14th September, 2019

This searing light, the sun and everything else

We stood before Ian Curtis' earliest handwritten lyrics for Love Will Tear Us Apart. Hurried words and edits; deeply personal poetry the resonance of which its author would never know.

18th April, 2019

A special evening with The National at Royal Festival Hall

An intimate, triumphant show from a band rethinking its process and reimagining its voice. New ground is easier to find when you loosen up and let others in.

8th February, 2019

Goodbye, Albert Finney

My Mam always joked that in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning—that brilliant kitchen sink drama set in 1960s working-class Nottingham—his Arthur Seaton was “just like yer Dad!”

28th January, 2014

Multnomah and Cannon Beach

I joined my colleagues in Portland, Oregon, for our latest retreat. On the first day — eager to get away from the hum of thirteen laptops — we piled into two vans and headed East to Multnomah Falls, then West for Cannon Beach.

16th April, 2012

A letter of note

I love rummaging through old boxes of junk, and uncovering gems. Yesterday, during a particularly determined de-clutter, I found a letter from Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s’ TV show.

10th March, 2009

Watching the Watchmen

I'd decided not to write about the Watchmen movie, partly because I’m the kind of fan many of you will dislike: I only read the comics a few months ago.

29th July, 2008

Twenty posts in one

This is at least twenty long and rambling posts all rolled into one short list, so be grateful for small mercies.

5th October, 2007


Anton Corbijn’s biopic about Joy Division’s Ian Curtis was filmed mostly in Nottingham because my city is grim and looks like the seventies.

19th February, 2007

Hot Fuzz

With such a great track record, I was worried that the new flick from Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright might not meet my expectations. Surely they couldn’t do it again?

24th January, 2006

Four things

Thanks Jon. We all hate memes, but we all respond. OK, let's waste some valuable time on this one.

16th May, 2005

The excitement and the dread

On Thursday the 19th of May, at 2.30pm, I will be closing a chapter of my life that began aged four.

21st April, 2005

Toys R not what they were

I went to my Mam’s house the other day, and ended up in the attic in search of some old tat she needed. In a corner, packaged carefully under dust sheets, I rediscovered my old toys.

25th July, 2004

News from the cultural frontline

I've been to see the new Spiderman sequel, listened to some new albums and watched a few DVDs. Here are some words about all of those things.

10th May, 2004

Pollock wants me to paint again

Six years on from wrapping my brushes in an old rag, and deciding that as a medium, it just didn’t have anything to say on my behalf, I have been thinking about painting again.


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