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The diaTribe blog is our occasional take on life, the universe and everything. Observations on current affairs, the environment, politics, humour and music/gig reviews. Travel diary and extreme sports stories, along with the usual rants/raves are also chucked in for good measure.

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Music, bands, live gigs, media and general entertainment subjects.

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Jul22

Flip Grater: Poetry in Music

Flip Grater - NZ Singer/Songwriter

Television in New Zealand can be largely summed up in 4 words: seven channels of shite.

It’s full to the brim with loud, brash, unfunny American and Australian crap, interspersed with even louder and brasher ads for half-price sales at Harvey the Rabbit or some such, about every 10 minutes. It’s basically a noise factory that in a very short period of time leaves the viewer numbed to the seemingly endless flow of static it spouts.

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Feb27

Songs of Faith for the Devoted

Tosh outside the O2

The Depeche Mode gig at the O2 stadium in London on Saturday 20th February 2010 has been a long time coming.

Having bought the tickets over a year ago, the planned 30th May ’09 gig offered the usual agonizing wait, but then to find it was postponed for another 9 months was excruciating! However, the day finally arrived and not without a little anticipation – not only to see Depeche Mode again, which I have only seen live twice before, but also for the venue; the London O2 Arena I had been told is an amazing stadium and with great acoustics.

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Jul18

Live Jive 2009

Live Jive 2009 (Kev & Carries BBQ)

It was great to receive an invitation to Kev and Carrie’s annual BBQ at their farm cottage just outside Basingstoke.

Last year’s gig was unfortunately cancelled for various reasons and when I heard it was back on this year, I was chuffed.

By the time I arrived around 2pm there were already a dozen or more tents pitched in the back yard and FuZeD were just tuning up and by the time I had popped the top of a cold beer and greeted a few pals, they were off and rockin!

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Jun27

Hyde Park 2009

Big TV - Hyde Park 2009.  Photo: P.Mckenzie, Bandanna Club

The annual Hard Rock Callin’ gig in Hyde Park is always a good one and this year featured two classic headliners; Neil Young on the Saturday and Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band on the Sunday.

Unfortunately, this year tickets were snapped up at an unbelievable rate; so fast in fact that all I could manage to get hold of was a one-day pass for the Saturday. Disappointing, but certainly better than no ticket at all.

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Dec06

An early Christmas present to myself

Yamaha SLG100S Silent Guitar

I’ve been thinking about buying a collapsible guitar that is suitable for stuffing in a large suitcase for some time now. After looking at what was available and chatting with a few enthusiasts of various models, I settled on the Yamaha SLG100S.

Collapsible guitars are suprisingly hard to get hold of; I looked at buying one from an online retailer, but couldn’t find a supplier that either a) was based outside the UK but willing to deliver to a UK address or b) was based in the UK, had one in stock, with a decent reputation and was able to deliver one in a reasonable time frame.

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Sep16

RIP: Richard Wright

Rick Wright

Very sad news today about the death of Rick Wright, talented keyboard player with the legendary Pink Floyd and often under-appreciated musical craftsman.

Wright was part of the core talent of the Pink Floyd sound, having first formed the band together with Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason, back in 1967.

He was a key part of the sound, recording and performing with the Floyd from their debut album “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” onwards.

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Sep03

My South Park Character

Plucking Phil

Courtesy of one of my work colleagues at UCB-Celltech in Slough, is my very own South Park Character (the whole team has one).

It’s been reworked with Su’s help (she thinks that I’ve downplayed the grumpiness element of my character, but it’s my character and I can have what I want! lol)

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