All entries for June 2006

June 21, 2006

Foo Fighters – Manchester

On Sunday, me and Elaine went up to Old Trafford Cricket ground for an afternoon of music. The gig was the 'Foo Fighters support was 'Eagles of Death Metal', 'The Subways', 'Angels and Airwaves', and 'The Strokes'.
'Eagles of Death Metal' started the concert of. If you have never heard of them they aren't as heavy as the name suggests and I came away singing 'Cherry Cola'. Josh Homme played drums and he had died his hair black which was different.
Next on were 'The Subways' who were a lot better than I was expecting. I had heard rumours that the girl bass player couldn't sing but she was very good and the guy was pretty awesome. At one point he throw his guitar at a sound guy and jumped into the crowd (to be quickly retrieved by some angry looking security people).
Next on were 'Angels and Airwaves' who to be quite frank sucked! The music was ok, if just not very memorable but Tom decided to do a speech about how his fellow American's had died in the two towers and how we the public should do something about it! I'm not saying that I don't agree but when a guy from a punk band who as a rule 'don't give a f**k' tells me that we can change the world I get irritated. The whole thing sounded like a speech to get more album sales and the British crowd was having non of it!
The Strokes played just like the Strokes always do. I never can tell what the guy is saying as he always sounds drunk. But at least this time he actually stood up instead of sitting on the end of the stage swaying slightly whilst mumbling.
And finally, Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is the dude. Introduces himself with the loudest belch and plays all the tunes you like. Perhaps my favourite was evergreen but then i also like stacked actors… The crowd was pretty cool but we were quite a long way from the stage and a 40 ish Asian guy was moshing quite violently nearby.
Then things kinda went down hill. Due to some awful organisational skills the first tram back to Manchester didn't arrive on time and so it took us about an hour to get back into Manchester. Then our friends mum who was picking us up got stuck in the traffic caused by the Take–That concert and hence it was 12:30 before we left Manchester for Sheffield. Then as we got onto the small stretch of motorway linking Manchester with Snake Pass we hit traffic and queued for about an hour… grr Take That fans! So finally managed to get back to Sheffield to go to bed at about 3am.

June 15, 2006

Chicken Tikka Ginsters Sandwiches

Due to the fact that I rarely have the ingredients to make a nice sandwich, coupled with the fact that I like the extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning, I usually have to buy my lunch from Uni. Due to the union shop still being open here at Cranfield, I usually opt for the Meal Deal which gets you any sandwich, a 500ml bottle of pop or water and a packet of Walkers or McCoy, all for the reasonable price of £2.85.
Today, a pack of sandwiches caught my eye, Chicken Tikka. Now, I have had many sandwiches attempting to be some sort of curry flavour and they are always a huge disappointment. I have even tried putting actual curry from lunch in between bread and that is also a disappointment. But Ginsters might have finally found the solution.
Chicken Tikka breast (that actually looked and tasted like proper Chicken Tikka), on a bed of sliced cucumber and coriander leaves with Raita (instead of butter/margarine) on Wholemeal bread. Ok, so for all you Madras fans out there there is no heat at all but the flavours were just right! If anyone is peckish and they come across some of these sandwiches, I would highly recommend them!

June 08, 2006

Coffee helps you to understand complex arguments

Writing about web page http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn9280&feedId=online-news_rss20

Coffee, apparently helps you to understand complex arguments and see someone else’s point of view… that is unless it is decaffeinated!

Previous studies have show that consuming caffeine can improve one’s attention and enhance cognitive performance, with 200 milligrams (equivalent to two cups of coffee) being the optimal dose.

June 06, 2006

Whit Friday – Comments

Writing about web page /bjkeates/entry/whit_friday_a/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

I've just read through this blog and the comments in a vague hope that I will eventually find out what is being played at Whit Friday this year… maybe Tragedy, maybe SOMF… pity no–one knows for sure. I then decided to add some comments but as they became overly long winded and I haven't got time to write something concise, thought I best litter my own blog!
Having been to Whit Friday many times before coming to Warwick, I knew what I was in for when I joined Warwick for my one–and–only trip in my second year (exams stopped me attending the others) and I have to say that the whole evening was like the other times I had been. Apart from the strange Contest march “The Heavenly Bears” which is a whole different story.
The band I played with before Warwick had a rule about no drinking before we got there and only ½ pints for the first few marches (no drinks for the under age). The first 3 villages were chosen as the best chances of making some prize money. Then we would go on to do 3–5 more villages (depending on queue times etc) in which we were there just to have fun and get drunk (rule about no under–age drinking became less enforced throughout the evening)! With Warwick we seemed to do something very similar in that everyone took the first few seriously and then afterwards 'had fun'. The stereotype about students is that we get drunk! But then the stereotype of brass players is?
Having played some strange road marches (including a New Orleans style jazz thing with swinging bells), I have learned a few things. The march needs to be familiar. You need to be able to find where you are very easily, because it is easy to get distracted by obstacles, concentrating on your feet, and generally out of breathe/tired lips and get lost then realise that the section you are playing with are beginning to struggle and that they need your help (either that or the piece has to be easy, heaven forbid).
It is also very hard to play syncopation when marching. If it doesn't firmly fit to the beat it becomes hard to keep together especially in a large band where the trombones and cornets are a long way apart and playing similar rhythms.
Long sustained notes also don't work. The air flow gets interrupted when marching and only the very best players with years of training can hold even, long notes when marching. The effect on air is a pulse through the note that on one person may not be noticeable but with a whole section in unison the effect seems to get amplified.
Speed is governed by how fast the people in the band march if the piece is too fast it will be slowed down and if it is too slow it will get sped up. With standard marches this isn't too bad but with tunes that everybody knows and loves, they might get a bit upset at this!
So if Tragedy is well arranged it might work… but then my fear is that it will be a mess (few managed to avoid obvious pun!)

June 2006

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