Autumn is here!

I have dragged the leather back out of the wardrobe. This next few days (ironically when I’m booked to go to Alton Towers) the temperature is set to drop into single digits.

At least I am going to Alton Towers though. It did look sketchy earlier this week with increased lockdowns. Now let’s pray they don’t lock down South Yorkshire tonight.

I have a possibly controversial view on masks though, especially having worked through this and always worn one at work.

My thoughts are that there should be nobody exempt from wearing a mask. Nobody. If you can’t wear a mask during a life threatening pandemic then sorry but you shouldn’t be going out in a virus infested atmosphere. You’re putting yourself at risk and you’re risking everyone else’s health.

My opinion is mostly reinforced by the ease with which you can buy an exemption card. Every Tom, Dick and Harry who doesn’t want to wear a mask just goes on amazon and buys an “I’m exempt from wearing a mask”, even if they’re not. It’s actual disgusting. It’s scummy behavior. But I expect nothing more from 80% of people as the human race really has gone to shit.

Hence it should be a blanket policy. Everyone.

Musicians playing Band Hero

Something rather unusual happened recently…

I tried Band Hero for the first time ever at a friends house. As you know, I’m a bass guitarist and so I chose bass as my instrument, naturally, of course.

How did I fare though?

I was shite… but why?

Well as a bassist I can tell you that the guitar firstly is too short thus meaning you’re playing everything at around the 12th fret if it was a real bass. At which point the rocking “string” switch is dreadful… you can’t play it finger style properly as it centres too slowly thus forcing you to rock it with your thumb. Awful.

Finally… FIVE BLOODY NOTES?!! – Sorry but that does not accurately represent a real bass. Mine has that many strings, and each string has 26 frets. Do the sums – that’s over 125 individual frettable positions (although B and E above fret 15ish are a bit pointless)… counting it as notes that’s almost three octaves of range from low B to high A – or almost 36 individual notes.

Yes, 5 frets does not accurately represent a bass guitar.

Finally… why do people who are really “good” at Guitar hero then think they are good musicians? It’s a bit like air guitarists saying they are good at real guitar. It’s not right. I’ll stick to my real Warwick Thumb thanks…

Now how do I play House on the Hill? Orange Blue Blue Blue Green Blue Red…

Finally, as I write this – Raeioul Moat is currently holed up in Rothbury and is perched on the river bank… what will his end be? – Shot? Suicide? Taser? I don’t know, but I bet it’ll be on Liveleak before too long.

You never visit what’s near you.

It’s always the truth that you never visit or appreciate what’s nearby. Take Bolsover Castle for example – just off Junction 29A of the M1 and less than half an hour’s drive away – and I’ve never been.

Well I have now – as we met up with Hannah’s parents and enjoyed a day at the castle. Not quite a Mediaeval castle – more mock Mediaeval rich man’s playhouse, but still impressive.

I’m rather impressed with my cupola picture…

The other visitors were rather bemused by a bloke in a black shirt and leather trousers laying on the floor, sticking a camera up in the air, and taking photos of the ceiling, or the same bloke setting up a camera on “The Pod” and taking a self portrait of himself sitting on some old steps… which gets me onto…

TOURISTS. Why do they insist on spoiling your shot by walking straight across, dreaming, in a world of their own… and in the case of the annoying kid (deleted from the top shot thanks to The Gimp and a second shot without me in the frame) who kept sticking his head into frame just as the self timer pips doubled in speed indicating the last 2 seconds…?
I suppose they’s day PHOTOGRAPHERS… just why do they lay on the floor and take photos at strange angles?

New photo

Today I decided I needed a new photo.

The nice thing about being a photographer, though, is that when you need a new photo to represent yourself it’s fairly easy to sort and costs nothing.
The new one represents me as I now am due to my rather dramatic change of hair (or loss of…).
Taken using three strobes, all at the left of the picture and all bounced into umbrellas – silver for my face, and white for the rest of me.
I had to do a little work on the highlights, particularly around the headstock of the bass and on my trousers and the guitar strap, but the effort was worth it and I’m really pleased with the result.

RoSfest preps

Getting ready for RoSfest and other gigs is certainly taking a lot of thinking about.

Today I started on my visa application… it’s not easy!

Meanwhile, we’re standardising the band “image” at present… sadly, my leathers may end up going away onstage (although that’s perhaps not a bad thing for the present as I think I would be better wearing them offstage, as you will know, leather trousers aren’t easy to wash!) [edit] leather is acceptable [end edit]

Anyway, as a last little pic… here’s me, and my bass, posing.

Now it’s time for bed… it’s Sunday, and I’m up at 6:30 and I need my 7 hours beauty sleep.

Before I go… should I grow some hair back?

I really like bald (although it’s harder to upkeep than you would believe), but Hannah doesn’t. She says I have a weird ridge at the back of my head (probably where my brain is slipping out)… I suppose you can’t win ’em all…

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Ok, so the first news – I’m bloody tired!. I need a break now, and in just over a week and a bit I’ll be getting one.

The last week or so has been rather hectic – Manning have finished now for the Christmas break and our next rehearsal is in January. Tim is fitting in really well with the band and it feels great to have such a talented keyboard player in the band. I’m certain it can only be for the best.

Sunday was a Neville archery practice. To say I hadn’t shot for about 3 months I actually managed to sink my 3 of first 6 shots straight into the target at 30 paces… it does surprise me the amount of power behind even a fairly low powered longbow. The bow in question (45lbs) managed to sink a bodkin all the way through the target such that the arrow head came out of the other side. At least that explains Agincourt.

In other news, I’ve been told a couple of times this week that I wear leather well.

Yeah… I know. I do wear a lot of leather, but, well, I like it.

Onto my next whinge for today…

Gamestation.

Come to us… talk to gamers.

Hannah went in today looking for Command and Conquer stuff and was rather surprisingly talked down to by a smug “gamer” who made out that C&C is “old”… nay… “retro”.

Sorry, young pipsqueak, but I’ve owned every single Nintendo Console from virtually date of release, and have been gaming since about 1979 so er… I think I know my “Retro” games. If you want retro take a look at this.

Finally… an accident happened on Rotherham Road in Parkgate this evening. Head on – rather nasty… but I do have to question in such heavy traffic… HOW?