Archive for the 'Events' Category


Album Launch: Taxi Violence – Long Way From Home

Awhile back I bitched and moaned about how South African bands are a bunch of limp dick unclefuckers who need to man the fuck up and play some dirty, sexy rock music already.

Well, I’m happy to say I can add one band to the list of SA bands I actually like and that band is Taxi Violence.

I saw them live at Mercury a month or two back when they did a seriously killer cover of “Riders On The Storm” with We Set Sail. I was well impressed not only with the cover, but also Taxi Violence themselves who, much like Queens Of The Stone Age, have breathed life back into old school 60s / 70s rock and made it unapologetically badass.



Then, about two weeks back, I ran into George (frontman and vocalist) at Mercury and did this thing I do when I’m drunk when I shoot the breeze with people in bands like I’m catching up with an old highschool buddy.

It’s a test because some people in bands think they’re God’s fucking gift to the planet so I talk to them like they’re normal humans and they either act like I’m a weirdo and run away or they shoot the breeze back and we end up having epic discussions about music and the South African scene.

George definitely proved to be a stand up guy and even invited me to check out the launch of their acoustic album Long Way From Home.

So J-Rab and I headed on down to the Plane-arium for an intimate showcase of what the Taxi lads have been up to and I was pretty blown away.



Old favourites like “The Mess”, “Devil ‘n Pistol” and “The Turn” sound like they’ve been taken apart and rebuilt from scratch, a refreshing change from most bands who just swap electric guitars for acoustic ones and serve up warmed up leftovers thinly disguised as an album actually worth listening to.

Their acoustic rendition of “Heads and Tails” is particularly noteworthy both on the album and when they played it live. It was pretty hilarious us all reclining on our seats in the Plane-arium with the stars wizzing overhead because whenever Taxi got the crowd bopping your seatback would start moving in time to the music as other people sitting in the same row literally “rocked” out. “Heads And Tails” produced that effect immediately.

They’ve also shot a new video for the song, which they opened their set with which sadly they haven’t uploaded to their YouTube channel yet, but look out for it when they do, it’s a very cool take on the Groundhog Day premise and, in keeping with the song, asks the question if you knew the dice were rigged, how would you play the game?



One of my songs they played was their new track “Long Way From Home”, about a country boy hitting the big city, a dreamer who “Followed the buzz until he hit the hive”. It’s got an upbeat, bluesy / rock flavour played with bright, jangling guitars and tambourines that reminded me of some of the earlier Supergrass albums.

I’d highly recommend checking out Taxi’s FB page for their upcoming gigs so you can get a chance to hear their acoustic set and, if you’re lucky enough, getting a picture with the square-headed mascott that adorns the new album cover.



So big up to George for the invite and the guys from Taxi Violence for a killer gig and for hooking me up with a copy of the new album. It doesn’t look like it in the picture below, but I was really stoked to get the actual, physical album. I think that’s the first CD I’ve been given in about 5 years.





Free Comic Book Day Hell’s Yeah!

Me and comic books go way back.

When I was about six years old, I went to stay with my crazy aunt and uncle for a few weeks while my folks were on holiday and basically had the time of my life.



Every day my uncle would arrive home with a bag of Tomato Sauce chips and two comic books tucked under his arm for me.

I still remember lying on the floor in the lounge of that mad, mushroom-shaped house, happily munching on the chips while my grubby red-stained fingers turned the pages hungrily.

Some of the comics he bought me were legit titles like Superman and Spiderman, but mostly they were a melting pot of a whole lot of weird shit that other countries probably weren’t buying so SA got them shipped in at super-low wholesale rates to stack news vendor shelves and warp fragile little minds like mine.



After that I didn’t really get back into them until my first year in high school when a buddy at the time who was completely obsessed filled me in on the entire X-Men saga that was going on at the time (Age Of Apocalypse, look it up, it was badass) and got me interested in the myriad of stories that comprise the Marvel universe.

His prize comic was the first Wolverine comic, published back in ‘89. Of course, Wolverine had featured in tons of X-Men comics before that, but ‘89 was the first time he was given his own title.



I always wanted to read that comic, but even taking it out of its cardboard-backed plastic sheath would have caused my buddy instant heart failure so I just admired the cover from a distance, feigning excitement when all I really felt was seething hatred for the spoilt little prick.

I eventually did get to read the entire Age Of Apocalypse series though when I was in hospital after an altercation with some asphalt that nearly left me dead, but that’s a story for another time Winking smile

During varsity I became friends with Graumpot, one of the biggest comic book freaks I’ve ever had the pleasure of living with.

Through him I read a buttload of comics – the entire Preacher series, the entire Invisibles series, most of Sandman, most of the Lucifer series, Wolverine: Origins and Wolverine: Ends, a whole bunch of Batman and one of my favourite Marvel comics of all time, Marvel Zombies (you HAVE to read it, it’s brilliant).



See, with comics I discovered one of life’s undeniable truths, that if there’s one thing better than a great novel, it’s a great novel with pictures.

So on Saturday I went through to Reader’s Den (across the street from Cavendish) for Free Comic Book Day, an international event that takes place on the first weekend in May where all comic book stores the world over hand out free comic books to whoever wants them.

J-Rab was working so I figured I’d kill some time and head on down to take pictures of the freaks, grab a free comic book or two and head home.



Then I made the mistake of browsing through the literally hundreds of graphic novels they were selling and what did I find? Volume 1 of a Wolverine graphic novel that included that first Wolverine comic I’d so coveted back when I was a zit-faced little shit kicker and even better than that, it was going for fifty bucks!

Right after that I found Volume 3, also going for fifty bucks! Then I made the rookie error of asking one of the guys working behind the tables scattered with graphic novels if he’d seen Volume 2 anywhere.

Within 5 minutes he’d told all his buddies helping him to look for it and next thing I knew they started off-loading Wolverine graphic novels on me like dump trucks at a landfill.



Two hundred and eighty bucks and an hour later I found myself shuffling back to my car with no less than five Wolverine graphic novels wandering what the fuck just happened.

But seriously, five graphic novels for R280 is pretty goddamn cheap. Normally it would have cost me R870 (no shit, the comics had the normal prices crossed out in red on all their covers with the new prices written underneath) which means normally I wouldn’t have bought fucking one, which means I still wasted R280.

Still though, I started reading them right after I got home and they’re pretty cool, very old school, but still badass.

And just in case I haven’t scared all my female readers off this site for life, look what else I found guys, the FIRST EVER comic book that ever featured Wolverine and it wasn’t even an X-Men comic, it was a fucking HULK comic!



I think we’ve all learned an important lesson here kids. When the next Free Comic Book Day rolls around take my advice and get there early with fistfuls of cash at the ready, wahoo!



The Sport That Is Barrel Rolling

It’s an intensely contentious debate as to who invented barrel rolling first, the Scots or the Irish, but the fact remains that to this day, barrel rolling remains the 287th most popular sport in the world and is played by roughly 311 people annually.

The sport is relatively new to South Africa but already has a dedicated following of between 5 and 8 people who understand the profound connection between man and barrel and have made it their life’s work to study and understand this phenomenally complex, rewarding and competitive sport.

One of these people, Mike Sharman, was among the first to enter a team into this year’s Bushmills South African Barrel Rolling Championship and went so far as to issue a challenge to another barrel rolling enthusiast and online pseudo-celebrity, Shaun Oakes.

The result is this deeply moving and inspiring piece of film that Sharman and his crew put together both explaining his love for the sport and throwing down the gauntlet for Oakes to step up his game and roll a barrel like no man has ever rolled a barrel before!



Too awesome. De Waal Park on Thursday. My god it will be epic.



The Tiger Hits The U2 Concert, Has The Time Of His Life

I wouldn’t call myself the world’s biggest U2 fan, so it’s safe to say I went in there with pretty much zero expectations and had my mind blown in every conceivable way.



J-Rab and I hit the Cape Town stadium at about 4.30 to beat the (non-existent) traffic and make sure we got into the VIP lounge that Nokia very kindly provided us with tickets for. Problem was the lounge only opened at 6pm so we bought a couple of beers and killed a bit of time wandering around the stadium and checking out THE CLAW.



THE CLAW has gotten a shiteload of press over the last two weeks and for good reason. It’s possibly the single coolest staging rig I’ve ever seen. It’s colossal and looks like it could get up and start walking like some giant killer spider-robot, blasting the audience with intense death rays at any minute.

We got a lot of pics of it before it was all lit up, much to the dismay of one of the security guards we had a chat with who was like, “You’re not allowed to take pictures.”

“What?” I said, “We’re allowed to take pictures?”

“No,” he replied, “not allowed.”

“Ok,” I said, and took some pictures. He smiled at me, I smiled back. What a rad guy.

Once they opened the VIP lounge, I was so excited I bounded in there and immediately ordered two suitcases (what?! They didn’t have any tequila ok?) and a couple more beers. Nokia really pulled out all the stops – for the next two hours I was like a kid at Christmas, munching all manner of froo-froo finger ding-a-lings, taking goofy pictures with J-Rab and drinking suitcases like there was no tomorrow.



At 8 they closed the VIP lounge and we headed upstairs to catch some of the Springbok Nude Girls set, which would have been a lot better if the sound was sorted out. As it was, it sounded a little like the guys were playing underwater which is apparently an old trick that’s been used for years in the industry – the headline act gets the killer sound and the supporting guys play through amplifiers made of rusty tin cans.

After the Nudies finished up, J-Rab and I went in search of some more free drinks and were immediately drawn, like moths to a flame, to this mesmerising green light that was glowing at the Heineken VIP bar.

“What do you think that is?” J-Rab asked in awe.

“I dunno…” I replied, “but Jeannie D’s in there so it must be important.”

“Go see if you can get us some free drinks.”

“Roger that.”

I approached the security guy at the entrance with the kind of total confidence only 7 suitcases can give you and proceeded to walk straight past him.

He gripped my arm like a vice.

“Where’s your wristband?”

“Right here brother,” I said, proudly displaying my white Nokia lounge VIP wristband.

“That’s the wrong colour,” he said, sternly.

“What! I’m the wrong colour?! What the hell is this, the Apartheid Bar?”

“Your WRISTBAND is the wrong colour.”

“What in God’s name are you talking about?”

“It’s white. It’s supposed to be black.”

“So it’s the REVERSE Apartheid Bar? Man, I can’t wait to blog about this unfair discrimination!”

“Please step aside sir, this is for people who were invited to the Heineken bar ONLY.”

“Cool. Whatever. I’m too white for this bar. It’s cool, I understand…”

As I was sulking off to tell J-Rab the bad news, I saw a MAJOR flaw in the security setup. White blocks.



They were at the perfect height for sitting on and then, when no one was looking, casually swinging your legs over onto the other side and then casually standing up and WAPOW! You were in the Heineken Reverse Apartheid Lounge.

The second both J-Rab and I had executed this security-defying manoeuvre we whipped out the camera and took about 15 pictures of ourselves pulling more goofy faces while we talked to each other in very snooty voices indeed because we were in the HEINEKEN LOUNGE BABY!



We swanned over to the bar to start klapping some more free drinks and very quickly froze in our tracks. The people here, they all had cards. Heineken cards! And these cards, you had to produce them to get the sauce – no card, no sauce. J-Rab and I hovered at the bar, furiously trying to think up some way to beat the system when who stepped in front of us? Liesl Van Der Westhuizen, that’s who!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, Liesl V, Schmiesl V, who cares. Well, I’m here to tell you that Liesl Van Der Westhuizen is a fucking cool person. The second her and her boyfriend stepped in front of us she turned around to apologise for cutting in front of us to which I calmly replied, “No sweat. We’re not even supposed to be here, we slipped past security to score some free drinks but apparently you need a green card or something…”

“Do you guys want some drinks?” she said, without even skipping a beat, “We’ll get you some!”

And that’s how we ended up drinking in the Heineken bar for free with Liesl V. Until security kicked us out. That was kinda embarrassing. But we met up with Liesl outside again and they got us a SECOND ROUND OF DRINKS!

What a lovely person, seriously. I don’t care what anyone says about her, Liesl is cool in my books. She helped a Tiger out so I’ll have no more Liesl-bashing on this site thank you very much. Um. Not that there ever was any to begin with, but yeah. Just so you know.



After that U2 took to the stage and THE CLAW came to life in a multitude of colours and images and flashing lights. Unfortunately by this stage J-Rab and I were about twelve sheets to the wind so it’s hard to recall the exact details of the concert, but I can confirm this much – U2 put on an INCREDIBLE show and no, I’m not just saying this because I was there and you weren’t.

About halfway through the set, J-Rab and I somehow managed to get into the outer golden circle to get some pics from the ground just in time for them to play “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “One” which, I’ll be honest, was an emotional moment for me. It’s my favourite U2 song of all time and hearing the guys play it live right there in front of us was intense.



Not sure if I was cool with all the Nelson Mandela / Desmond Tutu references and imagery that we were bombarded with and the snippets from interviews with both of them, I just think it’s a pretty obvious ploy to get the crowd all gooey with emotion (it worked like a bomb).

But I’ll let it slide because U2 have always been a political band and have actually done a lot of good in this world. Also, in all fairness, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a band play in this country and NOT mention Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu in some way so I’ll reserve judgement on this one.

It was a brilliant experience and an amazingly well-executed concert. Big up to Nokia for making it all possible, you guys spoiled us and we really appreciated every second of it, let’s be pals forever.

In closing, here’s a pic of THE CLAW in its full glory after a massive CONE of TV screens extended down towards the stage like it was going to tractor-beam the band into space.



Good times Winking smile



Sing a U2 Song, Win Tickets To Watch Them Live!

A lot of people out there love U2 and I can’t say I blame them. They wrote some killer, killer stuff back in the day and Bono does all kinds of stuff to save the planet which is a lot more than you can say for most bands who seem content to blow all their money on holiday houses, yachts, prozzies and, well, huge piles of blow.

So hats off to U2, they’re a great band. Not so sure about the whole Spiderman musical thing happening on broadway right now, but yeah I’m not judging until someone swings me some free tickets to check it out, which should be any day now.



Speaking of free tickets, how radass is this: from Monday next week you best follow @947Highveld on Twitter (#U2Highveld) or check for updates on their Facebook page because a mobile stage is going to be driving around Gauteng, popping up daily in different locations until Friday and if you get your ass ON that stage and sing your favourite U2 song, you could win tickets to the show.

There’s even a YouTube channel to watch everyone’s heartfelt attempts at getting their Bono on  ( which is guaranteed for at least a couple of laughs while you’re at work.

What’s even more flippin whoresome is the fact that this gig, this very U2 gig in good ‘ol Saffrica, is going to be the BIGGEST CONCERT U2 HAVE EVER PLAYED!

Soccer City’s current capacity is roughly 100 000 and the biggest crowd the band’s played to thus far was 96 000 in California. Can I get a fuck yeah? Bono?



Thank you.

I think you want to be a part of that. I think it’s about time you turned all those hours you spent singing “The Streets Have No Name” in the shower or “One” while you were heartbroken on karaoke night at the local pub to good use.

WIN those tickets! Show ‘em who’s boss! And when you’re up there, belting out “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on the Highveld portable stage with everything you got, be sure to tell ‘em who sent ya Winking smile

Go forth my children. Make papa proud.



Promises Promises

So I know I said I’d post a whole buttload of pics from the Met on Saturday once I got my hands on J-Rab’s camera, but having gone through the pics she took, they were kinda ok, not really mind-blowing.

Still though, here’s a nice pic of J-Rab and I sitting on a couch / giant flower that went well with my red and black 1930’s gangster get up.



It was such an intense fucking party, seriously. And at the end of it all, the kind folks from Road Trip drove us home for free as part of the package.

Would I recommend entering every goddamn competition known to man to win tickets to the J&B main marquee for next year’s Met?

Does the pope shit in the woods? Winking smile

Oh yeah, and incidentally we did bet on the horses if you were wandering and pretty much lost everything, which is officially my excuse for the copious amounts of tequila that followed and the awesome / mildly terrifying moves I was whipping out on the dancefloor. 

Good times I tell ya, good times.



The Tiger And The Met

To put it in five words: the Met was fucking mindblowing

Sure, it was my first Met and yes, I was in the best marquee on the grounds so my perception is going to be biased, but good god. It was a killer party.

We got some great pics, but sadly I can’t pull them off J-Rab’s camera until tomorrow, so here’s what I pulled from my N8 in the meantime.



You had to be there. Seriously. The food, the marquees, the decor, the bars, the salons where you could get a foot massage or where girls could get their make-up redone and hair styled, it was all so slick and amazingly well executed.

If you sat anywhere for long enough, you’d see a cross section of TV presenters, models, actors, news crews, entertainment crews, sports celebrities and socialites in some of the craziest, sexiest outfits you ever saw, strutting like they were on a giant catwalk and the world was watching.

And then bam! Two people with horse heads pirouette into the crowd and ballroom dance randomly in what looks like a creepily well choreographed out-take from a nightmare sequence in Equus.



By the time the sun had set and Fedde Le Grand was punishing the decks, the evening had become one huge party. People danced, they laughed, they ducked off to eat piping hot, delicious oven baked slices of free pizza and drank J&B in every variation known to man.

I remember taking this pic right near the end of the night. It’s the only other one I have right now that came out well, but soon as I get J-Rab’s camera I’ll put up more.



Anyone else get anything sick from the day? Send in what you got to and I’ll put it up here and punt your awesomeness to the interwebs.

There was more, much more, but it’ll have to wait until later.



Gig review: The Killers

South African audiences suck. We have absolutely no idea how to rock out and you can’t really blame us. Overseas there are hundreds of excellent bands playing every weekend and in places like London they are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to concerts and artists.

Not so all the way down in darkest Africa. Down here we get international acts maybe three times a year if we’re lucky, which is bad because what ends up happening is everyone buys tickets to go see whichever band has decided to grace us with their presence not because they are die hard fans of that band, but just because a big international artist has actually come down here to play.

What ends up happening is you get masses of people paying ridiculous amounts of money to go and watch bands that they don’t know very well.

In the case of The Killers concert that happened in Joburg on Friday night, I’m willing to bet that the majority of the people who went to watch them knew four or five of their songs, mainly the ones that play on 5FM and that was about it.



They also have no clue how to chill out and enjoy the vibe of a big concert. We arrived about 40 mins before The Killers went on stage, which was just enough time to get some drinks and start missioning through the crowds to find a good spot.

Predictably as we got closer to the centre, the crowds became more and more dense until eventually we came to a dead stop in a group of people who started shitting us out in a really bitchy, horrible way for having the audacity to stand amongst them.

People, this is a fucking rock concert, you cannot reserve a place to stand, what the fuck?!

Eventually we managed to squeeze past the douchebags and find a place to stand and moments later the lights dimmed down, a low, long, grumbling note sounded over the massive speaker system and in an explosion of lights, The Killers launched into their first song, ‘Joyride’.

A bit of a weak song to start with some might argue, but it was a nice and gentle way to ease us all into things and I think it worked.

The exact tracklist they played after that is a little blurry in my mind, but I know ‘Bones’ was in there somewhere in the beginning and that they rocked out for the first three tracks and then played two totally obscure tracks after that and the energy in the crowd dropped instantly.



To the band’s credit, they played every classic Killers’ track they’ve ever written. ‘For Reasons Unknown’, ‘Spaceman’, ‘Somebody Told Me’, ‘Human’, and ‘Mr Brightside’ were all belted out passionately and executed with such precision, you’d swear you were listening to the CD…

But rest assured, this wasn’t Milli Vanilli we were watching, as perfectly as the band played, I picked up a couple of tiny slip-ups here and there – proof that it wasn’t just a backing track we were listening to.

What quickly became apparent watching them live though is that Brandon Flowers (the lead vocalist and frontman of the band) IS The Killers. Take that man out of the band and all you’ve got is a group of dudes who look like ageing session musicians, the kind of people you’d expect to see on stage playing U2 covers at The Rustic Theatre on a Sunday afternoon.

Mark my words, the next step for ol’ Flowers will be a solo career. He’ll drop the rest of the band, strike out on his own and make an album that, surprise, surprise, sounds exactly like The Killers.

You heard it here first 😉

There were a couple of little touches that I really liked. One of them was when they killed all the lights in The Dome and Flowers and the guitarist Dave Keuning stepped under a single spotlight and sang ‘Falling In Love With You’ (the Elvis track).



I also liked the bit when Flowers sat down at the end of ‘Spaceman’ and played the last chorous on the piano, just him on his lonesome. The man can sing, that’s for damn sure.

The only song I think they butchered completely was ‘Smile Like You Mean It’, which was really sad, because like I said in my previous post, that song means a lot to me. They opted for an acoustic guitar and piano instead of the electric and synthesized kind and played the song half a click slower than they do on the album.

The result is that it sounded more like a funeral dirge than The Killers’ track we’ve all come to know and love.

Other than that, it was a solid concert, and yes, I feel like I got my money’s worth. As for the rest of the crowd, who knows what they thought of it all. A lot of my friends who went to the concert were surprised by how unenergetic the crowd was, but as I mentioned above, this is fairly typical of South African audiences.

There were people standing next to us that didn’t so much as nod their heads for the entire concert. They just stood there and watched in a kind of silent, catatonic daze.

Nice one guys. No wonder international bands avoid us like the plague.



However, the real question here is has my faith in the band been restored? After watching them play live are they back in my top ten list? Well, the answer to that question would be ‘no’.

More than anything, I feel a sense of closure. I’ve bought all their albums, listened to nearly everything they’ve ever recorded and seen them play live.

I’m happy to say adios to The Killers. In five year’s time I’ll probably dig out some of my personal favourites again and play them on a lazy afternoon, but the danger of listening to any band too much is that their music loses it’s meaning for you and thanks to the masses of radio play this band has gotten, that’s exactly what’s happened to them.

They killed The Killers. Those music execs out there in dreamland, they killed The Killers.

Those bastards.



Whisky in the Jar-o: Part 4

By round four we were all of us looking a little shaky on our feet. Lucky for me, this time around I wasn’t going there to work, but rather sample some of the fine whiskies on offer, indulge in the food and not make too much of a nuisance of myself.

But my day didn’t start then, it started about five minutes after my last blog post, when I cracked the first beer of the day open and Jenni-fuh and her buddy (we’ll call her Tard) joined me.

Shortly after, we went to Peggles’ parents place cause it was his oldest brother’s 32nd birthday party. I don’t have a suitable nickname handy for him, so seeing as he fought in one, I’ll call him ‘War’.



War’s party was awesome. That place, the house is like a touchstone for us all, we’ve partied there so many times that we’ve got it down to an art and Peggles’ dad, Big Red, is possibly the most generous host you will ever find.

He has this deep, commanding voice, the kind that when you hear it you can’t help but listen just because the sound of it is so cool.

We had a good time, all of us, at War’s party. His group of friends are moving into the baby-making phase of life and so there were two tiny human’s at the party, both boys, one was about 3 months old and the other was 18 months.

Those small creatures, they’re pure and clean, they got nothing on their conscious, they’ve done nothing bad, they’ve broken no hearts or laws.

They are in every way imaginable different to me, that’s why I like kids. They remind me of when I was like that, before the myriad of accidents occurred that have left me the way I am.

I’ve always loved the idea of The Catcher In The Rye. I can understand fully why someone would want to be that person, anyone out there who grew up too fast would agree. Problem with growing up too fast is you don’t do it properly and spend a large portion of the rest of your life chasing the childhood you missed out on.



After War’s thing, I headed back home with Jenni-fuh and Tard. Just before we left, Tard asked me if it was okay if we listened to something other than ‘Hootie and the Blowfish’ on the way back home.

‘Is that the closest band you can think of that sounds like Arctic Monkeys?’ I fired back at her.

‘Oh, I like Arctic Monkeys,’ she replied.

‘But you think they sound like Hootie and the Blowfish? Do you listen to music much?’

And that’s howcome I decided to dub her ‘Tard’ on my blog.



I showered and changed for Whisky Fest and headed through there for 6 on the nut. It was cool to be able to finally taste the whisky on offer and I did so with gusto.

Afterward, Stikey, Jacey-got-the-aceys and I went to a club called Latinova which, to be honest, was a bit lame and over crowded.

By 12pm / 1pm we called it a night and headed back home.

I collapsed in bed, alone. Across the country my gorgeous girlfriend lay sleeping in a tiny house on the side of a mountain, a hot waterbottle clutched to her chest instead of me.

Something happened earlier that day that is going to change both our lives in quite a drastic way…

And all I can say is it’s about fucking time.



Whisky in the jar-o: Part 3

I stepped into round three last night like a prize fighter.



I had that deep down achy feeling in my body like I’d been kicked around and socked a few times, but not too badly, just gently, love taps.

There was only one film crew last night and they were friendly and knew what they were doing. In and out, aim the lens right, catch the light as it moves, the shapes in it as easily recognisable as possible, this is not art, it’s news.

By now we’re all old hands at this and to be honest, boredom has set in. If you bring together similar variables, you get similar results. There are of course always anomalies, just to mix it up a little, just to keep things interesting.

Shoes were killing people, backs at the end of the night were sore, and somewhere, always, the scent of whisky in the air.

Best part of it is that I now have a certificate that says I’m a master blender. Richard Patterson himself bestowed the honour on me, he’s the youngest man to ever be made a master distiller. He’s well into his 50s now, but he was 26 when they Master Distiller-ised him.

Anyway, I grabbed a hold of him for an interview and he asked me to join him onstage to blend whiskies for his show. Easy right? Stand there, blend the whiskies in front of you according to his instructions, exit stage left.

Then he asks me to find two OTHER people to join us onstage, a beautiful girl and another guy. We were going on in 15 minutes.

I felt like such a weird, creepy dude approaching random people and trying to drag them onstage for the show. I spoke with 6 girls, they all shot me down, it was a massacre.



Eventually, thank fuck, I ran into Deep Fried Man and his girlfriend, and cajoled them into help us. Deep is a buddy of mine because are paths seem to cross constantly, and always at times when I need his help in some way.

The only problem was that the closer it got to show-time, the more fidgety Deep got, he was supposed to be writing a story after all for an Esteemed Newspaper Magazine. I knew a guy would be a lot easier to find. I needed a big one, one bigger than me (yes, it’s possible) and approached a 6ft4 chunk of granite I found on the other side of the hall.



In the worst imaginable way I explained I needed his help to do a show. He stared at me completely expressionless as I spoke and when I’d finished said,


‘I need your help onstage, you’re a big guy, come and blend some whiskies, it’s with a master distiller from Scotland, it’ll be fun.’

The look he gave me after that told me instantly that this wasn’t a ‘fun’ guy AT ALL.

‘No,’ he said, ‘I can’t help you.’

‘Why’s that?’ I asked, though I knew this was fucked, ‘are you shy?’

His head snapped ever so slightly as I said that and his eyes stared like flame throwers at me.

‘I speak in front of people all day,’ he said in a threatening non-threatening way, ‘I don’t want to do it now.’

‘Great, well go and fuck your mother’s arsehole,’ I said and walked away.

The second guy was a lot easier to convince, though he still looked a bit like a cornered animal in a certain light.

‘The light shapes bent and twisted. The light looked different in every place and fell differently on everyone everywhere….’ – Lazarus Journal, p36.

Richard rushed the show though, he was nervous, there weren’t nearly enough people there watching, the festival had only opened an hour before. It was like watching an inferior carbon copy of the opening night’s performance.



We did our part and mixed the whiskies in front of us on stage to produce three specific blends, the first was a Nicole Kidman, the second was an Arnold Schwarzenegger and the third was supposedly a combination of the two, a Leonardo Di Caprio.

In other words, the first was smooth and sweet, the second was very bold, lots of character, lots of structure and the third one had elements of both.

Patterson chatted away while we blended and when we were done tasted them one by one, starting with the Kidman (‘close, close, getting there’), then the Schwarzenegger (‘ok, some character’) and lastly the Di Caprio (‘good’).

He repeated the tasting, this time judging the Kidman as close, but not quite there, the Schwarzenegger as completely off and the Di Caprio as the closest.

I was a sultan among men. Three people clapped.

So Now I’m a certified Master Distiller. I was invoked and everything, even given a certificate and the sacred Master Distiller Headdress.



And now Saturday lands and I need to wrap this up because Peggles is coming around.

I love you all.

Buy Them Crooked Vultures, it’s radass.


A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

July 2020