Category Archives: Friends


If you scroll back a long time, you’ll see, or even remember, that I used to rabbit-sit a lovely little creature called Suki.

She may have eaten wallpaper on one occasion, but she was a great companion when I went through a bad time.

Sadly, she has passed away. Her age was uncertain, since she was found in Ellen’s garden, but she must have at least reached a decade.

It may seem silly, but I’ll miss her.

Culture & coincidence

Yesterday we enjoyed more culture. My second in command had a conversation with a girl in Sloan’s the other day. Which resulted in us visiting Partick yesterday.

We quite liked Partick; we had our nails done and watched the Liverpool-Stoke match in the Deoch an Dorus.

We then had great curry.

Yesterday was also a day of coincidence; synchronicity even.

Yes, we saw the Shiverin Sheiks for the second time in two days.

Which might in itself not be unusual. But, in conversation with the front man, I was asked if I knew Ratty. That’s Ratty who runs the Mean Eyed Cat, the former owner of the Schooner anf previously manager of the Central and the Head of Steam.

Which was pretty spooky. Apparently, the band had played at the Schooner previously. They’re playing at the Sage this summer.

They’re well worth seeing.

Anyway, some pictures of cultural activities.

While in the 13th Note, we met up with some people who were also in Glasgow for the cancelled William McCarthy gig. We all went on to MacSorley’s to watch another band.

Sadly, we need to return to normality today.

Customs House

Just had my first visit to the Customs House in South Shields, for the monthly comedy night.

It was a great night, despite a scuffle in the audience (a woman had too much to drink).

Think we might have to return next month.


Apparently, my mate Ian (and a few other gentlemen) interrupted an interview on Norwegian TV last night.

Something to do with football. He’s the one jumping around looking drunk.

I don’t really understand football, but my second in command would probably have killed to be there.

Two wise guys

Just home from a rare school night in town. We went to see Karl playing drums or, rather, Two Wise Guys. Apart from a catch-up, there was good music. All a man needs.

Best mates

This afternoon, I met my two best mates for a drink and something to eat.

We last did so nine or ten years ago.

We’re all grown-up now and we’re different people. But it was nice. We probably shouldn’t wait so long before we see each other again.


Not long home from a great night with some great blokes.

We (me, Phil, Dave, Keith, Karl) went to see a band in town.

The Damned. Still singing in my head.

I should acknowledge my second in command’s contribution to the success of the evening. While she wasn’t actually at the gig, she did make a last minute dash with forgotten tickets.

The Mosaics

There’s a band in Los Angeles called the Mosaics. 

I’ve no idea whether they’re any good. But, a few years ago another band who’d first used the same name decided to split up. 

They’ve still some stuff on YouTube, so I’d recommend listening to it. Because they truly had something magical. Don’t confuse them with the new Mosaics though. 

The former front man, Dan McClew, has been performing solo for a while now. So he’s built up some great songs of his own (although the band’s stuff was all original). 

He’s a really nice bloke too. 

I mention this because my local has played the Mosaics album twice over. 


I attended a mate’s funeral today. It was pretty horrible, but nice at the same time. I knew, deep down, that Freebird would be played at some point. And it was. 

Right at the end. 

I can’t say more. But the world has has lost one of the good guys. 

Nick Cave

Traffic en route to Manchester yesterday was terrible, leading to a late arrival and virtually no time for pre-gig beer. 

After checking in, we headed straight for Oxford Road, where I introduced my companions to Big Hands. We then walked at pace to the Arena, where we encountered a queue of great magnitude. 

Worried that we’d miss some of the gig, we began to regret the pre-departure drinks in Gateshead and our one drink in Big Hands. After what seemed like an eternity, we discovered the cause of the queue; airport-like security, complete with metal detectors. The large queue was being filtered through a half dozen security lanes. 

Once inside, beer was hurriedly purchased before finding a suitable viewing point. Then, within a few minutes, the band came on stage. 

And delivered an incredible performance. I won’t say more, it’s all here. But I’ve been struggling to get the theme tune from Peaky Blinders out of my head all day. 

It was so good, I only have one rather pathetic picture and nothing uploaded to Youtube. 

Afterwards, we hastily reunited and set off for Sinclair’s Oyster Bar and the Shakeapeare, both of which were no longer serving. Which meant a march back to Oxford Road, where we found a Wetherspoon’s open. Just. After a quick beer, we relocated to the more favourable surroundings of the Temple. All but one of my companions hadn’t been there before, but I’m sure they’ll all return. 

Food followed, then it was back to Big Hands until closing time at two. 

On our return this afternoon, a farewell drink was a must before we all went our separate ways. With fond memories of Mr Cave’s performance in the company of nice people.