Blog

  • A brilliant night!

    9. Jun. 2010, 9:56

    Tue 8 Jun – Powderfinger, Bob Evans

    I got to the venue several hours early in order to meet up with two friends who had travelled from Scotland - they had met the band after the Glasgow gig and arranged with guitarist Darren Middleton that they would be able to attend the soundcheck. Once we met up, we went around the back of the Academy where James spoke to the security people and the band's tour manager and we were indeed allowed into the soundcheck where we were able to watch the band do Belter and Iberian Dream - and make them laugh with requests ("Any chance you can do Tail?").

    After that we had to go back round the front of the venue to queue up and promptly on 7pm, the doors opened and we were let in. Bob Evans came on stage at 8pm and played for about half an hour, opening with the one song of his that I knew Nowhere Without You. He was joined for his final song by Powderfinger drummer Cogsy who got a massive cheer when he came on stage.

    Powderfinger came on stage just after 9pm and opened with Burn Your Name, then Belter. With it being the band's final UK concert, the crowd were determined to make the most of it and sung and clapped along to every song as loudly as possible - Bernard commented several times on how much we were joining in with everything.

    They played a nice mix of songs from various albums, including Pick You Up from Double Allergic and Don't Wanna Be Left Out and Already Gone from Internationalist along with Belter. There were also My Kind Of Scene, Thrilloilogy and Waiting For The Sun from Odyssey Number Five as well as My Happiness and These Days which were part of the encore. These Days was the final song and reduced me to tears.

    They played 3 songs in total from Golden Rule. As well as the opener Burn Your Name, they also did A Fight About Money and Sail The Wildest Stretch. We also got to hear Sunsets from Vulture Street along with an extended version of (Baby I've Got You) On My Mind which was the first song of the encore. I was thrilled to see them play Bless My Soul and Dream Days At The Hotel Existence was represented by Lost And Running and Nobody Sees.

    It was a brilliant concert and afterwards, my friends and I went once more around the back of the venue and were able to get some autographs and have photos taken which was the icing on the cake of a wonderful night.
  • 100,000 scrobbles!

    6. Mär. 2010, 15:10

    For the record, the landmark song was Songbird by Bernard Fanning from the album Tea & Sympathy. The CD arrived in the post this morning and I have been playing it all day so far, although I'll probably give the rest of my artists some scrobbles after dinner :o)

    I have two Powderfinger CDs on the way over from Australia - they should be here by the end of next week. One of them is the 2-disc edition of Golden Rule. It's amazing how my taste has expanded since I started using last.fm - while I haven't got as many artists in my library as other people I know, I have discovered a whole load of artists that I would not have heard of just listening to the radio.

    I am gradually acquiring as many of these albums as possible on CD so that I can take them with me when I go to visit friends and relatives and try and expand their tastes too. It annoys me when people use language differences as an excuse not to like a song. I have a number of songs in my library that I have only a vague idea - or sometimes no idea at all! - what the singer/band is on about, but they sound good to me so I don't mind.

    I wonder what my 200,000th scrobble will be? I hadn't even *heard* of Powderfinger when I started on this site, so it may well be a similar case when I get to 200k. Or it may be an old favourite... who knows?
  • 2009 review

    25. Dez. 2009, 19:01

    This year has seen me find and add even more great music to my library. I've continued listening mainly to Latin and rock music, but I've also been exploring other genres. My collection has benefitted greatly from film soundtracks which have introduced me to artists I probably wouldn't otherwise have heard of.

    A prime example is Powderfinger, who I first heard only a few months ago on the soundtrack of the Heath Ledger film Two Hands. I ordered the CD at the same time as the DVD and immediately loved the songs These Days and Belter. Since then I have been listening to almost every song of theirs that is playable on last.fm and will aim to buy some Powderfinger CDs in 2010. Their lead singer Bernard Fanning also made the beautiful ballad Shelter For My Soul for the soundtrack of Ned Kelly in which he also has a cameo as a folk singer - I found the playable versions of all of the tracks here on last.fm.

    Another artist that I liked from the Two Hands soundtrack is Alex Lloyd and his song Lucky Star. I have started to explore some of his other songs.

    It has been mostly film soundtracks added to my library this year - some of them are CDs I have had at home for ages and only recently got around to adding, others are ones - like Ned Kelly - where I have found playable versions on the website to make up for the fact I do not yet have the CDs.

    Other artists I have discovered this year include Tinted Windows whose album I actually received today as a Christmas present after having been able to preview the songs online. They are a supergroup with Taylor Hanson on lead vocals and their self-titled album is very good. I have also been exploring more songs by the Australian band Spiderbait, whose song Calypso was featured in the film 10 Things I Hate About You.

    Going through the similar artists stations for the likes of Powderfinger has also introduced me to bands such Eskimo Joe and Gyroscope and given me a whole lot of music to explore that I would probably not have heard of from listening to the radio here in England. Once again, last.fm has helped me broaden my musical horizons and I hope it continues to do so for a long time to come.

    In terms of significant events this year, there are two things that stand out for me; the first is May 8th, when I went to see Enrique Iglesias in concert in Manchester. The concert was amazing - and made even more special by the fact that it was Enrique's birthday. We all sang Happy Birthday to him and he put on a fantastic show.

    The second thing to happen this year was the departure of Noel Gallagher from Oasis. They have been my favourite band since I was about 10 and for the main songwriter to leave so suddenly was quite a shock. I will be interested to see how any of Noel's future solo projects turn out as well as seeing what Liam, Gem and Andy do next, but for now I shall take comfort in the fact that I was lucky enough to see Oasis live twice and of course there are a whole heap of legendary songs that will indeed Live Forever.
  • Turkish Grand Prix report:

    7. Jun. 2009, 15:24

    Jenson Button claimed his 6th win of the season from second on the grid at the Istanbul Park circuit after fighting off an early challenge from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

    Vettel started well from pole position, getting away ahead of Button who was starting on the dirtier side of the grid where there was less grip. All of the drivers got away cleanly, although Rubens Barrichello had a nightmare start in the second Brawn car, dropping from third on the grid to 13th after a clutch problem meant that he was slow getting away. Timo Glock went wide on to the run-off area into Turn 1, but there were no major collisions. There was plenty of overtaking on the first lap as cars battled for position and the most crucial of those was in the second half of the lap around turns 9 and 10 when leader Vettel ran wide which gave Button the perfect opportunity to pass the Red Bull and take the lead.

    At the end of lap 4, there was the first of only two retirements when Giancarlo Fisichella came into the garage having suffered brake and hydraulics problems on his Force India. On laps 7 and 8, Rubens Barrichello was involved in an entertaining battle with McLaren’s Heikki Kovaleinen which resulted eventually in both cars making contact and spinning into turn 9. Both cars were able to continue the race and Barrichello later collided with the Force India of Adrian Sutil on lap 13 and was forced to pit at the end of that lap for a new nose. The Brawn GP team took the opportunity to change his tyres and re-fuel him at the same time.

    At the end of lap 14, the first scheduled pit-stop of the day was made by Fernando Alonso in the Renault who, unlike the rest of the field, had started the race on the less favoured softer tyres in an effort to use them up early and then do the rest of the race on the harder tyres. On the following lap Sebastian Vettel pitted from second place for what would be the first of three stops. Team-mate Mark Webber was on a 2-stop strategy and stopped at the end of lap 18. Button made his first stop on lap 17 and rejoined in 3rd.

    After the first round of stops, Vettel began to catch Button, who was carrying more fuel in his car, but despite his best efforts, the young German could not manage to overtake the championship leader. This proved to be pivotal as Vettel had to pit for the second time at the end of lap 29 and when he got back out on track, he found himself behind Webber. Also around this time, those drivers who had opted for one-stop strategies made their only pit-stops of the afternoon. Among the drivers opting for this tactic was Lewis Hamilton who pitted at the end of lap 32, and rejoined the track just in front of Nelson Piquet and there was a battle for the rest of the lap. Piquet eventually claimed 16th place after the two drivers almost collided with each other.

    By this stage of the race, Jenson Button was comfortably ahead of the two Red Bulls and was able to make his second pit-stop at the end of lap 43 and still rejoin in the lead. Vettel made his third and final stop at the end of lap 48 and rejoined third. While everything was going smoothly for the leaders, there was no such luck for Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima whose chance of earning points was wrecked when his pit crew had trouble attaching his left front tyre properly. The second retirement of the race was Rubens Barrichello, who as early as lap 12 had reported a problem with his gearbox which was no longer capable of doing seventh gear. He had battled on, but was eventually forced to park the car back in the garage and watch his team-mate take the victory.

    As well as a continuation of Brawn GP’s dominance, there were vastly improved performances by the Toyota and BMW Sauber teams after their poor showings in previous Grands Prix. Both Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock finished in the points for Toyota with Trulli an impressive fourth, while BMW’s Robert Kubica came seventh. Nico Rosberg drove well and ended up fifth for Williams while three-time Turkey race-winner Felipe Massa was the highest placed Ferrari in sixth.

    1)Jenson Button – Brawn GP
    2)Mark Webber – Red Bull
    3)Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull
    4)Jarno Trulli – Toyota
    5)Nico Rosberg – Williams
    6)Felipe Massa – Ferrari
    7)Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber
    8)Timo Glock - Toyota
    9)Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
    10)Fernando Alonso – Renault
    11)Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber
    12)Kazuki Nakajima – Williams
    13)Lewis Hamilton – McLaren
    14)Heikki Kovaleinen – McLaren (lapped)
    15)Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso (lapped)
    16)Nelson Piquet – Renault (lapped)
    17)Adrian Sutil – Force India (lapped)
    18)Sebastien Bourdais – Toro Rosso (lapped)
    19)Rubens Barrichello – Brawn GP (retired on lap 48)
    20)Giancarlo Fisichella – Force India (retired on lap 4)
  • Monaco Grand Prix Report:

    24. Mai. 2009, 14:55

    It was another dominant performance by Jenson Button as he cemented his position as championship favourite in the glamorous surroundings of Monte Carlo.

    Button got a good start off the grid and was followed into the first corner by team-mate Rubens Barrichello who got ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. There were no major incidents on the first lap apart from a minor coming-together between Lewis Hamilton, who had started 19th and Robert Kubica in the BMW. Hamilton sustained some damage to his front wing, but continued on until finally changing his nose cone at his second stop at the end of lap 54. Timo Glock started from the pit-lane in his Toyota after making changes to his car from it's qualifying set-up.

    Some of the drivers, including Button, Barrichello and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel opted to start on the super-soft tyres, reasoning that it would give them better grip off the line and if they got the less durable compound used up early, they would do better on the harder, soft compound tyres during the closing stages. However, none of the strategists had prepared for the fact that the super-soft tyres’ performance fell away dramatically after only about 8 or 9 laps. Vettel pitted at the end of lap 10 to move on to the harder compound after being passed by a train of cars including the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, with whom Vettel had previously been having a good battle.

    On lap 11, there were the first two retirements of the race as Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi crashed into the back of Nelson Piquet’s Renault under braking at St. Devote. Buemi’s car was lifted away from the scene on a crane while Piquet managed to recover to the pits, but his car was too badly damaged to continue. At the end of lap 15, Kimi Raikkonen, who had been on the harder tyres, pitted from 3rd place and fuelled up for a long middle stint. Barrichello and Button managed to make their tyres last until laps 16 and 17 respectively, with Button rejoining in 2nd place behind Nico Rosberg. On lap 16, Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the race at St. Devote corner, in virtually the same place as Lewis Hamilton had crashed during qualifying. Robert Kubica retired from the race on lap 29 in a further blow for BMW who had a miserable weekend.

    The second round of pit-stops was more spread out due to the varying tyre strategies of the different teams. Those who had already used the super-soft tyres tended to stop earlier, such as Barrichello and Button who stopped at the end of laps 50 and 51 respectively, whereas drivers like Fernando Alonso who still had to do the final stint on them generally left it as late as possible to try and minimise the time spent on the “unfavourable” tyre. Mark Webber put the super-soft tyres on quite early, on lap 56, but towards the end of the race his pace became inconsistent as the tyres wore down, compared to the pace of Alonso whose tyres were at their best and came close to catching 6th placed Nico Rosberg.

    McLaren’s Heikki Kovaleinen crashed out of the race in the Swimming Pool section of the circuit on lap 52, bringing out yellow flags as marshals cleared debris. That section of the circuit had been monitored closely all weekend as drivers were warned about the possibility of penalties for cutting the chicane. During qualifying, Fisichella had his two best times wiped out and in the race we heard Felipe Massa being warned by his engineer after he repeatedly cut across the kerbs. No penalty was given in the end and Massa finished 4th.

    It was a relatively easy 1-2 in the end for the Brawn team and underlined the job facing everyone else in trying to catch them. There were also impressive performances from Red Bull's Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg and Giancarlo Fisichella who earned Force India's best finish in 9th, narrowly missing out on a point.

    1)Jenson Button – Brawn GP
    2)Rubens Barrichello – Brawn GP
    3)Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
    4)Felipe Massa – Ferrari
    5)Mark Webber – Red Bull
    6)Nico Rosberg – Williams
    7)Fernando Alonso – Renault
    8)Sebastien Bourdais – Toro Rosso
    9)Giancarlo Fisichella – Force India
    10)Timo Glock – Toyota
    11)Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber
    12)Lewis Hamilton – McLaren
    13)Jarno Trulli – Toyota
    14)Adrian Sutil – Force India
    15)Kazuki Nakajima – Williams (retired on final lap)
    16)Heikki Kovaleinen – McLaren (retired on lap 52)
    17)Robert Kubica – BMW (retired on lap 29)
    18)Sebastian Vettel Red Bull (retired on lap 16)
    19)Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso (retired on lap 11)
    20)Nelson Piquet – Renault (retired on lap 11)
  • Spanish Grand Prix Report:

    10. Mai. 2009, 15:39

    It was another dominant victory for Jenson Button as he led a Brawn 1-2 at the Circuit de Catalunya.

    There was plenty of drama at the start of the race. Button was passed into the first corner by team-mate Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa made good use of his KERS system to pass Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel into 3rd place. Further back, Lewis Hamilton slipped down from 14th to last after taking to the grass at the side of the straight in an attempt to gain places. Hamilton narrowly missed being caught up in the collision at Turn 2 between Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil which also took out both of the Toro Rosso cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastien Buemi who crashed into each other while trying to avoid the incident in front of them. Bourdais’s car was lifted into the air and over the top of his team-mate in a spectacular, but frightening looking accident. No-one was hurt and the safety car was immediately deployed as the marshals tried to clear the carbon fibre debris that was scattered across the track. As the cars came past under the safety car, marshals could be seen at the side of the track directing the cars to go where there was least debris to try and make sure that none of them picked up a puncture. Kazuki Nakajima and Giancarlo Fisichella both pitted at the end of lap 1 to repair damage done to their cars and were both able to carry on.

    After all that mayhem, the running order was Barrichello in the lead, Button second with Massa 3rd followed by Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso in 6th, Nico Rosberg 7th and Timo Glock 8th. The safety car came in at the end of lap 5 and at the start of lap 6 there was a brave move by Webber as he battled to keep Alonso behind him. Alonso passed Webber initially, but Webber dived straight back past him and took back his 5th place. On lap 7, Heikki Kovaleinen retired from the race with a gearbox failure in his McLaren.

    At the end of lap 18 Button and Alonso both made their first pit-stops and Button’s strategy was changed from making 3 stops to just two. On the same lap, Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari came to a halt with a throttle problem to leave just 14 cars running. On the following lap Barrichello and Webber both pitted and rejoined in 3rd and 9th respectively. Barrichello remained on a 3-stop strategy. Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa stopped on lap 21.

    Barrichello made his second stop of the afternoon on lap 30 and rejoined in 4th place. The Brazilian began to struggle to keep up with the pace of team-mate Button, while Massa and Vettel started to catch up with the championship leader until they made their second stops on lap 43. Both drivers put on the harder compound of tyres and after coming out of the pits, began losing around 2 seconds per lap to Button. At the beginning of lap 46 there was almost a collision between former team-mates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton as Alonso exited the pits and took 8th place. On lap 48, Button made his second stop to put on the harder tyres. He rejoined in 2nd place and Mark Webber was now in 3rd.

    Felipe Massa then began to get urgent messages from his race engineer telling him to try and conserve fuel. The team hadn’t managed to put enough in at his second stop and there was a danger that Massa may run out before the end of the race. With only ten laps left, he didn’t want to go into the pits, but he was battling to keep Vettel behind him and using more fuel then was ideal. With only 4 laps left, Massa had to let Vettel past and cruise around the track in an effort to save an extra lap’s worth of fuel so he could complete the race. As a result, Massa ended up 6th as Fernando Alonso caught and passed him on the final lap to take 5th place, much to the delight of the Spanish fans. The Ferrari completed the race, but did eventually run out of fuel on the in-lap.

    Button won the race comfortably in the end from team-mate Barrichello to consolidate his, and Brawn GP's, position at the top of the world championship standings.

    1)Jenson Button – Brawn GP
    2)Rubens Barrichello – Brawn GP
    3)Mark Webber – Red Bull
    4)Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull
    5)Fernando Alonso – Renault
    6)Felipe Massa – Ferrari
    7)Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber
    8)Nico Rosberg – Williams
    9)Lewis Hamilton – McLaren
    10)Timo Glock – Toyota
    11)Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber
    12)Nelson Piquet – Renault
    13)Kazuki Nakajima – Williams
    14)Giancarlo Fisichella – Force India
    15)Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – retired on lap 18
    16)Heikki Kovaleinen – McLaren – retired on lap 7
    17)Adrian Sutil – Force India – retired on lap 1
    18)Jarno Trulli – Toyota – retired on lap 1
    19)Sebastien Bourdais – Toro Rosso – retired on lap 1
    20)Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso – retired on lap 1.
  • [artist]Enrique Iglesias[/artist] at Manchester M.E.N. Arena 8th May 2009

    9. Mai. 2009, 9:28

    Fri 8 May – Greatest Hits Tour

    Enrique Iglesias celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday with a fantastic concert in Manchester.

    He was supported by Dutch singer Esmee Denters who did 3 songs and Alesha Dixon who had a longer set and got the crowd warmed up nicely by getting them involved a bit.

    When the lights went down for the third time, everyone was on their feet as the show kicked off with Can You Hear Me. It's a really up-tempo track and made a fantastic opener to get everyone jumping and dancing aorund. After that, the band went straight into Love To See You Cry. Enrique let the crowd sing the chorus, as he did for the majority of songs throughout the show.

    After Rhythm Divine and Bailamos, the pace slowed as Enrique gathered his band at the front of the stage for an acoustic version of Ring My Bells. He did a survey of us, how many ladies were there tonight? Our ages? How many men? How many straight and how many gay men? Are there any men with the balls to go up on stage? He picked one from the front and on finding out that he was there with his wife, she got to go up as well. They talked with Enrique for a while, then he started to do Don't You Forget About Me, only to realise after the first two lines that he hadn't offered the couple the customary drink. So he stopped, offered them a drink and as he did so, there was a countdown on the screens at the side of the stage, which we had seen messages about before the show. It was our signal to sing Happy Birthday to Enrique. Everyone joined in and Enrique really appreciated it. He then sang Don't You Forget About Me in full, as well as Somebody's Me and finished off that section of the show with a cover of Purple Rain.

    After that, the pace picked up again as Enrique sang hits like Be With You, Not in Love (which seems tailor-made for concerts and the audience screaming "You sexy thing and yeah you know it" at Enrique) and Tired of Being Sorry which has quickly become a fan favourite since 2007's Insomniac album. After Tired of Being Sorry, the screens at the back of the stage started showing a version of the computer game Pong. As someone who had seen this on 2007 Insomniac tour, I knew what this meant, and most people could guess. The game sped up until it became the intro to Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song).

    By the end of the song, there was silver/white paper everywhere as Enrique tried to fool us into thinking it was the end. A few people left, either not realising it hadn't really finished or having to catch trains, but the rest of us cheered, stamped and clapped for several minutes until the encore started with Takin' Back My Love. Enrique's backing singer did Ciara's part and the crowd sang every word right through.

    After that, it was everyone's favourite part of an Enrique concert. As the band played gentle acoustic music, he started explaining about a tradition he has, he always has to have someone on stage to sing this particular song to. No need to name the song, we knew what was coming and when he asked who wanted to go up on stage with him, pretty much the entire crowd screamed and waved for him to pick them. Enrique picked a teenage girl out, who seemed not to be able to believe it as he sang Hero and danced with her. After Hero ended and while Enrique made his way back on stage, the band started the intro to the final song Escape. During the final part, Enrique jumped down off the stage and ran down one of the aisles in the arena to the technical area near the back where he stood on a platform, taking the applause and cheers from everyone and watching us as Escape finished. Then he jumped off, quickly ran down one of the main exits and the show was now definitely over.

    It was a fantastic concert. Enrique truly appreciates his fans, always puts on a good show and knows that we'll find a show better if we feel directly involved with it... plus of course, all of us dream about getting front row tickets and getting to go on stage with him!!
  • Bahrain Grand Prix Report:

    26. Apr. 2009, 15:01

    Jenson Button claimed his and Brawn GP’s third victory of the season despite initial worries about the pace and reliability of the car.

    Off the grid, Lewis Hamilton made a good start in his McLaren, moving up from 5th to 3rd while Timo Glock got past pole-sitting Toyota team-mate Jarno Trulli to take the lead. Further down the field, there were a number of incidents which ended with several drivers having to pit for new nose-cones, including the BMWs of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld as well as Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa pitted on lap 3 after reporting a problem with his KERS system which he was advised to turn off. There was also a good start made by Mark Webber who had started 18th after being blocked by Adrian Sutil. The Australian made his way up to 11th by lap 5.

    On Lap 8, Jenson Button had instructions over his radio to start turning his engine down due to worries about whether the Brawn could handle the extremely hot temperatures, but Button continued to set fast times. On the following lap Timo Glock pitted and put on the medium compound tyres for an extended middle stint. This proved costly as he struggled with them and subsequently dropped back from the leaders. Trulli also switched to the medium tyres in his first pit-stop and re-joined in 6th place, but was overtaken by Fernando Alonso a couple of laps later as he too lost ground. The rest of the leaders all put on softer tyres in their first pit-stops and maintained their pace with Jenson Button crucially exiting his first stop ahead of both Toyotas. Button and Barrichello each had a different strategy with Button on a 2-stop and Barrichello stopping 3 times and they were both competitive throughout the race.

    McLaren also looked to be improving as Lewis Hamilton was amongst the leading pack all the way through the Grand Prix and eventually finished in 4th place. His team-mate Heikki Kovaleinen was stuck in the midfield after being involved in a first-lap collision with Robert Kubica which although Kubica came off worse, Kovaleinen never got up to the same sort of pace as his team-mate.

    There were also encouraging signs for Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen scored their first points of the season in 6th. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo attended the race and will have been pleased to see his team avoid making their worst ever start to a season. In contrast to Raikkonen, Felipe Massa had a difficult afternoon due to the problems with his KERS. He was lapped by the leaders and finished down in 14th where towards the end of the race he was most notably battling with the Force India of Giancarlo Fisichella. There was a minor collision as Massa passed the Italian veteran on lap 52, but neither car sustained any significant damage.

    It was also a miserable race for BMW as both of their cars were damaged on lap 1. After having their nose cones replaced, Kubica and Heidfeld continued, but spent the rest of the race trundling around at the back and were the last two cars to finish. Remarkably over the 57 laps there was only one retirement from the race as the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima came into the garage on lap 50 with an oil pressure problem.

    1)Jenson Button – Brawn GP
    2)Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull
    3)Jarno Trulli – Toyota
    4)Lewis Hamilton – McLaren
    5)Rubens Barrichello – Brawn GP
    6)Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
    7)Timo Glock – Toyota
    8)Fernando Alonso – Renault
    9)Nico Rosberg – Williams
    10)Nelson Piquet – Renault
    11)Mark Webber - Red Bull
    12)Heikki Kovaleinen – McLaren
    13)Sebastien Bourdais – Toro Rosso
    14)Felipe Massa – Ferrari
    15)Giancarlo Fisichella – Force India
    16)Adrian Sutil – Force India
    17)Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso
    18)Robert Kubica – BMW
    19)Nick Heidfeld – BMW
    20)Kazuki Nakajima – retired.
  • Chinese Grand Prix report:

    19. Apr. 2009, 10:36

    It was a landmark race for Red Bull Racing as they not only scored their first victory, but it was a 1-2 finish in difficult wet conditions in Shanghai.

    The race was started behind the safety car, which meant that there was no formation lap and all cars had to start on full wet tyres. BMW’s Robert Kubica and Timo Glock of Toyota started from the pit-lane after changing their fuel strategies. Following the overtaking controversy at the Australian Grand Prix, it was interesting to hear Felipe Massa’s race engineer over the radio, reminding him of the rules. Even behind the safety car, a number of drivers slid off on to the run-off areas in the wet, including Massa and Adrian Sutil of Force India. Sutil was the first driver to make a pit-stop on lap 4, changing his strategy in accordance with the conditions. Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso also pitted before the safety car came in at the end of lap 8.

    Once the racing restarted, Lewis Hamilton managed to take 8th place by passing Kimi Raikkonen who struggled throughout the race. The order changed almost continually as drivers passed and re-passed each other, often only to slide off and then have to start again. Sebastien Buemi did particularly well throughout the race, the Swiss rookie proving that he was not afraid to get stuck in and battle with more experienced drivers.

    At the front, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Jenson Button were largely untroubled. Vettel pitted on lap 15 and rejoined in 3rd place. Further down the field Lewis Hamilton had a good battle with Kimi Raikkonen but having overtaken the Finn, slid off the track which allowed Raikkonen to regain the place.

    On lap 18, the safety car was brought out following a collision at the end of the lap between Robert Kubica and Jarno Trulli which ripped Trulli’s rear wing off and Kubica lost his front wing. Both cars were forced into the pits, Trulli to retire and Kubica for a new front wing which itself had be replaced later in the race when it came loose. Under this second safety car period, Button and Barrichello both pitted, rejoining in 2nd and 7th places respectively. Felipe Massa retired on lap 21 after his Ferrari stopped out on the track. The car was recovered under double yellow flags and the safety car came in at the end of lap 22.

    Once the cars got going again, Vettel was running some 4 seconds faster than second-placed Button despite being hit by Sebastien Buemi. Nelson Piquet crashed on lap 28 but managed to continue around to the pit-lane and get the damage repaired so that he could continue. Button and Webber had a good battle over 2nd place, which allowed Vettel to extend his lead. Once Webber finally won 2nd place from Button, he and his young team-mate traded fastest laps, still comfortably faster than any of the other cars.

    At the end of Lap 41, Nico Rosberg gambled and put on intermediate tyres. While he managed for the most part to stay on track, his times were slow and the other drivers stuck with full wet tyres for the remainder of the race as the rain continued to pour. On lap 45, his Williams team-mate Kazuki Nakajima retired after having had several off-track excursions during the race.

    With 10 laps left, Piquet spun, hitting a barrier and damaging his front wing, although handily the incident took place by the pit entrance and he was able to once again get his car repaired and back out.

    Adrian Sutil was not so fortunate. On lap 50, while running in a very impressive 6th, he spun off at Turn 5, crashed through an advertising board and into the barriers, ripping off both front wheels. He got out of the car unhurt and no safety car was needed as the debris was cleared under double yellow flags, but it was cruel luck for Sutil.

    At the front, Vettel eased off in the last few laps as the Red Bull team watched nervously from the pit lane, but they needn't have worried as the young German took the chequered flag with team-mate Mark Webber 2nd and Jenson Button in 3rd for Brawn GP. The race distance was completed in 1 hour 57 minutes - just 3 minutes before the 2 hour cut-off point and it was a well-deserved win for Red Bull Racing as they finally broke their duck 4 years after coming into the sport. Rubens Barrichello had worked his way into 4th after dropping off the pace after his first pit-stop, while both McLarens scored points and Swiss rookie Sebastien Buemi continued his good form by finishing 8th.

    1) Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing
    2) Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing
    3) Jenson Button - Brawn GP
    4) Rubens Barrichello - Brawn GP
    5) Heikki Kovaleinen - McLaren
    6) Lewis Hamilton - McLaren
    7) Timo Glock - Toyota
    8) Sebastien Buemi - Toro Rosso
    9) Fernando Alonso - Renault
    10) Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari
    11) Sebastien Bourdais - Toro Rosso
    12) Nick Heidfeld - BMW
    13) Robert Kubica - BMW
    14) Giancarlo Fisichella - Force India (1 lap down)
    15) Nico Rosberg - Williams (1 lap down)
    16) Nelson Piquet - Renault (2 laps down)
    17) Adrian Sutil - Force India (6 laps down)
    18) Kazuki Nakajima - Williams (retired)
    19) Felipe Massa - Ferrari (retired)
    20) Jarno Trulli - Toyota (retired)
  • 50,000 scrobbles! A review:

    17. Apr. 2009, 12:36

    The landmark track was Kaiser Chiefs "The Angry Mob".

    Looking at my library as it currently stands, I have 103 artists although 'Various Artists' is counted as a 104th due to my taking songs from soundtracks by 'Various Artists'. I have 900 loved tracks although some of those are wrongly named/punctuated versions of tracks from when I started scrobbling from Media Player and it took a while to co-ordinate song titles with their playable versions here on the website. If I took those out, it would lose me a heck of a lot of scrobbles so, untidy as it may make things, I'm going to keep them.

    I also have some tracks that are not playable on the website such as Cancion del Mariachi by Antonio Banderas from the Desperado soundtrack, Rafael Nadal Dancefloor Superstar by Appart and the Spanish Eyes/Lola, Lola medley from the Ricky Martin live DVD "One Night Only". And of course there are tracks that were previously playable and have now gone missing like Torero by Chayanne although some of those tracks such as the El Sueño de Morfeo songs are actually playable despite being listed as unavailable.

    I have discovered all sorts of new artists on last.fm - only yesterday I was recommended a new rock band ironia colombia by one of my friends who is in the band. I took a listen and the 5 songs are very promising so I added them to my library. I certainly wouldn't have found them just by listening to a normal radio station! Using this website really helps me broaden my musical horizons and as a result, I hardly ever listen to the radio nowadays, preferring instead to spend time on here where I know I can find music that will be interesting for me through recommendations and artist/tag radios. When I do find something interesting, I let my family and friends know about it too - both my mum and nephew now have last.fm accounts and we regularly swap recommendations with each other.

    I look forward to finding out what my 100,000th song scrobbled will be!