James & JP Against The Strikers – Get Back To Work You Lazy Bastardoz

Anyone who knows me, knows I am ardently against strikes and especially the disgusting trade unions.

And a lot of people seem to be very upset about the strikes, the majority of the people I know are.  So I enlisted my good friend JP and we headed down to the strikes in Forbury Gardens, in Reading, to get our point across.

There were about 1,000 people in total as expected, which took me a little by surprise.  I won’t be surprised if the trade unions estimate 5,000.

At first we just got a few smiles and laughs from people in attendance – shouting “Love your banks” and “Get back to work you lazy ****ards” seemed to get a bit of attention.

Most people took us in good humour – after all if they can protest against something we vehemently disagree with, then why can we not protest?  Someone has to get across the views of the majority of hard-working people – many of whom are suffering due to the selfishness of the strikers – we spoke to one gentleman who has had to take a day off work to look after his kid due to the strikes – he wasn’t especially against them having their say but questioned why the strike couldn’t have taken place on a school holiday?  I wonder…

But there were a few who were noticeably aggressive, mainly women I have to add, who were in our face rather aggressively and clearly trying to provoke us – shocked that anyone could possibly have an opinion differing to theirs.  A few quite horrid people.  Maybe they were just angry.  I am sure they don’t have a high opinion of us either.

Most people however took it in good humour, and we had some good discussions and met some very nice people, who just happened to have a difference of opinion.

Apologies that there are no photos, but we were photographed and interviewed by the Reading Chronicle, Newbury Post and Reading Live – maybe another one too, so my moment of fame has finally arrived and JP’s domination of the local press continues.

Anyway, my work for the day is done, I shall get back to being a lazy ass, just like the 1,000 people in Forbury Gardens.

I look forward to the hate mail following the newspaper articles…and the obsessive argument from a certain someone when I post this link on Facebook 😉

Another Very Enjoyable Night At Mango!

As much as I love going to see my heroes like Sven and Ricardo, and going to amazing nightclubs like fabric – there is something almost equally satisfying as going to see very good friends DJ, especially when they pull off an absolutely superb set.

Three good friends of mine were playing on Saturday, Matt and Dan first for a very pleasing three hours, and a superb warm-up of really good quality house music – exactly up my street and I absolutely loved it!  Honourable mention also for Rick who played some really good tunes in amongst possibly a few too many deeper tunes which kind of lost me from time to time as I was looking for something a bit more up-tempo but not to take anything away from an accomplished DJ – I was just a bit too lively by 1/2am 😉

Not too lively to enjoy the electro-house which frustratingly finished the night both outside and inside.  Other people’s music.  But it is Mango and I think you still have to mix it up a bit.  It is not fabric where the crowd will accept and love pretty much anything, especially if they have never heard it before.

Anyway, in a month I have seen several friends play good sets, very good sets or truly excellent sets.  You know who you are.  I like this.  It is much appreciated.

Also very pleasing is that my local club, Mango, seems to have got it’s groove back for the first time since 2008.  So many people fell out of love with it 2009 onwards, myself especially, and finally it seems like it might be a place to go for good house music again in Reading (and similar genres) and a good dance and this has been sorely missed the last couple of years.  If I can be suitably impressed, and I am a hell of a tough one to please, then it must be getting something right.

Until 4 weekends ago, I hadn’t had 3 good nights there in 3 years – now I have had 3 in a month.

Why has it changed?  Well, the soundsystem is improved.  Still far from perfect as it sounds awful in some locations especially near the bar, especially when some DJs play too loud so it sounds crap (that’ll be the red parts on the mixer in case any crap DJs are reading), but on the dancefloor it is clear and not too loud – but loud enough.  The crowd are much improved, less twats and almost back to what it was in it’s hey-day, and the security have chilled out and are not in your face, which may be to do with the crowd being much improved perhaps.

And most importantly there is much better music being played.

Resident Advisor DJ Poll

Yes, we all know the DJ Mag poll is wank.

However, the Resident Advisor one is excellent.

I encourage you to vote.  But you can only vote if you are already a member.  And polling closes on 30th November.

Do not worry.  Tiesto will not win.  He is the favourite of just 1,000 members.  Maya Jane Coles gets 3,000, Sven 5,000 and Ricardo 10,000.  That is the way it should be.

Anyway, based on how much enjoyment I have gained from their DJ sets that I have seen them perform this year, this is my fairly predictable top 5:

1. Ricardo Villalobos (Cocoon In the Park, July)
2. Sven Vath (fabric, May)
3. Art Department (fabric, October)
4. Nina Kraviz (Cocoon, Amnesia, September)
5. Danny Daze (fabric, September)

And I can only recall being impressed with two live acts so they are:

1. Maceo Plex (fabric, October)
2. Nicolas Jaar (fabric, July)

Sadly you cannot vote for me, because I do not have a DJ page, despite that infamous Ibiza after-party.  I cannot create a page until I have played at an event listed on Resident Advisor.  And yes, I did previously think about inventing an event but you then need to create a venue.

Next year folks 😉

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Three blog posts in one day?  No, I don’t have a job, honest!

Did James Sort Out Mixmag’s CDs?

Those of you that know me, will likely know that I am normally not one to complain.

But a series of shite Mixmag CDs led me to have a rant one drunken evening back in 2010, and the world has changed significantly since then.

I give the history leading up to the monumental event of my complaint, and the proof of my influence:

August 2009 – Tiesto.  Shit CD.

September 2009 – Bestival.  Shit CD.
October 2009 – Armand Van Helden & A-Trak.  Very shit CD.
November 2009 – Cassius.  Shit CD.
December 2009 – Kissy Sell-Out.  Very shit CD.
January 2010 – Diplo.  Very shit CD.
February 2010 – Mylo – Very shit CD.
March 2010 – DJ Zinc – Very shit CD.
April 2010 – Sub Focus – Shit CD.
May 2010 – Crookers – Very shit CD.

But – May 2010 featured a letter, from me:

OK, it took a couple of months to sort out, but one assumes these things are arranged in advance.

June 2010 – Joris Voorn – So-so CD.
July 2010 – Fatboy Slim – Shit CD.

August 2010 – Calvin Harris – Very shit CD.
September 2010 – Alex Kidd & Kutski – Shit CD.

October 2010 – Sebastian Ingrosso – Poor CD.

November 2010 – Jamie Jones & Seth Troxler – Very good CD.  Finally!

December 2010 – James Zabiela – OK CD.

January 2011 – Jaymo & Andy George – Shit CD.
February 2011 – Jack Beats – Shit CD.

March 2011 – Mark Knight – Poor CD.

April 2011 – Felix Da Housecat – Very shit CD.
May 2011 – Radio Slave – Very good CD.

June 2011 – Shy FX – Not my cup of tea.

July 2011 – Cassy – Good CD.

August 2011 – Above & Beyond – Not my cup of tea

September 2011 – Sven!  Excellent CD!

October 2011 – Riva Starr – OK CD.

November 2011 – Maya Jane Coles – Good CD.
December 2011 – Sasha – Good CD.

And of course, my thank you letter:

Rotate it yourself lazy asshole – I fixed Mixmag, what have you done?

So, you can see that every month was the same old shitty Annie Mac electro-gash every single month until I wrote my letter, then there was increasingly more variety and during 2011 there have been some rather excellent CDs.

Plus the magazine actually started covering underground house/techno too, and not just electro-gash.

So, feel free to buy me a drink or ten to celebrate me fixing Mixmag.

Being King Of Morocco

Last night I became King Of Morocco.

It was truly amazing.

I had all the women I wanted – not even the hottest would turn me down, I had so many servants, I had my own amazing nightclubs and all the hottest DJs played there on demand, it was party party party, and anyone who upset me ended up in prison.

And the food was amazing, amazing joints of meat, amazingly tasty fish – though I don’t recall there being any gravy.

I was in complete control of the whole world around me and I could do anything I liked – it was so much fun.

And then I woke up.

I guess though that it wasn’t really much different to my real life.  Perhaps with a lack of servants but I just need to import a few from Tajikistan and all would be good.

Oh, and I have to go to the Job Centre today.  So perhaps life isn’t quite all in my control.  Well I guess I don’t have to, but I kind of want that free money that many of you pay tax for so I can go on the piss this weekend.

Speaking of which, I feel a beer or two could be required at Cape this evening, and then a little trip to Mango tomorrow night where three friends of mine are DJing so there should be some good house music.  Proceeded by a drink or two in Sahara – they play nice space disco there on a Saturday evening too.

Thankfully, the bank still know who is king.

Berlin Architecture

Those of you who know me well, will know that my upbringing in Hull has led me to appreciate beautiful architecture.

There were many interesting examples in Berlin so I thought I would capture a few of them for you:

In case you missed my review of my trip, it is here.

I hope you appreciate the beauty as much as I did.

James Did Time

No don’t worry, I haven’t been to prison.  But I did watch Question Time.

However, this time I am talking about a little night called Time, run by good friends, JP and Martin, at Mango in Reading.

I missed the launch night due to sunburn post-Ibiza so I felt more than compelled to make sure I was in attendance this time, and avoided all possible sunburn/natural disasters last week.

I was a little wary given my musical snobbishness however I am pleased to report that I gained a healthy amount of enjoyment out of the night, and there was some good music.

Firstly, that I saw anyway, was my good friend Sam Red, clearly inspired from our Berlin adventure, though she had to cope with the DJ before playing horrid electro-house to finish which was anything but a warm-up, however she did well to calm it back down to a normal level, giving enough for a pre-midnight dancefloor, as I would expect.

Next was Tim Sharpe, who runs the Groovetech nights in and around Reading, and he definitely took it up a notch with some nice techno grooves – I only caught half of his set as I was busy socialising but I enjoyed what I saw.

Then JP and Martin, as Dark Matter – I was really hoping I would enjoy some of their set, I know they have a propensity to play more crowd-pleasing electro-house which is pretty much the antithesis of what I enjoy but I was pleasantly surprised, at least for the first half of their set by some good underground driving techno beats, though the second half was more what I was expecting and I struggled somewhat, but that isn’t to take anything away from them – I was at Mango – not fabric, and they had a fair amount of people dancing.

Fingers crossed they get their album sorted out in time for next summer, as they are starting to fulfil their potential, and have come quite a way since I first saw them play together over a year ago now.

And finally, erm, Janette Slack the headliner – the less said the better!  She probably was enjoyed by others but I hated it, just horrid ra ra ra electro-house – other people’s music, not mine.  But I expected no less.

Outside had a nice contrast of hip-hop for the first half of the night, again not my cup of tea but thankfully not something to scare me – unlike the dubstep which finished off outside.  Aaarrrgggh!  Again – other people’s music, not mine.

The were enough friendly faces in the crowd to keep me amused when I struggled with the music, though not quite as busy as one would have hoped for two of my favourite promoters – but considering November is never the busiest month in clubland, I think they should be satisfied.

In summary, it is a good little night, with something for most people and I look forward to my next time.

This coming Saturday is another night at Mango (3 in a month – who would have thought it?!), with 3 more good friends DJing, Matt, Dan & Rick.  I look forward to it.

A Post About Hull City And Our New Manager

I don’t post often about Hull City so forgive me if I mention them now our manager has left us.

Ever since Adam Pearson has been involved with Hull City, as chairman/owner/whatever he is now (rugby league club owner I think), he has had a record of appointing one really bad manager followed by one really good manager.

Firstly, Jan Molby, when we were in division 3 (now known as division 2).  Say no more.
Second, Peter Taylor, who guided us through two promotions into the Championship.  Then he left for Crystal Palace and subsequent obscurity.
Third, Phil Parkinson who lasted about 34 hours, guided us towards relegation and was swiftly sacked.
Fourth, Phil Brown, our ultimate hero who rescued us from relegation, then the next year got us promoted to the Premiership for the first time ever against all the odds, and even more miraculously kept us up there.  Second season in the Premiership he was sacked by the returning Adam Pearson (well put on gardening leave to be more accurate).
Fifth, Iain Dowie.  The ugliest football manager ever.  And one of the worst.  Relegation.
Sixth, Nigel Pearson.  Very boring but got rid of all our shit players, even Bullard eventually, and shaped a really good young squad which could have got promoted this year.

Now, Nicky Barmby.  Hull legend, but has never managed anything or anyone.  However, his sister used to be my babysitter when I was very young sometimes, and she was quite a looker.

If his sister could manage me as a child, I therefore conclude that Nicky Barmby may be able to do a good job.

His dad was also a very good electrician for Hull City when we were at Boothferry Park.

I can think of one or two footballers who an electrician may be quite suitable for.

Don’t worry, I won’t mention football again for a while.

Boobs.

Youth Unemployment

I watched Newsnight a couple of nights ago and they had a piece on youth unemployment which has just gone over the 1,000,000 mark.

Noticeably, they pointed out that it didn’t start rising significantly with the Coalition government in 2010, nor did it start rising when the shit hit the economic fan back in 2008.

It started rising significantly in 2004.

What struck me even more is just how deluded some of the young people on there were.

I have to admit that I think I was probably just as equally deluded when I was a youngster, and I blame it partly on the education establishments for not setting realistic expectations.  And on the inexperience of youth.

Certain young people on there made me burst out laughing – one demanded that graduates be given good jobs just because they had a degree, as if doing a degree entitles you to a good, well-paid job instantly.  So arrogant.

Another complained that only 1 person out of 100 on her Media Studies course got a job doing what they wanted to do, ie work in the media.  Erm…

And another was complaining that her college had withdrew the course on song-writing that she wanted to do, because she wants to be a singer.

It is a massive problem, and I do feel a lot of sympathy towards them because when I left university in 2000, you didn’t need a degree to get a jobs – companies were struggling to find people to employ, at least here in the boom town of Reading.

I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do when I grew up, ie become a Meteorologist – but I am more than satisfied with running my weather blog.

It would be nice if there was something I could do to help other than blog about it – I wish I owned a company!

Anyway, I’m busy, I need to get back to applying for those Chief Executive Jobs that I deserve.