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Laid-back Kiwi cricket

I went to watch this test match in New Zealand in March 1997. They were playing Sri Lanka and my lasting memory is how casual the whole thing was. I’d been to Lord’s and the Oval several times by then and this was so laid back by contrast. I remember some guys carrying in a full-size leather sofa to plonk on the grass, but in particular I enjoyed the easy acceptance that kids could carry on their own parallel game of cricket right next to the boundary. Once or twice the ball went onto the playing area, only for the test cricketer to happily toss it back.


My favourite albums of all time

Ok, so it’s classic nerdy bloke territory to write lists like this, but why fight it?

I’ll no doubt change my mind tomorrow, but right now these are my favourite ever albums – their qualifying characteristic being that I never get tired of hearing them.
  1. Pixies – Surfer Rosa/C’mon Pilgrim
  2. Stone Roses – Stone Roses
  3. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions –Rattlesnakes
  4. Human League – Dare
  5. Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
  6. The Pogues – Red Roses for Me
  7. The Specials – The Specials
  8. New Order – Substance 1987
  9. Soft Cell – non-stop erotic cabaret
  10. The Smiths – The World Won’t Listen
  11. Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding
  12. Neil Young – Weld
  13. Beatles – White album
  14. Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy 
  15. Talking Heads – Little Creatures
  16. REM – Life’s Rich Pageant
  17. Kraftwerk – Man Machine
  18. Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for rotting vegetables
  19. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Barafundle
  20. Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted
  21. Kate Bush – Hounds of love

Five years on from Radio Aid

Tomorrow is five years since UK Radio Aid – when all the country’s commercial stations came together to broadcast the same output and raise £3m in aid of the Asian tsunami appeal.

I was in charge of fundraising tactics. As you can see, Prince Andrew was fascinated.