Had a nice birthday gathering.
Spa day, scattering of gigs, mini cottage family holiday in Whitby, being cold.
A new bedroom, snow snow snow, surprise presents.
A few gigs.
Announced the healthy scan of my first child, went on a cruise :)
Visitations from the niece, first tooth fillings, Birthday celebrations, the house being filled up with baby items, Harry Potter studio visit, tortoise sitting, Baggy baby gender announcement.
90s rock music dancing, a holiday in Austria & Germany and a christening.
House warming, removal of big computer room desk, crazy golf Inca style, visits to us, visits from us, mini BBQ, construction of nursery equipment.
3 classes in one day baby workshop, a wedding
Seeing family members for possibly the last time before the new member arrives, 5 days in a row of gigs, K starting maternity
Best album of recent times
Grand Illusion - Prince of Paupers (2011) CD / Hardline - Danger Zone (2012) / Billy Sherwood – What Was the Question? (2011) / At Vance - Facing Your Enemy (2012) / Avantasia - The Mystery Of Time (2013) / The Fusion Syndicate – The Fusion Syndicate (2013) / Kiss – Monster (2012) / Jack White – Blunderbuss (2012) / Lionville – II (2012) / The Poodles – Performocracy (2011) / The Poodles – Tour De Force (2013) / Helloween - Straight Out Of Hell (2013) / Clive Nolan - Alchemy (2013) / Pride Of Lions – Immortal (2012) CD / Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning (2011) / Rick Springfield - Songs for the End of the World (2012) / Fergie Frederiksen - Any Given Moment (2013) / Queensrÿche – Queensryche (2013) / The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs (2013)
Jorn - Traveller (2013)
Hanson – Anthem (2013)
The Tangent – Le Sacre Du Travail (2013)
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made (2012)
Deep Purple – Now What?! (2013)
Fergie Frederiksen – Happiness Is The Road (2011)
The Darkness – Hot Cakes (2012)
Unitopoia – Covered Mirror, Volume 1 Smooth as Silk (2012)
Beardfish - Mammoth (2011)
Beardfish - The Void (2012)
Neal Morse - Testimony 2 (2011)
Muse – The 2nd Law (2012)
Hasse Froberg & The Musical Companion - Powerplay (2012)
Threshold - March Of Progress (2012)
Mystery - The World Is A Game (2012)
Presto Ballet - Love What You've Done With The Place EP (2011)
Presto Ballet - Invisible Places (2011) CD
Kaipa – Vittjar (2012)
Neal Morse - Momentum (2012)
BLOODY BRILLIANT TOP 7 (as always a nightmare trying to choose and somewhat interchangeable)
Dream Theater - Dream Theater (2013) - Usually a band higher up in the rankings, but this time it didn’t immediately hit me. Maybe as it’s not as new in style as the others in this list.
Flying Colors - Flying Colors (2012) - Mike Portnoy, Dave LaRue, Casey McPherson, Neal Morse and Steve Morse. Prog + rock + pop played by a great combination of musicians.
Lifesigns – Lifesigns (2013) – Prog from keyboardist/vocalist John Young with the Bassist from Kajagoogoo & drummer Cutting Crew.
Sound of Contact – Dimensionaut (2013) Prog with Simon (Son of Phil) Collins on vocals and drums. Definetly a chip off his Dad’s block.
Squackett – A Life Within A Day (2012) CD – Chris (Yes) Squire and Steve (Genesis) Hackett with a lovely sounding album from 2 prog legends that has a ballad about aliens being us from the future on it.
Spock’s Beard - Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep (2013) is another great addition, this time with new vocalist Ted Leonard.
Rush – Clockwork Angels (2012)
I wasn’t sure at first but it really grew on me and now I love it. The 2 live shows helped.
Best album from ages past
The Cross - Shove It (1988) / Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (1990) / Blue Rock (1991) (Roger (Queen) Taylor project)
John Wetton – Caught In The Crossfire (1980) / John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes - Icon3 (2009) / Grace Slick Welcome To The Wrecking Ball (1981)
Beardfish - Från En Plats Du Ej Kan Se (2003) / The Sane Day (2006) / Sleeping in Traffic: Part One (2007) / Destined Solitaire (2009)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Night Castle (2009) / Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman - Living Tree (2010) CD / Nation - Without Remorse (1995) / Prophet – Prophet (1985) / Cycle of the Moon (1988)
Shooting Star - It's Not Over (1980) / Silent Scream (1985) / Leap of Faith (2000)
Spin Doctors –Turn It Upside Down (1994) / You’ve Got To Believe In Something (1996)
Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac (1975) / Von Hertzen Brothers - Experience (2001) / Hanson – Shout It Out (2010) / Robert Hart - Heart N' Soul (1994)
Roger Taylor - Fun In Space (1981) / Strange Frontier (1884) / Happiness? (1994) / Electric Fire (1998)
Zebra - Zebra (1983) / No Tellin' Lies (1984) / 3.V (1986) / IV (2003) /
Toto – Isolation (1984) - Great 80s melodic rock featuring Fergie Frederiksen on vocals.
Sherwood Billy Sherwood - At The Speed of Life (2008) – Billy’s unique sound of prog.
Von Hertzen Brothers - Love Remains the Same (2008) – Finnish crossover prog.
Arjen A. Lucassen's Star One - Victims Of The Modern Age (2010) A nice concept of 4 vocalists singing around each other on songs influenced from dystopian or post-apocalyptic movies.
Hasse Froberg & The Musical Companion – Future Past (2010) featuring the vocals of Hasse from The Flower Kings. Still a bit proggy but less flowery than his main band.
Mystery – One Among The Living (2010) has prog elements and features Ex-Yes vocalist Benoit David on vocals.
Beardfish - Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two (2008) crazy Swedish prog.
Unitopia – Artificial (2010) – 3rd album from the Ozzie proggers. Lovely songs spanning different progressive styles. Favourite song ‘Rule Of 3's’ a love song to the number 3.
Best best of album
Montgomery Gentry – Playlist: The Very Best of Montgomery Gentry (1999-2008)
Alabama - Singles Collection (1980-93)
Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out For A Hero
Paul Carrack - Greatest Hits- The Story So Far (1975-2006)
Barry Manilow - Ultimate Manilow (1973-1985) I was only after one song but decided to get the whole album and actually love it.
Don Henley – The Very Best Of - A nice collection, especially The End of the Innocence, New York Minute, The Heart of the Matter and of course The Boys of Summer.
Gig of the year
Danny & Ben from Thunder - 14th Jan @ Rescue Rooms
The Union @ Rescue Rooms 19th Feb
Slash @ Nottingham Arena 28th Feb
Eric Martin @ Rock City (Basement) 5th March
Halestorm @ Rock City 11th March
Dan Reed Band @ Rock City (Basement) 14th March
It Bites / FM @ Nuneaton Queens Hall 22 March
Black Crowes @ Brum O2 25th March
HRH AOR (Dante Fox / Romeo's Daughter / FM / Tesla / Mia Klose) + A bit of HRH PROG (Arthur Brown) @ Magma Rotherham 6th April -
HRH AOR (Barb-Q-Barbies / HEAT) + A bit of HRH PROG (Magenta / Von Hertzen Brothers) @ Magma Rotherham 7th April
Sonata Arctica @ Rescue Rooms 14 April
Saxon (+ Quireboys) @ Rock City19th April
Lordi @ Rock City Sat 11 May
Thunder / Whitesnake / Journey @ Notts Arena Sat 25 May
Rod Stewart @ Notts Arena
Wraith / Snakecharmer / Bonfire @ Rock City
Middriff (acoustic performance on the mini stage of a Red Bull tour van in Austria).
Roachford @Glee 16 Oct
Queensryche @Rock City 17 Oct
FIREFEST @ Rock City
18 Oct The Magnificent / Work Of Art / WET / Harem Scarem / Carl Dixon Acoustic
19 Oct Nation / Heavens Edge / Treat / Heat / Shooting Star / Hardline / Carl Dixon Acoustic
20 Oct Eclipse / Prophet / Alien / JSRG / Legends
All good stuff but FIREFEST @ Rock City was as good as ever. This time thanks to The Magnificent / Work Of Art / WET / Treat / Heat / Prophet / Alien and especially JSRG (Vixen) Legends and Carl Dixon Acoustic (the latter being only for a select group of people)
Australian Pink Floyd @ Nottingham Arena 15th Feb
Fleetwood Mac @ Birmingham Arena Sunday 29th September
The Flower Kings/Neal Morse+ Mike Portnoy @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall 8th March.
Sound Of Contact / Beardfish / Spock's Beard @ Sheffield Corporation Fri 3 May
Rush @ Birmingham Arena Sun 26 May
Rush @ Sheffield Arena Tue 28 May
Circus Of Horrors @ Concert Hall 14th Feb
We Will Rock You @ Notts Arena 28th March
Cinema film of the year
The Escape Plan / Riddick / Elysium / The Hangover III / Man Of Steel /World War Z / Kick-Ass 2 / This Is The End
The World's End
Iron Man 3
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Thor: The Dark World
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Muse: Live In Rome
Film on TV
Black Death / Piranha DD / Elevator / This Means War / Storage 24 / The Raven
Dr Seuss' The Lorax / Red / ParaNorman / Here Comes The Boom / Hotel Transylvania / Frankenweenie / The Town / Wanderlust / Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark / The Awakening / Rise Of The Guardians / The Internship / Argo / Identity Thief / The Debt / Jeff, Who Lives At Home / The Dictator / The Disappearance Of Alice Creed
Dinner For Schmucks
This Is 40
The Five-Year Engagement
A Fantastic Fear Of Everything
Ted (especially the bit with Sam (Flash Gordon) Jones
Rewatched Film on TV
The Expendables 2
Best DVD bought
Fantastic 4 (because I wanted to complete my Fantastic 4 collection now that I put the boxes in the loft and the discs in a box downstairs)
Batman Returns (1992)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)
Batman Begins (2005)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Terminator 2 (1991)
The Muppets (2011) – Looking forward to the blooper bits :)
Yes – Union
DVDs are becoming a thing of the past man.
Micky Flannigan – Back In The Game
From Lad To Dad by Stephen Giles
The Blokes Guide To Pregnancy by Jon Smith
The Bloke's 100 Top Tips For Surviving Pregnancy by Jon Smith
The Complete Sleep Guide For Contented Babies And Toddlers By Gina Ford
Baby Sleep – The Easy Way To Peaceful Night’s By Beatrice Hollyer & Lucy Smith
The Rough Guide To Pregnancy and Birth by Kaz Cooke
Commando Dad - How To Be An Elite Dad Or Carer by Neil Sinclair
America Unchained by Dave Gorman
Tupperware box / Living room lights / Bedroom carpet / Stair handrail / Stair carpet / Breville VKJ587 Spectra Illuminated Kettle – White / Spice rack / Norway Viking bottle opener / Norway Viking mug mats / Norway Moose cushion / Baby scan picture / Tooth fillings / Iron Maiden Trooper Beer / Blue Moon beer (orange peel & cinnamon) / Visit to Warner Bros Studio Tour: Harry Potter / Argos Value Range Desk and Chair Set - Oak Effect / Nursery wardrobe, drawers & cot
Front garden removed and turned into slate
New wedding ring
Xtreme Pushchair Travel System – Giraffe
Kenwood Food Processor
Sliding door wardrobe
Morpy Richards Soup Maker
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Perfect Prep
Panasonic Hc-V210eb-K Full HD Camcorder
BABY BEN or maybe my Samsung Galaxy S4
For 2014 I have 35 days holiday + 8 bank holidays + whatever I TOIL I rack up.
So far I have 9 gigs.
Most importantly I see a 1 month old little boy grow into a year old slightly bigger boy :)