I hope this update finds you happy and healthy.
A couple of items for you… on the last post, I shared a video of me doing the opening Future Legend monologue from Bowie’s Diamond Dogs, a lyric I memorised at 16 and never forgot.
Today I have more remembered lyrics, and I’ve done a bit of a video production on this one. Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3, by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, is well lodged in my brain, and I will often rattle it off to the confusion of those around me… Until I get to the chorus and they realise what it is.
So here is my version of it. It makes me cheerful, I hope it does you during these Lockdown Days. My memory must be dodgy though, I missed some lines, should have listened to the original or checked the lyrics first!
Right, last time I told you about the new Barry Pigeon Protects episode, Barry Goes Viral, a special Covid-19 episode.
I hope you’re all well and staying safe during this pandemic. I don’t know how it’s impacting on you, but for me, I seem unable to concentrate on computer stuff, hence the long wait since my last post. I just don’t have the willpower to sit at a screen. I’ve had to force myself to write this today.
Similar tale with TV. I can sit to watch a show and I’m constantly pausing to check for phone updates. And I fall alseep a lot in front of the telly, despite sleeping well at night. It’s different ways of reacting to the state we live in I guess.
I’m trying to be creative, done lots of garden work, tidying, weeding, planting. I make lots of videos, dog walks, bird song, etc. More of that further down.
A couple of things I’d like to promote though… 5 years ago, I worked on a web series called Barry Pigeon Protects, all about a night security guard sharing his life via webcam. Lovely project written/directed and produced by Kurt Brookes and Andrew Birtwell.
My old mate Doug Thorp asked if I could rekindle Barry as a guest for his Broken Biscuits Online Cabaret.
I asked Kurt and Andy, and within a week we had it written, shot and edited. Due to lockdown, I shot at home with a green screen, and my old security cabin office magically appeared in editing.
Here’s Broken Biscuits Online No. 2. Barry Pigeon is the final artiste in the show… It’s well worth the watch as an alternative to the assault of information we have these days.
For those who want just a dose of Barry Pigeon, here’s the new episode….
And good new Pigeon fans, more Barry is likely to be forthcoming 🙂
I’ll update when I can.
Other bits of of creativity overcome me. The opening of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album, the spoken track Future Legend, is something I committed to memory at age 16.
The words kept coming back to me recently, so here it is, performed as a monologue…
I have another favourite song committed to memory that I plan to make a video for. A more complicated production, but hopefully coming soon.
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been filming my daily dog walks, and sharing on my Facebook feed as Virtual Dog Walking for Shut Ins. I also post my daily Twitter Feeds… the sound of bird song captured in the park.
Been a busy few weeks. This past weekend I was on stage at York Theatre Royal in the TakeOver Festival with the lovely short play, THE SYLVIA SWING, written by Melanie Hopkins. If you’d like to see it, the video is below…
Born and bred here, I love the city. The hills, the lifestyle, and the trees – the green ribbon that brings the countryside into the city.
But as many already know, Sheffield City Council, in partnership with Amey plc, are chopping down many of our street trees as part of a controversial 25-year PFI street improvement program.
Ordinary people who campaign to save our trees are being hit with huge legal bills.
Defend the tree defenders. Stump up! is a Crowdfunder campaign to raise £27,000 for two of those tree campaigners. And I’m proud to be part of a campaign to help them. I present the Crowdfunder video, and met out two heroes on one of the threatened streets.
Please visit the Crowdfunder page and help out if you can.
Every pound is appreciated.
Local council elections are coming up soon. I have supported Labour at every election since I was a lad.
I’ve walked the streets. I’ve talked to voters.
But I cannot honestly support a Labour Council that engages in this sort of behaviour against it’s citizens.
Sheffield Councillors – Your time has come to do the right thing.
Listen to the people of Sheffield and ditch this contract with Amey!
Hello folks! I hope you’ve all had a great start to 2018!
Mine has been (generally) a good one and I had a significant birthday as well, so it’s been a month of celebration. Thank you to all the old friends who shared my birthday, it was really lovely to re-connect with people from all the different periods of my life – school, work, Canada, film, TV… Magical.
My episode of Kay Mellor’s GIRLFRIENDS aired (I’m in Episode 3 if you want to catch it on ITV Hub here). Nice scene with Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wannamaker. I’m really enjoying this series, what a great writer Kay Mellor is!
I was on Radio Sheffield yesterday – a nice interview about First Loves with Rony Robinson – I’ve put the clip on my Bandcamp site to make it easier to listen to my bit…
Right, I’m off to enjoy this last day of January, have fun and be kind!
Had some brilliant news today, a very short film I’ve made has been chosen as a finalist to be shown at Celluloid Screams, the Sheffield Horror Film Festival this coming weekend.
INSIDE, a short ‘bumper’ film, has been accepted as one of the finalists in the Celluloid Screams Film Festival Bumper Competition this weekend in Sheffield. Bumpers are 30 to 60 second short films designed to play before festival feature presentations. The winning Bumper will be announced at the close of the festival.
Since the last update I had a great day on a new ITV drama, GIRLFRIENDS, written and directed by the lovely Kay Mellor. Had a lovely scene with Miranda Richardson and Zoë Wanamaker.
Had a couple of meaty auditions for a lovely soap stint and a new musical tour, but no luck on either. Sad Dave. But keeping busy with Showreel updates, so if you’re an actor looking for a new reel, or want to refresh the one you have, give me a shout!
Had a nice photo session yesterday with an up and coming photographer, Samantha Devine, and I’m including a few below. Click to full-size them….
The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice there is less of me to feast your eyes upon…
I’m delighted to say my weight-loss routine is going well, I’ve lost over 50lbs since this time last year. Feeling great and buying new clothes to fit the new me.
And finally, coming up, a BBC animated sitcom, STICKY, starring Tom Hardy. More on that when I get the details. You’ll have my voice and an animated version of me!
Terror attacks, horrific fires. And May holding on to power by her finger tips.
I was very pleased with the Labour result in the election last week. Yes, a straight win would have been better, but things may change in coming weeks as May collapses. The Grenfell disgrace may just be the thing that finishes her off, so roll on the Queens speech and subsequent parliamentary vote next week.
I walked the streets delivering leaflets and knocking on doors for this election, and I have to say there was a great feeling of support for the Labour Party. When the time comes to go to the polls again, and it could be soon, I hope you’ll see we can actually win this thing, get out there and help turn the tide against austerity.
Since the election, I’ve been kept busy on the latest production from WellRedFilms, a left-leaning, Sheffield-based group of filmmakers.
The latest video, shot on Thursday evening, released Friday and online now, takes a topical look at the aftermath of the election and looks at various campaigns we still need to continue.
I took the production lead on this one, working 5 cameras, edited it all together once I returned home, suffering technical issues and internet problems. I’m very pleased with the end result. I hope I can develop more work like this.
In other news, BROKEN on BBC1 is getting great reviews and I return for the remaining episodes as Christopher Kerrigan, brother to Sean Bean. Not a huge role, but loved it. Jimmy McGovern has written a timely piece on British society, the cast is incredible. It’s not easy viewing, have a tissue handy, but you can’t stop watching.
And I had some good news about an upcoming project. I can’t say more now, but it’s a nice role in a new series from another hugely respected writer.
Hello there!!!! April has suddenly turned cold, we’ve had snow this week! Luckily the weather was warmer last week when my son Benjamin helped me make a new video for a song I originally recorded 4 years ago.
I’d never been happy with the original video. I shot it on my iPhone and I didn’t have playback of the song to sync with so I guessed the audio speed when I shot the video…. which made editing very difficult .
So I’ve been wanting to make a new video for some time and I recorded a new audio track for it as well, so what we have below is a whole new version.
That’s the new above…. below is the old version from 2013….
Hope you like one of them at least….
Cheers and stay warm. Especially on’t moors!
Lovely sunny Spring day today, very nice to see longer days and some sunshine.
Wanted to do a quick update about my iPhone 5s today. Okay, it’s getting on the old side, but it does everything I need, I like the size of it and it’s in good nick. But the battery life was getting to be awful…. Warning messages at 20% and then shutting down, battery lasting half a day so had to carry cables/chargers, etc with me if I was out and about. And it would always die when I was about to take a great photo. So… I was thinking it was time for a new phone.
But the Yorkshireman in me said no, change the battery lad! I looked at the how-to videos (and this one is particularly good, very detailed). Ordered a new battery/tool pack from Amazon (£12.99) and swapped it over this morning.
Happy to say it all went well and the new battery seems good so far, easy job, just take your time, make room on a desk and have something white to put all the TINY screws on. I used a hair dryer to heat the sticky pads holding the old battery in (blowing on the back, not the exposed innards, and well away from the tiny screws mentioned earlier, didn’t want them blowing off the white pad I’d put them on). First time switched on the screen was showing odd stuff, which meant one of the screen cables wasn’t seated properly, so I went back in, sorted it and job done. I’ll post an update on the life of the new battery in a few weeks, but so far so good!
Oh the agony!
I’m still suffering from back pain. I’ve had sciatica for a couple of weeks now (gardening did me in!) and in agony much of the time. Doc gave me a variety of painkillers, muscle relaxants, etc, but did little to help it. I wasn’t sleeping well at all.
I visited The Chinese Doctor, a local massage/acupuncture place in Hillsborough, and he’s worked wonders. Pinpointed the problem area and I’m now doing my homework to stop muscles in spasm. Hopefully I’ll be back to fine fettle soon.
My back wasn’t feeling great last Friday when the Yorkshire Teabaggers were on the road, playing a gig with the bloody amazing Chuffin Ellvis at the Polish Catholic Centre in Leeds. Painkillers an hour before we went on and the adrenaline of being on stage got me through the show. And thanks to Tommy Teabag for driving me there and carrying my gear. We had a new set list, re-ordered our material, played some new stuff and had an amazing night! Leeds we love you!!!!!
Check the Teabaggers Page for new videos and upcoming dates – we’ve got another brewery show coming up soon!!!
Right, off to stick a tennis ball into the tense bits of my back.
Si the soon!