Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tony and Vini

Watching 24 Hour Party People on DVD last night inevitably left me feeling a little saddened given Tony/Anthony H.Wilson's death last August. Having grown up in 'Granadaland' in the 1970's and 1980's, my first memories of Wilson were of him as the not quite so old one from the tea time news magazine 'Granada Reports'. It was only later did I discover that the man led a double life and that he was behind, or perhaps in front of and getting-in-the-way, some of the best music of the time. I used to spot him every now and then in the late 1980's in the Pump House pub in the Albert Dock in Liverpool where Granada TV had set up offices to counter claims of being Manchester-centric. There was nobody less Manchester-centric than Wilson himself and he got his fair share of abuse for it on the streets of Liverpool, yet funnily enough I imagine it was probably less than he received on the streets of the city he loved so much. He could always be forgiven for after all he was a northerner, and a fiercely proud one, forever standing up to 'that London'. My lingering memory of him actually comes from Michael Winterbottom's 2002 film in an incident - like so many in the film - that may or may not have actually happened. Partly because I think he would appreciate being remembered for something that could well not have occurred, but also because I think it in some way sums up what I think he was about.

The scene is one set in the early days of the Hacienda; The Durutti Column have just finished their set on a deserted Tuesday evening, Wilson/Steve Coogan is standing at the bar and Vini Reilly comes over looking a little bemused at the lack of an audience. Wilson tries to reassure a nervous Reilly by saying,

- Whatever happens, whatever we achieve here Vini, you just have to remember that the most important thing is that you make wonderful music. -

Have a listen to this and I am sure you will agree.

Monday, January 28, 2008


One of the best things about living in Spain, no sorry I'll start again; the best thing about living in Spain is the food. Lunchtime on Friday was another reminder of this fact - not that I need reminding, it is never far from my thoughts or my stomach - at a local restaurant called Cal Boter.

25 Jan Lunch Cal Boter - 125 Jan Lunch Cal Boter - 6

25 Jan Lunch Cal Boter - 225 Jan Lunch Cal Boter - 5

This is the place where Catalan super chef Sergi Arola started at aged 14; had never noticed it until walking past on my way to the doctor's on Wednesday. Traditional Catalan fare, well cooked and in pleasant surroundings, all for €9,00 (three courses and that flask of wine you can see in the photo all included). As a famous Austrian once said, "I'll be back."

Friday, January 11, 2008


....and Liverpool is European City of Culture. I have to admit I never thought I would see the day, but hats off to my home town. The Guardian is nosing around the 'Pool now that the word 'culture' and the city are permitted to appear in the same sentence, and they have found some things of interest. My favourites include the - GP's look away now - fry-up blog and the 'Liverpool Stories' viog; particularly the short films about my old local cinema The Plaza, and Bootle, close to where I grew up.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Santa's sack

Has it really been that long....wait a minute, that was last time. Well, yes it was, it has been, but, hopefully, it will not be so in the future. Christmas at casa Curve was as eventful as ever, and was probably the only time that the following have ever rubbed shoulders in Santa's sack; David Bowie, Robert Millar, Patrick Moore, Ted Danson, Robert Townsend, Stars of the Lid, Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal, Rick Stein, A.R.Kane, Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly Le Brock, David Attenborough, Rosanna Arquette and Madonna.