?

Log in

  | 0 - 10 |  
David Brider [userpic]

General purpose rules of engagement and intro post

December 31st, 2020 (10:00 pm)


  • If you've found my journal, hello! Pull up a virtual chair, put your feet up, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice). You are very very welcome!

  • I was Friends-only for a while. I'm not any more, but quite a lot of my posts before about mid-2007 are still Friends-only. Generally speaking, unless I'm making posts that are really only for me (lists of things to do) or for specific friends ('phone number or "this is what I look like for when we meet up" posts), my posts tend to be public.

  • That said, I compensate for being rather shy and introverted IRL by being very eager to make new friends on line. If I've Friended you, it's unlikely to be entirely random - either we share a few interests, or some mutual LJ friends, or we know each other IRL, or I've noticed you commenting in a community or on an LJ friends' post and I think you seem interesting or worth knowing. Obviously, you don't have to Friend me back, but I'd certainly appreciate it. Who wouldn't?

  • If you decide to Friend me, please say "hi" by adding a comment to this post.

  • I can be a bit tactless myself, but I tend to start out from a position of trying to be nice and polite to everyone. If I inadvertantly manage to offend or upset you, please bear that in mind. Likewise, if you accidentally offend or upset me, I'll be more than ready to forgive and forget ('cos life's too short, frankly). But if you're deliberately unpleasant or rude or jerk me around...well, I might take exception to that.

  • There are a few things about me that you may consider it worth knowing before you decide to Friend me:

  • I'm married to a wonderful lady by the name of Sarah. We've been together since October 2004 and married in September 2009. Sarah can also be found here on LJ (her user name is huntingospray. Pop over and say "hi" to her - she doesn't bite.

  • We've recently (well, September 2010) moved into Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. Still kind of finding our feet there, but we're happy there. We have some lovely neighbours.

  • I'm bisexual. That doesn't mean that I'm sexually promiscuous or anything like that - there are a few men that I think are rather attractive, and indeed a few women that I find rather attractive, but I'm entirely monogamous and utterly faithful to Sarah. If you have a problem with me being bisexual, Friending me may not be a terribly good idea.

  • I write and read slash fiction, both fanfic and original - again, if you have a problem with that, you may want to think twice about Friending me. Generally speaking, any fic I write (which is pretty infrequent, I've got to admit) is hidden underneath an LJ cut, so you don't have to read it if you don't want to. I try to tag my entries, but more of them are untagged than are tagged. That said, if you actually want to read my fiction, there is a tag for it, and also I tend to add it to my Memories. Also, I have a goal of wanting to write a novel.

  • Generally, I'm pretty pro-gay rights and pro-gay marriage, and all told a bit of a liberal. Indeed, I'm fairly left-leaning politically.

  • I'm also a Christian. Sarah and I have yet to properly settle at a church in Hemel, but we'll probably settle at the local Methodist church.

  • Anything else you need to know about me, you can probably get from my LJ User Info.

  • I'm not sure where my default Userpic came from. When I find out, I'll post a link.

David Brider [userpic]

My tweets

August 23rd, 2016 (12:00 pm)
Tags:

David Brider [userpic]

Following Richard - Leicester Cathedral

August 22nd, 2016 (06:54 pm)

I last visited Leicester Cathedral on March 27th 2015Cut for length, and for lots of imagesCollapse )

David Brider [userpic]

Following Richard

August 19th, 2016 (11:48 am)

Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)


(Walt Whitman, Song of Myself)

Anyone who knows me reasonably well will know that, amongst other things, I'm a fairly extreme pacifist, and I'm rather anti-monarchy.

Those two things being borne in mind, it's probably something of a surprise that one of my (fairly) recent obsessions is with Richard III, who - leaving aside the most controversial issue about him - is best known for being a warrior king. Quite why I have this fascination with him - to the extent of joining the Richard III Society, I don't entirely know, although I suspect that at least part of it is down to the controversy - did he kill his nephews, the Princes in the Tower? - and if he didn't, is it possible that history has done him a disservice? Of course, the big problem is that there's no way of being entirely sure about the answer to the first question (mind you, I'm still not entirely sure whether they were killed; I'm not going to seriously suggest anything as radical as that proposed by Big Finish's Doctor Who audio The Kingmaker (go, buy it, listen to it, it's excellent and I'm not about to spoil it for you...), although...who knows? But...well, maybe they didn't die in the Tower? Maybe Perkin Warbeck was the real deal? Like I said, we'll never know, but it's one of those subjects - like the identity of Jack the Ripper or exactly who killed JFK - that because of the unknowability of it, becomes more and more intriguing.

As to the second question - yes, I'm fairly sure that history has been unfair to Richard III. Viewed through the lens of Tudor propaganda that led to Shakespeare's play, it's all too easy to think of Richard III as an evil cripple, but reading (or reading about) contemporary records of the man, it seems he was a far more sympathetic person, a good king.

So...I'm interested in the guy. I want to find out more about him. A favourite TV programme which I often rewatch is an episode of Fact or Fiction about him (presented by Tony Robinson), the aforementioned The Kingmaker is an audio drama to which I often return, and I've recently (at long last) started reading Sharon Kay Penman's The Sunne in Splendour. There will, no doubt, be more reading and TV watching to come.

A few weeks ago, I decided that this weekend, I'd attend the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre's anniversary weekend. Unlike last year, when I travelled up for one day (the Sunday) from home, and accordingly didn't arrive particularly early, this year I decided to stay in the local area (well, Leicester) and travel there for both days. And I decided that as I'm in Leicester I might as well visit Leicester Cathedral, where he's now buried. And while I'm at it, the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which after all is only across the way from the cathedral.

And...the plan sort of grew. I decided there are other places of "Ricardian" interest that I could visit. York, for one, has many sites of both general historical and specifically Richard III-related interest, as well as being not far from Middleham, where Richard grew up. And...I could also include Fotheringhay in what was now turning into my Richard III Roadtrip. Additionally, I've recently visited Ludlow Castle (I don't rule out a return visit), and I've decided that after returning home I'll pop down to the Tower of London. That leaves...well, Stony Stratford, but that's so near to where I live that it's probably a brief day trip...

So, for the next few days, I'll be - as the post title says - Following Richard. Paradoxically, my route takes in his life story in reverse order, starting at his tomb and ending at the place of his birth. This is not in any way deliberate and no great symbolism should be read into it. But anyway - here we go.

Loyalty Binds Me.

David Brider [userpic]

My tweets

August 13th, 2016 (12:00 pm)
Tags:

David Brider [userpic]

My tweets

August 11th, 2016 (09:51 pm)
Tags:

David Brider [userpic]

Raintown - a sort of review

August 2nd, 2016 (11:02 pm)

Anybody who knows me at all well will be well aware that musically, my favourite group are Pet Shop Boys, and my favourite genre is synthpop, with a fair side order of eighties nostalgic pop in the mix too. But that's not the whole story. Generally speaking, I'm happy to listen to anything that's got clear vocals, a hummable tune, and interesting lyrics. That being the case it should be no surprise that, although I'm no aficionado, country music is a genre which I find generally appealing (I have a particular soft spot for Kenny Rogers' Coward of the County. So when the existence of a burgeoning UK Americana scene - British artists writing and singing songs tapping into the vein of country, folk, and bluegrass music - was brought to my attention, I was naturally, if somewhat casually, interested. Groups such as Luke & Mel and Dexeter, and singers such as Gary Quinn and Lucy May, are regularly putting out the sort of music that I can enjoy, and as well as gigging up and down the country in headline or support slots, are also playing at dedicated festivals such as Country to Country and Buckle and Boots.

Early in 2014 a friend of mine, badfalcon, said that she'd be at a gig in London and would I like to meet up? So I booked my ticket for an event at the East Wintergarden venue in Docklands - a triple bill featuring support from the aforementioned Luke & Mel and Gary Quinn, and headlined by a group called Raintown.

Raintown are a Glasgow-based couple, Paul Bain and Claire McArthur Bain (they married a couple of years back). Their debut album, Hope in Troubled Times, was released in 2012, and the follow-up, Writing on the Wall, came out in October last year, funded by fans through a Pledgemusic campaign and supported by a five-date UK tour.

Hope in Troubled Times is an excellent album in itself, but Writing on the Wall is just that little bit better in all respects, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong - in an ideal world I'd recommend both albums, but if you were to only buy one album by Raintown as a "dipping your toe into the water" album, it'd be Writing on the Wall.



The opening title track is an up-tempo number which to my mind has shades of Cliff Richard's Devil Woman in its lyrics. There are some lovely upbeat songs throughout the album - Right Here with me and It's a beautiful life are both positive and cheerful. Mellower numbers such as If this was a love song and Better Beautiful contrast with those excellently, and we're also treated to do Nineteen Again, written by fellow Glasgow artist Brian Hughes, as well as the haunting Forever isn't long enough and See you again. My personal favourite track on the album is probably Feel much better now, which is positively anthemic (the refrain of "When you feel like letting go/Turn on the radio/And you feel much better now" is a great pick-me-up). Paul and Claire's vocals throughout the album complement each other perfectly, with some great harmonies, the instrumentation is strong and tight, and the whole thing is held together by Justin Johnson's production.



Raintown, like many others in the UK country scene, are very open in their relationships with their fans on social media - there is a very welcoming atmosphere on their Facebook page (along with jokes about how a picture of their dog Bella will get more likes than one of their guitarist Stevie!). This has, sadly, led to an encounter with at least one internet troll. However, unlike many people who've had such problematic situations, Raintown have at least been able to immortalise this through the medium of song - another of the album's highlights, Shut the front door, which shifts gear from a slightly Bon Jovi-esque intro into a positive hoedown.



Despite two strong albums to their name, Raintown are most in their element playing live dates. Paul and Claire have an obvious exuberant joy as they share their songs with audiences, and their growing fan base reflects this with an infectious enthusiasm at gigs. Main guitarist Stevie also contributes to the cheerful atmosphere at their live shows. As well as festival appearances, they've played a recent live headline date at prestigious Glasgow venue King Tut's Wah-Wah Hut, and a support slot to venerable Scottish band Runrig at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, and later this month they'll be supporting fellow UK country act The Shires at Cottingham Folk Festival. I'm not sure what live dates, if any, are planned for the foreseeable future after that - Claire is expecting their first child, a girl, in October, which may well limit their live dates for a while. But if you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing them live (their mashup of their own song Love's got a hold on you with country classic Jackson is worth the price of admission alone). But whatever you do, if you like pop/rock with a strong country influence from a likeable, charismatic band who have several BCMA awards under their belt already and are clearly going places, I strongly recommend checking out one or both of their albums.

David Brider [userpic]

My tweets

August 1st, 2016 (12:00 pm)
Tags:

  • Sun, 21:33: @Renner4Real Lovely meeting you at London Film & Comic Con. Hope you enjoyed your time there. :)

David Brider [userpic]

My tweets

July 25th, 2016 (12:00 pm)
Tags:

  • Mon, 08:04: @DebbieGibson at your forthcoming UK shows will there be opportunities for meet & greets, autographs, etc?

David Brider [userpic]

My tweets

July 24th, 2016 (12:00 pm)
Tags:

  | 0 - 10 |