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Tonight, The Stranglers play the O2 Academy, Glasgow.

This is their 40th Anniversary tour, bloody hell, where did that go?

40 years ago, Scotland qualified for the World Cup in Germany and remain the only team that never suffered a defeat in the opening group stages to be removed from the competition.

Hardly a claim,, but we were a fairly decent football team then.

I first came across The Stranglers in the summer of 1977, when punk rock and new wave became popular.

Their first single was a Double A-Side of Peaches and Go Buddy Go which we played constantly.

The difference between The Stranglers and the majority of Punk that was around at the time, is that these were actually musicians and had been playing as a rock band for years before jumping on the New Wave bandwagon .. or should that be being pigeon holed under .. as everyone needs to be hit with a label.

In my mind, they were never really punks, not like The Wire, or the manufactured bands like Sex Pistols and Generation X, they were more Ramones style, American Punk rather than the UK punks of Mohican Haircuts and bondage trousers.

Me and my pal Jim went to see them at the Glasgow Apollo around that time ( 77/78 ) Jumping around to Go Buddy Go, Something Better Change and No More Heroes.

Of course there was no way that we could dress as punks, we were still kids at the time and our mammies widnae let us!

The memories!

40 years ago, Jim was my best pal, we used to play football every day, tennis when Wimbledon was on the tv and ran home to see Stansky and Hutch on the tv every Saturday night.

Strangely, because of the religious divide in Glasgow, we went to different schools .. how crazy is that?

We played fitba all day, ate in each other’s house, backed each other up in fights, occasionally fell out, went camping together to Tighnabruich for weeks during the summer.

But we had to go to different schools? Madness!

After leaving school aged 16, we both started working in the shipyards, Jim was a joiner and I was an engineer.

Jim was my mate, my best mate but our families moved when we were 18 and we lost touch although I’d hear news about him on the grapevine every now and then.

Well, with the gig coming up tonight, I was thinking about him the other day and decided to look him up.

There he was in his Facebook, smiling away with his wife and family and his contact details below.

So I sent him a text, he texted back almost immediately and after a few more of these I picked up the phone and we chatted away for the next few hours.

Jim is still a great guy and we got on like a house on fire, I’m delighted how life has worked out for him. He’s married again, has an 8 year old daughter, still works in the shipyards and is happy with his lot.

I’m delighted for him and we arranged to meet up soon.

So guess where we are going tonight?

I’m going to the Stranglers at the O2 and he is going to Tighnabruich! J

Would have been fab if he was going to the gig, but we’re meeting for a curry soon and I’ve agreed to go to Tighnabruich with him next time.

Happy daze!!

The Walking Dead – Don’t Look Now?

Have you watched any of this series yet?

It’s a been around since 2010 but I hadn’t come across it until last night and I’m not aware of it having been shown on mainstream UK TV.

First of all, I don’t watch much TV and don’t’ really have the time or inclination to sit and watch a series every week, I’ve got other things to do and would only forget about it and end up lost.

I tried to watch Lost a few years ago and lost the plot and frankly the will to watch as it never seemed to reach a conclusion.

But that changed last year when I was able to watch every episode of Breaking Bad over a period of a month and not have to wait a week for the next episode.

Breaking Bad is a stupendous drama, click the link above for more details and go watch it, you’ll love the decline/rise of mild-mannered Walter White into drug king.

The story is full of moral dilemmas where the good guy does bad things, but their justifiable most of the time and it’s hard to not feel sorry for Walt in his predicament of doing whatever it takes to protect his family.

Anyway, since BB concluded last year, I’ve tried to watch another series or two, something that captures the imagination and holds my attention.

Dexter – Again, good guy does bad for the right reasons .. but actually found it predictable and bit dull after a while.

Orange Is The New Black – Dull .. end of.

I also tried a few others that I can’t even remember ..

But last night I was over at my brothers sorting out his WDtv media player so that he could watch the US version of Netflix rather than the UK version.

He’d already modified his DNS settings as per the instructions I put on here last week but it still wasn’t working. It seems those tricky buggers at Western Digital need you to also modify the timezone to be in the US or the DNS changes don’t work.

The WDtv is a nice wee player and has all the usual catch-up TV services, a web browser and Netflix and is a bargain at 57 quid from Amazon.

My preferences and I own both of these devices are the Apple TV and the Samsung smart BluRay player ( 75 Quid and 99 quid respectively from Amazon )

A BluRay player and smart media player for under a 100 quid .. what are you waiting for?

After changing the system time-zone, he was connected to Netflix US and we sat down to watch the first episode of The Walking Dead which he had been recommended.

First of all, I don’t like horror movies, so I found the first scene where Deputy Sherriff Robert Kirkman played by Andrew Lincoln ( remember him in This Lie, Teachers and Love Actually) walks through a decimated accident scene , then comes across a child carrying a teddy, who turns round to face him revealing that she is a grotesque evil little zombie quite disturbing.

It reminded me of the final scene of the classic horror film Don’t Look Now starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland.

That gave me nightmares for weeks!

Anyways, we carried on watching and were still watching 3 episodes later when I had to head for home bleary eyed.

My first impression of this being a horror movie have changed, it’s actually a drama series set within a zombie apocalypse and is exceptionally well written with a fantastic dialogue.

If you like horror movies you’ll love it.

If you like well written dramas and can get past the zombie horror bits then you’ll enjoy it tremendously.

T In The Park – No More Heroes!

This year’s T In The Park Tickets go on sale on Friday this week.

However as I was there last year, I received an email this morning for the Pre-Sale and can buy the tickets between now and the public sale opening on Friday morning.

Last year I had a fantastic weekend from start to finish, absolutely loved it ..

And do you know what that I found amazing, the experience of going was better than the music, which I largely wasn’t too fussed about before I went and although I enjoyed it more than I expected, it was the festival experience that I enjoyed most.

I wrote about it here at the time …

Before .. and just noticed how excited I was ..


After .. and how I was still buzzing ..


But, have you saw the line up for this year yet?

Got to be honest,, I’m not that impressed… but I wasn’t that impressed last year either .. only this seems somehow worse?

More bands that I haven’t heard of and some that I really wouldn’t want to see anyway.

Arctic Monkeys as a head-liner .. fuck right off .. the most over-rated band I’ve had the pleasure not to see.

Did you see them on The Brits last week, that lead singer is a complete dick. ( Ed – Why don’t you say what you really mean!! )

Okay I do like a couple of their songs, but even a broken clock .. gets the time right twice per day.

On the other hand, there are a few bands that I would like to see in a festival setting .. James, The Stranglers, Paulo Nutini .. but these guys are all touring before TITP and I will have seen them anyway .. so what benefit is there in seeing them at TITP?

James .. saw them twice last year and every time they play in Scotland, fantastic live band, they will be superb at TITP

The Stranglers this Friday at the O2 Academy.. really looking forward to it .. last time I seen them a few years ago I had a great time.

So got a bit of mixed emotion going on going to TITP .. line-up not good, but neither was last years, although the experience turned out to be fantastic.

Then you have to factor in the ticket price for The Residence .. no way am I going camping in the mud-fest and anywhere without decent showers and loos.


The Bedouin Tent, The Indian Shiktar or The Luxury Cloud Yurt are the ones for me, but at 900 quid per person, is it worth it?

What to do?

Okay, you know what I’m going to do, I’m in denial, but I know that I’ll end up booking, besides my 16 year old daughter is going with her pals this year and I want to be somewhere close by just in case.

The Platform Lovers – Sleeping Together Separately!

Graeme slowly opened his eyes and struggled to remember where he was.

The low autumn sun was out there somewhere barely penetrating the darkness but it was enough to recognise that he wasn’t at home.

This was the first time in as long as he could remember waking up in someone else’s bed, As his eyes became accustomed to the light he could see his surroundings, his clothes dropped on the floor,, the new dresses hanging over the curtain rail and the dressing table cluttered with straighters, makeup and other girlie products.

He remembered where he was and smiled, running over the night before in his head, drinking wine and cooking dinner together, then a movie, drinking wine and making love on the sofa downstairs.

Did I say drinking wine twice? Hhhmm!!

He remembered the pillow talk before they fell asleep entwined, her head on his chest and her thigh across his, both of them sleepy but he can’t remember who dropped off first.

He wondered if he had been sleep-talking before he dropped off, he usually did, his wife had always told him that she could ask him anything when he was sleepy and that it was just as well that he wasn’t messing around or he would turn himself in. They laughed about it then, so happy in their perfect world before she was taken from him so suddenly.

It was starting to come back to him and he remembered how he could feel her presence as he slept, occasionally reaching over to hold her or making spoons for a while then turned away for comfort.

Funny how he found comfort holding her, but to sleep he had to be away from her, maybe he had been sleeping on his own too long, but with reflection it was always that way.

Sleeping together separately. He liked that.

Graeme could hear her breathing, soft and gently as she slept, so different from the sounds that she had been making the night before. He quietly rolled over to look at her confident that even a brass band parading by wouldn’t wake her.

Mari had her back to him, sleeping on her right shoulder, her long blonde hair normally so coiffured flopping on the pillow behind her.

He loved her womanly figure, loved the way that she curved in two planes simultaneously as her back narrowed to her waist and then flicked back out again to her hips then sloped around her ass and faded away linearly from her thighs to her ankle.

She was beautiful, simply beautiful and the real beauty of it was that she didn’t really know how absolutely lovely she was.

He took a moment to look at her, to drink her, he tried to capture an image of her in his mind’s eye, just in case this moment never happened again.

He knew that he was being irrational, that he had no reason to think like that, but he always liked to be on the safe side and if this never happened again then he wanted to treasure it.

She looked like an angel, he never imagined that he would be so lucky to meet someone so attractive on an internet dating site, not at his age. He’d be 50 in a few years and liked to keep himself fit, he was naturally slim and running around after 2 young kids took care of the rest.

But he wondered what he done right to end up meeting a girl as beautiful as her, who was smart, funny and had such a similar outlook on life and seemed to like him as much as he liked her.

Whatever it was, he wished he knew because he’d make a fortune selling that formula online.

Graeme leaned forward and gently kissed her on the shoulder. Even although his morning wood has started to throb somewhere in his loins, he didn’t want to disturb her, not now, she looked too peaceful, there was time for that yet!


Note to reader – Another backfill chapter in the story

Are You More Beautiful Today?

How beautiful are you?
More beautiful than you know
That’s for sure
It’s in the warmth of your smile
And the kindness of your eyes
But you can’t see it yourself

How beautiful are you?
More beautiful than your children know.
That’s for sure
It’s in all the things that you do
And the pride that you feel
But they can’t see it themselves

How beautiful are you
More beautiful than your lover knew
That’s for sure
It’s in the memories you made
And the love that you gave
But he didn’t see it at the time

How beautiful are you?
More beautiful each day
That’s for sure
He can only appreciate you now
It’s so obvious since you’ve left
As he sees you with another man

Are you more beautiful today?

I knocked that up on the train to work and tidied it up on the way home.

That new job is keeping me far too busy and interfering with my writing time.

It has to go!!

Anyhoo, I was inspired to write a poem for a change after reading someone else’s unrelated work.

But it made me think poetry and somehow that popped up possibly because I was listening to Somebody Told Me by The Killers on the school run this morning.

I like that song but if you listen to the lyrics it’s actually quite dark. Jealousy is such a destructive emotion.

By contrast, i prefer the positive side. I like songs and stories about overcoming adversity, usually in love this is the unappreciated female role.

I don’t know why but I’ve always supported the underdog, maybe it’s because deep down I can relate to them?

Go figure!! 🙂

Ballet Or Beyoncé?

Friday night and would you believe it .. I’m double booked!!

Tonight Beyonce plays the Glasgow Hydro and I have 2 tickets, I also have tickets for Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at The Kings Theatre.


I’ve never seen Beyonce live although have to say I’ve fancied her since the first time I laid eyes on her .. what red blooded male wouldn’t?

She is a total babe and seems to have got better with time.

A few years ago, she did a one-off show at the BBC London and it was fantastic .. even although some of the content isn’t exactly for me .. eg Single Ladies .. err naaaw yer awright doll!

But the girl can sing, unlike Rhianna who mimed her way through T In The Park last year .. or even Katy Perry who’s performance on The Voice a few weeks ago was embarrassingly bad.

Who can forget Crazy In Love and Beyonce shaking her booty beside a fire hydrant .. apparently there was a guy in the video, I never noticed.

I promised myself tickets and bought them when they first came out a year ago.

But forgot about them until my daughter Claire reminded me last night.

Now I don’t get called DancingBhoy for nothing, I’ve always enjoyed dancing, I’ve only been to the ballet once before and loved it.

This is the production which featured at the end of the film Billy Elliot which I absolutely love.

So what to do?

Actually it wasn’t difficult, my daughters were both wanting the Beyonce tickets and there was going to be a fight if one didn’t get to go and the other did.

Tonight, I’m meeting them in Glasgow and going for a bite to eat and they’re going to The Hydro and I’ll need to make do with the ballet .. bummer!!

Netflix – Accessing US Content

Just a wee update to a blog from a few months ago comparing Netflix and LoveFilm.

I’ve cancelled my Sky tv and my LoveFilm account and use Netflix whenever I want to watch tv.

The only downside is that by comparison the UK get so much less than the US, the last time I looked on the comparison site Netflixable.com it was 16,000 films available in the USA versus 4000 films available in the UK.

The USA also has much more recent movies available including Skyfall the latest James Bond movie which isn’t available in the UK

Anyhoo, the point of this story is that I was advising how to connect to US Netflix in the UK using a VPN, however this isn’t actually necessary.

All you really have to do is manually configure the DNS of the device you are connecting to be in the US and Netflix will give you access to the American content.

I’ve done this on a variety of devices including PS3, PS4, Apple TV, Samsung Media Players and it’s a fairly easy task.

Just go into the wireless settings on the devices and manually edit these, all you have to do is go to the DNS field which will probably be set to which is your router and change this to a different provider using the following IP address.


Kind of begs the question, why isn’t this content available globally without pissing around?

With digital transmissions and projections rather than 35mm, the days of the old media when films were released in the UK up to a year after the US are well behind us.

It’s time that the streaming services caught up with that.

If there are any problems with the IP address above try the following instead
069.042. 056.054