Not a great start

It’s not been a great start to the day.

My phone’s software updated yesterday and reset the volume setting on the alarm clock. This was never going to be a good thing. Either it was going to be very, very quiet or IT WAS GOING TO WAKE UP EVERYONE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!

I almost soiled myself when it turned out to be the latter, but that blast of volume was actually the better option as I had had a particularly restless night. My uneasy slumbers had been punctuated by dreams of Godzilla hurling flaming cars from the M3 onto nearby sports fields. And that wasn’t even the worst bit: some of the drivers of those cars had agrostophobia, and those that survived the impact and the resulting blaze found themselves wholly triggered. It was awful.

You can see why I feel somewhat unrested.

And then, with assessments for both kids beginning today, the careful balancing act on the drive to school between recognising the importance of the tests and not scaring our little cherubs half to death. And it really doesn’t help when one is so laid back he’s practically horizontal and the other is concerned that she might get a sum wrong.
At some point.
During the rest of her life.

With them suitably advised (one newly terrified, one newly blasé) (well, done, Dad), I headed off to work. I could have taken the M3, and indeed it was probably the route of choice, but the chances of being attacked by a mutated dinosaur seemed so much higher along that route, so I took the low road instead.

Along with everyone else who was avoiding death by traumatic exposure to grass.

Desperate times called for entirely sensible measures, and thus I employed a mixture of soothing Ludovico Einaudi and Susanne Sundfør to calm me down as those around me (many of them in these categories) gave their best efforts at sabotaging any attempts at me getting to the lab in time to complete yesterday’s experiments.

Suffice to say, thanks to Ludo’s Petricor [sic] and Susanne’s The Golden Age, I remained calm, focussed and got to work in time to add the appropriate reagents at an appropriate time.

It’ll take more than dinosaurs, dodgy alarm clocks, the spectre of school examinations and all of the traffic in Cape Town to beat me.

Although I could do with a nap right now.

Weekend Listening: Everything Everything

The fourth album from this Manchester-based Indie-Synth outfit has been gracing my ears for several (or more) weeks now. It’s really, really good. Really good. The best good. Really good.
And with them releasing a third single from A Fever Dream, it’s high time that I shared something from it. Trouble is – which one?

Desire? A powerful monologue about needing to own and control everyone and everything, with a brightly colourful performance video.
Can’t Do? A desperate plea to escape a demanding and possibly doomed relationship, with a fitting video featuring emotional contemporary dancers.

Or this one: Night of the Long Knives with diving synth drops every few bars and a suitably busy, eclectic visual offering.

There’s lots more good stuff on this album though. Commercially good stuff, nogal. If you’re looking for something (mostly) energetic and just eminently listenable for the upcoming weekend (and beyond), may I humbly – and most highly – recommend this

Gig gripes

BBC radio station 6 Music recently looked at six different things that annoy people about live music events, and asked how best to solve them. Here they are in their (apparently random) order.

Mobile phones. Not them ringing; them filming. Are they really an issue? Relatively early on in the bit of my life which contained cellphones and concerts, I recognised that I would rather enjoy the concert experience than take photos or videos. A couple of pics for the blog, and I’m done. None of this recording of entire songs business. The sound quality is crap (in comparison with the real thing) and you never watch them back anyway. So why bother?
That said, if you want to bother, I generally have no problem with that. But apparently, other people do, so that’s where Yondr comes in.

Yondr has a simple purpose: to show people how powerful a moment can be when we aren’t focused on documenting or broadcasting it.

Put your phone in a lockable bag when you go into the venue, it automatically locks when you’re actually in the venue, unlocks when you leave the concert area. Seriously. This is already a thing at some UK gigs. Who knew? I’m amazed.

Ticket touts are a problem worldwide, and there are already means to get around them. I’ve never felt the need to use one. Either I get lucky with getting tickets to an event, or I manage without going to that event. But while there are still people who are willing to pay anything to get into a concert or event, there will always be ticket touts. And because of ticket touts, and the rules around reselling tickets, I’m going to have to very careful when I sell my Cape Town 7s tickets in the very near future.

People talking at concerts. My biggest of all big pet hates. I do not understand why people go to concerts if they just want to talk.

…this is probably one of the hardest gripes to propose a solution for. Though we did like the suggestion of listener Richard Leach, for: “A soundproofed enclosure where people who want to talk loudly for the whole three hours can go.”

Or how about not a soundproofed enclosure, but just somewhere else for them to go and talk. Because there are already other places for that: pubs, parks, libraries, the beach; in fact, basically almost everywhere except concert venues. And you’ve just paid hundred Rand for the tickets? Why? No. If you want a long conversation about your economics textbooks, do it somewhere else, you stupid, selfish, ignorant little pricks.

We move on.

Admin fees. To be fair, I probably should have a problem with paying R15 to buy my tickets for a concert. But actually, I don’t. It’s not a massive amount of money when you look at That probably says something about me, but with 5 other potential gig gripes for me to worry about, why would I add a sixth when I don’t really care?

Cloakrooms. No-one uses cloakrooms anymore, do they? Don’t take a bag to a gig. Thanks to ISIS, you can’t really anymore anyway. Travel light. Wear layers. I dunno… make a plan.

Access. Ja. Again, I’m fortunate to be unaffected by this one, but it’s something that should be looked at. The disabled seating areas at sports stadiums and concerts is generally pretty awful. But it’s difficult to know how to address this correctly without stats and money and things. And I’m really not trying to pass the buck, but it’s not my job. However someone needs to do it.

So there you have it. People’s Top Six Gig Gripes. And for me, there’s basically one. I mention it every time I go to a concert because it happens every time I go to a concert and it’s ruined by wankers talking through the best bits. But I’ve never really mentioned the other five, so I reckon I’m pretty easy going generally. All of which points to the fact that people talking through concerts irritates even the most mild-mannered individuals.

So STFU. Thanks.

The Architect

No. Not you. This:

Here at 6000 miles… HQ, our quest to bring you (good) quality music never ends. And, as has been recently proven, we’re pretty good at what we do.

Here’s something new for you then: Jane Weaver

Some phat Ultravoxy electronica and La Rouxy breathy vocals going on there. Wonderful.

You may remember Jane from such bands as Britpop group Kill Laura, or the folktronica project Misty Dixon, or like me, you may not. But either way, this is a great piece of work.

Says Jane:

Having spent a large portion of my childhood in the foreboding shadow of the 1965 Bernard Engle constructed concrete shopping center I developed a very visual love-hate relationship with the modernist architecture of my home town, but after travelling the world and appreciating both brutalist and modernist design from an exotic perspective I soon began to crave the incredible geometric design that de-saturated my 1980’s upbringing.

Yes. That’s pretty much how I feel about old buildings too. Sometimes.

Adulation continues…

I said it here.

And other people shared it here.

And now, just not quite a week later, it’s still happening. 😮


Isn’t he, though? Also:


Ag, I don’t know about “melting the internet”. That sounds a bit like when the internet “destroyed Donald Trump” (Spoiler: it didn’t).

But it’s great that the band are getting some more airtime. And it’s nice that people are enjoying the stuff that I enjoy. Some sort of affirmation that I’m vaguely relevant, I guess.

Meh. I’ll take it.