When ToyCon UK was announced late 2012 I was immersed in a move back to London from Denver, tickets for said ToyCon went on sale and I stupidly assumed that tickets would be available for some time. I was wrong. Tickets sold out and each ticket then become not too dissimilar to gold dust.


Being a connoisseur of Sunday lunches, you’d expect to know one available on your doorstep. Almost. I think I found the perfect Sunday lunch today. Possibly too perfect. I’ve lived in Walthamstow, East London, a few years back and have enjoyed one or three trips in to the London famous Walthamstow Village. However, in the number of years since living in the vicinity, I’ve never had the chance to experience what is Eat17. [+]


So, January 31st is upon us and I’ve successfully reached the final day of my first ‘Dryathlon’. They said it couldn’t be done. They said it wasn’t possible. Yet, somehow, someway, I have lasted the whole of January without any alcohol. 31 glorious days. No alcohol. None. Not when I went to see Sonic Boom Six earlier this month. Not even when I went to see Dropkick Murphys neither! Not a single, solitary drop passed these Yorkshire lips. That is some feat considering the last time I went without alcohol for month was when I was Six years old (around 19 years ago) [+]

For many years now I’ve been listening to the celtic folk tones of, LA-based, Flogging Molly. However, never having the chance to catch them live, all that was about to change tonight. Just returning from an outstanding set at Hammerstein Ballroom, as part of the Sailor Jerry sponsored ‘Green 17 Tour’, I think I can say that Flogging Molly are one of the best live acts on the music circuit today.

Flogging Molly

Starting the set with Drunken Lullabies, and ending over 2hrs later with a rousing edition of their first single, from way back in 2000, Salty Dog. The show, from start to finish, had the whole ballroom bouncing & dancing a merry Irish jig.

I think it’s only fair to say that Dave King, lead singer, held the crowd in his back pocket all night. Swiggin’ on beers, telling tales of years gone by: his 90 year old mother back in Dublin – smoking two packs of cigs & half a bottle of Jamesons, also tales of his deceased father.

It’s not often that bands will play for over 2hrs, especially in a smaller venue, but Flogging Molly really could have played easily for 3hrs. As the show was reaching it’s finale, the hit songs were brought out to rapturous applause, fists in the air & singing along to every word.

Overall, this was one of the best & most fun gigs I have been to in a long while. I’ll be definitely be keeping a check on future dates, either in New York City or when I’m back in London. Below you’ll find the setlist from the gig.

- Drunken Lullabies
- Requiem for a Dying Song
- Speed of Darkness
- Revolution
- Life in a Tenement Square
- Whistles the Wind
- Saints & Sinners
- The Likes of You Again
- Swagger
- The Power’s Out
- The Son Never Shines (On Closed Doors)
- A Prayer for Me in Silence
- Us of Lesser Gods
- Black Friday Rule
- Oliver Boy (All of Our Boys)
- Float
- Devil’s Dance Floor
- Rebels of the Sacred Heart
- If I Ever Leave This World Alive
- What’s Left of The Flag
- Seven Deadly Sins

- The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan cover)
- Salty Dog
- Impromptu Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

The zombie apocalypse is here! It must be. There can be no other explanation. It’s finally here. The end of the world. The day I’ve waited for has finally arrived.

Oh. ok, so not quite end of the world stuff – but it felt pretty close! It couldn’t have been that far off.

Leaving for work this morning, just a little after 9am EST, the streets seemed a tad too quiet for a midweek adventure to the office. The air certainly had a different feel to it, I could feel it caress my skin in a different manner to the usual brisk, harsh manner of usual.

Entering the train station, still far too quite for a Wednesday morning, but my brain is now fixed on the morning rush hour traffic on the PATH train. I think my brain knows to shut itself off each morning from around 9am to 10am, it puts itself on ‘auto-pilot’ mode till I reach the office door.

End of the World

Stood by the platform, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the next train, I see the blinding lights of the next train approach. This is where the end of the world approaches…

As the train pulls in, it’s stares me straight in the face, there it is. Something that you always wish for but never happens, it was just there.

There on the train was an open seat. Yes, I’ll say that again as I know the surprise will have knocked you for six. There on the train was an open seat. This never happens on a train in to work. Never in London, never in New York. Never at all.

Seated, reading my Charlie Brooker book, it was a rather pleasant journey. One that I didn’t really want to end. I could sit all day in that perfect seat reading. Alas, the journey ending at 33rd Street.

It was only on my way out of the station that it got me thinking again, how rare an occurrence this actually was. Like a unicorn or rocking horse poop. Which then got me worrying, the fear rising, was I really awake? Was I going to wake from my auto-pilot mode to find the train pulling in, packed to the rafters – as per tradition?

Thankfully, no. I didn’t wake up. I really did experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

01/11/2012 was the date. The date of greatness. It’ll never be forgotten, always will be appreciated.


Why can’t people walk in straight lines? It’s fairly basic physics, one foot in front of the other. However, some moronic walkers just can’t grasp this simple functionality.

Now I’m no perfect walker. I walk too fast – I want to get from A to B in the quickest time possible. I veer in & out of other people, dawdling along at their own pace, without a care in the world. It’s not the dawdlers that irk me, they can dawdle all they like.

My blood boils when I’m walking past folk and they suddenly start to veer in to my path, for no rhyme or reason. They’re not doing it on purpose, they just have no idea how to work in a straight line.

Whilst I’m on the subject of dickhead walkers, what’s the reason for simply stopping in mid-walk? No warning, nothing. Boom – stop. When I’m mid-flow, in my walking zone, nothing beats me up more than a walker that stops dead in their tracks. I guess this is the same for drivers who get road rage, I’m getting walkers rage. I’m going to start throwing elbows soon.

You’d think they were zombies with their walking patterns. At least zombies are awesome.

Rant over.

Now before I start, Fred, I have to say that this letter may come across like from a fan boy with far too much time on his hands, oinked up on Cherry Coke, and in some ways you’d be correct & unfortunately I am very unapologetic about that.

However, this story is quite far from a pissed off Three Dollar Bill fan boy, continuously craving the sick beats of Pollution – but at Three Dollar Bill is where we start my story….

….the year is early 1999, I’m in my local record store after school (I’m only a wee 16yr old at this chapter), I hear a familiar sound coming from the sound system – I recognise the lyrics but it’s not George Michael spitting venom from the speakers, it’s some american dude. I’m hooked.

At the counter, I’m informed that the sound – still beating in my young ears – is Fred Durst. His band Limp Bizkit had just burst on to the nu-metal scene with their debut album Three Dollar Bill, Y’all! I knew instantly that TDB,Y! was the album I would take home that day. Paying the server I now had this shiny new album in my grubby little hands.

I’m home in a shot, to jam this cd in to my hi-fi system, ready to experience something that would alter my life forever. The first crackly beats of the Intro and into Pollution have their claws deep within my ear lobes, there is no way I am escaping this, this was setting my life path.

For the next year or so, my life evolved around Limp Bizkit. This was helped by the release of Significant Other later in 1999. Limp Bizkit literally exploded on to the main stream with your extensive touring and ferocious gigs. Yeah, you had your haters, but that’s what haters do – they hate. They drive you on to bigger & better things. The haters helped Limp Bizkit to prominence just as much as us, fans.

Years passed, I moved away from home, new bands came on the scene – I had a passion for the music that developed from my hearing Faith that one day in my local record store. Things change – locations, girlfriends, jobs – but there was always one constant in my life – Limp Bizkit. Even through the lean years, and Wes leaving, coming back, leaving, coming back, I still had my Bizkit CD’s – always eagerly anticipating the next album drop.

I was never one of the fans that would listen to the new shit & instantly diss it because it wasn’t a clone of Sour. I embraced every Bizkit album, wearing out the CD as I played it so much (thankfully in this day & age, my media player of choice doesn’t get worn away with the constant playing of Gold Cobra).

I’ve seen the band go through thick & thin, members struggle, members grow, develop in to some of the most awed musicians on the planet. Fred, there is no denying that you have grown in to an awesome director – The Education of Charlie Banks is a masterclass film!

But all this I’ve seen from the sidelines – from the pages on the web, from videos on youtube etc – in the 12 years of knowing that Limp Bizkit exists – I have never seen you in the flesh & playing live. It’s not without trying though.

Had tickets to see ya at Download 10 years ago but you guys couldn’t play, had tickets to see you play you’re free gig in Finsbury Park but things transpired against me & I couldn’t make it down to London.

When you’ve played gigs in europe I was in London, when you played gigs in London I was in New York, when you played gigs in New York I was in London. I’ve missed you at festivals, free gigs, intimate gigs. It’s a chase to see Limp Bizkit live….

…and this is really the point of my open letter to you, Fred. I, along with thousands more, want…no, need…to see you live at some point in our lives. I think it’s time for Limp Bizkit to wake this music world up and get back on that road to play bat shit crazy shows, Wes dressed up like an alien, Otto pounding his drums, Lethal dropping those funky ass beats, Sam working his magic on bass & you, Fred, spitting venom over the masses gathered to watch you guys do what you guys do best – perform.

I’d like to refer you back to an earlier point I made, Limp Bizkit made their name by extensively touring and playing ferocious shows. Why not go back to that? Destroy the shitty music world we live in. Show ‘em what ya got, Fred?

Maybe, just maybe, the recent separation between the Limp Bizkit & your label is a good thing, step away from making a new album & get out there to the cities again. Blow the new kids away, show the old kids that ya still got it – it never went away.

When the world is toured, torn down & destroyed you survey the damage and go on to make another killer album, but right now, the world is ready for another round with the Bizkit…

Here ends my open letter.

Thanks, Fred.


So the last few weeks in New York have been fairly quiet. It’s all building up to the arrival of my lady from London next weekend for Memorial weekend. Woo hoo, extra long weekend in New York City with the lady! Good times will surely roll. Having not seen the lady in 6 weeks we have a lot to catch up on. It will be most excellent to just spend time with her, I think 6 weeks has been the longest we’ve been apart in our 6 year courtship. Far too long in my eyes! We do have some plans to go out and enjoy the city…

Plans so far include:
- Brunch at The Smith, over in the East Village – Eggs benedict all the way!
- Bowling at The Gutter in Brooklyn – who doesn’t love a bit of ten pin bowling to wile away the hours
- Going to the movies to watch the new Pirates of the Carribean and also Hangover 2
- A trip to Professor Thoms, of course!
- An afternoon in Williamsburg – I fell in love with t’other weekend, so I hope she will too
- A visit to Sephoria & Origins, for me lady to stock up on her womanly stuff!
- A walk around Central Park, the last time me lady visited the park was covered in wintery goodness, so it will be cool to see it in spring

I’m sure they’ll be some other cool stuff too, but it’s only a flying visit this time around. The big trip will come in July/August time.

So with only five sleeps to go until Gem arrives, I can hardly contain my excitement!

Over & out

So after a few attempts to find the L train near my apt, I finally found the holy grail. Granted, it is hidden away down a very peculiar industrial estate type area, so I can be excused for not finding it straight away. A few stops down the line, I exited the L train for Williamsburg – which quite frankly is my new favourite place in New York.

Willysburg, as the kids on the street refer to it, is a very cool kind of neighbourhood – much like Shoreditch in London but without all the knobheads that hangout there. The area has been through alot of gentrification in the last few years and is now a hub for indie rock, hipster culture and those in the art community.

I had heard on the ‘vine that Williamsburg was renowned for it’s graffiti, and the ‘vine wasn’t wrong. Most of my day in Williamsburg was spent hunting out the different areas that had the most street art and taking a shed load of photos – and I wasn’t to be disappointed.

Most of my photos can be found here

I had a few beers in the number of cool bars I found along my way. All in all, a great day out & I can’t wait to return with Gemma early next month.

Over & out

Wow, what an experience! So as a starter to my tale I should say, for the first few weeks of my American life, I have been purchasing my groceries either on the fly at the little corner shop at the end of my street or by going to the bigger overpriced organic grocery store near by.

Today, however, I decided to venture out and visit one of those Mega Marts I’d seen on American TV as a kid, in the hope that prices wouldn’t be half as bad. I was to be slightly disappointed when I found my nearest ‘super’ market – it wasn’t a Mega Mart, it wasn’t even a Lidl or Netto – it was Food Bazaar off Myrtle Ave!

Upon first impression, it was a slightly run down, cramp, decrepit hole. To be honest, my first impression were not far wrong.

Maneuvering through the aisles with my basket (I had no hope in hell with a trolley) was like playing Mario Kart at 3am after 12 pints and a dirty kebabland work of joy. Often on a Sunday mid-morning visit to Tesco, down Bromley by Bow, you’d have the odd kid running wild – this place was like a creche with all the kids high off some E number. Joy.

Foodwise, to give the place some kinda credit, was fairly decent. A wide selection of produce. Only problem I found is that I didn’t know what would taste like spaz. The pictures on boxes and tins gave no real indication of what was a high brand, or what could possibly be shavings off the local mortuary floor. I could try going for the brands I knew, but you’d be paying double the price – and the prices were quite high as it was. Point to note, cheese & bagels will need reconsidering next time – price far too high for the amount of crappy orange cheese and bagels purchased.

After 20 minutes of living hell, I decided that maybe I have enough food to last me a fair amount of time before having to visit this place again, I ventured towards the checkout. Chaos ensured as I came within view of the checkouts. The cramped constraints I found previously were much worse towards the front of the store. Trolleys piled high with various amounts of crappy food products, trolley after trolley. I finally found myself a queue, which obviously didn’t move for 15 minutes.

I almost gave up on my basket and hightail it outta the place, but I noticed a space open up a few aisles down, quickly stepping in to fill the space and I was now only three baskets from the front of the checkout. I could almost smell the freedom.

To my joy, the queue moved at a steady pace until I was finally face to face with my checkout lady. It was my time to shine, my time to live the american dream, my tim….oh it’s just like the UK…except with out a friendly, cheery waitrose checkout lady smiling back at you. Although, they did double bag my stuff – silver lining and all that. Scanning my bank card I was quickly outta the place and heading home. Unpacking my stuff I realised that just like the UK, never go shopping with a hunger on. Just don’t do it. You get home and see you’ve bought a bunch of schiz that you’ll never eat, they’ll sit in your fridge or cupboard to be forgotten about, however, at the prices I paid today I’ll ensure that some how I’ll eat just about everything & anything.

Next time, I think I’ll stick with my overpriced organic grocery store…. although there are rumours that there’s an altogether different type of super market a few blocks away and with a name like Associated Supermarket how could I go wrong….

To be continued….


Collect & Display Toy Terror Bash Projects Jon-Paul Kaiser RunDMB David Stevenson Art Spanky Stokes

Unlimited Movies

Start Date: 17th March 2013 Number of Movies watched: 10


No Alcohol. For January.
For Cancer Research.
Online: £515.00
Text: £50.00
Offline: £10.00
Total: £575.00
Target: £500.00
GiftAid: £53.75