Monday, May 26, 2008

"Hey! Nice..."

I think we'd all give a big Bank Holiday 'thump-up' to this news... Chr#st, it really does seem like 400 years!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Something For The Weekend 39 With An Extra Long Title Just In Case We Forgot To Include A Plot

Hey Dave,

You know how I’m always going on about Gillian Anderson? And The Police? And pizza? And The Signals? And Starbucks? And Gillian Anderson? Well the seventh magnificent thing that makes my life so full and complete is the thought that a once great cinematic hero would one day return to the… um… cinema. If you only do one thing this weekend, do what Bruce and I did last night (me in row 20 and him in row 1 because of all his nasty nacho-‘n-jalapeno belching) and go see “Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”. It’s absolutely magic.

I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I was young (35) and although I always hoped a fourth film would be made, I have to admit I was slightly dreading the possibility that it might be complete and utter pants. But it’s not.

Inexplicably, the cinema was only about 20% full (was there something important on the telly last night?) but we all got our money’s worth. Sure, it’s a little bit too pantomimey and clever in parts but the action is great, the story’s pretty good (despite the involvement of George Lucas) and Cate Blanchett is absolutely stunning… as well as looking a lot like the cute girl in the pub last Friday who asked me to go home with her to Inverkeithing! (In case you’re wondering Dave, I declined. Not because of the whole never-venture-to-Fife-after-dark rule – although that is reason enough – but because I had a… *ahem*… very early tee time the next morning. Suave eh?)

Anyway, I won’t spoil the plot for you except to say look out for the bit in the ruined temple where they bump into Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft and some essential plot point means she has to take off all her clothes in order to slide down a narrow cavity to rescue… eh… I forget what happens after that but the cinematography was awesome. So good in fact that I’m going back to see it again tomorrow. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Cheers, Edge

P.S. Roll on the new X-Files movie!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Caption Competition... Sort Of

A couple of Saturdays ago, I was round at the house of Donald ‘King Thumb’ Campbell, ass-kickin’, hell-raisin’, bass player of The Signals, where I ran the gauntlet of rock ‘n roll excess by sitting in his sunny back garden enjoying a nice cup of freshly brewed tea. AND a hob-nob. We discussed many of the important issues of the day – mainly stuff about how much we hate moody teenagers and queuing in shops and how frustrating it is for him not to get served immediately in a bar (he’s only 4’ 8”) – but eventually we got on to the subject of this whole internet fad and what more we could be doing to promote our band in a so-called “digital medium”.

Donald: “So Soapy, this MySpace pish… what’s that all about then?”
Neil: “Well Donald, it’s some kind of ‘digital medium’ (I made that ‘apostrophes’ sign with my fingers that I’ve seen condescending Guardian readers on arts programmes do when they haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about) where you get your own ‘space’ (fingers again) to… eh… do music up and down loading and make new friends.”
Donald: “Friends? I don’t wanna be making friends with no train-spottin’ computer geeks. Can we no just put some photos on it and pretend we’re 21 again?”
Neil: “And how would that be any different from any other day?”

So we dug out some old photos and tried to insert them into the slot in the computer but were abruptly informed by Donald’s moody teenage daughter that we needed something called a scanner… “Ye ken..? So yous can ‘scan’ (condescending fingers) them in like, ya coupla fannys.”

Anyway, long story short, there are now many new (i.e. ‘old’) photos on The Signals MySpace site although I think you might need the relevant kind of “log-on” to view them.

One of our favourites is the one you can see below which was taken sometime in the mid 1980s by official band photographer Alex Burt on the site of an old Roman fort near Bonnybridge, Scotland’s UFO capital of… um… Scotland. I’ve looked at this photo many times over the last 20+ years but have only recently considered the vexing question of… “What the f#ck was I thinking with that jump?”

On the extreme left you’ve got ‘Handsome’ Doug Grant looking cool as always like he’s in that scene from the first Mission Impossible film when Tom Cruise gets blasted from a helicopter on to the back of a speeding Channel Tunnel train. Next to him, young Billy Boo Bob looks like he’s attempting the long jump in a remarkably similar pose to that donned by Paul Weller on the front cover of a Jam album (Stuart – help me out here.) Donald, soon to hit his mid-life crisis at the tender age of 22 and with it, become The World’s Most Tolerant Man™, looks to have spotted the fluffy bunny who shat on his white, pristine Shakin’ Stevens boots and is about to crush the life out of “the furry little f#cker”.

And on the extreme right there’s me who, if I didn’t know any better, appears to be exclaiming, “Oh hooray, I’ve just bought some half-price Sticky Toffee Pudding scented candles from Au Naturale.”

So please, if you can think of any cool or hip (Daddy-O?) caption that might better explain what on earth is going on here, a rare piece of Signals memorabilia could well be heading your way.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

There IS A God

I was so happy on hearing this good news that I went back today and bought a couple of these… Sticky Toffee Pudding candles! I took them home and lit them to give thanks to our merciful Lord for casting his gracious countenance upon the valiant employees whose hard work has filled my home with soft throw cushions and seductive scents. Now I just feel hungry all the bloody time.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Something For The Weekend 38


Many thanks to you (and others) for your response to my plea for help last week. You’ll be glad to learn that I’m feeling myself this week, much more than I was before. Previously. So that obviously brings its own pleasures. I’m also looking forward to seeing you in the pub tonight where we can talk about sports teams and rock ‘n roll music and Indiana Jones and exhaust manifolds and the like. And drink beer.

I’m going to be playing golf ALL weekend so I don’t have any specific cultural events to recommend to you over the next couple of days but I would like to give you a “heads-up” (©Andy Sipowitz) about an unmissable gig happening mere yards from your door a fortnight tomorrow.

On the evening of Saturday May 31st, there’s a charity gig at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh which will raise money for CLIC Sargent and Breast Cancer. It features a fantastic band called Soul Inferno (see what I did there with them fancy, evocative flaming colours? iMacs… who bloody needs ‘em?) the bass player of whom (who? which?) is married to my good friend Morven... who I think you might know? Or will certainly have heard about by reputation... ho, ho, ho.

Anyway, I’ve seen them before and they’re great (and their singer’s pretty hot too) and tickets are only £10 each, available from Morven (this is a link to her Bebo site… whatever the hell that is?) or me, I guess, if you email me. If that wasn’t value enough, the ticket price also includes “supper” which I’m reliably informed will be “a big f#ck-off bowl of stovies”. What a bargain, and I’ll be there, so tell all your pals and let me know how many tickets you’ll need.

Talking of “totally awesome live bands”, The Signals are currently arse-deep in negotiations for a plethora* of gigs over the upcoming summer months so come back here on Tuesday to find out more, including the chance to win a rare piece of band memorabilia… the bass player’s wallet, ho, ho, ho.

Finally Dave, it would be remiss of me not to offer my heartiest congratulations after hearing the frankly incredible news that you got engaged last week in… *cough*… "gay" Paris. I’m obviously a bit miffed that you didn’t consult me on the matter before barging ahead like a bull in the duvet section of John Lewis and I’m left feeling somewhat devastated that you’ve now “pulled out” of your planned “sleepover” here. However, I’m sure “she” is worth it and I know you’ll have been celebrating by spontaneously leaping up from your desk at work and exposing your nipples at regular intervals... all three of them. As is your way. Rest assured I will be buying you many drinks tonight to show there are no hard feelings. Now tell me… do you need a band for the big day?

Cheers, Edge

*two (three if we secure the wedding gig)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Something For The Weekend 37

My Dear Dave,

Please help me! I realise it’s been far too long since last we corresponded and I’m sure you’ve long since abandoned this site to hook up with some other interweb floosie – perhaps one with “downloads”? or “pop-ups”? – but I’m issuing this desperate plea to you because something drastic has happened to me and you’re the only one I can think of who might be able to explain it. Apologies for the epic retelling…

It all began innocently enough a couple of months back when I received a set of those thanks-for-not-f#cking-things-up-too-badly-in-‘07 gift vouchers from our mutual, benevolent employer. They were for “prestige” department store John Lewis and when I found out they didn’t sell pizza, I decided to buy a new duvet cover. For my duvet. Remarkably, despite discovering that I apparently have a King-Size duvet on a Double-Size bed, I managed to purchase the correct cover - with matching pillowcases - without much trouble. Even more remarkable was the fact that I managed to get a colour and pattern that vaguely matched the existing bedroom curtains. Result!

All was well until I decided a few weeks later that my smart new duvet cover was just way too chic and pristine for my 16 year-old duvet which, by the way, I don’t think I’ve ever washed! (Quick trivia question: Who used to say, “We don’t DO duvets!”) I mean… who in their right mind wraps lovely organic cotton around a hollow fibre duvet, right?

As luck would have it, I received some more of the prestige gift vouchers last week for my birthday (no belated greetings required) from my loving siblings. When my beautiful wee sister Rona arrived on Sunday for a relaxing few days of food and wine away from her young family, I immediately wrenched the Merlot out of her hands and marched her to the shops to help me buy a new duvet.

Dave, I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself wandering aimlessly in the duvet section of John Lewis *wink* but the opulence and choice on offer is like a trip through the ancient Imperial courts of Eastern Europe… £300+ for Siberian Goose Down or Hungarian Goose Feather or Polish Duck Down and I swear I even saw a Russian silk-lined effort filled with the fluffiest down of cute, three-day old baby swans. Or cygnets if you feel like gettin’ all David Attenborough on ma ass. And don’t even get me started on the togs! What the f…?

With Rona’s help, I settled on a medium-priced, feather/down combination duvet from a duck(s) of non-specified origin. I had a little money left over and fairly quickly I started to get a tingling feeling in my toes; a strange unsettling sensation that my bedroom ensemble was not yet complete.

“Do you think John Lewis sell girlfriends?” I asked Rona earnestly.

“Don’t think THAT’S gonna be an issue if you carry on like this,” she mumbled quietly, almost as if she didn’t want me to hear. Weird.

As she later explained to me in hushed tones, there is apparently something called “accessorising” (from the Latin “access” meaning “get in” and “orising” meaning “to downward-spiralling uncontrollable debt”) and sure enough I had it bad. Before Rona could stop me I was off to the fitted bedsheet section to find the matching organic cotton gem on which I would lay my tender, recently-tanned but healthily moisturised skin that very night.

Later that evening we were driving through my home town to my favourite Indian restaurant – the one with Taj Mahal-sized nan breads – and happened to pass a retail park that had been built since Rona last visited.

“Hey look, they’ve got an Au Naturale store there,” she exclaimed with excitement. “And they’re having a closing down sale. Maybe we could pick you up a couple of scented candles tomorrow?”

I could tell she was having a little fun at my expense and I resorted to my usual big brother tactic of smiling condescendingly and smacking her round the head but inside I was thinking, “What a fanf#ckingtastic idea! And I could maybe get some new pillows while I’m at it.” Sure enough, next morning I was up early ready to spend my entire Bank Holiday Monday elbowing manic housewives out the way to grab the last packet of cinnamon-scented pot-pourri.

(Top Shopping Tip: If you’ve been for a curry the night before and are feeling a little “windy” during your retail therapy, do your “crop-dusting” in the pot-pourri section – the awesome power of the jasmine and lavender means that no-one will ever know.)

Dave… I tell you… I was physically twitching as I wandered round the house waiting for Rona to wake up and finish her breakfast so we could head off to Au Naturale World. Here’s what I ended up buying:

- Wooden picture frame (1): to house the photo of victorious Team Edge, and which will sit in the spare room in time for Big G’s visit in July.

- Pillows (2): Snuggledown Bounce Backs at £6 a pair? Oh, I think so.

- Big White Bath Towel (1): Monica would categorise it “Fancy Guest”.

- Strawberry & Cream Candle Pillars (3): They match the colour scheme in my living room so I’m hardly gonna ignore them at £3 each, am I?

- Scented Candle Pots (3): These are candles that come in their own little glass containers. I’ve been thinking for a while now that the overhead light in the bathroom is too harsh when I’m lying back in a soapy bubble bath of lavender and ylang-ylang perusing Cosmo, so these are perfect for a more subtle reading experience. Not only that, but they are the EXACT same fragrance as the bubble bath. Talk about complementary accessorising! You see how serious this is getting Dave… throw in a little Kenny G and a glass of chardonnay and I’m ready for a guest spot on Will & Grace.

- Twig Lights (4): A fiver for these 3-foot high, twig-like stalks with little fairy lights wrapped round them for a more subtle lighting experience in the dining area. For all those dinner parties I have.

- Cream Vase (1): To accommodate the twig lights.

Dave… what’s wrong with me? I’ve still got some Amazon vouchers to spend and I find myself clicking on “houseware and furnishings” rather than conducting my usual “Gillian Anderson” search. Is it because I cut my hair short and shaved off my beard last week? Am I trying to compensate for the fact that Ikea is miles away? Do I just need a right good drink?

Please reply soon with an explanation and/or cure because the little tingling feeling in my toes is back and I have the strangest urge to spend the next Bank Holiday antiquing in the Lake District. I mean... is that even a real verb? Antiquing? Next thing you know I’ll be telling you I’m planning to “summer” in the Hamptons. Holy sh..

Yours in desperation.