Marr, Morrissey and the notion that comebacks don’t work

Posted in Grave News, Heroes, Music, Unwanted Comebacks, Words on April 2, 2013 by Johnnie


Last week, as I write, this blog and its beloved went to see Johnny Marr play at that lugubrious Dublin venue, The Academy. For anyone in their 40s who had seen The Smiths in their heyday (i.e. any point in their brief career), it was an extraordinary experience.  Johnny Marr has finally settled back into his skin, reclaiming his role as the guitar hero of a generation and the man behind some of the most delightfully crafted chord sequences ever created. He not only has a fine solo album, The Messenger, out, but he’s now merrily playing some of those old greats like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And really, it should be the most natural thing in the world. They’re 50% his songs.

The ‘surprise’ (and, really, we should have had more faith) is just how natural it is for him to play – and for us to hear.  His former sidekick Morrissey has been playing the same songs on and off for nigh on 20 years, as he was the voice and the melody we had all known and adored on those records. However, it was but a bar or so into Marr’s rendition of ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’ (the second song of his set) that it becomes obvious what we’ve been missing all these years – hearing those songs played properly. Continue reading

Reader Poll: The results are in…

Posted in Advice, Grave News, Unwanted Comebacks, WhingeRantMoan, Words on March 6, 2013 by Johnnie



Yes, it’s March, so obviously it’s spring time and this blog’s year-end. Actually, regular readers (who aren’t regular in the conventional sense) will point out that they thought the blog ended ages ago, such has been the sporadic nature of posting. So, it was to a few of those regular souls that I sent a poll about IHGN‘s very future.

The questions were:

1. Are you still a reader of I Have Grave News

2. If not, why not?

3. If so – thanks – but what would you like to read more of here?

In a sobering show of indifference, a “whopping” 20% of those polled bothered to reply.

The results were: Continue reading


Posted in Books, Grave News, Heroes, Words on December 5, 2012 by Johnnie

Berenice“Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, –as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow! How is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? – from the covenant of peace a simile of sorrow? But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.” EAP – Berenice

Depression – don’t just pretend to be aware, become properly Aware.

Posted in Grave News, Words with tags on October 10, 2012 by Johnnie

On World Mental Health Day, it’s worth noting, again, just how alone people with depression are and feel. Not everyone seems to realise this, and there is still an astonishing amount of ignorance and denial, despite a great number of awareness campaigns on depression.

Aware do incredible work in this field with their “I Am Aware” campaign, and, as their name suggests, they also encourage everyone to share the message that there is support available, that people suffering from depression need not be alone.

People are probably familiar with the great Stephen Fry’s wonderful recent quote on the symptoms of depression, and I’m sure millions ‘retweeted’ it. Still, it’s worth repeating here:

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

Continue reading

Mumford & Sons…

Posted in Disasters, Music, Unwanted Comebacks on September 24, 2012 by Johnnie

…WHY? Continue reading

Grills & Boys

Posted in Food & Drink, U Lads on May 29, 2012 by Johnnie

Originally published in U Magazine, June 2008

Can you get the stench of burning flesh in the air? It’s that time of year again. Any day now, invitations to friends’ barbecues will come flooding in.

No one invites you to dinner during this period, no one says they’re having a few nibbles and cocktails in their garden, or in their 4’ X 3’ yard, in summer, you only ever get invites to barbecues.  And because there’s been a week of sunshine, they’ve been out in force early this year.  Apparently, it’s against the law to burn garden rubbish, but boy are you permitted to turn a small corner of your rear end into a funeral pyre for chunks of indeterminable animal offcuts.  I’m sure many of you are now wearing tops that were out on the washing line when one of your neighbours threw one of these acts of wilful fire-raising; smells yummy, your t-shirt, doesn’t it? I bet you were delighted when you first noticed what was happening. First you catch the scent of hot charcoal, then your throat and eyes begin to sting and choke, and finally you see the black plume snaking over the fence, the universally understood smoke signal meaning, “Man. Cooking. Now.” Continue reading

Memoir of a Soho square

Posted in Food & Drink, Pointless Nostalgia, Travel on May 21, 2012 by Johnnie

Lately, I’ve been catching up with a month’s worth of weekend supplements. It’s a nice thing to do, especially when you have very little money. All that culture, most of it out of reach and well out of the range of my rather functionless wallet.

One thing I love above all else is to read reviews of London restaurants. For the life of me, I can’t work out how I ever managed to eat out when I lived there – but it must be something to do with the fact that I had no dependents. But that’s besides the point – the restaurants that get reviewed by Messrs Rayner, Coren, Lanchester and Gill are very rarely of the type I could afford to eat in.

However, when I read AA Gill’s review of the restaurant 10 Greek Street in 6th May’s Sunday Times Style and I found myself becoming slightly emotional, for several reasons – mainly nostalgic ones.

Continue reading


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