At 71 years of age, Uncle Hansi is clearly in much better shape than I am, maintaining a healthy diet (though he still enjoys a beer,) doing vigorous walking and swimming every day, and practicing the art of yoga straight out of the Indian Bhavgarad Gita. He’s an inspirational guy, and a few of the soundbites that formed our chat were quite revealing!
I’d committed to being vigilant enough to spot any April Fools’ gags this year … but I still ended up being caught out by the wife when she called from her mother’s to say the cat had brought a rat into the house, and I was needed to go over and remove it. It was only when she could no longer retain her laughter that I realised I’d been had.
1st April was also Easter Monday, and to round off the long weekend I presented another instalment of Fish Out Of Water on OX105FM. This is an occasional excursion into the alternative, where I invite some of the station’s specialist DJs in to pick tunes that mean a lot to them, but which no-one would ever have thought they’d be into. The results are always eclectic to say the least. Sadly on this occasion, two of my guests cried off during the day, so I filled the first hour with some diverse tuneage from 1990, before garage DJ AC stepped up to select cuts from artists as diverse as Musical Youth and The Prodigy. You can listen back to the results right here:
Saturdays from 6 to 8pm is when things return to relative normality and I present my regular show. The Sound Of Now showcases what I consider to be innovative new music from a variety of genres, ranging from garage, soulful house and D&B, to hip-hop. This month’s guest mix DJs have included Macedonia’s DJ Boogieman and Croatia’s Aldo Morro. You can always listen back to the latest instalment at:
Despite spending half my life there in the late 90s, visits to Cardiff are few and far between these days. I had a long-awaited one in the diary for Saturday 6th, however, when I guested at 411 Club to drop an old-school revival set. This had been billed as such, which avoided any dumb-ass requests for contemporary crap, leaving me free to blaze through three hours of hip-hop, R&B and ragga (as we used to call it.) The crowd lapped it up, and it was great to see a few heads from the legendary days of Late Nite Flava at The Forum in attendance, plus my old mate DJ Bibs, and Urban Fusion’s Jay Dizzle, who was on before me. After the long drive home I staggered in at 6am – still two hours earlier than I used to get home every Saturday in 1998 and 1999!
The Good Vibrations podcast series has moved on with two new volumes this month. The first was the chat I recorded o the Isle Of Wight with David Icke, followed by an instalment with researcher and author of the Truth Agenda, Andy Thomas. From its early role in exposing the dark, hidden agenda behind the contemporary mainstream music industry, the series has moved on to show how this fits into the much wider picture of what’s being done to the world and by whom … and what the true nature of reality and human consciousness might be. It’s stuff you don’t stand a chance of hearing about in the mainstream media, and which more and more people globally are starting to take an interest in, as evidenced by the massive figures the podcasts are now doing. You’ll find the latest two volumes hosted at:
… and there’s plenty more where those came from! Keep checking back on the Soundcloud page for new instalments.
Another revival session was on the cards for Saturday 13th, this time encompassing 80s soulful grooves as well as the 90s gems. I went to absorb Back In The Day at Registry in Gloucester, a wicked brand presented by residents Martin ‘In Full Swing’ Rafferty and John Mustoe that’s going from strength to strength. Tonight marked its third birthday, with Ronnie Herel drafted in as guest DJ, Bristol’s MC JNR on the mic, plus a PA from UK soul veteran Don E. Great to see so many ravers of the 80s and 90s generation out to reminisce!
My mother-in-law is Austrian, and on Tuesday 16th, she set off for a two-week holiday to her homeland. I volunteered to go out with her to make sure she got there safely. There was also an ulterior motive attached! Her brother has always been considered a bit of an enigmatic black sheep of the family, owing to his lifestyle and certain things he says. I confess that I always used to think of him as a bit of a nutter, but in light of many things I’ve come to understand in the past few years, many of his comments now don’t seem so nutty! He picked us up from Vienna airport, and we hammered through the two-and-a-half hour journey in his tiny Toyota Corolla to the sunny scenic South, close to the city of Graz.
A week later, I was back on Easyjet, and very excited to be heading off on my debut visit to Iceland – part business, but with lots of leisure built in. The flight, as well as two nights at the interestingly-named Bjork Hotel, were reasonably priced. But that was where it ends! The Scandinavian influence is apparent, as it must rank as one of the most expensive countries in the world behind only Norway and perhaps Sweden; £25 for a main course, £6 for a beer, £5 for a bag of crisps, £30 to get into a swimming pool, £60 for a city tour!
Recent events in Iceland had been of great interest to me. Its economy was decimated in 2008 when the Icelandic Bank fell in the manipulated crash. Rather than meekly accept it and bail the banks out, however, the government booted them out of the country, and held the key perpetrators to account for their actions by arresting and imprisoning many of them. Why isn’t every country doing this?
Even more interesting, however, is Iceland”s uniquely fascinating geology. It’s apparent straight away as you head from Keflavik Airport through lava fields of black volcanic rock covered in unusual brown and green moss, through to the capital Reykjavik. On Wednesday 24th, I had a whole day to take in an excursion to the glacially-carved Gullfoss Waterfall, similar to Niagara Falls, followed by Geysir and its smaller cousin Strokkur, which bubble and steam away in a field of sulphuric rock, the latter spurting out gallons of boiling hot water straight from the centre of the earth every 5-6 minutes. The landscape out in the wilderness is very remisnicent of the Scottish Highlands, but also retains an other-worldly mystique all of its own. A truly fascinating place.