Ticket for the band EMF at the London Astoria

Screenshot 2019-02-16 at 07.34.37.png

I used to love going to The Astoria, walking down Charing Cross Road from Tottenham Court Road tube, usually to see a band on the way up before you’d have to travel to Brixton or Kilburn to see them. It was an amazing venue, and we used to go there all the time. It’s sad to think that it no longer exists, demolished ten years ago to make way for Crossrail.

On the 30th April 1992 I went to see the band EMF, who were supported by noisy Indie rock band Silverfish. Confession – the ticket stub above is one found on the internet, I still have mine in my ticket album but it’s in the garage and I’m too lazy to get it. EMF had just released the Unexplained EP, a stop gap between their breakthrough debut album, and their rather underwhelming follow up Stigma. At the time of this concert the new music had yet to drop, and they were still riding on a wave of success.

I remember the night vividly. We stayed upstairs for Silverfish, who I must confess I found rather alarming. Their singer Lesley Rankine was intimidating even from a distance, an angry, prowling figure on the stage as she spat her vocals into the microphone. They were also incredibly noisy, which is another reason why we chose to watch them from the safety of the upper floor.

My other main memory of the night was a free gift we were given at the door. We were passed a pair of EMF glasses, which were rather like the 3D glasses you used to get in the eighties when they experimented with it on television. They were bright yellow, with EMF printed on the side, like the glasses you buy in garden centres that make Christmas lights look magical and weird. I still have them, I think they’re in the garage along with the ticket stub, and I can find no trace online of anyone else recalling these.

Wearing these glasses made the light show like something out of 2001 A Space Odyssey. Everything took on a slightly trippy edge. As I say I kept them, and used to sometimes put them on when I watched a VHS tape I had by the band The Orb. I’ve never been a drug taker, so can’t vouch for their effectiveness, but I guess that was considered their general purpose, something to wear whilst in a chemically enhanced mood.

I’m can’t say EMF totally blew us away, but they were fun enough and a good time was had by all. And I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear what they did as an encore (clue above). They played a smattering of new songs, and they went down as well as they did when released to the general public that Autumn, judging by the queue at the bar. They never caught the public conciousness again after their first album, which remains an fun listen. Third album Cha Cha Cha sank without trace. I liked catchy lead single Perfect Day, but that was about it.

EMF though still exist, with three reunions under their belt. And why not, I’m sure its fun to get together and play and if you can make a few quid as well, then what’s the harm. I had a good night up at The Astoria, and got a nice free gift as well. I bought all three EMF albums, the EP, and a brace of singles. So I Believe about a hundred quid has changed hands. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things.

BBC series All Quiet On The Preston Front on DVD

Screenshot 2019-02-16 at 12.25.44

Sometimes, a television series comes along that simply captures your imagination, and you fall in love with it. It doesn’t bother you that hardly anyone else shares your opinion. In fact, that makes you love that show even more. That’s exactly how I feel about BBC comedy drama All Quiet on the Preston Front, a simply superb, character driven programme, that I still love to watch to this day.

So what’s the programme about. It’s set in the North, in a fictional Lancashire town called Roker Bridge. It follows the exploits of a gang of friends, all in that weird inbetween stage between being a teenager and being a grown-up, where you’re starting out on your own but not yet mature enough to leave the gang behind. The glue that holds them together is their participation in the Territorial Army, although this is purely a premise, no more important to the plot than the coffee shop is in Friends.

In fact, the army element very much drifts into the background, particularly in the last set of episodes. It also shows how outside of the army, their roles are often reversed, where those in command in the TA are in lower ranks in normal employment. Each series is structured so each of the main characters get a chance to shine, so whilst all feature prominently each member of the gang has an episode where they are central. The principal characters are Hodge, and his best friend Eric. They’ve been friends since primary school, very different individuals, bound together by history, a relationship so close that they almost seen resigned to the fact they will always be in each others lives.

What did I see in Preston Front? I think its mostly because at the time, I was in a similar gang myself. In my late teens and early twenties, I had a bunch of mates I met through a youth group, and we used to do everything together. Within the dynamic would be very close associates, and then people in the group that you only knew because of other people in that group.

All my social life was bound up in that gang, in much the same way displayed through this series. There was one friend I used to hang out with the most, much like Eric and Hodge, and others people bonded in a similar way. But at the same time, we could all easily and casually interact together. So we would go to the cinema in threes, or fours, or to the pub in an ever changing combination of friends. We would sometimes all go together as a gang, on camping trips or visits out.

We used to treat each other terribly. There was never much evidence of love or kindness in our group. We would regularly squabble, tease, get annoyed and verbally abuse each other. Again, this is shown in Preston Front, where characters get exasperated, with lots of eye rolling and arguments. But within our gang, none of that mattered. We’d all fallen in together as a group, this disparate bunch who had only the original connection to bind us together in common.

I don’t belong in a ‘gang’ anymore, and thats a shame. I have friends, but nothing that connects them, just scattered individuals who don’t know each other. I miss that, and enjoy seeing it through programmes such as this.

There is a moment in the second series which i think is magical. Eric starts a relationship with teacher Dawn, played by Caroline Catz. The two of them set up home together and there is a wonderful scene where they open the window of their new flat and look with utter contentment upon the rolling moors, beautiful and lush green fields stretching to the horizon. The scene gives a feeling of such promise, of a peaceful future, free of concerns and stresses, just the joy of starting a relationship and being together. And what do you know, its on Youtube.

My favourite episode is called ‘Diesel’s Garage’, from the first series. Diesel is played by Tony Marshall, a fine actor, the story concerning a Church spire he has managed to place on top of his petrol station collapsing on the forecourt. It is beautifully written, showcasing the skill of Tim Firth to tell a standalone story whilst driving the main character arc of the series.

So in short, Preston Front is brilliant. It lost its way slightly in the third series, especially with the rather daft story involving Prince and one with an ostrich, but its still wonderful. There are excellent background details, such as the man with a plastic heron and Freddy ‘Parrot Faced’ Davies popping up.

In short, the programme ‘makes me laugh’, to take the catchphrase of character Lloydy. And it also made me think, and made me cry, and makes me miss the days where there was this big, accessible group of people I could hang out with. Each DVD cost twenty pounds each, so I’ve spend sixty on Preston Front. Its a little harder to come by these days, but if you ever come across it, give it a go.

Pop Will Eat Itself – Unspoilt By Progress VHS Tape

Screenshot 2019-02-16 at 08.03.16

I have only a shady memory of when and how Pop Will Eat Itself first came into my life. In my late teens I was a sucker for all types of music, soaking up every genre, as likely to listen to indie legends Kitchens of Distinction as the latest by Kylie.

I was aware that Pop Will Eat Itself existed, as my brother had their first major label album. The artwork caught my eye, but I never took it from his room to give it a spin. My girlfriend from then though had a cousin, who would occasionally come and visit. He was a bit like an infrequent character who appears in a sitcom to liven things up, like Exidor from Venus in Mork and Mindy, or Terry and June’s nephew Alan. Those characters would turn up once a series and cause mayhem, and this was the role of her cousin. He would appear, usually on no more than an annual basis, get everyone around him extremely drunk, before hopping back in a train. In my mind, he only existed in those fleeting visits. I have no idea what he’s doing now, even what he was doing back then really, but I greatly enjoyed his sojourns into my life.

It was on the occasion of my girlfriend’s 18th birthday that he made one such trip, and my sketchy memory tells me that he came with a Pop Will Eat Itself tape, and I thought it was terrific. He also got me so drunk that I threw up all over my parent’s bed. They were on holiday at the time, due back the next day, and people from the party stayed at my place. This meant a Yellow Pages style escapade the next day as I attempted to clear up and sort out the duvet situation.

He hopped back on a train, back to goodness knows where, and I hightailed it to the record shop where I got my copy of This is the Day, This is the Hour, This is It… From there I did my usual trick of throwing money at something, buying their rather small at the time back catalogue. We also went to see them loads. They played a five night residency at the Marquee Club in London and we went twice, and we also saw them in various venues and festivals, usually supported by bands such as Scorpio Rising or Eat.

And of course, I bought their albums. And their singles. And far too many of their shirts, which I wish I still had, but sadly they’ve passed into legend. My favourite was a black, long sleeved top with their logo on the chest and text down the sleeve. I have a photo of me taken in 1991 wearing this shirt and I look every inch the textbook indie kid, floppy fringe, massive shoes, the lot.

My favourite album remains 1990’s Cure for Sanity, an incredible potpourri of different styles and genres, all wrapped up in the most amazing artwork. I have a superb picture disc vinyl for single Bulletproof that looks the business, taken from the follow up album. I followed them right up to the bitter end, loving their last original line up album Dos Dedos Mis Amigos, and find it joyful that Graham Crabbe is still going, and how Clint Mansell has made a solid career out of writing film scores.

Onto this VHS tape. It was the done thing at the time for bands to release product like this, but PWEI didn’t put in a whole lot of effort. It’s a collection of promos, right back to their first effort with Sweet Sweet Pie, with a handful of home movies and captions thrown in to make it look as if they’ve at least discussed bonuses and presentation. At the time, bands of their ilk were making movies or smaller documentaries, such as Neds Atomic Dustbin with Nothing Is Cool, so it’s a pity a band as interesting as the Poppies didn’t do the same. Or that there weren’t more high quality live tracks on the tape.

But there you go, it’s too late to go back, and I do drag this tape out every five years or so and give it a play. The major label videos are attempts to look glossy, but are full of goofy little touches that actually add heaps of charm. I still listen to PWEI from time to time, but I can never be sure if I like them because they are great or because of familiarity. I have a feeling it’s 75% the first and 25% the latter.

And they have received a large chunk of cash from me over the years. If I added up all the tickets, albums, singles and shirts, you would be looking at £250 or more. Wise Up Suckers. I can dig it.

New Order True Faith Poster

Screenshot 2019-02-03 at 20.31.39

I was never that cool a teenager, but I always liked a poster. For most of the 80’s, my walls were adorned with computer game images, usually Oliver Frey artwork from magazine Crash, until I feel for the charms of the band New Order. Up in London one day, I bought a bunch of posters and smothered every spare inch of my tiny bedroom with these iconic Peter Saville images.

My first encounter with New Order came in 1983, when I was twelve. I had a big brother with a budget, who used to buy lots of records, and when he was out I would break in and play them. One day, I came across this incredible twelve inch sleeve, black and sleek, fashioned in the style of a floppy disc. I couldn’t resist taking it out and giving it a whirl. That record, of course, was Blue Monday, and from those first thudding drum beats I was captivated.

As time went on, my brothers New Order collection grew. He never bought any albums, only singles, my favourite of which was the insane Subculture, part of a series of records where the band seemed to go slightly studio crazy. It’s not so much a song, more of a musical casserole, every idea thrown into this mad mix of synths and clattering drum machines. In 1987, I bought two tapes of my own. The first was Substance, the best compilation ever released, and their third album Lowlife, which remains one of my favourite albums of all time. Mostly because of this.

By now I had a Saturday job and a bit of money, so I set about obtaining every single, despite owning all of them on Substance. I was also delighted to see the re-release of Blue Monday, and loved 1988 single Touched By the Hand of God. Little did I know that this was a band with serious cash flow problems, and these releases were more a way to keep the creditors at bay. So I did my bit to prop up their crumbling empire, buying everything of theirs I could lay my hands on.

Screenshot 2019-02-03 at 20.32.35

I have never before, or since, anticipated an album more than Technique. I was in sixth form, having the time of my life, and thought lead single Fine Time was the business, despite their attempts to derail it’s chances with this rather suspect Top of the Pops performance. On day of release I bunked off lessons and got my poor Grandfather to drive me to the record shop in the neighbouring town so I could get the tape. Back at school, I ensconced myself in the language lab and listened to it twice. I was not disappointed, and raved about it to my peers as if I’d discovered the cure for the common cold.

And so I bought posters. I had both True Faith covers, a promotional one for Technique, and the Joy Division poster for Closer. Me and a friend made a pilgrimage to Birmingham to see them live, and they were amazing. Less good were the shambolic support, Happy Mondays, who took the whole thing less serious. These posters stayed up on my walls right into Britpop, when they were replaced with the bum on the bed from Dog Man Star.

And here we are in 2019, and New Order are still as vital as ever. It’s hard even to mourn the lack of Peter Hook when they release albums as impressive as 2016’s Music Complete, and their shows at the Old Granada Studios in 2017 showed their knack to innovate. Songs like Plastic have the same visceral DNA as Everything’s Gone Green, Temptation, or The Perfect Kiss, sounding contemporary and part of their heritage at the same time. Not an easy trick to pull off.

I shudder to think how much money I’ve spent on New Order product over the years. It has to be upwards of five hundred pounds, easily, most likely more. I have bought every album three times at least, on tape, CD, and most on record. I am so tempted by this years boxset for Movement, even though I don’t rate the album much. I want to buy into the experience, that feeling of attachment to my favourite band, who even after all these years excite me like no other.


Far too many Animal Crossing Amiibos


How on earth did I end up with eight Animal Crossing Amiibo? Mr Resitti was upstairs when the picture was taken, in case you wondered. What was going through my mind as I clicked them into my Amazon shopping basket, these little statues that served no purpose, who’s only function was to sit on a shelf gathering dust. OK, so occasionally me and my son used them in Mario Maker, but these cheery little souls have added absolutely no tangible value to my life whatsover. So what on earth was I thinking?

Animal Crossing was a Nintendo franchise that always passed me by. I was aware of the Gamecube version but thought it too cute to be of interest to me, and I only owned a Wii quite late in it’s life, mostly so I could play Skyward Sword and Mario Galaxy. Then along came the 3DS, and with (at the time) a seven year old daughter I thought it might be a nice game for us to play together. We’d start a community, I’d be the Mayor, and she could have a little house of her own.

We loaded it up and went through the process of setting up our town. For reasons that totally escape me, we named it ‘ApplePie’, absolutely no idea why. It was probably some little in-joke on the day we started. It suggests more than anything that it’s what we had for pudding at tea. But the name stuck, and we moved around town and got to know the animals we shared a space with.

Screenshot 2019-02-02 at 21.57.17

Our firm favourite soon became Tucker. What did we like about him? Mostly the fact that he kept on calling us ‘Fuzzers’. We found this hilarious, and even to this day when texting each other we use it as a term of endearment. There was Mott, a rather surly lion, and a parrot who’s name escapes me who had an alarming amount of weight lifting equipment in his house.

I wasted hours on 3DS Animal Crossing. Not as much as some, but enough for it to start to take up a sizeable chunk of my free time. I would spend evenings digging up fossils. I would spend hours on the island catching exotic fish, enjoying Kapp’n song on the journey over. I even used to take my console in the toilets at work to check on turnip prices during the day, sneaking away from my day job for virtual toil.

Then, as with most games, my interest waned. I used to check in occasionally, Isabelle giving me a hard time on the start up screen for being a stranger. And then, I just stopped visiting entirely. A couple of months ago, out of curiosity, I checked in after a five year absence, and ApplePie was a mess, a glimpse of post-Brexit Britain. The weeds were waist high, and most of my favourite villagers were long gone, escaping town for pastures new where the Mayor checks in. I wandered round this desolute ruin and switched off, never to return.

Back to the Amiibo. They were cheap on Amazon. I guess Nintendo made too many of them and they needed shifting. They were on for about a fiver each, and in a fit of madness I bought all these. A fever came over me and I kept on clicking. My Amazon orders are sent to my wife’s office, so over a number of days she sat there bemused as these little statues kept tumbling out of parcels.

We used them for Christmas presents for our children. To be fair, they loved them, but once opened they went on the shelf with all the other Amiibo. Other? Yes, it won’t surprise you that these are the drop in the Amiibo ocean. I’d say we have a good 25, and whilst they do all look very nice, they serve little to no purpose.

Animal Crossing, game and Amiibo, have cost me about £80. The other Amiibo a good £250, at least. A sobering thought that I could have bought my mortgage down by nearly a month if I’d resisted the purchase. But I didn’t, and there they sit, on a shelf, reminding me daily how I really shouldn’t be allowed the Amazon app on my phone.

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds Official 2006 Souvenir Tour Programme


There were only a few records in my house during my childhood in 1970’s Britain. Despite being a massive music fan in his teenage years my father bought barely two or three albums a year. His record collection consisted of Beatles albums up to the point he considered they’d gotten too weird, some Leo Sayer records, the odd Rick Wakeman, and Jeff Wayne’s re-imaging of the classic story, War of the Worlds.

Released in 1978, it has gone on to become within the top 50 biggest selling albums of all time in the UK. This suggests that there are a lot of other people like me, who have fond memories of listening to this record with their father. He listened to it a lot, and I would sprawl on the floor of our lounge as it played, usually with the gatefold artwork spread out in front of me. I was fascinated by the pictures, maybe a little scared at times as well, particularly one of people running down the street, the Martian killing machine poised in the background.

screenshot 2019-01-28 at 21.25.27

My job was to get up and turn the record over as each side completed. Side 1 was always my favourite, with the bombastic opening and the off-kilter bass and wonky strings of Horsell Common. Side 2 introduces the fighting machines shown in the picture, who’s strange cries used to unsettle me. I would nervously await their arrival, feeling deep dread in my stomach as they made their unearthly howl.

I used to get restless at the start of side 3, putting up with the Red Weed, waiting for the main event when Phil Lynott showed and turned everything upside down. Even the epilogue used to give me a strange sensation of unease, as the final shrill tone rang out of our Murphy turntable.

Listening to it now, I realise that I was you might call a sensitive child. The other day I played it my own son, who is about the same age I was when I first listened to War of the Worlds. ‘Here it comes,’ I said, as we approached the savage heat ray. ‘This used to really freak me out as a child.’ When it came, he just laughed, did a (rather excellent) impression of it, and mercifully ridiculed me for the rest of the week. ‘You were scared of that?’

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds was something I almost completely forgot about, until about twenty years ago when I went through my dad’s old records, and there it was. With a rush of nostalgia I flicked through the artwork, which still looked as impressive to my 29 year old eyes as it did when I was at school. I had no way of playing it, so I went online and bought the CD, spending a happy week driving round listening to it on the car stereo.


Fast forward to 2006, when my Dad kindly paid for me and a friend to go and see it live, at Wembley Arena, giving me tickets as a birthday present. My friend has similar memories of the album to me, and we had a terrific time. Some of the original artists performed, and the replacements for those who didn’t were excellent. They had a massive, suspended head hanging above the stage, upon which they projected the face of Richard Burton. There was also a clunky Martian Killing Machine prop, which turned up halfway through and belched fire over the first few rows.

I couldn’t go and not buy something. This is me, after all, and as this blog confirms in every entry, I never pass up an opportunity to waste some money. So I got myself the programme, and for some reason a set of badges. I have no idea what happened to those, but the programme sits proudly on my bookshelf, and I take it out from time to time and flick through. It even has a goofy 3D section, as seen in the photo.

Since then, I have bought the re-release on vinyl, so now have my own version to admire. I have no idea what Jeff Wayne has done outside of War of the Worlds. He seems to be the Ian Beale of rock, happy to carry on ploughing the same furrow. So in total, I have spent a good £50 on him and his amazing rock opera, which doesn’t sound too bad.

Stuart Murdoch ‘The Celestial Cafe’ Paperback


I’m not sure why, but I love reading diaries. Maybe it’s because I’m a diarist myself, but ever since I was a teen I’ve loved digging into the events of another persons life. Even fictional diaries interest me. I am roughly a year younger than Adrian Mole, and so grew up with his journals from my early teens. I was saddened greatly when possibly the greatest character of modern fiction died along with the author Sue Townsend back in 2014, and I would no longer get to discover the exploits of Leicester’s greatest son.

Other favourite diaries include Kenneth Williams’, a waspism, bitter account that takes him through the whole of his rather sad and regret filled life. Equally compelling, but altogether more uplifting, are the journals of Michael Palin. He spread his over three volumes and the detail is extraordinary, almost as much as his capacity for alcohol and fine dining. Likewise, the diaries of The Wonderstuff front man Miles Hunt are a boozed sodden journey which show how being in a band is not everything its cracked up to be. Volume 1 describes the hard climb to recognition, with the second collection charting what life is like in a band that’s going places. Volume 3, the most illuminating by far, takes you back to the gutter as the band falls apart. His honesty is remarkable, particularly as diaries do not have the benefit of highsight. You record them in the moment, and reading the day to day struggle of a musician as his band implodes is a sobering read.

Less depressing is the diary of Stuart Murdoch, which is a complete joy. The founder and singer with Belle and Sebastian writes with clarity and a bright, engaging prose, giving a captivating account of his daily activities both in and outside the band. This volume was issued by indie publisher Pomona back in 2011, and is now quite hard to come by having sold out of its print run some time back.

As he admits himself in the book description, it is very light on orgies and tales of debauchery. Instead, on the 23rd January 2003 you hear about how Sunday night was bath night, and how he played football in the week, and helping out with the Church youth group. This makes it everything I wanted it to be. Sure, I’m interested in recording sessions and tours, but I’m equally interested in what musicians get up to when they are on hiatus, how they spend their downtime between band commitments.

He charts the bands progress on the sublime album Dear Catastrophe Waitress from 2003, the book taking us up the release of The Life Pursuit in 2006. He travels, spends time with his friends, talks about films and records he likes, documenting it all in a breezy, friendly manner. The more mundane times are often the most interesting. On the 10th May 2005 he listens to Prefab Sprout, makes a simple dinner, and has Radio 4 on in the background. He follows this pattern into June, when suddenly he is in Los Angeles, recording with Tony Hoffer, though the style remains as conversational as it was back in Glasgow.

Its a great read, the sort of book I’ll pick up every few years or so and read all over again. Although he would probably find this hard to come to terms with it’s hard not to feel jealous at his more relaxed attitude to life, and how much control he has over what he does and doesn’t do. It’s highly unlikely my diaries will ever see the light of day, with my tales of office politics and what I had for my tea, and that’s probably for the best.

This book cost £8.99, but it actually cost twice that as I got one for myself and one for a friend. Over the years I have bought every single album they’ve produced, and a bunch of singles, so I’d guess I’ve spent a good £150 on this wonderful band, who have enriched my life in so many ways.

Superman 3 tie-in novel by William Kotzwinkle


I’m not insane. I know that Superman 3 is not the greatest film in the world. I know it’s never going to win any awards. Yet I absolutely love it, and I’ve probably watched it as many times as the two earlier entries.

So why do I love it so much. I think it’s mostly down to familiarity. There are a number of movies like this from my childhood where I recorded it onto VHS from the telly and watched it time and time again, so much so that I remember the dialogue sequences as much as the action. I love the bit at the start where Richard Pryor suddenly discovers he’s a master computer hacker. The bits in Smallville pass the time as well, as does one of my favourite scenes involving Brad and the two keys. I even like the music playing in the background.

As a kid, I found Vera’s transformation scene unsettling, even though now it looks faintly ridiculous. I don’t miss Lex and Lois, and think the scene at the chemical plant is terrific. I even laugh at the montage when Gus fiddles about with the weather satellite. It’s got Bob Todd in it, why wouldn’t I laugh? Yes, for some inexpicable reason I love Superman 3, even though I know its not very good. I didn’t have so much to occupy my mind back then and I just used to watch it day after day.

There are tons of other risible films like this in my life. Take Battle Beyond the Stars for example. Again, I taped this from the telly, and know it inside out. I realise its daft and hokey, but I love that movie. If I could rent a cinema for a day and curate a festival, I would 100% show it. Likewise fantasy epic Krull, which manages to have Bernard Bresslaw as a Cyclops and Tucker from Grange Hill as a young criminal fugitive. I do not see this sort of repetitive behaviour in my children at all. They watch something once and never return, simply because there is too much choice. Netflix and Prime are groaning with the next thing, which never gives them time to linger. I had a few VHS tapes, crammed with my favourites, adverts and all, whereas they have thousands of choices on tap yet rarely find anything they want to watch.


And so onto this paperback. It is written by the amusingly named (at least it used to amuse me in my early teens) William Kotzwinkle, a prolific writer who also wrote the excellent tie-in novel for ET, The Extra-Terrestrial. And its superb, really well written and tells the story perfectly. He even adds little flourishes here and there to make the story better.

I used to love tie-in novels as a child, because it was simply the only way I could relive a story. My absolute favourite was the one for The Empire Strikes Back, by Donald F. Glut, which was sensational. I read it night after night, which again is behaviour I don’t see exhibited by my children. Even better was when they contained stills from the movie within the book, Superman 3 showcasing a bunch of excellent photos that were clearly taken on set.

I did not pay for this book. A friend got it in a charity shop for me. But I have spent a ton of money on Superman over the years. He remains my favourite superhero, even if I don’t care much for the current incarnation. Christopher Reeve was perfect in the role, and Superman 3, despite it’s flaws, will always have a special place in my heart.