Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Pictures from the second PodCrawl

Pictures of the second Podcrawl in London, June 2008.

A Wail of a Time

First posted on The Grumbler - January 16th 2008

It’s a grim Tuesday morning, and I’m huddled in a crusty, rusty, freezing-cold and rattling old train – peering through the steamed-up windows I can see sheets of rain lashing mercilessly against the steel grey landscape. I’m heading towards London, and I’m assaulted by a wave of memories of a score or so years ago, when my younger and less curmudgeonly self dragged itself into the capital for work every day. I thank a veritable host of deities (including Jah, Shiva and Catweazle) that I don’t have to do that any more – the very idea makes the tarnished remnants of my soul shrivel inside me. I wonder if Beelzebub likes prunes?

There’s another difference in the journeys now and then… 20 years ago I was comfortably numbed by cassettes of Pink Floyd played on my trusty Walkman. Now, I’m being shocked awake by a bewildering assortment of fantastic new music via a series of Podcasts on my iPod.

This journey has an undeniably more palatable purpose than work. I’m going to meet with my old mate Pete ‘Codger’ Cogle, host of PC Podcast, and three other podcasters - Peter ‘the Kid’ Clitheroe from Suffolk ‘n Cool; Rowley Cutler from Dark Compass and Colin Gazely from Ourobouros.

I’ve not had the chance to meet these last three guys before, but I’ve been listening to them for long enough that they already seem familiar to me – an odd situation, because (even if they’ve been reading my blog) I’ll likely be an unknown quantity as far as they are concerned. By lunchtime, this is no longer a concern to me; we’re all sitting comfortably in the Sussex in Covent Garden, each with a pint of (hideously expensive) Spitfire ale, yapping away like we’ve all known each other for years. I venture to suggest that if a bunch of whales is called a ‘pod’, then the collective noun for podcasters ought to be a Wail - and this meets with general approval. Mind you, with the amount of cackling going on, an external observer might have chosen a ‘coven’.

I wont bore you with a transcript of our drunken ramblings, though I have to award quote of the day to Mr Clitheroe who, when I told him I had listened to his entire ‘back catalogue’, informed us that he’r rather go through the Codger’s back passage than through his back catalogue…

You can see us at the top of this post and, provided that the Codger managed to hit the record button at some point during the day, you can probably hear us on PC Podcast (Wednesday 23rd, I would imagine).

A little review of the podcasts themselves won’t go amiss here…

Dark Compass – despite Rowley’s site getting a vast number of hits from people searching for ‘Golden Compass’ and ‘Dark Materials’, his compass is more like Captain Jack Sparrow’s – it's useless if you want to find North, but it will point you at your heart’s desire (no, its not Pirate Radio). Try it, you’ll like it. Rowley’s been at this the longest of this wail, and he’s soon coming up for show number three hundred.

PC Podcast – an eclectic mix of music presented by a sixteen year-old music freak trapped in the body of a forty-something year old beermonster. Living proof of the restorative effects of Adnams Broadside (or was it vodka and creosote?), Pete’s been delighting his listener(!) with some great tunes, twice a week, for two years now. He’s dragged me kicking and screaming into to French-Canadian Punk gigs and calmed me down again with Cornish bagpipe dub reggae amongst other things, and was once silly enough to let me hijack his podcast (though he didnt actually tell me until afterwards - trust me, it was complicated, and I was drunk). I’m not sure if his listening figures have recovered yet…

Suffolk ‘n Cool (cultural note for American English speakers: say it fast, and remember that ‘Suffolk’ might be written phonetically as ‘Suffuk’) – a similar mix to PC Podcast, musically, with the occasional ‘curve ball’ as a result of Peter’s Puckish Podcasting Personality (sorry, can’t resist a bit of gratuitous alliteration). Peter C has been ‘at it’ almost exactly the same length of time as Pete C (oh bugger it - see why it’s the Codger and the Kid now?) the two having presented their first episodes within a day of each other. Now, heaven forbid that I should pshychoanalyse, but I wonder if the Kid’s compensating for Codger having gone live a day before him when he trumpets all those Suffolk ‘n Cool first plays? Peter’s autobiographical notes on his website tell us how he preogressed from ‘rodie’ to ‘knob twiddler’. Fittingly, he’s about to knock out his 100th emission. In a manner of speaking.

Colin’s Ouroborous Podcast is named after a legendary Greek serpent (no, NOT Phillip) which swallows its own tail – a symbol for infinity. Colin says (quite rightly) that there’s an infinite amount of good music ‘out there’ and has made it his mission to bring you some of it. His podcast is the youngest of the four, but it’s no less likely to deliver you some sounds that you’ll love – his own enthusiasm for that music certainly shows through.

You know, there are days when I’m quite happy having nothing to grumble about!

Just not that many ;-)

And it's not just beer.....

That's 5 espressos for the boys and a frothy one for Jeremy, please landlord...

Just in case there are a couple of you, more sensible and sober individuals out there*, the term podcrawl does rather conjour up images of helplessly drunk men talking complete bollocks twaddle.

Let it be know that we will gladly entertain the possibility of less drunken pursuits. We started off the last crawl with a coffee as I recall, so maybe a Podoccino (grande, full fat, double shot, naturally) rather than a podcrawl?

* then again, if you're reading this, you either are or frequent with podcasters, so I'm not sure you can be considered sensible or sober.

Monday, 1 December 2008

What's this PodCrawl Site for then?

This site is dedicated to the original PodCrawl... and more excitingly, perhaps, those yet to come...

First conceived as a small celebration between Peter Clitheroe, Pete Cogle and Rowley Cutler to mark the serendipitous and simultaneous 100th, 200th and 300th episodes of Suffolk'n'Cool, PC Podcast and Dark Compass shows respectively, the event growed a bit, like Topsy, to become a more inclusive gathering. Well, actually it just gathered in a couple more souls:
  • a reprobate blogger who was, at the time, vaguely anonymous and hiding under the pseudonym of the Grumbler who's twisted and evil intention was to catalogue the events, and who was later referred to by the Clitheroe Kid as Codger Cogle's Care in the Community Chap, in an entirely inappropriate orgiastic outburst of accidental alliteration.
  • another podcaster of infinite musical good taste who, if he were possessed of a tail, would doubtless bite it (in the just and righteous cause of reality imitating art) - Colin Gazely from the Ouroborous podcast. (editors note - Colin's lack of tail is not entirely germane to the story and is, in any case, a presumption - though we are reasonably confident that its an accurate one)
Much fun was had by all (as will be indicated in another posting when time permits) and there were some far-reaching consequences. Oh boy were there. The grumbler, having seen first hand what it takes to be a podcaster and having had his identity 'outed' by the Codger (who luckily has absolutely no Idea who Top Gear's 'Stig' really is) decided to start his own show - Music and Mumblings, and adopt the bizarre practice of writing about himself in the third person.

Time - as it is wont to do unless you are a quantum physicist with an ambition to make your mark in the field - passed. We decided to 'do it again' - not for any grand reason this time, but because it was so much fun. The same crew reconvened, this time as five podcasters, along with Mr Clitheroe's minder who claimed to be called Keith. In fact, his real name is Jeremy Gugenheim - a morsel of information which was destined to be made public as soon as the Codger (whose tongue is looser than the morals of a cat) found out.

The second event was every bit as much fun as the first and, exhibiting 'balance' which would satisfy the most pedantic sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Jeremy has become a podcaster too. Nearly. I say Nearly because, even though he started his first episode some time ago, it is sadly yet to emerge from its cocoon, blinking, into the full glare of the noonday sun - despite its creator's full and certain knowledge that there are many many many (well, five) people waiting eaglerly to feast their ears upon its bounty.

This site's objectives are simple.

  • To provide a virtual meetingplace for PodCrawl participants to engage in the planning of future debauchery.
  • To act as a repository for reviews, pictures and scurrilous gossip related to all previous PodCrawls.
  • To promote PodCrawls and encourage others, perhaps geographically challenged, to hold their own events and relate their tales here.
More postings will be forthcoming. In the meantime, this is an audience participation wossname. Lets have some comments, Ladies and Gentlemen!