A favour – please buy the Justice Collective song and make it Xmas no 1!


I remember the Hillsborough disaster well. I was sitting in the pub with my boyfriend, listening to the football on the radio, when the report came in that someone at the FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Notts Forest had died. We were shocked. This was football … people didn’t die at football. We couldn’t quite take in the events as they unfurled, and later that evening, as the horror of  what had happened finally hit us, we hugged each other and sobbed.

There are some disasters that affect you more than others, because you have a personal link to the events. For me it’s Zebbrugge (we’d recently been to Holland and Denmark on the ferry), Dunblane (I had a young child) and Hillsborough – because I am and always have been a football fan, and at the time of Hillsborough I regularly attended matches. What really hit me was that it could have been any ground, any match, any fan – perhaps even me.

When the news broke in the summer that the cover up had finally been revealed I was pleased – because the families of those that died so badly need to get justice. So when I heard that a group of artists had recorded the Hollies’ song He Aint Heavy to raise money for charities related to the disaster, I had to buy it. OK I’d also like to stop the X Factor winner getting the Xmas number 1 too – but justice for the Hillsborough victims is a charity I can really get behind.

So the favour …. please buy the song. It’s less than a quid, at least 50% of that will go to the charities, and it might even get to number 1. You can get the MP3 from Amazon or iTunes, or I guess from your favourite record shop! You need to buy it in the next couple of days if you’re keen to keep the X Factor off the number 1 spot!

And if you’ve not heard it yet, here it is.

Truck Festival 2012: Review of Saturday


Back to Truck Festival on Saturday and wow, it’s sunny! After all the rain of the last few months we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The atmosphere seems a lot better too – the drunken kids seem to be sleeping off their hangovers and the families and “older people” (and yes, I count myself as one of them) are back, bringing with them a proper Truck festival vibe. Using my trusty Spotify playlist I’d planned out who I wanted to see for the second half of the day but the early afternoon bands were all a mystery to me – which is normally a good thing at Truck as there are often some hidden gems to be found. So first stop of the day was The Barn to see The See See, who brought a bit of Manchester rock to the festival. In all honesty I have no idea where they’re from, but they were definitely rocking the old Madchester sound, and had the haircuts to match, along with a peculiar obsession with footwear – they were keen to let us know their choice of shoes – trainers, barefoot, shoes without socks and sandals with socks! I really enjoyed their jangly rock pop but felt it was far too sunny for the gloomy Barn. (I’ve since found out The See See are based in London, though their members hale from New Zealand, Sweden, America and Leeds – not a Mancunian among them!) Lovely to see Truck founder Joe Bennett on stage doing a couple of trumpet blasts, and his brother Robin was around too. Continue reading

Truck Festival 2012: Review of Friday


We weren’t going to Truck Festival this year. Despite me being a regular Trucker since 2003 we decided that a combination of money, the Friday start and the weather – but mainly the weather – were enough to put us off. After all, this has been the wettest summer on record so far and I’ve reached an age where standing around in a muddy field in the pouring rain really doesn’t appeal any more. So that was it, we weren’t going … until the forecast improved and Steve suggested on Thursday lunchtime that maybe we could get tickets after all…. By then it was too late to take time off work and the kids had tickets for Batman on Friday afternoon, and we’d miss our favourite Truck band Alphabet Backwards, but we reckoned we could get there by 7pm and still fit in half a dozen bands, and have all day Saturday too – and with that we booked four of the remaining handful of tickets. We were going to Truck!

Arriving at a festival several hours after everyone else is a bit weird – Continue reading

Sad news about Truck Festival going into liquidation


Really sad to read that the company behind the Truck Festival has gone into liquidation. I was introduced to Truck in 2003 and have been every year since, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having been to Glastonbury a couple of times, Truck was similar in ethos yet on a much smaller scale. Set in fields just outside Didcot, there are three or four stages, including the main stage –  formed from a truck (of course!)  – and the Barn (now no longer used) which was … well, a smelly old barn. Over the years Truck has hosted a huge number of local bands as well as some bigger names too, and it’s become a family event for us too, as my kids (now teenagers) have come along for the last few years.

Over the years I’ve discovered the likes of Chikinki, Alphabet Backwards, The Race and Nathaniel Rateliffe, all who have become big favourites of mine; I’ve enjoyed performances as diverse as Mr Shaodow and KTB; I’ve watched big acts like Supergrass, Ash, Biffy Clyro and Futureheads wow the crowd, and I’ve seen smaller acts shortly before they have become household names – bands like Bellowhead, The Magic Numbers and Foals.

This year it was obvious that something was wrong long before the festival gates opened. Continue reading

Flute beatbox


No proper entry tonight as I’ve left it late and I’m tired. Instead, here’s a very funky flute player. Watching this earlier actually encouraged me to get my flute out of its box for the first time in years …. I can barely get a note out of it now though, never mind do this kind of thing! More practice needed …

How should I digitally store my CD collection?


OK I’ve got somewhere between 300-400 CDs but to be honest I rarely play them, mainly because they are on a shelf in the lounge and the stereo’s in there too and I’m more often in the other room on the computer, or upstairs, or on the laptop, and putting them in the CD is just too much hassle!

I’ve got an MP3 player – an old Sony one, 20GB – with lots of them on so I could fill that up … but my stereo is old and doesn’t seem to have any kind of input socket. I could buy a docking/speaker thing for it.  I’ve also got an iphone, but it’s 16GB and half full anyway so I don’t want to clog that up with other stuff!

So …. music./techy geeks out there … what should I do? Do I buy a network drive and put them all on there, or on my laptop hard drive (about 300GB free) and run them via a streaming service? Do I buy an iPod classic (or something else .. what?) and speaker dock and abandon the stereo? Do I get rid of the CDs completely and sign up to Napster or Spotify? Or is there another solution I haven’t thought of?!

What would YOU do?

Truck 13 review – Day 1


Wow. This weekend we went to Truck 13, my 8th Truck festival. If you’ve never heard of it, Truck is a small music festival held in Oxfordshire. It was the creation of two brothers, Robin and Joe Bennett, who wanted to be able to play in their band at a festival, but knew they’d never be picked for Glastonbury – so they created their own mini-Glasto! Truck is a fantastic mix of music, covering everything from rap to folk, and it’s really family-friendly too. The locals get involved as well – the Oxford Rotary Club man the food stalls and bar, and the Steventon vicar sells ice creams on the sweet stall!

Anyway, we had a fabulous time at Truck 13 last weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of who we saw. Continue reading

Truck 13 review – day 2


So I woke up on Sunday morning, having had about half an hour’s sleep, in a bit of a grump. Soon sorted that out with a bacon roll, coffee and an iced coffee milkshake from the Rotary people, yum! We had been worried about the weather over the weekend but Sunday turned out to be as lovely as Saturday, if not warmer.

We started the day in the Village Pub stage again with another band we’d never heard of – Minor Coles. Really impressive – good bouncy rock, not too heavy but had its moments, and the two guitarists also alternated with the singing – one had a quite soft sweet voice and the other’s was harder and rockier but could go gentle too. Made for some nice harmonies. Was good to have Joe Bennett doing a trumpet guest spot too! Continue reading