Liverpool Beer Fest

Made it to the Liverpool Beer Festival last night after work - a little later than I would have liked. Thursday night is the opening session and has the advantage of being the cheapest ticketed session (a bargain £3) and of course all the beers are available - come Saturday afternoon and evening the cask choice will be getting limited.

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It was a nice session, busy but not so much that you couldn't walk around. Didn't have any beers that made me go "Wow!" but certainly had some nice ones. Liked a couple of the local ones including the Ad Hop 'Robusta' and the Liverpool Brewing Co/Team Toxic 'Koheutek'. The Hawkshead '5 Hop' went down well. But I was disappointed with my beloved 'Jaipur.' There was some talk that the beers were not at the best and that that maybe partly because of the unseasonably warm weather (it was T-Shirt weather yesterday, which is ridiculous for February). There is no entertainment on the Thursday which is a bit of a shame (particularly with me missing the Open Mic night). Still, it was a good night. And anyone heading there will no doubt have a great time.

cheers
No guitars, but a Liverpool Supergroup.

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Missing Mike

It's Open Mic tomorrow in the Sanctuary Bar and this will be the first one I've missed since discovering it and my new found love for all things singer songery.

It's a mate's birthday celebration which means I is going to be at the Liverpool Beer Festival in the wonderful Lutyen's Crypt of the Roman Catholic cathedral. As excuses go for not attending to the Open Mic it's not a bad one.

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Realising I'd had five attempts at recording the song without the mic working.

Notwithstanding my night off from the Sanctuary I'm still looking at expanding my range of songs available to play at future events. After last week going back to an old one I used to play previously with the Smithdown gang (the Saw Doctor's "N17") I've gone to a song from a similar time. I'm not sure we played it back then, certainly we probably did when messing about in Kev's front room, but I'm not sure it ever got released into the wild. It's another one of my favourite bands that I could never understand weren't successful in the mainstream (like Green on Red and Chuck Prophet): Cracker. If you can get your hands on a CD or find them on Spotify do it. Loads of great stuff.

Anyway I chose another slow downbeat one (cos that's what I do) called 'Take Me Down to the Infirmary' from the album Kerosene Hat. I may do the title track at some point but the vocals are hard to get right - probably another capo song.

I recorded about five versions of me playing it before playing it back and finding the mic wasn't working. Not sure whether it wasn't plugged in right or what. Bit odd - as I would have thought if it wasn't plugged in then the laptop's mic would have kicked in in its stead. So I put the USB mic back in and gave it one more go. And that, my friends, is now up on the YouTube thing along with my other meandering practices.

At this rate by the time I've practiced all my current repertoire I'm gonna have a difficult choice to make at the future Open Mics. Which is a good thing, of course.

YouTube

It astounds me that I have 5 Subscribers. Thank you whoever you are. Wonder how long it will be until I start writing and playing my own songs... Not imminent, but then again maybe over the next few months.


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Wanted: New Job

It's the new year and I definitely need to find a new job. Something that pays enough and provides me with a decent work-life balance. Ideally something I enjoy doing. But if it pays enough then I can live without that - as long as I earn enough to live and have proper hours so that I can have the enjoyment outside of work that balances out the tedium from any crap job.

So to that end I'll be updating my various CVs, including my writing one.

Of course I still have the problem of not knowing what I want to do when I grow up, which is not ideal. It's hard to look up jobs when you're open to consider lots - you end up seeing countless useless soul destroying adverts.

I'm not even sure what my ideal job would be. I mean I love writing, reading, music, beer, football, social media (well Twitter anyway), websiting from my Mac, photography, driving, train journeys, flying (in planes), boats (less so). Britain, Europe, the world, the planets. I love conversations and enjoy solitude too.

So what the hell would be the perfect job then?

Writing content for a beer and music site with lots of travel and a bit of footy thrown in - based in Merseyside with plenty of world travel. Look I'm your man for that. Not seen the advert for it yet and not sure where to look for it. Searching for 'Dream jobs' isn't delivering that. I'll keep looking. You never know.

In the meantime I'll carry on practicing my writing, reading and strumming the guitar and I'll keep an eye out for jobs and training opportunities. If you see this advert anywhere in the coming weeks, please drop me a line!

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The Weekend Starts and Ends Here

I've got me a one day weekend. Back in tomorrow. So will be out for beers later in Liverpool for a wee crawl, after buying a few bits and bobs, then it'll be time to catch some footy. Should be another great game between Liverpool and that Chelski shower with a quick retribution in mind following Wednesday night. May even catch some of the Mancs match. Expect I'll get to five or six top hostelries - you'll have to check out Twitter to see how I do.

Started beta-reading a FlashDog novel this morning. Up to the third chapter and it's really good so far. I shouldn't be surprised by now that there are such accomplished writerers within the FlashDog community. After meeting everyone via the very short stories we composed in Flash Fiction Friday and Angry Hourglass it is with great respect I see all these guys stepping on up and out to novels. Hoping to finish the book this week and get my comments out by next weekend.

In the meantime it is anticipated that 'DeadCades' will be released this week. Exciting stuff. And releasing a horror book in October... seems like it's almost by design. Many thanks to Steph and David in advance for all their work on getting to this point. Definitely top dogs (in a good way).

Went to the PO earlier to pick up a parcel from a couple of weeks ago. Er, I'd been sent me some cheese and biscuits. I wish I'd known I'd have made an effort to pick it up earlier. Not sure if the cheese is supposed to be this stinky. Will report back later... many more thanks for the surprising gift! You know who you are ;-)

Apparently it's World Guitar Day - who the hell makes all these things up? - perhaps I'll strum a little later. Made me think who are some of my favourite guitarists. It's a tough call, and if I thought longer or on a different day, my top picks (no pun intended) would no doubt be different and just as defendable. Here's today's top four anyway: Ry Cooder, Chuck Prophet, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

RyCooder Chuck

Jimi SRV


As for guitars, I have two; a lovely dark green Telecaster (I know three of the four above are on Strats, but hey I love a Tele) and a Takamine 363 semi-acoustic.

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Lovely York

Only went to York for little over a day, but it was great. Think I should make it an annual event for me birthday - it's past the summer holidays and before people invade the place on the run up to Christmas.

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It is a Mecca for real ale enthusiasts with countless ale pubs within the famous walls. Clearly they are not really countless but probably 70 or so (that's a guess - there were 55 ale pubs a few years back and more bars have opened since).

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The day started with the helping hand of a Liverpool victory at Wembley against Spurs. Can't be bad. Last year when we lost to them in Game 9 we had 13 points, this time up we've played 5 and have 15 points. Bloody excellent.

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Had a lovely load of beers across countless (really this time as I can't recall them all) York pubs with several mates and it all ended up without any of us dancing on tables, falling over, falling asleep in the corner or any other embarrassing stuff - not even a kebab (though I did have a battered sausage with chips and neon green mushy peas - yum!).

Some of the pubs we got to that I do remember the name of included in no particular order: Brew York; House of Trembling Madness; Blue Bell; Hop (Ossett tap); Duke of York; the Wonky Donkey (aka the Three-Legged Mare); Old Starre Inn; Old White Swan. All nice pubs set in a beautiful and interesting city. Lovely stuff.
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Haven't Changed A Bit

Well it's this chap's birthday weekend. I don't normally do much special on my birthday and certainly not parties since I was a kid. A couple of years ago I went to York on me tod and went to about 20 pubs over two days. Now that was pretty much ideal. Anyway this year it's York again but with a few mates. Should be good. Very good. Got to get to York early to get ensconced in the first Sky real ale pub we can find - for it's Spurs v Liverpool at 12:30. Really hope Liverpool can start the day off with a bang. Just for me of course.

Worry AJWalker copy

Expect many pictures of pubs and beers on Twitter - until the battery dies on me phone.

Haven't changed a bit:

Me Thru 50








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Over All Too Quickly

This weekend was hot hot hot in on the Welsh borders of Shropshire but being in Bishop's Castle it at least meant there was plenty of liquid options to keep hydrated and cool with. This year rather than just the three usual suspects camping (Toe, Ste and yours truly) we were accompanied by double figures of top ladies and gentlemen from Liverpool and beyond. Pop-up tents filled the Foxholes campsite almost as much as the snoring.

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The festival actually seemed a little quieter than usual. Not sure if that is with people staying at home and having home made BBQs and wee festivals while the World Cup was on. The England match was shown in a couple of pubs and we watched from the car park of the Castle Hotel. It was a cauldron in Samara and seemed at least as hot in the tarmac bowl. The result made it worth while.

Saw several good bands in the Castle Hotel and The Vaults over the two days. Hats of to them for their work in the heat.

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Saturday evening inevitably ended up with regular renditions of Vindaloo and Three Lions between the bands playing in the Vaults. Top night.

The weather, the music, the company and even the England match all made it a top weekend. The beer wasn't bad either. Not sure whether it was the footy in the middle of the day or the size of the group we were with but boy the weekend absolutely flew by. See you again, Bishop's Castle. You always deliver.

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Have put a selection of photos up from this weekend in an album on Flickr.

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Bishop's Castle (Again) 2018

It's Bishop's Castle Beer Festival this weekend. I've lost count of how many times I've been now, but I'm of there again camping on Friday and Saturday at the fab Foxholes campsite. There's a shed loads of us going this year from Liverpool. Well, well into double figures anyway. It's always a cracking day (or two if you go camping) and usually the weather is wall to wall sunshine. Of course with the way the weather has been in the last few weeks this won't be different this year.

There's always loads on at all the pubs and a great atmosphere (my fave is the Vaults for the live music). As well as plenty of lovely beers there will be great food and loads of bands on. What's not to like?!

This year this is happening at the same time as the World Cup Quarter Finals. Not sure how easy it will be to find anywhere to watch the England match on Saturday afternoon. But shouldn't have a problem finding room to watch the Brazil v Belgium match on Friday night I expect.

Need a decent weekend. So roll on Bishop's Castle.

Lots of photos next week I predict and a wee blog.
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