Glasgow Happenings

You hear a lot about Glasgow, mostly about stabbing. What you don’t hear about is that it’s really, really pretty.

No, really.

What a majestic landscape.
What a majestic landscape.

I’m sleeping on a bunk bed in a hostel with five other dudes – not in the same bed, of course – and even this place used to be one of the most exclusive hotels in the city. It’s huge in the classic Victorian “just make shit big” style. This area is so classy that the door numbers are in Roman fucking numerals.

Thank the lord for Rocky.

I walked to the hostel like an idiot. It was good though. As lost as I did get I also got unlost and didn’t get stabbed nor did I sob down the phone for a taxi. It’s probably about 20-30 minutes walk from the bus station if you don’t walk every-fucking-where else as well.

Bus ride took me from the ever-classy National Express station in Newcastle (it sits neatly between a strip club and the not-so-gay-any-more gay bar Powerhouse) through the most excellent Northumberland back roads and up to Edinburgh, then across to Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus Station – as immortalised in Aztec Camera’s Killermont Street.

Glasgow is a lot cleaner than I expected. You don’t realise how filthy everywhere else is until you go to a place where either people pick up more rubbish or they put it in the fucking bin. Fancy that.

I got into Glasgow around 6.15pm. I got to the hostel a bit before 8.00pm. This gives you an idea of the special sort of lost I was. I had a good time though. In retrospect.

Glasgow philosophy.
Glasgow philosophy.

With my stuff all locked away (thanks for the padlock, Clas Ohlson!) and my poorly phone charging up I went for a wander around the area. I made a fool of myself several times going into places asking if they did pizza, like some sort of stoned maniac.

I wasn’t, but “Sorry, I’m just really tired,” always seems such a pathetic excuse.

The lights represent potential pizza sources. The darkness represents Sean's blindness to literally everything else.
The lights represent potential pizza sources. The darkness represents Sean’s blindness to literally everything else.

Anyway, I found a chippy that did pizza for a reasonable price only to find that they were offering 50% off.

I ended my night scoffing my beautiful £3.50 pizza on the Kelvingrove granite steps (as featured in Taggart) and flicked a v-sign at BBC Scotland in the distance. You would too.

Actually, I ended my night in bed. That’s just me being poetic and shit. The underside of the top bunk had been graffitied by those who had stayed before me, so I joined in.

Branded like a cow.
Branded like a cow.

Well, it would have been irresponsible not to.

Advertisements

Tyneside Cinema All-Nighter: What Sean Did

Recently, the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle held another of their Cult Classics marathons. Five films, five pounds, twelve hours. Good value for money and good movies too, but was it a good idea?

Yes. And no.

I can’t deny that it was incredibly stupid for me to so willingly smash my sleeping pattern to bits (it’s Thursday now, I think…) but I just can’t ignore how fucking great it was.

Batmaaaaaaan!
Film one. 10pm. Batman.

Whatever ridiculous genius who decided to show Prince’s Batdance video before the film deserves a shitload of medals. Incredible.

This is the 1989 Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson (known as ‘the good Batman’) and what a pleasure it was to see it for the first time this century in the comfiest seat ever made. Although the Fancy Seats section in the Classic screen was sold out beforehand, a bunch of people decided not to show up. This included the person who was supposed to sit next to me. BONUS SPACE. Stretched out like a motherfucker, yes I did.

I had my first coffee of the night and munched on some popcorn. A fine start.

Film two. 12.30am, Starship Troopers.
Film two. 12.30am, Starship Troopers.

Starship Troopers (otherwise known as ‘Douchebags in Space’) unfortunately did not have a Batdance equivalent. This was a shame. However, the film is absolutely brilliant and the special effects hold up surprisingly well considering the general quality of CGI in 1997. It’s also really funny. Really, really funny. They sucked his brain out!

Please watch this film. If you have already seen it, just watch it again. You deserve it.

I snacked on a nice mixture of nuts and raisins and drank most of my flask of coffee. 😦

Film three. 3.20am. Mallrats,
Film three. 3.20am. Mallrats,

Mallrats is a Kevin Smith film starring the usual lot – Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, blah blah blah. These all-nighters are great for Kevin Smith fans, which I probably am. This is the internet so you probably are one as well.

I also had the good fortune to meet Holly beforehand and we took our first Progress Selfie.

IMG-20131020-00252
It went well.

The film was great but I finished my flask of coffee. Mega lame.

Film four. 5.30am. Monster Squad.
Film four. 5.30am. Monster Squad.

Monster Squad is a film from the 1980s with monsters in it. I really don’t remember it very well. I wish I did but I don’t. Sorry.

About halfway through I took a tactical powernap in the toilet cubicle, a technique I perfected while at college. I also had another coffee and some of a strawberry flavoured candy cane.

Having a very good time.
Here’s what tired looks like.

There was a MASSIVE BREAK between Monster Squad and my next film, so I popped outside for some fresh air. It was scary and I didn’t like it one bit.

Film five. 8am. The Breakfast Club.
Film five. 8am. The Breakfast Club.

Eight in the buggering morning. Fortunately, I seemed to have had a Second Wind and was fine for The Breakfast Club. Sort of. I sat riiiiiiight at the front and sprawled out, my jacket over me like a blanket. I’d never seen this film before and I was surprised that it was a lot better than I’d been made to believe. Great premise, great acting, great movie. That’s how it should work.

Here’s where that sort of being fine comes in. I had a bit of a sob towards the end butI’m not sure if it was because I was incredibly tired or if the film is actually just really sad. I’m not ashamed to say that, if not for the British need to save face in public, I would have been bawling like a baby for the last twenty minutes. I settled for a quiet weep instead.

Me.
Me.

Also, here’s our 8am Progress Selfie:

Is it a shit picture, or is it art? Answers on the back of a Turner Prize.
Is it a shit picture, or is it art? Answers on the back of a Turner Prize.

Holly had understandably gone for her 90 minute bus ride home rather than waiting about in the cold for half an hour before I came out, so I got on with my next mission.

Breakfast.

I saw a lot of the night before as I strolled wide-eyed down the street, doing my best to look normal. Here’s something that definitely wasn’t normal:

Newcastle Upon Tyne-20131020-00273
I think it’s a penguin.

Weird. Anyway, I had more important things on my mind. Namely, bacon.

I groped my way to my most favourite restaurant, Stateside, and ordered myself some French toast (with bacon) and some coffee. Take note here, because I got two huge slices of awesome French toast, two bits of good bacon and two cups of damn fine coffee for £4.65. That’s a fucking great bargain and you should go there all the time. I recommend the onion rings.

(I’m going to say right now that they’re not paying me a thing, I’m just really passionate about good food for cheap.)

I got back home and crawled into bed. I’ve never loved my bed so much.

Until next time, Tyneside Cinema.
Until next time, Tyneside Cinema.

Review: The Drone by We Are Knuckle Dragger (2013)

1209271_10151840730557192_1894869042_n

The Drone is the second album by We Are Knuckle Dragger. They’re a very good band and this is a very good album, but will you like it? Maybe.

Knuckle Dragger aren’t a group for everybody, but that’s fine. They make the music they want to make, which shouldn’t really be such a fucking novelty, and that music is beautiful. Not beautiful like Chopin, but beautiful, glorious NOISE.

A huge shit-eating grin spreads over my face every time that first slab of grumbly rumbly bass starts molesting my speakers. Perhaps such mucky stuff shouldn’t make me so happy, but I can’t help it.

This shit’s all over the place and I love it.

The Drone was produced by Ross Robinson, the man who invented Slipknot, and he’s a great fit. As much of a crime Korn was he totally makes up for it with this. We cool, Ross, we cool.

I’m not going to talk about The Drone song by song because it’s not that kind of record. Everything is brilliant, that’s what you need to know.

It’s also heavy. Really heavy. Really fucking heavy. Jesus Christ, it’s heavy.

Do you like heavy music? Do you like noisy noise? Do you like to boogie? Do you like to rock and/or roll? Do you like grunge? Do you like to do a depressed shuffle to The Cure? Into ABBA?

None of the above?

Billy Joel 4 life.
Billy Joel 4 life.

You should listen to The Drone anyway. It’s only 29 minutes long, what else were you going to do today?

It’s been very interesting to see this album develop. I was lucky enough to attend a secret show in Knuckle Dragger‘s rehearsal space where they played 9 of these 10 songs (the 10th wasn’t done yet) only a few days before they were recorded and beaten into shape. To then see them (in HMV, of all places) perform the whole thing front-to-back on the day of release was a real treat.

If they come anywhere near you then try and catch them while they’re still cheap to see. If you live somewhere near Newcastle-upon-Tyne then your chances are better than most (I’ve seen them three times this year without really trying) but they tour the UK fairly regularly and it’s surely not long until they can pop on over to mainlaind Europe to give them a good kicking.

Look! They're in HMV!
Look! They’re in HMV!

Here are a few videos to give you an idea of what’s what and the full album is below (on Spotify). Here’s their official website where you can buy their albums. Do it!

The Drone track list:

  1. This Better Be Life Threatening Norman
  2. Starting Strength
  3. Class of 94
  4. Bunch of Fucking Mutants
  5. Sucker
  6. The Moon on a Stick
  7. Learning by Doing
  8. Here’s Your Shit Sandwich
  9. Flapjack the Ripper
  10. Funhouse