Thursday, May 28, 2009


Does the idea of seeing Spinal Tap live appeal? Bad enough in a venue but standing in a field?

Thousands of people will be able to experience the Tap this summer at Michael Eavis's Funny Farm. Of course, any entertainment on show in the film was to be gleaned from offstage areas. A shit rock band trying to be funny onstage is just a shit rock band trying to be funny onstage.

I've seen some unintentionally funny bands in my years of gig-going. There was the craply-caped Rick Wakeman, Yes starring The Buggles, Genesis with pervy little Phil in his raincoat, the very hairy ponce Sammy Hagar, the very hairy ponces Rush, The Tolkeinesque Enid, the preposterously portentous Comsat Angels, the ridiculously "wasted" Wasted Youth, the comically "lovesexy" Prince, the pretentiously ironic REM...

I could go on. Of course Spinal Tap will think they're going to be the funniest thing at Glastonbury. But with Tom Jones, Tony Christie, Status Quo, Blur et al on the bill they won't even come in the top ten.

Which unintentionally funny bands or artists have you seen live? i.e. the opposite of The Grumbleweeds.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Karaoke Crowd

We went out for a quiet drink. But the karaoke crowd took over the pub.

A middle aged man set up his computer, speakers and microphones. He played snippets of songs. And in between he sang a few and invited his following to come and have a go.

Karaoke deejays have people following them from pub to pub. These people are not talented enough to win through the early rounds of Britain's Got Talent. But in their heads they're David Gray or Neil Diamond or the girls from ABBA. In their stupid self-centred heads.

They take it seriously. They feel the anticipation as they mentally prepare for their next time on stage. Because they do have several chances each to show off as the evening progresses. Their fellow karaoke creeps cheer them on, applaud them off. The deejay pretends he's reading out the next singer's name as if he doesn't know him (19 times out of 20 the singer is male). He does know him, of course. They're all part of the same strange family.

I imagined them all getting together for a karaoke family funeral. Then, as if by magic, some dickhead started up Robbie Williams' Angels. I could see the coffin and the tears as the karaoke family swayed in their seats, arms aloft, as the young singer belted out an off-key version of that death classic. It's exactly the send-off Neil Diamond/Elvis Presley/Gene Pitney/Roy Orbison would have wanted. And his manner of death, a massive coronary on the karaoke stage was exactly how he would have wanted to go.

Yes, we did get Babylon and Wonderwall and Amarillo and 500 Miles. It was so fucking predictable. The twats had absolutely no imagination. At least the bloke who looked like Ian Curtis could have done She's Lost Control, really lost control and fucked up his dad's laptop.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take It To The Top

There were a few low points during Sir Ranulph Fiennes conquest of Everest. Fiennes was in constant contact with his team at base camp who captured the lowest, bleakest point on tape. The point where his lungs were bursting, he could see barely a yard in front of him and his comfortable home in England seemed a million miles away.

"I don't think..." he said, "I can carry on. More than man can take. Stress affecting all. Even Sherpa tensing."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Election Special

Remember when I said I was going to publish my book of poems?

Well, when it comes down to it I can't be bothered. They're throwaway, anyway. Not the sort of poems that Phill fucking Jupitus or Griff fucking Rhys fucking Jones could get their teeth into. I'm a pleb with simple tastes, no potential literary giant.

What's really occupying my mind is who to vote for. I don't know why I'm getting all uptight this time round. Is it Labour or Lib Dem or Green on the pro-European side? Or will I go anti-EU and vote for Arthur Scargill's or Bob Crow's party.

Tony Benn's supporting communist/capital punishment fan Crow. Tony Benn's a very nice man, a Christian David Attenborough. How can a nice Christian get into a political bed with an atheist who believes in an eye for an eye? It's all very confusing.

Scargill's a nutjob who's still fighting the miners' strike. He's preaching solidarity with the Tolpuddle martyrs, apparently unaware they died in 1968.

And what about naughty Labour? They took us into an illegal war, don't you know? Blood is on Labour's hands. Gordon Brown shook hands with the devil Bush! So the Lib Dems are telling me. And the Lib Dems have got criminals talking with victims in Chard and reoffending in Chard is down to approximately 0%. It brings a tear to my eye. Just imagine a rapist sitting down with his victim, promising he won't do anything she doesn't want next time.

The Greens want to stop all animal testing on drugs. I'm not so sure that is a very good idea. I'm pretty certain the drugs I take were tested on animals. "Yes, but humans are very different from animals. You might as well test drugs on vegetables." Yeah, right.

Oh dear. What is one to do? Who are you going to vote for? And why?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Election Fever

My mum and stepdad read the Daily Mail.

She's angry about MPs.

"You can't trust any of them. They've all got their snouts in the trough. All that taxpayers' money. That's your money, Geoff. Just who are you supposed to vote for? The British Parliament is totally immoral and corrupt."

"So who are you going to vote for, Mum?"

"Your stepdad reckons UKIP."

Saturday, May 16, 2009


"I really like this song," said a work colleague.

"I don't," I said.

"It's Ronan Keating. It's lovely."

"It's shit."

"But it's about his dead mum."

"Why didn't you say? I thought it was fucking awful. Now I think it's poignant."

Last night we had the sound turned down on the tv as David Cameron spoke sincerely into the camera for the Conservative Party Broadcast.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Funny Ha Ha Or Funny?

The retiring journalist is holding court. She's going to continue to write, she's known nothing but writing since she was eighteen.

She looks at me.

She says she's going to write something funny.

I am not sure whether she's ever written anything funny. Or how difficult it would be to start writing funny stuff in your later years if you never have before.

I don't know why she looked at me. I've never said anything funny to her. And she's never seen any of my writing.

Maybe she thinks I appreciate funny writing.

I do. But it's got to be funny.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

La Mort

Last night I dreamt I was on my death bed. I was surrounded by all the accountants and trainee accountants I have known in my working life.

I think I can read this dream. But just imagine if it were to become real.

Suffice to say I don't want accountants surrounding my death bed. In fact, I don't want people at all. I want a solitary robin, singing his little heart out, perched on my window sill. He'd look at me with sympathy and I'd breathe my last.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

How To Save The World In One Easy Lesson

We sat through Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth in three sittings and are now crossing our fingers that Greenland doesn't disappear as if it does it will be a very bad thing for the world because lots of people will be living in water and swimming with the fishes.

In his bid to save the world, Gore has spent years flying all over the place, his slideshow in tow. Let's hope that, unlike Icarus, he doesn't fly too close to the burning sun.

The audience in each country nod sagely and go away to prepare for green power. What we need are leaders of the free world who are obsessed with light bulbs and standby lights, the little things in life that could make so much difference. You could imagine Al Gore as President of the United States, flying the world with a supply of energy-efficient light bulbs, giving the Queen and the Pope tickings off for their wastage, getting out his MacBook and showing them illustrations of the consequences of their evil reliance on chandeliers and security lights.

The MacBook is the portable computer of choice for the likes of Al Gore, Stephen Fry and David Attenborough. They are all filmed looking seriously into their laptops on planes, at home and in public buildings. I have a MacBook but have yet to look serious in front of it whilst being filmed. This is one of my major ambitions in life.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Take It As Read

How fast do you read? Could you read a book in a day? Could you really take it all in?

I know there are people who can do this. Surely they must be speed-reading, getting an overall impression, not giving themselves time to get truly involved. Where's the pleasure in that? Books are there to be read at your leisure. It's not a race.

Since joining Twitter I've learned to speed-read tweets. Something like this...

whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares? lol. whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares? lol. whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares? lol. whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?whocares?

I'm joking. I don't lol that often. And I do care.

When it comes to blog posts I quickly scan the whole post then decide if the subject matter is of interest to me. If it's not I move onto the next blog on Google Reader. I read the ones I'm interested in at my leisure.

Move along, now. Nothing to see here.