Game Changers: The Reptile House EP

the_reptile_house_epYou do realise, don’t you, that goth came from punk? If you were transported back to 1984 you wouldn’t recognise the goths. And they’d laugh at you. Particularly if you told them how everyone would revere the Sisters as the One True Goth Band.
– The Box of Delights

This isn’t an origin story. This isn’t the first record I ever bought (it’s actually a couple of years older than I am, for one thing), not is it the first thing I ever heard by Leeds’ finest export. This is not the “I heard this for the first time and it totally blew my mind” post. This is the “I heard this for the first time and it made up my mind” post.

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Jagged Visions – Event Horizon

neptune

A decaying orbit around Neptune isn’t somewhere you’d want to find yourself with an emotionally unstable physicist in tow.

I’m 17 years old, I’ve just paid to go and see a film that looked for all the world like a cross between Predator and Aliens on a space ship, with a banging soundtrack by the Prodigy. Laurence Fishburne stars, and I’m wandering into the now defunct Arena 7 Cinema at the NYNEX Arena with a pep in my step and an excited smile on my face.

Nothing had prepared me for what I was about to experience.

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Tales From the Darkwood Part 1 – A Fighting Fantasy Primer

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“The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness—a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild”

Jack London.

Regular readers of this here website will have no doubt noticed that in recent weeks I have been talking A LOT about Fighting Fantasy books. If that has been boring for you, tough luck, because here comes a bunch more. In the anticipation building up to the first ever Fighting Fantasy Fest held in London earlier this month, I got a bit carried away and kind of assumed that EVERYONE reading this blog would at least have an awareness of them, if not share the same love that I have for them. How wrong I was!

I posted a few pictures on Instagram of FF artwork and one of our younger followers quizzed me on just what the hell they were. Similarly, whilst sat in the pub after our Wednesday night D&D session, one of the guys in our group confessed to not knowing what on earth I was talking about when I was filling them in about my little trip to Ealing.

I reluctantly had to acquiese that despite the best efforts of the likes of Jonathan Green and the BBC, there’s still a lot of people out there who have no comprehension of the simple joy of Fighting Fantasy. So guys, let’s talk shall we? Continue reading

Game Changers: Bleach

This lad needs to learn how to darn.

This lad needs to learn how to darn.

I spent a lot of time deciding on an appropriate choice for a game changer. Should I pick something like ‘One With The Underdogs’, the first hardcore album I ever heard, or should I pick something like ‘Dopethrone’ by Electric Wizard, that for me totally re-invented the term ‘heavy’ music. Or ‘Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever’ by Explosions In The Sky which opened a whole new door into post-rock for me? Ultimately, I remember I’m too easily influenced, I’m all too often easily impressed by music, so picking from any one of a number of albums, and subsequently genres I’d gotten my dick harder for than a nympho on Viagra was a waste of time, as there were too many to count. Instead, I plumped for ‘Bleach’ by Nirvana.

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Game Changers: Stone Roses

So its September 1989. I ‘m a white kid from Salford, who thinks he’s a black kid from New York. On my walkman is “Three Feet High and Rising” by De La Soul. On my feet are Cobra Troop. Around my neck are African Nation and CND leather badges on shoe laces. I look like a white Mooky from Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”. I have never understood modern guitar music. I like The Who and early Rolling Stones because my Dad was into ’em. He had played trumpet in a soul band from Salford called “Michael’s Angel’s” in the mid ’60’s, so he always listened to a lot of Motown era music, and hip hop had seemed to make sense to this white boy. I went round to my mate Andy Stanley’s house one night after school. He had an older brother who he shared a room with. We would read his “magazines” and we would listen to his records when he was out. So this one night, Andy goes “Hey listen to this, our kid has been playing it non stop and its fucking mint”. I’m thinking “Sweet! New TRIBE Called Quest maybe??”

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