Where has all the wassailing gone?

Not enough wassailing is done in this day and age, in my opinion. It’s a lost talent, overdue a comeback, and this year I intend to get right back into it. There’s no time to lose, either – wassailing is best enjoyed over the festive season, and come late January, wassailing is rarely found for […]


Baibaba Bimba – The Grizzly Folk

“Baibaba Bimba” was originally written and recorded by Japanese duo, Tenniscoats. I befriended them during my time living and working in Japan, and on occasion went to stay with them in their wonderful house in the Tokyo suburbs, interviewing them for the Japan Times and a number of other magazine articles. Baibaba Bimba EP by […]


Me? Alcoholic? Never

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering whether this is the right thing to write on the internet or not. However, in recent months I’ve had the good fortune to have met and worked with some incredibly inspiring people – people with stories to tell that really help others to come to terms with the difficulties […]


The Johnny Marr interview

In my experience, the best interviewees have a tendency to ramble, and in this respect Johnny Marr is right up there with Sir Tom Jones. Obviously infatuated with his subject, Marr is fast becoming the man the magazines go to when they need a musicologist’s point of view. Since his early teenage years, he has lived […]


Gurning At The Moon – The Grizzly Folk

The Grizzly Folk grew out of a need to do something a little bit different. At the time, I was living and working in Fukuoka, South Japan, and I was playing in a band called Cut Flowers – a weird but loveable hybrid of British indie guitar music and Prince-esque funk. When that came to an […]

Depression: an insider’s tale

I wrote this piece back in November 2011, formerly published under the title “Crumpled Skies and Electric Junkies”, but the site that it lived on has since fallen into disrepair. At the time, it received a lot of goodwill, and seemed to touch one or two people going through something similar. I’ve since been asked, […]

Visiting Kamikochi

During a brief stopover in Kyushu in the early 1990s, British broadcaster and former Monty Python, Michael Palin, stopped in at Huis Ten Bosch, a faithful recreation of a Dutch town, replete with gouda, tulips, windmills and a clock tower built out of bricks shipped from Holland. Not sure what to make of it all, […]

Tohoku earthquake: a live blog from a shaking building

On Friday March 11, 2011, I was at work in Hiroo, Tokyo. As editorial director of Time Out Tokyo, I was most probably tidying up for the weekend – reading the weekend roundup articles that my colleagues put together religiously each week, trying to decide how to spend an average springtime Saturday. What I remember most clearly […]