Month: January 2016

Book review: Hebridean Sharker

Hebridean SharkerHebridean Sharker by Tex Geddes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tex Geddes is very well-spoken. At least, his written voice is well-spoken. I suppose that I’d somehow expected him to write in a kind of Irvine Welsh-style rendition of accent, partially because his story is a deeply Scottish one – cold beauty and rough elemental life – and partially because he was, as far as I can ascertain, a mad old bastard. As you’d expect from a man who spent a lot of time shark-fishing, game-stalking, and convincing the British government that as the Laird of Soay, he needed a postal service goddamnit.

This link will take you to a write-up of his life on wikipedia, but I think it’s important to highlight the fact that he died while returning home from a bagpiping competition. (more…)

Dirty Three: State Theatre, Sydney


Tonight’s sold-out Sydney Festival show brought one of Australia’s most shambolically brilliant (and beloved) bands to the ornate surrounds of the State Theatre as part of a lightning-quick visit back home. It’s the first time the band have played Sydney in four years – to be fair, they do have a pretty packed playing-with-other-people schedule – and excitement is high, judging by the amount of people who’re already seated for the first act. (more…)

Waiting for the gift of sound and vision

Today is the day I learned that David Bowie had died. So I’m writing some thoughts down to try and make sense of it. This probably seems strange, as I am normally averse to displays of grief over public figures. It’s always seemed a little – I don’t know, a bit weird. Almost unnecessary. But now, perhaps for the first time, I feel it.


And now he’s gone home.

I was at drinks and the news flashed on my phone; could it be a hoax, a hacked status update? Later, as I rode a train to meet friends, it was confirmed: Duncan Jones and the Beeb showed that this wasn’t the perennial internet jape of proclaiming someone dead. This was the real thing. And I felt teary, and weird, and like I didn’t want to be anywhere because this was, as stupid as it sounds, about someone very important to me, who I had never, would never meet. Dear, strong friends were lamenting; I’d not felt the tyranny of distance so keenly as when one suggested that we should all be together tonight, with a case of wine and music. But we’re in Los Angeles, Boston, Sydney, Helsinki, Amsterdam… all over the world.

I know, this probably will read as something rather indulgent – no different from the torrent of thinkpieces and reminiscences the coming weeks will bring – but this is my blog, so this is mine. There’s a bunch of obituaries you can read. The NY Times. The BBC. The Guardian. Vanity Fair. Mine is a bit different. It’s me processing this feeling of loss, which is strange. I know nobody’s ever an arsehole just after they’ve died, but it’s weird – I realise today I’d never really entertained the idea of Bowie dying. Because, like the sun, I felt he’d always be there. He always had been, right? (more…)

Book review: The Turning Tide

The Turning TideThe Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brooke Magnanti has written a number of books as the more salaciously autobiographical (and until recently, private) Belle de Jour. The Turning Tide is the first fiction work published under her own name (The Sex Myth, a non-fiction work, was released in 2012.)

If you’re familiar with the author’s earlier work, this outing without an alter ego will surprise: it’s a thriller which begins with the discovery of a body in a bag on the remote Scottish coast, and ends somewhere completely different. Along the way you’ll run into philosophic thugs, new and old media, headbanger mortuary attendants and a distinctly Cicely, Alaska-if-it-were-in-the-Hebrides oddness.

(You can find out if there’s shagging in it for yourself, mind.) (more…)

2015 Consumption: A Look at Some Stuff I Liked

So as I did last year, I’m going to take a look at what sort of non-food things I consumed throughout the previous year. That is, books, music, films, games and stuff. As before, I’m also uncertain whether this will be of any interest to anyone other than nerdy ole me, but I hope you will enjoy, particularly if data recording is a bit of a thing for you. Because, as you certainly should have gleaned from sticking around here, it is for me.

(I have been told this is all a bit Patrick Bateman. I disagree: I save my discussions of the work of Phil Collins for facetime.)