Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Clutch and Thin Lizzy, Manchester 02 Apollo, 28/01/2012

This was the first time I had seen either band, so I was pretty interested to see how they would work out.

Clutch is one of the more unusual bands we listen to, the music is often blues, stoner rock, punk for the early stuff, my boyfriend has described the lead singer (Neil P. Fallon) as sounding like a demented preacher...

The set was underwhelming, but with music like this, who needs flashing lights and all that stuff? The music was raw and uncompromising, with plenty of energy, and Fallon's voice was lovely and strong.

http://www.pro-rock.com/

Thin Lizzy were the opposite end, they came onto stage with a mini-light show, and lots of glitz.I was pretty curious as I remember Phil Lynott singing the originals, so it was interesting to see how Ricky Warwick from The Almighty would fill his shoes.

Well, he did an amazing job. Although he doesn't have quite the same range as Phil, his voice has enough growl and sounds amazingly like Phil did...not that that's always a good thing, but in this case it fitted well. I was never a fan of Thin Lizzy (they 'were just there' as a band, I didn't dislike them, but I didn't seek them out either), so perhaps some fans hate it because he's taken over.

The show was brilliant, with some great light and smoke, plus also glitter puffed out at the audience.

It did give me a question though, when does a band stop being the 'original'? When all the original members are gone? But what if a 'new' member has been in the band for 20+  years? Are they 'enough' to keep the band going? I guess it's like trying to reassemble the Beatles with just Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Technically it's the 'real' band...but...

http://www.thinlizzy.org/home.html

(Apologies for the view, without holding my hands above my head that was as good as I could get)

Clutch









http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiKxSCSfF-o




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P1NG7tI2R0




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3m8nNdELXE




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




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




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ6vFp-Ijh8




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZEnj-ugdv4




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTaHim2vi8




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




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8AoIWtlDw0



Thin Lizzy













http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ4kVd823HA




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9mjAAcCTO4




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCa73mZ02bQ




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xf8NICjiXk




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqhrmTMMW4E


Now available at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/author/georgeebirch

*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.


Got a Kindle? Get this blog delivered directly to it! UK and USA

GeorgeEBirch.com
dragoncity publishing

Thursday, 26 January 2012

101** things you can do with a paperback you can't do with a Kindle



  1. Build shelves*
  2. Swat at a fly*
  3. Read in the bath*
  4. Read in the rain*
  5. Light a fire with* (ironically the Kindle doesn't make good kindling!)
  6. Fend off an attacker*
  7. Research materials when civilization ends (such as Zombie attacks). This is possible with a Kindle, but only if you get in before the servers go down. See also *, but then again, civilization just ended, who cares about the bill!
  8. Create a book page sculpture (like this http://www.guylaramee.com/)
  9. Prop up a wobbly chair *
  10. Stem bleeding
  11. Mop up a spill
  12. Advertise what you are reading to attract that gorgeous bloke who always sits in the coffee shop reading and brooding
  13. Go to the loo with*
  14. Plug a leak*
  15. Stand on to make you taller*
  16. Not make you uncomfortable when you go through customs wondering it they need to know it's there or not, and telling them anyway, then having them stare at you as though you're stood there gibbering in a made-up language.
  17. Use to protect mother's dining table when you're scribbling a note*
  18. Use as a sketch-pad (unless you've got a fancy-pants non-Kindle, you know, the one with the short battery life!)
  19. Create papier-mâché
  20. Stop an elevator*
  21. Read it 300 years later (yeah, I'm sure the technology will last that long...)
  22. Hide things in the pages (unless it's just a note)
  23. Exchange for money (although you can just sell your whole Kindle)
  24. Put on a bookshelf to show off your taste to your friends
  25. Read large format versions (sorry Kindle, you don't do so well)
  26. Clean windows and other items
  27. Flick backwards to find the name of that character three chapters ago (no so easy with the Kindle)
  28. Build a house (in a dry place)*
  29. Pile on you for warmth*
  30. Take a bullet for you (if it's a thick book. Perhaps a hardback. I'm not sure the Kindle would manage)
  31. Survive a two-year old (with tape and drying)
  32. Use it as a hat
  33. Blow your nose with it
  34. Get your partner's attention*
  35. Read with no power
  36. Signal for help, if it's a really shiny cover. Or just set it on fire!
  37. Use as a source of heat and light*
  38. Eat from it*
  39. Cut out pages and post them into your school project (you vandal!)
  40. Survive a handbag (actually, my Kindle has done ok so far, but I love my Kindle, and I look after him and love him and pet him and call him George)
  41. Cost you money once you've bought it (charging!)
  42. Compost it
  43. Use as a tissue* (uncomfortable!)
  44. Insulation (open, put on chest, close jacket. Or in the loft.)
  45. Create a small ransom note with the letters
  46. Create a lampshade


*Technically possible, just very expensive.
** Not actually 101 things. But that's what you say, right? And I did try. But, you know, it was getting late, and I was kind of bored...


Now available at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/author/georgeebirch

*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

Monday, 23 January 2012

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA)

I've entered the ABNA award with Loser's Club, so wish me luck!

I have entered competitions before, but only with short stories, this is my first novel to go up there.

For the pitch I've used a combination of information about the novel and me...

Welcome to the Loser's Club. To join you only need one qualification, having nowhere better to go.

Cera is a loser, something she would never admit to the world, but can't help but admit to herself. When she is sent to the Loser's Club by an ex-friend, she soon finds that she's not alone. And that not only do loser's live in the shadows, they live off them too.

Meet the crazy cat lady tortured by local kids, the black widow feasting off her husbands, the music lover who is passionate about nothing else, and all manner of desperate and dangerous loners who congregate at the Loser's Club.

Tales of sex, murder and cats, Loser's Club is a look at the average side of life, that turns out to be anything but.



I've has been writing since I was very small, my first effort being the gigantic (and illustrated) epic, 'Ball with Spots', which is a whopping 10 pages long. I still own one of the only copies left in existence.

I also read, possibly far more than is healthy for a normal mortal.


The next stage isn't until late February, so we'll see if I get though.

You can read more at http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011


Now available at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/author/georgeebirch

*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

Monday, 16 January 2012

VNV Nation, Manchester Academy, 6/1/2012

Another strange gig, but then again VNV Nation are a strange band. They are a mix of dance and Goth, which meant mostly a very dark clothed audience, but with the odd neon-clad youngster.

The audience were also a mix of old and young as the band has been running for a long time now. The band members are also on the um...mature side, so it was all very eclectic,

The music itself has an odd mix of bouncy tunes with very somber and meaningful lyrics, making the whole gig an even more surreal experience!

All in all though, they were excellent, the music was clear and recognizable, and from the heat being generated by the audience (and the moshing carrying all the way to the back) I think they entertained all!










http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_V_skD_nzY




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GrwtS4pcvA




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




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQXIN12O7Ys




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




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oaw5GR2pBY




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j9rD4I6Gdc




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im_4XTo0r4Y




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv-1QpY_a2o




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, 6 January 2012

14 Belmont Street


A friend of mine ended up living in what she  described as a haunted house. She did experience some weired things, and managed to get a few of them on tape. I have to admit that I used quite a few of the things she described in my book Writer, although naturally I exaggerated them! The house was very strange because it was a rental, and was fully furnished. All she knows is that the owners moved away, but she found quite a few personal things around the house.

One of the oddest was a clothing dummy (with no head) that was being stored in the garage, but kept making it's way into the house. I suspect her boyfriend on this one, he knew she was a bit freaked out so would leave it for her in strange places. There was also a matching wig that was the same as her hair colour, making her even more upset with it!

She would hear a lot of noises at night, things like crying, furniture being moved, that sort of thing. Occasionally she would feel there was someone else in the house, even though she knew her boyfriend was away for work (which is when most of these things happened). It happened so often she started to keep her camera next to her bed so she could tape anything that happened, although due to her computer malfunctioning since she was in the house, she's found it difficult to give me a copy of everything. The computer was odd because it would revert back to a previous set of settings, like a different wallpaper etc, and files added would not be there, no even in the recycle bin, then she'd log on again and everything would be OK.

The electrics were very unpredictable, the lights would go out, even though none of the fuses had tripped. They had it looked at several times, but the electrician could never find a fault, and of course it was all working OK.
They even tried some kind of filter on the camera to see if they could find a ghosty or two, but there wasn't anything on the screen.

She left after a year, I don't know honestly how she stuck it out, but has continued to have computer problems since then. I told her she should reinstall Windows (sounds like a dodgy version to me!) but she won't because she's still convinced some of the movies she took will re-appear on it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC77oo2IZcI



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

Gigiquette


I think it's about time a gig etiquette was set up. I for one are a little tired by the manners of some of the gig goers out there...


  • If you want to take photos: no flash. 
  • Do not hold a camera above your head unless there is non-one behind you. If you have to, make it quick, please don't film an entire song.
  • try not to have a bright screen glaring out at all times.
  • Don't film the whole gig. Enjoy it!
  • No hats. If you must wear a hat, take it of when the band starts.
  • Do not talk if you don't like the song that is currently on. I realise that I am stood at the back of the venue, but it's not because I'm not a fan, it's because I don't like getting trampled. I have paid a lot of money to listen to the artist on stage, and quite simply you are rude to talk as they perform. If you must be such an animal, please return to the bar.
  • Do not have a family/friend reunion in the back of the gig. I do not want to be distracted by you cuddling/talking/squealing.
  • No alcohol. This is related to:
  • Drunken dancing. OK, but if I have to duck one more time to avoid your flailing arms I'm going to have to stick out my leg and trip you.
  • No bellowing during the song. Again, you like them, we get it. Shut up.
  • No singing along. I paid to hear them, not you. Or at least get the words right.
  • No staggering against me and telling me you love me. Thanks, but I have a boyfriend, and your breaths stinks. I also like my shoes un-vomited on, thanks.
  • If we're all sitting, stay seated. I have paid for my ticket and would rather not have to stand just because you want a better view.
  • No moving once the band is on. Seriously, what is it with all the people leaving and returning? I thought you wanted to see these guys!
  • No dissing the support act. OK, so you don't like them. Do I have to listen to the stream of abuse coming out of your mouth while I try to enjoy them?
  • No throwing glasses. Please. I hate going home smelling of beer because you're a tool. 
  • For the band: no fake encores. Ever. Just stop it, and let your ego go, dudes. 
  • No tall people. Damn, that's me...




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