Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Apple Reseller to open in Maidstone

Stormfront are opening a store at Maidstone's Fremlin Walk in December.

As an Apple Authorised Premium Reseller, you will be able to try out the latest Mac kit and get some advice from people who know what they are talking about.

So, no reason to go to Bluewater any more.

Stormfront seems a rather unfortunate choice of name for a business, as it is shared by a white supremacist internet forum.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Inflation busting fare increases (again)

On Friday, Southeastern announced its annual rail fare increases, to start on 5 January 2009:

From January next year Southeastern's regulated fares (e.g. season tickets, standard returns) will increase by an average of eight per cent.

This is based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) + three per cent formula set out in our franchise agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT), awarded in April 2006.

It is an average increase, so some fares will rise by less, others by more.

My annual season ticket is one of those that is 'more', at 9.9%.

It would seem that all Southeastern passengers are paying for the high-speed domestic rail link which will start running in December 2009, even if they won't be using it or gaining any benefit from it.

From BBC Kent:

A rail company which is increasing regulated fares by an average of 8% next year - 2% more than the national average - is promising value for money.

Southeastern said the rise was in line with government policy for passengers to pay more and taxpayers to pay less.

The firm was given a different fare calculation because of high-speed services to be launched next year.

From the Evening Standard:
AN MP today warned of riots by rail passengers after fares were increased by more than twice the rate of inflation.
For anyone who has a 'question' for Southeastern's managers, they will be at Cannon Street station on 4 December, from 8am.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

An appeal

At this time of year, spare a thought for those helpless souls who cannot stop playing a certain massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).

They will often blame anyone but themselves, including fellow players and even rock stars:

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

You should have been there

The wife and I went to see Dara O'Briain at Tunbridge Wells on Monday evening. It was the last date of his 103 date tour.

A very funny man indeed, although we were quite pleased that we weren't in front row, as he 'interacted' with several people there. He explained how he sees his audience as a mentor in a recent interview in The Guardian.

If you are wondering why I gave this post a title of 'You should have been there', then well, you should have been there. Then you would know. Or, you could watch the DVD.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Best vegetarian restaurants in London

LondonLite had a feature of vegetarian restaurants in London this week. Saf in particular, sounds very interesting, offering vegan and biological dishes (where food is cooked below 48 degrees C).

I haven't been to any of the restaurants featured, but I have tried Carnavale and The Place Below in the past. Root Master is next my list though, it's a vegan restaurant on an old London Route Master bus (geddit?), near Brick Lane.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Get walking!

walkit.com is a really useful and easy to use site, which will give you walking directions for many large UK cities. Working in London, I have found it useful many times, especially when meeting up with old friends for a drink at some back street boozer or another.

Not only does it tell you the distance, but it will also estimate walking time for fast, medium and slow, and estimated calorie burn and CO2 avoided. There is also an option to get a route that will 'avoid high levels of air pollution'.

Sorry Nic, they don't have Ceredigion on walkit.com yet, although I did notice that Google Maps will provide walking directions as well as driving directions now.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Christmas gift for the discerning Sabbath fan

On Metal Hammer there is news that Black Sabbath Converse Trainers will be on sale in time for Christmas. In the States.
The three different designed trainers are expected to be on shelves in time for Christmas in the States, though no details have been announced for a UK release.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Beautiful tomato

Since 'That's Life' with Esther Rantzen is no longer on TV, where I could have sent this vaguely amusing photo of one of our home grown tomatoes, I've put it on my Flickr page instead.

No promises, but…

I realise that I have been rambling on about Metallica a fair bit the past couple of months, but I think I am just about over the delirium of the new album and the gig at the O2 Arena now. I haven't even listened to Death Magnetic this week!

So, in the vain hope that my reader, will come back and visit again, and even leave a comment or two, I am going to try and write about some other stuff.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Just in case you missed it

This is especially for Nic, as he missed Metallica on 'Later… with Jools Holland' on BBC2 last night.

Interview with Lars:


The Day That Never Comes:

Enter Sandman:

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Death Magnetic launch party at London O2

Me and the missus were lucky enough to get tickets for last night's bash at the London O2 Arena, for Metallica's Death Magnetic launch party. Although our seats were way up in the upper tier, we had a pretty good view and contrary to what some have said the sound was pretty good.

They played a great set, including 5 songs from the new album, a few classics (For Whom The Bell Tolls, Seek and Destroy) and a cover (Stone Cold Crazy). James Hetfield introduced Frantic from the St Anger album, saying something about it being much loved - which raised the odd chuckle from the crowd. It is, as he also said, a great song (probably the best from that album IMHO). The full set list was as follows:
That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
The Thing That Should Not Be
Of Wolf And Man
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Until It Sleeps
Wherever I May Roam
For Whom The Bell Tolls
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
- - - - - - - -
Stone Cold Crazy
Jump In The Fire
Seek and Destroy
Just waiting for the download to become available now, a much better souvenir of the night than a 20GBP t-shirt.

Death Magnetic has also reached No. 1 in the UK album chart.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Geezer Butler slams 'Hypocrite' Sarah Palin

I meant to post this (from Blabbermouth) a while back, but left it as a draft and forgot about it…
Now back to reality. As you may know from my web site and lyrics, I am pro all life, not just unborn fetuses. I don't understand people who say they are pro-life, but then support unnecessary wars and the disgusting slaughter of animals for sport. I respect people's freedom of religion, but I absolutely abhor hypocrites. Which brings me to this horrific video [see below] of cowardly bastards in airplanes, shooting wolves for so-called 'sport,' and the hypocritical politician [referring to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin] [she's supposed to be pro-life, remember], who allows this cowardly act to take place in her state.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Metallica - video premiere

It's midnight here at HQ and we are incredibly proud to present you with the debut of "The Day That Never Comes" ...not so much the standard video fare, but what we like to think of as a short film.
The video can be viewed at Metallica.com. The song is fantastic (the band are back to their old form, in my opinion) and video has a pretty tense ending.

The album Death Magnetic, is out on 12 September and the band will be playing two shows - in Berlin on 12 September and London on 15 September. Tickets which went on sale this week to MetClub members and Mission Metallica members are available for 10euro and 5GBP. I'm going to try my luck tomorrow, but don't hold out much hope!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Iron Maiden - 'Maiden Heaven'

Iron Maiden invited 15 of their favourite bands to record covers of Iron Maiden songs for a tribute CD to be given away with Kerrang! with the 19 July issue.

Kerrang! ran a competition for its readers to design cover artwork for the CD. The competition was won by Felipe Franco of Bogota, Colombia.

Machine Head who recorded Hallowed Be Thy Name for the CD, played it at the Rock in Rio festival in Portugal on 5 June.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Metallica: the new album title

After a week or so of teasing us with images of new artwork, adding a couple of letters each day, Metallica have announced the title for their 9th studio album - Death Magnetic. It's due for release in September.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


Ever wanted to generate your very own hysteria inducing headings, just like the Daily Mail? Well you can now with Daily Mail-o-matic, a handy little widget created by Chris Applegate.
I was going to give the generator a sophisticated grammar for more varied sentences, until I realised the Mail’s grammar is nearly always the same.
Why not also try the David Blunkett policy maker, Michael Howard Sings The Smiths, or Alastair Campbell’s Wheel of Retribution?

Harry Hill goes back to school

Yesterday Harry Hill paid a visit to his old primary school in Kent, to help with a campaign to get their playing field back. BBC South East today report here.

Staplehurst School has been without a playing field for two years, since it sold some land to the local PCT for a new medical centre to be built. During this time the children have not had a sports day.

The field has been fenced off after work to improve the drainage was inspected and ruled unsafe. Google Maps shows the drainage work quite clearly.

Harry hoped to return for sports day when everything was sorted:
Maybe, who knows, I could race someone at the egg and spoon race as that was my particular area of expertise.

Monk On Fire!

Balakov's photostream 'Classics in Lego' has some great recreations of iconic images from the 20th century, all made from Lego, including Monk On Fire:
Another tough decision of whether to use the smiley face or not.
There is also a recreation of Martin Elliott's 1976 Tennis Girl.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

New Metallica album - what to expect

Metal Hammer have heard most of the pre-mastered version of the forthcoming, as yet untitled, Metallica album.
Is it St Anger? No.

Does it suck? Fuck no!

Are the solos back? Fuck yes!

There are no individual song titles for the ten track, 75 minute album, but it is being referred to as 'nine epics and one song'.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The Dads are alright!

Punks Not Dad recently played their second gig at the Barfly, Cardiff. Photos and a couple of videos are on the website, where you can also hear their new 50 quid E.P. 'Allen Key in the UK'.
The kids don't understand us,
They think we're full of sh*te
But we are The Dads,

"They're really good. And they're really skiffle…"

In The Observer newspaper this week, Mark Kermode wrote of his 20-year love affair with the joy of skiffle and mentioned how he met Railroad Bill while travelling with his own band, the Railtown Bottlers:
On our travels we met up with other street skiffle acts like the terrific Railroad Bill, sharing tips on how to play the kazoo, and swapping carnival huckster spiel for working a busking crowd…
…'The real thing is on our site,' wrote Dan from Railroad Bill, and indeed it is. If you go to skiffle.co.uk you can see Railroad Bill ('Lonnie Donegan on speed') leaping around with tea-chest, washboard, saw, ukulele, kazoo and (in one instance) a ripping roll of Sellotape. They're really good. And they're really skiffle…
Check out their myspace page for tour dates and music.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

New Heaven & Hell studio album in 2009

On Black-Sabbath.com there is news of Dio years Sabbath box set, called 'Rules of Hell'. But more interestingly:
Two years ago, Dio, Iommi and Butler and drummer Vinny Appice reunited to record a trio of new songs for Rhino’s Black Sabbath: The Dio Years before launching a highly anticipated and greatly acclaimed world tour under their new moniker Heaven & Hell. Revitalized by the reunion, the lineup is back in the studio now recording the first ever full-length studio album from Heaven & Hell, set to be released by Rhino in early 2009.

Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity 2008

Vote for the World's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity at PETA UK.
Last year's winners were Russell Brand and Fiona Phillips, and this year, they compete again with other celebrity favourites like actor and vegan shoe designer Natalie Portman, Celebrity Big Brother contestant Traci Bingham, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and Spiderman cutie Tobey Maguire.
I don't know about any of them, but Natalie Portman and Geezer Butler are getting my vote.

Lemmy: the movie

Metal Hammer - News Article:

Director/producers Greg Oliver and Wes Orshoski have revealed that they plan to make a movie of Lemmy's life.

The movie will be a documentary entitled, wait for it, Lemmy: The Movie and will feature testimonials from Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper, Steve Vai and WWE Superstar Triple H. A 2009 release date is expected.

What, no testimonial from Dave Brock?

Friday, 16 May 2008

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I stumbled across this on Morfablog just now. Nic was Wesley Crusher, but I'm not sure what else he had to say about. I clicked on the link anyway, and found myself taking the test:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Samwise Gamgee
A brave and loyal associate full of optimism, you remain true to your friends and their efforts, to whatever end.

But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.

Samwise is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about him at TheOneRing.net.

I am quite happy with that, as it happens.

No Good Boyo

No, not me, cheeky.

This No Good Boyo, by here. Tickles my funny bone to the "stuff comes out of nose" point. As does Mrs Boyo's blog, The Daily Scorch.

While I'm here (you don't mind, do you?), I think you might enjoy Sanddef's selection from the Uncyclopedia entry in the Welsh language, which has the merest whiff of satire about it. I quote:

Similarly, in order to promote the feigned existence of the Welsh language, whenever an Englishman walks into a pub in Wales, the Welsh stop speaking English and make up words instead. To try and appeal to the English speaking masses a new Welsh Dictonary was released in 2006 under the title How To Cheat in Big Brother.

Cripes, blogging in two languages at once! And I haven't even cancelled my Warcraft subscription.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Let's Go!

From Metal Hammer:

Mike Patton has bared the first fruits of his labour with Dan The Automater online.

The versatile duo has been working on the collaboration for some time and this is the first taster of the project that they've called Crudo.

You can here Let's Go on Crudo's MySpace page.

Morfablog - the second coming

Good news Cymreig fans! He's back in business! Nic has fired up Morfablog again! And it's really green.


Last night Metallica played a gig at at the Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles as part of the Silverlake Conservatory's annual benefit show, to just 2,000 fans. The Silverlake Conservatory, set up by Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, is a music school for kids. Flea joined the band near the end of their set for a rendition of 'Fight Fire With Fire'. Fan shot Youtube clip:

Meanwhile, legendary Rock photographer Ross Halfin has also spent some time with the band. Photos from the sound check for last night's gig are here.

Finally, the Mission: Metallica website went live on Monday. Not much on it yet, a trailer and a preview which has snippets of some new stuff - which sounds very promising.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

'Angel of the South' designs revealed

Five designs for a sculpture to be situated on a hill near Ebbsfleet in Kent have been unveiled.

They are:
  • Mark Wallinger's 33 times life-size white horse
  • Rachel Whiteread's recycled mountain, topped with life-size cast interior of a house
  • Richard Deacon's nest of interconnecting steel frame polyhedrons
  • Daniel Buren's tower of stacked cubes with single laser beam of light passing through it
  • Christopher Le Brun's monumental wing and disc
BBC Report here and pictures here.

The £2 million Ebbsfleet Landmark has been commissioned by Eurostar, London & Continental Railways and Land Securities, the developers of Ebbsfleet Valley.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Black Sabbath: Master Of Reality' book

A new book in the '331/3' series is available on Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality'. Report on BLABBERMOUTH.NET.

This is going on my Amazon Wishlist.

Headbangers set to invade Prestatyn Sands

Pontins at Prestatyn Sands is to host the Hard Rock Hell II Festival this December. Budgie and Hawkwind confirmed to play. Report on BLABBERMOUTH.NET.

Over to you Nic.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Lonnie Donegan on Speed...

…is how Railroad Bill describe themselves on their Myspace page - go listen to a tune or two and check out the forthcoming gigs.

Back in February, they went to the legendary Toerag recording studios in London. Chris (tea chest bass supremo) has kindly put some footage up on Youtube for our viewing pleasure.


What with all the building work going on around the City of London at the moment, paths are in a pretty poor state in places.

Today, I happened to step on a loose paving slab and got a jet of muddy water up my trouser leg.

Crossway - house of the future

Crossway in Staplehurst, Kent is the dream home of architect Richard Hawkes:
Design with a conscience…

A house in Staplehurst, Kent that rejects the faceless vanity of contemporary architecture borne of a relentless lifestyle industry in place of design that explores the uniqueness of 'place'..

Crossway demonstrates how contemporary design can celebrate local materials and crafts to produce a highly efficient building that sits lightly on the Earth

When completed it will utilise cutting edge technologies for heat and energy and grey water storage and underground rain water storage for irrigation and reuse.
Richard's blog has some interesting articles on sustainable living and has regular updates on the progress of the build.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Metallica: New album in October?

Amazon.com is currently listing an October 28, 2008 release date for the new METALLICA album. It should be noted, however, that this information has not yet been corroborated by the band or the group's record label, Warner Bros. Music.

Metallica have also set up a website inviting fans to 'Experience the Album…before it's done'. Due to go live in May, interested fans can submit their email address to a mailing list.

And over on Kerrang.com there is a report that Lars Ulrich has hinted that Metallica may make the new album available for digital download, along the lines that Nine Inch Nails took with their Ghosts I-IV album.
"We're looking at how we can embrace everything," Ulrich told Rolling Stone. "We want to be as free players as possible. We've been observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor and in 27 years or however long it takes for the next record, we'll be looking forward to everything in terms of possibilities with the internet."

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Vegan chocolate brownies

I found this recipe on the BBC Food website recently and tried it out at the weekend. They are different to brownies made using eggs, but they are very nice nonetheless.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

How to be Metal

After all, it doesn't hurt to be reminded.

Thanks to Nic for this:

Warning, this clip does contain some rather 'fruity' language, which may offend some viewers.

Morfablog 2001 - 2008

It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to Morfablog, which has finally logged off after 7 years of engaging and beautifully written Welsh language (and occasional English) blogging.

Not being a Welsh speaker, I had not idea what Nic was writing about much of the time, but that often added to the fun.

RIP Morfablog, long live nicdafis.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Metallica UK show

Metallica.com: "SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH......"
Don't tell anyone, but another tour announcement is coming Monday. Stay tuned!

Could this have anything to do with the Reading and Leeds Festival tickets going on sale today?

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Scars on Broadway track

System of a Down's guitarist, Daron Malakian, has made the 1st track from his new band, Scars on Broadway, available on the band's website. It is called 'They Say'. System's drummer, John Dolmayan, is also in the band.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


I shall be putting this on my wish list for my birthday.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Sabbath reunion. Is it on or off?

Kerrang! Ozzy on the Sabbath reunion
You know what, if it happens, it happens, if it don't, it don't," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "They're [saying], 'I'll be able to do it', then a week after, you get a phone call, 'it's off'.

I'm glad at the end of the day we all made friends again.

And so am I.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

"All you can eat" iTunes

MacUser: Apple to offer "all you can eat" iTunes with premium iPods
In return for paying a premium price for iPods, Apple is set to offer customers unlimited access to the iTunes store.
Apple executives claim customers would be willing to pay $100 (around £50) extra for their iPod or iPhone if it gave them "all you can eat" access to the iTunes library for the "lifetime of the device", according to a report in the Financial Times.

The report also says that it is believed that Apple is considering a monthly subscription for iPhone owners:
who could have a $8 (£4) fee added to their monthly phone bill. Subscription customers would be allowed to keep "40 or 50" tracks per year, even after their subscription has lapsed.

Negotiations between Apple and leading record labels is currently taking place.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Mac News

On MacWorld UK today
The Open University has promised to be more Mac and Linux friendly, following protests from students and a petition demanding support for non-Microsoft systems. The OU says:
The Open University is committed to supporting Mac users and also users of other platforms such as Linux in all future activity.

Apple has filed patents that suggest it is considering a smaller clamshell iPhone.
The newly-disclosed patent application waas filed in the US in September 2006. It shows a device that’s around half the size of current generation iPhones, featuring a transparent dual-sihttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifded touch sensitive trackpad cover. The patent says both sides of the cover can be controlled at once.

And on AppleInsider
Apple snags 14 percent of US-based PC retail sales in February

Friday, 14 March 2008

'A Silly Man In A Silly Wig'




I had hoped that by West Coast they meant Devon. So, no dates in the UK at the moment. Shame really, as I saw them in Brighton in the '80s and thought they were really rather good.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Ozzfest 2008 to hit London in July?

Kerrang! reports that there is strong rumour that Ozzfest will be coming to London's O2 Arena on 19 July.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Serj interview on NZ TV3

Blabbermouth - interview with Serj Tankian on New Zealand's TV3.

The Tygers are back!

Blabbermouth reported on the Tygers of Pan Tang's forthcoming new album, Animal Instinct, with tentative track listing and some footage from a recent gig:

Looks like Rob Weir on guitar is the only original member left.

Thou shalt not get stoned

guardian.co.uk - researcher claims Moses was stoned when he set Ten Commandments.
According to Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, psychedelic drugs formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times.

Speaking about his article on Israeli public radio, he added: "As far as Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don't believe, or a legend, which I don't believe either. Or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics."

Metallica album in September

BLABBERMOUTH.NET - Lars Ulrich says new Metallica Album 'should' be released in September. Interviewed on Bruce Dickinson's weekly BBC 6 Music radio show, Ulrich said:
We're just finishing up a record, we've got six weeks left and it should be out in September, that's the idea right now.

I like it and I'm one of METALLICA's harshest critics. So far it feels pretty good but there's still plenty of time to fuck it up, so let's see what happens.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Metallica to reissue on vinyl

Metallica are going to reissue their back catalogue. On vinyl!
While we're finishing up the new album, we told the dudes at the record company we thought it might be cool to dust off the old tapes and get all retro with some vinyl re-releases...

The first two albums, Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning are scheduled for release on 15 April in the US and soon after the rest of the world.
There will be two versions...one like the original on a single disc spinning at 33 1/3, the other a two disc, 180 gram vinyl, 45 rpm package all in a double gatefold. The music was half speed mastered from the original analog tapes at Mobile Fidelity to bring you audiophile quality.

I still have all the early Metallica albums on vinyl, sitting in a box in our wardrobe, including a double gatefold reissue of Master of Puppets.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

This is why I don't watch Eurovision

Although, I think England will struggle to come up with something better.

Thanks again to Simon for this.

Tell 'em about the honey, mummy

BLABBERMOUTH.NET - OZZY OSBOURNE Addicted To UK Breakfast Cereal 'Sugar Puffs'?

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Forget Top Cat…

…here's the Sabs

Thanks to Simon for this one!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Don't hold your breath

From BLABBERMOUTH.NET - System of a Down guitarist, Daron Malakian, has told MTV.com that Scars On Broadway, the band he formed with SOAD drummer, John Dolmayan, is not a side project:
There's no talk of SYSTEM doing anything," Malakian told MTV.com. "We're not planning on doing anything. If anyone's holding their breath for a SYSTEM record, they're going to turn blue and pass out. It's a long ways away, if it ever even happens. We don't even talk about it — none of us. This is my band right now.
The Scars On Broadway album is due for release after the summer.

Well, what do you know?

MacUser: News: BBC on iTunes

Monday, 18 February 2008

Auntie stays mum about iTunes

MacUser today:
Apple and the BBC have declined to comment on a report that claims that BBC TV programmes will be available from next week on the iTunes Store.
It would certainly get around iPlayer's limitations on the download service being Windows only.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Green books from DK

The Bookseller reported today that Dorling Kindersley is leading the way ahead in ethical and environmental publishing with a new range of books. The Made with Care series aims:
…to represent publishing best practice on a wide range of green and ethical standards. The books will have no jackets, instead featuring unbleached board covers that are 100% recycled.

They will be printed on FSC-certified paper, use vegetable inks and environmentally friendly glues, and be bound using energy-saving "in-line binding".
Okay, unless you work in publishing, you may not find this as interesting as I do.

Punks not what?

Punks Not Dad hail from Cardiff and was formed by anarchic dads and members of Railroad Bill, legendary Skiffle group from the area.

From Morfablog a couple of weeks back:
Some men buy motor bikes, some have unfortunate dalliances with younger women; Chris and Dan form a punk band.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Vegan Chocolate Torte

This is gorgeous and it is vegan! Recipe is from Rose Elliot's Vegan Feasts.
Serves 8-10
For the base
100 g/31/2 oz/ generous 1/2 cup vegan plain chocolate (bittersweet chocolate)
175 g/6 oz/2 cups vegan digestive biscuits (Graham crackers)
For the top layer
200 g/7 oz generous cup vegan plain chocolate (bitter-sweet chocolate)
2x125-ml/4-fl oz packets soya cream (Elmlea works well too, helps it set better too)
1 tablespoon rum
chocolate curls and/or icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), to decorate, optional
  1. First, make the base. Break the chocolate into pieces and put them into a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, the bottom of the bowl above the surface of the water, and leave for a few minutes, until the chocolate has melted.
  2. Meanwhile put the digestive biscuits (Graham crackers) into a polythene bag and crush with a rolling pin to make crumbs. Put these into a bowl and add the melted chocolate. Mix well, then press into the base of a 21-cm/81/2 inch loose-bottomed cake tin (cake pan). Chill in the fridge while you make the top layer.
  3. Break the remaining chocolate into the bowl in which you melted the chocolate for the, base and melt over simmering water as before.
  4. Add the soya cream and rum to the chocolate, then whisk thoroughly until the mixture has cooled and thickened a little. Pour on top of the base and smooth the top.
  5. Cover the top of the tin with foil or a plate then chill for at least 3 hours. It must chill thoroughly – 12-24 hours is not too long – and make sure it is well covered so that it doesn't pick up any flavours from the fridge.
  6. When you are ready to serve, remove the sides of the tin (pan), leaving the Torte on the base, then slide it – still on its base for safety – onto a serving dish. Decorate with chocolate curls and/or a sifting of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), if using.

Two Bean Chilli

I've just made a pan of veggie chilli for our dinner tomorrow. I've started using a couple of varieties of beans instead of brown lentils and kidney beans, or VeggieMince and kidney beans.
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, diced
250g mushrooms, quartered
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Tomato puree
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin pinto beans
200ml vegetable stock, mixed with large tsp of Marmite

  1. Fry the onion until soft, add the garlic, spices and herbs and cook for 1 minute
  2. Add the diced pepper and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms and continue to stir fry for a few minutes
  3. Add the tomatoes, puree, beans and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with some rice or whatever else takes your fancy…tortillas, jacket potato…
You can use as many varieties of beans as you like, really.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Update from Lars - update

This week Metal Hammer says:
reports that the release of METALLICA's new album has been delayed again, according to the band's record label. The band's ninth studio CD is now expected to hit the stores in September. Originally METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said it would be out in February, then the release was pushed back to April.
Good grief!

Update: Justpressplay has this update from the record label:
Update (1.23.08): In response to Stereo Warning's previous news bite, Metallica management told The Pulse of Radio that the disc has not been "delayed" since there "has never been an actual release date." As for when the record was likely to surface, the representative said, "It will be out when it's ready."
Many are saying that the last time the band spent this long in the studio, they released the Black album. I was hoping for something more like Master of Puppets myself.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Oh yes I did!

I went to see Stephen Fry's production of Cinderella at the Old Vic last night. It was very, very funny and had a large helping of double entendres and innuendo, some very camp moments, a couple of very ugly sisters and lots of singing and dancing. Just what panto is all about.
Take your seats for the perfect evening of family Christmas fun in this sparkling tale of magic, midnight and mischief: jam-packed with laughter, cross-dressing, singing, shoes, envy, dancing and cake. And of course love, the truest purest love you could ever wish for.
The only problem was, I had to leave early and miss the last twenty minutes, thanks to Southeastern trains. Network Rail were doing late night engineering work, which meant that if I had stayed until the end of the show, it would have taken me two hours to get home instead of the usual hour. The last hour of the journey would have been by replacement bus service, which didn't really appeal.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The Bolties are recording too!

Brit Death Metal outfit Bolt Thrower are currently writing material for a new album:
If you're wondering why there hasn't been a lot of BT news for a while, that's because we are still in writing mode for the new album, which we plan to record in the summer. And during the break between the recording and mixing of the album, we will play our only festival of the year.
Unfortunately, the festival happens to be Party.San Metal Open Air Festival in Bad Berka, Germany on 7-9th August. Hopefully, they'll a few UK dates to promote the album.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Metallica for Reading 08?

Metal Hammer reported that there are rumours that Metallica and Rage Against the Machine may be playing The Reading and Leeds Festival this year:

Here are some rumours we've heard with regards to who might be playing the Reading/Leeds festivals this year.

Reading Festival - Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th August 2008
Main Stage >> Friday 22 August >> Rage Against The Machine - strong rumour
Metallica - strong rumour >> unknown day
My Chemical Romance - rumour >> unknown stage >> unknown day
NoFX - strong rumour

New goodies from Apple

At the Macworld Expo in San Francisco today, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled some new goodies from Apple.

First up is MacBook Air, an ultra thin notebook, which has been rumoured for some time. It is an amazing piece of kit featuring 13.3 wide screen LED back lit display, multi touch track pad, 2GB RAM, 80GB and is just 1.94cm thin. There is no optical drive, but as it is a wireless device, you won't need one much of the time. If you do need one, you can buy an external SuperDrive or use a new feature called Remote Disc, which enables you to access a CD or DVD on a remote Mac or PC.

You'll need to fork out £1,199 for the 1.6GHz machine, or if you are feeling particularly frivolous, you can spend £2,028 the 1.8GHz version with a 64GB solid state drive.

Other new stuff announced included Time Capsule – automatic wireless backup for your Mac, software updates for the iPhone and iPod Touch, iTunes Movie Rental (available in US only at present) and an updated AppleTV.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Update from Lars

According to Metal Hammer, the February issue of Revolver Magazine has an interview with Lars Ulrich, who talks about the forthcoming new Metallica album:
There's a lot of light and shade in these songs. There's heavy, fast, nutty stuff, and then there's some slowdowns and musical interludes. It's pretty different from 'St. Anger', and it's pretty different from the 'Load' stuff. This stuff is not the one-dimensional punch in the face that 'St. Anger' was.
Okay, let's have less talking about it, and get the damn thing out!

Heaven and Hell to write new album

Metal Hammer reported that Artisan News Service has three video clips of an interview with Heaven and Hell's Drummer, Vinnie Appice. He confirms that Heaven and Hell are to record a new studio album in 2008. He also has this to say about the rest of the band:
Those guys are, like, I mean it doesn't get much heavier than playing with Tony and Geezer," he said. "Tony on this side and Geezer on this side, it's just a wall of sound. And then you got Dio, who manages to sing over all that, it's just totally incredible. I'm in heaven...and hell.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Metal at 40

Metal at 40 - Tells the story of the loudest and darkest form of rock.
BBC Radio 4 documentary broadcast this week, available on Listen Again.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The mob rules!

As mentioned a while back, I put the Heaven and Hell Live From Radio City Hall DVD/CD box set on my Amazon wish list for Christmas. I got it too!

It is really rather good. Mr Dio rambles on a bit in between songs and says 'bloody' in a faux brummy accent a couple times, but the music is first class. All the Dio era Sabbath classics are there - Neon Knights, Die Young and Falling Off the Edge of World. Sorry, but the live version of Heaven and Hell, although a great song, always goes on too long for my liking. The three new songs from the compilation that came out last year are also here - The Devil Cried, Shadow Of The Wind, Ear In The Wall.

The quality of concert footage on the DVD is great, but I haven't had a chance to check out the extras yet (Heaven and Hell Road Movie, Hail the Gods of Metal, Meet the Mob and Radio City). I'll let you know.

Included in the box are photos of the band, a poster and a replica back stage pass from the concert.

'But what do you eat for Christmas dinner?'

This is a question often asked of vegetarians at Christmas. Of course, you cannot beat a good nut roast, but I always try and find something different to serve for Christmas dinner.

This year, I found a great recipe on the Tesco Magazine website for Moroccan Vegetable Nut Roast. It was pretty easy to make, very tasty and went surprisingly well with my Dad's home grown Brussels sprouts!

Apologies for the quality of the photo, I'd had a bit to drink.