Daily Archives: Sunday, 19th Dec 2004

And up….

Oooh, another fluctuation. Back up again to 206.4 pounds (14 stone 10.4 pounds, 93.6kg).

After a break of four days (London trip, office party, rest), I got back into my exercise programme this evening. I started with the usual 10km on the exercise bike, then 160 crunches on the abominable abdominal exerciser[1], the usual Bullworker set, and two sets with the dumbells. I still had a bit of energy left after that, so I got the rowing machine out for the first time since October, and did a quick five minutes on that. Now that was hard work. Got my heart rate up to 138…

Just need to keep up the effort.

[1] Eeeeeeeeoooowwwwwwwwww![2]
[2] But I’m sure they’re good for me….

Sticking my neck out

Well, it’s nearly the end of the year, so I thought I’d mention my musical tips for 2005. I predict big things for Bloc Party (recent single Helicopter had a lot going for it) and Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs, whose recent single I Predict a Riot attracted a lot of attention.

Well, I was right about Franz Ferdinand and Keane! Well, actually, I was somewhat surpised that a couple of bands that I liked so much appealed to a wider audience, because that hardly ever happens….

The Futureheads

This has been a really good year for debut albums from bands I actually want to listen to. Here’s one I bought a while ago, but haven’t mentioned before. The Futureheads are from Sunderland, which is not a great distance from Losing it[1] HQ. Their music is the kind of slightyl punky, rough-edged power pop/rock that I generally find appealing. It also has a general feeling of not being taken altogether seriously, without them feeling like a joke band[1]. On here we have such songs as Meantime and Decent Days and Night, both singles which got a reasonable degree of attention and have a cheerful sing along quality…

But for me, the highlight is the one cover version on the album. Now there are several ways a band can cover another artist’s song. There’s the “do as near a perfect copy” approach, which always seems a bit pointless to me, there’s the “do it in the same style but with our own voice so it at least sounds like we made an effort” approach, which is OK. Then there’s the “totally reinvent the thing so that it’s ours. Taken to its extremes, this can result in the listenter taking a while to recognise the song, which can be entertaining if nothing else. Well, that’s what these guys have done with the Kate Bush song Hounds of Love. It’s totally different in sound, feel and it took me a while to recognise it the first time I heard it, even though I knew they’d covered the song. At the risk of being arrested by the Pun Police, I’m going to have to describe it as, err, barking mad. It’s great fun, but manages to convey the feeling of fear that was in the original. And, having just listened to the original, I have to say that I actually prefer the cover. Now that’s something I don’t often say. Anyway, this is a good debut album, and I recommend it unreservedly.

[1] I could mention The D*r*n*e*s here, but I’d rather not draw attention to them :cheesy: