Saturday 27 March 2021


Welcome to sunny South Manchester on day 378 of restrictions due to this bloody virus that is still lurking around the globe. 
Today’s Sunday Stealing has questions about a subject that is not very close to my heart at all – cooking. As you will see, I hate cooking – it is a necessary evil that I have to do. I have to say that thanks to the lockdown, Mrs PM has taken it upon herself to do most of the cooking. We used to take it in turns and I think once we are unleashed from the prison that we currently residing in, we will return to that arrangement. Besides, Mrs PM enjoys cooking and has used the opportunity to try some new recipes that have proven to be quite successful I have to say. 
Anyway, I will try to answer the questions based on my own past efforts at cooking. Strap yourselves in, folks; this is going to be one hell of a ride skirting around the edges of boredom.
1.  How often do you make food and eat it?
At the moment, rarely, as I said above. Under normal circumstances, however, we share the burden of cooking so I would say about 3 or 4 days a week. And of course, I eat all the time.
2.  Do you consider toasting bread, preparing instant noodles, or boiling an egg to be cooking? Why or why not?
Absolutely not. Any fool can do that – and I am living proof. Cooking involves careful preparation and constant monitoring. This is one of the reasons that it is way down the list of my favourite pastimes.
3.  What’s your favourite dish to make?
The only dishes I like to make are those that take the shortest amount of time possible. A prime example of this is probably chicken pasta. 
4.  Cooking or baking: what’s more fun? What’s more difficult?
This feels like being asked: what is more fun – being poked in the eye or kicked in the shin? If I had to apply the word fun to any element of cooking I would add the word “not” in front and “at all” after it. So I will answer the question: "What is the least annoying, cooking or baking?"
Cooking is the least annoying because baking can potentially be the most disastrous. If you spend hours baking and it turns out to be an inedible mess then you have wasted time that perhaps you could have spent more productively by, say, watching paint dry. I have baked in the dim and distant past (usually with the kids when they were younger) mostly, I have to say, with success. But on the occasions when it was a disaster, I was furious with myself. I felt it was time wasted.
5.  Who did most of the cooking in your house when you were growing up?
My dad used to take control of the Sunday meal and he would often try random recipes. Unlike me he enjoyed cooking and was very good at it. My mum cooked most of the rest of the time and she was pretty good too.
6.  How have you learned the cooking skills that you have?
I went to an all-boys school and cookery wasn’t even an option like it is in some schools. Clearly it didn’t regard this necessary life skill as academic enough for its pupils.
My mum taught me the basics when I left home for university in Liverpool and since then I have really taught myself from recipes in books. Mrs PM has taught me a few things though. 
7.   Have you ever taken a cooking course? If so, what did you learn? If not, would you like to do one? What would you like to learn?
No. I wouldn’t like to take one either because, as I said, I would be bored stupid.
8.   Have you tried cooking food from another culture? What did you prepare? How was it?
I have cooked Italian food, Mexican food and dabbled with curry. In fact, just give me a recipe and I will do my best to have a go with it – if I am feeling particularly masochistic.
9.   Is it cost-effective to do your own cooking? Can you save money by cooking?
Of course it is more cost-effective. Most people cook their own food in the UK but equally we do love to go out to restaurants too. Restaurants tend to be more expensive so, yes, you can save money by cooking yourself.
10.  Would you rather do the cooking or do the washing up afterwards?
We have a dishwasher and I am happy looking after that side of things at the moment. When we get back to the post-lockdown routine, we will share the load – whoever cooks doesn’t do the dishes.
11.  Do you use recipes to cook? If so, where do you get the best recipes? Do you get them from friends, family, online, or from cookbooks?
No. I don’t use recipes unless, as I said, I am feeling particularly masochistic. We have a load of cookbooks around, including one by that dingbat Jamie Oliver. Mrs PM was given it as a Christmas present and I have tried my best to throw it out. When I am World President, Jamie Oliver will be the head cook in a team of terrible TV chefs on the spaceship that I intend to build to rid the planet of all the odious people. To be fair, I haven’t seen many TV chefs that I actually like so most of them will be on the spaceship too.
Bloody Jamie Oliver
Here is one of our more famous chefs who likes a drop of wine, as you can see when she offered words of encouragement to her favourite football team. Her name is Delia Smith and she is on the spaceship as well.
12.  Have you ever tried to prepare some food and just totally ruined it? What happened?
Once or twice. We had some friends round for dinner a few years ago and Mrs PM asked me to make risotto and a dessert from a recipe book. The risotto was a massive success. The dessert was a total and utter disaster that resulted in me throwing it away in disgust and rushing to the shops to replace with a cheesecake.
13. Do you prefer cooking at home or eating out at a restaurant? Why?
If you have been paying attention to any of the answers above you will know that I prefer eating out in a restaurant to cooking myself. If Mrs PM is cooking then I am delighted to eat at home.
14. Is cooking a social activity for you? Do you like to do it with other people, or do you prefer to do it alone?
I prefer to cook on my own and with no interference – even from Mrs PM. When I am cooking, I ban her and anybody else from the kitchen. I am amazed when I see the plethora of cooking shows on TV where so-called celebrities spend three hours wittering on about mindless nonsense while preparing a dish guided by celebrity chefs who will ultimately end up on my spaceship when I am elected.
This makes me sound like a truly miserable old git but this is what cooking does to me, dear reader. I am a nice guy really and cooking turns me into a monster.
15. Do you have a lot of cooking equipment? How often do you use it all? Do you have any pieces of equipment that you rarely ever use?
We have enough cooking equipment to make the things we like to make. The only cooking equipment we are lacking is an unpaid chef who will do our cooking for us. I have looked for one online but they are inconsiderate and regard “working for free” as an insult to their integrity. 

Saturday 20 March 2021

Blog Challenge


Welcome to a cloudy but warm South Manchester on day 371 of the Covid-19 restrictions. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and the weather is improving every day. I was quite warm on my morning walk today and had to take off my coat at the end of the three mile stroll.

It’s frustrating because at this time of year we are usually planning our trips abroad but the ongoing pandemic is putting this in jeopardy. I have prepared myself for not travelling for the second year in succession but we may get the chance towards the end of the year – maybe. 

Still, infections are low in the UK and vaccinations continue at pace and I can see then end coming soon.

Shall we have some fun with some silly questions from Sunday Stealing

1. An unforgettable day in my life.

There have been a lot of unforgettable days in my life and it is difficult to pick one to be honest with you. Most of them involve travelling to places and seeing or doing something amazing. 

Perhaps, visiting the Kremlin in Moscow and then getting drunk with a work colleague in a Mexican restaurant with tequila later the same evening. 

Or perhaps catching a train to the Great Wall from Beijing and walking up and down this immense and magnificent undulating structure. 

Or maybe climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge (something I did despite my fear of heights). 

Or bringing in the new year in Times Square, New York City in temperatures of 15 degrees Centigrade below zero and then walking back to the hotel via an Irish Bar and eventually wobbling home at 3am with the streets full yellow cabs flying around. 

Or maybe just seeing my son graduate from university.

Or perhaps seeing the birth of my two sons. 

See what I mean? Too many to consider. 

2. My favourite snacks

I love cheese on toast, nachos with hummus, flame raisins, sour cream and onion Pringles, cheese on crackers, a banana, plums, nectarines, Granny Smith apples, peaches – again too many to mention.

3. My biggest fashion accessory

I don’t really do fashion accessories. I’m a grumpy 58 year old git. 

4. My biggest celebrity crush

Actually, there have been a few recently. We’ve started watching Modern Family, the American sitcom and I have to say that it is probably Sofia Vergara at the moment.

5. One hobby I would like to learn

As I close in on the end of my career, I shall be looking closely at new hobbies. A couple are out there; 

Improve my creative writing and finally write that book that is inside, learn a guitar, learn a piano, become fluent in Spanish, or maybe even take up IT as a hobby when I finally do leave it as a career (just concentrating on the fun side of it and things that I want to do rather than those chosen for me).

6. My OCD habits

I am slightly OCD partly because Mrs PM can be scatterbrained. I always double check that doors are locked when I go out or go to bed for example. The same with the car – make sure that it is locked. The pandemic has also made me a little bit of a germophobe. I have washed my hands so much over the past year that I have had to use Mrs PM’s moisturiser to deal with dry skin that has appeared.

7. If I could eat one last meal

It would have to be a traditional Sunday roast I think. 

8. Working on my fitness

When I was younger, I was very fit; I used to swim, run, play football and any other sport that I could. I gave most of that up in my late thirties and eventually started again with gym work before stopping (I find gyms really boring). 

These days I walk a lot but I could do more I think. Several years ago I set myself a target of 6000 steps a day but increased that to 7000 in order to force myself to get out there and do stuff. I have achieved that every month for the past two or three years, sometimes exceeding that for some months. I might just add another 1000 steps to my target next year. 

9. What I spend money on

Nothing at the moment. In the past year, I have only bought things like CDs. During a normal year though, I will have a blitz with clothes, or spend my money on travelling and everything else associated with that. If Mrs PM had her way, a lot of money would be spent on the house but thankfully that doesn’t happen that often.

10. My favourite recipe

I can cook but I hate it. My favourite of the ones that I attempt involve pasta, probably meatballs and spaghetti. 

Mrs PM is an excellent cook – she can make a wonderful curry and her paella is incredible.

11. The best part of each season

Winter – There is nothing good about winter at all apart from the weeks leading up to Christmas. January and February are the worst months of the year. 

Spring – It is almost spring now and the flowers are out and the buds are starting to appear on the trees. I just love the fact that winter is over and the weather is improving.

Summer – my favourite season by a country mile. Warm and long days, plenty to do both here in the UK and abroad. The UK is a green country but the whole place comes to life in summer.

Autumn – autumn is good because the leaves change and produce wonderful colours. Usually at the start, the weather is still warm, thanks to the summer and, of course, my birthday is in the autumn.

12. A life lesson I’ve learned

Do not let stress get the better of you. Push back and try to be happy. Always smile at people and try to do a good deed when you can.

13. My inspiration to blog

I have always loved writing (even though I write nonsense and am not very good at it) and the main plan is to eventually write a proper book (not a travelogue like the couple I’ve written). Basically the blog has given me an opportunity to write and get it out there into the world. I don’t really care whether anybody reads it or not. I just find it cathartic. 

14. What’s inside my closet?

I don’t have a closet. I have a cupboard under the stairs if that counts. What’s in there? A vacuum cleaner, coats, electricity meter, lots of books, notes and photos and quite a lot of junk.

15. Let me brag a minute.

I don’t like to brag at all. I am just a modest guy who like to make people feel happy, with a wise crack or just a little conversation. If I can make somebody smile then I am happy. 

Saturday 13 March 2021

Ask Anything


Welcome to an unsettled South Manchester on day 363 of Covid-19 restrictions. The weather is a little odd at the moment, sunny one minute and raining the next. It is typical or late winter/early spring and thankfully it is starting to get warmer. 

Shall we just dive straight in with another set of questions from Sunday Stealing

1 Do You Sleep With Your Closet Doors Open Or Closed?

I don’t have a closet in my bedroom. If I did I would close it, simply because if I didn’t then Ziggy and Star(dust) would creep in there and start creating mischief while I slept. In fact, we have had to ban the cats from our bedroom because they have a tendency to wake us up in the middle of the night by walking all over us, playing with our feet, jumping on us, sticking their bums in our faces, play fighting with each other on the bed or a combination of all of the above.

Talking of closets, we do have a cupboard under the stairs that is a little like a closet, which remains closed for the same reason, i.e. potential cat mischief.

2 Do You Have Freckles?

I am blonde and fair-skinned so the answer is yes. In fact when I am a hot place and in direct sunshine they are clearly visible.

3 Can You Whistle?

If you mean the kind of whistle that doesn’t involve putting my fingers in my mouth then the answer is yes. I can, as they say, whistle a happy tune.

4 Last Song You Listened To.

Heart of Amsterdam by The Gentle Storm, featuring the incredible Anneke van Giersbergen on vocals. It is a real potpourri of styles, with elements of folk and symphonic rock, including pan pipes, strings and electric guitars, with a joint guitar and violin sole towards the end.

The video is pretty good with images of the city of Amsterdam, one of my favourite cities in the world, a place I have visited through work countless times as well as being there for weekends. Here it is.

I need to go back to Amsterdam when all of this pandemic nonsense is over. I miss the place.

5 Name Something That Relaxes You.

Ambient music. Something like this:

6 What Sounds Are Your Favourite?

One of the good things about walking first thing in the morning while everybody is still asleep is that you can watch the sun rise, especially at this time of the year. As the sun peeps up over the horizon, you can hear the dawn chorus, as just about every bird announces to every other bird that the day’s machinations are about to begin. It is a paradox; so peaceful and yet so noisy. I feel totally relaxed. Similarly, a walk in the countryside during the summer can have the same effect as I listen to a soundscape that is devoid of cars and full of nature with birds, insects and farmyard creatures composing their own music for my pleasure. 

I also love the sound of the ocean gently lapping onto a beach. 

7 What Do You Wear To Bed?

It depends on the time of year and how warm it is. During winter, I wear a long-sleeved T shirt loungewear trousers. In the summer I tend to just wear underpants. I am not a pretty sight when I get out of bed.

8 Do You Sing In The Shower?

Sometimes if I am the only person in the house. If Mrs PM is around then no. The reason is that my singing voice is like that of a cat being tortured.

9 What Books Are You Reading?

At the moment I am reading two books. The first is The Creative Writing Coursebook which is full of tips and tricks and advice for budding writers. The second is a novel called Recursion by Blake Crouch, which I have just started.

10 Do You Believe In Magic?

No. I do love to watch a magician in action and I always try to work out how they have done what they have done. The truth is that they are basically entertaining tricksters and it is just an illusion. This guy is one of my favourites.

11 Can You Curl Your Tongue?

Yes I can. 

12 Have You Ever Caught A Butterfly?

I have caught a moth and thrown it out of the window. In Australia, however, I inadvertently caught a few butterflies at the Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda, Australia. A couple of them landed on me.

13 Name One Movie That Made You Cry.

I have been known to blub like a baby at some movies but the one that got me the most was The Elephant Man. This scene in particular.

14 Peanuts Or Sunflower Seeds?

I love peanuts, particularly dry roast peanuts. Mrs PM hates them, especially the smell of them, which she says makes her want to vomit. 

15 Are You A Heavy Sleeper?

No, sadly. If a mouse moves a pebble in my front garden I ping awake and sit up saying “What was that?” This is another reason why the cats are banned from the bedroom.

Tuesday 9 March 2021

The Peeping Tom


Part of my daily pandemic routine involves getting up on a normal working day and, after feeding the two demanding young cats that are my new masters, I go for a three-mile walk. This happens at roughly 6am in the morning when most sane people are asleep in their warm beds dreaming of a time when the world isn’t being ravaged by a nasty virus.

In the winter months a walk can be an unpleasant experience; it is dark, cold and sometimes pouring with rain. You may ask what the appeal of subjecting myself to the cold and hostile elements of Manchester at 6am in January can be.

I ask myself the very same question.

However, at that time of day, whether it is January or March, it is really peaceful. There are very few cars and people around and the streets are calm and quiet. I remember that I used to love walking the streets doing a morning paper round as a kid for exactly the same reason.

I can walk along, drift into my own little world and contemplate life, the universe and everything, while at the same time getting some exercise. Sometimes I am accompanied by Mrs PM, other times I am on my own with just my iPod for company.

It is blissful, even when it is raining.

There is one downside though and try as I might, I find that I cannot avoid it.

I sometimes feel like I am a Peeping Tom.

Okay, I can imagine that you are considering clicking the little X in the corner of your browser window now and the one thought that is running through your head is “I didn’t know that this man was such a bloody pervert!” and imagine me creeping up to people’s houses to peer into their window with a lecherous and leering look on my grinning face.

You are 100% wrong.

Allow me to explain and hopefully put your mind at rest. As I walk along the street in the darkness of a cold, winter morning, I find my gaze drifting towards houses and seeing no lights in most of them because people are in bed. Sometimes, however, I see the odd bedroom light on. On other occasions, people are up and about and downstairs lights are on.

In almost all cases, the people concerned value their privacy and keep their blinds, shutters or curtains closed.

Sadly, there are those people – let’s call them exhibitionists – who want to let everybody outside know exactly what they are doing. These people open their curtains, blinds or whatever, switch on their lights and then, for reasons I have yet to fathom, do whatever they need to do in full view of anybody who happened to be walking outside their house.

I am very paranoid about allowing people to stare into my house when it is dark outside. My curtains and shutters are closed as soon as the sun sinks behind the horizon and they remain so until I am fully dressed and sun has popped up again. 

The last thing I want to see is a person – any person – gazing into my house as I go about my business. 

Now I can imagine another thought going through your head dear reader – “What on Earth are you doing in your house that you don’t want people to see?”

The answer is “Nothing – of course!” What do you think I am? I am just a normal geezer and I am nothing like this bloke or any of the people he spies on:

Call me weird if you like but I like my privacy.

And this is why, when I see these people opening themselves to the world for all to see at 6am on a dark winter morning, I think they are peculiar.

Why would you do that? 

And I can now guess that thinking – “Well, Peeping Tom, you don’t HAVE to look.”

And you would be right (except for calling me Peeping Tom). I don’t have to look but I find my eyes subconsciously drawn to any light source at that time of the morning. I’m not even aware that I am doing it until see somebody eating his breakfast staring back at me. 

In my head, I am miles away on a voyage through my imagination thinking about budding novels about vampires, aliens and space wars. The last thing I want to see is an old bloke eating his cornflakes in his pyjamas.

When this happens, I have a deep urge to march up to his window and scream “Shut your bloody curtains, man! Nobody wants see you chomping on your toast in your jim-jams you bloody weirdo!”

Of course, I don’t do that and you will be pleased to know that I avert my eyes from these exhibitionists as quickly as possible.

They can ruin my walk. I am brought crashing back to reality, away from the space opera in my head and as I continue, I have to start again and expunge the image of the old so and so from my brain, lest it remain there and ruin my creativity.

Thankfully, it is now March and as I take my walks, my eyes can be drawn towards the rising sun and the wonderful dawns that appear instead of electric lights showing people getting dressed. 

They are much more wonderful as you can see here from a photo taken late last week.

When I am World President, exhibitionism will become a crime and anybody caught revealing the insides of their homes at 6am on a British Winter morning will be confined to their houses throughout summer with their blinds, shutters and curtains nailed shut. 
Apart from that I shall be a benevolent leader – I just don’t like exhibitionists.

Saturday 6 March 2021

More Questions

Welcome to sunny south Manchester on day 357 of the restrictions due to this nasty little bug that’s roaming around the world. As you can see we are approaching a full year since the day that we were locked down for the first time. 

At least now there is a way out as the UK has now completed well over 20 million vaccinations (first dose and in some cases the second one too).

The kids go back to school on Monday and things are gradually going to start opening up over the next couple of months. In theory, on June 21st, all restrictions will have been lifted – but that is subject to constant tests and checks, the dates potentially moving according to what might be happening with infection rates. 

Finally, after a year of dithering and proving to the world what an incompetent clown he is, Boris the Scarecrow and his government or useless gits are actually being cautious. 

I welcome that – but I hope that we don’t forget as a nation the damage that this clown has done to our country since people were stupid enough to vote for the cretin.

Anyway, let’s answer some questions from Sunday Stealing before I descend into a full rant.

1. Do you put ketchup on hot dogs?

I rarely eat hot dogs these days to be honest. In days gone by, I have eaten them at gigs, cricket matches and football matches and, of course, on visits across the pond to the good old US of A.

The answer to the question is yes, when I eat them in the UK because I hate English mustard. I am not very patriotic when it comes to mustard. I love French mustard and the yellow stuff that they serve in America is okay but English mustard comes straight from the deepest pits of Hell. It is utterly foul and disgusting and should be banned forthwith.

Mrs PM loves the stuff though and we have it in our house. On the occasions when we have steak, Mrs PM paints it on in huge globules and eats it with total glee as I watch in horrified fascination.

“How can you eat that stuff?” I ask her incredulously. 

“It’s lovely,” she says.

That is so weird.

2. How many TVs in your house?

We have three TVs. There is a smart TV in the lounge, a similar sized, and not so smart TV in my man-cave that is hooked up to my PS4 and a small combined TV and DVD player upstairs in the second bedroom.

3. Do you put salt on watermelon?

Absolutely not. That sounds totally disgusting. I think people eat too much salt anyway and the idea of adding it to anything other than certain savoury foods is as repellant as it is weird.

What next? Salt in tea or coffee? Salt on apples, bananas and oranges? Salt in beer and wine?


4. Can you swim?

Yes, I can. I learned to swim when I was about 7 or 8. I used to be quite a strong swimmer and when I was younger, I would go to the local swimming pool after work and swim about 40 lengths of the pool to keep fit. 

I don’t do that anymore but when I go on holiday, I usually swim a few lengths in the pool in between relaxing or occasionally just splash about in the sea.

5. Are your parents still alive?

No sadly they aren’t. My dad died at the young age of 44 back in 1981 and my mum died in 2017.

6. First car?

My first car was a white Nissan Micra – like this one:

7. Surgeries?

None. I have, thankfully never had surgery. The most invasive procedure I have had is a tooth filling and a crown.

8. What do you drink in the morning?

On a work day I usually start with a glass of fruit juice and a cup of tea. At weekends I usually just have tea.

9. Can you do 100 push ups?

Not at the moment. I used to be able to. Perhaps I should build up to that again.

10. Can you change a tire?

What is a tire? Oh – you mean tyre? 

I can change a tyre on a bike but not on a car.

11. Tattoos?

No. I hate them and I would never willingly allow somebody to draw on my skin with needles and ink. The reason is that they are far too permanent and if it was messed up or I was fed up of it, the thing would remain, staring at me mockingly.

Also, I am an oldish git and it would look ridiculous, particularly as my skin starts to droop.

12. Do you wear sunglasses?

I wear glasses with reactolite photochromic lenses because without them I cannot see a thing. I have had prescription sunglasses in the past but I prefer the automatic response.

Sadly, using these lenses does have its drawbacks because they react to light whether or not the sun is out. I have been aware that when walking on a bright but cloudy winter’s day my lenses go dark and I look as if I am trying to be a super cool dude in the awful weather. 

Abroad, though in hotter climates they are a godsend.

13. Do you have a phobia?

Yes. I am terrified of heights, quite scared of really tall buildings and I hate spiders. 

14. Do you have a nickname? 

I have had many nicknames in the past but I don’t really have one now (other than people adding the letter Y to my surname). 

Here are some of the things I have been called in the past:

Snow, Snowy, Snowball, Bagpuss, Scrumper, Wavy Davey Gravy, Flossy, Rambo, Fine Hands Fonteine.

Don’t ask.

15. Are you a picky eater?

Not really. I am willing to try most foods but I won’t eat snails or insects – something I have had to make clear on my visits to China.

The only foodstuffs I don’t like at all are rhubarb, pears, apricots, figs, dates, prunes, damsons, English mustard and shellfish.

I’ll eat just about everything else.


Monday 1 March 2021

Introducing Mariusz Duda


If you haven’t heard of Steven Wilson or Devin Townsend then there is a very good chance that you may not have heard of Mariusz Duda either.

Mariusz is from Poland and fronts a band called Riverside, a very talented progressive rock outfit also from Poland. I discovered the band while searching for new music a few years ago.  If you were to ask Mariusz, he would probably say that Riverside are not a progressive rock band at all. He would perhaps prefer to say that they have a style of their own and that the progressive rock genre have embraced them as one of their own simply because their music is rock and different. 

I would say that they are a rock band but they are more than that in my view; they explore different styles within the genre. Some of their songs are simply beautiful, others being harder and heavier, yet more being progressive epics of the order of 10 to 15 minutes and they have also dabbled with ambient music.

Mariusz is the singer, bass guitarist and leader of the band and main songwriter, and as well as that he has a solo project called Lunatic Soul where he can experiment with different styles of music, some of which is very interesting. He can play guitar, bass guitar and keyboards.

So far Riverside have produced eight albums one of which is slightly more experimental. All of them are absolutely brilliant and on top of that, Mariusz has produced seven Lunatic Soul albums and a purely electronic solo album that doesn’t fit into the scope of Riverside and Lunatic Soul.

I was privileged in 2018 to see Riverside live in Manchester supporting the album “Waste7and” a concept album set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland as the title suggests.

Here is a sample of the work of Mariusz Duda, both with Riverside and Lunatic Soul.

Riverside - Conceiving You – from Second Life Syndrome (2005)

When I said that Mariusz Duda can write beautiful songs, there are fewer that are better than this stunning song from Riverside’s second album. I like a few rock ballads but this one is right up near to the top.

Riverside - The Night Before – from Waste7and (2018)

Equally beautiful is The Night Before, a haunting piano driven song from the latest album by Riverside. It is particularly poignant because it is meant to represent the feeling of safety and comfort the night before something terrible happens. Another masterpiece.

Riverside - Towards the Blue Horizon – from Love, Fear and the Time Machine (2015)

This song illustrates everything I like about Riverside, starting off quite mellow and gradually developing into a grand progressive rock song, not too heavy and retaining a great melody throughout and even reminiscent of Porcupine Tree at the 5 minute mark (check it out if you are a fan of the band).

Riverside - O2 Panic Room – from Rapid Eye Movement (2007)

A slightly heavier and more disturbing song with a video to accompany it (that in fact I have only just seen for the first time). The bass guitar is prominent throughout and if you listen carefully you can hear Mariusz also using his voice as another instrument. 

Riverside - Celebrity Touch – from Shrine of New Generation Slaves (2013)

This is Riverside at their most commercial – a straightforward rock song, again with a slightly disturbing video. The song is about the pitfalls of being a celebrity, desperate for attention.

Lunatic Soul – Navvie – from Through Shaded Woods (2020)

With Lunatic Soul, Mariusz experiments with different kinds of music. Here he tries his hand at folk rock with Navvie from the most recent album. Every Lunatic Soul album is different and different again from Riverside.

I believe that Mariusz’s next project will be a new Riverside album and he has indicated that it will a heavier offering, which I welcome with open arms. I am certain it will still be quite diverse and I look forward to seeing them again should when this damned pandemic finally ends.