Tesco beats booze ban – Council taken down a peg

In what has become a very bad few weeks for Cardiff Council, a magistrates court has ruled that their “saturation zone” policy is unenforceable and has granted Tesco Express, which opened in November 2009, a license to sell alcohol.

This is a victory for common sense in so much as there are currently three outlets already selling beers, wines and spirits within 100 meters of the store that Cardiff Council declined to issue a license to. The off-licenses that are currently trading are small franchises of national names Spar, McColls and Nicolas. The main argument brought forward by Cardiff Council is that people on a night out on St Mary Street are likely to go to Tesco, purchase alcohol more cheaply than at any of the bars on the street, get drunk and cause mayhem. What is stopping them from doing this at any of the current outlets, all of which are selling alcohol at prices no more expensive than Tesco would?

Spar currently have 8 bottles (glass) of Tuborg beer for £5.50 or 2 litres of white lightning cider for £2.99, a bottle of which contains 15 units of alcohol which is almost 4 times the recommended daily allowance for men. If people want to come to the city centre and get drunk outside of bars by buying from off-licenses, they have the means to already.
Also, Tesco promotes itself as a responsible retailer. I have been asked for ID in Tesco Cardiff Bay on multiple ocassions, and I don’t look under 18. This is the “Think 25” policy in action.

The Lib Dem-Plaid coalition run council have lost their way and are running the city as their own little club. They bulldoze opposition to any plans that they concoct and have a patent disregard for citizens wishes, often refusing to even open a dialogue. The best recent example is the Bute Park Access project, where Cardiff Council had an agenda (to build a road through the historic Bute Park) and were going to fulfil their wishes no matter what or who they had to step on. Planning laws, action groups, whoever. And now the park is a building site and the council will soon have their road and bridge, despite the protests, public meetings and action groups against the work.

The Smiths Indeed – Indeed!

My obsession with trying to time portal back to the Hacienda on July 6th 1983 is seemingly endless.

Clwb Ifor Bach was taken over by quiff-sporting addicts looking for a way to get back, just like me. A Smiths tribute band is an odd phenomenon, the good ones will emulate particular eras of the bands brief history, using dress to map the time-line. The Smiths Indeed did not disappoint in this.

The first half of the show, “Morrissey” sported a trademark flowery shirt, no doubt picked up at a hospice care shop not unintentionally. This was the main part of the show, the reason The Smiths Indeed are on tour, to perform a full rendition of the epic album “Meat is Murder”. Released 25 years ago on valentines day, perhaps not totally ironically with romance inspired tracks like “I want the one I can’t have”, the band took on the challenge and succeeded in their attempt to beautifully emulate the great masters of the pencil and quiff. Their rendition of “Barbarism Begins at Home” was every bit as humorous and danceable as it was in 1985 when Morrissey and Marr did their amazing jig (see video), “Andy Rourke” captured it perfectly and I was certainly moving around in a very similar fashion, which may have looked very odd if to any other band.
Finishing off with the title track, the haunting “Meat is Murder” which was cut short, missing out the leading 3-minutes of abattoir noises which probably doesn’t work as well live the song was perfectly executed and a fitting tribute to a track that was so controversial 25 whole years ago.

After the break the band came back on to raucous applause, seeming to have completely won over the crowd. This half would be dedicated to the bands other work, with classics like “How Soon is Now?” and “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and to my surprise, a song that was recorded as part of The Smiths very first recording sessions with Troy Tate but is not on any of the original albums (but which has since appeared on compilation albums), “Jeane”, this was a delight to hear.

So, overall a very good night and I would definitely recommend that any Smiths or Morrissey fan does not pass up the chance to see The Smiths Indeed if they come within 50 miles of their town during their tour, details of which can be found on their website, http://www.thesmithsindeed.co.uk

Paternal instincts

When I first found out that Misia and I were going to have a baby I was apprehensive. In a 24-hour period I went through every single emotion there is.

First I was scared and after that I became slightly angry, some items may have been thrown around the living-room. Then I was doubtful, could I do a good job? Sleepiness came next and then finally I was excited, though the last one took about 72-hours to come about, if I’m totally honest.

We announced it this morning to the world after taking a few days to let family and close friends know. They have all been very supportive and have bestowed wisdom upon me that only family and people who are already parents can. It’s going to be a roller-coaster few months, and years, this is for sure, but I’m sure it will make me into a better, stronger and more mature person.

We only have 6 months left to plan because Misia is 3 months along already. Everything and everyone is healthy thus far and I’ll be posting scan pictures and the like in due course.

For everyone who has been around since I started blogging back in 2000, and I know there are a few of you, I thank you for being here, you really are seeing my life pan out in real-time, aren’t you? I first posted as a spotty 15-year old in high-school (these posts were lost in the great database crash of 2003, unfortunately), almost completely unaware of what he wanted to do and now we’re 10 years on…

I will do an anniversary post in June, 10 years to the month that I started blogging. Oh, and I promise to be here more, and this is one promise I will keep this time. I have to stop being a flake.