Showing posts from August, 2009

The Holiday

With all the health issues I've not reported on the holiday... here's a quick(ish) summary. We flew to Boston, pick up the "beast". Yes the most American car you can get. "The beast" was the nickname it quickly got! We drove down to Connecticut. In the week staying there we visited.... Mystic Aquarium Mystic Seaport Essex Steam train and riverboat Providence RI (Shopping and nice small city place) Stonington caught up with some work colleagues and other friends, and visited a few other places. You have to go to the casinos near there just to believe them - we ate there and marvelled at the money senior citizens in the USA will pour into slot machines in those places. There's a twisted sense of irony as well that the locals on the whole don't seem to get... the casinos are on Indian reservations who can avoid the local gambling and tax laws. So these down trodden poorly treated native peoples suddenly are some of the wealthiest abou

Vertigo update

There is a possibility that this could become a Vertigo's sufferers blog frankly. But that might be, at the moment at least, somewhat negative so I'll try to deal with it as quickly as possible. I had the huge attack whilst on holiday which was quite frankly absolutely bloody awful. Since then I had an attack the day after we got back, I thought probably due to lack of sleep, the traveling, flight, fatigue of traveling etc. However I've not been right all week and had another bad attack Sunday evening. Luckily it wasn't as severe as the other two and didn't last as long. However the continuing of them and that I don't feel very good today isn't a good look forward thing is it. So Mrs F, my son and I have been doing some investigations... The medical opinion so far is that I have Migraine associated vertigo (MAV). This is the most common type and the headaches and way I feel afterwards point to that. However I had a nystagmus - weird flipping movem

Sue Menhart Band - live

While we were on holiday in the USA we were lucky enough to catch up with my good friends The Sue Menhart Band with my great mate JJ on lead guitar. We saw them play a bar gig in Groton CT at Sneaker's Cafe. Sadly due to my daughter being underage and the lateness of the hour for her we had to leave early but the band were on good form and it was great to finally see them in the flesh and they seemed to be going down really well already before we left with a mix of covers and their original numbers. I have to say one impression is that there is a lot more live music opportunities in the USA than over here, many clubs and also many more town etc. sponsored events. They recently had a TV appearance on Poughkeepsie Live that is captured below in a couple of videos. For more stuff on them go to their web site .

Update and something to listen to.

Saw the GP - yesterday was another day of hell btw, I'm off work for 2 weeks. Okay - saw this guy busking in Cape God check him out. and go to for more. Brilliant... anyone want to either sign him up or get him over here to do some gigs?

back from hols

I'm back from hols but far from healthy and rested... long term readers of this and the blog-that-went-before will know that I suffer from vertigo, not a fear of heights but where your balance, vision and hearing gets screwed up. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Well I had a massive attack, the worst I've ever suffered last week on hols, which lost us a day, me a night and the entire contents of my stomach several times and a huge doctors bill as Mrs F had to call out a doctor I was in such a bad state. I was a bit better later in the week and the flight home was okay which I'd been concerned about but today, first day back is awful again. Enough of my moaning, despite my health hassles the holiday was great, very busy and we all loved Boston especially my son who I think is seriously looking at moving there now. We stayed right next to the MIT campus and he would love to go there for post grad work. We'll have to see. More sometime when the computer s

New England

Has been very hot and humid! We've been busy visiting a bunch of places in CT - off to Boston soon after a quick visit to RI. We've hired a Mercury Grand something... the quintisential American car :-)

Something to give a listen to

An old colleague and friend of mine... This is Giles Toller and Rebound

My festival experience

Let’s be honest here… I’m nearly 50. I live a pretty comfortable cosseted existence. I have a nice bed to sleep in every night, a very nice house, my car has air con etc. When I travel it’s normally in good quality, i.e. I don’t fly budget and I don’t hitchhike. I like train travel as well. I normally stay overnight in hotels… roughing it would be a Travelodge normally :-) Something without en-suite is a very uncommon occurrence for me. I am a wuss – there you go. So I’m not equipped for sleeping under canvas in a sleeping bag in a field with a load of other people in tents. I ended up going to Sonisphere a bit unplanned, simply a week before my son was going with someone else then suddenly not and he very much wanted me to go with him instead. That was very nice of him I have to say and given I’d bought the tickets as a birthday present his reciprocating knowing I’d love to see many of the bands on the bill was a great gesture. However from the start I was not looking forwar

Postscript to last post

I realised I didn't mention two bands I should have... Saxon and Anthrax, both old stagers from different eras and movements (NWOBHM and Thrash). Both played good sets and showed that the old boys still have it. Also one thing I banged on about constantly over the weekend to my son - and any other poor sod that'd listen was that 30 years ago, pretty much to the day I was there to see Led Zep play the first of the last two shows they played in UK before Bonzo's untimely death. There I was this fresh faced 16 year old and that was the first big open air festival like gig I'd ever done. I remember Zep being just stunning and it is still often up there when I'm asked about my favourite gig of all time. Oh yes we slept in my brothers old Hillman car in the car park and Stevenage station, somehow the roughing it in those days didn't seem as big a problem :-)

Sonisphere Knebworth 2009 Review

Are you still out there Knebworth!!! Well I’m rather too close to 50 to frankly be doing two day metal festivals surely? I’m going to do two posts on this. Firstly this’ll be all about the music and the general stuff the second will be about my festival “experience” :-) The general stuff Knebworth is a good venue, reasonably easy to get to being right on top of the A1(M) just north of London and on the East Coast Main Line so easily reachable by train from many locations. It is a way out of Stevenage and therefore good no doubt that the majority of residents are pretty much undisturbed by the legions of music fans, unlike Reading where the whole festival pretty much spills into the centre of the town. Camping facilities were basic to say the least. The tap in our bit seemed designed to turn the area about it into a bog instantly. Toilets would have been okay if they’d have been emptied more frequently, I know others have complained about this already – it was one of the major