Miles vs Swann

Leanne Swann is one of my best friends, and one of the top ten best-looking women in East Yorkshire. I met her back when I was twenty years old as part of the Andy’s Records massive, the best job I have ever had. As she will tell you, she is a complete geek, and she has something planned that she wants to tell you about.
leanne nerd
Tell the good people a little bit about yourself.

I’m Leanne, I’m 32 and I’m a huge nerd. I’ve worked in caring last four years and have recently started volunteering for ‘we are hull’ as a digital marketer. My top fav films are Labyrinth, The Lost Boys and the Crow. I like dressing up in Cosplay. I love Batman, disturbingly half of my wardrobe now consists of batman branded clothing, so I’d say I’m bordering on obsessive now. I still watch wrestling as I’m yet to have grown out of that one! When I have the spare time I love reading Edgar Allen Poe, i like to draw and I have recently taken up writing thanks to a friend’s inspirational words. And most of all I love music and pretty much have a playlist for everything I do.

You have something planned. What is it?

Yes, I am really excited! Along with a few friends i have arranged a festival called Macmillan Fest.

So, what can we expect to see at this shindig?

A mini Glastonbury really. The venue has a huge beer garden so we plan to utilise this, we have a massive HGV trailer which has been donated as a stage for the day. There will be a BBQ with local fresh produce, a vast amount of alcohol of course, and lots of amazing local bands. It’s set to be an amazing day guaranteed, the only thing we can’t promise is good weather really! But that’s what wellies where invented for right!?

Tell us about the acts that are going to be a part of this?

We have been really lucky in securing some amazing local talent and they are all playing for absolutely nothing! I don’t want to give too much away yet but I can certainly tell you about a few of them.

‘THE BEAUTIFUL HOUSEMARTIN’ with covers from The Housemartins and Beautiful South. He has performed at Hullfest and Hessle Fest.

‘BROKEN GLASS’ are a 5 piece indie rock/alternative band with a female lead singer.

‘THE CHARM OFFENSIVE’ promising something a little bit different providing rock style covers of pop songs. We are excited to have these guys, you’re in for a treat!

Not only will Until Tomorrow be headlining Macmillan Fest but they will also be doing their ALBUM LAUNCH! Until Tomorrow are a Metalcore band based in Beverley. They recently featured on BBC Radio Humberside with their new single ‘April Fool’, a very catchy and energetic tune, not to be missed.

Richard Harries a local performance poet performing some of his comedy poems in between acts.

This sounds like you could make a lot of money from this. Are you looking forward to lining your pockets?

Not at all as it’s for charity we don’t stand to make a penny from this, all funds raised will go direct to the charity. All the bands and staff involved have kindly donating there time for free.

I see. Tell us a little bit about the charity you have chosen.

It’s for Macmillan Cancer Support, more specifically the Hull and East Riding Campaign.

How wonderful. Give us the details.

The Macmillan Hull and East Riding Campaign is a £1 million pound programme aiming to provide an additional 5 nurses to the area. I recently met with Becky our local Macmillan Manager who told me about this programme. I felt it was important that since the event was local the funds should stay local supporting friends and family who are affected by such an hurendous disease.


Excellent stuff. Please give us all the links and what not.

The event is taking place on Saturday 17th June between 2pm – 11pm at Loud Mouth Count Pub (formerly St George’s Pub), 120 St George’s Road, Hull, HU3 3QE.

We encourage people to like our Facebook page to keep up to date with the event and future band announcements:

Well I’m coming. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

That’s great, I look forward to seeing you there! We hope everyone else can pop down too, but for those who can’t I’d encourage them to please stop by our donations page and still show there support:

Hopefully this will be the first of an annual event that we can look to grow over the coming year so it’s exciting times.

I would just like to say a big thank you to Premier Logistics for donating the trailer, Whiteheads for donating the food, The Loud Mouth Count Pub for letting us use the venue, everyone else that’s helped out along the way he most importantly all the bands involved and it couldn’t go ahead with out them!





How’s it going?
I’m very happy today. I’ve been set a goal to make lots of new friends and I made a new friend today at the all-night chemist. He was called Spozz and I gave him three pounds because he’d just got out of prison and wanted to see his mum. He’s going to ring me tomorrow. I tried to give him my phone number but he said he could guess it.

You’re writing for this site because your primary goal in life didn’t work out. What was it?
My life goal is right on course. I’m going to be a famous genius rock singer. I’ve got two CDs coming out soon. They’re very good.

What were you like at school?

No one used to sit with me because I played with matches.

What is your all time favourite
a) Album? Bizarre Fruit by The M People. I like to dance to it sometimes.

b)Film? Free Willy. The acting is so good and I love Willy too.

c) Book? I don’t read much but I love Jeremy Clarkson’s books.

d) Sitcom? Mrs Brown’s Boys. She’s a man really! So funny.

What’s your most treasured material possession?

My He-man figures. Fisto is my favourite.

What is the single best item of clothing you’ve ever owned?
I don’t know really, I have someone who helps me with my clothes. She is called Karen. She got me a lovely coat from Matalan last year. It cost forty pounds.

Who is your favourite sportsperson ever?

I don’t like sport. At school they used to say to me, get in goal Nigel. They always used to make me go in goal. It wasn’t fair.

Other than property, what is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

I don’t know really. My friend Kelly helps me when I need to buy things. I’m allowed twenty pounds a week to spend myself and I like to go to Pizza Hut or even sometimes buy some beers! Crazy!

What’s your poison?

I’m not allowed to touch the stuff under the sink.

Who is the funniest person you’ve ever met?The Chuckle Brothers. They turned the Christmas lights on in my village a few years ago and I talked to them. I laughed so much! They kept saying to me to you to me to you!

Pick five words to describe yourself.
I’m very clever and strong.

What’s in your pockets right now?

My mobile phone and my pencil and my card with my address on it that Kelly tells me I must always keep with me at all times.

Can you dance?

I really like to dance at my church disco at the end of every month. Sometimes they play Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader and I just go mad!

Vinyl, Tape, CD or MP3?

I like CDs because I like using my CD player that Kelly got me for Christmas.

What are you most likely to complain about in a hotel?
I went on holiday to a hotel last week and I complained because they wouldn’t let me have my belt on and they took my shoelaces off my shoes so I had to wear my slippers.

What’s your most unpleasant characteristic?
Sometimes I can be a bit too clever for people and they don’t understand what I mean.

What’s your culinary speciality?
I’m not really allowed to do much cooking but I like to do pop tarts.

What single non-political thing winds you up the most?

The Storeman at my work. His name is Allen Miles but I call him Allen Piles. He bullies me and he is horrible to me and I go to the mangers about him all the time but they say it’s my own fault for drawing pictures of him and calling him a horrible arsehole. He is so mean to me and everyone laughs when he makes fun of me. He is a bad man.

What’s your greatest fear?

I’m frightened of Spiderman. I don’t see how a man can also be a spider. If he comes on telly I turn him off because I get confused and upset but not scared.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

I don’t know. I heard Kelly say to Karen the other day that if I die she’s going to play Beautiful Day by U2 so I should say that.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
A great rock star.

Recite a line of the greatest lyric ever written.

I don’t want to see a ghost,

That’s the sight that I fear most,

Rather have a piece of toast,

Watch the evening news.
It’s by Des’ree. I love Des’ree so much that I got those lines as a tattoo on my arm.

Happiness is…

Drawing with my new crayons and writing great new songs!

What are your plans for this weekend?
Karen and John are driving me to the garden centre so i can get some compost and plant my seeds. Then on Sunday I will go to church and have a bacon sandwich when I get home! Great times!

Nige is a musician, comedian, writer, singer and all-round entertainer from East Yorkshire. He lives by himself in a flat but his friend Kelly comes rind to help him from time to time. Nige enjoys dancing to his M People CD, going to Pizza Hut and colouring-in.

Interview with author Allen Miles on ‘This is how you disappear’ and the Cheshire Cat


Allen Miles has a new collection of short stories out soon (available as a print edition or ebook), so instead of asking him about that I thought I’d quiz him on the title.  Somehow this led to discussion of Paul Daniels and the Cheshire Cat.  Do feel free to ask him your own questions in the comments.

Allen Miles, author Allen Miles, authorly bloke

Q: The title “This is how you disappear” suggests you’ve either given some thought to disappearing yourself or to how you would advise someone else to disappear, so prepare to be grilled on that.  How and under what circumstances would you ever disappear, or wouldn’t that appeal as an option to you?

It is an option that appeals to me at roughly 6:58 each morning, which is the time I arrive at work. (Mr Miles’ colleagues wish to point out that the above is a blatant lie, as he is late pretty…

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Thirty-Something by Allen Miles

On the fourteeth of October 2011 I turned thirty years old. The six weeks or so previous to that, as my friends, family and work colleagues will attest, I was at the very peak of my diva-ishness. Constant tantrums, flouncing around at work, I was absolutely petrified of hitting, as they say, the big three-oh. I’d always been so hung up on being the young, gobby wild one wherever I’d been. As my drama queen displays were noticed, my favourite colleagues in my department (my DEPARTMENT, Polly, you know you’re my favourite of all before you start whinging) had mixed advice for me on hitting that horrible milestone.

Karen and Ali were positive. They said “don’t worry, its just a number, you can still tear it up and have a good time and you still look like you’re in your early twenties anyway.” Very kind of them. Less sympathetic was Emma, who did nothing but take the piss for the entire time, which being two years younger than me, she was entitled to do. She also publicised a hideous picture of me from the night out we had for my thirtieth, standing in Ali’s kitchen during my “skinny jeans” phase, towering above everyone else in the shot, wearing a jacket that can only be described as a colossal error, with my comic-book style-legs in a position that seemed to defy the laws of physics. There was a reason my tactless-father used to call me the white Carlton Palmer. And finally my surrogate big sister Mel, who is running on two hundred hangovers a year and an obsession with welsh footballer and adulterer Ryan Giggs. “Don’t worry,” she slurred, “Look at me, I’m thirty six and I’m doing alright.” then she stubbed her fag out on the palm of her hand, lost her balance slightly, took her glasses off and tried to somehow wipe the pink out of the whites of her eyes. They don’t make ’em like Mel anymore.

But for all my fear and trepidation, being in my thirties has actually turned out pretty well. I can honestly say, that at the age of 32, I am more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been. There are, however, certain things you notice. Certain scenarios you find yourself in that you wouldn’t have two or three years ago. You accept that there’s nothing you can really do about these situations, as they’re just par for the course when you hit thirty. Often they are slightly pathetic and/or desperate, but always inevitable, and it’s usually best just to let nature take it’s course. Like when you see a snail making its way across a pavement; you could pick it up and put it on that patch of grass before somebody treads on it couldn’t you? Nah, let’s just see how it gets on. Let’s just see how it gets on.

This is a list, written from a male perspective, of thirty things that will happen once you hit thirty. Enjoy.

1. You give up your dream of being a professional footballer, and start dreaming of having a son who might.

2. Roberto Martinez is not forty years old. He is only forty years old.

3. Instead of throwing out an old pair of trainers, you keep them because they’ll be “good for the garden.”

4. You may be earning more money, but everything you want costs between £150 and £300.

5. You start to define yourself by the newspaper you read, even though the magazine of every “quality” Sunday paper is exactly the same.

6. You prefer drinking in the afternoon to drinking in the evening, but you always fall asleep when you get in.

7. You no longer get funny looks when you buy Disney dvds, as the till staff just assume they’re for your child.

8. You one day realise that Frank Skinner and Noel Gallagher are no longer considered “cutting edge.”

9. You’ve always got plenty of Gaviscon in.

10. In a conversation with your friends, you will have used the following phrase at least once: “It’s not us getting old, the music has actually got shit.”

11. Nightclubs have become very scary places, and when did they get so loud?

12. Vitamin supplements are something you feel mysteriously obliged to take. My own personal morning pill pop consists of one zinc tablet, one odourless garlic capsule, an omega 3 fish oil pill and a multivitamin. I’ve got absolutely no clue why I take any of them.

13. You start to become bothered by spelling mistakes in graffiti.

14. You have actually started buying socks for yourself instead of just waiting to get them off your mam at Christmas.

15. You find yourself in the queue at Homebase with a full basket. You haven’t the faintest idea how you got there.

16. You are baffled to find out that people who were born in the nineties are old enough to be in pubs.

17. When looking for a holiday, the first word you search for is “quiet.”

18. You are wary of being Facebook friends with anyone more than five years younger than you, lest you are accused of “grooming.”

19. Where once your boozy conversations with groups of your best friends consisted of how your band was going to rule the world and how you were thinking of going travelling for a year, you now discuss your utility bills.

20. You will check your hairline every single day.

21. The prospect of getting a new kitchen appliance is something that excites you.

22. When you turn on the telly, you automatically home towards the documentary channels.

23. You live in permanent fear that one of your parents or parents-in-law start hinting that they want to move in with you.

24. You don’t know whether the singles chart exists anymore.

25. You start noticing which beers make you billious, and avoid them at all costs.

26. Caffeine is either something you are addicted to, or terrified of.

27. The worst day of the year is now The Day You Have To Clean The Oven.

28. You’ve embraced the straight and narrow. Not the lifestyle, the trousers. Gone are the days of ludicrously baggy skate pants and blood-restricting skinny jeans. Bring on the Farahs.

29. If you get up after half past nine, you curse yourself for “wasting the morning.”

30. While channel-hopping in the middle of the afternoon, you stumble upon a repeat of The Bill from 1997. Inexplicably, you feel absolutely elated…

profile b and wAllen Miles is 33 years old and lives in Hull. He is married and has a 3 year-old daughter who thinks she’s Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. He is a staunch supporter of Sheffield Wednesday FC and drinks far too much wine. He spends most of his spare time watching old football videos on youtube and watching 1940s film noir. He is the author of This Is How You Disappear, which is widely recognized to be the best book ever written. It is available here.

The Point – A Review Of A Very Strange Album by Darren Sant

In 1971 Harry Nilsson took an acid tablet. Whilst under the influence of this high he came to the sudden realisation that everything was really pointy. So began the inspiration for one of most unusual albums ever made. The Point is the story of Oblio and his dog Arrow and the adventures they find themselves in.

Me & My Arrow:

The Point is a concept album which tells a story. The story is recounted by short narrative links, with Nilsson as narrator, followed by an explanatory song. Now everything in the land of Point where Oblio and Arrow live has a point, including the people. The only exception to this is Oblio who is round headed. This marks him out as different and makes him something of a celebrity. As in today’s society anybody who is different is also ridiculed and sneered at by the usual small minded bigoted idiots. This brings us to the son of the Count who is never named but this lad believes that Oblio should not be allowed to play the national game of triangle toss on account of his round headedness

Think About Your Troubles:

When Oblio agrees to a triangle toss contest to decide if he should be allowed to continue to play he beats the Count’s son 2-1. The Count, who is advisor to the king, is not happy with this he takes steps to get Oblio banished from the land of Point and into the pointless forest. Remember that Count is only one letter removed from c*nt. In the pointless forest, which is not pointless at all, Oblio has lots of adventures with the likes of the pointless man, the fat sisters and the rock man.

The album is aimed at kids but is an entertaining listen for all ages. It explores the idea of diversity in a fun and comical way. Nilsson’s sweet vocals and message of love and tolerance for all folk, whatever their differences is as valid today as it was then. Nilsson was so keen to keep to the pointed theme he even had the record company change a sticker on the album release from a round sticker to a triangular one.

If The Point were written today it’s unlikely it would get past a record company executive. Cynical hard-nosed record companies would not get it. Simon Cowell would no doubt call it ridculous. The man who signed f*cking Zig & Zag to his label! This charming record has something to teach us all and speaks a lot for the diversity of the period it was made. Why not give it a listen? Even you don’t like it then it’s possible your kids just might.

Full Album:

daz Darren Sant is originally from Stoke but now lives in Hull, he is the editor of hard-hitting fiction site, and he is the author of several books and collections, most notably Tales From The Longcroft Estate. You can check him out at his website, and follow his tweets @groovydaz39 & @longcroft_tales

Why Everything Was Better Before (Part 2) by Allen Miles

A few days ago, I took refreshments with Messrs Salmond, Ware, and Davis, three good friends of mine. Jon casually mentioned that a few hours earlier, he had received his new mobile phone. One of our party, possibly me, asked him which model it was and what features it had. We all sat there and incredulously shook our heads as Jon reeled off the preposterous list of actions his new phone could perform, one of which is if you’re watching a video and look away from the screen, the eye sensor pauses the video for you, then he finished with a knowingly ironic smile and the line “…oh yeah, and it can make calls and send texts too.”

For those of you not from the North of England, these packets are about two inches long.

For those of you not from the North of England, these packets are about two inches long.

I am terrified of modern technology. I instinctively mistrust anything that was invented after 1999. When I got my first mobile, it had a screen the size of half a packet of TABS (remember them?) and looked like it was made from Duplo (remember that?) I mainly used it to text Andrew while we were both drunk in the small hours of a Sunday morning. We texted each other punk slogans and thought we were clever. Over the course of the next five or six years, mobiles got smaller and smaller until you were effectively talking into the afore-mentioned packet of TABS. Then, as manufacturers realised that the screen could be the selling point, they got bigger and bigger again. My own mobile has a surface area roughly the size of a small breadboard. I don’t want it. It has brought nothing but distraction to my life, it seems to have given me carpel tunnel syndrome and I can’t wear my favourite mod-cut brown Farah’s anymore because it doesn’t fit in the pockets. I hate it. I fucking loathe it, but I am well aware that if it was taken away from me for just one day, my loved ones would have to manacle me to my bed while I screamed my tonsils out and Kelly McDonald sang Temptation by New Order in the corner of the room, dressed in a school uniform. Even when the battery goes dead I have to sit down and take a valium.

...and I've never met anyone quite like you before...

…and I’ve never met anyone quite like you before…

The main gripe I have with the modern mobile phone is that if you make a dick of yourself somehow, within seconds everyone knows. This mainly happens on nights out when you’ve had lots to drink. Many moons ago, it was an event when someone took a crappy little wind-and-click disposable camera to a pub or club. You’d keep one eye on your alcohol level because you wouldn’t want the one copy of the photo that was taken to get passed round all your mates over a period of weeks showing you to be dribbling sick out of the corner of your mouth whilst trying to dislodge your shirt flap from your fly. I remember when I was about twenty one I threw a tantrum for days because someone had taken a photo of me in Room one night and I decided that my shirt didn’t go with my jeans. If only that was all we had to worry about now! Now, because Facebook and Twitter are all integrated into practically every mobile you buy, if you do end up laying on a park bench belly-up like a dead goldfish with WANKER written across your forehead in eyebrow pencil, everybody you know will instantly be able to see it and have a good old giggle at your self-inflicted humiliation. My friend Emma, whose sole-purpose on this planet is apparently to laugh at my misery, took a picture of me a wee bit worse for wear in an old town pub a few months ago, with my eight chest hairs on show, mugging camply at the camera. Within seconds of this instantly regrettable photo-shoot, my old school-mate Kate Rylatt, who lives in New Zealand and whom I haven’t seen in person for nineteen years, would have been able to see this depiction of complete embarrassment . The next few hours of my life were absolute hell as I desperately invented potential rumours about sexual depravity with enormous vegetables in order to force Emma to remove the photo from her Facebook wall. Which she eventually did, but not before leaving me hanging in abject torture well into the middle of the next day. Had that have been an actual photo that was taken with a disposable camera back in the day, scurrilous rumours would have abounded between my mates of a ridiculous picture of me posing like a cadaverous cross between Mick Jagger and Disco Stu, but they wouldn’t see it for another three weeks, by which time they wouldn’t care anymore, and I could seize the negative.

Another thing I hate about my new fangled mobile is the e-bay application (I’m not going to say “app,” call me pretentious if you want, I don’t give a fuck) that I have for it. An innocent enough piece of software, you may think, handy if you’ve bid on something and you’re away from your computer when the end of the auction is near; you can check how it’s going and continue to bid. Yes, in theory its brilliant, but as I’ve already alluded to, I spend a great deal of time drunk, and when you’ve had a few, you suddenly become absolutely determined not to be outbid on the highly collectable resin statue of Stiletto from Dangermouse that you saw a few days ago, and in the sober light of day bid a speculative £2.00 on. All of a sudden, you’re in a bidding war thats going down to the wire, and as you finish your ninth pint, you get the special gong sound on your phone, informing you that the 80s cartoon figure that will go straight in your loft is yours for a winning bid of £17.50. Shit. This is why I haven’t downloaded any gambling applications onto it. If I did, I would be bankrupt, divorced and childless before I managed to plug my charger in.

I also have video games on my phone. No, before you ask, not that one, but ones such as Angry Birds, Cut The Rope and absurdly, every Sega Master System game ever made. Back in the very early nineties, my kid brother Andy and I would spend every penny of birthday money we got on Sega games, we asked for them for every Christmas and if we ever came into a few quid for whatever reason a nine year old and seven year old did, we would always put it towards a Sega game. The dearest ones cost about £30, and the budget range varied from £10 to £20. It was a proper occasion when we got a new game, you had to go down a special aisle in Toys R Us with your ticket and everything. We managed to accumulate about twenty games between us over the course of two or three years, and they took up two rows of the bookshelf we had in our shared bedroom down Bricknell Ave. Now, in 2013, I’ve got two hundred and odd of them on my phone, which fits in my pocket. The emulator thing cost 79p, the games were all free off the internet. The dream is over. My childhood is dead and buried and being pimped over a file-sharing network for people to play on their mobiles while they’re sat on the bus/train/toilet. Bollocks.

In 2013, all this that you see here is the size of

In 2013, all this that you see here, along with a big wooden-cased television, has been condensed to the size of a Ryvita.

113 Applications, 902 photographs, 89 text message alerts, 121 ringtones, The Complete Works of George Orwell, Charles Bukowski, Ernest Hemmingway and Cormac McCarthy, along with a further 188 e-books. I can control this website from it, I can record programmes on my Sky+ with it. I can use it to tune my guitar, or to find out whether a certain type of toaster is in stock at my local Argos. I have dozens of episodes of Peppa Pig on it to entertain my two-year-old daughter, and I can get world news, football scores and directions to anywhere in the country within seconds. Oh yeah, and it can make calls and send texts as well…

Thank you Samsung. You ruined my life.

Do you remember Snake on the old Nokias? I liked that.

I’m off to decide which 3D live wallpaper defines my personality…

profile b and wAllen Miles is 31 years old and lives in Hull. He is married and has a 2 year-old daughter who is into Queens Of The Stone Age. He is a staunch supporter of Sheffield Wednesday FC and drinks far too much wine. He spends most of his spare time watching old football videos on youtube and watching 1940s film noir. He is the author of 18 Days, which is widely recognized to be the best book ever written. It is available here.