Monday, 31 October 2011

Alice Cooper, Manchester 02 Apollo, 30/10/2011

Alice Cooper, just before Halloween, who could ask for more?

Again, another first time for me, and I totally enjoyed it. Although I wasn't familiar with all the songs he played, we had heard enough from his newest album to enjoy 'I'll bite your face off''. Actually, it was quite odd that before the started gig they played Alice Cooper songs. Strange, never had that before...although they didn't play any that he sang.

His performance was brilliant, and funny (he wore a jacked with 'New Song' emblazoned on the back for 'I'll bite your face off' with the title of the song on his shirt... and we got to see a large Frankenstein's Monster on stage. Oh, and Alice also got decapitated!

All in all it wasn't good, clean family fun, ('Only Women Bleed' anyone?) but it was a brilliant show, and considering he is a little older than most, (cough) a fantastic performance by Mr. Cooper.

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/alice-cooper/2011/manchester-apollo-manchester-england-4bd1ab1e.html






















http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hflne3CUCJo


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj1WXAc8xLM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTiCM3Nghrs


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4ifUXvlIpA


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY95NzOdcKw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEVnIzbFWQQ


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knRL3_woQ1M


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4zzauKqOl0


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv1WqXkK_qA


Now available at Amazon:

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.

GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing

The Mission Leeds O2 Academy, 28/10/2011 25th Anniversary

Lots of gigs at the moment! Went to see The Mission at the O2. Now this isn't my boyfriend's favorite venue, and I have to agree with him.

For a start there is a balcony that overshadows about a third of the standing area. Fine if you're not under it, but the gig was very busy, and we were unfortunate enough to get stuck right at the back.

Also, the floor doesn't slope. Now if you want to be an ignorant pig and put your hands above your head to take footage and photos, then you still have to contend with the balcony. I did that on occasion here as there was no-one behind me.

The balcony also messes with the sound...

Having said that though it was still a great gig. I haven't seen them live before so was puzzled by the paper throwing and the human pyramids until we got outside and I was told that was normal for this type of gig!

The music was great though!

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-mission/2011/academy-leeds-england-13d1adc5.html















Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Friday, 28 October 2011

Symphony X

Went to see Symphony X at the Manchester Academy 3 a couple of nights ago.

We timed it just right, the band were five minutes late, but stormed onto stage for a rousing set.

Russell Allen has such and amazing voice, and the crowd were really responsive to the band. All in all it was a brilliant set, and we really enjoyed it!

I think my favorite photo of the evening was this one:



Happy Halloween folks!

http://www.symphonyx.com/
































Now available at Amazon:

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.

Friday, 21 October 2011

No lies, no fee


I hate accident insurance claim firms. I had an accident last year where is was low speed, no-one was hurt (expect my poor car, it hasn't been the same since) but we all walked away from it, and I drove home.

However, since the insurance company sold my details off to these ambulance-chasers, I have been plagued by calls. Now fine, they stopped after a couple of months, and they were 'we understand you were in an accident' and me telling them I didn't want to claim.

The latest firm took the biscuit. And the scone... The guy called up. Used to the spiel I told him immediately that I wasn't interested. However, he told me that the insurance company had put a large amount of cash to one side, and that if I claimed I could get £3000 by Christmas. Sounds great huh? I'd love three grand! I could pay the mortgage...buy a car...who knows?

But I repeated, no-one was hurt.

Oh, he said, well are you sure, because there's this syndrome that occurs in crashes that doesn't always show straight away...and started to tell me about some vibration injury that could happen. I'm sure it's real, but I still told him I had no interest in claiming, especially as he was basically hinting I should lie about any injuries I had. Finally I told him no, and hung up.

Over the next few weeks I noticed I kept missing a call, but they never left a message. No number, so I couldn't call them back. Well you've guessed it, it was the company again. Same spiel, insurance company has  out aside a lot of money...again I said no, appalled that they were asking again. Presumably because people regret not saying yes? But he wasn't about to give up.

By the third time of him asking (pressuring me) and me saying no (I don't know why I didn't hang up), he changed tactics. Would I be interested in donating the money to charity instead? I was shocked! OK, so the charity would get money, but the Solicitor's firm behind this lot would get the bulk! I said no, but again he kept insisting, pushing the 'charity' angle. Seeing I was not making progress, I snapped No! and hung up.

It makes me sick though, that people see these situations as a cash cow. I know of someone who wasn't injured and claimed, she got the money (although I know of people who try but fail). But this isn't 'free' money, we all pay for it, one way or another. Insurance goes up, and our morals decline. They are asking us to give up common decency and claim just because we can. And we do, which is why these companies continue to exist. Fine, they do a great job in getting people money they deserve, but they also give people money they have no right to.


Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Monday, 17 October 2011

Crazy Dog


Why is it that we only ever have a crazy cat lady? Why not a crazy dog lady? Is it the inherent nature of cats that we've created the cliché of the lone, crazy woman with more cats than your average farm? And why do women do this?

Is it because cats are smaller, so can be horded in large amounts? They are 'independent' so don't need walks like dogs?  Or because they are just as insane as their owner?

Or am I overthinking this waaaaay too much. What about Crazy Cat Men??????


Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Lost in Translation

My books are now available to buy in the USA, UK, Germany and France.

As I haven't had the cash to translate the books to French or German, I'm afraid they are only available in English.

But please enjoy!


Writer UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Writer-ebook/dp/B004VA3VJC
Writer US http://www.amazon.com/Writer-ebook/dp/B004VA3VJC/
Writer DE http://www.amazon.de/Writer-ebook/dp/B004VA3VJC/
Writer FR https://www.amazon.fr/Writer-ebook/dp/B004VA3VJC

Hangman UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hangman-ebook/dp/B0053KHX8O/
Hangman US http://www.amazon.com/Hangman-ebook/dp/B0053KHX8O/
Hangman DE http://www.amazon.de/Hangman-ebook/dp/B0053KHX8O/
Hangman FR https://www.amazon.fr/Hangman-ebook/dp/B0053KHX8O

Loser's Club UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Losers-Club-ebook/dp/B0055EKY34
Loser's Club US http://www.amazon.com/Losers-Club-ebook/dp/B0055EKY34/
Loser's Club DE http://www.amazon.de/Losers-Club-ebook/dp/B0055EKY34/
Loser's Club FR https://www.amazon.fr/Losers-Club-ebook/dp/B0055EKY34

Tube Life UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tube-Life-ebook/dp/B005IDUB26
Tube Life US http://www.amazon.com/Tube-Life-ebook/dp/B005IDUB26
Tube Life DE http://www.amazon.de/Tube-Life-ebook/dp/B005IDUB26
Tube Life FR https://www.amazon.fr/Tube-Life-ebook/dp/B005IDUB26/





Now available at Amazon:

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.

GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Vampires


Vampires are everywhere. And I don't mean the blood-sucking type. I mean the life-sucking type.

The type who think they have your best interests in mind, whereas in fact they are only trying to serve their own.

Think about it, how many friends or relatives do you have whom you would do anything for, but when *you* need something, suddenly isn't available? The type that always takes. Or subtly stops you from doing what you want with a discouraging word? Advice is one thing, but sometimes it can be misplaced, encouraging you to do the wrong thing because it suits them somehow.

Get these people out of your life right now, or if you can't, then take steps to shield yourself.

Because they only want one thing, and it's always for them.


Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Grimm Up North/Grimm Fest


My boyfriend and I went to a horror festival this weekend in Manchester (http://grimmfest.com/grimmupnorth/). We haven't been to it before, we discovered it through an Internet search looking for local festivals.

We couldn't attend the whole thing, because it started on Thursday and being a bit of a distance from us we decided to choose which movies we wanted to see.


First up was a short, Lola (Grandmother) a Spanish animated movie about a movie...quite funny, if a little predictable.

The main was By Day and By Night (http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/by-day-and-by-night/trailer). This was a Spanish Sc-fi movie filmed on a small budget apparently, although that didn't show too much. It had a very retro-feel to it, some of the costumes were very Blake's Seven for example, but it was all very classy.

Basically it was the future where we had polluted the world so badly we were all living in a large Metropolis. This had got overcrowded, so they had implemented a shift system where half the population lived at night and were forcibly unconscious during the day, and the other half were awake during the daylight. Overall neither of us was bored watching the movie, although it has to be said that not a lot happened. There were a lot of arty, long shots of...not a lot. So it was good, but lacked something. I didn't come out of it feeling satisfied.There was a remarkable feature right at the start of the movie, some kind of concrete structure which was pretty amazing! No idea where that was...
We gave this one a 3/5.


The next movie was after a break as neither of us fancied Halloween 3.

We went into Manchester in the pouring rain and had some lunch before returning to watch Some Guy who Kills People, a comedy horror that was actually very funny ad well as being gory! It was about a guy who was bullied at school (something I could relate too, see Hangman!), has been in a mental institution, and now lives with his mother. He has a soul-destroying job in an ice cream shop, but dreams of being an artist, drawing constantly in his spare time. The people who bullied him of course still torment him, until they start to die... We both loved this film, it had enough gore to be good horror, but enough gags to be good. I especially loved the Sheriff and his side-kick, they were rather Naked Gun. Seriously worth the money! We both gave this 5/5.




Next up was The Woman. This film is already notorious because of the Sundance Festival where several journalists walked out, and one reportedly said the film should be burnt. The story is a hunter finds a woman in the woods who is completely wild, takes her home, and tries to civilise her. Unfortunately this brings to the surface family issues... I think it's fair to say this film is completely sick. The family she is brought into are 'normal' on the surface, but completely scarred under the surface. Some abuses are hinted at, but never shown. I don't really want to say too much, except that we both really enjoyed it. Sick, yes, but fun. The ending started to throw up some surprises, just when you think you have the measure of the film...all very strange. Oh, and the finger-biting. Oh yeah, the finger-biting! 5/5




We left it there for Saturday. We both wanted to see other films, but they were on too late, and we needed our beauty sleep...


Sunday was a late start, we got to Manchester for four to watch The Divide as we had seen The Dead at an earlier festival. This is a post-apocalyptic movie of survivors trapped together in a cellar. Tensions build as the food starts to run out... it has Michael Biehn in it (Terminator, Aliens) who I had a major crush on as a kid, but haven't seen too much of since. Overall the movie was pretty good, it covered all the lovely baser instincts of human nature as we battle to survive, and distract ourselves from the situations we are in. The part that really didn't work for me was when they got invaded (I'll leave the description there rather than spoil too much!). It didn't fit in with the movie or add anything, except ensuring they were trapped in the cellar. Well a simple roof fall would have done that... I enjoyed it more than my boyfriend who gave it a 3/5, I went for 4/5.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJCxT2d5hzk

The final movie was The Theatre Bizarre. This was a series of short stories hung together by a very loose thread of a theatre show. There was no connection between the stage and the tales, an the stage 'story' was pretty predictable.The stories were:
Mother of Toads: Lovecraftian tale of tourists being curious and something to a warty end...
I Love You: Love gone wrong.
Wet Dreams: With Tom Savini: another love gone very wrong. Watch out for the breakfast...
The Accident: Not at all horror story with one gory scene. I kept waiting for the child to sprout tentacles. It was basically a mother trying to explain to her child about death. No great revelations.
Vision Stains:  A girl gets to see other lives through injecting the vitreous fluid from the eyeballs of the dying...and a foetus. How the hell she knew she was getting eyeball juice I'll never know. Ultimately pointless.
Sweets: Very odd, you really wonder where it's going right to the end. Bit disgusting as it involves lots of gluttony with whipped cream, gross!
Overall the first half is better than the second. There was a theme of women 'being in control' to the slobbering and generally helpless men one way or another, so the whole thing appears to be a kind of feminism gone wrong campaign film. We both decided this was a 3/5.



Overall the festival was well planned, and great fun. They did a raffle at each movie (we didn't win), but needed a microphone (or to shut off the credits) so we could hear what they were saying. There was enough time between films to dash to get a drink from Starbucks, and the cinema was clean and newish. The films were well chosen, and had a decent range. We can't wait to go back next year, and will consider taking a long weekend so we can enjoy more of the brilliant films!


Now available at Amazon:

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.

GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing

Friday, 7 October 2011

Loser's Comp!

Loser's Club cards are now being distributed in certain locations. These look like Top Trumps cards (elegantly called Bottom Trumps…nice!) and there are 13 to collect.

You can see the full collection either in the game http://www.dragoncity.co.uk/losers.htm or on the main page for Loser's Club (http://www.dragoncity.co.uk/losers.htm).

See if you can collect them all! I'm giving away a full set of the cards to the first person who can answer this question:

Which chapter is Walter in?

Email your answer to georgeebirch@dragoncity.co.uk.

First ten win, and the competition ends 1/1/2012.



Now available at Amazon:

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.

GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing

Loser's Club

Join the discussion at the Loser's Club group http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/TheLosersClub/


Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Puppy Puppet

I can't help but post this...

The puppeteer's skill is amazing, at points the fluidity of the dog means you forget it's not real.

It also reminds me of my dog, who died a few years ago. He played just like this!



Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Play the game: of Loser's.


Try and pick who is the largest loser in the game Bottom trumps (no farting included, honest, although some of the sounds are a little…flatulent).

http://www.dragoncity.co.uk/losers.htm


Now available at Amazon:
*Loser's Club
*Hangman
*Writer
*Tube Life

dragoncity publishing

Monday, 3 October 2011

Y&T, Manchester Academy, 03/10/2011

Y&T at the Manchester Academy last night. I hate Sunday gigs, I always feel bad getting up for work the next day.

Ah well.

For a start it went really badly as we were very late, an hour into the set! This was due to duff information given to us about the start of the set. I don't know if the 10:30pm curfew is standard for Sunday nights, but it obviously meant that they had to start earlier. Or the girl that told us was an idiot.

We arrived halfway through a song (after we found that MA had helpfully closed the usual staircases, thanks!).

I don't know if it was just the song they we playing, but towards the end of it they didn't seem to quite get it together. However, after this minor hitch, they continued to play wonderfully. They really do rock! The music was lively, fun, but there were also gentle, sensitive ballads that went down well. And considering there is only one surviving member left, they put on a terrific show, even for someone who doesn't know their work very well.

I loved especially the amount of long, flowing locks on stage. Gorgeous!

So a great gig, would have been even better if there hadn't been a loud-mouth prat at the back who insisted on singing every line just before it was sung, and shouting 'Y&T' throughout the last few songs. Prat.




























 http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/y-and-t/2011/manchester-academy-3-manchester-england-2bd0780a.html


Now available at Amazon:

*Hangman: An unflinching look at what happens when suicide invades people's lives, and the damage it does.
*Loser's Club: A novel about cats, murder, love and not love, envy, hate, and above all, losers.
*Tube Life: Join Angel as she tries to navigate life, love and the London Underground.
*Writer: Explore the dark recesses of a writer's mind, where horror is never far from reality.

GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing