Geek Apocalypse Hellraiser podcast with Simon Bamford and Barbie Wilde

hellraiser show

I (Steven) got a great opportunity a few weeks ago to interview Simon Bamford and Barbie Wilde from Hellrasier 2! Really was super excited! I had actually met Simon at Screencon in Tynemouth a couple of months ago and he was really fun and interesting so we managed to organise a podcast after the event, after several reschedules. He asked his good friend Barbie to be part of it, and it all eventually worked out to create happy fun geek times!

We did the podcast over skype and skype decided that  it would not work after 45 minutes! We even began to question if it was because Barbie was in France, I was in Newcastle and Simon was in Cambridge. yet, after careful thought, realised…..isn’t.that….what…skypes supposed to do? So I guess what I’m saying is it was alittle irritating for all of us!

Because of  this technical error the podcast was one of the few I’ve done that I had to edit alot, but it was worth it. We talked about the Hellraiser franchise in detail and What it was like working with the legendary Clive Barker, as well as Barbie in Death Wish 3, Simons amazing theatre career , Barbie’s new book the Venus Complex and much more fun random tangents! We also finished by playing the James Lipton Game with some funny answers! We also Talk to Simon about the new Hellraiser so fans of the series it is well worth listening to!

You can find the podcast on or on itunes Geek Apocalypse!

Next podcast is with Andrew Neale to be released 28/11/13


Jazz Man Documentary kickstarter- why caring about others matters.

the jazzman

Theres a new kickstarter ( thats recently been put up by a friend of ours here at Geek Apocalypse Abi Lewis called the Jazz Man that I wish to share my thoughts about and hope to convince you to have a look at. Mainly because its an amazing project, and one that I know 1000’s in our region are hoping gets made as its about jazz cafe owner and jazz loving, amazing guy Keith Crombie. He has influenced and helped so many people so I want to share what he did for me without even trying, because he was simply caring about human beings and was a wonderful human being himself. but ill get to that in a bit but first, the context..

I actually met Abi Lewis a few years ago where she first told me about this project. I was at yradio, busting my balls for no money, when her and her cameraman came to see me, and introduced herself. i found out that very day that she had been filiming this idea for a while and we agreed to help her by her filming some of our interviews and asking people we knew for help. I jumped at the chance and heres the reason why.

I had actually started going to the Jazz Cafe run by Keith on which the documentary is about, but I actually heard of him way before that through my siblings and then after that at university. To convey how much of an impact Keith had, People would tell stories of his immense passion towards jazz and promoting events ,by handing out flyers himself outside of universities in Newcastle nearly if not everyday. There was always stories of his generosity in regards to helping people less fortunate than himself, such as letting people into his club when it was cold when he wasn’t open and always giving people a place to be themselves. It always made me think ‘wow if only more people had that feeling of care towards other human being, we’d be ok as a race’.

I had never met Keith or been to the Jazz Cafe up to that point, but circumstances changed that when I started performing. I starting doing stand up when I was at university and was doing it regularly enough that I was practising other ways of performing. So I started learning how to do puppeteering, mainly due to the fact that clearly i would become irresistible to ladies after I learnt it, but also, weirdly it was something I always wanted to try. I started after learning enough to look for places to go and try it infront of a live audience. What shocked me was people didn’t really want me to do it, anywhere, ever, or they’d set fire to me, or hit me with sticks. Where are you going ladies? Stay with me! In all serious it was starting to annoy me, as I really felt it was different and I just needed a place where I could try an idea and see if it worked.

I then ended up at the jazz cafe somehow, I’m racking my brain trying to remember who told me about it, but the fact is I got sent something by someone saying, ‘try these guys they will help you out’. So I emailed Pink Lane poetry and performance and went with my table and my dragon puppet Straight the non magic dragon and was totally unsure of what I was getting into. One thing in the back of my mind though, was I knew I would be meeting Keith, someone who has intrigued me since the first time I had heard these stories while I was going to Northumbria University. As far as my memory goes I remember seeing him, but part of me felt alittle intimated, in a kind of, not worthy sense. I mean ,they guy not only was having a pretty fun poetry night run here, but he had a room that played live jazz music virtually every night, and I love Jazz Music so frigging much. I freely admit, I was alittle jealous.

I got upstairs to the performance room, and met the runners of pink lane Jess and Robbie, and instantly all my fears were gone. They were and still are the nicest and most genuine people I know, and instantly I realised that I had found a place for me, but then the night and venue opened my eyes after I had performed there that night. the crowd and other performers that went to these shows felt the same that I did, and i realised I had found a bunch of people that valued respect, decency, kindness and loved performing or simply watching people working at their craft. I’ve mentioned this in some blogs before, but I was going through an identity crisis during that time (no I generally like puppetry don’t judge) so this was a really important and significant find for me. I was not happy in my own skin for a variety of reasons, and felt alone when it came to how I tried treating people the right way, so not only finding people that felt the same but also gave me the opportunity to be myself, was a life saver to me.

To put the jazz cafe into perspective, I’ve never felt more like me as a performer than being there, and in alot of ways, the person I am now that does Geek Apocalypse podcast accepted who he was and grew by finding that place and be allowed to figure things out honestly and truthfully. if you fell down, doesn’t matter, try again, maybe you’ll get it right next time.But honestly, what it did for me is not the point, because theres thousands of others that could say the same thing and its all thanks to Keith. Robbie is a contributor to GA and a good friend of mine, jess and her now husband Bish have helped me alot and care for them dearly, and other performers I met while there I consider them a part of my life and care about them and see regularly to this day. I never would of met them without Keith.

I know through looking back, and I knew it at the time that Keith was the catalyst for that feeling we had at the venue. he allowed anyone that entered that memorising jazz Cafe building to know that we do not judge here, and if you have a story to tell, tell it, cos we all will be listening. He gave Robbie and Jess and other musicians, artist and performers a platform, and everyone knew the only thing that mattered to Keith was that everyone was ok. I did finally get a chance to speak him, at jess’ birthday and couple of other times, and loved hearing him speak, the stories he would tell, I loved his curiousity, his openess about things. Anyone that remembers walking into the jazz cafe, seeing all his pictures and piles of books and albums, he really was a curious and caring man who loved what he did, and loved helping people as much as he could figure out what they loved, without prejudice.

I sadly never got the chance to know him very well, Abi talks about him very gracefully on the podcast we did about him being around throughout her childhood, and I cant think of anyone better to do this documentary than her.but what I think sums up a persons greatness, is how much of an impact that someone has on people they don’t know, when the cameras or eyes aren’t watching. You’d struggle to find anyone that had a bad word to say about Keith. I owe him a lot even though, he didn’t try specifically for me, he was just being himself, he cared because that’s who he was and I’m so grateful for all that he has done for everyone that Benefited from his kindness and caring about other people. I mean this whole heartedly when I say, if i become one tenth of what keith was and still is, Id be a better person for it. If you didn’t know him, thats your loss, but I know this film will show you why he is still missed, and wont be forgotten.

Because you can change the venue, you can change the signs, but you can never replace Keith. I hope you decide to donate to this project, as we will be.

thanks for caring Keith, there needs to be more people like you.

you can donate to the jazz man documentary by going here, theres also a website Abi has set up

birthday special! Geek Apocalypse behind the scenes!

scott and guys

from left to right Me,Scott and Phill, Graham was hiding as he dies instantly if I photo gets taken of him!

I turned 26 on the 12th of November, and usually when you have a birthday thats something in your 20’s, you go ‘well another year’. I mean, when your a teenager, you only care about how many present you get, to the point where you go ‘the fuckers only got me 80 presents as opposed to 81 last year’ and start devising how you kill your parents, with a the biggest fork you can find or something just as ridiculous. maybe death by evil stare?

the reason I say this is, to bring this to my recent birthday, it had me reflecting far more than I ever have. The honest thing is, I really am finding myself going, ‘fuck I’m not even close to being married by the time I’m 30 as I’m not even seeing anyone and I’m another year closer to that’ which made me realise that turning 26 has turned me into thinking like a moody 16 year old girl. But as some will say, what else is new. But seriously, you kinda do take stock and realise what it is that you have or haven’t done, and what you’d like to accomplish as you get older or what you’d like to be thinking the next birthday you have. Ofcourse, there’s things I want to do I haven’t, I am scarily and outrageously ambitious, so I am always working on something in order to reach something I want to do, but I was hit with several positive feelings (which is unlike me) . Every penny of money that I have earned since university has been through hard work and making myself viable enough to be paid for doing something I like. and although i freely admit I’ve not earned a huge amount , I’ve gotten by for less hours than if I was working for shit money on a full time schedule in a job I would hate. I’m proud of that and feel I should be cos I always give myself a hard time thinking what I am doing is worthwhile.

To give you an example of this, I entered university with prospects and by the time I left the world was in an economic depression. It wasnt cos I was back in the world, which is depressing enough, but I suddenly,along with millions of others, got hit with the realisation that we no longer had as many if any options after leaving higher education. I tried getting into BBC, which took time as its a long process, and ended up nearly getting it, but ultimately was entering an industry that started already being hard to get into, that was now even harder. Most likely if you had a job now, you’ll be keeping it as they is nowhere to go as everyone else is quite rightly doing exactly the same thing in feeling lucky just being where they are. so if your trying to get on the ladder, you begin to realise that the ladder is full, or has moved somewhere else onto an entirely different estate.

So my solution was to make my own fortunes. I created and ran a radio station for the YMCA which lead to being paid for teaching radio and getting the opportunity to become a youth worker as a biproduct of that. Baring in mind I worked for free for months, running 10 shows a week, including my own, and looking at trying to get grant money in order to continue to do what we wanted, I learned ultimately something I use everyday in running this project. So when I say everything I’ve earned is through hard work, it is literally true, also it is true when I say that I created a job for myself. The reality of the situation though is I, like many others of my generation, have no other choice in the matter. But it gives the opportunity to be able to try and do something that interests and appeals, and thats what Geek Apocalypse is, and why it means a lot to me.

The birthday special reveals an interesting behind the scenes aspect of it, as in the people who everyday help me in maintaining the idea and are willing to help me out for the trade off of simply being best friends. Some of which I have known 15-20 years. Graham is a great website designer and designed the yradio and Geek Apocalypse site to what I asked it to be, Phill has helped us with the more technical wordpress problems we have faced, and scott designed the logo and youtube intro. So in their own unique ways they have supported me throughout the whole project, even when it was just a tiny spec of an idea around a year or so ago. So I owe them hugely for that and that why this podcast will be uniquely…erm unique!

so what will I want to be saying next birthday? I suppose That I kept telling the truth, and I kept doing things that I really care about, which in a weird sense, is a pretty simple idea and yet is hard to achieve. Bloody fun though!

You can find the birthday special, and other shows we’ve done by going to or on itunes by typing in Geek Apocalypse!

Lee Paul Band interviews online

We had a  great opportunity to interview some friends of ours Lee Paul plus support last weekend and weve started putting them up on our youtube channel here:

heres the latest one with support band Ourselves and Us

We also did a podcast with Lee Paul Band members Brian, Alex and their manager Ian that you can find on our website or itunes

We are planning to do more interviews for our youtube channel in the future as well as some more original content so if that sounds like fun please subscribe to our youtube channel and this blog!

may the geek go on!