Sinclair 30

Written by Aidy.

As we all know the beloved Sinclair Spectrum turned 30 this year and in celebration of this rather scary, yet awesome fact, Cambridge ARU played host to a two day event celebrating the rubber keyed technological marvel. I grabbed myself a ticket as soon as I heard about it and headed down their last weekend. It was well worth the £23 to pay homage to the little black box. I actually got to see the inside of the original Sinclair building and walked up the famous spiral stair case that Clive himself would have walked up and down on a daily basis back in the eighties. The highlight of the entire event was a Q&A session with Rick Dickinson; Sinclair's Industrial Designer and the man responsible for the look and feel for many of Sinclair's products including the Spectrum.

It was a fascinating talk from a man who played a significant part in Sinclair's history. It also seemed as if there was a fair amount of comparatives between Rick and Jonathan Ive and indeed Apple and Sinclair in general. Though the success of each company differs wildly. Both put out minimalist design driven products based on the vision of a charismatic leader that wouldn't take no for an answer. It's also interesting to think that both companies rejected compatibility with the IBM PC along with various other standards though with completely different consequences.

Rick Dickinson at Sinclair 30

Is It Too Late To Save Oscar Pike?

Written by Paul.

 

There's absolutely nothing wrong with Oscar Pike!

Anybody who's listened to our album will be familiar with the song, 'Is It Too Late To Save Oscar Pike' - outside of the band I am a playwright and a (reluctant) actor and this was also the name of my Edinburgh Fringe show from last year. This summer, just after the UK tour with Aidy and Dave, I was back at the fringe with another Oscar show, 'There's Absolutely Nothing Wrong With Oscar Pike.' Ask anybody who performed/produced at this year's fringe and the chances are they'll tell you it was a tough year - there are many theories behind the lack of audiences (Olympics, recession, general cost of the festival), but equally everybody seems to agree it was a one-off, and still - the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is and remains the most exciting arts festival in the world. The song was frequently in the show, thus allowing my musical and theatrical worlds meet in the middle, perhaps for the first time, and strangely enough it suited the mood of the play completely. In fact it worked so well I'm tempted to write a third Oscar Pike show just to use the song again, just don't tell the rest of my production team...

Band Boss

Written by Dave.

The last few months haven't all been rock and roll. There has been a fair amount of looking at spreadsheets, tracking income, deciding how much advertising would cost us, where to record our album, so on.

So it's a little strange to be talking about a digital version of that. I downloaded Band Boss on a bit of a whim on my iPhone, and quickly got sucked into creating a little fictional version of the British IBM. After naming the manager and dressing the band up, I'm thrown into a screen where I have one option - Arrange Tour. Tap on that, and it starts to get pretty deep.

BBC Introducing

Written by Aidy.

We did another BBC Introducing session last week with our favourite presenter Mr Tom Simkins who was kind enough to give us a little tour of studio after we'd finished. We even got to see the newsroom and I managed to get a cheeky photo of myself sat behind the news desk. Great days! We played acoustic versions of Animal and God's Front Porch, hopefully we'll get some recordings up in the near future.

Aidy News Reader

2012 Tour Photos

Written by Aidy.

Just had a few moments to spare so I thought I'd take the time to go through the photos we all took on what was our second UK tour. Highlights from which include backing up a local rap duo in Leicester, being introduced to the world's greatest record shop in Stockton on Tees (Sound it Out) and playing a Burlesque show in Birmingham for the The Burlesque Company. We're all eager to get back out there again so keep an eye on the gig dates!

  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • UK Tour 2012
  • First gig of the tour, Paul kicks things off by giving our manager a cheeky hug.
  • The only black British IBM T-Shirt in existence!
  • The greatest record shop in the world, Sound it Out Records, we spent lots of money here and even added a few of our own CDs to their stock.
  • The Axe & Cleaver in Boston where the lovely Autumn Effect were kind enough to give us a support slot.
  • Coming off stage at the Axe & Cleaver.
  • Ended up waiting so long for a cab in Leicester that we resorted to drinking in the street. There's something quite satisfying about sitting on a guitar amp and drinking a Pedigree in the sunshine.
  • Another T-Shirt sold! Dave and another Dave at Cafe Bruxettes, Leicester.
  • Paul and Dave backing up a local rapper at Cafe Bruxettes, Leicester.
  • Our hotel in Manchester had a pretty cool view of the city.
  • Thirsty Scholar, Manchester.
  • Checking out of a hotel is actually quite cumbersome when you're in a band and you've got to walk all your gear back to an NCP car park.
  • Dave turned 25 on this tour so we celebrated with a slice of cake in a Travel Lodge in Warrington.
  • Doing a spot of washing at a Warrington Launderette and making sure our shirts are whiter than white.
  • The line-up for our gig at Friars Court, Warrington.
  • Last gig of the tour at The Royal Hotel, Birmingham. Hosted by The Burlesque Company.
  • Another couple of satisfied customers!