Monday, 31 May 2010

Modnation Racers, driving, Dr Who and Cannonball Run

The day started out with more Modnation Racers. Toni and I took time out to go to Asda and George to get a few things.

Toni disappeared for a while as she had agreed to take Marie out for some driving practice.

Dinner and Dr Who then led on to the great news that Toni had decided to stay tonight rather than go back to Eltham.

We then settled down to watch the wonderful Cannonball Run before heading to bed.

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Sunday, 30 May 2010

Chelmsford, Modnation Racers, TV catch up and music

After breakfast we pootled off to Chelmsford to pick up an additional PS3 controller so we could 4-way split screen games. Had a result as I managed to get a second hand one for £9.99 instead of £24.99 thanks to Sam's Game reward card.

We then spent most of day playing Modnation Racers taking a brief time out to catch up with some episodes of Vampire Diaries and Caprica.

Toni's fabulous roast dinner was accompanied by Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant.

We then stayed up until the wee small hours listening to all manner of weird and wonderful tunes.

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Saturday, 29 May 2010

God Of War 3 and Modnation Racers

The morning was spent playing God Of War 3 and then when Toni, Aaron & Gemima arrived it was Modnation Racers frenzy time.

Sam made an awesome chili for dinner and we watched Something, Something Darkside before hitting the pit.

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Friday, 28 May 2010

Hollywood Doll with Arturo Bassick and Eastfield @ Bar Lambs

Well here we are again, it's gig time once more.
We all met up at Bar Lambs in Westcliff on Sea and started loading in our gear. The original plan had been for us to open the night followed by Eastfield and then Arturo Bassick but it transpired that we were going to headline! YOINKS!

Eastfield had requested that they be allowed to open and Arturo Bassick was quite happy to go on second. After brief discussions we agreed that this was acceptable to us.

Have to say that the guys from Eastfield were fantastic. We had agreed for them to borrow some of our gear and they were quite happy to help load it all in to the venue, such a rarity these days.

There were three very different bands on show tonight (apologies for the dodgy photos, I left my camera at home!)....................

These guys were great, short sharp bursts of blistering punk joy themed mainly around railways! They were really entertaining and had some really funny lyrics to boot, namely Burt Reynolds Rides Again which deals with the evil that is Burt Reynolds!

Once Eastfield had left the stage various members of Hollywood Doll looked at each other and wondered how we were going to follow that.

Arturo of The Lurkers + 999 performs his acoustic set, dubbed as a 'Punktry and Western Bonanza'. More witty tunes done in a Country and Western style, including some bona fide C&W tunes, plus a couple of well known punk ditties to boot. Arturo was awesome and although this might have been a departure from his usual The Lurkers and 999 stuff he maintained a strong presence and had some fun between song banter. Big thumbs up from me!

Again, following two great sets tonight we were wondering how we could top what had gone before.

I guess we needn't have worried..............

Hollywood Doll, our second gig, and now headlining a show with Eastfield and Arturo Bassick, who would have thought it? To think that one week ago I was struggling to make it through a set and now here I was ready to do it all again.

Things went really well, only a couple of mistakes were made and we seemed to go down better this week judging by the audience response. It was a great experience and everyone felt much more comfortable on stage and was really enjoying playing, just the way it should be. We even managed to throw in It's So Easy as a set closer (as a one off, please don't expect this as a regular set item)

So there you have it, one cracking night of entertainment. I want to thank the Eastfield mob and Arturo Bassick for being just genuinely nice people, being very accommodating and treating us like people, your actions and words meant so much to us all tonight. It was also lovely to have thanks from the owner of the venue and be told that he would like to have us come back and play again.

Once again it was great to see so many friends turn out to come and see us play live, thank you to everyone that made the journey down to come and see us.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

God Of War 3 marathon, paella and Law Abiding Citizen

After Sophie and Scarlett had gone back home I embarked on a marathon session on God Of War 3 racking up a not insignificant 7 hours of game play before frustration meant it was time to stop! It's been a long time since I got in that much playing in one go.

Sam made a gorgeous paella for dinner and we settled down to watch Law Abiding Citizen. We stopped briefly as Matt popped round to pick up all my gear for the gig tomorrow night. Have to say that the film was fantastic and well worth renting or buying.

Happy Birthday Pete

Happy Birthday Pete

Hope you have a great day


Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Chilling, Sophie & Scarlett, PS3 & 10 Things...

Today was spent taking it easy to aid my recovery. I did manage to do a little tidying up but not as much as I want/need to.

Sophie came over with Scarlett which was nice. Scarlett is into everything now and you really haveto keep an eye on her (well Sophie had to as I am not yet able to rush about after toddlers). It was very nice having them here though.

Tried to get in some time on the PS3 and got incredibly frustrated trying to defeat Hades in God Of War 3. Things didn't get any better when I failed to come 1st in the rings of fire race in ModNation Racers which was driving me insane.

Watched a bit of the new 10 Things I Hate About You series before crashing out for my afternoon nap. I was pleasantly surprised by 10 Things as I wasn't sure how it would translate from the film but the first couple of episodes were good harmless fun.

After my nap we had dinner and then Sophie put Scarlett to bed and we played some 3 way Modern Warfare 2 and ModNation Racers.

Toni came over and was dragged into some ModNation races much to her disgust and our amusement. After a couple of games an early night was in order.

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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Staples out, shattered, films and BSG

Today started badly as I woke up at 04:30 again and couldn't back to sleep for ages and then just as I'd drifted off the alarms went off for me to get up!

Went back to the GP to have the last of the staples out. I no longer have a zip, just a nice large slash mark with dots!

Today has been a day of taking it easy as I am now VERY conscious of where my wound is and the fact that there is now no longer any support on it apart from a couple of steri strips. I've also been very tired as I crashed out half way through the day again today.

Played a little ModNation Racers on the PS3 before Sam and I watched, Valhalla Rising (shite), The Wolfman (really good) and WWE RAW.

After dinner we then started watching the Battlestar Galactica reboot from the start of Season 1. It will be a mammoth task to get through it all but these things have to be done!

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Monday, 24 May 2010

Staples out (mostly), sleep, goodbye mum and wrestling

Went to see the nurse at the GP today to have my staples removed. She decided that to play it safe she didn't want to take them all out as it was a large wound that I had. She did say that it was healing well but just wanted to err on the side of caution and leave a few in. In the end she took out 17 of the 21 staples, put a new dressing on and a few steri strips on the best healed part.

It all felt a bit weird afterwards as the dressing that had been holding everything in place was now gone and so there was more pressure on my belly as things started to move around more. We popped into a local cafe for a cup of tea before heading back home where I promptly crashed out.

I woke up just in time to say goodbye to mum as she was heading back to Stratford upon Avon. It had been lovely to see her for so long and I was sad to see her go.

I would have loved to have gone to London tonight to see Reckless Love but I just didn't feel up to it as I felt the need to chill out, rest and relax this week.

Spent the rest of the afternoon taking it easy and then had dinner and watched WWE Over The Limit with Sam.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Shopping and BBQ

Toni and I went to do a bit of shopping today, which involved a run to Halfords to get coolant for the car and ended up with purchase of a tent for our summer trip to Wacken. We then detoured via Asda to get some essentials. Sadly it was all a bit much for me and I was flagging and achey by the time we got back. Turns out there is such a thing as doing too much when you are supposed to be taking it easy and rceouperating. I think Friday might have been catching up with me!.

Spent the afternoon chilling and then had a BBQ for dinner which was absolutely yummy.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Itchy & Scratchy & Over The Rainbow

Toni, mum and I were deliberating about where to go out for lunch today. Mum suggested Tom & Jerry's, we assumed she meant Frankie & Bennys so from that moment on it became known as Itchy & Scratchy's. Also in the mix was a new Thai restaurant that has opened in SWF but that got rejected once Sam had appeared so we were Itchy & Scratchy bound.

The food was fabulous and I was definitely full by the time we left. It was actually quite uncomfortable as I could feel the pressure on my wounds and stitches/clips bit it was worth it! Frankie & Benny's FTW

When we got home we just chilled our until it was time to watch Over The Rainbow. Now I must point out that I am NOT a regular viewer bit we saw one the other week and were rather taken with the Toto dog audition part of the show rather than the Dorothy side. There was a massive cheer from Sam and I when it was announced that Dangerous Dave had been selected for a one off Toto performance. It was the name that did it, there was just something very amusing about a dog called Dangerous Dave being Toto. I have to confess that we did get into the show after that and were delighted when Lauren was rejected leaving Sophie & Danielle to battle it out.

Lloyd Webber's face was a picture as it was very clear he wanted Lauren to won so it was even better that she had gone! Of the remaining two we felt that Danielle put in a killer performance and so we were equally delighted when it was announced that she had won and would be playing Dorothy. Big hand for Dangerous Dave again though!

Finished the day off watching I'm In A Rock 'N' Roll Band as it was about bass players which was hilarious. I didn't fit their criteria and ended up as a bit of a hybrid LOL

Friday, 21 May 2010

Hollywood Doll supporting Riot:Noise @ Shaw Farm

After much angst and deliberation I decided that I was well enough to go through with HOLLYWOOD DOLL's debut gig tonight. About an hour before we were due to go and load in at the venue my nerves kicked in which seemed to give my wounds some grief but I still made the decision to go ahead.

WE got a little worried as we arrived at the venue and there was no sign of Danni, the promoter, or the headline band Riot:Noise and the guy in charge at the venue had no idea if they were bringing a PA or not. I frantically tried to find Danni's mobile number but the one that I had was no longer active LOL. Thankfully Danni and Riot:Noise did appear (and they had a PA so all was well). Both Danni and Riot:Noise were a little surprised when they saw Shaw Farm as I don't think the venue was quite up to the way it had been described to them.

We all then got on with setting up all our gear. Our sound check consisted of a quick run through one chorus and that was it, all systems go. I had deliberated with having a chair on standby just in case there was an emergency but at the last minute opted t just go for it standing up and to hell with the consequences.

There were four bands playing tonight:

Wow, after two years of struggling to build a dream Matt and I finally took our baby out to the world to perform and for us it was a fantastic debut gig. The odd mistake that we did make was masked well and nobody realised it anyway. We got a good reaction at the end of every song which was nice to hear and we all left the stage very happy with what we had achieved. Apparently I turned really white at one point but I was unaware of this and pushed through to the end of the set. I have to admit that I was really struggling by the end but I managed it! It was wonderful to see so many friends and family there to support us.

Here's a video of Suffocating from the gig:

See all the HOLLYWOOD DOLL pics here: 210510HollywoodDollShawFarm

These guys were good although they almost didn't get to play! Nobody had told the bass player that he needed to bring amplification. Luckily for him as I was happy to let him borrow mine! HEALTHY JUNKIES played nice short punky style songs.

Healthy Junkies singer Nina left the stage and HIROSHAMOUR were born as guitarist Phil Honey-Jones took over the vocal duties. HiroshAmour weren't really a good fit for the rest of the bill. To be fair, Statosfire had pulled out so HiroshAmour were covering the gap but sadly they weren't really well received and a lot of people decided to leave.

Despite their obvious surprise at the venue (plus the reduction in the crowd) RIOT:NOISE were consummate professionals and put on a really good show. They were very appreciative of the remaining crowd (most of whom had been part of the Hollywood Doll entourage) and were well received. I really enjoyed their style and think they were quite similar to what we do in Hollywood Doll. I'd love to support them somewhere in a good venue as think we'd compliment them well.

See all the RIOT:NOISE pics here: 210510RiotNoiseShawFarm

It was a fantastic night and a great way for HOLLYWOOD DOLL to debut

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Feeling betterer, horror fest, death metal, couriers and strangeness

Today was another day for feeling better and improved. Another hard to define but noticeable change in the way I felt left me feeling really good.

I picked up the bass guitar today and had a play to see if I would be good to go for the gig tomorrow and it looks as though everything will be fine, even if I do have to sit down to play.

Had a bit of a horror fest today with Sam and I watched The Grudge 2 and 3 as mum had pootled off to Chelmsford to see Sophie. We haven't watched horror films together for ages so it was nice to chill and do that.

This week I have mostly been listening to Black Metal with my bands of choice being Darkthrone, Burzum, Mayhem, Immortal, Behemoth and Emperor with a whole load of Danzig thrown into the mix just for the hell of it!

Was very pleased that the couriers actually showed up today and I now have a lovely set of shiny HOLLYWOOD DOLL t-shirts for us to wear and start selling! Pics will be posted once they are being modelled.

As for the strangeness, that was having mum wash my hair for me, she hasn't done that for many many years and so it felt a bit strange as it is usually Toni doing it if I haven't done it myself.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Awwwww, you guys!

Was delighted to pick up the post this morning and find a card from my work colleagues.

It's strange but I am actually now starting to miss work and I'm still signed off for another 10 days!

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Recovering, bloody couriers and better news

My recovery is slow but steady! I am getting about a bit more and although things still being a little tender I am certainly feeling a lot better each day. I've managed to avoid taking the heavy duty pain killers as much as possible which has probably helped me a lot although I do need to go and have a sleep for an hour or two during the day. It's all good though and I feel like things are going well.

I was supposed to have received a nice package today containing the HOLLYWOOD DOLL t-shirts. Sadly, they did not arrive. When I checked the courier website it said that the delivery had been refused as the customer said they hadn't ordered anything! WTF! They certainly never came to my house! The failed delivery was recorded at 18:15 and yet the phone lines closed at 17:00 so there was nothing I could do today. I have teamed up with Vikki and we have both emailed them to complain about the shite service. Fingers crossed they sort it out tomorrow!

Had a chance to catch up with Stargate Universe today which was good as the series has really picked up from when I last watched it so it wasn't the drag that I feared it might have been LOL.

In better news, Toni's mum is now out of immediate danger. Still a long way to go and things are not great but at least she isn't critical now which is a relief.

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists:

Monday, 17 May 2010

It never rains......

..... it only pours!

Sometimes life can be very sucky! It's bad enough being stuck at home trying to recover from surgery. When your girlfriend has to spend time at a hospital with a very sick mum, that's when life gets sucky!

I'm not going to get into details on here but the latest updates have been worrying, don't sound good and must be awful for Toni. To top it all off I feel really helpless as I am stuck at home shuffling around like an old man and can't properly offer my support :o(

As for me, recovery is slow, my movement is limited and I shuffle about like an old man. I eat,
drink, do some small exercises, take drugs and sleep a lot, ROCK N FUCKIN' ROLL!

The day did lift slightly though as I managed to work my way through Season 13 of South Park (luckily my mum does find it amusing). The evening was spent catching up with the WWE NXT and Smackdown sessions from last week and finished off with Terry Pratchett's Colour Of Magic!

Before I got a chance to post this I get a message from Toni saying that her mum is in a really bad way, this is not good :o(

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Happy Birthday Mike Stevenz

Happy Birthday Mike Stevenz

Hope you have a great day and it is both STICKY and SWEET!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Nails and going home

As a bit of therapy, Toni came in and painted my nails for me yesterday, they look so lovely with the surgical stockings LOL

I came home yesterday afternoon feeling a little stiff and sore. Was nice to be out of hospital though and back with everyone.

I managed to have a reasonable sleep although I was wide awake by 5am!

Here's a nice snapshot of my clips, Toni thinks it looks like a zip

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Happy Birthday Graham

Happy Birthday Graham

Hope you have a great day

Friday, 14 May 2010

Dem stones, dem stones.....

...... Gall stones!

Well that's it, all done now!

Yesterday started well with me arranging to get a three piece suite delivered. Sam agreed to stay home and mum, Toni and I set off for Springfield hospital. We were delighted to see the posh car park with a nice bit of car parking. FAIL!

We booked in at reception and then had to wait in a waiting area as we were early and my room wasn't ready. Here's mum on the comfy leather seats:

After a short while and the upset for me of another lady getting a cup of coffee and some biscuits (upsetting because I was nil by mouth by that point) my room was ready and I was processed:

Apart from the charming hospital gown, I also got to have a Rocky Horror moment and wear stockings (even if they were surgical ones LOL). Toni had some fun putting them on me:

To be honest, they weren't actually too bad for surgical stockings. So here I am all dressed up with nowheres to go:

It was a long wait before my operation due to me being last on the list, so there was a bit of sleeping done beforehand.

Soon though it was time to prepare for the op and I was whisked off to have a canula inserted in my hand:

..... and that was the last thing I remember. Just over 4 hours later I sort of came to back in my room. It turned put that it was not possible to do my op with keyhole surgery, so Mr Inwang had to open me up. Thankfully all went well and the operation was a success. Obviously I didn't get to see or keep the gallbladder but here are the stones from inside it!

I am all a bit achey now! I stayed in last night and it is looking like I might have to stay in another night but I won't know for sure until I've seen Mr Inwang, my consultant.

Here's my drainage tube

..... And this is my wound

So there you have it, my little gallstone saga comes to an end with the removal of my gallbladder. Here's hoping for a quick recovery!

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Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Hollywood Doll recording cancelled!

Totally gutted. Hollywood Doll were supposed to be completing the vocals on two tracks today to let you all hear what goodness we are cooking up. Sadly the mixing desk at the studio was knackered and so the session got cancelled.

If you really want to hear what we sound like then come to the gig at Shaw Farm on Friday 21st May: Hollywood Doll supporting Riot@Noise

New reviews are up on Glitzine!

My latest reviews are now online at

Bristol – The Punk Explosion
Broken Melody – Mirroring Identities
Mad Lee Riot – Terra In Cognito
Sunroad – Long Gone

Last.FM listening post

Here's last week's top picks music lovers!

Top weekly tracks:

Top weekly artists:

Overall top tracks:

Overall top artists: