2002 musical highlights

Some fantastic music was releaed in 2002, and I managed to churn through a large amount of it despite the demise of Audiogalaxy as a useful method for musical discovery.

Electroclash

Perhaps the most exciting movement to come to the fore in 2002 was the Electroclash idea, or "Electrocash" to its critics. A future-retro musical movement with a distinctive electro sound reminiscent of 80s electro-pop but with a more polished, dance-influenced style.

The most successful, yet least talented, of the Electrocash phenomenon were probably Fischerspooner who scored a million pound deal with Ministry of Sound in 2002. While FS are blatantly money-driven, cashing in on the hype, they're also very clearly taking the piss and enjoying the bullshit machine they have built. We were lucky enough to catch their gig at David Bowie's Meltdown in London. The gig combined high camp values (coresetted dancing bimbos miming to the music) with high-tech lighting and effects -- think geeks set loose in a theatrical effects store with someone else's chequebook. Great fun and suitably silly.

More substantial musically were Crossover and Ladytron. I saw Crossover twice last year. Once at a small Electrolash gig at the ICA and again at Fabric. Both gigs were great. Standout tracks from their album Fantasmo: Phostographt and Extensive Care.

Ladytron had a fantastic album, 604, in 2001, neatly pre-empting the whole Electroclash hype machine. Their 2002 album, Light & Magic, was for some reason released in the UK a lot later than the North American release. Strange for a UK band. Anyway, the new album was pretty good, particularly the track Seventeen. Ladytron played a London gig that I managed to catch. Despite being incredibly crowded, they played a fantastic set and really had the crowd in the palm of their hands, no mean feat for a band without the usual on-stage histrionics.

My most exciting musical find for the year was Detroit band Adult who put out a late-2001 album, Resuscitation. Their incredible robotic electro has infectious rhythms with crunchy sounds and really well made vocoder vocals. If you only take note of one thing on this page, check out Adult.

Still in Sydney

We're still in Sydney, until Sunday this week anyway. If you haven't managed to catch up with us, get in touch. Probably do drinks in Newtown on Thursday night.

I'm actually working in the Sydney office of my employer this week. That way I won't blow the whole three weeks in holidays. Also useful to get some work done here as the developers are available.

Got Glasto tickets

Well here's an example of how not to handle ticket sales for a large, high-profile event. Glastonbury tickets just went on sale, which meant getting up at 5am here in Sydney to start trying. It's now 8:45am and I've finally discovered I have some tickets.

I only worked this out, mind, by giving up on their web site and phoning the UK, where I was told I already had tickets. The web site certainly hasn't told me this useful bit of information!

But the good news is, we have Glasto tickets. Woo!

Email down

By the time we arrived in Oz, my computer seemed to have lost contact with the outside world. The ADSL it's on might have crashed, but who knows. Major pain in the arse.

If you're in Sydney, you can call me on 02 9879 0308.

We've moved

Well it was a very long weekend, but we've managed to move house. We're staying with friends in Blackheath until we're back from Oz when we'll look for our own flat.

Computer is off the air until tonight, so no email or Jabber until then.

Off to Sydney

Holly and I are off to Sydney tomorrow morning for three weeks. If you want to call me, I'll mostly be at my parents place: 02 9879 0308. Should have access to email while I'm there too.

Holly's having a party on her birthday, 8th April, so come along!

Back in London on 19th April.

Snow!

Wow. The last couple of days it's been dumping down snow. It started yesterday morning when we got up and saw snow everywhere. Then last night, around 17:20, it started really dumping. Probably dropped about an inch in an hour. Then tonight there's been more.

Of course, this being London, the transport has all been screwed up. Took Holly three hours to get home from her new job in South London. I walked. Snow is the only weather capable of getting me off the bike. Icy roads are just too dangerous on two wheels.

Photos here.

We're moving

We're moving house tonight. It's been a bit of a drama so we're technically homeless for the next month or so.

We had found a brilliant place in Baron's Court, but that fell through from the landlord's dodginess. We'd already given notice on our place in Willesden so now we've had to make alternative plans.

We'll be staying at John and Anne's in Blackheath for the next week, moving house tonight and tomorrow. Then we're off to Oz for three weeks. When we get back, we'll start looking for a new place to live.

If anyone knows of any places going in the Barons Court, Earls Court, West Kensington, Shepherds Bush or North Fulham areas, lettuce know.

Beer is coming along

Well if you've been following this, I've been brewing some beer recently. I now have something like 60 litres of beer conditioning, and another 20 litres fermenting at the moment.

The first two batches are just now getting to the drinkable stage. They'll continue to improve over time but they're pretty fine right about now. Yum!

On Monday night I put another batch into a newly aquired keg. Should be a nice little treat for Christmas, I think. It's a nice dark one called Norfolk Nog. Yummy!

Merry Xmas

If you're reading this and I missed you from the mass mailout of our xmas card, I apologise. Here's what you should have received.

Merry Xmas 
Love Holly and Simon