If there's one thing I love it's wallowing in nostalgia and learning about the pioneers of the industry of which I'm proud to be a part of and this Sunday I got to do both of those things. I was lucky enough to attend Beeb@30 which celebrated 30 years of the BBC Micro and the Computer Literacy project. Hosted at the ARM offices in Cambridge by The Museum of Computing History,Â this was a real treat, especially since I grew up with both the BBC Micro and the Acorn Electron. The fastest thing I can still type to this day is word 'chain' thanks to the people that were in that room. I even got my photo taken with Chris Curry, the man who's cinematic counterpart uttered the words "We could've been the British IBM" in Micro Men. Great days!!
As Chris Curry said in Micro Men "We have to advertise on TV like IBM and Commodore!" well our budget doesn't quite stretch as far TV (yet) but we've managed to get a bit of a cheeky plug on the excellent Iain Lee's Pocket Radio Show podcast. We're all really pleased about this as we're massive fans of his radio antics, the 11 O Clock show and of course the epic retro gaming documentary Thumb Candy.
We're mentioned on episode 4 and can find the podcast on iTunes or just head here:
Ian Lee's Pocket Radio Show
We'll be on the road from Saturday 28th July to Saturday 4th August, we'll update you as the dates come in.
Alongside being a drummer, I am also a playwright and this year I am back at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to see my own work performed for a sixth year. This time it's slightly different because I aim to take two shows up there with my trusty cast (because clearly taking just the one production isn't stressful enough) and this weekend the whole fundraising shenanigans begin. I often get asked why I keep going back to the fringe; my reasons are long-winded and not suitable for a blog such as this. But in short – it is the most inspiring and exciting environment any artist can be a part of, just one stroll down The Royal Mile during August and it is impossible not to feel excited.
It is often talked about as being the place where performers/writers/directors get 'spotted' and whisked off to be mega-famous but it really isn't about or like that at all – it's about the opportunity to perform at the greatest arts festival on the planet in front of an audience who will appreciate it, whilst being surrounded by hundreds of other performers/writers/directors who are completely on the same page as you are. I also often get asked why I am a drummer and a playwright, because these two passions aren't commonly associated. But to me it's completely logical why it works; putting a cast together, working on material as a team and then performing this work on stage is remarkably similar to being in a band, rehearsing songs and then playing them at a gig. They are both wonderful things, but I do wonder what the Edinburgh Fringe equivalent is for live rock bands.
Maybe it's Glastonbury? Maybe it's South By Southwest? Either way, I'm sure we'll find out soon. In the meantime those fringe fundraising shenanigans I mentioned...one of the events is a very unique gig on Saturday 3rd March at The Cornerhouse in Cambridge titled '100 Songs In 5 Hours' – the clue is very much in the title. Aidy, Dave and I will be contributing at least 6 or 7 of those 100 live songs if you're about, it starts at 7pm and entry is £5, would be good to see you there.
I hate ticket touts with an absolute passion and nothing winds me up more than trying to get tickets to premium event, where the tickets sell out in minutes only to re-appear moments later on Ebay at two or three times the price. Just writing about it winds me up and I’m actually fighting the urge to use profanity due to the fact that I’d like to try and keep the British IBM page looking vaguely professional. I do however think that the use of the “the C word” is completely justified when talking about ticket touting scum.
It was with a combination of interest and frustration that I watched Dispatches: The Great Ticket Scandal on channel Four the other night. I knew that there were people out there using multiple credit cards and mobile phones to buy large quantities of tickets to re-sell at a premium but I had absolutely no idea how far it went. I think that the founders of Viagogo and Seatwave should be strung up and shot along with the promoters who are pre allocating tickets to them.
I remember about ten years ago sitting in an office, with me a few mates all hitting refresh on a ticket site, whilst hitting re-dial on our phones trying to secure tickets for an upcoming Oasis tour. After five minutes of them going on sale they’d sold out. Then almost instantly Ebay was flooded with the same tickets. The whole thing leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and actually puts me off even trying to get tickets to certain events anymore just due how much the entire thing winds me up. It should be illegal to sell on any ticket at a profit; the market in which touts are beginning to thrive on a mass scale shouldn’t even exist. If for some reason you have a ticket to an event that you can no longer go to then it should be sent back to the venue for re-allocation.
If you missed it, you can watch it here: