Beginnings And Finishings

This is me crossing the finishing line yesterday, smiling at the relief of completing 100 miles on the bike. The second half was really tough going. I got round in six hours and twenty two minutes. My thighs seized up last night and there’s an annoying pain in my left knee. In the background you can see the statue of Oliver Cromwell that Manchester’s civic leaders moved from outside Manchester Cathedral to Wythenshawe Park. Massive thanks to those people who read this blog that sponsored me- really, thank you.

Ctel posted this a few weeks back, a lovely, melodic piece of minimal house from GEM_DOS. Apparently the main instrument carrying the melody was played live, with the drums and vocal put on afterwards. I can’t recommend it enough. Free download too.

Sunday Ton

Some of you might start getting twitchy if there hasn’t been an Andrew Weatherall related post for a couple of days- I know I do and it’s been four days since Wilmot. Here is his most recent two hour Music’s Not For Everyone radio show for NTS, the usual mix of the interesting, the out there and the unexpected, including five songs from a project in Skipton that encourages girls to pick up musical instruments and play them, all of which are wonderful. Listen to it here (the embed thing wasn’t working at the time of typing). The Selfa Girls Rock Camp is here.

I’m out on my bike today, an organised 100 mile ride from Wythenshawe Park out into Cheshire and back again. I’ve done the ride before and it’s a really good event. Last year I did it in six hours eleven minutes, enough time to listen to the Weatherall show three times and have time to pop off to make a cup of tea. I’m riding to raise money for The Christie. We’ve lost two friends in the last two years to cancer, both of them too young and leaving husbands and children behind. If you can spare a couple of quid, you can donate here.

Which brings me to the picture, a 1980s advert for a bike. Someone thought that they could sell a golden road bike by using a big haired model in golden shades and golden tights, firing laser beams out of her breasts. Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Zyklodrom

I’ve had an eventful forty eight hours. On Saturday we took the kids into town to watch the Manchester Pride parade followed by going to see my brother who was taking part in a live graffiti event in a beer garden in The Angel pub. The two djs were spinning old school hip-hop, dub and electro and a good dollop of Kraftwerk, all of which sounded great in the faint Mancunian sunshine. Early evening came and we raced home so I could get out to one of the local Sale pubs to watch a punk covers band called Cheapskates who played a set which was 75% Clash songs. All good fun.

Yesterday we went out into Cheshire to visit my parents. I cycled there, about thirty miles through good roads and sunshine. Just arriving near their house I snapped a spoke. The car was full so I had to try to get home a few hours later with the broken spoke. All was going well. Ten miles from home near Tatton Park a second spoke went. Total pisser. I had to await rescue in a pub made more bearable by a very nice pint of Manchester Pale Ale. Today I will be going to the bike shop.

I pulled out Neu! man Michael Rother’s 1977 solo album Flammende Herzen the other day. It doesn’t sound like it was made that long ago. Completely instrumental and really very good indeed. Jaki Leibezeit plays drums. Rother plays everything else.

Zyklodrom

Blackpool Rock

Today I am cycling from Manchester to Blackpool, an organised annual event. Fifty five miles starting from Old Trafford and then heading north around Wigan and Preston and then west towards the Paris of north-west England. The last few miles are often done into a headwind coming  in off the Irish Sea. Something to do isn’t it?

Blackpool’s John Robb has reformed his 80s post-punk group The Membranes and they’ve released a very well received fourteen song lp Dark Matter/Dark Energy- a punky, angular, krautrock influenced concept album, about the creation and continuing expansion of the universe (also affected by the death of John’s father while recording it).

Do The Supernova.

Technical advice anyone? I’ve got two Boxnet accounts for your d/l pleasure. Both have exceeded 100% bandwidth and neither have reset themselves to zero this month. Usually they revert to 0% on the first of the month but they haven’t. Anyone know why?

Last Rose Of Summer

Yesterday was lovely, largely. The sun shone all day, in the morning I had a great cycle ride round High Legh and through Tatton Park. Later on we wandered round Knutsford town centre, poking around a few pricey antique shops, went for a cup of tea and some cake, sat in the sun for a bit. Some idiots* in Leicester town centre spoilt it a little but you can’t have everything. The late September sun was making me wonder whether this would be the last really nice day of the year, as a sunny day at this time of year always does.

Then this song was linked to somewhere by someone- Last Rose Of Summer by North Lanarkshire’s Delgados. A beautiful, fragile and quietly-noisy song. The Delgados made a bunch of fine records and were named after Pedro Delgado, Tour De France winner in 1988 and the 1985 and 89 Vueltas. No bandwidth so no download. This was from a Peel Session.

* Those idiots would be, in no particular order 1) Referee Mark Clattenburg 2) United’s panicky, under equipped defence 3) Leicester’s thug-in-chief Vardy 4) Dutch ‘genius’ Louis van Gaal who has splurged £160 million quid without noticing we have a somewhat leaky back four.

September

Woah- my thighs don’t work very well this morning. My arse has more or less survived the ride though, you’ll be pleased to know. One hundred miles in six hours and eleven minutes. I’m well chuffed. Thanks again to those who sponsored me. Our team total in raising money for The Christie currently stands at just shy of two thousand pounds.

September always seems to me as the month of change, more than any other except January (and January is pretty grim really). The end of summer, the start of Autumn, the nights noticeably drawing in, back to school… The weather forecast for this week is really good, naturally, after a wet and chilly August. September Gurls by Big Star is inexplicably great, those crashing chords, heart wrenching lyrics and general sense of love lost, the one that got away. I love it, and I’m not an especially big fan of Big Star.

September Gurls

Allez! Allez!

By the time this post is published I shall be somewhere in the lanes of Cheshire, pushing the pedals round, in our attempt to ride 100 miles. Admittedly that’s 400 miles less than The Proclaimers said they would walk but it is 53 miles more than Bo Diddley walked in Who Do You Love? And Bo was proper badass. Mind you, he was walking barbed wire not leafy green lanes. And I couldn’t do it wearing a cobra snake as a necktie though. I can’t stand snakes.