Thursday 30 July 2009



Alan Smith laying down law to team-mates

By Lee Ryder on Jul 30, 09 02:08 PM
ALAN SMITH has insisted that a dip in performance will not be tolerated from any player at St James's Park.

And that includes Newcastle United's wantaway stars, with at least three big names heading for the exits.

Obafemi Martins is in talks with Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, while Sebastien Bassong and Habib Beye hope to secure moves to top-flight clubs in time for the Premier League's big kick-off on August 15.

Smith, who captained United against his old side Leeds last night, is understood to have read the riot act after the 6-1 humiliation at Leyton Orient last weekend.

The Yorkshireman told the Chronicle in a straight-talking interview: "Some people have made it public that they want to go, while others have got their head down.

“That is entirely up to the individual.

“We won’t have a go at anybody if they want to go.

“But they must cross that white line and give 100% when they wear a Newcastle shirt.

“We won’t have any qualms if they walk away if they get a better offer elsewhere.

“Every player in the dressing room last night, whether they want to stay or go, gave 100% and we cannot have any complaints.”

From the Heaving Chronic

The Chronic 'journalist' looked up and said, "Hang on, Alan, you old gobshite, remind me again why you feel you have the authority to say this... How many goals have you scored? You're thirtyish and you still confuse passion with running around like a headless chicken and kicking the shit out of the opponents... What exactly do you contribute to the team for your (alleged) £64,000 a week?"

And then I woke up.


Head of Steam to start?

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Tonight's set list

Oh Lonesome Me
Tell Me Why
Down By The River

3 fun songs for the punters & a little story too!

Sunday 26 July 2009

Something you know



Co-produced Dylan's so-called 'Born Again' albums, Slow Train Coming (1979) and Saved (1980). May the Lord have mercy on his soul.


Slipping Away


A sometimes reliable source informs me that a former Friday Boy was shopping with his wife at a major musical retail outlet in central Newcastle today. The balding ex-FB was seen loitering beside the music DVD section for some time before plucking up the courage to purchase ROBBIE WILLIAMS IN CONCERT. Glad to see he's still at the cutting edge of today's music scene. My informant, who had been stalking the couple for three hours, is aware of our old boy's previous. And just before leaving the store history almost repeated itself. My man reached out to pluck our ex-fella's arse.
Sadly, just before the point of impact, he withdrew.

Saturday 25 July 2009

Loudo at the Sage

Loudon Wainwright III
The Sage,

DEATH, decay and family anguish are like meat and drink to American songsmith Loudon Wainwright III.

But from the base metal of often troubled relationships, Wainwright fashions songwriting gold, shot through with his trademark black humour.

Wainwright played a blinder for his adoring Tyneside fans, mixing passion and pathos, in songs exploring everything from the global recession to airport staff smashing his precious Martin acoustic guitar.

Tracks from his forthcoming album, High, Wide & Handsome, based on itinerant country singer, Charlie Poole, were aired, plus a selection of new songs, the highlight being Song in C, about the hereditary nature of family heartache, Wainwright pounding out the chords on a Steinway grand piano.

The audience called him back for two encores, including the classic The Man Who Couldn't Cry and a clap-along version of The Swimming Song, bringing a brilliant concert to a memorable end.

Terry Kelly

Loudon Wainwright III, The Sage, Gateshead; Friday, July 24:

My Mother And My Sweetheart
Dead Man's Desk etc(???)
Times Is Hard
Five Years Old
Be Careful, There's a Baby In the House ("written before I had children of my own, when I knew better!")
Fear Itself
High Wide & Handsome
Red Guitar
Song In C
Didn't he Ramble
New Paint
Double Lifetime
Grey in L.A.
Primrose Hill
Middle of the Night
first encore)
White Winos - a shouted request
Surviving Twin
second encore)
The Man Who Couldn't Cry
The Swimming Song

Gordon Burn RIP

The master of our modern myths
We all dread the return from a happy holiday that plunges us straight into bad news. But the worst news never arrives in a shape that we foresee. The shocking death of Gordon Burn, aged just 61, robs British literature – and journalism - of one of the most talented and original writers of his generation. Earlier this week, my colleague Deborah Orr captured his singular virtues as the creative chronicler of a media-saturated age in her obituary. I had admired Burn's writing, from the exacting moral courage of his books about the Yorkshire Ripper and West cases to the path-breaking novels that ran from Fullalove and Alma Cogan to the surreal-documentary collage of Born Yesterday, long before I met him. And meeting him felt like privileged access to an all-but-unique mind.

There was always a danger in bracketing Burn's searching and delicate scrutiny of the modern overlap between fact and fantasy, news and myth, art and celebrity, with peers such as JG Ballard and Don DeLillo. Yes, his work more than stands comparison with theirs. Yet he never purely, or mainly, belonged in the rarefied air of the avant-garde. Always a quizzical observer of cultural privilege, engrossed but never seduced by fashion and fame, the Newcastle-born writer chose to study and transform the popular frenzies of our times because they touch, and even shape, many millions of ordinary lives.

His uncompromising Modernism always tuned in to the hidden injuries – and the hidden dreams - of class. Born Yesterday, his eerie metamorphosis of the headline events of summer 2007 into "the news as a novel", not only pays pitch-perfect attention to the social undercurrents behind the media mayhem over Madeleine McCann. It also traces a moving return journey to the north-east world of the "Pitmen Painters" – the area of art where Burn's stellar career as a critic, which led to a near-legendary role as champion and friend of Hirst, Emin, Lucas et al, had begun. Those miner-artists fought hard against the democratic deficit that still bedevils British culture. Burn had waged those wars himself, which – paradoxically, perhaps – made him such a asssured rider of the frothy waves of cult and trend that swept through our art and life around the millennium.

Belligerent critics of Modernism in Britain, with Oxford professor John Carey in the vanguard, tend to caricature any major innovation in literary form and voice as a snobbish racket cooked up by an elitist minority. A figure such as Burn – a radical author from an utterly non-elite background who sought startlingly new ways of telling his stories because the shared experience of all of us demanded them - shames this brand of top-down populism. Could some four-square realist fiction in the Carey-approved style even begin to catch the collective phantoms that float through our response to the McCanns or the Wests, to Princess Diana, George Best, Michael Jackson? Burn's richly observant but spectre-haunted prose consistently could, and brilliantly did. If another British work of literature marries pin-sharp reportage with digital-era metaphysics as boldly and memorably as Born Yesterday, I have yet to discover it.

One evening last summer, we talked in the sort of glitzy Soho bar where he watched and absorbed the passing, and changing, scene like some benign visiting alien. Typically, he enthused not about his own work but someone else's – his fellow Geordie Modernist Tom Pickard, a wonderful poet under-valued for too long. Although popular and prolific, Burn too never quite received his due as a writer of the first rank. Perhaps, as the case of Max Sebald shows, writers who stretch and blend genres to keep pace with the shifts in our society and soul have to take their leave before we ever give them the welcome they deserve. In Burn's case, a uniform edition of his books – along with a fresh selection of his peerless essays – would be a start. Faber should act soon.

Boyd Tonkin

Wednesday 22 July 2009


The Cooperage RIP? Part III

Indeed. You might have seen this in the Heaving Chronic, tucked away between stories about Greggs, the 'Cockney Mafia', thieving scummers and 'pensioners'.

Historic Quayside pub The Cooperage closes
Jul 21 2009 by Tom Mullen, Evening Chronicle

GLASSES were raised for the last time at one of Tyneside's oldest pubs, ending decades of tradition.

Last orders were called at The Cooperage on Newcastle’s Quayside last night, as the boozer officially closed amid emotional scenes.

Customers and staff were stunned when owners Enterprise Inns announced the closure after a run of noise complaints from locals.

Newcastle City Council planners decided the pub must be soundproofed, but brewery bosses decided to close it after saying it was too costly.

It marks the end of an era for the 14th Century building, which is said to be haunted and has stood by the River Tyne since before Shakespeare’s time.

Last night, as some 30 staff lost their jobs, there were cheers and tears as the pub held a final farewell celebration.

Scores flocked to the venue’s usual acoustic open-mic night, along with fiddlers and resident DJs.

Among the revellers was former manager Neil Durkin, 25, of Heaton, Newcastle, who said: “People are gutted. It’s the end of an institution.

“This pub has been in quite a lot of people’s lives for all of their lives. It’s been about music and a meeting place. A lot of good relationships have been made there over the years.

“All it needs is a bit of money spending on it for soundproofing and it seems such a shame. The Cooperage was here first. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to build a load of flats near a nightclub, I don’t know.”

Clutching a pint, Julie Candle, 49, of Jesmond, said: “I’ve been coming here for 30 years. I think it’s awful, it’s a very sad night.”

Jill Phillips, 44, of Heaton, said: “Happy, happy memories. My daughter works behind the bar and we will really miss the place. I first set foot in here when I was about 17.”

The atmospheric Grade One-listed building now looks set to be put up for sale.

But it is understood that unless soundproofing work is done, any prospective buyer would not be allowed to re-open the building as a pub.

Even as the bar towels were placed over the pumps for a final time last night, messages continued to pour into a website campaign to save the pub.

Within 12 hours of the page going online more than 1,800 people had joined, and by today more than 6,000 members had signed up.

One contributor, Gemma Rose Monnelly, wrote: “Newcastle won’t be the same without The Cooperage. It’ll be so sad to see it turn into anything but an amazing venue. It catered for everyone.”

Another, Danana Royle, said: “It’s my favourite place in Newcastle. The only place with any character.” The Cooperage lease holders, Danny Kinnear and Phil Sheldrake, were due to hand back the keys today.

Danny said: “It is a very emotional time for all of us.

“There are so many memories and so much history tied up within The Cooperage. The support we have had since we got told has been amazing.”

Phil added: “Everyone I’ve spoken to is just devastated. It’s a real shame to be losing something that’s just such a big part of Newcastle.’’

The 'only place with any character'? She clearly hasn't been to the bogs in the Duke.

What's wrong with these pictures?

Bob in Newcastle again!

Well, not exactly...

Bob Dylan signed paintings for sale in Newcastle
Jul 21 2009 by Michael Bowers, Evening Chronicle

ARTWORK by music legend Bob Dylan is going up for grabs on Tyneside.

The 2009 collection from The Drawn Blank Series features eight brand new limited edition graphics, each personally signed by Bob Dylan, taken from the drawings he created while on the road from 1989 to 1992.

His work has won acclaim across the globe. And the new collection will go on display at the Castle Galleries Newcastle in Monument Mall, Blackett Street, this Saturday.

Marisha Pessl wrote in the New York Times: “In Bob Dylan’s extraordinary collection of paintings, we are reminded that he is that rare person who can move effortlessly between music, word, ink and paint.”

Following the initial worldwide launch of The Drawn Blank Series in June 2008, the interest confirmed Dylan’s unfailing popularity.

Many galleries reported their biggest weekend of art sales ever, with several editions selling out on the first day and numerous collectors investing in Dylan’s collectable images.

The new limited edition graphics in the 2009 collection, taken from his original watercolour and gouache paintings, are said to echo the stylistic hallmarks of Dylan’s prose, poetry and music.

The American singer-songwriter, painter and poet has been a major influence on popular music for five decades.

Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was, at first, an informal chronicler and then an apparently reluctant figurehead of social unrest.

A number of his songs such as Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin’ became anthems for both the civil rights and the anti-war movements.

The exhibition is being presented by the Washington Green Fine Art Publishing.

Glyn Washington, managing director, said: “We are incredibly proud to launch these new limited edition graphics in the UK, in a year that is proving truly momentous for Dylan.”

With limited editions of only 295 worldwide, and prices starting from £1,250, the editions look set to take the general public by storm and put his prestigious collection within reach of fans of both Dylan’s music and art.

For more information telephone the gallery on (0191) 233 2200 or visit or

Despite the Chronic's enthusiastic headline, it's clear from the story that these are prints, not the actual paintings. Terry, can you spare a dime?

Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1

No goals from Mr Versatility but Shola did miss a sitter so it's business as usual for our forever-up-and-coming forward following his surprisingly good performance and two goals against Darlington.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

The Cooperage RIP? Part II

Let's hope its future isn't decided in the traditional Newcastle Quayside manner - arson.

Monday 20 July 2009


Now we know why Watson three putted at the 18th. He had $7m in endorsements lined up from US elderly care home organisations, Viagra clinics and knee replacement companies - all dependent on the old guy defying Father Time and winning The Open.

The Cooperage RIP? Part I

Pubs battle to survive as Cooperage closes

TONIGHT The Cooperage, one of Newcastle’s oldest pubs, may serve its last drink. Lisa Hutchinson takes a look at the struggle to stay in business for the good old-fashioned British boozer.

IT must be an age thing, but when we get past 40-something we want a pub with a polished wooden bar, a familiar barmaid and somewhere to hang your coat.

The best bars are oozing with character in historic buildings where decades of stories have been told and the regulars are of a certain decade.

One of the oldest bars in Newcastle’s city centre is closing tomorrow and tonight its regulars are expected to turn out in force to say a fond farewell to the Cooperage.

The bar and nightclub is within a historic Grade I-listed building on the city’s Quayside and has been a regular spot for thousands of drinkers over the decades it’s been open.

Many first started going as students and have been propping up the bar since. Others remembered the good old days and returned there for evenings out after getting fed up with the flashing lights and plastic nightlife elsewhere.

Newcastle is a party city and attracts hen and stag parties from far afield.

But those with local knowledge can sniff out the traditional watering holes.

On the Quayside, the Crown Posada and the Red House pubs are bars that have stood the test of time. Further up town The Newcastle Arms, The Bridge and the Beehive are among traditional bars thriving while others are crumbling in the credit crunch.

As new chic and trendy bars have come and gone around them, they have stuck with tradition and managers say that is the reason why they have survived.

Neil Amos, 50, landlord of The Newcastle Arms, in St Andrews Street, said: “It is a shame The Cooperage is closing. It was a great pub over the years, a traditional bar with a great atmosphere.

“My pub is also very traditional. We don’t have a jukebox, just the sound of people having a chat.
“The success of a traditional pub is the atmosphere and the beer.

“We put it down to proper beer being served in a proper pub that keeps us going.

“These pubs that sell beer for £1.50 a pint don’t sell good beer, and it’s the quality of the ales that are keeping the proper pubs alive through these tough times.”

Carl Robinson, 20, assistant manager of the Crown Posada, at the Side, on the Quayside, said: “We are the oldest purpose-built pub in Newcastle. It was built in 1848 and I believe we have the oldest licence.

“Our regulars are between their 40s and 60s and they are a large part of our success. We are a very traditional pub with a mahogany bar and chandeliers. We are a pub that people return to again and again.”

Gavin Armstrong, 25, trainee manager of the Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, said: “We are a proper pub and that’s why so many regulars come here.

“We sell good real ales. We have nine pumps and many are from local breweries.

“We have always had the same traditional decor. We have seen refurbishments but have always kept the same style. We know when our regulars come in as they have set days and times.

“Many pubs set up and then disappear after two minutes. The traditional ones, like ours, have survived and will carry on for years to come.”

The Cooperage lease holders, Danny Kinnear and Phil Sheldrake, will hand back their keys tomorrow.

After a run of complaints from nearby residents Newcastle City Council slapped a noise abatement order on the pub.

Brewery bosses at Enterprise Inns decided to close having found soundproofing too costly. They say they are considering its future with one options to put it on the open market.

Danny said: “It is a very emotional time for all of us. There are so many memories and so much history tied up within The Cooperage. The support we have had since we got told has been amazing.”

It will be a sad time tonight when the last pint is pulled and trading stops at the pub that is in a 14th century former merchant’s house.

While last orders will be final, thousands of North East drinkers will raise a glass to its farewell.

The Heaving Chronic, 20 July 2009

"We have nine pumps and many are from local breweries." Hmmm... Trouble is, when we would go in, there would be few real ales on and they weren't kept very well. Since the smoking ban and the credit crunch, it's noticeable that Newcastle just isn't as busy any more; of course, one added factor is that so many new pubs were opened in the Labour council's attempt to create the 'party' city of Europe (i.e. piss ups and fights; Amsterdam's more civilised than here). And you wonder why we didn't win City of Culture....

The area around the Central Station is reasonably busy and the bars in and around The Gate seem to attract the less sophisticated, young and underage drinkers, so the Bigg Market is no longer heaving with as many sixteen-seventeen year-olds as it used to be. The Quayside seems to be the domain of the 55 year-old leopard print-wearing leather-skinned women and their male equivalents - similar to the crowd that drink on Percy Street, in fact. Unless it's a match day, neither area is that busy and unless the students (now given to drinking cheap bottles of coloured vodka) are here, many of the bars are empty during the week; in fact, some bars now close on certain weekdays. Bearing in mind all this and taking the string of hotel bars on Osborne Road into consideration, there just might be too many places to choose from.

The Cooperage used to be decent, but I recall it being taken over by people who seemed to put more effort into the club upstairs than the pub itself - and how they obtained permission to completely change the position of the doorway on what I assume is a listed building is beyond me. As the article points out, there are other, clearly better-run, traditional pubs in Newcastle that don't appear to be under threat of closure. Clearly the new owners of the Cooperage also feel the club is more important and can't or won't cough up for soundproofing. Odd that the noise from the shithole over the road isn't a problem.

Unfortunately, tradition matters nothing when there's money to be made.


Golfers: cool? Well, this lot were...

No dress sense, however.

Gordon Waller RIP

Julius Shulman RIP

Frank McCourt RIP


A nod to the first man in space:

Sunday 19 July 2009

But still a hero!


Tom Watson failing to win the Open has to be the most depressing anti-climax in the history of sport. Damn Stewart S(Cink)ing Feeling. Some US circuit regular winning the claret jug has so little resonance with anybody (apart from him and his near-and-dear). Watson winning on the eve of his 60th birthday was just the boost Da, and men of his crusty calibre, needed. "I lift this up to God," Kitchen Sink said in his ungracious acceptance speech. Fuck that. His victory proved there is no God, only a malevolent force refusing to provide a depressed globe with some much-needed hope and inspiration. Amen.
But Tom, you could have spared us. Two putts to win on the 18th... Maybe I'm taking it too seriously. But I do have swine flu. (Pelaw Jim).

Familiar Footwear?

He should Ko-Ko

Darlington 2 Newcastle United 7

And Alan (Mr Versatility - copyright Alan Oliver of the Heaving Chronic) Smith still didn't score!

Saturday 18 July 2009

Manhood for Amateurs: The Wilderness of Childhood

By Michael Chabon in The New York Review of Books:


"I was sittin' home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin' old Cronkite on the seven o'clock news....."

The former US TV news anchor Walter Cronkite, known to millions as "the most trusted man in America", has died at the age of 92.

An executive for the CBS news channel said Mr Cronkite died at his New York home with his family at his side.

He was reported to have been ill for some time.

Mr Cronkite presented the evening news programme for CBS from 1962 to 1981, helping the programme to become the most watched bulletin in the US.His career covered such major global events as the assassination of former US President John F Kennedy, the moon landing, Watergate, former President Richard Nixon's resignation and the fall of Saigon.In 1972, he was deemed by a poll of the US public to be, "the most trusted man in America", beating presidents, members of congress and other journalists.

He would end his broadcasts with his signature sign-off: "That's the way it is."

Mr Cronkite's opinion was so trusted by the US public that when he criticised the war in Vietnam, President Lyndon B Johnson is reported to have said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

Linda Mason, the vice-president of CBS, said Mr Cronkite had died at 1942 local time (2342 GMT) on Friday after a long illness.

US President Barack Obama said Mr Cronkite had been "a voice of certainty in an uncertain world", and had set the standard by which all other news professionals were judged.

"He invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down," he said.

"This country has lost an icon and a dear friend, and he will be truly missed."

CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus said in a statement that Mr Cronkite had "guided America through our crises, tragedies and also our victories and greatest moments".

"It is impossible to imagine CBS News, journalism or indeed America without Walter Cronkite," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/07/18 02:33:10 GMT


See also:


Dave delivered a curve ball with his movie choice last night, Roger Corman's 1963 comic horror classic, The Raven. At the movie's end Dave transformed himself into the black bird and flew off in the direction of Hebburn Village.

THE RAVEN (directed by Roger Corman, 1963)

There was, naturally, a comic book adaptation:"Beware!" Thw whole comic is downloadable as a pdf file from
Karloff appeared in another film called The Raven (directed by Lew Landers) in 1935; it was also inspired by Poe's poem and also had very little to do with it!

It's been suggested that the Marvel comic Dr Strange was inspired by Dr Craven in The Raven. The movie was released in January 1963; the first issue of the comic came out later that year in May, though with a July cover date. However, it's likely that the comic had to be with the printer late in 1962 and, therefore, written and drawn a few months earlier than that.
Dr Strange (drawn by Steve Ditko):Dr. Craven: