gig: Adam Ant & The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse

May 26, 2011

I never thought I would see Adam Ant on the road again.  But here he was on Monday night playing Glasgow’s O2 Academy with a line up known as “The good the mad and the loveley posse” (with ‘the mad’ referring to himself with his mental health issues).  I actually found myself blown away by how good this concert was, simply one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen, and I’ve found it difficult to put into words why, perhaps it is the concert that I grew up listening to in my head.

The opening song “Plastic Surgery” starts slow with sustained chords and drums but then suddenly takes off to a frantic pace (around 2:10 in this good quality video from the Glasgow gig).  The next five songs came so fast I couldn’t take my eyes of the TWO drummers who must have been exhausted already, but the pace didn’t let up through  – Dog Eat DogBeat My Guest, Kick, Cartrouble, Zerox … then Adam was joined on stage by two dancers / backing singers for Deutscher Girls, then Stand and Deliver, and so on

It was around this point that I started to actually notice what was going on.  There wasn’t new material (though apparently there is a CD ready for release), also this wasn’t exactly a retrospective of hits but rather it felt like a back to the roots kind of set.  Adam wasn’t going through the motions by trotting out the big hits but was playing mostly early tracks from the punk days and B-sides.  Some songs were slightly re-interpreted but mostly they were having fun and it showed.  They even played a YMCA spoof called ANTS which was released as a ‘flexi-disk’ 7″ single mounted to the cover of ‘Flexidisk’ magazine (I know because I had it!)

The first gig I ever went to was Adam and the Ants “Prince Charming Review” at the legendary Glasgow Apollo in 1982.  I was about 15 and hooked up with my first real girlfriend during the interval.  Yes there was an interval in a music concert – mainly to give time for the stage to be re-set and Adam to change persona from Pirate to Prince Charming.

However, even though I first discovered Adam and the Ants from their Kings of the Wild Frontier phase withAntmusicDog eat Dog, and Kings dominating the charts in ’80, ’81 I then went back to the earlier line up of Ants for the ’79 LP Dirk Wears White Sox.  This opened up a different world for me, instead of listening to the Sunday night Radio 1 chart count down I started discovering music for myself.

Adam Ant was involved in the beginnings of the early Punk rock scene in London in the late 70s, I came to know the Sex PistolsSiouxsie and the Banshees, Roxy Music, The Clash, etc. through finding out about Adam Ant.  Monday’s concert was how I imagined those early concerts might have been, rebellious, singing songs that Radio 1 would have banned.  The sound was very heavy, with screaming guitar and the inescapable roar of two drummers thudding through your chest as much as your ears.  A fantastic night and a trip back to my childhood (in a good way).

gig: Milton Jones

May 20, 2011

Milton Jones at the Pavillion Theater.  Milton’s style of comedy is fast one liners and puns, meaning that you leave a gig after laughing uncontrollably and can’t quote one funny thing you heard.  Well, almost, I can remember one example at the moment:

” My Grandad achieved his lifetime goal, to become a Lion Whisperer… just before he died. “

All I can say was it was a great night and I do hope more of those jokes keep popping into my head for the next few weeks.

Thanks Ross & Leigh for the birthday present.


book: Shane Hipps “Flickering Pixels”

May 17, 2011

or “How Technology Shapes Your Faith”.

The synopsis says: “Flickering pixels are the tiny dots of light that make up the screens of life – from TVs to cell phones. They are nearly invisible, but they change us. In this provocative book, author Shane Hipps takes readers beneath the surface of things to see how the technologies we use end up using us. Not all is dire, however, as Hipps shows us that hidden things have far less power to shape us when they aren’t hidden anymore. We are only puppets of our technology if we remain asleep. “Flickering Pixels” will wake us up – and nothing will look the same again”

This book wasn’t what I had expected.  It wasn’t so much anything about modern technology and I do think the title “Flickering Pixels” is misleading since actual computer or video technology is hardly touched on.  In stead the author talks about various ‘technologies’, how they affect people and how their affect might switch in a different direction. The technology in question might be the introduction of writing, the printing press, etc.  Some more modern technology is mentioned but to be honest by then I got bored with the whole thing.

In fact I found the entire thing rather dreary and obvious.  For example, the ‘big idea’ behind this book seems to be that when a technology is introduced it often / always reverses on itself – the technology of a city wall protects those within, until their is a fire when people are trapped by the wall, or CCTV liberates because people are protected but restricts liberty because they are watched, etc.

So in summary, nothing brilliant, certainly didn’t spark any interest in me in how modern technology shapes my faith or the church.

books: Jonathan Kellerman “The Conspiracy Club”

May 15, 2011

This is the first book I have read by J Kellerman, and got it because it was recommended by Amazon and looked good.  It was an ok read, but there was a lot of irrelevant mush to get through in order to get to the plot.

The plot, when you do get to it, was a bit crazy and mixed up.  We follow Psychologist Jeremy Carrier’s life six months on from the brutal murder of his girlfriend.  He meets Dr Chess, who gradually asks him his opinion of the origins of evil and how some people seem predestined to kill.  Dr Chess invites Jeremy to an exclusive group who meet for dinner and discussion then appears to be sending him clues to  a new series of murders that may or may not be connected to that of his girlfriend.

The book is ok but the plot doesn’t leave much for the reader to think about.  This isn’t a who-done-it in the sense of leaving clues for the reader who has a chance figuring out what is going on about.  However, given that the plot is ok and I certainly didn’t see what was going on till near the end of the story.