Friday, September 30, 2005

Me again! Time passes by and the jobs still need to be done! Working from home today so that I can do some more DIY later, rather than spend hald the day on the train.

Still pulling New York trip together. Managed to get good ticket for the Monday night so will see U2 twice now at Madison Square Gardens. Could be greedy and go Friday as well but I have a very good friend flying over to see me whilst I am in New York so hopefully Friday night will be a meal, a few beers, and a few laughs, and then Saturday night (hopefully) he will be coming to see U2 with me. Trying to sort out my itinary whilst there. Had Saturday planned until realised England v Austria on at 10am so need to re-think how I can spend some time in a bar watching game whilst still doing what was planned.

Started listening to U2 back catalogue just to remind myself what I can expect. As for the show itself, guess it will be a bit smaller than the last time I saw them.

Short video clip of Michael at GB 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A week seems to have passed since my last blog. That's the trouble with being on holiday - never have time for the really important things. Last few days been spent primarily gardening and painting. Also managed a quick trip to Norwich - don't go there enough as it is a really nice city - easy to walk around with lots of interesting streets and alley ways. It's also a horrible drive though - I like to get everywhere around here in 20m max so 45 minutes is not a favoured journey.

Tonight it's the Walsingham quiz night for the locals - I think I just count as one. Head buzzing at the moment with promotional ideas for MMc but so little time to sort them out before the new job. I need to be disciplined and finish all the cottage DIY so I can sit down and do some serious work.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The deed is done as they say. I received a letter yesterday from work agreeing to release me early at the end of October. So today I posted off signed contracts to my new employer.

I can officially announce here first that I will be joining First Group's Rail Division to take up a new role of Business Development Manager - don't know where it will all lead to but I'm excited by the chance of a new challenge. Just hope the wife doesn't see this as an excuse to buy me an anorak for Christmas.

Been at home today, on holiday next week. Looks like I will do a 3 day in the office from now on. Off to the Big Apple in 3 weeks to see U2 and Bruce Springsteen, as well as the new Mony Python musical Spamalot. Mixture of excitement and trepidation about this trip. I will be on my own so will be very lonely without Helen - longest we will have been apart for some time - apart from Greenbelt over the years. More on this trip at a later date. Just finished writing up article for Michael McDermott's newsletter and sorting photos to go in it. Need to think about a gimic such as secret link to another Borderline song somewhere on the web.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Junkie Girl - Michael Live at Borderline

Michael McDermott - Live at the Borderline - response to Katrina aid situation

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Finally some news worthy of blogging about - my brother is getting married! Rang me yesterday to tell me the news - can't say I was too surprised but still good to hear. Will be an interesting occassion as half the guests will be BBC correspondents so if there is anything big going on next March it could be an empty church as they'll all be elsewhere! I'm assuming my brother is planning to ensure that he will no be sent away 3 days before the big day.

I read in the paper today about the big stores getting into trouble because of overcharging for the use of their store cards. The Competition Commission is unhappy because they charge about 30% compared to normal bank rate of 18%, making about £100m a year in extra profit. At the same time the banks tend to back most of these cards anyway. The Commission harks on about the rate being too high, but in doing so seems to have completely missed the point. The reason for such a high rate is that the stores don't really care too much who applies for a card and therefore the risk is much higher - hence the higher interest charge.

The focus should have been on why it is so easy in the first place to get a store card. It is a classic example of consumerism out of control - stores are perfectly happy for you to rack up £5k of debt with the risk of not being able to pay - yet if you get caught for shop-lifting they will prosecute. Not saying I condone shop lifting, more a case of the stores condoning people obtaining goods that cannot be paid for. Controls for obtaining cards should be made much tighter - in the same way you (used to) can only get a mortgage 3 times annual salary there needs to be much tighter credit control. Store cards in theory should not even be required - they are more expensive than a credit card - and if you can't afford to purchase via VISA etc then you should not be allowed to use a store card instead. I've seen too many people struggle in their lives because of debt - about time someone did something to stop it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

According to Mr Blogger I cannot update my blogs as security settings too high - so using modern technology I have had to log onto my work PC from home and access via that instead - wonderful!
Got London house sprayed today for carpet beetle and stuck old wardrobes in front of garage. Usually a quicker way to get rid of them than wait for council as people just come and help themselves! My way of doing something for the community!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sitting here waiting to see if the power goes off. Lights been flickering all night - you get a lot of power cuts in North Norfolk, especially when a storm is brewing.

Went to look at house today - along with half of London it seemed. Think will sell for too high a price as people just don't realise how much it costs to renovate a place. At a guess minimum £70-80k of work needed to fully restore it.

Put my God Daughter Eve on the web this evening, setting her up with a blog page. We've been building a web site for her but I've been a bit busy lately so thought I should give her something in the interim.

Football a damp squib, bit like the cricket.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Nipped next door to work today to the dentist - fortunately just to get some tooth string. I have a serious hate of dentists due to to many hours spent under the drill when young, having mixture of wisdom teeth, nerve ends and other teeth removed. But it occurred to me when I was in the reception area today, looking at the unsuspecting victims sitting there as they waited to enter the chamber of horrors, how life could be made much easier by preparing them for their pending doom. Why not install CCTV with surround sound, live from the dentist chair. they could see what's coming, and become aclimatised to what is about to follow. Or is this the equivalent of selling ice making machines to eskimos?

I was reminded today of a slightly bizarre incident after the Borderline gig last week. I'd gone back stage to get Michael to sign some CDs only to be told I couldn't enter the dressing room. Immediate thought is "typical rock star must havew a woman in there". In fact it was a man! The story goes that someone at the gig had recently seperated from their wife and she had taken a copy of 620 W.Surf, his first album. The title track meant a great deal to this bloke. So Michael, being Michael, sat in the dressing room and sang the song so that the guy could record it on his mobile or such like. Wonder how many people would do this immediately after a show.

The good news is that the carpets are now all gone - and I'm knackered. Also means I can spend all day in the office tomorrow - my constant disappearing act will get noticed one of these days.

Cricket causing me problems. Being half Australian I've always supported Australia in cricket (and maybe football as well in the future after yesterday) so never sure whether happy or not when wickets fell today. Given way I ran down the stairs each time to watch TV I guess I'm still rooting for the Aussies!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Well the downstairs carpets are out and by the end of today the upstairs too - I hope! Feel lucky having more than one house but trying to get all the jobs done at the moment requires a time and patience. Gas man here today to do boiler service, yesterday the house in Liverpool had the gas man round to quote for new boiler, next week London house sprayed for carpet beetle(!) then have to find new carpets, get the place redecorated, as does Liverpool. And Norfolk is a full time job! Going to see a house near to cottage at weekend to see if it might fit into Emmerson portfolio so must enjoy the challenge!

I'm also still busy with McDermott stuff with some follow ups with radio stations and sorting out the Borderline recording which is being edited for future promo work. And then there's discussion of a tour next year.

Must remember to finalise itinary for New York. Saw today Springsteen doing a solo gig in NY whilst there on Sunday night so will have to try and get ticket.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I can see now why so many people struggle to keep their blog page updated on a regular basis. Last few days have blown by. The Michael McDermott gig at the Borderline went really well. A really nice audience with people from as far as Spain and Norway to see him play. I've been listening to a recording of the gig, amazed at the the passion and energy he puts into it. Should also say that Brian Houston was on top form. He's such a good songwriter and deserves to be heard more widely. Will post some phots when I have time.

Turned out to be a relatively early night after the gig as Michael and Bob were flying back to Chicago the next day and I think a week of English hospitality had exhausted them. Just time for a couple of drinks in the bar with Ross who manages Brant Christopher over here. I'm looking at options for them doing a short tour over here next year, possibly with one other artist. I also need to spend some time working out where Michael could/should play next year - Wychwood and Cambridge Folk Festival being the 2 I would love to fix up - along with Greenbelt if they'll have him back. Before then though he needs to get more air play in UK on the likes of Bob Harris show. And the new album comes out early next year which will present further opportunities. He also has a life in Chicago!

Yesterday I finished series of sessions with consultant who has been advicing me on my future career path - found it very helpful - redundancy has its advantages as you get paid to go on lots of courses. Hopefully later this week I will manage to get new job finalised. It will be good to have some certainty ahead of me. Now all I need to do today is sort out London house - had hoped someone was going to remove carpets for me but turns out their insurance won't allow it so looks like a job for me instead!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

After a long weekend (well Friday Night to Sunday afternoon) at the Greenbelt Festival, clocking up my 28th visit it's back to normality - whatever that may be.

Felt strange having to leave so early but was part of the deal with Helen so that she can cope with me disappearing in October to New York to see U2 at MSG. Felt There was so much I had not seen that I wanted to. Heard from others how great Kendall Payne was and really wished I'd seen her. Will have to go and buy CDs instead. The great thing with venue managing Cabaret and Centaur in the past is that you get all the top acts so despite the long hours it's hard to get bored. Any spare time this year was spent walking around the site (which seemed to have doubled in size) talking to Venue Managers and basically observing how things were being done. It's been a long term plan of mine to write a report on how the festival uses its different venues and looks like I will finally get it done.

On the plus side I spent a couple of days hold-up with Michael McDermott and his business advisor Bob. Two nicer people you could not wish to meet. I'll have to blog another time about how Michael ended up at the festival, but for me it was a very special treat seeing one of my musical heroes finally make an appearance after 15 years since he first appeared on Chicago music scene. It's been a long time since I was involved in promotion work and I'd forgotten just how hard it can be. Seeing the audience shouting for "more" made it all worthwhile though. The festival and Michael has given me a lot over the years so it was nice to give something back.

Tonight we step into the complete unknown. A headline gig at the Borderline with Brian Houston as support. Bit of a gamble playing this venue but Michael wanted it so much that seemed hard to refuse fixing it! Hopefully will be a reasonable crowd as it's always nice to get invited back. Last couple of weeks have been spent plugging the gig. Never easy promoting someone who has never played in the UK before now and few will have heard of over here. Hopefully next 12 months will correct that - the new album due out in January/February has the potential to be a big seller in the States. Make a change to have people ringing me up, rather than me chasing them!

Tomorrow back to normality - Michael & Bob fly home and I have to spend some time in London sorting house out so that we can have new carpets fitted before we come home at the end of October.

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