Friday, 30 April 2010

Whitby Gothic Weekend DJ playlist at the Spa, Friday 23rd April 2010.

So here's how it rolled on Friday night; two shadowy figures sharing a torch in an otherwise pitch-black environment lit only by the decks which resembled a prop out of s Star Trek movie, bright enough to be impressive but not quite adequate enough to prevent a random shin injury.
Earth Loop Recall - Glass
Rhombus - New Temperance
I Am Immune - Entrophy
Decido Requiem - I Don't Care
Raelism - Nothing
Cryogenica - Precious
Alice Moving Under Skies - Thirteen Years
Xykogen - Mutate And Survive
Rome Burns - Escapologist
Katscan - Cheap Freak Trash

Cruel Britannia
Last Cry - Haunting Me
Last Dance - Wish Me Closer
Adoratiuon - Broken Sky
Zeraphine - New Years Day
Danse Society - Wake Up
Marionettes - Like Christabel
Loud - D Generation
All About Eve - Every Angel
Switchblade Symphony - Bad Trash
Cocteau Twins - Lorelei
Mephisto Walz - Hangin On The Telephone
Furniture - Brilliant Mind
March Violets - Walk Into The Sun


Siouxsie And The Banshees - Christine
Luxury Stranger - Substance
History Of Guns - LMS
Blutengel - My Nightmare
Rotersand - Exterminate
Blondie - Atomic


Cruel Britannia
Diary Of Dreams - Plague
Blacklist - Language Of The Living Dead
Miranda Sex Garden - Peepshow
Faith And The Muse - Battle Hymn
Bauhaus - Sanity Assasin
Rhombus - Open The Sky
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Candyman
Echo And The Bunnymen - The Cuttet


The Sisters Of Mercy - Dominion
Clan Of Xymox - I Want You Know
The Cure - A Forest
Placebo - Nancy Boy
The Mission - Wasteland
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Spellbound

Cruel Britannia
Chameleons - In Shreds
Bolshoi - Away
Gene Loves Jezebel - Desire
Marionettes - Ave Dementia
Leather Nun - Gimmee
The Cult - Go West
Peter Murphy - Deep Ocean Vast Sea
Ultravox - Dancing With Tears In My Eyes

Transvision Vamp - Baby I Don't Care
Human League - Don't You Want Me
Soft Cell - Bedsitter
Duran Duran - Wild Boys
Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People
Nine Inch Nails - Closer
Bauhaus - Legatija Nick
Dead Kennedys - Holiday In Cambodia

Cruel Britannia
Spear Of Destiny - Liberator
The Sisters Of Mercy - Body Electric (r)
Dream Disciples - Room 57 (r)
Last Dance - Do You Believe In Angels (r)
Jesus And Mary Chain - April Skies (r)
Carter USM - Sherriff Fatman (r)

Monday, 26 April 2010

...Which was nice.

I could go on for weeks about every aspect of the Whitby Gothic Weekend but I can guarantee that everyone else will have already done it or are in the process of doing it.
So here's my offering in bite sized chunks.

Drove up on Thursday in a freshly washed car with expertly packed luggage. Experienced a pleasant journey almost completely bereft of any traffic issues. B&B just as lovely as we'd remembered about when we used it in October.

DJing the SOPHIE Fundraiser, Thursday night @ The Spa: A right good laugh. Jamie's CD decks couldn't have been less ergonomic if they were facing the other way and switched off. Still managed to drag a half decent set out of myself through them. Other DJ's which probably had a better experience with the decks on the night were Jamie (aka Penfolds Nemesis), Martin Oldgoth (Thirteen 13's rum tester), Loki (Slimelight-tall bloke, funny as hell) and Ben (DJ from Tanz Macabre). A good night catching up with old friends and making new ones.

Friday: the daytime mostly involved trawling round all the stalls with a view to buying something, waiting for our passes to be issued or talking to renowned artist Anne Sudworth about Twitter and cakes.
Friday night @ The Spa: first night of main event. DJ'd with Cyber Andy (nice bloke indeed). CD Decks like something out of Star Trek-I loved 'em. Bands were brilliant, especially Deviant UK who I've seen a number of times. Having a drummer has shifted their dynamic-Jay Smith now seems to push himself harder on stage to keep the focus on himself, which is a good thing. This strangely included pulling some bizarre faces, about which I'll have to ask him later.
I also drank far too much cola, so by 3am I was unable to even blink, never mind avoid walking like someone out of Victorian film footage. I DJ'd the night out with party favourites, or as I like to call them, 'an entire set list of requests' (thankfully, no rubbish requests made on the night).

Saturday: the daytime mostly involved sleeping, or wanting to sleep.
Saturday night @ The Spa: Bands were great, Pretentious, Moi? were the band of the weekend in my humble opinion. Reminded me of all the best bits of when I first started watching the bands at WGW from 1999 onwards, largely on account of the band comprising of members of those bands. Also the only band I bought the CD of. It's pretty darn good. Go and buy it.

Sunday: packed the cases in a very haphazard fashion & was back on the road home for another pleasant journey in a car which apparently was sat underneath a thousand diarrhoea-riddled seagulls at any one time.

Once I get the playlists from Cyber Andy & Mr. Oldgoth for the two nights, I'll post them here.
I'll be back to Whitby in October for a slot at Nostalgia, Mr. Oldgoth's premier goth & dark alternative night held at the Raw club. I'll see you there.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Fadeout: What makes the show tick (despite my input).

Twice a week, every week, my show is streamed out to the world over a bit of copper or optical fibre to an amount of people far beyond my concept of visualisation. It's a staggering thought to comprehend, and for the sake of keeping my brain relatively intact I try not to think about it often. Either way you look at it, it's not a bad result for a few hours per week on a laptop in my 'studio'.
And yes, my 'studio' is what other people call a 'living room'.

So, what does it take for my show to be put together? The internet provides an awesome number of avenues to go down as a broadcaster; several freeware programs exist for recording podcasts but I won't list them here-you can Google them yourself and prepare to drown in an avalanche of information on what to use, how to record, what to record and what all the funny little names are for certain parts of a show or podcast. To be honest, most of that doesn't interest me.

My weapon of choice happens to be Sony Sound Forge 6.0. given to me by a friend who simply couldn't use it.
I tried upgrading to the current version but I'm more comfortable with what I've used for years musically. I don't feel the need for multichannel capabilities and a small army of effects plugins unless I happen to be creating idents or sound effects, and that doesn't happen often. The freeware option is Audacity, but I didn't get on with it at all…nothing was where I'd expected it to be.

The other important ingredient of what makes Fadeout work is time. Lots of it. Okay, not lots of it but certainly a few hours for recording & saving, as well as a couple of hours thought away from the computer about what tracks I'll use.

Before I've sat down of an evening to record the show (normally on a Tuesday or a Wednesday night), I'll have compiled 14-16 tracks in a folder on the laptop ready for me to use.

From here on in, I will have three constants that factor greatly in the construction of 59 minutes of audio.

1. I know that I'll have run out of time to use all the tracks.

2. I'll find myself in a timing quandary where I quickly need to find a track that fits the last two minutes and thirty seconds and all I have is a seven minute track with no comfortable fading out section.

3. I also know exactly when my mind will go blank when I'm doing a 'talkie bit'. It normally happens when I pick up the microphone and hit the record button.

The above happens every bloody week without fail.
For all the sub-witty dialogue and quickfire lines which healthily populate Twitter and Myspace, every fibre of stand-up humour in my body runs screaming out of the door, or at least, excuses itself for a lengthy toilet visit.
I simply cannot make into physical sounds what happens through my fingers with ease.
Cue several horrendous and uncomfortable minutes of mindless blabbering and repeating bits of monologue where my tongue fell over itself, the on-air swearing at the cat for pushing the 'studio' door wide open to stroll in despite being the size of a toy car, and of course, the inevitable floods of 'um…' and 'er…'.

I can often be found editing four or five minutes of recording down to around fifty five seconds of smooth sounding, well-balanced and useful monologue. My career in live radio is decades away right now. For you techies, I noise gate the edited monologue to remove background anomolies and most clicks & thumps which occur when I'm handling the microphone (I don't get on with mic stands at all), compress it using the Sony Wave Hammer plugin (the 'Voice' setting) and add a little music underneath for atmosphere.

The choice of music (or 'bed') is deliberately as un-goth as it gets. I frequently use fairly well-known instrumentals such as 'Green Onions', 'Sliced Tomatoes', or the less vegetable-related piano piece from the Bio-Shock game soundtrack. The last show I did used the theme music to Spike Milligan's 'Q' show; an utterly barmy piece of music.

What I have to say and the manner in which I say it bears no relation to the atmosphere of the tracks I play. I suppose I could pander to the moody masses and project myself as a dark denizen of the underground, use a load of reverb on my voice and really inject some 'spooky' into the proceedings. I could do but I know I'd feel a bit silly doing it. Both you and I know that I'd just sound like a miserable Brummie announcing the next train to arrive on Platform 7a after being told my dog has died.
As a result, I say what I have to say in the voice I normally use and get on with the music. After all, people tune in for the music, not to hear me prattle on. A few people have pointed out a similarity between my voice and that of the late John Peel. I wouldn't stoop so low as to insult his memory. I'm sure I sound solely like a man out of his depth in technology and minority genre, though not so out of depth that I don't enjoy it.

The simplified rundown of how a typical Fadeout show comes about goes a little like this…

  1. Get the 'studio' to myself for a few hours, or mostly, the wife is at her friend's house for a coffee and the kids are in bed.
  2. Start off with the intro jingle and pick the worthiest track to kick off the show.
  3. Two songs in, make my presence known, talk a little rubbish.
  4. three more songs in, announce the impending halfway stage so you can run & grab a bag crisps/a stiff drink /a quick pee before the second half commences.
  5. Work out what song is going to take me up nicely to the twenty nine minutes and thirty seconds stage.
  6. Save what I've got as a WAV file & start a new one.
  7. Kick off the second half of the show with something a bit more electronic for those who like that sort of thing. Nothing crunchy or annoying; melodic will do just fine. If it works, make it two songs.
  8. Make my presence known again by talking rubbish, along with some contact details in case someone fancies emailing me a song request/death threat.
  9. Two more songs followed by an advert for World Goth Day. These will probably be old 80's classics that everyone forgot about or were too drunk to notice when they were first released.
  10. Start looking anxiously at what time I have left & decide whether I can cram two more tracks in or one long one (rifle through anything by Fields Of The Nephilim or Sisters Of Mercy for convoluted tracks).
  11. Announce the podcast URL, & discover that I only have two and a half minutes left due to bad timekeeping. Swear a lot off the air.
  12. Scrabble around for any Deathrock track (fast, punchy, but most importantly, often short).
  13. Completely forget step 12 and go for something daft like a cover version of a popular song done by someone obscure and/or unpopular.
  14. Save what I have as a second WAV file and start the tedious process of converting both files to a 256kbps MP3 format.
  15. Glue both WAV files together and make a 96kbps MP3 Podcast file
  16. Insert a whole bunch of metadata into the show files including playlist and album artwork. This probably gets stripped out at the other end but for my archiving purposes it works well.
  17. Upload the podcast file to the Podomatic page and upload the two higher quality MP3 files in a Zip file to Sendspace for mailing off to Phoenix Radio & Radio Nightbreed. This takes ages to do.

Despite the haphazardness of the above process it seems to work. I haven't been headhunted by local radio yet, but that's a good thing right now.

If I can contribute any advice at all to anyone looking to get into podcasting or broadcasting on internet radio, it would be this: Don't put out anything you wouldn't want your name connected with, and find a way that works for you, because everyone else, especially me, is getting it wrong more often than they'd care to admit before you get to hear it...

Friday, 16 April 2010

FFS. It's only a couple of days old...

...and now I find that my own Blogspot page has been 'net-nannied' at work.

Something which was perfectly accessible yesterday now has the big red Access Denied screen this morning (funny how they always make the text size so large on these notices that you can see them from space, or more specifically, your manager can see them from the other side of the office).

What an avalanche of total bastards.

This of course leaves me with three options; find another medium through which to vent my brain which is accessible via works already heavily restricted internet system & sit around waiting for that to be barred as well, give up altogether or stick with this and blog via email (as I'm doing now).
The latter won't allow me to edit the posts after to get rid of those annoying typo's that remain entirely invisible until the moment you publish it.
Giving up altogether is like bending over and taking it from 'the man' as he gleefully removes another previously accessible part of the only thing which stops you from wandering into the office with a freshly filed down sawn off shotgun one morning.
Finding somewhere else to blog seems like a waste of energy given the inevitablility a couple of days down the line.

If you have any solutions to how I can exercise my freedom of speech without subjecting members of the IT department to the wrath of a wooden chair, length of rope and a full set of rusty surgical instruments in a dingy boiler room, please let me know.

However, as the above method sounds far too much like unmissable fun, I'll probably follow up your ideas after a couple of weeks...

Thursday, 15 April 2010

In other news...

Apparently vocalist Peter Steele of Type O Negative bought the farm this morning. There were reports that he’d faked his own demise not that long back, so I’m holding out on my usual uninteresting opinion until I can smell him decomposing.

I really don’t like all that macho goth-metal tripe and how it invaded the goth scene. It brought with it elements of homophobia and prejudice against the very people who had previously sought sanctuary in a place where artistic types, freaks & misfits were welcomed with open arms.

The punk scene lost Mclaren. The metal scene lost Steele. Rappers get shot on a daily basis so no change there. Goths have a lot of catching up to do in that respect, I should probably worry a little…

My sympathies go out to Steele’s family and friends, but not for what his band’s music stood for. Let it be said though that the type of people who are offended by my comments are normally the type of people who wouldn’t take any notice of what I say at any other time, so generally aren’t the type of people I’m talking to in the first place.

Off the back of that I’ve put a bottle of Jack to one side for when someone puts a gun to Dani Filth’s head.

You’re welcome.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I read the news today. Oh Boy.

Have you checked out 'Britain's Favourite newspaper*' The Sun today? They must have gone to the pub this afternoon after finally being able to use the last two words in the Tabloid Bingo pot as a headline; "Paedo Bikini".

It's hard to believe people actually train to do journalism really.

*They shouldn't legally be allowed to use any word other than 'paper' to refer to themselves because anything else would be false advertising...

If I'm right, this technology lark will succeed. If not; oh well.

So…just testing my photo emailing properties with the only photo I had to hand.

Yes, that’s me & the delightful Toyah Willcox on that rather spongy sofa. I hope I look half as good as her when I reach her age.

Though to be fair, I’d look ridiculous with boobs.

If you're interested, there's a fantastic transcript of the interview I did with her on the 27th March at the Robin 2 in Bilston at

I find it hard to beleive that someone actually took the time to write out everything that was said during the interview which isn't as easy as you'd think, given the recording quality and my tendency to mumble and fill every gap with an 'er' or an 'um'. Toyah's voice was of course, as clear as a sat-nav on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I sounded like I was constantly looking for a contact lens in a well. Minna deserves a medal.

So, this is where it ends up I suppose.

All the ramblings that don't fit the restrictive properties of Twitter, nor make it onto the corporately blocked domains of Myspace and Wordpress, will in all likelihood, end up here.

Unless I change my mind of course.

Watch this space; it might be occupied with something interesting. Or not.