ferrari in a scrap yard; A diamond flung out with the night soil. Shaken, I walked on. It was obviously time to see if the charity shop had any Apples. 😉


A brief introduction to The Portsmouth Sinfonia.

The 1970’s were an odd time, what with Biba, flares, platforms, and me becoming a wide-eyed teenager listening to Sgt Peppers over and over and over again – which is not a reference to Nana Mouskouri who my Dad fancied something rotten, though he never actually said as much. Well, he wouldn’t, would he?

Then I discovered Pink Floyd and… but I digress. I was turned on to The Portsmouth Sinfonia by a good friend after I became a drummer. I’ve often wondered why. Perhaps he thought I should go and join them? Hmm. Nevertheless, along with Monty Python, The Portsmouth Sinfonia have given me many many laughs.

Without further ado, here they are playing ‘Sunrise’ from Strauss’s ‘Also sprach Zarathustra.’ And here is a link to their Wikipedia page. Enjoy! 😀

Kamakura Sussex

Around and about

As I haven’t blogged in what seems an age, and as I’ve just backed up my phone camera – which had over a thousand pictures on it, I thought it only decent to post what’s probably tgoing to be closer to waffle than diary. This is in reverse order, so the more recent are at the bottom and the oldest at the top. However it does include Royalty, so those who are all pooped out with the Jubilee should beware.

Here then, are a few scattered oddities around and about town and other places:

There’s a vacant lot by Warrior Square Station. Obviously they couldn’t sell it as a building plot – besides, there are so many empty shops nearby you’d have your pick and you definitely wouldn’t want to live there – so instead they have used it for a mini sculpture park. Not that you can walk inside and touch! To me it looks like they had an accident putting razor wire on the fence, but what do I know. The following two shots are, I think, artistically better.

Better viewed from more abstract angles and directions.

Then I come upon this. The Tubman. I’ve never been inside, and I’m not sure I’d want to drink there without a Harry Potter to come to the rescue. I kind of like the decoration in a dark, black goth, sort of way: but it’s not at all jolly hockey sticks, or very welcoming. It’s more a ‘fancy a pint of blood?’ kind of gaff.

Up the street a nadge is this little lane that instantly sparked a number of fantasy plots…

…and just a stones throw away this – which made me wonder at the fantasy plots I was musing over; at humanity and its taste in general, and the locals and their taste in particular. I guess I’m just not a Gnome lover. Elves and Dragons and Wizards, yes: Gnomes, no.

The next day I was walking along the seafront and saw this beautifully painted car. Being presently carless I’m rather jealous, though I’m not sure how I’d feel if I had a bad hangover.

Then, on the 2nd June, we went to Canning Town to play a gig in a venue surrounded by scrap yards (most odd). Still, you can’t deny human ingenuity. One of the scrapyards had cleverly thought of a way to make extra revenue. I’m not convinced ‘Oasis’ is intentionally ironic, though I rather hope it is.

Then came the Jubilee. Locally, excitement was high. Here, Queen Victoria sports the latest in Royal headwear.

Though I’m not a dyed (or should that be died) in the wool Royalist, I do think the Queen is a remarkable woman, and the pageant on the Thames was rather splendid – even though the coverage was so dumbed down and crass the BBC should be spanked. Here though, I was convinced she was spying on me having tea.

Which brings me to yesterday – or, by the time this is posted, the day before yesterday. The last night of the Jubilee celebrations. We played a really good gig at The Rose and Crown in Worthing. The stage was tiny, but the audience wasn’t!

So that’s me up-to-date. Camera phones are wondrous beasts indeed!


Live at The Fiddler’s Elbow.

On the 16th we played The Fiddler’s Elbow to a packed out crowd! Umm, okay, so that’s a porky. Yes, we played The Fiddler’s Elbow, and it was a really good gig. But, as it was a Wednesday night, there were only a few people there. Still, slowly-slowly catch the monkey – or some such platitude.

Anyway, for your delectation and delight, here’s a video of ‘Broken Heart’ a song penned by Codey, a friend I never met who, very sadly, died just before his 18th Birthday.


Kamakura Sussex

Dubious or what.

In the bog of the smuggler, Pett.


We played a gig on Sunday at The Smuggler in Pett. As gigs go it went jolly well. There was a nice lady dancing by the bar, and quite a few more people tapping feet. There was also clapping to which I humbly replied “Thank you,” or “Thank you so much,” in a slightly shy murmur that, no doubt, Freddie Mercury would have howled at.

The odd song arrangement I managed to stuff up went well, too: in that nobody noticed, or if they did they were to polite to say. It’s amazing that you can rehearse until you’re as perfect as perfect can be, and then your brain goes blank when faced with an audience. Ho hum, and c’est la vie and all that.

Anyway, the point of this blog entry is A) I haven’t blogged in a while and thought I should, and B) we had a poster and I thought you should see it. Of course the poster wasn’t just put up in the gents, it was on the noticeboard as well. But where’s the fun in that?

Kamakura Sussex

Apocryphal or what.

Kamakura - on the rack in HMV


A while back, though not in the dimest past, I found Mick sniggering. On asking him what was so funny he said he’d put a copy of our album ‘Dealing With Liquids’ in the racks at HMV Records in the town centre.

‘Sure you did,’ I said in a disbelieving tone designed to wind him up. Then I forgot. A while later he said there were now three in there and they been marked up at £10. ‘Hmm,’ said I, as sometimes young Mick can be a little fanciful … a little bit Walter Mitty.

So … I finally found myself near HMV and went to have a look: and now I publically kowtow, and apologise for disbelieving him. There was our CD in all its shrink-wrapped glory. I was almost tempted to buy it so they’d re-order; I was almost tempted to buy it to see if we ever received a royalty statement.

The thrill of seeing your own album in a large record store is worth the cost of putting the album there yourself. Better, anyway, than having them glaring at you from a shelf above your desk.

Word! 🙂

Kamakura Studio


Drums awaiting the drummer

We’re now a five piece: rhythm guitar/keys and vocals, keyboards and vocals, lead guitar, bass guitar and drums. Playing live is very different to playing with backing tracks. More fluid and less tight (maybe), but infinitely variable. It’s liberating; fun, and I wouldn’t miss our Tuesday rehearsals if you offered me the world … okay, so I might. But if I had the world I’d be able to rehearse anyway, so ya boo sucks to you! 😉


Six neck guitar


Here’s something you don’t see everyday*. A totally useless six neck guitar. Why? I mean, what’s the point? As an instrument it’s impossible to play (unless you’re the size of Hagrid with six foot arms), and as bragging rights go – sorry, but your mates are going to think you’re a tosser.

I suppose, if push comes to shove, you could stick it on the wall and dust it a lot: an awful lot.

*I nabbed the photo from a friend’s blog.

F1 – the magnificent!

Formula One - 2012 season calendar

Everybody follows a sport, right? Wrong! I didn’t follow any sport until the mid 1990’s, which is, apparently, a pretty heinous crime.

Football I loathe: I can’t see the point. Cricket is really too slow and a sport for statisticians: besides, it appears that nowadays they cheat for shedloads of money. Rugger I quite like, but is better played than watched. Ditto for Squash – though there isn’t any television coverage of Squash as far as I’m aware.

Baseball is a sport I could have got into. Once, back in the 1980’s, when I was in the U.S.A. working my way around selling T-Shirts at rock concerts, I got taken to see the Ney York Yankees vs the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The game was fantastic, full on, energetic and bloody amazing! By some fluke of fate I caught a home run ball that had been belted into the stands. From then on until the game finished I was protected by two hulking American friends in order to stop rabid fans from taking the ball off me. Later, I got a vibe off the same friends that they were quite upset I’d caught the ball. One of them had been going to watch the Yankees for years and had never managed it. Still, they were happy for me and that night we got drunk and tried to knock over a street light outside a bar in Queens.

Sadly, Baseball isn’t televised in the U.K., So that put paid to that. I suppose Tennis was the closest I came to following a sport, but that only for the Wimbledon fortnight. So that was me and sport …

… until 1996 when I was howling in a band with the name ‘Split Pyramid.’ Don’t ask me why we were called that, I have no idea. The other band members, to a man, followed F1. And they all played the Playstation F1 game. I took up both, and F1 still has me avidly in its clutches even though I’ve never been to a live Grand Prix:

“Maybe this year,” is what I say in January every year. Who knows, maybe it will be this year?

I also follow Joe Saward’s blog for the inside scoop and gossip, ’cause who doesn’t need a little scoop (two scoops and a flake, please) and gossip, these days?

Elbow’s ‘build a rocket boys!’


I’ve just heard Elbow‘s 2011 album ‘build a rocket boys!‘ for the first time and I don’t know what to think.

‘The Seldom Seen Kid’, their 2008 album, which won the Mercury prize, was phenomenal. I discovered it as we were recording our first album and was gob smacked. It was pure genius, just bloody brilliant! I loved it; listened to nothing else for a month, and spent most of that time sinking into a deep depression thinking I’d never be as good a songwriter as Guy Garvey (who, along with Elbow, I’d never heard of before).

The Seldom Seen Kid‘ was an eye opener. A turn on to a new band, an album I loved (in case it’s not obvious!), and I was in awe. Then… well, then we finished ‘Dealing With Liquids‘, had it mastered and released, and I went on to other things, occasionally listening to a track or ten of Elbow as I went about my life.

Until today I hadn’t realised they’d recorded another album, and I was so, so excited!

And now I’m confused, really confused. ‘build a rocket boys!’ had rave reviews, but on a first listen I don’t hear it, I just don’t hear it. I hope it’s a grower. I hope after listening to it a few more times I’ll like it, love it, and understand why it’s so good. I hope. Sincerely I do. But sitting here, writing this, I’m not sure.

I’ll update at some point.