Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Marc Almond Tour...

Marc has decided to delay the release of his new album, Orpheus In Exile, until September. Marc feels it makes more sense to proceed the Autumn tour with the album for maximum exposure of both album and tour.

The Autumn shows will be diverse in the choice of material; Marc will be debuting some new songs from his forthcoming album currently being recorded (due for release in 2010), as well as some back catalogue favourites not played for a while and, of course, some old favourites without which a Marc Almond concert wouldn't be a Marc Almond concert so everybody, he hopes, will be satisfied and enjoy the shows.

The confirmed dates for the Autumn tour are below (please note the new telephone number for Leeds Grand Theatre, the phone number previously sent out no longer works!)

29 October - Birmingham Alexandra Theatre (0870 607 7533)
30 October - Manchester Academy 2 (0161 832 1111)
1 November - London Roundhouse (0844 482 8008)
3 November - Bournemouth Opera House (08700 600 100)
4 November - Leeds Grand Theatre (0113 222 6222)

Tickets available online from www.gigsandtours.com and from the 24 hour credit card hotline on 0871 2200 260.

Please note that tickets do not go on sale until 9am on Friday 1 May - please do not ring venue box offices or ticket lines before this time.

EDF Energy...

EDF Energy deigned to give me a refund to my electricity bill of £265.54 a few days ago. Money that they had overcharged me over the past three months. The swines! (An insult that has some resonance of late).


I love his forward head nods at the end of each video as if to say, "I'm right, aren't I?" Got to be a joke right?

If not, he's a sick man. Watch Jesusophile's musing on a vagina full of AIDS and why atheists' arguments don't work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine 'Flu / Overreaction...

The internet has responded to the absolutely positively inevitable pandemic of swine flu with typical restraint and a decent sense of proportion, providing everything from context-sensitive maps to an iPhone application for those preparing to flee for the hills.

The irksome fact that the majority of people who contract the new H1N1 flu strain get a bit peaky and then recover provides no reason not to panic, and Web 2.0 is ready to provide you with up-to-the second updates in case you're starting to get relaxed about the whole issue.

Swine 'Flu / Let's Shoot The Messenger...

Someone on the tube this morning had a face mask on with a Metro under his arm reading 'pig flu could kill millions'. I wanted to punch him.

If the media is to be believed we're in for Black Death 2.0. I have just one thing to say to that. Y2K.

Let's shoot the messenger!

Sky News, BBC News, CNN, ITN, Fox News (especially Fox News!) let's line them all up and shoot them all!

I think there's plenty of guilt to go around. Perhaps BBC Three's 60 Second News team could be spared - to be used later as our Let's Shoot The Messenger Ministry of Information.

I'm too much of a realist to by an optimist and too much of a cynic to be a realist. Life is shit and then you die. On the plus side however death will be slightly more pleasurable than listening to another scare story about swine 'flu!

Let's. Shoot. The. Messenger.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7...

Techy item to follow so look away now if you're not into that sort of stuff.

Windows 7 is on the way. But what about backward compatibility? Well, Microsoft have a (long over-due) trick up their sleeve: Windows XP Mode (XPM) for Windows 7.

XPM consists of the Virtual PC-based virtual environment and a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). It will be made available, for free, to users of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions via a download from the Microsoft web site. (That is, it will not be included in the box with Windows 7, but is considered an out-of-band update, like Windows Live Essentials.) XPM works much like today's Virtual PC products, but with one important exception: As with the enterprise-based MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization) product, XPM does not require you to run the virtual environment as a separate Windows desktop. Instead, as you install applications inside the virtual XP environment, they are published to the host (Windows 7) OS as well. (With shortcuts placed in the Start Menu.) That way, users can run Windows XP-based applications (like IE 6) alongside Windows 7 applications under a single desktop.

Obviously, XPM has huge ramifications for Windows going forward. By removing the onus of legacy application compatibility from the OS, Microsoft can strip away deadwood technology from future versions of Windows at a speedier clip, because customers who need to run older applications can simply do so with XPM. For Windows 7 specifically, XPM is a huge convenience, especially for Microsoft's corporate customers, who can of course control XPM behavior via standard Microsoft administration and management technologies like Active Directory (AD) and Group Policy (GP). And it significantly recasts the Windows 7 compatibility picture. Before, Microsoft could claim that Windows 7 would be at least as compatible as Windows Vista. Now, they can claim almost complete Windows XP compatibility, or almost 100 percent compatibility with all currently running Windows applications.

Now that has to be a good thing. Now where did I put those legacy apps...?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sniff Swig Puff...

Bea Arthur RIP. I used to love Bea's Dorothy Zbornak character in The Golden Girls. Brilliant. But that was nothing compared to her preceding eponymous Maude Findlay character and it's manic theme music. Sublime. Maude repeats please.

In the meantime, how about this marvellous clip of two gay icons singing about recreational drug use.

[Thanks David]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough...

It was a lovely sunny day, our spirits were high and the boys didn't disappoint. We outclassed them today. Middlesbrough are going down.

Missing Link Answer...

9p. Break open each one of the pieces of a single three-link chain completely (3p) and rejoin each through two other ends (6p).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Missing Link...

A little quiz for Friday. If it costs a penny to break a link, and two pence to weld it again, what is the least it would cost to join in a single length of chain the five segments shown here?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sellotape on the Door Lock...

How weird is this? I got home last night and the Yale lock on my front door had a piece of sellotape over it. Clear sellotape. That's odd, I thought.

Now this got me thinking. Why would somebody do that? Local kids mucking about? Well, no. I'd have thought they'd do something a bit more 'out there' than tape over a door lock.

Then at 5am this morning it occurred to me. That's exactly what a burglar would do if they were 'casing the joint'. Put a piece of sellotape over a lock and if it's still there a day or so later then the people who lived there must be away.

So at 5am I was bolt upright in bed thinking, "Shit! We're going to be burgled!"

Me being me, I couldn't get back to sleep afterwards so I got up.

So now I'm sort of in two minds. Should I just ignore it or should I perhaps let neighbourhood watch or the local constabulary know? Or am I just being paranoid?

Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal...

What an amazing game it was last night. With a much depleted side we went into the game expecting to lose. And Liverpool were way the better side on the night too. So imagine our surprise when not only did we score any goals at all but four. All coming from the same player, Arshavin. A clasic match.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nouvelle Vague...

Last Friday Stu and went to the NFT to see a couple of French films in their Nouvelle Vague season.

The first was Zazie dans le Métro (1960). A really sweet (and funny) story of how provincial 12 year-old Zazie stays in Paris with her Uncle Gabriel (a female impersonator) for two days, while her mother spends some time with her lover. Zazie manages to evade her uncle's custody, however, and, métro strike notwithstanding, sets out to explore the city on her own. It is a hilarious story not too distant from a Carry On film at times in it's absurdity. Much of the film is shot as a pastiche of other film styles - slapstick, jump-cut and cartoon being the obvious ones. We loved it.

The second film we saw was And God Created Woman (Et Dieu… créa la femme) (1956) a starlet vehicle for director Roger Vadim's nubile missus Brigitte Bardot. The film tells the story of Juliette, an 18-year old orphan with a high level of sexual energy. Barefooted she captivates all the men around her - jealousy and social commentary abound. Fab. The scene of Bardot dancing barefoot on a table is arguably one of the sexiest scenes put on celluloid.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea...

Paul and I went to Wembley earlier today to see the FA Cup semi-final. It wasn't a classic by any means and all the goals came from mistakes. Arsenal just didn't do enough. Revenge in the Champions League Final? More snaps here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Live to Projection...

Last night Sarah, Ben, Stu, Simon, I (et al) went to the Royal Albert Hall to see a screening of the Peter Jackson film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The film was accompanied by a live renditioning of the original score performed by all the original performers - the London Philharmonic, London Voices and the London Oratory School Schola boys chorus.

And it was fantastic.

We had 200 people on stage singing and playing their hearts out along to a giant screen showing the film behind them. In fact the music was so good you pretty much forgot that their was this ruddy great big ensemble in front of you and just got lost in the film. A sort of 7.1 200.1 surround sound.

The film is long (of course) so they broke it up into two parts to furnish us with an intermission (i.e. bar and loo break). The first part lead us up until the forming of the fellowship and the second part thereafter.

The film was shown with subtitles which was a good thing as a swelling orchestra and chorus is hard to hear over.

Next year they are going to repeat the performance but with The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. Can't wait.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

David Byrne...

Last night Paul and I went to the Royal Festival Hall to see one of our heroes, David Byrne. He is currently touring with a show that promotes his recent album with one of our other heroes, Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The show is built around not only this album but also all the other collaborative works that Byrne and Eno have both worked on; My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, the three Talking Heads' albums More Songs About Buildings And Food, Fear Of Music and the sublime Remain In Light.

The show was spot on. Great sound, great singing and great visuals. The dancers were excellent and the theatrical nature of the show had strong echoes of the Stop Making Sense tour.

Dressed in white, Dave joked about how we could all take photos of the concert if we wanted but that we should only upload the good ones online - security would be checking for any bad ones on the way out and deleting them.

The set list was pretty much as you might expect and included all out favourites Air, Houses In Motion, Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Once in a Lifetime, Take Me To The River, Life During Wartime and Heaven.

Everyone was on their feet dancing half way through the show and we had forty minutes of encores.

Top track of the night: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
Moment of the night: Eno appearing to sing on the final encore (there were four in total)

Friday, April 10, 2009


I am now the proud owner of something I used to own many years ago and now have bought again; all 24 25 books in Hergé's series The Adventures of Tintin. I used to own them all back in the day when a trip down to Pilot (now renamed the Tintin Shop) in Floral Street was a weekly pilgrimage. Sadly I lost them somewhere along the way so I wanted to replace them.

Amazon was my port of call having decided to buy the paperback versions rather than the hardcovers. OK, they may not last me as long but it's the flexible covers that tickle by nostalgia nerves the most - and they were cheaper.

I've always loved the Tintin books but perhaps have an even fonder recollection of the five minute Saturday morning cartoons Hergé's Adventures of Tintin and can still hear in my head the booming voice announcing, "HERG-AYE'S ADVENT-URES OF TIN! TIN!"

So for the next month or so I intend to submerge myself in Herge's world of the alcoholic Captain Haddock, the absent-minded Professor Cuthbert Calculus, the bumbling Thomson and Thompson, the diva Bianca Castafiore and of course the white fox-terrier Snowy and Tintin himself.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Last night Paul, Simon, Stu and I went to see ABC perform all the songs from their 1982 debut album, The Lexicon of Love, at London's Royal Albert Hall, accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra - conducted by Anne Dudley who arranged and played on the original album.

The first half started off with a collection of ABC's hits; That Was Then but This Is Now, S.O.S., (How to Be a) Millionaire, Be Near Me, Ocean Blue, King Without a Crown, One Better World (Sterling Void should sue), The Very First Time (the only newy of the night and of course When Smokey Sings.

After the interval they performed The Lexicon of Love album start to finish. This part was introduced by Trevor Horn, the album's producer who gave a rather touching speech about all the people involved on the record and how it was his favourite album ever.

The sound in the RAH was excellent. Martin Fry's voice was pitch perfect and I swear you could hear every single intrument and every single word of those amazing lyrics. And as if 'twere needed, the orchestration brought the album quite vividly to life.

We absolutely loved it. And needless to say they got a standing ovation.

If you want to hear it yourself, it's been recorded by the BBC and will be on BBC Radio 2 this Saturday at 10pm.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Radiohead - Paranoid Android on Mario Paint Composer...

I love Mario. I love Radiohead. So how could a literal transcribing of Paranoid Android into Mario Paint Composer be anything but genius? Here's how.

It seems to be music video week here on OYH.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Arsenal 2-0 Man City...

Paul and I were at the game on Saturday afternoon. It was sunny, we had a beer or two inside us, the team were in top form and Man C were in poor form (to put it mildly). So a fairly result I think. Hopefully this will solidify our fourth placing.

The Triplets...

On Friday I went over to Ben and Sarah's to see the triplets. Now three and half they are all talking, walking, singing, playing and getting up to mischief. It was so lovely to catch up with everyone. We went to Dulwich Park for a picnic and a tough and tumble. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves (but probably not half as much as I did). I took some snaps as you can see below. And lots more here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Spring Awakening...

Last night Stu treated me to dinner and a show. For dinner we went to Sway (great food and great service). For the show we went to the Novello Theatre in London's glitzy West End to see Spring Awakening, the musical based on Frank Wedekind's groundbreaking 1890s play exploring teenage sexual awakening.

It was fab. It retained it's period setting by way of the set, costumes and language whilst the songs were really quite contemporary. We touched on elements of angst, school pressure, parental pressure, lack of sex education, dating failure, suicide, child abuse, unwanted pregnancy, abortion - all the usual teenage things!

So it was Busted meets Oliver Twist. A sort of 19th Century musical version of Skins - set in Germany.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ben Goldacre on London Tonight...

My hero Ben Goldacre doing a piece on London Tonight about MMR, Autism and Media Mendacity. Bad Science indeed. It's obviously video week here on OYH.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Prisoner: A Sneak Preview...

The remake of The Prisoner by AMC will be shown in the States later this year and on ITV1 in early 2010. Here's a sneak preview.

[Thanks Paul]