Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sinatra at the London Palladium

No telly tonight as I've been bullied by my mum into buying tickets for Sinatra at the London Palladium. I'm not paying but I'm doing all the donkey work.

As far as I can deduce from the description of the show, there will be a sepia hologram of Frank at the front of the stage, performing his usual dance steps and body gyrations, while behind him Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be belting out Frank's classics in their own inimitable style.

My mum's been a Frank fan since she was a bobby soxer aged 2, which means she's waited 72 years for this moment and I feel proud to have been able to pay her back in a tiny way for the years of toil and hardship I've put her through.

Start spreading the news...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Backlash: Kids! Who Needs 'Em?

Double buggies are such a menace in Islington. You can't move for double buggies.

How come I've never heard of the Islington twin explosion? Is Islington the new Midwich?

Me, I don't dislike children. It's just that I don't want to spend any of my time with any of them. I didn't much when I was a kid and nothing's changed over the past year. But would I feel differently if I had children of my own? Yes, then I probably would dislike them.

This programme shows a nice restaurant in a nice town which has banned children, a nice pub in a nice part of London which has banned children, and a nice caravan site in a nice part of England which has banned children.

I don't want to spend my time in the company of children so why don't I sample these places?

Because I'd rather spend my spare time in local adult-friendly establishments where the chance of getting battered is pretty high if you make eye contact with one of the ubiquitous local drunk psychopaths.

And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Friday, November 25, 2005

George Best Dies - 2

By an unhappy coincidence, I was once in a hotel room one morning, lying naked on the top of the bed, fast asleep, an empty whisky bottle and a picture of Olive from On the Buses by my side.

The chambermaid shakes me awake.

"Mr Geoff, where did it all go wrong?"

George Best Dies

Ok, I haven't seen it on telly yet, but I've got one thing to say.

If you don't feel sad, you don't like football.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mark E Smith Reads The Footbal Results - Part 2

Ah, so I get to see it, do I? Thanks to the wonders of broadband and Real Player.

I thought it was going to be another tribute to John Peel:
"Peel always wanted to hear Mark Smith read the football results. We thought this would be a fitting tribute to the great man," says a 47 year old man with a tear in his eye.

But I was wrong. It happened because the producer of the BBC's interactive Saturday afternoon football show is a Fall fan and the theme music of the show is, surprise surprise, by The Fall.

So, the great man (Smith, not Peel) reads the football results.

Of course, he is funnier in five minutes than a whole series of series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. 47 year old men have tears of laughter in their eyes, mixed with tears of sorrow as they're always reminded of Peel when they hear the voice of the great man (Smith, not Peel).

"Tottenham Hotspur Postponed, West Ham 1H"
"Milton Keynes", not Milton Keynes Dons.
"Bristol", not Bristol Rovers.

He's riffing.

But it's over so quickly, no Conference, no Scottish leagues. A little bit of chat where he insults Ray Stubbs' hair.

And then off for a few seconds of Mick McCarthy who is a rabbit in the headlights, wondering how Sunderland can walk the Championship, then a few months later playing the same kind of football, head back down towards it again.

Tottenham Hotspur Postponed.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mark E Smith reads the Football Results

Highlight of the week and we missed it. Happily asleep, recording Final Score, not realising you could only view it live by pressing the Sky red button...

Oh well, there's always the guardian's list of "the top 250 humorists in the British Isles" to read. By "top" I presume they mean "best paid", as I can't see any of my fellow bloggers in this list.

The idea of the list is to create a humour map of Britain, based on where the boys and girls were born and brought up. Funnily enough, London is the funniest place with 57 out of the 250 jokers. Who says the Media is up its own arse?

The two nearest comedians to me are Linda Smith and Mark Steel. Not surprising as they both have the same strange faux working-class accent. The problem is, nobody else around here speaks like that. NOBODY.

Friday, November 18, 2005

UK Music Hall of Fame

Given an ego-boosting introduction by ex-punk Sir Bob Geldof and eulogised by ex-punks Sting and Tony Blair, Eurythmics claim their rightful place and are incarcerated in the Hall of Mirrors.

"Dave and I have a passion for music and a shared insanity. And I think we all know what that means", says Annie, and I'm not one to disagree.

The tragically blind duo then play Don't Mess with the Michelin Man, their vicious satire on Corporate France.

The Mirror cracks.

Geoff's Thumb Rating: Very poor toilet tissue.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Take That - For The Record

I think Betty's going to do a post on this so I won't say anything apart from...

Gary Barlow's songwriting ability knocks spots off Guy flaming Chambers'. How many more times in my life will I have to listen to bleeding Angels?

I'm off work for a few days and my time off neatly coincides with us getting a new boiler put in. A chance to watch a bit of telly and do a bit of reading and blogging.

Off to the library this morning to take back the Wyndham recommended The Midwich Cuckoos. Very enjoyable it was, too. I've now started reading Michel Houllebecq who seems a nasty little man and should be right up my street.

So, back from the town centre and its gallapagan coffee drinkers and its Woolworths playing I Want to Break Free on a crackly sound system to miserable shoppers on the cold pedestrianised street, I decide to have a nose into my stats. Just what sort of people are reading my blogs?

Draw your own conclusions from the following search words:-

1. geoff love westerns.
2. england poland 1973 commentator.
3. geoff the.
4. hans link.
5. dog fouling.
6. gilbert harding.
7. jimmy savile.
8. sir geoff the badger.
9. never mind the buzzcocks dressed as a woman.
10. gay shag fest.
11. nasty watches with naked women on it.
12. naked girls crapping.
13. oldest woman fucking.

The last one is my favourite as I was only number 38 on the search list, beaten to number 31 by what I would have thought was the far more apt 'fat grannies mature anal - grannies sucking cock'.

But then I see the excerpts from my blog and all is clear:

'Geoff's Dream Blog...laughs in a high pitched screech at the least fucking thing. The man on my right reeks of...a barley field eating garibaldis with the oldest woman I've ever seen'.

I really am a filthy old bastard, aren't I?

Geoff's Thumb Rating: Plenty of soap and water.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

G8: Can You Hear Us?

We all want to make poverty history, don't we?


We don't want to pay for it, do we?

Fuck, no!

How are we going to do it?

Wear a little white wristband!

Or we could...

1. Be a clown, be a clown. Be an anarchist clown.

2. Ride our bikes and eat fair trade chocolate and bananas.

3. Hawk our communist newspaper to the ignorant masses.

What a ridiculous distortion of the truth. Where are the ordinary people? The people who watched Live Aid with tears of joy and sorrow? Where are Sir Bob's Caring Army? The three car families, the Queen fans, the inheritance tax taxpayers?

Come on! Let's be 'avin' you!

Geoff's Thumb Rating: Thumb up the arse of Capitalism.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Girls and Boys: Sex and British Pop - Wannabe

Aah, the nineties. The decade of people power. When anybody who pleased the eye of the British public could become a star. Sexy Take That. Sexy Spicy Girls. Nice faces, nice bodies. Except perhaps for Gary Barlow, but one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl.

Of course it all started with Ecstasy and raving rock musicians driving round and round the M25 until they saw a field with a couple of cows who looked like they needed a bit of company. The Criminal Justice Bill in 1994 sorted out all that nonsense.

Ecstasy made everybody who took it 'loved up'. Best men would hand it out at weddings. Pall bearers at funerals. I remember being so loved up at the council tip that I rolled on the ground with a dirty old vacuum cleaner.

Then Brit Pop came along to put the mockers on things. Androgynous leather jacket, Brett Anderson started it all. "The initial vision for Brit Pop that Suede had was akin to a Mike Leigh film," he says in his eloquent Hayward's Heath drawl. "And I think it was hijacked by various crap bands who turned it into a Carry On film." If anybody could explain any of that to me, I would be most grateful.

And Brit Poop begat Blair. Brett's old girlfriend, Justine Frischman says "Whatever you think about Blair, I like the fact that he'd been a bass player in a punk band. He had a genuine interest in music."

Sorry, Justine. Margaret Thatcher's favourite song is Telstar which trumps Blair's dodgy taste in crap hairy seventies rock far too easily. Cool Brittania? The man couldn't even out-cool a 150 year old woman.

Finally, the decade ends with Robbie and Kylie. Sex and pop has come a full circle. And I'm worn out just thinking about it.

How about driving and pop, next?


Geoff's Thumb Rating: Up for unmentioned Dance, Down for BritPop.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Later with Jools - Bettye Lavette

I'm warming to Jools. He seems to have stopped playing his boogie woogie piano which always added a little too much to his guests' performances. And even better, Jools' heavy handed big band haven't yet made an appearance in this series. And now we've stopped watching it as it is broadcast, we can fast forward through all the crap and pick out the artists we really want to see.

The series hasn't been bad so far. Arctic Monkeys, Editors, and this week's must-see Sigur Ros who must have felt like babies amongst all the pensioners on the show.

Then, of course, there's always the chance we might find something we've never heard before which makes us go out and spend some money.

Jools' pensioners are usually past their best if they ever had a best to begin with (e.g. Weller and Santana this week). But Bettye Lavette is something else. She is bloody good now at nearly 60. Just imagine what she was like 30 odd years ago. She is raw. And you can't beat raw.

So when this album is released tomorrow in Britain I can add it to my collection alongside Bettye Swann.

I know of only two Bettyes. And they're both absolute stars.

Geoff's Thumb Rating: Up for Bettye, Up for Sigur Ros, Up for Sky Plus.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Please Enter Your PIN

I have a problem with Sky+. Now, you cannot playback a programme before the watershed if it was recorded after the watershed, without entering your PIN number.

I can't remember my PIN number so I phone my seven year old who is at some party or other at his nan's.

"You really are a forgetful old fucker," he says. "How many fucking times do I have to tell you, the numbers are the same as my fucking birthday: 1011."

"Oh, Christ. Happy birthday, son," I say.

"It's a bit fucking late now," he says.

Geoff's Thumb Rating: Thumb down.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Wonderful World of Dogs

1990 quirky (silly) Australian documentary. Actually more about the owners of/people who come in contact with the dogs than the dogs themselves.

We have:-

A man who lets his dog roam by itself during the day, annoying the locals.

A woman who spends all her waking hours thinking of ways to stop dogs fouling the strip of grass outside her front gate.

A woman who can't get over the death of her dog, the dog who said goodbye to each and every one of his human family as they lay in bed on the night he went to sleep forever.

The woman who showers with her dog. As she towels herself down, she asks him to shake.

Geoff's Thumb Rating: Horizontal

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Girls and Boys: Sex and British Pop - Tainted Love

In the early eighties, I had a gentlemen's bet with a friend as to who would be the more successful of two fledgling pop bands: ABC or Haircut 100. I nailed my colours to the jumpers round the shoulders wearing boys from Beckenham. He championed the slim Sheffield lads in their cycling chic. Who won? We didn't really know and we didn't really mind. They both made good pop records and that was all that counted.

And there was a lot of good pop in the eighties. The Human League's Dare should have been the biggest pop album in history. It should have appealed to everybody. It didn't. What's wrong with people?

But the eighties were blighted. Alice Nutter of Chumbawamba blames Thatcher and materialism. She says WHAM's Club Tropicana is typical of those greedy times. It would be no use arguing with her and saying that George Michael is one of the good guys and that the song was taking the piss out of a certain lifestyle. Because Alice knows her mind. Anyway, who the blazes is Alice?

Midge Ure says, "It wasn't just the guys on tv or on stage who were making money. Everybody seemed to be doing quite well." Stick to feeding the world, Midge.

But away with politics, what about the sex? Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran says, "We thought we were going to get an art school audience. Suddenly all these girls were screaming at us." Of course, they were. They'd rather hear themselves screaming than have to listen to Duran Duran. But enough about Duran Duran. What about the sex?

The Blitz Club

The New Romantics had lots of sex. Boys and girls, boys and boys, girls and girls. Naughty Steve Strange would tease the delicious young hetero Martin Kemp. Boy George would rather have sex with his drummer than a cup of tea. Oh, the glamour! The make up! The nookie! All to the soundtrack of ridiculous white funk band, Spandau Ballet.


Even more sex, except this time the participants are all men. Shocking, I know. And the music is hi-energy, not British pop. Which must have been a blessing.

The Suburban Nite Club

Not mentioned on the programme but massively popular. Oops Upside your Head, the song which inspired a million long trains of simple people sitting on the floor and swaying from side to side in an idiot longboat. Plenty of dancing to Luther Vandross and Alexander O'Neal. And the climax of the night, the erection section (the slowies) where a male and a female get it on to the sound of Fat Larry's Zoom. No "Do you come here, often?" I'm afraid.

The Indie Nightclub

The only indie person mentioned on the programme is Morrissey. He's seen as an outlet for frustrated young outsiders. But we couldn't get our rocks off to Morrissey, of course. We had to try the indie nightclub where people stalk around the room to The Cure's Love Cats, pretending to be cats, pretending not to take themselves too seriously, pretending that members of the opposite sex aren't in the room, wishing there was a band onstage to take them away from the brutal fact that nobody's ever going to find them attractive.

But sex and British pop would never be the same after the eighties. For a spectre loomed and it stopped sex in its tracks. A spectre that haunts me even to this day when my mind drifts during quiet moments, day or night. I have to keep myself busy or the terrifying memories come flooding back...


Friday, November 04, 2005

Question Time - David Davis v David Cameron

Possibly good news for us sufferers of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

My mother says, "There was an article in the Mail about that thing you've got".

The article is retrieved from the recycling box, and it's all hail the Mail!

The Plicator is a clamp which squeezes stomach tissue together to make a tighter valve, preventing the contents of one's stomach from lurching up into one's oesophagus. The device is a new alternative to surgery which has always been a last resort. David Blunkett had the operation a couple of years ago.

Millions of us throughout the developed world could be freed from reliance on expensive acid suppressant drugs which are limited in their effectiveness as they only stop our poor little gullets from being damaged by our nasty old stomach acid. They do not stop the feeling of regurgitated discomfort that's a way of life for us poor old sods.

But now, who knows? In a few years' time, I may be able to lie flat on the ground and stare at the clouds without a horrible feeling rising up towards my throat, the sort of feeling I may have got if I'd watched this television programme.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Girls and Boys: Sex and British Pop - Oh You Pretty Things

From David Bowie on his knees, licking Mick Ronson's guitar, to David Bowie's Swinging Boys, this was David Bowie's decade. It was a decade when a hell of a lot of music got made, the most musically diverse decade in pop history. And it was a decade of sexual experimentation...Excuse me?

Ok, pop stars were shagging left right and centre, as they've always done, but what about the music fans? Tell us about the music fans, Geoff.

Well, I can only speak for myself...

Prog rock is anti-sex. The grammar school boys who didn't get any. The bands too ugly to write about it, apparently. Poor Rick Wakeman had to write about King Arthur for God's sake. And Rick Wakeman performing King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Thankfully Not On Ice was my first gig.......No sex.

Five years of gig-going. Seeing prog rock bands, heavy rock bands, pub rock bands, new wave bands.......All with no sex.

Heavy rock discos...No sex. Just one big-legged pissed up woman reeking of patchouli oil freaking out to Hawkwind surrounded by a bunch of complete and utter useless specimens of young manhood. And me.

So, no sex when I was accompanied by my male friends. Would I have any luck by myself?

A rock disco deejayed by Little Nicky Horne. A Norwegian sailor starts talking to me and suggests we approach the two free women in the place. They want to dance to Smoke on the Water. How the fuck? How the fuck do you dance to Smoke on the Water? Without an air guitar. I jump aroud a bit, make my excuses and get the last bus.......No sex.

The Seventies. Sex and British Pop. This is a strange programme. Made especially strange by the talking heads' lips not synching with the sound. You can't cram seventies pop into one hour. There's a whole series to be made. But we get:-

Marc Almond who's learned his lines since his accident. Apparently when Bowie put his arm round Ronson's shoulders on TOTP it was a liberating moment. Christ Marc, how many times have we heard that one before?

There's the Led Zep orgies...wheel on Pamela Des Barnes and Cynthia PlastercasterFasterFaster once again who are into their second decade of lying down.

There's the young girls' idols, David Essex and the Rollers. Girls screaming as they did during Beatlemania.

There's sexless old prog.

And then, blasting everybody out of the water, there's that revolutionary women's movement: Punk. Young women dress up in bondage gear, empowering themselves in the process. Toyah Wilcox sees a naked boy for the first time on the set of Jubilee! She blushes. Captain Sensible gets laid!

But wait. Gary Kemp says punk is not a working class movement. Soul boys is where its at. Ooh, but aren't there so many tribes? And dear old Robert Elms has been a member of each and every one of them. He goes where cool takes him. From skinheed moonstomping all the way to gay discos "because that was where all the best dancing and the best music was". You cool dude, Elmsy.

Hmm...Disco music? Soul music? Aren't they American? Aren't we getting a bit off track here? Shouldn't this be about British music? And sex? Toyah, Kemp, Hadley, Elms? Is it possible to get any more sex less?

Thank Christ Bowie's back at the end, in his make up, still swinging after all these years.

You've still got it, David.

You naughty boy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Never Mind the Buzzcocks

Did any of you four see Never Mind the Buzzcocks? What? No? You missed a CLASSIC.

God, it was funny.

Lamaar was so bitingly caustic, possibly more so than usual. I don't know how he gets away with the things he says.

Jupitus! What a wit! The guy thinks on his feet.

Bailey? The guy is 100% looney tunes. I don't know where he gets his ideas from, but they're not of this planet.

Holly Willoughby? What a babe! I phoned my grandad straight after the show. "What a babe," he said. And my grandad doesn't say that about every young woman. He's been dead 30 years.

So you four didn't see it? Busy blogging, were you?