Monthly Archives: November 2016

Last W/E In November 2016

Friday was a quiet night in with Mrs. Backhouse – we just chilled in front of the telly and had a good catch up – it’s the backbone of our relationship – these quiet times – and it is an amazing thing that we still get to have them. I love my wife with all of my heart. She is someone very special to me – if I put in a bit more work she may reciprocate the sentiment ;-)

Saturday night and Allan’s studio, Creao, stank of Allan’s, Watson’s and my creative juices. We had everything flowing from premium lager to Dub Mixing. We are investigating getting Bitwig Studio for the band (Guerrilla Dub System) and we were trying to get that sorted. Then we had a live dub and a DJ sesh.

Sunday was spent getting ready for the evening. We met Karen & Stewart at the train station and were Leeds bound within minutes. The first stop was the restaurant Little Tokyo – the fun-size Japanese restaurant complete with Geisha dog – Bork Bork!

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Me and Stewart had a pint of Asahi Beer and Kat went for a smaller lager – both were really palatable but what stole the show was Karen’s Plum Wine – it was like nectar! The main courses: we all ordered Bento Boxes on the advice of Stewart & Karen – I had Mackerel in Teriyaki sauce with Tempura veg – It was amazing! The highlight of the meal was the Japanese style profiteroles – Ice-cream deep-fried in batter on a skewer; although I think my wife won the pudding tournament with her marshmallow spring rolls – she claimed they were genius’.

We then hot-footed it up to the Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen to see the world famous Sun Ra’s Arkestra!

I had been waiting around eight years to see this band live – whilst they did not have the man himself (he orbits a different star now) they were led by the spritely Marshall Allen, at 92 years young.

Marshall Allen

  • Image first appeared in JazzIz Magazine

There seemed to be four surviving musicians from the Arkestra under Sun Ra in the early days of Space Jazz. Dozens of musicians—perhaps hundreds—passed through Sun Ra’s bands over the years. Some stayed with him for decades, while others played on only a few recordings or performances.

Sun Ra was personally responsible for the vast majority of the constant changes in the Arkestra’s lineup. According to contra-bassist Jiunie Booth, a member of the Arkestra, Sun Ra did not confront any musician whose performance he was unsatisfied with. Instead, he would simply gather the entire Arkestra minus the offending musician, and skip town—leaving the fired musician stranded. After repeated instances of U.S. jazz musicians becoming stranded in foreign countries, Sun Ra’s unique method of dismissal became a diplomatic liability for the United States. The U.S. State Department was compelled to tell Sun Ra to bring any fired musicians stateside rather than leave them stranded.

But, what was the experience of seeing Sun Ra’s Arkestra like for a fan-boy like myself? Well, it surpassed expectation. Hands down the best gig I have been to in years. Whilst I did not recognise all of the tracks that they played – seeing ninety year old’s dressed as Space Pharaohs lucidly conducting an Afro-Futurist ensemble was worth a trip out in anyone’s books.

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Vintage Fairs & Pints (Lots Of Pints)

So, what happened at the weekend? Quite a bit as it happens – I did not sleep so that meant there was a lot of w/e overtime put in.

I managed to re-haul my web design site www.treebark.design and I am quite please with how it looks. I have gone for a set-up that makes it easier to read and therefore slightly better optimised for search engines. It still has HTTPS (an SSL Certificate) so this means it will help with the rankings too. All in all I hope to have improved the set up and the flow of the site. Please, use this link to see what I have done.

Saturday was spent listening to music – something I find great joy in doing. I have quite a good setup (I inherited from a loved one) and a comfortable chair upon which to perch to listen to the music. See, I am on the mailing list of a PR firm based in Berlin – so I get a whole heap of avant-garde music to listen to and play on my radio show, The Parish News.

Saturday was a good day.

Sunday saw us in a bit of a panic – Kathryn had won four tickets to an (excellent) vintage fair in York. We only found out about it around 1am on Sunday morning! We contacted a few friends to see who was up for coming to York with us to take advantage of the free tickets and the voucher. Andy & Helen F were the first to reply in the affirmative so we met them at Harrogate Station and caught the soon to arrive train to York.

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I managed to lose my bearings crossing the platform to the York Station’s exit – thankfully Helen was on hand to get us to Fossgate and The Merchant Adventurers Hall, the venue of the great vintage fair that we were destined for.

The vintage fair was called York Does Vintage – as run by the firm, Britain Does Vintage. They have a web site and I will post their banner below. But first I would like to witter on a bit about them – if you don’t mind.

Now then, I have never really been much of a fan of vintage clothing – I see it as a posh charity shop without the moral backbone. The clothes normally smell of piss and are always too small to fit my Tons-Of-Fun physique.

However, there was a class and elegance to the products on sale at York Does Vintage – the stall holders were all very friendly, polite and courteous. They went out of their way to try and help you.

Kathryn ended up spending a fortune on two jackets (Summer / Winter) and I bought a French Work Jacket for the token price of £15 – Bargain. Andy and Helen bought a few thing and we settled down for cake – a wedge of coffee and walnut cake with a strong brew to refresh us.

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Then we hot footed it across town, via the Cornish Pasty Shop (Steak & Stilton for me, Cheese & Mushroom for Kathryn – Vegetarian for Andy & Helen). We called in to the York Tap on at the station to await on our train and sipped a libation – I can’t quite remember what I had to drink as I was running on vapours and was getting a bit confused.

We caught the train home and then met Scooby in Major Toms for a power pint and left as the quiz was starting. Scoob and me popped in to The Little Ale House on the way home: first impressions are that they do a good pint and the bar staff are friendly – we will call again when we have more time and I will write a full appraisal up here on Ijo Pona.

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