Young People are Idiots

It's a well known fact that young people are stupid. Idiots, in fact. And when I say "young people", I mean anyone under the age of 35. You don't have to venture far afield to see this in action; public transport is full of the annoying fuckers, standing in stupid places, obliviously blocking the path of everyone else, completely absorbed by their phones, whilst simultaneously pumping shit music into their ears. So unaware are they towards their surroundings, or anything happening in the real world, it is surprising (and somewhat disappointing) that they do not blunder into oncoming trains or some other calamitous situation that would lead to their certain deaths. But it seems that - like pigeons and drunks - young people who are glued to their phones have some innate sixth sense that prevents them from being run over. They care for little aside from Snapchat, bath bombs and expensive trainers, and have the attention span and memory retention that would make your average goldfish look like a member of MENSA. They embody the decadent, selfish society that we live in and they are a generation who feel entitled to everything whilst contributing very little and taking responsibility for nothing. This probably sounds like the bitter rant of an aged, baldie web developer who doesn't understand what drill music is (and you'd be right!), but in some ways it feels like society is regressing, and a whole generation of social media addicts are heading back to the swamps until they learn how to use their thumbs for something more useful than texting or "liking" Kim Kardashian's latest Instagram post. Look at a random young person from 80 years ago: they would have probably lied about their age and gone off to fight in a war at 14, been married by 18 and had 3 children by 21 (whom they would have paid for themselves). Whereas, the average young person these days still probably lives at home at 30. I don't mean to sound completely critical and harsh, however. They do possess a set of core skills that the rest of us lack. Take for example, the barcode in the hero image above. A young person would not need to have it explained to them that that is a QR code, and by taking a photo of it with a free QR scanner app, they would be given a special treat. They would instinctively know this already. Try it for yourself! Spending every spare second staring at meaningless memes has also given them a keen eye for detail, that the average old person lacks. And when I say "old person", I mean anyone over the age of 35. For example, if you need to know if a dress is white and gold or blue and black, ask a young person and they will be able to set you straight. If you have no idea what I'm actually referencing here, it probably means you are over 35 (like me) - but here's the gist: a couple of years ago there was a raging debate online, arguing over whether a stripy dress in a wedding photo was white and gold or blue and black. It turned out to be a simple trick of the light and I've created a similar image here to demonstrate this; if you're not sure if the image below contains mainly gold or mainly blue stripes, click on it for a close-up that might surprise you. In a similar vein, there was an audio illusion early last year that split social media users, and young people would probably be the best arbitrators if you need a definitive answer. Listen to the following audio clip and decide what you think is being said. Some people claim to hear the word "brainstorm" while others claim it is "green needle". You be the judge... Listen to AUDIO Now I'm not the kind of person who would claim that everything was better when I was young, but, everything was better when I was young; we lived in a simple time where Michael Jackson and Glitter filled the charts and Freddy Kruger filled our dreams; pornography couldn't be found at the click of a button - it had to be foraged down the side of railway embankments - and you had to ask your mum before you could use the telephone. Those were the days...  

Tom Fog’s Doom & Gloom News

January is always a long, slow month, and this January seems to have lasted for longer than most. This does not seem to have gone unnoticed elsewhere online, with memes such as "We're 5 months into January now, and it' still January" and "I've been to the year 3000, and it's still fucking January" doing the rounds. It is the month where nothing much tends to happen, and although I've not strictly taken part in Dry January, I've basically stayed indoors throughout, except to go to work, or the odd venture to the supermarket. Ipso facto, I've struggled to find anything interesting, useful or even slightly entertaining to write about. I had originally planned to say something about Brexit, but like everyone else in the country, I haven't got a bloody clue what is going on there or what the likely outcome will be, so that rules that topic out. But then, my phone seemingly started to develop a mind of it's own and began to bombard me with what it deemed to be noteworthy and important news messages via push notifications - and inspiration struck! The first time this happened I was out with a friend, when my phone vibrated in my pocket, alerting me - out of the blue - that a mayor in Poland had been stabbed on stage. The bizarre newsflash prompted my friend to ask why my phone had decided to inform me of this random act of violence in a distant country that I have no attachment to whatsoever. The only logical conclusion that it could surmise from the situation was that I must be Batman. This was to be no one-off event, and since then my phone has regularly disturbed me throughout the day to inform me of various stabbings, rapes and assorted disasters and calamities on varying scales of bloodshed and misfortune. It's almost as if my mobile has tapped into my brain and is second-guessing my macabre and hitherto secret obsessions. To steal a quote from Batman (which is highly apt following the previous paragraph), "Some people just want to watch the world burn". And so it appears, do some cellular Android devices. At no point during the month, did my phone send me any good news; not the slenderest titbit of joy or scrap of happiness. "If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" is not a proverb that the Samsung Galaxy appears to adhere to, unless of course, it is actually trying grab the attention of an oblivious bystander in order to urge them to intervene and save the day. Maybe then, rather then me being Batman, my phone is actually Lassie, or the technological equivalent of Flipper. Obviously I decided to screenshot these notifications, which I then cobbled together into a Photoshop collage (as seen above), and shared verbatim here: 21- year old woman killed by police car while answering emergency call Male nurse charged with sexual assault after woman in coma gives birth Speedboat killer Jack Sheperd arrested in Georgia after months on the run Alex Salmond charged with two counts of attempted rape Danger to life warning issued over severe weather conditions Mock the Week comedian Jeremy Hardy dead aged 75 Mother of three-year-old girl becomes first person found guilty of female genital mutilation Plane carrying Emiliano Sala found on the seabed of the English Channel Four children killed in house fire in Stafford Liam Neeson says 'I'm not a racist' after admitting he wanted to kill a black man Man arrested over disappearance of student Libby Squire King of kitchen sink Albert Finney dies aged 82 End-to-end tales of woe, I'm sure you'll agree, although I do like to think that if Alex Salmond is asked to state his name in court, due to his broad Scottish accent - it'll sound like he is saying "I like salmon". Finally I'd like to share a news story that, surprisingly, did not appear on my mobile, but I did spot on the cover of The Daily Mirror tabloid newspaper that simply reads "Rolf Harris in a primary school". A front page headline that could have been stolen from Brasseye. Rolf Harris Newspaper Cover Maybe I should have written about Brexit after all...

Tom’s Alternative New Year’s Resolutions 2019

A couple of weeks back in early January, I laid down my plans for some new year's resolutions I intend to follow throughout 2019 (and maybe beyond, depending on whether I live to see 39). On reflection, I have realised that although perfectly doable for a bloke such as myself - these simple rules to live by might be a bit of a challenge for everybody else out there. But fear not! For I have now devised an alternative list that should be within the grasp of you lot. Stand in stupid places Whilst out and about in the community - especially when using public transport - take the opportunity to block the paths of others by standing in the most bothersome spot you can find, carefully selected to cause maximum havoc and disruption to those around you. For example, try standing in the middle of the step on escalators so no one can pass, or perhaps in front of the doors on buses and trains, encumbering the entrance/exit of fellow commuters. Wear a large rucksack for extra effect, and don't forget to wear earphones so that you can't hear anyone say "Excuse me please" behind you. Avoid giving money to the tramps It's a well-known fact that beggars are lazy; too apathetic to find employment and pay their bills, even too idle to mug people or steal from shops in order to provide for themselves. So the next time you see them dossing about in the street, make sure you step over them and ignore them. Better yet, spit on them. Rely on using your phone for everything Why simply rely on your phone for it's primary use which is to make and receive vocal communications with people who are not in your immediate vicinity - when you can rely on it for practically every facet of your day-to-day existence? Use it as an oyster card and to pay for goods and services in shops. Use it to binge-watch TV programmes, pump music into your ears at all times, text people who are in the same room as you and generally distract you from your daily existence. Don't worry that these devices have a built in obsolescence and will inevitably stop working within the year, or that you might lose it, break it or have it stolen - rely on it for everything. Wear your pyjamas to the supermarket I'm not sure whether this exhibits a certain joie de vivre, or is merely a habit of those who have given up hope and can't be bothered to get dressed before they venture outside. Either way, young people do it so it must be cool. Bastardised the English language and rely on emojis instead Why utilise the English language to express yourself, which is rich and varied and has been accumulated and finessed over the course of more than 1,400 years, when two or three emojis or better still, a meme will do? LOL Use social media more Share absolutely everything you do on as many social media platforms as you possibly can throughout the day. When not posting stuff, remain glued to what everyone else is simultaneously sharing. Wear trousers around your arse Everything you need to know can be found here: https://www.wikihow.com/Wear-Really-Low-Baggy-Pants-Without-Losing-Them Complete any last-minute beautification tasks on the way to work Girls have long adopted the annoying trait of applying their makeup during their daily commute in complete disregard to those around them, so if you're a man, do your bit for equality and join in too by having a shave on the train. Sign off work emails with a single initial When sending an important work email to colleagues, be sure to sure to use the first initial of your christian name when closing. This will give the impression to your colleagues that you are hip and trendy, but also far too busy to type the rest of the letters of your name. Think how much time I could save if I only typed "T" and omitted the "om". This notion will also bolster your self-belief that you are important enough to be recognised by a single letter. Like Zorro. T

New Year’s Resolutions 2019

I didn't bother setting myself any new year's resolutions last year, mainly because I thought I'd achieved enough and could do with a rest. How can you improve on perfection? I spent most of 2018, therefore, sitting back and watching the rest of the world struggle and generally fuck it up - so I've decided to stop resting on my laurels and show everybody how to do things properly again. Don't be disheartened if you don't achieve as much success as me - how could you possibly? I'm clearly a fine specimen of manliness and effortless masculinity, so don't compare yourself too much with my many victories or you will be setting yourself up to fail. Just try your best and try to smile (even though you'll certainly feel like crying inside). Here are my humble goals for 2019 to inspire you. A little bit of light exercise, regularly The snake hips of my youth are beginning to resemble the beer belly of a professional darts player, so I should probably have a word with myself about that before I become a proper porker. I've realised that I'll never be a gym-monkey, but some moderate physical activity (besides wanking) wouldn't go amiss. Re-do my website This blog could probably do with a spruce up, so I intend to tackle the task this year. What is the point of making websites for a living if I can't spare the time to add some dancing bananas to my online home from time to time? Continue getting my leg tattooed If I pull my finger out, I can get this finished in the next 12-months, and my ambition to become the most heavily tattooed bloke in Camberwell will nearly be complete. Unless some other sod gets his todger tattooed in the meantime. Read the bible Not because I want to go knocking on doors and handing out leaflets in the street, more out of interest to see what happens in it and what it's all about. I like a good murder mystery. Be more sociable I'm notoriously bad at keeping in regular contact with my friends, probably due to the fact that I don't like any of them. Bastards. But I am going to make more of an effort in the coming year. No man is an island after all, and I've somehow managed to get to the age of 38 without obtaining a driving licence. It's important to remember that good friends are hard to find (and can sometimes drive you to the airport and things.) Hobbies In the last couple of years I have revisited the snooker hall that I loved as a teenager, and did an indoor climbing induction course. I also tried taxidermy. All of these things I enjoyed immensely, but for some bizarre reason, didn't pursue any further. I want to do more of them in 2019. Less social media I'm not going to do away with my Instagram and Twitter accounts altogether, but I'd like to use them in a more meaningful way. Probably as a wanking aid. Stop using emojis and smileys I've tried my best, but I just can't get on with these bloody things. Proper grammar is the way forward me thinks.

2018 in Review

This won't be a particularly funny post (if at all), mainly because 2018 has been quite a good year for me. Comedy is just bad stuff that happens to other people after all, so if you've come here hoping to have a chuckle at my shit year, you might as well fuck off now. Also while we're it at, if you don't like reading pedantic lists you should probably save yourself some time and piss off too. As you can probably guess from the photo at the top of this page, I had my hands tattooed in 2018. My thought process in this decision was thus: if I'm going to get my hands indelibly marked with ink for the rest of my life, I might as well go for some bold and brutal imagery. My thought process probably didn't include the phrase "indelibly marked with ink" but I wasn't writing an essay at the time. That was the general gist anyway. This photo originally gained 5000+ likes on Instagram (not that I was counting), before being removed after a few complaints. My favourite comment was this: "Job-stopper right there. Show your boss you're an alcoholic Nazi" Technically, neither of these assumptions would necessarily make me a bad web developer if true, but that is beside the point; I also have a tattoo of Medusa's head because I like dark and striking pictures. That does not mean that I commandeered a small fleet in ancient Greece and sailed to an island named Sarpedon, wrapped in a golden fleece, in order to sever the head of a mythic snake-headed monster known as the gorgon, before taking it home to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In short, a tattoo of people drinking doesn't make me an alcoholic. Nor does a tattoo of a WWII execution make me a Nazi - any more than a tattoo of a flasher means I indecently expose myself in public. The tattoos did successfully annoy people though, so I consider them a job well done. I also do have a tattoo of a flasher and I have been known to indecently expose myself to girls in public, but that's just a coincidence. Following on from this, I started a new job last January, which I have amazingly managed not to get sacked from - despite my dependency on alcoholic beverages and propensity for fanatical right-wing politics being etched upon my hands. I have enjoyed it immensely and learnt a lot this year, and even managed to attend the work Xmas party in good cheer; an event which I would normally place on the severity scale of unpleasant social occasions slightly higher than receiving a buggering off Freddie Starr but somewhat lower than watching X Factor. In addition to this, I have been to Transylvania in Romania, Krakov in Poland and Lake Como, Turin and Milan in Italy. I also went as far as Bow on the London underground. I'll end this blog post now with a list of the books, gigs and cinema outings I consumed within the last 12 months, because making lists keeps me sane. Be grateful I didn't mention Brexit. Books: Watchmen - Alan Moore Classic comic-book tale about nuclear war. Dandy in The Underworld - Sebastian Horsley The autobiography of my hero. Very funny. The Secret Life of A Satanist - Blanche Barton The biography of Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan The Bangkok Asset - John Burdett Silly crime novel set in Bangkok, featuring robots. Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ - Rik Mayall The autobiography of another hero. RIP Rik. The Blade Artist - Irvine Welsh Latest novel from the bloke that wrote Trainspotting. Far-fetched nonsense, but I read it anyway. Essays in Existentialism - Jean-Paul Sartre Philosophical art-wank ramblings by a Frenchie. The Clearing - Tim Gautreax A story about the mafia interfering with a logging community in 1700s deep south America. Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler Big in Germany in the 30s/40s apparently. I read this before going to visit Auschwitz in order to prepare myself for the horrors that lay in wait there. It didn't help. Beggar's Banquet - Ian Rankin Selection of of short crime stories, many of which feature Inspector Rebus from off the telly. Pigs Might Fly - Neil Hanson An account of running a pub up a big hill (the highest situated pub in Britain no less). Beyond Good and Evil - Nietzsche A madman who inspired Hitler by accident and had a better moustache. The Granta Book of The American Short Story - edited by Richard Ford A whopper of a tome, more than 1000 pages long. Includes some gems, such as the story of a confidence trickster who steals a girl's wooden leg and leaves her stranded in the woods. Introducing Marxism: A Graphic Guide - Rupert Woodfin & Oscar Zarate Everyone knows that Marxism is the philosophy of losers, but I still I read this to pass the time (mainly because it had pictures). Junky - William Burroughs Classic book about heroin addiction. Also buggery! The Outsider - Camus Classic story about alienation and the perpetual malady of life. Content Provider - Stewart Lee Collection of the comedian's essays, originally penned for various broadsheet newspapers. Very funny! On Anarchism - Noam Chomsky I'm not a fan of Chomsky's school of thought, but I gave this a go. It was shit. The Boys from Brazil - Ira Levin A fictional classic about Mengele after his escape to Brazil after WWII. The Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben Yes, I read a book about trees. And enjoyed it. Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse - David Mitchell Similar to Stewart Lee's book, albeit written by one half of Peep Show instead of one half of Richard Not Judy. Gigs: The Damned My favourite British punk band. Sepultura Heavy show, solid. Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, The Last Resort All at the same show. Good fun! Gaz Coombes Formerly of Supergrass. Always reliable. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Patti Smith, Courtney Barnett, St Vincent, Bo Ningen All at the same event in Victoria Park. Bloody brilliant. Bands I didn't see (but really wanted to): Billy Idol, The The (not a typo), Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Sextos Rodriguez, Beck, Baxter Dury (twice), Saxon, Batushka, Wu Tang Clan. Cinema: The Others 2 Silly horror sequel. A Quiet Place Interesting idea, but ultimately boring horror film about a world where everyone has to be quiet or be eaten my monsters. The Meg Ridiculous and disappointing shark film starring Jason Statham. Halloween40 Great horror sequel! Bohemian Rapsody Decent biopic about Freddie Mercury of Queen. Suspiria Long-winded (and unnecessary) remake of a 70s horror classic by Dario Argento. See you next year, thanks for reading!

Paul Shinn Draws!

I will take a departure from my usual themes in this post; instead of moaning, ranting and generally taking the piss, I will be be focussing on the artist and notorious drug smuggler and foot fetishist, Paul Shinn. I have known Paul since teenagers at secondary school, and amazingly, Paul still tolerates me. He once had a regular 9-5 job as a graphic designer in the publishing trade, but then around 10 years ago decided to eschew this career path, in order to follow his dreams and become a lowly artist. Now it is a well-known fact that true art deals with death, despair and the ongoing frailty and ennui of the human condition. Paul, ever the anarchist, throws this convention against the wall. before stomping it it into tiny, bloody fragments and then pissing on them. His talent is creating cartoon comic strips, mainly aimed at a younger audience; the main purpose of which is to entertain through comedy. Penguins feature regularly. I would not normally approve of 30-something-year old men with beards who take an interest in the pleasure of  other people's children, but Paul is the exception to this rule. His work is innocent but not childish, and will certainly make you smile. Another truthful tenet held within the artistic realm is that decent artists only become popular and earn any money, after they are dead. Unless they cut up sheep or paint floppy clocks, that is. Again, Paul has bucked the trend - by carving out a flourishing, moneymaking career that has kept him in beer for the last decade, without having to pickle any sharks. Tom Fogarty - prison web banner by Paul Shinn Here is a web banner that Paul created for me several years ago, featuring many of my favourite things. On 8th December Paul ran a stall at the annual House of Illustration's Christmas Fair, in King's Cross, so I popped along to show me support i.e. be nosy and and potentially take the opportunity to scoff and mock. And I have to admit that I was very impressed by what I saw. I'm not a bloke that can usually be found wandering around artisanal markets, soaking up the bohemian vibe and appreciating the painterly goods on offer, - but Paul's Stall (decent name, that), was certainly the highlight in a sea of enthusiast and talented throng  young people and beard-scratchy sandal-wearers doing their best. Here is a small selection of Paul's oeuvre - and all available to buy and worth your money - all of which would make ideal Christmas presents if you have a youngsters in the family who are easy to please: You can get a better look at Paul's drawings over at his website (not built me me, so actually works): www.paulshinndraws.com Finally, here is a birthday card that Paul made for me many moons ago - after much cajoling from yours truly - of a portrait of me astride a giant bee. All tattoos were accurate at the time of drawing. Good, isn't it? Tom Fogarty - by Paul Shinn I'd like to add a footnote; I did accidentally end up taking the piss slightly in this post - but Paul Shinn really is a very talented illustrator, and you really should have a look at his work and buy some of his stuff! Also, he's no - that I'm aware of - a drug dealer or foot fetishist.

RIP Chas Hodges (and Stan Lee)

On 22nd September the world lost a musical legend; Chas Hodges of cockney duo Chas & Dave fame, sadly passed away. One of the all-time greats, Chas' songwriting talents cannot go unrecognised and should be regarded with the highest esteem that could be bestowed upon an artist. Chas can be merited with penning many jaunty musical classics including - but not limited to - "Rabbit", "Gertcha" and "Snooker Loopy", and if I was forced to choose a personal favourite, I would be hard-pressed to pick a winner between "Ain't No Pleasing You" and the "Sideboard Song". Let there be no mistake here; this would not be an easy decision to make, for it would be like having to answer the question: "Who is your favourite child?" (If indeed, I had any). Needless to say, I would have liked to have said a few words sooner, but I was understandably devastated by the tragic event and needed some time to gather my thoughts and try to make some sense of it all, before I could even consider attempting to pay any kind of fitting public eulogy to this mighty fallen warrior. Then on November 12th Stan Lee, creator of Spider Spider-Man and other Marvel superheroes, kicked the bucket too. Now despite appearances and what you would probably assume - I have never been a massive comic book fan. I do rate the stories of Alan Moore highly, including "From Hell", "Watchmen" and "V For Vendetta", but generally speaking, I stopped taking any interest in comics just before my balls dropped. Still, Stan Lee's demise does not deserve to go unmentioned. And why do I speak of the sad and untimely loss of these two titans of entertainment here; one of them in the highest echelons of the art sphere and one of the most influential innovators of the last 100 years, and the other one, Stan Lee? Simply because in addition to them expiring only a few months apart, they also happened to share a birthday: 28th December. But this, then, poses a further question: Why should this fact trouble me so much? Because this significant date is also the birth date of another artistic and creative colossus who goes by the name of Thomas Ketamine Fogarty. AKA me. Now I'm not one to jump to ridiculous conclusions, and am certainly not prone to bouts paranoia, but if celebs who share my birthday are all snuffing it in the same year, it is clear that I have been earmarked for termination as well. Death is out to get me. And soon. Luckily, I am one of this world's natural tough guys, so instead of shitting my pants, I have kept a rational head, and have calmly carried on with my day-to-day business as usual, confident in my ability to leap into action at a moment's notice like a coiled spring - if required and if the circumstances arise. Those are instincts that can't be faked or learnt. You either have them or you don't. Now what fucker would possibly want to kill the King of Camberwell? A quick google search reveals that there are no drill videos threatening to gun me down, so there must be a higher evil at work here, maybe an alignment of the stars or some sort of gypsy curse placed upon me by one of the beggar women that I regularly spit on in the street? It is hard to fathom out the motives, but there are some very sick and jealous individuals out there; bitter souls who begrudge the popularity and success of bold, handsome and witty devils like me. Well unlike John Lennon, John F. Kennedy and some bloke called Gandhi, Tom Fogarty is always ready. If Denzel Washington or John Legend drop down dead before the year is out you'll know my words are true, but I'll have gone underground* by then. I'll be back... *Underground in my secret bunker, not in a coffin.

List Mania 12: November Retox

As an antidote to last month's Stoptober malarkie, here's an itinerary I've devised for you to follow during November. 1. Red wine. Halloween-themed. Sort of. Post-Samhain, the 1st of November is All Saints' Day, so why not kickstart your retox by drinking 2 or 3 bottles of red vino? There is a brand of red wine dedicated to Vlad the Impaler that I'm keen to try. Also there is a brand of wine named Tom Fogarty no less. 2. White wine. Make sure you drink it from the furry cup. Alternatively, drink one of those wine boxes - the type that you see wastrels drinking from at music festivals (except they remove the box so it looks like they are imbibing from a colostomy bag). 3. Mother's Ruin. AKA gin. Classic, simple and traditional. 4. Guinness. Drink 8 pints of it (also known as a gallon). All to be followed with Baby Guinness chasers (Kahlua and Irish cream). 5. Something flammable for Guy Fawkes Night. Perhaps paraffin, turps or meths. 6. Buckfast. Very strong wine, distilled by monks in Cornwall. Favoured by tramps and hipsters. "Buckfast gets you fucked fast." 7. Bloody Mary. Another classic reviver. Make sure you put some salt around the rim too. Or you could put some salt around the top of the glass instead. 8. Old Tom Fog. See here. 9. Negroni. Strong Italian cocktail. Add some variety to the schedule by having a few pinches of snuff up your hooter too. 10. Absinthe. Van Gogh was drinking this before he cut his ear off. 'Nuff said. 11. Laudanum. Highly poisonous and lethally toxic, so only try a little bit. 12. Hemlock. As above. If you're still alive at this point, celebrate by having a few cigars and a packet of fags. 13. Scotch. I usually cause bloody havoc after drinking this - so make sure you line your stomach first with a few pints of Tennents Super beforehand. 14. Rusty Nail. Another strong cocktail, consisting of whisky and brandy (no mixer). 15. Homemade cocktail. You're at the halfway point now, so treat yourself to this magical potion: dried nutmeg, bathroom salts and CD-cleaner. Mixed together of course. Any loss of sight will only be temporary, and should not last longer than a week or two. 16. Spice. Highly recommend if you need to keep still for a very long period of time without interruption. Could be in a telephone box, in the middle of the street - or anywhere really! 17. Long Island Iced Tea. You will have built up you stamina by now, so try this heady mix that consists of anything alcoholic that comes to hand, mixed up in a glass. 18. Lager Frenzy. Easy one, this. Drink as much beer as you possibly can. 19. Heroin. We're upping our game now. If you find opium a bit too pricy, a cheaper alternative is krokodil. 20. Sniffing glue. The ancient and often-overlooked art. 21. Space Cakes. Extra points if you eat them whilst on your lunch break during work. 22. Magic Mushrooms. Time for a nice cuppa. Have a few tabs of acid on the side as a substitute for sugar (which everyone knows is very bad for you and rots your teeth). 23. Speedball. A potent mixture of heroin and cocaine, injected into the arm. Favoured by John Belushi (RIP). 24. A bottle of sweet sherry. Like nan on Xmas day. Treat yourself to a few glasses of eggnog as well. 25. Mescaline. You probably doesn't have a nearby desert to experience this in, so sit in your garden in your pants  - or better yet, in the buff with just a tea towel covering your genitals - to enjoy properly. Don't forget to paint your nipples for full effect. 26. Dry Martini. James Bond style, but you probably smell of wee and dribble by now. 27. Ketamine. Another good one. Every wondered what the "K" stands for in "Tom K. Fogarty"? Now you know. 28. Cocaine. Get midgets to serve this to you in bowls glued to the tops of their heads. Like Queen did at parties. 29. Ecstasy. Remember kids, E's are good. Anyone got any Vera's? 30. Every drink consumed in Withnail & I. This includes several pints of cider, many glasses of gin, bottles of sherry and whisky, lighter fuel and plenty of wine. You will also have to smoke a "Camberwell Carrot". Memento mori...

Tower Hamlets Cemetery (with photos)

I managed to tick another of the "Magnificent Seven" off my list this month. For anyone that doesn't know, this is a list of famous Victorian cemeteries that were built in London, scattered around what was then the city outskirts. I have been visiting these at a painfully slow pace over the last decade, and I have now managed to see four of them (the next one is tentatively scheduled in for some time around 2027). Situated in Bow, East London, Tower Hamlets Cemetery - or to give it it's full title, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park - is far more low-key than the other graveyards that feature on the list (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Being located in in the trendy East End, I had feared this one might be a hipster hellhole, but thankfully this was not the case. The cemetery does feature a sort of community centre tacked on to the side to keep the arts-and-crafts brigade happy - which is a slightly annoying - but at least it keeps the local "yout" distracted from flinging acid about the place and making drill videos I suppose. On the way in I noticed a sign stating that the place is open 24-hours and, confusingly, that foraging is permitted within reason, so if you fancy a spot of midnight graveyard fruit picking - Tower Hamlets Cemetery is the place for you. Unlike Highgate or Norwood, there are no grand edifices or vaults to be found here, except for a few mini-obelisks dotted around the place. There are lots of very old gravestones, pleasingly leaning against each other; most of which have seen better days (much like the dead souls who lie buried beneath them). There is also much wildlife to be enjoyed. The place has a charming ambiance, which is not something you will hear me saying often to describe anywhere in East London. I rounded the day off by visiting a few other haunts in the neighbouring vicinity; The Ten Bells (the pub where Jack the Ripper's victims touted for business), The Blind Beggar (the boozer where Ronnie Kray murdered rival gangster, George Cornell), Spitalfields Market, Christ Church on the corner of Fournier Street (home to artists, Gilbert & George and Brick Lane. All of which ARE hipster hellholes. Next on the list are Abney Park, West Brompton and Kensal Green. Memento mori! Tower Hamlets Cemetery Tower Hamlets Cemetery Tower Hamlets Cemetery

Hom Sweet Homme

My blog always suffers during the summer, and with this in mind I find myself under considerable pressure this month to write something good. It is usually at these times that I am stricken with writer's block; and so it is now. Waffling on about cemeteries, tattoos and my wanking habits will simply not cut the mustard. My thought process often gets hijacked by random, ridiculous ideas; notions about new gameshow formats (Don't Drop The Baby, Through The K-Hole among others), comic strip concepts (such as Ghost Cock or Lager Mouse) or imaginary punk bands (The Rectums, Itchy Rick and The Scratchers...). For example, what would happen if Queens of The Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme teamed up with famous Chinese cooking expert, Ken Hom to make a concept album? Josh Homme is no stranger to collaborations, having previously worked with the likes of Iggy Pop, as well as forming super groups, Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures. These credentials would make him the perfect candidate for such a project (in addition to the name). Ken Hom on the other hand, could bring his flare for oriental cuisine and stir-fried culinary skills into the mix (in addition to the name). The band would obviously be called The Hombres, which seemed the natural choice, and their first album should be something that incorporates both of their names; Hom Sweet Homme, say. I've taken the time to mock up an album cover and track listing for this project, and this also explains to a large extent why this blog continues to fail month by month. Driving Homme for Christmas Where I Lay My Hat, That's My Homme Sweet Homme Alabama Homme to Roost Homme is Where the Heart Is Long Way Homme Subterranean Hommesick Blues There's No Place Like Homme Letters From Homme Mama, I'm Coming Homme

Scratching the Auschwitz Itch

In July I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps in Poland, which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Why this morbid choice of tourist attraction would appeal to me is not easy to explain, but it is by no means the first time that I have opted to experience an eerie location in my leisure time. Previously I have visited the notorious Killing Fields and S21 Prison in Cambodia, and whilst on a short break in Berlin I made time to go to Stasi Prison (used to detain POWs in WWII) and the SS Museum. During my short stint travelling through Vietnam, we crawled through the claustrophobic Cu Chi tunnels, used by the Viet Cong fighting in the Vietnam War, where we also took the opportunity to fire AK-47 rifles (invented and favoured by the Russians). Plus we made a trip to the Museum of American Atrocities (I shit ye not!). A museum featuring a chamber made entirely out of the disinterred bones from an anonymous graveyard was a must-see when I was in Milan, as was the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where Jim Morrison is buried. Cemeteries are actually among my favourite places to have a wander, and I am currently making my way - albeit very slowly - though London's "Magnificent Seven" of the Victorian era; grand gothic old graveyards built in the 1800s. I have also been on a Jack the Ripper walking tour in London, doing the rounds of the infamous serial killer's murder locations, as well as the castles of Transylvania, which are less macabre but, nevertheless, are spooky enough to have inspired the novel, Dracula. None of these places, however, matched the stark and impending sense of menace and dread that is imbued in Auschwitz. The building itself was a former Polish military base, captured and misappropriated by the Nazis in WWII. Looked at objectively, the main building itself is handsome architecturally - if you can manage to ignore the rusted barbed wire that was added to the perimeter and bleak sign over the entrance gate, "Arbeit macht frei" - but the place is now indelibly ingrained with the most sinister and profound sense of sadness and loss at it's very foundations today. You simply could not go there and fail to be moved and humbled by the experience. The compound is surrounded by wide expanses of open, flat land and dense forest; the feeling of isolation is stark and hostile. 10 minutes drive down the road is the purpose-built Birkenau, erected by the Germans when Auschwitz proved to be too small in which to contain and slaughter the mass numbers that the Nazis eventually did. This complex is vastly larger and even more creepy than Auschwitz, if that is possible. The environment is staggering savage and embodies evil to its core. Ashes of the gassed and cremated victims were used to fertilise the soil beneath the compound, so the whole place is in effect, one huge mass grave. Maybe the most scary thing of all is that this happened only a couple of generations ago - and was committed by a nation that is now the wealthiest and arguably the most powerful and influential in Europe. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, but important to see - lest we forget.

Turning Japanese

I'd like to apologise in advance for the jingoist nature of this post. I also realise that the people in the photo above are Chinese rather than Japanese*. You've probably seen the adverts on the telly for 23andMe - it's all the rage at the moment; tracing your genealogy. A few years ago ancestry was the thing to research online (as well as pornography of course). The service has been around for a few years now and is quite costly, but I thought it might be quite interesting to see what the results would be for me. If nothing else, it might be a giggle to have it confirmed with scientific evidence that I am in actual fact, 90% Japanese - and find out once and for all, why I look like Bjork. The process is quite simple; you deposit some saliva into a plastic receptacle and post it back to a laboratory in the Netherlands to be analysed. Then after around 6 weeks they send you your results online, depicted in various reports and charts. This costs about £120. Yes. They charge you more than a hundred quid to gob into a tube, then take the piss out of you by making up some ridiculous facts about you. You are three quarters Nigerian so you are 75% likely to be a traffic warden. That sort of thing. I won't bore you with the science behind this (mainly because I don't understand it) - but basically your DNA consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes which defines your ancestry composition and other characteristics and traits. What prompted me to take the plunge and fork out a hundred notes on a DNA test? Well aside from English and Irish roots, I have also been told by family members that I have gypsy and Jewish blood mingled in. I also have suspiciously slitty eyes - which could indicate some sort of oriental or Mongolian blend in there too. I had feared that the outcome returned would be a single word printed in capital letters on a folded piece of paper: "NONSE", but the results were actually far more mundane than that. It told me a few facts that I already know; I am probably right-handed, I am probably bald and I am likely to have green eyes. I am also highly likely to weigh less than other people of a similar height, and probably don't sleep as much at night as other folks do. Quite accurate considering this was predicted from a bit of my spit. Reassuringly - although not necessary medically accurate - I am less likely to develop Parkinson's or Alzheimer's in the future. In fact it gave be a clean bill of health genetically, which was a relief. A lot of people apparently opt out of receiving their health reports - but sod it I thought, in for a penny, in for a pound. This also means that I probably won't produce any midget children, which I would certainly train to be evil. Now for the big question: where does Tom Fog hail from, gentically? I had secretly hoped to be a Russian, but alas, no. I am 100% bona fide European. Here's the breakdown: 74.8 British & Irish 9.8 French & German 3.7 Scandanavian (The French genes would account for me being a coward and the reason I loved watching Eurotrash as a teenager. And the German genes explain why I'm a bit of a cunt). Not a single scrap of brown stranger exists in my genetic makeup, so it's a mystery why I look like Fu Manchu. I've included the link to my ancestry DNA report here. #sorrynotsorry

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Victoria Park

On 3rd of June Nick Cave headlined the closing day of All Points East Festival in Victoria Park, East London. He was among a strong lineup, including Patti Smith, Baxter Dury, Bo Ningen, St. Vincent (nice tits!) and Psychedelic Furs. 2018 has been a quiet year for me regarding gigs and has so far only been noteworthy for the bands I didn't get to see - mainly due to exorbitant ticket prices: Iron Maiden, Ghost, The The, Bjork, Beck, Jethro Tull, L7, Billy Idol, Sextos Rodriguez, Batushka etcetera. It's a long bloody list! Anyway, with this in mind I was very happy to get to see The Bad Seeds perform again, having previously seen them for the first time in 2017 (although I did see Nick Cave along with co-nucleus member Warren Ellis, as part of their short lived side project, Grinderman, in Spain many moons ago). The day was a success; the weather was sunny and despite the location, the place was thankfully lacking in hipsters. The only downside was that I somehow managed to miss Baxter Dury's set and the beer was extremely overpriced. Unperturbed, however, I bravely drank through the pain barrier like a true Brit. All the bands that I did manage to see played superbly well although Patti Smith was rather heavy on the talking and poetry recitals instead of playing music, but when she did actually play, her music was top-notch. When Nick Cave and his band took to the stage, they were as intense and brooding as ever, but threw in a few singalong crowdpleasers from their extensive back catalogue for good measure, including Deanna, Red Right Hand and the surprisingly lively and upbeat Jubilee Street. Kylie Minogue even joined the band onstage midway through the set to accompany Cave for the duet, Where The Wild Roses Grow; a song in which the protagonist batter's Kylie's head with a rock (which also features in my Top 5 Wank Fantasies). Another ballistic highlight was the angry (and funny) O'Malley's Bar which gives Cave the opportunity to go absolutely berserk on stage - which he does. At 60 years of age the singer has still got it, and with a career spanning 20+ years, doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. Go and see them if you get the chance!

Tom’s Tourist Guide to Transylvania

I've never been much of a traveller; I never caught the travel bug when I was younger - mainly because I was either short of money, or short of time - never seeming to have much of both in tandem (which is still true to this day in fact). The biggest issue for me, however - the thing that has put me off more than anything else - is that travellers are always such massive, fucking dickheads. Despite this, I have always tried to go abroad for a short trip at least once a year since I was about 21. I've been to some of the usual spots - Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona etcetera - but in recent years, as I've got older, I have tried to go to slightly more interesting places. Along the way, I've visited Wat Bang Phra and The Killing Fields in Cambodia, crawled through the Cu Chi Tunnels and fired an AK-47 in Ho Chi Minh City - in addition to exploring Stasi Prison and the SS Museum in Berlin. My holiday destinations are often as morbid as my taste in films and books. This month, I ticked Transylvania off my list - which has been an ambition for a long time, inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula novel and the old Hammer horror films that I enjoyed watching in my youth. This region of Romania is actually massive (I'd expected it to be a small village) - but the scenery is exactly as you'd probably imagine it: dense, green forests, and looming, snow-covered mountains - with the odd scary castle scattered around the place. The people were friendly, but clearly mental, and you dice with death if you set foot inside one of their taxis. They offer plenty of guided tours - but fuck that - we opted instead to brave the public transport system unaided (and somehow managed to not get killed, robbed or raped!). From my brief time spent there, Romania seems like a country of extreme contrasts; the girls are either young, dark-haired stunners with massive tits, or old fucking hags; the men are either shifty-looking gypsy types, or World Strongest Man contestants. Similarly everyone there either seems to live in a gingerbread house, or simply sleeps in a ditch with a bit of corrugated iron pulled over them for a roof. Nothing in between. The differences in general day-to-day life can also be quite stark when compared to the UK. Take for example, disembarking from a train. In good old Blighty, we wait for the automatic train doors to open before leaving the station via the exits provided in a timely and (fairly) ordered manner. In Romania they spill out of the doors and windows (or any other available aperture of the carriage), before piling across the tracks, dragging their kids and shopping in tow. Barmy... but brilliant to watch! We stayed in a town called Brasov, which is about 3 hours by train from Bucharest, and very nice it was too, featuring cobbled streets and higgledy-piggledy slate roofs like in the vampire flicks you see on telly. They even had a big "Brasov" sign on the side of the mountain to announce our arrival, much akin to the glamorous Hollywood Hills (where I have not been), or the seedy, sex-tourist beachfront of Pattaya (where I have been). I feel I should also mention the food here - which mainly consisted of meat, potatoes, cabbage and pickled things - which although looked disgusting, was actually delicious. Whilst there we visited Bran castle, which was the inspiration for Dracula's Castle, learnt a lot about Vlad the Impaler and listened to a lot of gypsy music. Perfect holiday really...

A Big Fuckoff List of Tattooists

You know when you're writing and stuff, be it a blog post, or book, a thesis, police statement, the occasional letter to the reader's page of Razzle etcetera - and sometimes you feel all inspired and it's really easy and the creativity pours out of you like jism at a bukkake party? And then at other times it's really difficult and you think fuck it, this will have to do, and you churn out any old bollocks and hope you'll get away with it? Well this is one of those times. So fear ye not little person, even someone as amazingly talented as me can't be arsed and has an off-day sometimes. With that in mind, here's a boring list of all the tattooists (and I use that term very loosely in places) that have etched upon my skin at one time or another. You'll have to make do with this until I can think of something better to write this month... Aidan Forde A big Irish biker-type who tattoos all the chavs from Nunhead and Peckham in South London. This was in 1998 when I was 17 at Fantasy Tattoos. Rob Sutherland Works at Tattoo Living Image in Greenwich. Old school. Decent bloke. Instagram here. Random Brazilian bloke At London Tattoo Convention circa 2007. Looked like a member of Sepultura. Liam Sparkes Everyone knows Liam, has his own shop these days called Old Habits in trendy Dalston. Instagram here. Mil Martinez Tattooed me a few times at Diamond Jack's in Soho. Quality stuff. He's a wrestler these days. Instagram here. Ben Nuthink This was at Kids Love Ink in Deptford. On my arse. Instagram here. Chad Koeplinger Famous American tattooist. The tattoo cost a small fortune, rattled out in 20 minutes. Instagram here. Melissa Szeto Tattooed me a couple of times in Soho. Has her own shop nowadays. Instagram here. Calypso Saga Large-scale Japanese specialist. Works from a private studio in Muswell Hill. Instagram here. Random Amsterdam tattooist Somewhere in the Red Light District (I think?). I was wankered at the time. Me Because I'm an idiot. Some barmaids from the local pub Because I'm an idiot. Don Northstar Kids Love Ink again. On my arse again. Instagram here. Mark Edwards Good fun. Tattooed me in his shop in Camden. Instagram here. Stefano C A true gent from Italy. Instagram here. Charles Wicks-Stephens Diamond Jack's in Soho again. Instagram here. Arthur Perfetto Tattooed me at Trash City Tattoos in Berlin. Instagram here. Dave Condon A bigger GG Allin and Misfits fan than I! Instagram here. Guy Neutron Tattooed me at the London Tattoo Convention. Instagram here. Duncan X Legend. H-E-R-O. Instagram here. Gian Maurizio Fercioni Most recent tattoo whilst in Italy (can be seen in the photo at the top of the page). 70+ year old. Special one, this. Instagram here. If you cross-reference this with the list here - you will see how life rarely goes how you expect it to.

Do Not Approach This Man…

I renewed my passport recently,  meaning that I get to see the current incarnation of my "boat race" fixed and glorified in leather-bound booklet form for the next decade. Despite having 9 months left to go on my previous one I decided to upgrade early as I was told by a reliable source (i.e my mum) that the prices of replacements were going to increase exponentially after March. The process was pretty straightforward and most of it was done online - apart from having to have my photo taken at Snappy Snaps (clever name, that), by some teenager holding an umbrella. It turned out the umbrella was not some fancy piece of camera equipment to enhance the lighting, but simply because the roof in the shop was leaking. The whole process only took 2 week and they even added unused 9 months on to the expiry date of the new one. As you can see from my previous passport mugshots, I look a bit like the man from the Guess Who game; although I shapeshift every 10 years or so - I have the same, basic potato head throughout, albeit with different trimmings each time. In 1998 I sported a suitably embarrassing teenage haircut, which God saw fit to punish - making me completely bald by 2008. By this time I was also seemingly, made completely out of plastic. Now in my present-day version at the age of 37, I look like someone who's on the sex offender's register, or a contestant for Undateables. Possible additions for the 2028 edition are manic tufts of professor-like hair at the sides and a Charles Manson-style swastika tattooed between my eyes...

Music Reviews 2011-2016

I feel it only fair to warn you that this blog post consists of two things I am obsessive about; music and making lists. It does not, however, feature any mention of tattoos, wanking or the dark arts - so on reflection it's probably quite balanced. As previously mentioned in an earlier post, I saw a fair bit of live music in 2017 and managed to tick off quite a few of the important "must-see" bands from my list here - including the likes of Rammstein, Rancid, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Mayhem. I also got to see some old favourites such as Madness and David Rodigan, as well as a couple of new acts such as Slaves. I also dragged my arse to Spain for a metal festival for good measure. So far, 2018 seems to be following suit - Sheep on Drugs have played (marred by a tiny venue meaning that only about 6 people could squeeze in to see them) - but will hopefully be releasing a new album later in the year accompanied by a small tour. The Damned were on a couple of weeks back, who are my favourite British punk band and played a strong, crowd-pleasing set of classics. I also managed to see Cock Sparrer (finally!) last weekend, accompanied by fellow Oi/Skinhead/Punk pioneers, The Last Resort and Cockney Rejects. I didn't stay to the end of this one - mainly because I didn't want to make the journey back to Camberwell from North London in freezing-bollock-cold weather at midnight - but  still enjoyed the show immensely. And then this week I saw Gaz Coombes, who is always good fun, and whom I will go to see for as long as he is touring (Supergrass were my favourite band as a teenager no less). Later in the year I am seeing Sepultura, plus I will be going back to Resurrection Fest to see Ghost and Megadeth. I'm also tempted by Beck and Bjork in summer, as well as Nick Cave (again) along with Patti Smith. There's been some disappointments too; The The have announced a tour (and that's not a typo by the way!), which promptly sold out. Tickets are currently going for around a hundred quid, which I can't justify paying. The Murder Junkies will also be touring - albeit in North America only - and as much as I'd like to be the man who flies to the states to see his favourite band, I'm not the man who flies to the states to see his favourite band. And besides, the band probably won't turn up anyway. Iron Maiden, alas, are also too expensive to see this year, as are Saxon who are both touring in 2018. Finally - I've put together a PDF of all my old music reviews from 2011 - 2016; partly because of my obsessive list-making tendencies and overbearing urge to document everything I do, but mainly because I'm an ego-maniacal narcissist who thinks everyone else will be grateful for me taking the time to do this. PDF download of all reviews and articles I've also included all the links to the original articles, that are currently hidden in the dark depths of the musical maze that is the Pennyblack website: Articles A-Z Reviews A-Z

Norwood Cemetery (with photos)

Back in 2016 I decided I would write a blog post every month, which is a routine I have diligently stuck to ever since. It is the only "creative" thing I do after all, and I think it is important to set yourself rules and boundaries - even with hobbies and pastimes - in order to keep up momentum and avoid getting lazy. Doing nothing is an easy habit to fall into. Those who have read my blog before will know that I like to moan and whinge a-plenty, and generally complain about my shit life; but I only do this on a public platform in order to (hopefully) entertain. I find this funny - probably because I'm really an egomaniac and I have a latent belief, buried deep down somewhere in the depths of my psyche, that I am God. The only problem with this, is that at this moment in my life - I am happy - and therefore have nothing to say. I have developed Writer's Block. Naturally, in an attempt to remedy this, I went to the cemetery. I like to meander around graveyards, hoping to spot my name on a gravestone, or on the scout out for a burial that I can gatecrash (or at least observe from a distance whilst I'm hidden in a bush, having a wank like a good Peeping Tom). In 2011 I decided to visit all the magnificent Cemeteries of London; a bold claim that I have yet to fulfil - and proof, as previously mentioned - that I find it very easy to be completely bone idle. I did, however, go to Highgate and Nunhead, previously blogged here; Highgate Nunhead The cemetery I visited this year was Norwood, meaning I can tick another of the "seven" off my list, though nothing of any amusement or note occurred while I was there (and at this rate I should have been all seven by sometime in the 2030s). They did have a Greek Mausoleum, where they inter the dead Zorbas, Tonys and smashed plates of this world - all very grand, and rather bigger and better than where I actually live. And that's all this blog post will be: a gap-filler and a bit of a copout, but who knows - maybe something bad will happen to me next month so I can attempt to say something mildly chucklesome once more. Comedy is just bad stuff that happens to other people at the end of the day - as you well know if you are reading this. Here's some photos (just to prove how inept I am with a camera): Norwood Cemetery Norwood Cemetery Norwood Cemetery Norwood Cemetery Norwood Cemetery Norwood Cemetery Norwood Cemetery

Things Not To Say To Someone with Tattoos

The full title to this blog post should have been "Things Not To Say To Someone with Tattoos (i.e me) - Especially if You Don't Know Them" - but that seemed a bit unnecessarily long-winded. Not that that usually stop me. Also you can see me in the picture above (I'm the one in the middle, wearing a shirt). Anyway, you might have noticed that I have one or two subtle tattoos - not that I make a big deal about it or anything. And speaking as someone who has been under the inky needle a couple of times - these are questions that tend to get on your nerves afterwards (which usually come from complete strangers as well). What is it? How could I ever answer that if you've got the nerve to ask? I actually pinched this line from overrated folk singer, Bob Dylan, although he wasn't referencing tattoos at the time. And besides, it's clearly a tattoo of a blue tiger with horns on my knee. Anyone could see that. Why? Is that an existential question? I have absolutely no idea (or motivation) to answer this one. Ever. What is the meaning behind it? Why would you expect a ludicrous activity such as poking ink under your skin with a needle to make an indelible mark on your flesh, have any meaning whatsoever attached to it? Did it hurt? Yes, it fucking hurt. But not so bad that I didn't do it again after the first time. Ahem. Don't you worry about it being permanent? Unlike my hair - tattoos ARE permanent, it's an integral part of what tattooing is. If I was worried about it lasting forever I wouldn't have done it, and opted to doodle on my body with a biro instead. Silly bollocks. Are you addicted? On most days I put trousers on, does this mean I must be addicted to wearing trousers too? Don't you worry about what they will look like when you get old? No, because even without the tattoos I'd still be old, and have an old body. But hopefully I'll be more interesting than you. How much money have you spent on it? I've no idea. But I've no idea how much I've spent on other things I enjoy either - like going on holiday, or boozing down the pub. You'll never find work... Ok, this isn't a question - but it's still an annoying statement that gets said often (usually when I'm at the job centre, scratching on). You'll never find a partner (unless they have tattoos as well) Again, not a question, but people always seem to think that because I like tattoos on me - I must only like girls with tattoos too. Which is a ridiculous assumption to make; for example, I like to grow a moustache - but that doesn't mean I'd date a bird who had one. Did you get it to rebel/look hard? No! (i.e yes, yes I did) Oh and by the way - don't think you can randomly grab my arms to look at them either!

New Year’s Resolutions 2018

So, it's just over a year since I didn't become a better person, which means it must be that time again when I set out my goals for the next 12 months and make my new year's resolutions. 1. Smoking 4th January (today!) marks the second anniversary since I quit smoking. 2 whole years clear of nicotine. So in 2018 I intend to take up the filthy habit again; only this time increase my daily fag quota to 60-80 cigarettes. Maybe I'll just start chewing the tobacco raw instead - along with a pinch or two of snuff, maybe I'll even start hitting the crack pipe like a fiend as well. 2. Drinking Everyone knows I enjoy a tipple, but I really need to pull my finger out and up my game in this department; wine for breakfast, vodka hidden round the back of the U-bend, miniatures in my socks. That sort of thing. Steady functional alcoholism first, then full-on Oliver Reed mode mode later. 3. Get into More Fights 4. Drugs I intend to increase my intake of mind-bending hallucinogens and maybe bring some retro drugs back into fashion. Possibly sniffing glue. Perhaps laudanum. Or I could start synthesising my own crystal meth in my (plastic) bathtub... 5. Tattoos Undecided whether to have all my tattoos removed or fully black myself in. Watch this space! 6. Eat More Carbs and Exercise Less 7. Taxidermy I tried this in 2017 and really enjoyed the process, so I'd like to do more of this in 2018 - but with more passion and creativity - and extend my skill set; cutting up living things, building furniture out of bones, upholstered in flesh. Or make a face mask out of human skin. I'd also like to keep a woman in a cage. And knitting. 8. Enjoy Nature I want to wank more in public places. Happy New Year!

2017 in Review

Here's my very short review of the year; it won't feature anything topical such as current affairs or any noteworthy news items, it will just be about me and my year. And it will be short because I've done fuck all. I started the year in Thailand, off the back of a 4-week Xmas holiday jaunt, which also included visits to Vietnam and Laos. Pretty good, you might think, but after returning that was pretty much it for 6 months. I didn't even really venture out to the pub that often, which means I have no decent booze anecdotes or embarrassing tales to share. I did, however, get lots of new tattoos during this period (mainly due to all the money I saved by not going out on the piss). I also went to quite a few gigs, which I will list out in mundane detail later. In July I went to a heavy metal/punk festival in Spain called Resurrection Fest - after a hiatus of festival-going of about 3 years - and managed to see the likes of Rammstein, Rancid and Mayhem, among many others! Then the rest of the year followed the same pattern as the first half; with me retreating to my self-imposed house arrest again, seldom going out except to go to the odd gig or get more tattoos (which I actually did quite frequently, in fairness). I also went to see Madness at Clapham Common, playing alongside Slaves, David Rodigan and Del La Soul - which was jolly good fun! I also squeezed in some quirky pursuits including some taxidermy classes and going to a petting zoo where I held a tarantula, mini boa constrictor and a chameleon. And then on 1st December I decided to quit my job after 5 years, 7 months of service, in order to seek new challenges next year, plus I'll be going to Italy to spend New Year's Eve and see out 2017 in Milan - so here's to an exciting 2018! Bands seen this in 2017: Mayhem ELO Bastards (Resurrection Fest) Noctem (Resurrection Fest) Devil Wears Prada (Resurrection Fest) Benighted (Resurrection Fest) Airborne (Resurrection Fest) Comeback Kid (Resurrection Fest) Suicidal Tendencies (Resurrection Fest) The Black Dahlia Murders (Resurrection Fest) Anthrax (Resurrection Fest) Holocausto Cannibal (Resurrection Fest) Anima (Resurrection Fest) Killus (Resurrection Fest) Teething (Resurrection Fest) Northlane (Resurrection Fest) Legacy of Brutality (Resurrection Fest) Annihilator (Resurrection Fest) Wisdom in Chains (Resurrection Fest) Architects (Resurrection Fest) Truckfighters (Resurrection Fest) Enter Shikari (Resurrection Fest) Rammstein (Resurrection Fest) Napalm Death (Resurrection Fest) Morpheum (Resurrection Fest) Mutant (Resurrection Fest) Adhesive (Resurrection Fest) D.Y.S (Resurrection Fest) Arch Enemy (Resurrection Fest) Conan (Resurrection Fest) Lords of Black (Resurrection Fest) Mastodon (Resurrection Fest) Taake (Resurrection Fest) Rancid (Resurrection Fest) Mayhem (second time this year, Resurrection Fest) Madness David Rodigan De La Soul Slaves Soul II Soul Desmond Dekker's Band - The Aces Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Marilyn Manson Books read in 2017: Insanity - Charles Bronson London Under - Peter Ackroyd Dead Men's Teeth - Jamie Rhodes Underworld London - Catherine Arnold City of Sin and it's Vices - Catherine Arnold Bedlam: London and Its Mad - Catherine Arnold Tom Fogarty: Autobiography of A Criminal - Thomas Sullivan Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller From Hell - Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell (graphic novel) The History of The Devil - Paul Carus V For Vendetta - Alan Moore & David Lloyd Past Mortems - Carla Valentine Ivan The Terrible - Henri Troyat

Tom Fog’s Xmas Wish List 2017

World peace. Not because I especially want to make the world a better and more harmonious place; I just want a bit of peace and quiet, without idiots getting on my tits. A blowjob. To break into the music industry. Or become an acclaimed writer. Maybe a standup comedian. Possibly even a wrestler... But not a decent web developer. Fuck that shit. To stroke all the cats (and piss on all the naysayers). I'd like to be a tree.... I'd like to be able to explain the plot of Twin Peaks from start to finish. To have a pot of tea with the Queen. To see all those people who are glued to their phones when walking down the street, or who stand in stupid places and block the paths of others because they're mesmerised gormlessly by snapchat or Peaky Blinders - to go over the edge of a cliff in a long row like the old Lemmings game. Did I mention blowjob? Can't remember... To make a bit of dosh. To swim faster than a shark. Or even to overcome my neagtive buoyancy, and manage to swim without it looking a bit like I'm drowning. To sleep for 100 years. To tame a goat. To shoot an AK-47 again. Ideally at a person. Or many people. To be in charge of London for a week. To understand why Anchorman is funny. Or League of Gentlemen. To see a ghost. And bum it. To eat an oyster.

Movember Woe

I spent most of November trying to grow a moustache for Movember, which has become the norm for me at this time of the year but it didn't go as well as expected this time around. This is mainly my fault as I started 10 days late, so by midway through the month I was still looking alarmingly similar to Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins in the 90s. Even towards the end of November I was still looking like a Jewish teenager on the cusp of puberty, and was having to hurry past the playground on my walk to work to avoid being mistaken for a sex offender (although this happens to me even sans moustache in fairness). I began to panic at one stage - fearing I may have developed mange - as my facial hair seems to be on the decline rather than improving with age. But, as with the hair on my head, maybe my facial follicles are just too apathetic to grow now. Possibly I'm allergic to having hair. What if all hair - anywhere on the body - just hates me and wants to piss me off? (Here's me at around the 14th and the results at this point, are pathetic, as you can see.) Another problem I found - was that people just don't seem to be that impressed by Movember in any more, and maybe for good reason; as although it's a very worthwhile cause, growing a moustache isn't that big of a deal anymore - why would you expect people to donate money simply for growing some facial hair on your top lip? Furthermore, working in Hackney Road in East London - anyone with a moustache could be taking in this charitable cause, or they could just be your standard Hipster tosser trying to be cool - it's very hard to tell. Or they could be one of the feral rat-people that you often see, gurning and scurrying around in the area (I'll talk more about The Feral Rat-People of Hackney Rd in another blog post soon). If I take part next year, I will have to do something bold if I want to make any impact and raise some dosh - so potentially a Hitler moustache would do the job... Until then, here's the link to my Movember 2017 page: Tom Fogarty - Movember 2017 Donation Page

List Mania 11: October Horror Films

October was a quiet month for me, so I decided to use my free time constructively and watched as many horror films as possible in the build up to Halloween. I've reviewed them here, because I'm a bit OCD like that (and a bit of a dirty fucking pagan). Revenge of Billy The Kid British horror film from the 80s about a farmer who shags a goat, that subsequently goes on to give birth to a mutant goat-human hybrid that kills everyone in brutal ways. Lost Highway Brilliantly dark film noir from David Lynch about a musician who goes mental and murders his wife after seeing her shagging Marilyn Manson in a snuff porno film. The film also features Patricia Arquette's massive, naked knockers bouncing around. Recommended! Howard The Duck A duck from outer space crash lands on earth and saves our planet from a smelly, rampaging demon. If that's not mad enough, the duck then shags a human woman, adding bestiality into the mix for good measure. Prince of Darkness Alice Cooper becomes a zombie after the dark lord himself turns up from within a mirror in a church. Or something like that. Straw Dogs Savage film about a farm siege in the British countryside, following a vicious rape. Cheery stuff. Return of The Living Dead Funny zombie film from the late 80s. Good punk rock soundtrack too. Texas Chainsaw Massacre Classic and completely bonkers. Still packs a punch today even though this was made in the 70s. Not of This Earth Amazing alien movie starring former porn star, Traci Lords. And she gets them out too. Big Trouble in Little China Best. Film. Of. All. Time. Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 3 The best sequels in this creepy franchise. Part 2 has a kinky, gay S&M vibe, Part 3 is set in a nuthouse. The Blob (remake) Not about a bird on her period, but some alien goop that arrives on earth to kill us all. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, The Young Ones (Video Nasty episode) & Bottom (Halloween episode) Funny horror-themes episodes of these cult TV shows. Scanners Watch this film if you want to see a tramp explode a man's head using the power of his mind. They Live Late wrestler, Rowdy Roddie Piper (late as in dead, as opposed to sleeping through his morning alarm), stars as a tramp who discovers an alien conspiracy that secretly controls America. The Thing Kurt Russel on an Arctic research base burning everyone with a flamethrower as they become infected by an alien life form. Street Trash More killer tramps to keep you entertained. Evil Dead & Evil Dead 2 The best zombie films of all time. Groovy. The Exorcist A young girl get possessed by the devil and masturbates with a crucifix. Antichrist Among the many highlights here, a mad woman bashes her husband's dick with a log then wanks him off till he ejaculates blood. Also, she cuts off her clit with scissors. Tales From The Crypt Classic British horror anthology. I Spit on Your Grave (remake) Absolute tripe. The original, however, is one of the best video nasties ever (but definitely not for the faint-hearted or easily-offended). Night of The Demon Another video nasty. Boring. Zombie Flesh Eaters Features a zombie fighting a shark and someone getting stabbed in the eyeball. Toxic Avenger & Toxic Avenger 4 Funny and gory super hero series from Troma Studios. Nightmare City Wacky Italian zombie movie, love it! Blue Velvet Another highly atmospheric film noir from David Lynch, but without Patricia Arquette's boobs. Alien Slightly overrated in my opinion. Watch The blob or Not of This Earth instead. Dr Terror House of Horrors Another classic British horror anthology. A bit like they do in The Simpsons every Halloween. The Hitcher Dark chiller about a murderous hitchhiker chasing a young lad around. eXistenZe Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh play virtual reality video games until they die. Actually much better than I've made it sound. Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde Would have been better if there were more tits really. Countess Dracula Same as above. Shame... Halloween The best slasher film of all time.

Tax That!

In these times of political change, it is uncertain what the future has in store for Britain financially and politically. Will Brexit lead to a stronger economic stability down the line and a new age of prosperity, or will the opposite be true? Will we strike a deal to remain in the single market, or will we explore other avenues of trading? And what will become of our public sector services in the course of time as these changes come into effect? Some believe in privatisation, while others advocate the raising of taxes to cover the deficits in our budget - but is this really considering the full picture? What if, rather than raise existing taxes, or selling off publicly owned offices and utilities to private mega conglomerates - we introduced new taxes; a fairer system that only applied to those who actually deserved to pay them? Whilst at primary school I remember a brief fad in the playground where kids would shout "Tax that!", or simply "TAXXXXX" if they saw something they liked. According to the rules of the game, the person who shouted this first would become the rightful owner of the desired item. Whether it be a flashy sports car that drove past, a pair of brand new Reebok Pumps or a girl with a pair or enormously oversized breasts - declaring the tax law before anyone else made you the owner until the end of playtime (in name only, obviously). With this in mind, here's my list contenders that deserve to be heavily taxed in order to boost Britain's finances (basically just a long list of things that annoy me). Put simply, if you do any of following things, you should have to pay for the privilege. Heavily. Swearing Tax I love swearing, it's one of my favourite things. But it's important to use curse words in a seemly manner and at the correct opportunity; in times of excruciating pain, complete and utter frustration, or to pad out a sentence when you can't think of a better adjective are all acceptible. Deliberately inserting the word "fuck" into some statement during a meeting at work is not; you are not being edgy, daring, creative or cool. You are being a cock-womble. And you should have to pay, Rucksacks on Trains Tax Shooting would probably be more appropriate for this crime, but I'm quite a tolerant man so a heavy fine will suffice. People who do not take off their rucksacks on the train - usually at busy times of the day - thereby forcing other commuters to squeeze past them. Typically they will be stood near the doorway, rooted to the spot to exponentially inconvenience everyone else, probably glued to their phone like a zombie with earphones in so that they cannot hear you say "Excuse me please". Pretending Not To be Bald Tax In this day and age there is no need to live in denial if you are folically challenged. Just keep it short and get on with it. You should not adopt an odd "haircut" in order to hide your baldy bonce, or have Turkish arse hair grafted into your skull as a replacement. You are allowed to wear a hat, but only if you are outdoors - this must be removed when at the pub or work. Remember - it is only appropriate to wear a hat to work if you are a policeman or a stripper. See the rule below for more hirsuited tax reforms. Man-bun Tax You'll go to hell for this one. If you are fortunate enough to be a male with a full head of hair - do not abuse this priveldge by having a ridculous haircut. Other offenders include mullets, basin cuts, centre partings/curtains, ponytails etcetera. Sartorial Slogan Tax Applicable to anyone who wears clothing that has writing on it. Especially if it's vertical or in gold font. Smug Tax This is a generic blanket tax that can be applied to a list of perpetrators: anyone under the age of 35, people who earn more than £40k a year, BMW drivers, those that finish work at 5pm every day, folk who have sex on a regular basis... Abbreviated Spelling Tax I propose a levy on anyone who puts "UR" in a text message, or who regularly misuses "they're", "there" and "their". Also people who write "to" instead of "too", or anyone who posts online what doesn't use proper grammar. Also anyone who signs off an email with a single initial; you are not too busy or important to write your full name you twat. Bogus Postcode Tax People who live in Camberwell or Nunhead but who claim to live in Peckham should be fined. In a similar vein, people who claim to be cockney simply because they live in London (even though they were not born within the sound of Bow Bells). Pyjamas in Public Tax If you go to the local super market wearing your bedtime attire you are a cunt. And you deserve to pay for your cuntishness.

Tom’s Guide to Dealing with Stress

Modern life can be stressful for all manner of reasons - work, money, bills, relationships, housing etcetera. At times we can all get down about these common pressures - it's a natural response to genuine or perceived crises that we encounter frequently in our day-to-day adult lives - but fear not, because I am here to help! I have put together 10 useful tips that will help you through any dark times you might going through; whether you're prone to depression, fed up with getting a bollocking at work, sad because you haven't got your leg over in a long time - or simply being evicted from your home and going to be thrown on the street in the morning - read on and learn: Jogging A lot of people swear by jogging, and so do I; it's fucking shit. It only really has any de-stressing powers if, rather than jogging, you run at full speed down the street, screaming as you do so. Even better, why not try sprinting head-first into a brick wall. It works. Laughter If you find laughter the best remedy to combat the blues - push a complete stranger down the escalator during your morning commute. Never fails to raise a chuckle! Booze In times of deep inner turmoil it's a wise idea to use alcohol as a crutch. Everybody knows that Guinness is good for you - so it's completely beneficial to your health to imbibe about 8 pints a day. Starting at 8am is acceptable. Make Yourself Heard Often people get stressed when they feel that no one listens to them, or that they are constantly being overruled. If this is the case with you, go into a quiet place - such as a library, or better still a church - and shout "SLAGS" at the top of your voice. People will certainly pay attention to you after that. Learn To Love Yourself Everyone know that sexual frustrations can be alleviated to a certain extent via masturbation - but if this is not working for you - try having a wank in a public place instead. If this still does not work for you, try repeatedly slamming your dick in the door until these urges go away. Self-reflection You can usually resolve any problem that's been troubling you, by staying up all night thinking about it. Social Media Social media might be able to provide you with some solace or vital counsel for your woes; leave a vague, and cryptic message as a status update at bedtime and your friends are bound to help. With any luck, someone will reply by saying "You ok, hun?", to which you should reply "I'll inbox you..." (then don't). Smoking Smoking has long been believed to possess stress-relieving properties - but alas it's incredibly bad for you and is something of a dying habit in these enlightened times. Vaping is not a suitable solution either as it has not been put under sufficient medical research for a long enough period of time to be claimed safe. Instead, you should indulge in the old custom of chewing tobacco as an alternative, which is stylish and good for your teeth. And if you want to give it a bit of kick, dip your baccy in a drop of laudanum. Know Your Worth Knowing the difference between "your", "you're" and "yore" is very important for peace of mind. Try to remind yourself of this during moments of self-doubt. Retreat If none of the above help, RUN AWAY. Or go on a shooting rampage.

Support Your Local Fence

Anyone who grew up in south London (or has passed through on occasion) should be familiar with the distinctive wire fences that line the front of social housing blocks; they are very unusual in design, yet somehow manage to be completely suited to their environment. And yet, you could be forgiven for missing them as they enclose the kind of rough-looking council estates you probably walk past hurriedly without glancing up at - lest ye be dragged in and set upon by the local neighbourhood chavs, then mugged and knifed before being left for dead behind some bins. Just because they generally adorn the perimeter of imposing council estates, does not make them in any less charming. And if my tone sounds scornful, it is not intended - far from it - as I grew up in areas such as this and consider them my home. Built in the late 18th and early 19th century, these tenement buildings are actually splendid in their own way and imbue a certain sense of character, harking back to a period in time when things were done differently and standards were high. Anyway, why am I talking about railings? Because you might be surprised to discover that these fences are forgotten artefacts from World War II; old battlefield stretchers that were erected in place of actual fences as temporary measure after the end of the war - but have remained in place ever since! There are no signs up to commemorate these combat heirlooms, and gradually - sadly - they are beginning to disappear as councils strip out and replace the old. They can be found in Peckham, Camberwell, Brixton, Walworth, Deptford and East Dulwich, and there is an excellent website that has been set up to educate people of their existence and help promote their upkeep and preservation: https://www.stretcherrailings.com I had actually been told about this forgotten history by an old man at a bus stop, back when I was a teenager - but I just assumed he was either senile or a paedophile (possibly, both!), so disregarded everything he said. Sometimes relying on word-of-mouth is not enough... These unofficial and secret war memorials survive as relics from a time when people "did their bit" - out of a sense of duty for a cause they believed in. Although this sense of pride did not extend to putting up adequate and sensible fencing - they undoubtedly made a brave sacrifice, which enables us to live the decadent, lazy lives we lead today. So get off your fucking smartphone, take those earphones out of your sodding lug holes and open your bastard eyes; history is important and it's all around you in the most unexpected of places. Pay attention to the things around you and appreciate them. Never forget.

Tom’s Guide to SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a way of fine-tuning your website's content so that it appears higher in the search engine results when people browse for information online. One of the ways to do this is to carefully craft your content and tailor it for what your intended users/clients are looking for. Basically, if you make your website content as relevant and focussed on a key topic as possible - there is a higher likelihood that it will be found. For example, if you were searching for a plumber in Gateshead you would not expect to be served up results for a fish & chip shop in Slough instead. I know this because I work as a web developer, but don't worry - that introduction is a technical as this blog post will get! Luckily, Google have provided some helpful tools that are easy to use (and free!), that allow you to see the Google search terms that people have used to find your site. I used this recently to get some insight into how people are being directed here, so I thought I'd share this information with you. As this is a personal website about me - Tom Fogarty - it was no surprise that my name is the leading phase that brings visitors to my site. It was very light on web development or music review phrases sadly though, and some of the other phrases were more unexpected... The person who arrived after searching for "name?" must have been somewhat baffled when I made an appearance, as would the person who simply searched for "Russian". I expect whoever searched for "bakake" would have been highly disappointed when my face popped up in their results. Hopefully I didn't put them off their stroke. I also hope anyone who ended up at this blog by looking for "how to wax your balls at home", found me beneficial in the their quest for silky smooth ballbags. Some of the results are cryptic, others downright confusing. Examples: "the power of christ compels you dog" "dulcet relapse lyrics" "cat pornstar" Darts players such as Brian "Pecker" Woods, Mervyn "The King" King and "The Count" Ted Hankey seems to feature frequently, as does wrestler Hulk Hogan. Alarmingly, so do rock 'n' roll heavyweights, Gary Glitter and Rolf Harris. GG Allin, Sebastian Horsley, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lemmy from Motorhead are all heroes of mine, so I can't begrudge them featuring. The "goldfinger midget", however, is less well regarded in my house. Many of the search terms are obscene. Should I be offended that Google think people searching for "cunt tattoo" or "tattooed twats" are looking for me - or grateful that they are sending traffic my way? As a fan of tattoos and a frequent moustache-grower, it is to be expected that phrases relating to these terms feature regularly - but directing "paedo moustache" explorers to my site is a bit harsh. Other pleasant phrases include "Count Macula" and "mongoloid urban dictionary". I've included the full list below - you should read these before continuing with this post as it will be relevant later). The list will open in a new tab as there are too many to mention here, but I'd recommend you read them all as there are some real gems to be found in there - especially near the bottom... Click here for FULL LIST OF SEARCH TERMS. Maybe at best then, my website stands as a sterling example of how not to efficiently optimise your content for effective SEO, but in the spirit of of the old saying -if you can't beat them, join them - here's a make believe story (somewhat stream of consciousness), garbled together using the random search phrases people have used to unwittingly discover this blog. This will further bolster the traffic, but also reinforce the strength of these keywords, therefore increasing the probability that my organic visitors will be mongoloids, sex-pests or other assorted members of the criminally insane, looking for tattooed twats. Story: Darts legends Ted Hankey and Brian Woods were practicing, ahead of a big charity match against a couple of midgets to raise money to keep paedofiles off the telly during Christmas repeats of Top of The Pops from the 70s. Originally they were supposed to be playing the midget from Goldmember and that little bloke off Fantasy Island, but those little people from America couldn't get visas in time, so they'd ended up having to play against some generic UK-based dwarves instead (a couple of the cast of Time Bandits who were looking for work). The sponsors had initially made an even bigger fuckup for the event by selecting a medley of Gary Glitter hits to play between match rounds to get the crowd going, until their mistake had been pointed out by a good-intentioned Russian criminal who happened to be passing by. Ironically, Ted had once had a Rolfaroo tattoo in honour of Rolf Harris, which he later had covered up with a portrait of himself when it was discovered that the Australian entertainer had been a little bit too busy with his artistic hands, so that's alright then. Sadly, Ted had intended to have his darts nickname "The Count" etched on as part his self-portrait, but not being a person what spells too good he left out the U, leaving him with a tattoo that simply said "The Cunt" instead. In a likewise fashion, Brian Woods also sported a tattoo dedicated to his darting nickname, which amazingly he had managed to get spelled correctly: Pecker. He gained this epithet from his surname and was certainly in no way an indication that he had a tiny willy (unlike GG Allin, who had a microscopic member, much like a pornstar cat - plus an assortment of crudely done homemade tattoos, who done using Indian ink in prison). At this point you're probably thinking "These cats aren't as cool as Lemmy, Sebastian Horsley or Tom Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival. The power of christ compels you dog, what a right pair of tattooed twats!" - but this would be very unfair assumption to make. At least they've never been adorned with a paedo-style handlebar moustache, tattooed themselves with a biro or had a horrible experience trying to wax their balls at home. Only a true mongoloid from Camberwell would do that. The end.

Resurrection Fest 2017

I went to Resurrection Fest in July, a small(ish) rock festival in Northern Spain. The festival focuses predominately on extreme rock - heavy metal, black metal, punk and HXC (hardcore punk), and has previously featured the likes of Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Megadeth and Slayer. It's basically as far-removed from a mainstream festival as you could get, so it ticked all the boxes for me; you won't catch me at Glastonbury, Reading et al. Although I went to a few festivals in my teens and early twenties, I only started going with any regularity a few years ago and I left a massive gap in between where I went to none. Just to be clear, for me, "doing a festival" means attending the full weekend and should probably include camping. One-dayer jobbies do not count as far as I'm concerned - so Lovebox, Madstock, On Blackheath etcetera are not festivals. Since I turned 30 I have been to Primavera in Barcelona, Secret Garden Party (twice) and ATP's Nightmare Before Xmas (both of which are UK-based). I enjoyed these experiences massively, but had sort of resigned myself to the fact that I'm far too old for any more of that malarkey now and would not be visiting any more. But then I saw the lineup for Resurrection Fest and had to go. Featuring 3 of the bands I have always wanted to see (mentioned here) - Rammstein, Rancid and Mayhem - plus loads of other great bands such as Sepultura, Taake, Anthrax and Napalm Death; this was a once-in-a-lifetime dream lineup for me and could not be missed. The festival ran for 4 days between 5-8th July and was held in Viveiro, a small town that is fairly remote and in a region that is almost completely non-English speaking (including all food menus and signs). There was a national bus strike on the day I arrived as well, which added to the sense of adventure/chaos by making the journey from the airport to the final destination somewhat tricky. And I was also carrying a tent. What I would normally do under these circumstances and in a situation such as this, would be to select a likely group of people who look like they might be on the way to the festival, and follow them at a discreet distance until I get there. Unfortunately this was not really an option here, as the average young Spanish person looks very much like they might be on to rock festival (so everyone on the street looks like they might be on their way). Due to these reasons it took about 16 hours of to get there, which is longer than it took me to get to Vietnam! This also meant that I had to pitch a tent in the dark, and sadly missed two of the bands I had most wanted to see, Sepultura and Pentagram. In true Dunkirk spirit, however, I did not let this dampen my enthusiasm and had a really good time throughout, with good music and friends, decent weather and plenty of beer. Needless to say, Rammstein and Rancid put on amazing shows and were everything I had hoped they would be. I spotted this quote by the late great Lemmy (of Motorhead) which pretty much sums everything up. It simply reads, "If you think you are too old to rock 'n roll... then you are". I'm not in focus in the photo (as is usually the case when I attempt to pose for a picture) but you get the gist: So possibly there are a few more festivals left in me after all... Here's a quick rundown of the bands I managed to see. In addition to Rammstein and Rancid, other highlights included Anthrax, Taake, Mayhem, Noctem and Morpheum, but generally everything was good. The only bands I saw that I wasn't keen on were Architects and Suicidal Tendencies. Day One - Thursday Bastards Noctem Devil Wears Prada Benighted Airborne Comeback Kid Suicidal Tendencies The Black Dahlia Murders Anthrax Day Two - Friday Holocausto Cannibal Anima Killus Teething Northlane Legacy of Brutality Annihilator Wisdom in Chains Architects Truckfighters Enter Shikari Rammstein Napalm Death Day Three - Saturday Morpheum Mutant Adhesive D.Y.S Arch Enemy Conan Lords of Black Mastodon Taake Rancid Mayhem (And there was also a warm up day on the Wednesday that I managed to completey miss due to transport woes as previously mentioned...)

I Spy… Graffiti

Halfway through the year and I struggled to find a topic to write about this month; I've not been up to much recently - I've not been to any gigs or seen any new films - and I didn't want to focus on my ever-increasing waistband, impending midlife crises/mental breakdown, love life (i.e lack of...), or my work. Clutching at straws to some extent, I decided to write about graffiti for a change. I like my street art to have either of the following, ideally: a) a sense of humour (as in Nigel Rees' excellent book, The Graffiti Files), or b) a strong political message - "PAY NO POLL TAX", "Vote for Brian to win Love Island", "Arm the midgets" etcetera. I also like the big artistic murals you see etched up on the side of railway tracks or on the side of houses in war-torn houses in Ulster. Failing that, a crudely scrawled cock and balls spurting sperm never fails to impress. I do NOT like graffiti that is motivational or empowering in any way. Fuck that. Taking this in to account, I would like to introduce you to Camberwell and Peckham's very own Banksy. I have no idea of the name of the artist in question, as rather than use a tag, they have have opted for a set of poorly drawn, googly eyes - which I think is brilliant. The work is childish, and completely lacking in any skill whatsoever - so naturally I assumed it was one of the students from Camberwell College of art. Potentially a post-grad or PHD student. I've only spotted it in the areas of Camberwell and Peckham so far, although in fairness I rarely go anywhere else so it could be more widespread for all I know! The meaning behind this emblem remains a mystery - perhaps it it represents Big Brother, always watching you - or maybe it was chosen just because it's a very easy doodle to scribble on a wall when you're in a hurry. My personal favourite theory as that someone has gone around drawing a big pair of tits, and then someone else has gone round after and altered the image to make it more child-friendly. I often see wanky graffiti tours, marching around Hackney and Shoreditch while I'm on my lunch break at work; hapless tourist being frogmarched around the area, being fed lies about the social significance of the local street art (all of which was undoubtedly produced by beardy hipster tossers, rather than the neighbourhood "yoot" from down-trodden council estates who actually have something to say) - so without further ado, here's my imagined guide to the graffiti in my back yard: Graffiti Eyeballs On the border between Peckham and Camberwell. Beware all ye who enter here. Graffiti Eyeballs White and green on the side of a telephone cable box. Simple but effective (or just shit). Graffiti Eyeballs This one involved scaling a wall. Impressive. And I'm sure the people living in the flat were dead chuffed too. Graffiti Eyeballs Very urban and gritty - you'd be mistaken for thinking this photo had been taken somewhere in the Bronx (instead of on the side of a bin outside the off-licence in SE5). Graffiti Eyeballs An exciting development is the experimentation with colour here. Sprayed on on the side of a disused telephone box that smells of piss in Vestry Road, Camberwell. Graffiti Eyeballs Done on the side of some trampy archway, off Rye Lane in Peckham - just across the road from a cunty pub called John the Unicorn. Graffiti Eyeballs Effective use of black on yellow seen here - on the side of an abandoned garage that used be a massive, budget supermarket called Jumbo's, back in the 80s. I have this knowledge because my mum used to drag me there when I was a child, on the way back from visiting my nan, who lived in the North Peckham Council Estate - just behind. Graffiti Eyeballs Daubed hastily on a security sign on the side of a building site before the rozzers turned up. Graffiti Eyeballs Camberwell College of art, boarded up for renovation. Graffiti Eyeballs Same location as above, obviously on a rampage that night...  

Even Tattoos Fade (so don’t get lippy)

Apart from dating and the very occasional one-night stand, I've not had a proper girlfriend for about 8 years (a period of time that has slipped by alarmingly quickly). The girl in question was a co-worker at the time - a situation I would never repeat again - and had only been in the country for a couple of years, having lived in Shanghai for the previous years of her life. This made her, to some extent, a complete maniac to deal with in a relationship (as are most Chinese girls I've been led to believe). Now I'm not one to generalise in any way, but it is a perfectly reasonable reaction I find, to make a sweeping value judgement over a race of over 1.3 billion - if you've had sex with just one of them. Take this story as an example of her lunacy. She became obsessed with picking up tiny English traits and customs, thinking that by adopting these idioms - she could blend in seamlessly - rather than say, getting to grips with the English sense of humour; black comedy, sarcasm, pessimism, gallows humour - and the like. So in order to help her in this quest, I told her that the very best way to become accustomed to the English way of life was to embrace the quaint toilet ritual that all Brit girls implement when using the loo - but never talk about - whereby they sit on the bog the other way around, facing the wall and leaning on the cistern as an elbow rest for comfort and extra leverage. And she believed me. We were only together for a year but I will carry a memory of her etched into my skin forever; during the very early days of our brief romance, I decided to get her name tattooed on me (this is a very clever thing to do - it never fails to impress the ladies and I guarantee 100% that you will not regret it later). You probably think this was a reckless and idiotic action on my part, but there was a certain degree of method in my madness; the girl had one of those ridiculously long and unpronounceable Chinese names, so instead of having the whole thing inked upon my person - I opted to get the initial of her first name: "X". I also decided to have the tattoo situated inside my lip. There were dual benefits to this - the most obvious being that the tattoo was completely out of sight, and secondly, that I could claim that the "X" was a signifier of something else at a later date. My love of the X-Factor, or X-Files, or my commitment to the Straight Edge movement for instance. As luck would have it, a quarter of the tattoo disappeared within a week - leaving a "Y" in it's place (which goes to show the power of chromosomes if nothing else I suppose). Then during the following year the remainder of the ink faded further - along with the relationship - until only a faint forward slash and dot remained (and still does to this day). Nevertheless, it still tickles me that somewhere out there, there is a Chinese lady sitting on the toilet the wrong way round, trying to blend in.

The Return of The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot

"Hello, hello! It's good to be back, it's good to be back!" First off, the obligatory disclaimer: I am not a nonce and I do not condone kiddie-fiddling. Gary Glitter did have some good tunes though. Back in 2010, my greatest contribution to the world wide web was unleashed; in the middle of the night during a thunder storm - much like Frankenstein - The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot was born. And before any of you anally retentive types start moaning about how Frankenstein was actually the inventor in that story and not the monster, I will preempt with this: inventions are often referred to by the name of the inventor (the hoover, the sandwich, wellies etcetera). So bollocks to you. Anyway, the concept of The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot was simple: this little beast would autonomously retweet any mention of it's namesake made on Twitter, accompanied by a Glitter quote - "Wanna be in my gang?", "I'm the leader of the pack..." and such like. This was either met with mirth or anger by the original poster of the tweet, and that was it. Simple. I wrote about this previously here. Now I won't go into too many details of how this worked from a technical point of view here, but it made use of Twitter's API, Yahoo Pipes and a custom PHP script, and it was quite popular back in the day; achieving dubious acclaim and a fair amount of derision and outrage (all of which I consider a victory). Twitter was rife with bots during this period, my personal favourite being the Sodomy Bot, which I discovered accidentally by innocently tweeting about buggery (as you do). And this was this simple joy of Twitter bots; accidentally triggering them while talking about something completely different. I wrote about the Sodomy Bot previously here too. Had I had the foresight, I could have made a slew of similar paedo-bots (Nb - the collective noun for paedos is "a handful") - featuring other infamous and sinister villains from "the list" such as a Rolfaroo Bot ("Can you tell what it is yet?") or a Jim'll Mix It Bot ("Jingle Jangle", "Now then, now then..."). On reflection though, it's probably a good idea not to be associated too closely with social media sex-fiend robot apps. Today, bots are frowned upon by Twitter - mainly as they are seen as a source of spam, rather than humour, and should not be used to interact with other Twitter users directly or for highjack existing hashtags. The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot gradually fell apart as Twitter changed the way it's API works and the Yahoo Pipes service was discontinued altogether - and having tweeted more 37k times - the Gary Glitter Bot fell silent in 2012. Much like the real life Glitter behind bars in fact. Nevertheless the account survived in dormant limbo, waiting to be revived from stasis like all good horror film monsters. Fast-forward to 2017, and after a hiatus of 5 years that day has arrived, and The Gary Glitter Twitter Bot has risen from the dead. Which basically means I have rejigged it to start tweeting again - albeit in a slightly different way this time. Making use of several online helpful how-to guides, the bot is built using Google spreadsheets and Google Alerts, cobbled together with sellotape and string. In keeping with Twitter's updated policies regarding bots, it does not directly interact with other users either via retweets or direct messages; instead scraping Gary Glitter related news stories from Google and sharing to the timeline (accompanied with some inappropriate jokes and lyrics for good measure). Although not to everyone's sense of humour, if nothing else, this bot is testament to the dangers of web developers devising creative concepts and following these ideas through to completion. So without further ado, behold The Gary Glitter Bot V2 (and give him a follow): https://twitter.com/garyglitterbot Just to be clear, this bot WILL: Automatically post public news stories, videos and and content that is available through a standard Google search. And this bot WILL NOT: Interact directly with other Twitter users. Highjack existing hashtags. Advertise young people's rail cards as seen here. Cavort around South East Asia in a pair of ridiculous swimming trunks. Bum your kids. Turn up at court looking suspiciously like me: gg-in-court

Tom’s Taxidermy

IMG_3656 If like me, you have a keen interest in dead things - and more to the point - if you have always wanted to know what it's like to try taxidermy, read on... Bart's Pathology Museum houses over 5,000 medical specimens and is apparently one of CNN's Ten Weirdest Medical Museums in the World. The place has a vibrant and quirky charm despite it's dark subject matter and is a place of genuine interest to anyone fascinated by the macabre in particular, although I would also highly recommend it to anyone of an inquisitive nature. Most independent (or non-mainstream) museums are under considerable financial strain in recent years and so frequently have to raise money through holding events to stay afloat. In this vein, Bart's hold taxidermy classes for beginners on a roughly bi-monthly basis, and it might come as no surprise to some of you to hear that I attended in February this year. The class takes place in the museum itself and attendees are surrounded skeletons, body parts in jars and other assorted medical curiosities - accompanied to a punk/pop soundtrack, including the likes of Misfits, The Clash and erm... Kylie Minogue. The lesson takes about 5 hours (with lunch thrown in) and the atmosphere is very laid back and jovial - although obviously is not for those of a squeamish or faint-hearted disposition. The class is hosted by the lovely Amanda Sutton whom I sort of fell in love with temporarily during the course of the day (as is fairly commonplace for me in such situations) and you can have a look at some of Amanda's taxidermy work here at Amanda's Autopsies: http://amandasautopsies.com During the lesson participants are shown how to dissect and stuff a hamster. The specimens are ethically sourced from animal feed for pet snakes bought from pet suppliers, plus collected road kill - so there's no need for any vegans to start moaning. The event was also Valentine's themed (of course!) so attendees where encouraged to accessorise their hamsters with romantic props and clothing. With this in mind, my creation is simply titled 'Dead Sexy': IMG_3640 I've included a few photos I took during the process at the bottom of this post, but there's a load of professional shots over on the Facebook event page here (This is also where I stole the action shot of me at the top of the page): https://www.facebook.com/amandasautopsies/posts/10154966840687719 I'm already looking forward to the next one! IMG_3635 IMG_3637

Tom’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Massacre With VD just around the corner (or as it is also sometimes known, Valentine's Day), I thought I'd take the opportunity to pass on some of my vast dating experience and share a few handy tips to really make the day special. Whether you're a singleton who's unlucky in love, or already have a partner and are looking to spice things up a bit this year - follow this easy guide and you're sure to be successful in your quest for love on 14th February. Go happy Slapping It's a well known fact that the best way to attract a partner is to display your funny side by humiliating someone else. So this year, why not revive the lost art of happy slapping or better still, publicly torment a tramp in some way. Go up the allotments and have sex in a shed This is the ideal setting for romance and will demonstrate your thoughtful, caring side. (And if you're single, there's no need to feel left out - why not cheer yourself up by having a wank in the same location instead). Go down the cemetery and have sex on a grave Basically the same concept as the tip above but intended for those who are more adventurously inclined. Dig up grandad for extra points. Dick pics Girls absolutely love receiving unsolicited photos of your wonky-looking penis, so it's always a good idea to send out as many of these as you can. For the best results, send after 11.30pm. Pull a nutter Another sure-fire way to hook up is to target the mentally frail and unstable. Head along to the grounds of the Maudsley Mental Hospital in South East London (open daily to the public) and take a bunch of flowers with you. Works like a charm. Be spontaneous Instead of sending an anonymous Valentine's card to your loved one, add an original spin to this format by repeatedly calling them from a withheld number in the the middle of night. When they answer - don't say anything and just hang up after a few seconds. Tattoo their name on your head Simple but effective way to demonstrate your love. Take your date to the morgue Because there's always fun to be had at the morgue. Set fire to something (or someone) Fire is good! Fire is your friend. Use fire to your advantage. Chop off your ear and deliver it to your secret crush in an envelope Worked for Van Gough. A timeless classic, and like they say - the old ones are the best. Be nostalgic Re-enact the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929 by killing 7 people to mark this special occasion. Go to a  Web Developer's Conference Web development equals sex, and talking about coding and computer programming is bound to get you laid. Plus the industry attracts loads of hot chicks. Good luck and happy wooing, and remember - if you have a love-rival vying for the attention of the apple of your eye - simply kidnap them and burn out their eyes with a red hot poker. Love is blind after all.

T2 Trainspotting – Film Review

Trainspotting 2 Poster ** Includes spoilers ** Everyone knows that sequels are rubbish - with the exception of a few films like the Godfather or Evil Dead follow ups - they generally disappoint. The trouble is when the first movie in a series is good, the second is bound to fail in comparison. And it is for this reason that I really wanted T2 Trainspotting to succeed where most sequels don't - I desperately wanted it to live up to it's hype, I wanted it to be good... Trainspotting is one of my favourite films - it was darkly funny, had a great cast and soundtrack, and more than this, it captured the imagination of a generation perfectly upon it's release in 1995; this was the Britpop generation - my generation - and influenced much of my formative, teenage years. It was one of the first certificate 18 films I saw at the cinema, although I was just 15 at the time of it's release. It is also one of the rare occasions where the film version was better than the original book that inspired it (although the book is still  incredibly good). The only other times I can think of where this has happened is Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Godfather (again!) or pretty much anything that Stephen King has ever written. With this in mind, I had high hopes for T2 and as I sat in the cinema (the very same cinema where I saw the first film 20 years ago - Peckham Multiplex) my anticipation and excitement levels were somewhat on the high side. The film starts out very much how you'd expect and hope; all characters are introduced in a montage of slickly edited vignettes, taken from a variety of camera angles and accompanied by a cool selection of tunes - all handpicked to please the target audience (people like me, basically). And this is great for 10 minutes or so, but this leads to the main problem with the film; we already know that Danny Boyle can do this, he could do this in his sleep - with T2 he has played it safe to appease fans of the original film. Which completely goes against the vibe Trainspotting, which was edgy and intended to shock. Whereas Trainspotting refused to compromise, T2 does. One of the strengths of the previous film, was the element of mystery that it left us with - what would happen next in the lives of these characters? This what happened next? element is completely ruined by this sequel, which completely lacks the biting social commentary of the original, other than maybe to tell us that we will get old and cease to be relevant anymore. And even this was summed up more succinctly and with with more humour in Trainspotting previously by Sickboy and Renton: Sickboy: "At one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever." Renton: "So you're saying we all get old and then we can't hack it anymore. That's you're theory?" Sickboy: "Yeah." This simple exchange in effect rendered this sequel redundant before it was even made. T2 is a wasted opportunity at best, the plot is non-existent and full of gaping gaps in the logic. An example of this is when Begbie escapes from prison and and returns home to his wife and son; the police do not even bother to check if he has returned there, and there is seemingly no urgency to apprehend him. Any faults in the storyline are papered over by constantly self-referencing the previous film - both with re-staged scenes and musical cues and interludes. There are even nods to other cult films by the director, including Shallow Grave and 28 Days Later thrown in for good measure - and although at first this is fun , the constant repetition of this trick soon becomes tiresome and then annoying. This is Trainspotting-by-numbers - unlike it's predecessor it takes no risks and has little to say - it's a case of style over substance. Another problem for me it that some of the characters have clearly been hanging out in Hollywood for too long, and barely seem to have aged in the 20 years that have passed since the first film was shot and set; at the age of 36 - I now appear older than most of the cast who are at least 10 years my senior. Furthermore, Begbie and Spud have been reduced to ridiculous caricatures of their previous roles; Spud gurning and grimacing knowingly to the audience throughout, while Begbie has lost all of the sinister, explosive menace from the original, and is reduced to nothing more than a pantomime villain here. This film outstays it's welcome by about half an hour and whereas Trainspotting rattled through scenes at a rapidly blistering pace and benefitted for doing so, T2 is simply too long, over-bloated and self-indulgent, which is a shame. I'm probably too harsh on this film (perhaps because I loved the first one so much) and there are still some very enjoyable moments in there. Two really good comic scenes that stand out are set in an almost bungled robbery in a working men's club, and a chance encounter in a nightclub toilet. Plus there is nostalgia to be found here and reminiscences aplenty - which is no bad thing - particularly as it makes you remember just how good the original actually was. The film gets some bonus points for explaining the meaning of the title (missing from the first film and only available to fans who have read the book until now) and also for not sticking to the plot of Irvin Welsh's follow up book, Porno, which might have turned this movie into a complete trainwreck (see what I did there?). Although an unnecessary sequel that distracts from the original in my opinion, fans of Renton, Sickboy et al will still rightly want to check out T2 Trainspotting - but let's just hope they don't make a third instalment.

New Year’s Resolutions 2017

People usually make their New Year's Resolutions in the first few days of January, but real life was put on hold for me at the beginning of 2017 as I was finishing a 4-week trip to South East Asia (sorry to brag). I'm usually pretty good at achieving my New Year targets - not due to high levels of dedication and motivation - but simply because I'm very stubborn. Also, I set incredibly easy resolutions (avoiding nigh on impossible targets such as "be a better person" or "have sex with a lady"). Before I kick off my list of goals for the year ahead, here's a quick recap of last year's resolutions and how I got on: 1) Quit smoking. Finally managed to kick the habit, to the extent where I've since become of those annoying ex-smokers who is completely intolerant towards anyone else who still partakes in puffing away. 2) & 3) Go Straight Edge & Vegan for a month. I managed these (to a certain extent..) during January but didn't continue any further; it's a well known fact that blokes need a steady stream of red meat to keep their peckers up and when I became too weak to tie up my shoe laces unassisted, I knew it was time to get back on the bacon sandwiches. 4) Travel more. As mentioned above, I spent Christmas, my birthday and New Year traveling around Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. Sorted! And now for my ambitions for 2017: 1. Lose the beer belly In the last few years I've started to develop the dreaded paunch, and while I do appreciate the extra insulation, the "dad bod" is not for me. I realised long ago that I will never have a chiseled physique - mainly because I'm a lazy bastard - but even so, I'm not ready yet to be a lazy fat bastard. I aim to reduce the flab with a combination of better diet, more general exercise and less drinking. But I won't be going to the gym. Fuck that. 2. Go on some small holidays I'd like to do some smaller trips abroad this year, places I particularly want to see soon include Italy, Russia, Ireland, Iceland, Morocco and Poland. So I'll probably end up going to Czech Republic instead. 3. Get a pinup tattoo As I'm rapidly getting my body inked in, I really need to get a tattoo of a pinup girl before I run out of space altogether. Obviously this will need to be a naked pinup girl, so if anyone wants to send me some nudie selfies to base the picture on - that would be much appreciated! 4. Get an echo-friendly pet I've wanted to get a pet for ages now, but due to the chronic lack of space in my home it's just not feasible at the moment. As an alternative I'd like to get some sort of self-sufficient pet that I could keep in the back yard such as a wormery or a beehive. Hopefully, the bees would behave themselves and not start wreaking havoc and attacking people in the local area. 5. Find a new hobby Snooker, rock climbing, swimming, drawing - something like that. Basically a new activity that is fun and doesn't involve booze. 6. Write more I would like to write a new blog post each month this year.

2016 in Review (or why you shouldn’t wax your balls at home)

I usually write a roundup of my shit life at the end of each year, and this time I'm doing it slightly earlier than usual as I'm buggering off to Vietnam for a month in just a few days time. It's been a very quiet year to be honest - mainly because I've been trying to save money for this holiday; so this will only be a short (and boring) post. Hopefully 2016 will end with a bang at least (and not be due to any airport bombings on the way to Asia, fingers crossed) - so I'll be able to write about my adventures when I get back. In the meantime I'll pad this blog entry out at the end with a couple of pointless lists that are of little or no interest to anyone but me. First the good news! After several failed attempts in previous years, I've managed to quit smoking this year and as I write this, it is currently 11 months since I smoked a fag. I also managed to get a promotion at work (along with a nice little pay rise to boot) and now I'm a Senior Web Developer. Whatever that means? I've changed my drinking habits too, and have drastically reduced the frequency of my pub visits. Any money saved from doing this - in addition to boosting my travel fund - has allowed me to pay for my full back tattoo and go to a lot of gigs (more on this later). As for the bad news - there was no romance to be had in 2016 and it is the first year that I have lived in my bachelor pad (7 years) where I failed to get my leg over. And as if God hadn't punished me enough already by blighting me with a baldie bonce in my 20s, 2016 was also the year that saw my remaining hair start to turn grey (spreading at a rate something akin to an outback forest fire). And whereas I'm quite enjoying the salt & pepper effect of my beard hair, having testicles that appear to have been dipped in an ash tray is not such a great look. Even more of a bittersweet pill to swallow considering I gave up cigarettes this year. To remedy this, I bought a pack of home-waxing strips - and as it turns out Nads For Men is not suitable to be used on your nads - resulting in me almost ripping a nut clean off along with several layers of skin (but unfortunately not a lot of hair). My poor genitalia looks very sorry for itself at the moment and resembles an unwell chicken, afflicted with Avian Flu. In hindsight, maybe it's not such a bad thing that my mojo has deserted me, at least until by bollocks are ship-shape again and restored to their former glory (with perhaps a touch of Grecian 2000 to restore the colour). At least I managed to write this post without resorting to referencing all the celebs who died (mainly because I've already spoken about most of them in a previous post here). As promised, here's a list of the gigs/music performances I went to in 2016: Kula Shaker David Rodigan (on several occasions) The Damned (already written about here) Lush Lovebox (included LCD Sound System, Jungle & others) Madness at Clapham Common (also included Toots & The Maytals, Lee Scratch Perry & others) L7 Sleaford Mods Super Hans from Peep Show John Carpenter Terrorvision And just to be ultra boring, here's a list of the books I read: Mad Frank - Mad Frankie Fraser Down Under - Bill Bryson The Road to Little Dribbling - Bill Bryson Shakespeare - Bill Bryson About a Boy - Nick Hornby A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby Millions of Women Are Waiting To Meet You - Sean Thomas The Birds & Other Stories Daphne Du Maurier Bulldog Drummond - unknown? The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom How To Be Good - Nick Hornby 31 Songs - Nick Hornby Pincher Martin - William Golding The Long Firm - Jake Arnott The Kray Madness - Chris Lambrianou

Movember 2016

It's been a couple of years since I last took part in Movember. Partly because I lead a hectic city lifestyle and I just don't have the time to grow a 'tache these days, but also because my last effort was so amazing that I don't think it could be bettered (and it's probably only fair to expect people to give you money in exchange for growing facial hair just once in your lifetime). Still, being the selfless, public-spirited human being that you know and love - I've decided to come out of Mo-retirement, demonstrate my moustache-growing prowess once again and save a few lives. Besides, I'm not likely to be running any marathons any time soon. Having tried various moustache styles in the past, ranging from the Charles Bronson handlebar, to the Nietzsche walrus (including the Mexican wraparound and the standard minge-tickler along the way) - the only real options available to me this year were the David Niven pencil moustache, the 70s porn star (think Ron Jeremy) - or Hitler. Given these choices, I've elected to go for the best of a band bunch and I'm currently attempting to grow a John Holmes circa 1978 Erotic Adventures of Candy lip rug, although so far I've only managed to make myself look like Fu Manchu. So here's the sales blurb: Movember has moved away from men's testicles this year and is focussing on their brains instead (same difference you might think); raising awareness of the rising depression and suicide rates of young blokes in the UK. I've tried to keep the donation spam to a minimum this year - but you can follow my progress on my Instagram account and donate here: http://mobro.co/spiderwebdesign Thanks!  

Photoshop Tattoos 2014

Back in 2010 - in a time before I had many tattoos or could grow a proper moustache - I was bored one night and decided to add ink to my torso digitally using Photoshop. The results were as diabolical as you can imagine, a proper dog's dinner - and can be viewed here. Then I tried the same jape again in 2011, albeit by that time a couple of the tattoos were actually real and my moustache was marginally better. The results were slightly better and you can see them here. These proved to be two of my most popular blog posts ever, which shows there's no accounting for taste if nothing else - although they also provoked a lot of online abuse as well (which I quite like). I decided to push my luck again in 2014 when I attempted this again, but never bothered to post the picture and promptly forgot about it. By chance I stumbled upon the image whilst cleaning up my  laptop the other day and as it's Halloween, I thought I might as well share. The main differences being a couple of additional real tattoos, plus more beard and less  penis on display. I'd also perfected my Charles Manson stare by this time.

Tom’s Top Halloween Jokes

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it might be nice to share with you some of my favourite Halloween jokes you can play this year. Fun for all the family! 1. Go to an expensive chain super market and have a wank in the vegetable isle. When the security guard arrives to escort you out, complain that all the fruit is crushed and bruised. 2. Get a friend with a nut allergy to unwittingly play Russian roulette with a packet of M&M's by mixing in peanut flavoured ones with the usual ones. They will laugh for days afterwards. 3. Go to the toilet at work and smear yourself in excrement. Return to your desk as if nothing is amiss and continue work as usual. This will make you the office comedian for years to come. 4. Set fire to the local pet shop. 5. Go to Brixton and pretend to be a ghost by dressing up in a pointed white sheet with eye holes cut out. For added scary effect, carry a burning torch. Everyone will appreciate this gesture. 6. Buy some boiled sweets, unwrap them and stick them up your bum. Then poo them back out and wrap them up again one-by-one. Offer them out to children when they come trick-or-treating and see the delight in their faces. 7. Push your grandad down the stairs. 8. Cover your face in flour, go to your best mate's house at midnight and tap on the window until they open the door - then when they do, shine a torch in your face and claim to be a ghost. When they demand to know what the fuck is going on, slash their face with a razor blade that has been soaked in piss. 9. Kill your entire family and bury them in the garden, then go to the police station and confess. They will either assume you've pulled a funny Halloween prank on them and laugh at your hilarity, or take you seriously and get a massive shock when they realise you're telling the truth. Win/win gag, this - bloody funny either way. 10. Go to a tough working class pub - I'd recommend The Star of Bethnal Green or The George in Camberwell. Sit at the bar and during conversation, casually mention that this is the first time you've had a drink since being released from the nonse wing at Pentonville Prison. If you're feeling extra cheeky for extra comedy, ask if their are any primary schools nearby.

Seven Years

Last week I received a letter from the bank informing me that I have been paying my mortgage for seven years and summarised the payments I have made thus far. This was a bit of a surprise to me as the time has flown by and it doesn't really seem that long. For anyone that doesn't know, I live in a tiny studio flat in Camberwell; it's a refurbished halfway house for aged lunatics and alcoholics, it still has bars on the windows and turrets on the roof and the founders are buried in the garden. I like that. Some of the notables to have come from Camberwell include The Richardson brothers (aka The Torture Gang and rivals to the Kray twins), Jenny Agutter (the bird who gets her knickers off in An American Werewolf in London) and Leslie Grantham who played Dirty Den in Eastenders (and was subsequently sacked for wanking on a webcam in his dressing room). If I liken by poky little home to a prison cell and my time spent living here a sentence (mainly because I like to keep all my analogies dark), how have I spent my seven years of porridge with day release? One of my major achievements has been to maintain a consistent level of baldness throughout, which is a feat only a couple of my mates have managed to match (although some are starting to catch up). I have also grown a moustache and beard on occasion which probably means that I've reached puberty at last, which comes as a relief speaking as bloke who is almost 30... (I'm 35). I've squeezed in a few holidays in the last few years, including Thailand, Cambodia, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands - and this is definitely something I want to do more of. I've also been to a load of gigs and music festivals and I've seen many of the bands that are important to me - Grinderman, L7, Sheep on Drugs, Madness, Kasabian, Electric Wizard and The Prodigy being a handful of highlights. I've had four different jobs during this period - and have worked my way up from doing technical support to my current position as a senior web developer for a digital agency in Hoxton, which is something I'm quite pleased about. I've had a lot of tattoo work done, including an awesome backpiece by Calypso Saga which I love, but the downside to this is that I constantly now have to answer the question: "What will you do when you're 70?". I've done my fair share of foolish things of course - I jumped off the pier into the sea in Brighton and I also stripped down to my pants and jumped in the lake at Secret Garden Party (there were witnesses). I've had couch surfers from America and Sweden stay at my place (who could have turned out to be crazy hatchet murderers or Jehovah's Witnesses - or anything), and for some unfathomable reason I took up smoking and became chronically addicted, although I did manage to quit the habit this year. I've also been barred from two local pubs, but these pubs are overpriced shitholes that didn't deserve my custom in the first place. I've tried to raise the dark lord on several occasions and I've truly believed that I've seen ghosts and demons late as night, although thankfully, they've not made an appearance for the last couple of years (coincidentally, that was the last time I took ketamine). On the downside, I've yet to form a super group like the Traveling Wilburies and take the music industry by storm, so this is something I will need to work on in the future. And maybe I'll even get to have sex with a woman one day. Here's to the next seven years!

List Mania 10: Things I Hate

In his latest (and rather good) book, The Road to Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson proposes the idea of what he calls "Reflex Loathing". This notion is simply that that everyone should be allowed to choose "a dozen or so things that they dislike without having to justify or explain to anyone why they don't like them". I liked this concept so much that I was inspired to write my own list, the only problem being how to narrow the list down to only 12... 1. People getting in the way. Especially people who insist on wearing their rucksacks on crowded trains. 2. The constant need for people to be permanently glued to their phones these days, especially young people. 3. People who add "LOL" to the end of their sentences. Also people who don't understand subtle humour. If you need to indicate that something is a joke - it probably wasn't that funny in the first place. 4. The use of the word "mandatory" over the word "compulsory". 5. Mornings. There is no excuse for talking to me before 11am. Ever. 6. Topknots. 7. BMW drivers who always refer to their car as "The BMW". Examples: "I'm just taking the BMW out for a spin.." or "I waxed the BMW today, because I'm a cunt." 8. Admin charges for buying gig tickets online. 9. Films that are longer than 1hour, 40 minutes for no good reason. 10. The ubiquity of James Cordon. 11. Any form of exercise besides wanking or dancing (sometimes at the same time). 12. Pints that cost more than £5.

35

The 3rd of July this year marked the 45th anniversary of Jim Morrison's death. As controversial frontman of The Doors, Morrison was my first rock hero, and played no small part in introducing me to 60s rock music when I was a teenager (and I was a teenager in the 90s, not the 60s - I hasten to add). A member of the 27 Club, so-called because all of the musicians said to be inducted, all died at the age of 27. More to the point - a select group of music icons who shuffled of this mortal coil at 27 because of their wayward, party-hard lifestyles. In addition to Morrison, the unlucky members include Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and more recently, Amy Winehouse. Aside from the 27 Club, Sid Vicious snuffed it even younger, at the tender age of 21, following a heroin overdose and having stabbed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death. The epitome of punk rock and and a wasted life, Vicious lived his short life as fatalistically and nihilistically as anyone in public eye that I can think of. None of this could be classed as breaking news though,  so why am I talking about this now? And the answer is because I am 35 and I have now outlived them all (something that I would never have thought possible when I was younger). Everyone wants to be sexy young corpse don't they? Have you ever heard of anyone who thought it was cool to be in the 35 Club? No, me neither. If I continue through the pantheon of rock 'n' roll idols who met their maker too soon - and in chronology of age - the next up would be Keith Moon and John Bonham; two legendary, hellraising drummers (albeit chronic alcoholics), who both died at the age of 32. Needless to say I'm older than them now too. Next in the list (and probably less familiar to most of you) is Gary Holton; most famous for appearing in 80s comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, but also lead singer with glam punk band, The Heavy Metal Kids. Dead at 33. Moving away from music for a moment - bearded, tattooed daredevil Ryan Dunn of Jackass fame - perished after crashing his car at high speed (whilst drunk) at 34. And yes, I am older now than he was too. Moving upwards beyond my age, GG Allin was gone at 36 which is remarkable really, when you consider his reckless life. It's no secret that I've long been a fan of GG - I've written about him many times previously and I even went as far as getting his portrait tattooed on my leg not so long ago. There's a fair gap after Allin, before we get to Sebastian Horsley; another important figure on my list and another inspiration for numerous blog posts and one of my first tattoos. He died at 47. Beyond which we have Joe Strummer of The Clash who passed away at 50 and then the list becomes far less cool and much more embarrassing, as most things in life seem to with age, alas! * Now it has been noted by many that 2016 has been the year of celebrity deaths (which makes a change from the Yew Tree list I suppose), with the likes of Lemmy from Motorhead, David Bowie and Terry Wogan all dropping down dead in the last 12 months. My favourite person to point this out is one of great thinkers and social commentators of our time, Paul Chuckle on Twitter: So where does this leave me? In the words of Ian Anderson from 70s prog-rock giants, Jethro Tull (and still not dead): "Too old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die." * Notable mentions who didn't make it into this blog post include: Mary Millington, Ian Stuart Donaldson, Steve McQueen, John Holmes, Seth Putnam and Marc Bolan.

Happy Birthday Tom Fog: Part 2

As previously mentioned, my birthday this year was somewhat overshadowed by the sudden death of rock legend, Lemmy. Following suit, David Bowie decided to drop down dead a few days later, and then Alan Rickman had the audacity to kick the bucket as well - effectively eradicating my birthday celebrations from the nation's collective consciousness - the selfish bastards. Taking this into account, I've decided to list out some celebrities who - like me - are born on the 28th of December. Chas Hodges One half of Chas 'n' Dave, famed for writing classics such as "Rabbit" and "The Sideboard Song". Chas was knighted in 2013, mainly for being the only celebrity of his generation who isn't a paedophile, but also for his songwriting ability and charity work. Denzel Washington Highly acclaimed actor, Oscar nominated for his performance alongside Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption. Other memorable roles include the wise-talking hitman in Pulp Fiction and as Porkpie in Desmonds. His wife, Whitney Houston, tragically died from a drugs overdose in 2012. Sienna Miller Notorious porn star who once famously dated Jude Law. Has small tits but amazing cocksucking lips. Her skills include A-levels (which is bum sex in layman's terms) and gangbangs. Stan Lee Cartoonist who created Batman and founded Viz, not as good as Alan Moore but still quite popular. Woodrow Wilson The 28th president of America, who was also a highly acclaimed inventor. Some of his noteable gizmos include the seed drill, the washing machine and the knitting needle. Sadly his tenure was eclipsed by his ill-fated decision to invade Poland. John Legend A DJ or something - not to be confused with John Sergeant.

New Year’s Resolutions 2016

Only a mere 5 days into the new year and here are my resolutions for 2016 (mainly composed at the local Weatherspoon's). The list will not include anything like "strive for global peace" or "do my bit to heal the world", as the world seems to have been doing a pretty good job of this by itself during the last 12 months, as any cursory glance over any recent newspaper will tell you. Neither will the list include "get a girlfriend" or "have sex" - as this is only a list of resolutions and I want them to be achievable goals. I'm not asking for miracles here. 1. Quit smoking I've tried this before and failed miserably on every occassion (although I did manage to give up for 3 or 4 months a couple of years ago). I am very serious about wanting to this time though. 2. Veganism This is a new one on the list and I've actually been trying it out for a few weeks now. It's going ok so far but I've made a few mistakes along the way. I miss having milk in my tea most of all, and I've had some crazy urges to eat pizza and lasagne. I've also been farting. A lot. The best thing about being Vegan, I've found - even better than the moral and health implications that accompany this way of living - is that it really really annoys people. Some people seem to equate Veganism with terrorism or paedophilia. And the ability to annoy people is a commodity that I value very highly. It's one of my favourite pastimes (aside from wanking). 3. Go Straight Edge for a month This isn't going to be a permanent lifestyle choice - it's more that cutting out drink during January will help me with giving up smoking, and it goes hand-in-hand with the Vegan regime as well. 4. Travel more This one doesn't really need explaining does it?

RIP Lemmy (but Happy Birthday Tom Fog)

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me - or anyone that has read this blog a handful of times - that I am not really a fan of Christmas. I find it a lonely, depressing time of the year, and so I tend to hide away over the festive season and sleep as much as possible. And this year was no exception to that. Christmas Day itself was actually ok - I managed to get very drunk and was a bought a pair of Doctor Martens as a gift (which my mum eloquently described as looking like "cripple shoes"). From Boxing Day things started to go downhill, I started to feel quite unwell generally, and the day did not really pan out the way that I had hoped it would. I developed what doctors call "a stinking bastard of a cold" which continued until my birthday - a day I particularly dread anyway - and prevented me from going out to the pub that evening.  I was not overjoyed by this birthday even more than usual - due to the age I was about to be. It should really come as no surprise to me then, that England's greatest rock star should drop down dead on the same day. Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of seminal heavy metal band, Motorhead, kicked the bucket on the 28th December  at the age of 70 (and on my 35th birthday just to add insult to injury). Lemmy died 7 weeks after the band's original drummer died, Phil Taylor (aka "Philthy Animal", and not to be confused with the PDC darts player of the same name). I was lucky enough to see Motorhead a couple of years ago - they were incredibly good and extremely loud (you can read more about the experience here), so at  least I didn't miss out on hearing them play while they were here. I can thoroughly recommend Lemmy's autobiography, White Line Fever, as well as the documentary dedicated to him, simply titled Lemmy. He was also in Hawkwind back in the 70s, and has appeared in as a cameo in numerous low-budget horror films from Troma - all well worth checking out. For the rest of the day I saw lots of social media posts saying "RIP Lemmy", to which I had the morbid urge to follow with "But Happy Birthday Tom" underneath. I didn't though, because I'm too nice. And to be honest, if my favourite rock legend is going to die during the Christmas period, I'd rather it be on my birthday, instead of say, the 27th or 29th. "Oh my God, he killed Lemmy! You bastard!!!" (Yes, he even appeared on South Park once too)

2015 in Review

(or to be more accurate, My Shit Life in 2015) It's that time of year again when I like to look back and assess my achievements over the past year, and also briefly summarise any  important news stories that have occurred. The only problem with this is that I'm becoming increasingly bone-idle and boring in my pursuits, and so I've found it incredibly difficult to remember anything noteworthy that I've done in the last 12 months. In fact I could actually sum it up in 7 words (which would be far more suited to a text messsage, Tweet or even a fucking post-it note, rather than a blog post); I have done bugger all in 2015. I've had a look back at my 2014 in Review as a starting point, the gist of which can be condensed thus: I've not had any sex this year, so next year I intend to have some sex. This goal I have successfully smashed in 2015, having victoriously managed to have even less sex in the last year (something I didn't even think possible, 2014 being a record I thought would never be beaten). So what have I done? My main achievement - undoubtably - is growing and maintaining a moustache whilst simultaneously preserving the same level of baldness. In addition to this this I've been to a few gigs, some of the highlights being L7, Madness, Gaz Coombes, The Fall, Caravan Palace, Warpaint, Electric Wizard and Molotov Jukebox. I also saw the new Mad Max film 3 times at the cinema. I have continued getting tattooed and am finally beginning to make some progress. I am currently halfway through a back piece by Calypso Saga and I also had a small tattoo by Duncan X, which has been on my to-do list for a long time now. I also managed to squeeze in a short holiday and visited Berlin for a week - another item that has been on my to-do list for ages - and drank a lot of booze and had a lot of fun. I got robbed and fined whilst there - for bonus points, which has become fairly standard for me when abroad over the last couple of years. In other news (i.e global news, or the news), 2015 has been a triumph for unified, united multiculturalism, proving that human beings can live side-by-side, respecting each others' beliefs and value systems - without resorting to violence... Rock legend, Shane MacGowan, also got some new teeth. See you next year!

As Old As Gold

"Too old to Rock 'n' Roll, too young to die" sang Jethro Tull (the prog-rock singer, not the rotational crop farmer and inventor of the seed drill). Well I recently bought a pair of ridiculously tight skinny fit jeans of the hipster variety, so I wonder what he would think about that? Now I wouldn't normally do something like this for two main reasons: a) they look shit and b) I don't follow fashion and wouldn't usually want to be seen dead in anything that say, my colleagues or Noel Fielding, might consider wearing. So why have I taken this bold and radical step? Firstly because they were only £10, and at a tenner a pop - even I can afford to make this sartorial mistake. And secondly, I currently have the skinny legs and snake hips to get away with it (for now). That said - these are so tight that they're practically leggings - nearly as transparent as tights - and one cursory glance over the crotch area would probably give away what religion I follow, so tight are these jeans. I'm in a race against time with the onset of middle aged spread that has been slowing encroaching since the age of 30. Anyway, before I digress too much - there is another reason for this drastic purchase, and it is the most tragic reason of all. At the age of 34 (on the verge of being 35 in fact), I feel I am getting old - to old to even attempt to be fashionable any more  - and at best I have maybe a year or two left where I can get away with wearing this kind of attire. If I'm lucky. Any longer and I'd be in danger of being seen as "mutton dressed as lamb" - or whatever the male equivalent of that phrase is? In a sense I suppose I'm lucky to be bald, which rules out the option of me growing a ponytail during this horrible transitional phase I'm going through. I've already been getting tattooed on a regular basis for the last seven or eight years, and was fortunate enough to get my ear pierced when I was younger so there's no chance I will get a sudden urge to do that now in some hopeless attempt to hold on to my youth. These would all be tell tale signs of the phrase I've being trying to avoid  using in this blog post so far, but even so I'm probably just one Harley Davidson away from having a full-on midlife crisis. In the hopes of assuaging my impending descent into old age I've recently tried to make changes to my lifestyle - giving up smoking and cutting down on jaunts to the pub (and lusting after barmaids) - which are both good ways to improve your health and bank balance - but are both ultimately boring to do without. Clubbing also takes a less prominent position on my agenda these days, mainly because I fear I may have turned into the man on the dance floor that I hated as a teenager: people over the age of 30 simply do not belong in nightclubs, and certainly not on the dance floor. Maybe a potential saviour will arrive through the medium of online dating, but in all honesty, I do not have high hopes. Birds my age generally have children or some other baggage (usually in the form of a mental ex), or are morbidly obese or have some other unforgivable character trait that has made them into a spinster - shopping addiction, alcoholism, small breasts etcetera. Sounds great.  

Wrong Tom

As is very often the way with my blog posts, this one starts with the line, "I was in the pub the other night...". And as is also too frequently the case, it is also primarily concerned with the topic of "egosurfing". So anyway, I was in the pub the other night and I made some comment that might have been slightly disparaging about some of those members in our community who are less advantaged, or perhaps it was something sexually inappropriate, albeit in a good natured kind of way. It might have even been a combination of both, but that's not important to the story. "That's wrong, Tom...", my friend replied. Followed by: "That should be your name - Wrong Tom! Or maybe it was the wrong Tom who got you barred from the Hermit's Cave?". We laughed at this hysterically for about 5 minutes, in that way that drunk people laugh at things that aren't actually that funny, but it still stuck with me until after the hangover had cleared on the following day; Wrong Tom would be a suitable online alias for me to use. I've wanted to create a new social media identity for a while now, partly in an attempt to reduce my digital footprint, and also because I feel restricted with what I can share on my current Twitter/Instagram accounts. It would also be nice to have a change, as I've used by current Twitter handle - Mr Fatty Goo - for quite some time now (which is simply an anagram of my name). I set about registering the same, only to find that's it's already taken (along with every variation of the name) - by a DJ based in Peckham no less! Also taken were the domain names, which I had also planned to nab. And if I'm honest, I also had a Worse Tom tattoo in mind too, so it's just as well that I checked before heading off to the local ink jabber. What a complete and utter arsehole. This led to me doing Googling my name for a bit, only to discover that there is a brand of wine that carries my moniker, brewed in California by that other Tom Fogarty bastard, who actually died last year but still manages to usurp in the Google rankings (as does Tom Fogerty - also dead - who can't even spell his surname properly). Having discovered this I tried to order a bottle, only to find that they only sell it by the crate and they don't post internationally, even to people called Tom Fogarty. The slags. I then found there is a band called the Tom Fog Band, which scuppers any future plans I might have for world domination through the formation of my own super group. Wankers! I do wish people would stop stealing my completely original ideas before I've even had a chance to think of them myself; it beggars belief and makes my blood boil. It's bad enough having the likes of Count Macula nicking my identity on Instagram, without being preempted by a bunch of chancers. And let us not forget this sod, who always used beat me to the top of everyone's friend lists back in the MySpace years: mstom

Gigs, Gigs, Gigs (Lists, Lists, Lists)

I was speaking to someone the other day (I can't remember where, so it was probably at the pub) - who said they had saved every ticket from every gig they had ever been to. I was suitably impressed by this, so decided to cast my mind back and list out all the bands I've seen. Obviously, this isn't an exhaustive list, as my memory is notoriously bad - but I have tried to be as thorough as possible. The rules to this list are simple; I have to have seen the full set (the odd 5 minutes of a support act do not count). What surprised me, was how few there are, as I would have assumed I've seen hundreds of bands - but this is not the case (77 individual bands in total). More than anything else, this list will serve as a reference for me in the future, so probably will not of interest to anyone else. These are not in any particular order, simply the sequence in which I remembered them.
Curtis Stigers
Seen this bloke about 4 times at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club now, I usually take my mum for her birthday and she's a big fan. I've also reviewed one of his shows for Pennyblack here.
The Pogues
Always loved these Irish pissheads, seen them 3 or 4 times in Brixton (for their Xmas show naturally).
Prodigy
Seen them a couple of times in Brixton, fucking wicked stuff.
Madness
Great band, saw them at Mad Stock. Hopefully I'll them again soon.
The Blockheads (without Ian Dury)
Still a top show, even without Ian. Highly recommended.
Plan B
Decent. Blogged about this previously here.
Jessie J
Fit but shit. Saw her on the same lineup as Plan B.
Supergrass
These were my favourite band as a teenager and I managed to see them at their farewell tour in London.
Gaz Coombes
Lead singer from Supergrass. Seen him doing solo stuff a few times, always puts on a good show.
Motorhead
Massive band, massive show and very loud - my ears were ringing for days afterwards. Hopefully see them again soon. Blogged about the gig here.
Bo Ningen
Crazy Japs, well worth checking out, even if only on YouTube.
Republica
Saw them on their reunion tour this year. The singer isn't as hot as she used to be, but I still would.
Warpaint
Only got into this band recently, saw them this year.  Good show.
Tankus The Henge
Seen these 3 times, first time at Secret Garden Party. Good fun.
Misfits
Massive fan of these, one of my all-time favourite bands. Shit gig sadly, but glad I've seen them. Reviewed here.
Queens of The Stone Age
Saw these at Wembley. Very expensive tickets but worth it.
Turbo Suplex
Fronted by a midget who wears a crash helmet and a leather jacket. That's all you need to know.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Overrated live band ( but they do have a good album).
Sheep on Drugs
One of my favourite bands. Don't play often, but worth checking out. Reviewed here.
Shed 7
Saw them on their reunion tour a couple of years ago, which is very strange as I hated them as a teenager when they were first around (and I still hate them now).
Terrorvision
Big band for me as a teenager, saw them on their reunion tour a few years back. Glad I did.
Suede
Really really good. Seen them twice. `Previously blogged about one of their shows here.
Scissor Sisters
Super slick live show, catchy tunes.
Electric Wizard
Satanic Metal. So loud, so good. Seen them twice now.
The Fall
Saw these this year in Brixton. Classic band, worth checking out.
Kasabian
My current favourite indie band but I've only seen them once. Will definitely go again next time they tour.
Molotov Jukebox
Seen these lots of times, reviewed here.
Joana and The Wolf
Sadly split up now, but these were a great London band. Saw them loads of times, here's a review of one of their gigs.
Tweak Bird
Saw these at the Lexington, can't remember much about it to be honest.
The Layabouts
Cool Spanish band that I reviewed and interviewed for Pennyblack here.
Only Joe
Rasta band I saw at Secret Garden Party in the Badger Tent. Enough said.
Idiot Bastard Band
Despite my love for Ade Edmondson and Rowland Rivron's comedy, this was complete wank. Reviewed here.
L7
Saw these for their reunion show this year, probably in my top 3 gigs ever. Reviewed here.
The Blackout
Went on a date for this one. Not really my cup of tea and I didn't get a shag afterwards.
PJ Harvey
Saw her at Primavera Sound and accidentally rubbed sun tan lotion into my eyes at the same time. Previously blogged about the experience here.
Grinderman
Also at Primavera (see above). Highlight of the whole festival for me.
Pulp
Great band. Saw them in Spain, headlining a festival at 3am.
Battles
Seen these 3 times, all at festivals. They never disappoint.
Caribou
Exactly the same as Battles; 3 times, 3 festivals, decent.
PIL
Kept expecting Johnny Rotten to start flogging butter on stage.
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Good old fashioned Rock & Roll. Seen them a few times.
Macaulay Culkin & Pizza Underground
Very bizarre show, mainly attended by hipsters. Worth seeing for the novelty factor though (I think the rest of the tour got cancelled).
Flaming Lips
The singer ran out over in the audience in a massive hamster wheel, but I can't remember what the music was like.
From Montreal
Canadian lunatics (in leotards).
Blondie
I've always liked their music but they're shit live.
Bob Dylan
Rubbish. Never pay good money to watch an old man wank.
Cranberries
Good band. The singer looks like pat Butcher these days.
Soho Hobo
Huge fan of Tim Arnold's work. Seen him 3 times now, previously reviewed here.
Gary Numan
Crap.
Gorgol Bordello
Crazy bloody gypsies. Good fun, did an hour-long encore.
Chas 'n' Dave
Seen these boys 3 times and I'd see them again. First time I saw them was on their farewell tour (which was so successful, they promptly reformed a few months later). Blogged about the show here.
Go West
Took my mum to see these for her birthday a few years ago. MILFs everywhere.
Arabrot
Norwegian Noise-Metal band. Reviewed and interviewed for Pennyblack. Very nice blokes.
We Were Evergreen
French fuckers.
Rubber Bandits
Funny paddies in scary masks. I reviewed them here.
Nix Nugent
My mate. Fit. Great singer who writes her own songs. Reviewed here.
Cave Painting
Saw them at XOYO, reviewed them here.
Buster Shuffle
Seen these a few times and reviewed them here. Good band.
Male Bonding
Bloody hipsters. Not a fan.
Pissed Jeans
Very angry punks. "Fuck off, we hate you", they screamed. Great stuff.
Interpol
Dreary bunch of tossers.
Big Boy
Fat fuck-face more like.
Islet
Strange lads with bad haircuts. Made a right din.
The National
Dull.
Shellac
They made my ears bleed (in a good way).
Fleet Foxes
Happy sods, this lot. Not really my cup of tea.
Future Islands
Really good band. My mate described their lead singer as "looks like Phil Collins with ADHD".
Silver Apples
Would you like to see a really old man playing techno music? No, neither did I.
The Budos Band
Can't remember much about the gig, so I must have been very drunk or very bored.
Bitch Magnet
Great name, shit band.
KT Tunstall
Surprisingly good. Saw her performing at Secret Garden Party and afterwards, I stripped off and jumped in the lake (as you do).
Tim Minchin
Silly man, who is an unfunny comedian for his usual day job. Saw him performing a music gig at Secret Garden Party a few years back.
Florence and The Machine
Overrated self-indulgent bollocks.
Christy Moore
Highly acclaimed by some (not by me).
Badger Badger
Seen these a few times at Secret Garden Party and Hootananny Brixton.
Love Nor Money
Fit birds who have some good tunes. Saw them at Brixton.
Elvis Costello
Saw him at Kew Gardens last year doing his solo acoustic stuff. Unfortunately I don't like his solo acoustic stuff, but still had a laugh while there.
And here are some bands I'd still like to see (excludes dead bands like The Doors, Mayhem*, The Clash, Lunachicks, Elastica, Skrewdriver etcetera):
The Damned*
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds*
CSS
Blur
Iron Maiden
Wu-Tang Clan
Cock Sparrer*
Murder Junkies
Dwarves
Rancid*
Dead Kennedies
Sleaford Mods*
Bjork
Caravan Palace*
Descendents
Saxon
Kuler Shaker*
Rammstein*
Van Goffey
Ghost
Marilyn Manson*
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes*
S Club 7
The The
Sepultura
Prefab Sprout/Paddy McAloon
Beck
Rocket From the Crypt
I've actually managed to see all bands marked with an asterisk (*) since this article was written. See updated list below.
Updated: 2016
Kuler Shaker
David Rodigan
Lush
The Damned
Caravan Palace
Sleaford Mods
Updated: 2017
Mayhem
ELO
Bastards (Resurrection Fest) Noctem (Resurrection Fest) Devil Wears Prada (Resurrection Fest) Benighted (Resurrection Fest) Airborne (Resurrection Fest) Comeback Kid (Resurrection Fest) Suicidal Tendencies (Resurrection Fest) The Black Dahlia Murders (Resurrection Fest) Anthrax (Resurrection Fest) Holocausto Cannibal (Resurrection Fest) Anima (Resurrection Fest) Killus (Resurrection Fest) Teething (Resurrection Fest) Northlane (Resurrection Fest) Legacy of Brutality (Resurrection Fest) Annihilator (Resurrection Fest) Wisdom in Chains (Resurrection Fest) Architects (Resurrection Fest) Truckfighters (Resurrection Fest) Enter Shikari (Resurrection Fest) Rammstein (Resurrection Fest) Napalm Death (Resurrection Fest) Morpheum (Resurrection Fest) Mutant (Resurrection Fest) Adhesive (Resurrection Fest) D.Y.S (Resurrection Fest) Arch Enemy (Resurrection Fest) Conan (Resurrection Fest) Lords of Black (Resurrection Fest) Mastodon (Resurrection Fest) Taake (Resurrection Fest) Rancid (Resurrection Fest) Mayhem (second time this year, Resurrection Fest) Slaves Soul II Soul De La Soul Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds