Long live the Beatles by Angela Caldin

The granddaughters have discovered the Beatles. In a BIG way. For the last two days of the summer holidays, before the new school year starts here in NZ, the house has resounded to the rhythm of those enduring songs with the granddaughters joining in with gusto. I’m amazed at how quickly they’ve learnt all the words. I think it all started with a recent showing on NZ TV of Carpool Karaoke – When Corden met McCartney in which Paul went around his old hometown of Liverpool, pointed out the church where he… Read More

Unplugged by Emily Smart

Last week I was invited/cajoled/told in no uncertain terms that I would be attending Bandquest which according to its website is ‘A platform for the next generation of contemporary musicians to step out and perform in a supportive and encouraging competition format.’ I went along not feeling supportive or encouraging and rather wishing I could be at home in front of the TV on a Friday night. However, my just-turned 13 daughter was performing as the drummer with her band Socially Awkward, so I felt a little obligated. I don’t do gigs…. Read More

Moss gathering by Trevor Plumbly

By the book I think I’ve mentioned the importance books have played in my life. After my schooling was severely truncated, they were the cheapest form of entertainment and education available. In the late 1950s, I was living in a bedsit in North London, 12 bob a week, share bathroom and toilet with penny-in-the-meter electricity. Kilburn in the late 50s was far from welcoming, but it did have a public library. Bedsit etiquette was pretty much ‘mind your own business’, so in the absence of social contact, I wandered up and down… Read More

Vimeo Killed the Video Star by Emily Smart

I went down to the video shop yesterday, and had a real ‘fuck I’m old’ moment. And have now just discovered that this is a real thing – see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/3hwisr/what_was_your_fuck_im_old_moment/ Anyway, video shop, videos. When was the last time you actually played a video tape? I found a video the other day: Toy Story 2 and just checked when it was released. It was 1999! So give or take a year or so to go from cinema ‘straight to video’ (you don’t hear that anymore) and that’s about 18 years ago. Flippin’… Read More

Square eyes and stress by Trevor Plumbly

Serial stupor Mother always insisted that television was an addictive force and, at the ripe age of 75, I’m beginning to believe the old girl was right. These days I can’t see a great deal on the screen, it’s more like having a big grey radio on the wall with lots of adverts, but, even for me, some TV programmes are a must, bringing back memories of the religious SHUSH for the Queen’s speech and Coronation Street. My current addiction is a quiz show called ‘The Chase’. Nightly, beer at hand, I… Read More