The Tower of London

In early November I went to London on a work trip.  I stayed in a hotel very close to the Tower of London, just on the opposite side of Tower Bridge.  At least, I think that’s what this bridge is called.  It’s the famous one that everyone thinks is called London Bridge, much to the shame of the people of Seattle.

Anyway, while I was there, the poppies to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.  I had a spare ten minutes after I checked in to take a few photos before the light went.  Here they are.

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Electric Eel Shock – Gig Review

Electric Eel Shock + Saltwater Injection

Thursday 1st May 2014

The Compass, Chester

Finally – Chester is building up a few venues to see some live music.  Forget the joke that is Chester Rocks (LOLZ! etc), there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  On a quiet Thursday night at the start of May, that light was Electric Eel Shock.

The Compass is an older pub/venue just outside the City centre, now reborn with a new name.  I paid a measly £9 to get in and see three bands.  Have a few drinks, rock out on a school night.  What could be better?

The first band up were a local band in a pop punk vein.  I have loads of Descendents and SNFU albums, but that whole Sum 41 thing ain’t my scene.  The kids could play, but not on my shift.

Next up, we have another local band – Saltwater Injection.  A two piece, you may be fooled into thinking White Stripes, before the noise starts.  No chance – think more early Bleach-era Nirvana spitting out Black Flag covers, you’ll be more on the map.  A great set, these guys are worth keeping an eye out for – Hardcore punk and a nice line in political scorn as well!

Funny thing about The Compass – upstairs is pretty small.  And on this night at least, the back half of the room is closed off.  So when Electric Eel Shock erupt onto the stage, it’s like having three tiny Japanese Metal demons go bananas in your living room.  EES rock the place like they’re headlining Wembley Stadium – standing on monitors, waving the mic stands at the audience for sing alongs, throwing the horns.  And the drummer is naked except for a sock to cover the family jewels. EES

Musically, it’s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal in the traditional sense – some Maiden, some Lizzy, some AC/DC, a little G’n’R; with a liberal dash of punk energy.  It’s all the classic rock bands you love in a new, crazy head-banging package.  The only song I’m familiar with (“Goodbye Peach”) is nowhere to be heard, but no matter – there’s plenty of new rocking anthems to meet and greet.

The set includes a few covers: Electric Eel Shock’s takes on “Paranoid” and The Halen’s “Hot For Teacher”; plus The Wurzels’ classic “I am a Cider Drinker”!  What the living fuck??!!  Believe me, this song works!

Electric Eel Shock deliver one of the most bonkers – and fun – gigs I’ve seen in a long time.  It’s full-on good time rock’n’roll.  The audience love it, the band love it.  Check out EES if you can, and if you’re in Chester – The Compass needs to be on your list of places to visit.

The Compass website is here.

Follow Electric Eel Shock on Facebook or follow them on Twitter: @eel_shock

And follow Saltwater Injection on Twitter: @SaltWaterInject

A Letter to the New York Post

Some of you have heard the story before, for which I apologise.  For those that haven’t, the details are below.  Strange, the twists and turns we experience.

The email below was written some years ago, after the events of 9/11.  You’ll understand why I wrote it, I hope.  As far as I know, this letter has never been printed.  If you’d like to share it, please feel free to do so.  It may eventually find it’s way to it’s intended recipient.

With continued respect and affection for New City and the people who live there.

From:XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

To: <letters@nypost.com>

Sent: 24 August 2004 21.18

Subject: IMPORTANT: Message from UK

Hi,

I live in North Wales, in the United Kingdom.  I am writing to you in the hope that you could perhaps print a message to a citizen of New York city in your newspaper.

In September 2001 I was staying with relatives in the Washington DC area, on vacation, and decided to take a trip on the Greyhound bus to New York.  I had always wanted to visit the city having seen it on television and read about it over the years.  So two friends and myself decided to make the trip.

When we arrived we explored, and that evening went out to eat and see some more sights.  Around 10.30pm we left the Broomhill bar (I think in Little Italy?) with the intention of going across the river on the Staten Island ferry.  The taxi driver who drove us was a great character, friendly and a real New Yorker.  He asked us what our plans were, to which we replied, “We’re going to go up the Empire State Building tomorrow.”

The driver pointed out the window, and gave us some honest advice: “See that building there?” he asked.  We nodded.  “That’s the Twin Towers.  Go there tomorrow morning; it’s free, you don’t have to wait, and it’s higher up so you get a better view.”  We thanked him and said we’d take his advice.

The next day, as you can probably guess, was September 11th.

My companions and I never made it to the top of the towers (we stayed out late and didn’t get up that morning early enough).  We were lucky, as the horror that unfolded that day proved.

I just want to let that taxi driver know – we didn’t go to the Towers that morning.  Just in case he is tortured by the advice he gave us.  I don’t know the taxi drivers name, just that he drove a yellow cab and was a native New Yorker (his father, he told us, had worked on the Staten Island ferry).  I hope that you can print this letter in the hope that he may read it, so his mind may be eased if this has troubled him.  Because if he has been troubled, he need not worry anymore.  I’m sorry this letter hasn’t been written sooner.

With fondest regards to the people and city of New York,

Alun Jones

Wales

UK

(Email address removed for privacy)