Monthly Archives: July 2007


No, not the classic They Might Be Giants album.

It appears to be a bit wet out there, though I think The Evening Standard is being more alarmist than usual.

Right now many people are working around the clock to try and avoid losing a major national grid switching station to the waters and plunging several hundred thousands into darkness. Unfortunately it would appear that those who were involved in refurbishing it only last year were only too aware that it was built on a flood plain.

‘We will have eight out of 16 circuits transferred by October this year, which puts us bang on target to have the new switching station fully commissioned for the end of 2006. Transferring circuits calls for planned outages. This is timed to ensure that there is no supply disruption to Central Networks customers during the peak winter period. Also the position of the site on the river flood plain presents some challenges for working during winter. The switching station is on raised ground, and the building itself is on stilts, and in one period of heavy rain it became an island surrounded by flood water.’

Perhaps they’ll be raising those stilts before the winter.

Ga^2 for Ga^5

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon (nifty streaming thing for the whole album linked)

I’ve been tracking Spoon since I came accross them on both the Stranger Than Fiction and Veronica Mars soundtracks simultaneously. Aggressively nerdy rockers that they may be they are now past (and ever more present) masters of indie rock experimentation and geek rock. I’d strongly recommend you click through, especially for the my two absolute favourite songs You Got Yr Cherry Bomb and The Underdog which both have some lovely horn action. Somehow they’ve successfully melded their own funky indie on to a much more sixties production like ethic and in so doing they’ve made for me the ultimate successor album for all those of us who got addicted to Camera Obscura’s Let’s Get Out Of This Country. And if you don’t like then I can only quote some lyrics at you and scoff.

You got no fear of the underdog.
That’s why you will not survive.

It’s like a Scotland team anthem! It’s certainly my summer one thanks to the light and breezy production.

Also worth singling out for a mention, if rather haunting, is the track The Ghost Of You Lingers which has a very nifty unofficial video which is almost as good as the official one for The Underdog.

[other folk explaining this better at metacritic]

Le Tour De France 2007

Le Tour De France Prologue 2007

Bikes! lots of them, and all over the roads of London and South-East England. Yes, as you might guess I really enjoyed the Tour’s start here in the capital. Shockingly despite many holidays in France I’d never seen the Tour properly before so it was a spectacle in itself to see a premier league race such as the tour rather than something simpler like The Tour Of Britain.

The Prologue on Saturday had an enormous crowd but thanks to big screens and a lengthy route it was really easy (I thought) to get a spot on the barriers. To describe the Tour experience properly I’d need more photos, but I foolishly failed to charge the batteries in my camera before heading out. First to come past is the publicity caravan which includes this sort of blatant promotional nonsense. Particularly cool was Sea France’s truck-disguised-as-a-ferry which had a remarkably good sounding horn. The most scary thing was the australian themed one with the kangaroo on top which featured a frenchman speaking in an australian accent, or an australian speaking with a french accent depending on which you noticed first. The mad dash people made for the Haribo that reached the crowd bordered on the psychotic.

After that there was lots of riders and some mechanics (wearing their Jeans and looking very out of place) testing out the course before over three hours of rider after rider setting times. The atmosphere was amazing with cheers and applause for every passing rider, and a noticeable roar for every British rider and Tour Hero. David Millar got by far the best roar of anyone, which he clearly sought to reward today with his daring ride. Best of all thanks to all the screens there was applause and cheering all round whenever a new fastest time was set. A special mention to the police who took turns between the French and the British to lead riders round, as my housemate noted our humble plod were in full leathers with high viz jackets whereas the French were in shirtsleeves.

All in all, a great day rounded off nicely with a great depart this morning. I almost feel optimistic about 2012.