Tuesday, 27 October 2009


What is the greatest rock/pop concert movie of all time?

It is a question that is worthy of debate. To some, it is Gimme Shelter, where the Rolling Stones strut their stuff. To others, the performance at the end of A Hard Day’s Night takes the biscuit. Another possible contender has to be Tommy, so long as you can forget the image of Ann-Margaret rolling around in soap bubbles, baked beans and chocolate milk.

At least, I hope it was chocolate milk.

The strongest contender of recent years has to be This Is Spinal Tap, especially the Stonehenge number.

For me, however, the finest of all time starts with a man, a guitar and a tape player.

Add in a drummer and another guitarist or two…

Throw in the rest of the band

And you have the recipe for, in my opinion, the greatest concert film of all time. I saw this for the first time in a crowded pub opposite the Tyne Tees studio in Newcastle back in the early days of MTV, and now twenty years later I finally bought a copy of the special edition DVD.

Good times, they are a coming…

Monday, 26 October 2009

For those who may not have realised

For some years now I've been one of the moderating team on the Captain Comics site, originally under the nom de plume of The Culture Vulture, but since we moved the site to a new server under my given name.

Yes, I read comic books, I discuss comic books and I have some historical knowledge of comics. It's not a childish thing - unless you consider, for example, sholarly discussion of the prints of Hogarth a childish thing. They started as comics as well...

Anyway, for those who have never seen this side of me, here are a few blog posst I've made on the sort of things I have read.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

If anyone does care, I apologise for my absence these last few weeks - a combination of work issues, re-discovering the joys of Monopoly and the radio in the mornings, and if I am being honest sheer laziness on one or two occasions.

So, what has been happening while I’ve been away - some random thoughts...

Last week I was speaking at a conference in nice. I've only visited that area once before - for a meeting in Cannes in the middle of December - but it's the South of France, so nice, dry and warm, and don't pack a brolly, right?

Naturally, it rained on the lat day, so I got soaked walking from the conference centre to the hotel both ways. Ah, the joy of warm rain....

While I was doing this, my work was moving my stuff across the city to a new location, and a slightly different work set-up - 100% total hot desking. Still getting used to it, and being in with a larger group as well.

Also last week, Alastair my oldest son was awarded a Maths prize from his old school, so up we troop to support him. It's a strange feeling, watching the lad you remember as a babe in arms standing taller than you on a stage - I suddenly realise how my own father must have felt when we won prizes.

If you have not seen it yet, see Up! It is easily the equal of The Incredibles in the Pixar collection, and Ed Asner is fantastic as the lead voice.

Stuart, my younger son, now plays for an under-11 football team, and his team have won all their league games so far. He definitely gets those genes from Doreen's side of the family - I am easily the world's worst footballer - but I am as proud of him as I am of Alastair.

A thought on the appearance on Nick Griffin last week on Question Time - if you really truly want to show someone for what they are, just let them talk.

Talking of television (I heard the repeat on Radio 5 of Question Time) this week marks the likely end of the Television exile, as we purchase a new HD-ready set and DVD player. I already know which DVD player we'll get - one that can be reset to all zones very easily - but the set? Jury is still out....

We now return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense - with luck, I'll get back into the habit of this now...