Sunday, 22 April 2012


Hi there. Well, today I've been busy tweaking my draft of the book, just altering the odd word or sentence construction here and there. Despite starting this process yesterday afternoon I'm already a third of the way through the whole document. Working at that rate I think there is a good chance that I will finish the book next weekend, which is very exciting indeed after all of this time. A friend of mine, who is involved with publishing suggested that when I have finished the draft I should leave it for a period of six weeks, go back to it and see if it still cuts the mustard, so taking his advice on board this is precisely what I'm going to do. Reading through what I've written today I'm fairly happy with it. Will I still feel happy with it in a short while? Hopefully, but we shall see....

Yesterday I also booked my flight to Berlin to see what will undoubtedly be a fantastic live Ashra show in June. Very much looking forward to that and also to returning to the UFA Fabrik where the band originally rehearsed for the Correlations album in 1978. I last stayed at the UFA in February of 2010 and met both Manuel and drummer Harald Grosskopf there. That occasion marked Harald's first return visit to the location since the late '70s, so that was a great experience (and you can read all about it in my blog post from February 2010, titled Ich bin eine Berliner).

There is a story behind both of the photographs in this post. The picture above was taken just off Brick Lane in London a couple of weeks ago by my good friend Mr. Stephen Iliffe. This was the weekend when we were lined up to see Agitation Free at the Jazz Cafe. Unfortunately the concert was postponed until November but we made the most of the weekend, paying a visit to the Rough Trade record shop on Brick Lane, then heading through the Docklands area and on to Greenwich to have a look at the space observatory, something I've wanted to do for years. A great time was had by all.
The second photograph appears courtesy of Sid Smith and was taken at Mr. Drayton's Record Player, which takes place at Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema every Thursday night. Each week Mr. Drayton, a radio producer, stand-up comedian and music enthusiast plays a classic album on vinyl and the audience listen, whilst relaxing and watching a related slide show. It's a truly great night and big thanks goes out to Mr. Drayton for reawakening my interest in vinyl after buying CDs for many years. The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago when I won the quiz, receiving a book and the princely sum of five english pounds as a prize. After listening to two classic albums I'd call that an unbeatable night.

Now, does anybody know where I can buy some MG albums on good quality vinyl? My collection is on CD. The hunt begins....

Cheers! Back very soon.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Museum Piece V

Special thanks goes to Harald Grosskopf, the man behind the camera for allowing me to post this photograph of Manuel and Lutz Ulbrich with Michel Huygen of the band Neuronium. The snap was taken in Spain (probably in March of 1981) when Ashra recorded a TV concert for the Barcelona channel RTVE.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

MG - Live in Madrid

This is just a quick message wishing MG the best of luck with his live performance of E2-E4 at Madrid's Festival Electronica en Abril tomorrow night (12th April). See more here. Unfortunately I can't make this show, as I'm currently trying to squirrel away some money for Ashra's Berlin concert in June.

A message for any readers too - if you do go along I hope you have a great time! If you have any reviews or photos please get in touch afterwards and I will credit them to you right here on the blog.

A busy weekend of writing is coming up. More soon.....

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Greetings from sunny Tynemouth

Hello there. Your rambling writer offers greetings from Tynemouth. Actually, this is just around the coast from Whitley Bay, so I haven't really been travelling to some far-flung location again. At the moment I'm in the middle of a 10 day stretch of time off work and I was rather hoping that we might see a repeat of last year's Easter weather, the best of 2011 in these parts. This allowed me to sit in the backyard, writing for a week. Alas, it wasn't/isn't to be. The weather has been extremely iffy this time, with clouds, rain and cold wind. It even snowed a little last night.
No matter, though. I've been too preoccupied with writing the book to really notice. Things are now officially getting very exciting indeed here. I'm 117 pages into the fifth draft, working through a 147 page document and it is starting to look like a real book - I mean the kind of book that someone might want to read! When I think back to what I started with four years ago this is amazing to me...I am truly nearly there. I also have tomorrow to work on things before I travel to London on Good Friday to catch up with an old friend over the weekend. Part of the original plan was to see Agitation Free play live at the Jazz Cafe but this show is now sadly postponed until November. Not to to worry.

By the time I return to the blog I expect to have finished the fifth draft. When I've done this I'll need to take a short break so that I'm not too close to my work-in-progress, come back to it and then ask myself whether it is a finished product yet.

I'll be back soon. In the meantime have a Happy Easter!