Vancouver ahoy! Part 2: Ivan, Razul, and Cash-Point Jesus.

After a lengthy drive, we had arrived at our destination Vancouver. You can find out about the outward journey here, because sadly I'm not willing to summarise something that took me a reasonable time to smash out. So nyeh. But now we were in Vancouver, without any definitive plan. We knew we had to be somewhere the following night, and we were probably going to be sleeping in the van; beyond that, the world was our lobster. We started off heading for higher ground (I don't know why,) but once we had succeeded in that we realised that there was little benefit to being there. The venue for the next evenings entertainment was on Granville Street which to our knowledge was amidst the hub of downtown Vancouver. We deduced that it made sense to head that way and find a place to park up – so we trundled down into the ...

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Vancouver ahoy! Part 1: Going, going, gone.

A month or so ago I bumped into a friend in a nightclub who instantly mentioned he was driving all the way to Vancouver to see Steel Panther, and subsequently invited me along. That was a long way to go for a band that I didn't listen to, but I thought that after a beer or two it would be horrendously fun. And that was that – I had three days off and it was time to hit the road. We were heading off late on a Tuesday after we'd both finished work, aiming to rest somewhere around Golden which was an hour and a half away. A small dent in a mighty journey of over ten hours in total, but a dent nevertheless. We were also giving someone a lift to Golden who was visiting a friend who had broken her back. Killer. But before we could depart, we ...

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How to ensure a bartender thinks you’re an idiot [Part 3]

And so we have arrived at the final installment of this series; and I hope you've enjoyed yourselves to a certain degree, however miniscule. This could have no doubt been bashed out as a two-part piece, but trilogies just generally the done thing aren't they – and true to style just like a majority of every other trilogy finale, this closing chapter really scrapes the barrel and makes you question why you ever liked one of the first two. If you fancy reminiscing on the good times we once shared, all that time ago, you can find parts one and two here and here, respectively. And so without further ado: expeliarmus! Initiate a game of “Guess The Mixer!” This complaint is a new kid on the block – and I've no idea how it came about. It involves a customer asking for a spirit and then just expecting the bartender to know ...

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Schmow Patrol

You would be excused for thinking this post could have been written two years ago, however I would argue that it's just fashionably late. So, Snow Patrol. The Irish-now-Scottish fivesome. They bug me. But I did once like them and thus I cannot banish them to the hate list to perish with the likes of Jamie T and Florence. Whilst I can't add them to a growing list which I will surely complain about at a later stage, I can give them their own post, and a report on my personal (irrational, unorthodox, yadi yada) fluctuating opinions of the Bangor boys. They made it onto the scene in 2003 with Final Straw, and you could be forgiven for thinking this was a decent debut. Alas, it was their third – and I think the title says it all. Two albums had been pushed out previously – Songs For Polar Bears, and When ...

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How to ensure a bartender thinks you’re an idiot [Part 2]

If you missed part one, you can check it out here. So we've checked off most of the common complaints – now we're delving into the depths of my personal niggles. And I'm easily niggled. I have nothing witty to say, let's continue... The late Guinness. Okay so this is nothing new; the call for the late Guinness has been a ball ache ubiquitous in bartenders worldwide. This is of course due to the fact that a properly poured Guinness takes time. Thankfully, bars have developed in the bartender's favour and now usually come complete with dreadful taps that murder the drink and leave you best off pulling the whole pint straight up. Still, in those sacred places where a proper Guinness is more than a dream, it's a real pain. Hanging around for peanuts. You've just bought a round for £19.90 and you've paid with a twenty. This is the time to leave the ...

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What My Ears Liked In 2010

Top 3 Singles I confess that I don't stay on top of singles. A lot of the time when I hear a song I am completely unaware whether it is a single or not, and upon recommendations, or even out of intrigue, I will tend to try and locate complete albums as opposed to individual tracks. I don't listen to the radio, and I don't tend to follow the music press much at the moment either – so excuse if I've missed any belters, but these are the top 3 songs I could think of that were definitely singles. Firstly Eyesdown by Bonobo, a chilled track with a mesmerising gentle bass wob-wobbing away. The lead vocal is provided by featuring artist Andreya Triana, whose solo album this year Lost Where I Belong is a real treat to the ears – simply stunning if you dig incredible up-and-coming female vocalists. In this Bonobo ...

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How to ensure a bartender thinks you’re an idiot [Part 1]

This is part one in a series of a currently unknown number, which I should probably confess has a somewhat misleading title. The complete collection will be a list of things which, whilst working in various bars, have come to grind my gears. And being just a miserable and unreasonably intolerant person means that the title should be: “How to ensure a bartender thinks you're an idiot, providing the bartender is Thom Curtis.” There will be certain entries which will have undoubtedly caused distress for a high percentage of all bartenders, and there will be some which just nark me off personally. So share in my pain, or write me off as a decent human being altogether. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Flash your cash. “Oh, I'm sorry sir. It's lucky you're waving that twenty pound note in my face, I was completely oblivious to the wall of people wanting to be ...

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Oh great, another blog.

Oh great, another blog. Another attempt to start sharing with the whole world the garbled fubble-grub that flibbers through my jibbles and blubbers out my hubbles. Now there's a sentence of nonsense that sounds undeniably filthier than it should. But in all seriousness, I've tried this before, and I've failed. Born with such good intentions, but eventually being snuffed out like a hamster in a plane crash due to my own lack of motivation. Now, it's time to start again. Some people like to blog about every day life, and when I was younger I thought that's really what it was all about - like an online diary. But, pardon my french, fuck that. I'm from Swindon. Nobody in their right mind wants to hear about my every day life, no matter how exciting my lunches get. In this town, sometimes you find yourself catching the wrong bus deliberately just for ...

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