Friday, August 31, 2007

The measurer of the land

My great grand father was a surveyor and explorer in New Zealand. During his survey work he named hundreds of features throughout today's Otago, Southland and Fiordland. Here is an extract about places he named.
James McKerrow was a prolific namer of features he surveyed. Here is a extract from a History Honours thesis to University of New Zealand, 1948, by David G. Herron entitled James McKerrow - Surveyor, Explorer and Civil Servant. With main reference to exploration, 1861-63.
Since much of the country over which he passed was virgin, McKerrow took on himself the task of naming prominent features of the landscape. The policy employed in this work he described thus:“ In naming of objects, those already in use in the district were always adopted, they are generally defined to a few creeks or perhaps a hill or two in the vicinity of the respective stations. The other names I either endeavoured to make descriptive or suggestive: this, in the case of the more prominent peaks, appears to me to be of much consequence to the traveller, for they become so many finger posts pointing the way. The great landmarks, Leaning Rock, Double Cone, and Black Peak, I found of much service in determining my whereabouts at the beginning of the survey; their names are legible in characters not to be mistaken”(1).“ A great number of descriptive names were given thus: Cathedral Peaks, The Monument, the Beehive, the Crown, the Coronet, Tooth Peaks, Twin Peaks, the Minarets, Mt. Sentinel, Titan Rocks, Spire Peak, and so on and so on……The mountain ranges were named after distinguished men in science, literature, travel and position, such as Kepler, Humbolt, Murchison,. Livingstone,, Forbes ( Professor of Natural Philosophy 60 years ago at Edinburgh, an authority on glaciers), Hunter (John, Anatomist) Sturt (Australian Explorer), Albert ( late Prince Consort)) Eglinton (Lord Lieutentant of Ireland and Lord Rector Glasgow University), Richardson (Sir John),Thomson, Hector, Garvie, Buchanan (local and well known), Goldie Hill and Bryce Burn were after my two men who were true and faithful throughout.” (2)“ An island in Lake Manawa-pori is Poman, named in 1862 by James McKerrow, after the principal Island or “mainland” of Orkney Islands in Scotland.,” with a view to help the rhythm of the future poets, who will describe in flowing numbers the charms of beautiful Manapouri, as McKerrow prophesises…….The Freeman was named by Mr. McKerrow in honour of Mr. Freeman Jackson, a very early runholder (3)….When Mr. James McKerrow was engaged with reconnoitring surveys during the years 1861-63, he named a number of places.” A few of these he named in the Wakatipu and Te Anau districts as follows: He gave the name Caples to one of the branches of the Greenstone, rivers….McKerrow named the Lingstone Mountains after Mr. D. Livingstine, the celebrated African explorer. David Peak(6802 ft/)in memory of Dr. Livingston’s christian name, Moffat Peak (5848 ft) , an African missionary and father-in-law of Livingstone. Eglinton River and Mountain after the Earl of Eglinton and Winton at that time Lord Lieutenanr of Ireland. Skelmorlie Peak (5933 ft.) and Larg Peak (5555 ft.)are both Ayrshire names. Mount Christina (8675 ft.) after a girl who was companion to Mrs. McKerrow in his absence. Clinton River, Te Anau, after one of the family names of the Duke of Newcastle, who was Colonial Secretary in 1863. Worsely Creek, North Fiord, Te Anau, named after the sheep farmer who drayed the boar for the surveyors from Manapouri Lake to Re Anau. Nurse Creek, after another sheep farmer, Lakes McKellar and Gunn after David McKellar and George Gunn….. Lake Fergus was named after Hon. T. Fergus in 1863. Bob’s cove was named after Bob Fortune, Mr. Rees’s boatman” (4)“ In the Doon, Dean Hill, Bean Forrest, Afton and other Scottish names Mr. McKerrow honoured the land of his birth,(5) Mt. Pisgah was taken from the bible. It was the vantage point from which the promised land was seen.(6).In his book, Otago Placenames (7), Mr. H. Beattie gives an exhaustive list of Mcerrow’s placenames. “ Besides J.T. Thomson, the most popular name giver in our history was probably James McKerrow”, he states. Mr. Beattie goes on to list more than 220 place names which are associated with McKerrow’s labours.(1) Otago Prov. Gaz. Vol. V, July 23,1862. P 16.(2) Letter to Hocken.(3) Roberts, W.H.S. Place Names and Early of Otago and Southland, P.32. " " Maori nomenclature, Early History of Otago. P.47(4) Roberts. P.48. Roberts does not make it absolutely clear whether or not McKerrow gives the last two names.(5) Kilmarnock Standard, 22nd August, 1903/(6) McKerrow’s Reminiscences.(7) Beattie, H. Otago Place Names, Pp. 78-86.


I have just been informed by my good friends Disco Nap about a horrid sounding incident unluckily occuring to a personal favourite band of tytoc collie's.

Read it here.

Photographs of myself cross-dressed as the lead singer of this band will not be shared.


When something is over there is sometimes nothing you can do about it. End of. Full stop. It can come as a blistering shock or a welcome relief or anything in between these poles. Depending on temperament, time of day, circumstances, mood it can be held in your mind in different ways.

An emotional feeling can feel like a physical force. Can make it hard to breathe. Can make it hard to move. Can make it hard to speak. Can make it hard to think.

To relieve the pressure or just to make the tears flow that little bit harder music can have such a strong impact.

The gravity of this song actually makes me feel like I've been winded. It makes the heavy weight of grief on my little ribcage feel a lot more than I can deal with. But its an ache to learn to carry on with.

M83 - I Guess I'm Floating [via zShare]

But from an ending and a painful loss, lessons will be learnt and inspiration derived.

Midnight Juggernauts

So, today my iTunes is being gay. Windows Media Player won't burn anything. My shoulder hurts. I have to pack for 'The Move'. I've still not given my Mummy her birthday present because she is bloody elusive. It's my very own Birthday on Sunday. Bleurgh.

However, in a bid to procure randomness I popped Midnight Juggernauts on. And lo-n-behold, yipee, woo, and other such excitable noises, I am grooving my aches and pains away.

I'd seen their name around on various blogs but I'd either forgotten or just not had chance to peruse any further.

But all I can say is take a good 15 minutes of your life. Tell everyone to either listen or fuck right off. Turn up the volume on your audio playing machinery. And get this into your ears.

Midnight Juggernauts - Shadows [streaming via MySpace, along with some of their other uber-cool tracks]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My favourite mountain

This picture shows Khan Tengri, the highest peak in the Tienshan mountain range in the east of Kazakhstan, on the border with China. It is approximately 7000 metres high.The view is from the summit of Marble Peak (6400 meters high). The glacier on the right is the Inilchek glacier which is more than 60 kilometers long.

Mountains inspire many people. Most have their favourite mountain or mountain ranges. I have been fortunate in seeing many of world’s most spectacular mountains, and my favourite range is the majestic Teinshan in Kazakhstan. Khan Tengri is the mountain I adore: so beautifully sculptered and imposing.

One thousand two hundred years ago Khan Tengri (Lord of the Spirits) was first mentioned in Chinese chronicles. Many famous explorers and mountaineers such as Semionov and Merzbacher tried to reach it. The Ukranian alpinist M. Pogrebetskiy was the first person who succeeded in climbing it (1931). Passing from the south, he managed to solve the difficult problem of getting enough provisions for his long-term expedition in such a wild area by taking a caravan of horses to the foot of the mountain. He then found the most logical way up to the top, which is now considered the classical route. In 1964 B. Romanov and K. Kuzmin opened the northern rib on the side of Northern Engilchek, on what is called the Marble Rib, along a series of marble chimneys from 6,000 to 7,000 meters altitude. The eastern face was first climbed only in 1988. The most difficult routes from a technical standpoint are on the northern face, which rises up for 2,000 meters. They were opened in 1974 by E. Mislovskiy and B. Studetin. The climb up Khan-Tengri is difficult indeed because of the extreme conditions: the frequent bad weather, the hurricane-like winds and the extremely low temperature. On an average the ascent up the normal route takes twelve days. The record for the base camp-summit-base camp course is fourteen and-a-half hours, set by Gleb Sokolov, who won the contest held at Khan Tengri in August 1992.

My Toys Like Me

My Toys Like Me may be the most startling discovery for myself in a while. Shocked in a disturbingly enjoyable way there is something wholly captivating and sinister about Barnaby.

Watch the video, if you dare..

You should definately buy it, like. It's only £1. Fucking bargain! Click here to spend a tiny little insignificant pound on a very good track.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A new perspective on climate change and flooding

People swim to survive the Jakarta floods in February 2007
I was fascinated by this article I found this morning as I have been working with flood preparedness and relief for around 30 years in Asia. Each year it seems to get worse. In February this year I was quite involved in the flood relief operation in Jakarta. This time my family was affected too. Our house is in a flood-prone area called Bangka. On the first day of the floods it took me almost 4 hours to get to work. We were without water and electricity for 8 days and I felt could identify with the affected people more than normal. This article helps to explain why the flooding is getting worse year by year.
Climate flooding risk 'misjudged
Climate change may carry a higher risk of flooding than was previously thought, the journal Nature reports.
Researchers say efforts to calculate flooding risk from climate change do not take into account the effect carbon dioxide (CO2) has on vegetation.
Higher atmospheric levels of this greenhouse gas reduce the ability of plants to suck water out of the ground and "breathe" out the excess.
Plants expel excess water through tiny pores, or stomata, in their leaves.
Their reduced ability to release water back into the atmosphere will result in the ground becoming saturated.
Areas with higher predicted rainfall have a greater risk of flooding. But this effect also reduces the severity of droughts.
The findings suggest computer models of future climate change may need to be revised in order to plan for coming decades.
Soil saturation
Plants perform two functions that are of key importance in climate change.
They absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen as a by-product of their energy generation process.
Plants also absorb water through their roots, and release it back into the atmosphere through their stomata.
CO2 enters plants through the stomata; water evaporates through the same holes.
The higher the level of atmospheric CO2, the more the pores tighten up or open for short periods.
As a result, less water passes through the plant and into the air in the form of evaporation. In turn, this means that more water stays on the land, eventually running off into rivers when the soil becomes saturated.
A team led by Dr Richard Betts from the Met Office has modelled how this will affect climate change predictions.
"It's a double-edged sword," said Dr Betts, "it means that increases in drought due to climate change could be less severe as plants lose less water.
"On the other hand, if the land is saturated more often, you might expect that intense rainfall events are more likely to cause flooding."


There are things in this world that are lined with tragedy. The story of Alfie is one of them. But the great thing is that out of tragedy came for me friendship and love.

I cannot at all, sat on my floor now, racking my mind, think of a time before Alfie. I can neither pin-point my first encounter with them. I remember that they had a sound that distinctly grew on me. Became more immersed into my life. Songs that stuck out as striking memories of things that had happened. A long, lonely train journey to Manchester eased by the sounds of Alfie. Summer never officially starting until Alfie had been played in the blazing sunshine.

The friends I've made along the way in my life that have also had a strong affection for Alfie have always ended up being friends that have meant the world to me. Sitting in the break from county wind band rehersals, naughtily eating sweets that would then get our reeded instruments sticky but not caring for the intoxicating talk of Alfie. Meeting a very tall, twee and dazzling guy I couldn't even bring myself to talk to when I realised he was an Alfie fan, 'could he be cooler?!', and becoming great friends. And receiving a MySpace message out of the blue to be told I must be worth at least saying hello to because I liked Alfie by someone someone whose divine ability for words had us in deep conversation of personal gigs by the band.

My gorgeous summer, jangly indie band.

That I never got to see.

The artwork for A Word In Your Ear is also probably my favourite artwork of all time. It goes perfectly with the album and its glorious sound that is consistent throughout, but also the concept I always will think is genius. Andy Votel came up with it and it was done by Stan Chow and basically depicts the band Alfie in one of those old style 50's kids books that tries to build the vocabulary of children as they are learning to read. And today's word is 'Alfie'. Woo.

Alfie were not widely known. I personally think they just were not lucky enough to have that perfect timing or promotion that seems to nowadays catapult very undeserving, mediocre bands into astronomical success. So eventually, with four albums under their belt, Alfie split. I remember crying when I read the statement given..

"it's hard to keep faith that "everything'll be alright", (which has been my mantra from day one), when it feels, ultimately, like no-one's listening." (Lee Gorton, 27th October 2005)

Since then I'd always been devastated to think I never got to see them live. I was even vehement that they'd reform to play a gig in my room for my 21st last year. Yet hope is a strange thing and now I just adoringly hold onto my Alfie singles, t-shirts, badges and vinyl that I seek out.

So for those who are not familiar with the late Manchester band here is a few tracks to get you going.

Alfie - You Make No Bones [via zShare]

Alfie - Not Half [via zShare]

Alfie - Your Own Religion [via zShare]

And, a track that holds special signficance to me..

Alfie - James's Dream [via zShare]

Now if you download these and like then I beg you to invest in their albums. They will make your record collection instantly amazing just by owning them. Yes, honestly, they have that power! Click here and ignore all the Jude Law nonsense.

This is just one little post dedicated to a late friend of mine he is more sorely missed than he could have ever known. In loving memory of RN. I miss you. And I am sorry for everything and nothing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On a personal note..

I recently received some news that completely shattered my world. It's hard to kind of put into words, which I suppose is fairly suprising for me, but it is one of those things that I'd never had to deal with before.

It is very hard to factor this loss and change into my life.

But I can't hide away forever and just because I've not been listening to the hippest, hottest, coolest, freshest new tracks shouldn't mean anything. Because my blog wasn't always intended to be like all the other super cool, cutting edge blogs.

A reader (who is now a very good friend of mine) once said that the whole appeal to him of reading my blog was that I blatantly wasn't influenced by others and that it was nice to get little fragments of the ongoings of my life and how that effected what I listened to.

Well, what I've been listening to has generally been fairly depressing, cathartic and heart-wrenching tracks to grieve to.

Please be supportive of tytoc collie in this time. And as I scramble back to my feet in a bid to achieve some sort of changed medium there may be changes. Less pussy-footing, more criticism and more randomness of my writing style.

He'd have hated for me to become mediocre.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Feedback on the climate change article

John.LaPointe said...
Oh, Bob... If you could see the Arctic now, you'd weep. During my last trip there in 1998, the permafrost was permanently melting. Inuit homes throughout the western portion were sinking into bottomless bog and getting around in the summer meant slogging through hip-deep bog in many places. You know, I frankly couldn't give a damn about the "debate" over whether this is a natural or a man-made phenomenon. It's happening, and whatever the cause we bear a collective responsibility to minimize humankind's impact (or contribution) to the process as fast as humanly possible. We're quick to wage war and can always find gazillions for that... but climate change? "Oh, so expensive! Let's talk!" John L

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Global warming-climate change

L to R Bob Mckerrow, Will Steger, Paul Schurke, Bob Mantell and Richard Weber.
This image was taken in May of 1985 on the Steger International Polar expedition . The dog with the sunglasses is Slidre, he went to the pole and Greeenland. Slidre was born at the Eureka weather station on Ellesmere Island.

On Monday I went out to a village in Jakarta to be interviewed by a movie director on the Global Warming-Climate change programme we are working on with the Indonesian Red Cross. It is interesting that most of us who were with Will Steger on his 1985-86 unsupported dog sled expedition to the North Pole, have become strong advocates for cutting green house gas emissions.

Will Steger the leader is currently leading the Global Warming 101 Expedition to Baffin Island which gives people an opportunity to learn first-hand how the Inuit culture is coping with global warming. The Will Steger Foundation is a nonprofit organization You can check it out on Will's site:

The five of us pictured above spent considerable time in 1985 with Inuit communities living in the MacKenzie River Delta, Canada and along the coastline of the Arctic Ocean as we travelled by dog sled to Point Barrow, Alaska. We could see that the changing weather patterns were affecting their survival as traditional sources of food were reduced by the shrinking thickness and area of ice on the Arctic Ocean. The next year when we travelled to Baffin Island, we saw and heard the same story. I am delighted my old friend Will Steger is up there is Baffin Island bringing the reality of global warming to our computer screens. I will update you on the work we are doing here in Jakarta in the next few days when I get a spare minute

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

15 days to go - The pressure comes on Richie

With 15 days to go to the Rugby World Cup, a lot of attention is being focussed on this man: Richie McCaw the captain of the New Zealand All Blacks. Will Richie be holding the World Cup aloft on 20 October in Paris ?
Richard McCaw, or ‘Richie’ as he is widely known, is a key figure for the All Blacks and is generally recognised as the world’s best openside flanker. McCaw has the size and strength to be a punishing defender, the cool head and quick hands required to master the breakdown area, and the speed and handling skills to play a traditional tearaway’s linking role to superb effect. McCaw was named as All Blacks captain for the first time for the Test against Wales in 2004 aged just 23. He led the side in 12 Tests in 2006.He was sidelined for the middle part of 2004 with a head injury, but came back mid-way through the Air New Zealand NPC to captain the Canterbury side to a stunning final victory over Wellington. He earned the Air New Zealand NPC Division One Player of the Year for his effort.A tireless worker who reads the game well, McCaw was voted as Newcomer of the Year by the International Rugby Players Association in 2002. He was brought up in North Otago and educated at Otago Boys High, where he played his rugby at No 8. Had an outstanding 2003 Rugby World Cup and won the New Zealand player of the year award at the 2006 and 2003 Steinlager Rugby Awards. He was awarded the IRB Player of the Year award in 2006 after being a finalist in both the International Rugby Players Association and IRB awards in 2003 and again for the IRB in 2005.McCaw led Canterbury to the NPC title in 2004 and then took the Crusaders to back-to-back Super 14 titles in 2005 and 2006 before assuming command of the national team.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ebenezer and Mary Teichelmann

Ebenezer Teichelmann was the subject of my last book and I devote considerable space to the tender relationship he had with his wife Mary, both pictured above.
Ebenezer Teichelmann Pioneer New Zealand mountaineer, photographer, surgeon and conservationist.
Cutting Across Continents
by Bob McKerrow
The 274 page book is richly illustrated with 106 photographs, 4 maps list of ascents, glossary of terms and a comprehensive index, has a Foreword by Sir Edmund Hillary. Published by Tara Press New Delhi, India and available from http://www.indiaresearhcpress/
and distributed in New Zealand by Craig Potton Publishing.
Born in South Australia in 1859 to German and Scottish parents, Teichelmann trained as a doctor and surgeon in Australia, England, Ireland, (1880-90) and later updated his surgery skills in England, Germany and Austria. (1912). He emigrated to New Zealand in 1987.
Author Bob McKerrow describes his struggle to piece together the life of Ebenezer Teichelmann:“At times I struggled to find what made this remarkable man tick, but the more I talked to people who knew him, I slowly brought together his many faces; Doctor, surgeon, public health promoter, mountaineer, explorer, photographer, conservationist, world traveler, philanthropist, philosopher, humanitarian, gardener, soldier, promoter of free-public libraries and tourism, tennis player, swimming, golf and cricket club president, newspaper director, Trustee Savings Bank pioneer, admirer of abattoirs, harbour board chairman, and a rationalist by faith. A canvas as wide as the world.”
Friend of……..Friend of ferrymen, gold-miners, publicans, prostitutes, farmers, explorers, speculators, rock-solid working women, fishermen, sailors, shepherds, saw-millers, tunnelers, blacksmiths and shop-keepers who lived on the edge of life, at the end of the world. Teichelmann lived on the periphery of the mountains and he felt their pulse and moods in his daily work, travels and life. The watery arteries of the snow, ice and mountains often blocked his passage as he tried to reach patients needing urgent medical treatment. He fell in love with their shape, light and curves and sensitively captured their moods on his large plate camera. There was a sense of intimacy in his photographs and writing, and when he was moved by the beauty around him, would often quote from Longfellow, Stevenson or other romantic poets. He was in love with Mary, a beautiful and unconventional women.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kalibata village - Jakarta

I have a movie director here at the moment making a small documentary on global warming.
I went out with her this morning to Kalibata in Jakarta, which is situated on the Ciliwung River, 3 metres below the main road bridge.

Kalibata is typical of slum areas in mega cities throughout Asia. Situated on the true left of a garbage choked river, the people are subject to flooding every year. On the opposite side of the river is a garbage dump where 20 trucks were unloading their contents. This year in February, all the people in Kalibati were evacuated and the village was covered with 6 metres of water. The bridge above had its iron railings twisted and broken by the sheer force of the river.

I spoke to Sulieman, who makes a living from retrieving water battles thrown into the river.
“ It’s hard work catching the bottles, cleaning them, and crushing them into blocks,” he said. For all this work he makes $ 0.45 a kg. The life of garbage collectors, recyclers and slum dwellers in Jakarta is very difficult, and worsening year by year with climate changes.
The Indonesian Red Cross has started a programme, community based risk reduction, to train and empower villages like this to be able to protect their lives and communities.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Michael Jones with a big heart in South Africa

Feedback from John Tulloch

John said...
I was lucky enough to encounter Michael Jones numerous times during my time as a sports journalist. As a player he was artistry in motion and as you've outlined he was a prince off the field as well.

I was covering the All Black tour of South Africa in 1992 and the team was playing Central Unions in a scruffy dustbowl of a town called Witbank. Following the match and having done my various interviews and filed back to New Zealand, I meandered out into the now empty stadium, bar for a gaggle of laughing, yelling black kids down one end. I investigated further saw amidst the melee of youngsters was Michael Jones conducting an impromptu rugby clinic.

Jones, who hadn't played that day had a look of real joy on his face as the kids relished getting a master class in the game from a true great. In the end, as darkness fell, a gruff Laurie Mains (was he ever anything else?!) barked out from under the main stand for his star flanker to get moving as the team was boarding the bus. Jones left somewhat reluctantly, and the kids gave him a boisterous send-off thanking him profusely. This was just one example of many I witnessed of Jones' kind heartedness and generosity. He was a class act.

August 17, 2007 7:19 AM

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Oh dear.

It has really all gone to pot.

The sun is shining onto me now and I feel incredibly dark, sombre and sullen.

So obviously Mogwai is required.

I suggest Happy Songs For Happy People.

Go get it or look for it in your collection, get it listened to. If I'm going down I'm dragging you all with me!

tytoc collie may be sporadically attended to in the coming weeks. Stress, turmoil and many tears are the current state of play.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bjork and Simian Mobile Disco

What a great combination!

I feel swells of bias whenever anything Simian Mobile Disco related appears on the radar.

They've gone and remixed Bjork's new single Innocence. And as I listened to the remix all I could think was..

"Why not sooner?"

Well, its here now and I thought before I popped off to London for a few days tomorrow I'd leave it with you all to enjoy in the absence of Ms Mulrine.

Bjork - Innocence (Simian Mobile Disco remix) [via zShare]

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Peter, Bjorn and John

They are re-releasing Young Folks.

Can opinions sink lower? Apparently so.

Blameful, shameful crimes.

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

There is a new offering from Does It Offend You, Yeah?. If you are already hip and have them as a friend on MySpace you may be aware that clicking here, there and everywhere will get you a free download.

Let's Make Out.

Sexual commands shouted to distorted backing is always a winner for me. Play this in a dirty hotel room with a bottle of vodka. All hell will break lose.

The end sign-off is pure brilliance too. Very DIOY,Y?.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Field Day

I don't have tickets for the weekend.

I'd been waiting til I got paid and they've bloody sold out.

I'm devastated.

If anyone could help out a desparate Mulrine please contact me.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm a robot man..

Yes, The Aliens were absolutely fantastic. Having taken an enormous amount of time to sound check it was worth it for the set they played. And to make up for the time they lost soundchecking they overplayed their set, much to the upset and fidgetting dismay of the organisers. A guy stood at the side looking decidedly uneasy.

"Fuck Damon Gough! He can wait! The Aliens are on!"

I think I may have been heard to say. But had you have seen their set you'd have applauded such a comment. I was tickled to see Gordon Anderson demand his fellow band members back on stage to play a bit more. Ha! Brilliant.

Rebellious antics aside, their set really was great. They have a sound that must be very hard to translate into a live set. Key changes and soaring harmonies. Its not particularly suprising that they spent a while preparing. But it was definately worth it. I chanted alongside anthemically. As I have been doing ever since.

"I'm a robot maaaaaan, I'm a robot maaaaaan, I'm a robot maaaaaan, I'm a robot maaaaaan!"


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Stockton Riverside Festival

This weekend sees my hometown of Stockton-on-Tees being taken over by the yearly festival. I must admit that I always used to miss them as a kid as I spent my summers with my Dad, museum hopping in Yorkskire.

But this Saturday I am looking forward to it. If I get myself there. With the headliner being Badly Drawn Boy (okay, okay, I know I have no affection for him further than Hour Of The Bewilderbeast but whatever, its free!) it doesn't look too bad, headliners for the other days include Echo And The Bunnymen and The Ordinary Boys. All three days, Friday (today), Saturday and Sunday showcase some of the best local acts and little-known acts from further afield.

But I must say that among the other obvious acts to really get excited about, the wonderous The Chapman Family and the very brilliant Dirty Weekend, the main one I must say I've come round to actually be really excited about seeing (again) is The Aliens.

After not really being impressed by them live at Fibbers in York, which was mainly to do with the fact that a) I wasn't familiar with The Aliens b) I was more excited about being in the same room as ex-The Beta Band members and c) they were fucking wrecked! So fingers crossed that they can stave off the temptation of alcohol long enough to perform well tomorrow night.

Yet, having worked in Stockton for far too many days recently I am slightly worried that a band as truly brilliant as The Aliens are going to simply be overlooked. One of the most socio-economically deprived areas of Britain might not quite understand the enormity of the greatness and musical genius that is The Aliens.

Here is a taste of them:

The Aliens - Rox

Wow. Thats quite a talking up there, isn't it? They better be good.


Now if you feel like browsing through blogs you'll probably see this pop up constantly. Chromeo are not to be overlooked, like I did, as it is folly to do so. Folly, I say!

You'll stumble upon the Sinden and MSTRKRFT remixes if you have a look here and there. But to be honest don't get caught up in single tracks and random remixes. Not yet, anyway. First port of call get the Chromeo album Fancy Footwork itself.

It really is something quite awesome. You'll certainly rise to your feet at least once and do some sort of a little jiggle. It will compell you to.

I thought groove had been lost.

Chromeo have found it and will make you want it.

Here's a bit of Tenderoni..


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