Sunday, February 11, 2007

a weekend in the city (of nottingham)

It was my mum's birthday over the weekend, so I nipped home to Nottingham to surprise her. T'was nice and that.

Well, all except the transport. With the country apparently set to grind to a halt on Friday due to a little bit of snow, I was expecting the worst. Weird then, that that leg of the journey was fine, but for today's planned return every scheduled departure from Nottingham instead seemed to be operating as - and here are the three little words every train traveller dreads to hear - Rail Replacement Buses.

Which meant what should be a nice speedy 1hr 50min train ride home becomes a nasty sounding 3 hour effort. Half an hour into it and I abandon the reading for uni I needed to get done, as that familiar childhood feeling of car sickness sets in. I'm always fine reading on trains, damn it, but car sickness gets me everytime.

To be honest as coach journeys go it wasn't that bad. Instead of reading I listened to three Damien Rice albums on the trot (B-Sides, Live from The Union Chapel, and '9', in case you were interested), which was special enough, but when it's accompanying a journey that's just entered the peak district, and you see some of the lovely, still snow-tinged sights you just don't get treated to along the trains route, and it's all suddenly worthwhile. I even took photos as we drove past, but I doubt they've come out.

I'll stop now, lest I start to sound anything more like a girl.

Actually - talking of buses - I'd only just got used to having CCTV installed in every corner of the damn things. Whilst on my old local service in Nottingham (The West Bridgford No. 10, bus fans), they now have a TV upstairs on the bus, that flicks through the live video streams of every on board camera. Useful for catching the girl downstairs picking her nose, pretty much useless in every other way. Nottingham City Transport clearly has too much money knocking around it's grubby, bulging pockets.


Back to the topic of music then, as people such as the BBC Manchester Blog seem to think I'm an authority on it. Whilst in Nottingham I dropped by to see super-cool bizzare-o-dance band CSS play Rescue Rooms. Here's the review I've just written up for the usual other sources.

Gig Review: CSS, Nottingham Rescue Rooms

Coming on stage covered in black sheets, before leading a mass dance along to 2 Unlimited's 'No Limit'. If the aim is getting people dancing from the off, it's well thought out. If the aim is to endear people to them, it's wildly successful.

The real benefit though, is that Lovefoxxx is in the privileged position of no longer has to work her audience. This is a crowd that would dance to James Blunt were it the lone option. Instead, they're given rare glimpse into the gospel of intelligent, knowing dance music, as written by CSS. Amen to that. 8/10

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