A riproaring rollercoaster of a journey through time, space and that side road just over there...

Category: "Music related"

For those about to rock...

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on May 2nd, 2009 @ 00:49:47 , using 105 words,

"We're having a rock festival" they said, "Do you need a photographer?" I said, "Sure" they said. 1,142 images later and the "Salwa Rocks II Festival" was in the can (Compact Flash card strictly speaking), and I faced the editing job from hell. Never has Photoshop been a less inviting place than today - where do you start? For those viewing, you can start here...

Salwa Rocks II - 2009

For those brave souls who want more you can go over to the "Salwa Rocks II - 2009" set over at flickr HQ. There will be many more to join this select few - try the Slideshow, it makes viewing much easier.

Over to Manama Again With Us

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on April 19th, 2009 @ 23:10:20 , using 269 words,

Well another brief trip across to Bahrain has come and gone. I found the time to have a wander round the streets behind the Bab Al Bahrain for a couple of hours, camera in hand. Well what friendly bunch they were round there - not only were they happy to pose on request, but some even approached me to get their shots taken. One taxi driver even decided I was a professional; admittedly, L series lenses do make you look the part. One of my favourite shots from the day was this one:

The Baker

This was a baker outside his shop, you can still see the flour and dough on his hands if you look carefully. There are plenty more of a similar nature over at the flickr site should you find the time to pass that way.

The Boxtones were still in residence at the Fiddlers' Green. Once more they provided for a pleasant evenings' entertainment, though Wednesday nights' set was cut short by the start of the Porto vs Manchester United game. On Thursday night, I asked them to play 'Leaving on a Jetplane' (with all the words) again - seems they'd thought my previous comment was left by the person who made the request back in January - sadly, I am not they. They didn't play it, but maybe they'll still be there when we next get that side of the Causeway from here in Riyadh. Maybe they'd like to do a set at the Salwa Rock Festival at the end of the month - guess the chances are slim though.

For now though, enjoy the photos

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on February 7th, 2009 @ 23:08:59 , using 0 words,


A new bass in the stable

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on December 30th, 2008 @ 23:48:18 , using 97 words,

Picked this little beauty up yesterday, along with a hard-shell case. This is a Cort gb-94. Can't wait to give this a run through the amp when I get it back to Riyadh.

My bass playing is not exactly startling and I'd been looking for something with four strings, rather than the 5-string Cort I already have. I'm hoping this rather tasty little piece is going to help get me going again - I found the 5-string rather tiring on my fretting hands - this seems a much better proposition. Updates as we go along no doubt.

Cort gb-94


Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on December 25th, 2008 @ 03:05:31 , using 320 words,
Posted in Music related

What a dreadful song that is. I don't care if Leonard Cohen sang it, or even if it was in Shrek, it's a bloody awful racket and needs eradicating from the airwaves. What on earth possessed anyone to record it again in such a whiny, tortured, my life is so fucking awful, angst ridden fashion? It's really not necessary and provides no new contribution to the state of British (?), or any other, musical culture. I don't care whether you won X-Factor (actually I care that anyone of the endless stream of wannabes who enter it should win X-Factor), I'd like to see this constipated drivel gone, now and for ever.

Busy eradicating the song going round my head with the Smashing Pumpkins 'Stand Inside Your Love' - always makes me think of AM this song. Some lyrics for you.

You and me
Meant to be
It's destiny
Pure lunacy
But for the last time
You're everything that I want and ask for
You're all that I'd dreamed
Who wouldn't be the one you love
Who wouldn't stand inside your love
Protected and the lover of
A pure soul and beautiful you
Don't understand
Don't feel me now
I will breathe
For the both of us
Travel the world
Traverse the skies
Your home is here
Within my heart
And for the first time
I feel as though I am reborn
In my mind
Recast as child and mystic sage
Who wouldn't be the one you love
Who wouldn't stand inside your love
And for the first time
I'm telling you how much I need and bleed for
Your every move and waking sound
In my time
I'll wrap my wire around your heart and your mind
You're mine forever now
Who wouldn't be the one you love and live for
Who wouldn't stand inside your love and die for
Who wouldn't be the one you love

Travelling with a notebook...

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on August 14th, 2008 @ 18:26:08 , using 903 words,
Posted in Music related, Travel

OK, so this is the first mark on the paper.

I sit in Riyadh Airport waiting for BMI to call the flight to Heathrow forward, and from there to Manchester and home. I don't do stream of consciousness stuff, but I find myself pondering on a Huxleyan vision of insanity. Airports are dull make no mistake and to put my mind at ease in this uncomfortable, and frankly, miserable place, I'm plugged in, tuned out, iPod agogo. I wonder if KT Tunstall would appreciate knowing that she is providing the means of my escape from the real world. I'll pass on the religion thank you very much; my opium runs through my ears in measured quantities of Dm, Dsus2, Dm, Dsus4...

Damn it, it just ended. Time to re-run the tape from the top. Back again to 'Little Favours' and the opening bars in the aforementioned chord sequence - she's singing my song. Still no call for boarding, so I'll just sit and watch them all wandering aimlessly past and tap my foot to the rhythm of life ebbing past me.

The pen I write with sitting here, is one begged from one of the BMI ticket staff. I don't think he wanted to give it to me, but I think 'customer service' mode kicked in and he handed it over. It probably ranks as one of the cheapest pens on the planet, undercutting the margin on a Bic be a sizeable proportion. No matter, it was important to the man, if I finish writing before I get on the plane (ugh!), I'll pass it back to him. Good chance I can get another off the cabin staff anyway.

Well we're supposed to be taking off in 35 minutes, but as yet, no sign of movement - must be late I guess. Ah! Speak too soon, it looks like the January sales on cheap seats are on.

These songs are infectious, worming their way under your skin, itching to get out and pass on to the next host. It is with some regret that I find myself unable to write songs in even the most basic form - I lack the spark of imagination somehow. Don't get me wrong, I can play a few bars and hold a time-signature to a passable degree, but only to produce a pattern copy of someone else's work. The ultimate human Xerox. Tell me what you want and I can probably make an honest attempt, but don't ask me to define what "it" is. Dear Tony, please tell me what "good looks like"? Blowed if I know, try me one on sport...

Well the queue is almost short enough to join now, no doubt the overhead lockers will be crammed to overflowing. Passengers in the bizarre belief that a small pachyderm still comes in at under 5kg and fits in the required dimension. Certainly is another dimension, a parallel one for sure. Time to go...

It's now 08:40 and I sit on the Manchester flight. I never did find another pen, so all sorts of random musings will never see the light of day. There were a few notable aspects of it; the seat next to me contained a fellow crushed direct from a garlic press - he was obviously a well seasoned traveller. The seat in front of me was fitted with additional leg room, courtesy of a seat back that rested neatly on the bridge of my nose. A slight exaggeration no doubt, but far less distance from the truth than was comfortable for me.

At least I could indulge in a couple of small bottles of Oak Ridge Cabernet somagnon - liquid anaesthetic, nicely reinforced with a few banging tunes on the iPod - set it to stun and 'Beam me up, Scotty'. Odd thing, coincidence call it even, I mentioned my choice of anaesthesia in the airport lounge and bugger me if she wasn't the first tune on the aircraft PA system when I sat down - 'Hold On'...

Think I've now established that gel pens and this notebook don't agree with each other - too much bleed. Need a pencil, got to be cheaper than a £3.49 uni-ball. But would they let me take a pencil sharpener with me - could be construed as a sharp implement...

Now we wait - seems BA get first dibs at the runway. I suppose Heathrow is their home base after all.

As an extra special dose of strangeness (anyone got any quark or charm?), somewhere in the region of 50%, possibly more of the passengers on this flight appear to be Chinese. I know the Beijing Olympics are on, but... Makes queueing behind Richard Branson or sitting behind Mark Owen [Take That] a positively ordinary travel experience. As a side note, for anyone wondering whether all Chinese students really do wear spectacles, you may be interested in the results of my latest research. My report will be in the shops soon. Ah! I hear the tea-trolley - time to put the pen into standby mode [/pen]

And the city of Manchester hoves into view, as we bank left, Ringway can be seen about 5 miles away, could be further. We are clearly on finals. Soon we'll be on the ground and if BMI have done their bit with the bags, I'll soon be with AM again. It's only two weeks, but it could have been a lifetime. Not long now...

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