Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A National Treasure

Richard Hawley's an acquired taste. A taste I try to acquire every so often but just can't quite.

I was listening to the songs on his myspace the other day. Probably the fourth time I've heard them.

"You've got a better voice than him," Betty said to me. "But he's a more passionate singer. You're detached from the songs."

Not that I've got any songs of my own. I sing covers - in the bathroom, the kitchen, the bedroom and the living room. I don't sing in the loft as I'm usually puffing, blowing and swearing when I'm up there.

I once dreamt I went to Richard Hawley's house. It was large and sparsely decorated. Massive rooms contained nothing but Marshall amps. He lived near a railway track and took us for a walk through his orchard to watch the trains go by. All the time we were there he never sang a note. He was overbearingly serious.

How many times does one have to experience an acquired taste to acquire that taste? I'm willing to give Richard Hawley a few more goes. He appears on the new Elbow album so I can't avoid him there. Unless I skip that track which wouldn't be the done thing as albums are meant to be listened to from start to end. The track with Richard Hawley on is my least favourite track on the Elbow album.

Then again, some people might say Elbow were an acquired taste and that Richard Hawley has a wonderful immediacy.

So is this acquired taste business a load of old bollocks? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everybody has different eyesight which changes over the years. Unless you're the Jean-Michel Jarre fan I used to know, in which case Jarre is God, always will be and nobody else comes close.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lord, I Have Seen The Light!

And verily did God scoop the mighty Jesus fish from the River Cray, suck out its eyes so it could not see the Devil Livingstone's ungodly work, and parachute it to earth on a fluffy cloud where it did land in the Garden of Weedin' as Betty and Geoff did innocently sleep.

The Jesus fish did transmit pure thoughts to Betty and Geoff's ungodly widescreen tv and behold, a message from God emitted from the mouth of The Chosen One.

O Alan, we are with you, O Champion of London’s most vulnerable – the unborn, the elderly, the refugee.

May every London bus have two signs on its rear -

1. A Jesus fish

2. An "Unborn Child on Board" sticker

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earworm Alert

"This is my least favourite song ever!" I hear from the other office as Smooth plays Don McLean's American Pie.

I agree, it is pretty shit. But it doesn't come close to my least favourite.

I haven't got one, though. I've got so many to choose from.

So I set myself a task. To compile a Nightmare Playlist. Twenty songs (not including novelty records and not having the same artist more than once) I never want to hear again. From the mawkish to the "right on".

So here goes...

1. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston

2. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) - Eurythmics

3. True - Spandau Ballet

4. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

5. Fields of Gold - Sting

6. Easy Lover - Phil Collins & Philip Bailey

7. Rock DJ - Robbie Williams

8. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

9. Dancing In The Moonlight - Toploader

10. Somewhere Only We Know - Keane

11. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

12. Hello - Lionel Ritchie

13. Isn't She Lovely? - Stevie Wonder

14. 500 Miles - The Proclaimers

15. Sexuality - Billy Bragg

16. London Calling - The Clash

17. 1973 - James "The Cuntster" Blunt

18. Lady In Red - Chris De Burgh

19. It Must Be Love - Madness

20. Sex Bomb - Tom Jones

Christ, what a CD that would make. Have I missed any out? Can you think of a worse playlist? Have you got a least favourite song? What's your favourite crisp flavour, etc, etc...?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Growing Old Gracefully

So we drive 165 miles to visit a 92 year old woman who's lost what little English she had due to two recent strokes.

She can't see us as she's possibly blind in both eyes now, and although we are accompanied by a man who speaks her language, she doesn't acknowledge us. She is not making sense anyway. Her mother and Tito are still alive, if not living together. There is somebody in the home who won't stop singing in Serbo-Croat.

The man who took us to the home is 82. He's pretty sprightly. The only thing he's missing is a sense of direction, understandable when all this used to be fields but isn't any more by any stretch of the imagination. He knocks on three doors for directions as we wonder whether we'll reach the home before we're eligible to be residents there ourselves.

"Don't worry, you'll arrive home before dark," he says later over a calming cup of tea. We don't, thanks to the road-widening on the M1.

Meanwhile at the Masons do my mum's at, things are kicking off. The new generation of hand-shakers are getting pissed as newts, not taking it seriously. If anything they are taking the piss out of Masonry and its customs. Something I regularly do sober.

My widower uncle, a septuagenarian, slowly walks across the expanse of the dance floor to ask a young woman to dance the first dance. He picks her because she is showing a lot of cleavage. Her cups overfloweth. He holds her very close as they smooch. I'm not told what the song is. I'd like to think it's Fat Larry's Zoom. All that's visible of the young floozy is the back of her blonde and red striped straightened hair. The tart, leading him on like that!

And his best friend, who has a history of banter with my mum, decides that tonight is the night to really embarrass her. Instead of giving her a peck on the cheek, he bends her backwards and attempts to snog her. Not once, but twice. The second time he tells her she's got his juices going. They wrestle. She slaps him round the chops.

His wife says he was only getting his own back for previous mickey-taking. But this was going too far. She could have slipped a disc!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Little Frenchman

Imagine, if you will...

Marcel Proust is living in 21st century London. He has a stressful job as a copywriter. In his lunch hour he writes his weblog, Little Frenchman, exploring the themes of time, space and memory. One evening he forgets to turn his computer off. His boss look at the PC's internet site history. The next morning Marcel is sacked for writing on his blog that his boss was "a waste of time and space".

But Marcel has the last laugh. He gets an agent who advises him to turn his blog into a book. He does and it becomes a bestseller. Little Frenchman, the book, is a phenomenon.

Its success makes the news.

"Dooced Proust Rules The Roost!" screams the headline.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Stay At Home, Dads!

Presenters and guests on Sky Sports News are having kittens over parents' and coaches' behaviour at kids' football matches. Parents are being given exclusion zones around the pitches so they don't encroach.

There's nothing worse than a big-mouthed dad. Walk past any kids' match and you'll hear them. The big-mouthed ignorant bullying know-nothing dads who get worked up over a piss poor British-style kick and rush game of so-called football with little skill. It's all about the winning. The fun disappeared decades ago.

"How can we ensure the parents behave?" the experts ask.

Of course the answer is you can't. You've got to keep them away. When I was a kid I would have hated it if my dad had watched me play any of the sports I took part in. Talk about embarrassment! And my dad was a placid, easygoing sort.

These poor kids not only get the embarrassment of failing in front of their parent, they get the added bonus of being embarrassed by the twat's big stupid mouth.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Money For Nothing

On the local news there's a couple who've had their house on the market for six months without a single viewing. The house is in rich rich rich London. How much and when their first ever mortgage was is not stated. I'd guess their original investment was something in the region of £6,000 and by doing fuck all apart from a bit of selling and buying they now have a house worth probably £800,000. A family home in a nice residential London street.

Now they've missed the boat. Maybe they want to retire to the country. But they're just too late. House prices are on the way down. Potential buyers are staying put.

"We do think we've missed the boat. I think if we'd put the house on the market this time last year it would have flown out the door."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Crap Nav

I go downstairs to discuss an important business matter (ha ha ha).

Just as I reach the front counter, a man enters the building.

He is Irish and is looking for Covent Garden Fruit & Veg Market. He said he put SW8 into the sat nav and ended up here.

Here is Covent Garden WC2, in the sparkling, touristy, soulless heart of London.

The original Covent Garden Fruit & Veg Market was here. It was moved to Vauxhall in 1974.

I can't help him on his way because I've no idea where SW8 is or how to get there.

Besides, even if I did know it, I am the world's worst at giving directions.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Got The Blues (Part 2)

OK, it's the second and final part of the blues competition. I woke up this morning and thought it would be an idea to do it today.

So who are these blues guys? I'm afraid there's no prize this time. Eric Clapton, who signed the CDs for the first part, has withdrawn his services as he is wont to do. I remember when he left The Yardbirds. A tragic time.

But as a special treat for you all, here's 29 seconds of that band's Jeff's Blues, lead guitar by Eric's mate, the great Jeff Beck. Just imagine this in a live setting, seguing into a 30 minute jam.






Sunday, April 06, 2008

Another Girl In The Neighbourhood

Just a couple of quotes I've picked up from the internet concerning the new Friday evening ITV sitcom, Teenage Kicks.

Phil McIntyre, executive producer, said: "Ade Edmondson is one of the UK's most loved and talented comedians. This is a long overdue return to Young Ones madness. I am delighted to be working with Adrian and ITV on this five-star comedy mayhem."

Adrian* Edmondson, star and co-writer said: “I think it’s misleading to suggest this show is a return to Young Ones madness. This is much more of a family sitcom. It’s aimed at anyone who’s been a parent or a child. Which, of course, is everyone…"

We saw ten minutes of this on Friday as we'd been reliably informed by the free papers that it was diabolically bad.

It was worse than that. It was a kind of My Family for the "punk" generation.

Actually, scrap that. Adrian might take it as a compliment.

* He's not "Ade" to me.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Lunatics Are Taking Over The Asylum

Are you voting for Ken, then Geoff?

Of course.

Not Boris?

No. Never in a million years.

Oh, you've got to vote for Boris. He's such an idiot.

No, I'm voting for Ken.

Ken's in it for his mates. Boris is great. He's such an idiot. It'll be good to have an idiot in charge. Better a complete idiot than someone who's in it for his mates.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I Got The Blues (Part 1)

It's competition time again. Part one of two.

Can you work out the names of the following blues/rhythm and blues artists from the pictures?

A signed copy of Eric Clapton's Miserable Old Cunt CD to the competitor with the most correct answers.





Tuesday, April 01, 2008