Sunday, September 26, 2010

Twitter Love

We met on Twitter. We fell in love in 140 characters or less. We have a common interest in music. We love festivals, that communal coming together of like minds. I play the guitar, Rachel plays the drums. We lived 140 miles away from each other but 140 miles is nothing in cyberspace. Within four months Rachel had moved down to London with her drums. Luckily one of my flatmates had fallen in love with a nice girl 140 miles away and was moving out. We formed a band. You wouldn't have heard of us but we're a bit like the Tings Tings although in our band the drummer's female and the guitarist is male, a bit like the White Stripes but not really if you see what I mean.

When we saw the advert asking for young thin white indie musicians who fell in love on Twitter we immediately contacted ITV. They filmed us holding hands in the park and looking lovingly into each others eyes. They filmed the band too but they didn't show the performance on morning television as they said it wasn't suitable for their audience. We feel a bit let down but we're going to carry on as we think we've got something to offer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Time of My Life

In a bid to make the evening more special we decide to go to the pub before the restaurant.

The bus journey is a mile and a half, two pounds each one way, a bargain. The pub we choose is one we used to go in when in this town, run by no-nonsense middle-aged women.

Oh well, not any more. Younger bar staff, loud male punters everywhere, swearing at the tops of their voices.

And the tellies are on. And here comes the football.

I see John Terry's gormless face in the tunnel. Oh well, Chelsea. I look around and see Chelsea memorabilia on the walls. Great. Just what I wanted.

Chelsea score two goals, one bloke shouts his appreciation. Most people are ignoring the football. As they should. Televisions, karaoke, live music and tv game show machines should have no place in pubs in a civilised society. But they do. They're everywhere, we're supposed to need these distractions nowadays. Ever since the 80s when it was decided by the Pub God that jukeboxes were not good enough any more and the hated video jukebox made an appearance with Michael Hutchence wanting to make us sweat greasily like him and Sting and Dire Straits screwing with our minds and starting us on the road to buying our Sky dishes.

So we leave this pub and head for another, distracted on the way by a pub that looks as though it's closed down. But it isn't. It's no longer the haunt of desperate alcoholics but it's now a Real Ale Pub, recommended by CAMRA, winning awards.

We go inside. There are Union Jacks everywhere, posters telling us about a Battle of Britain Day on Saturday, dressing up in Wartime clothes required, kids very welcome to come along as long as they're dressed as evacuees. That'll teach the kids what the War was like, except of course they'll be with their pissed-up mum rubbing Bisto into her legs and their paralytic dad moaning about how long it takes for him to get his willy out of his uniform to go for his half-hourly piss, not hundreds of miles away with smiling, welcoming strangers and glasses of creamy milk straight from the cow's udder.

Next week there's an Irish night when the theme is Green and leprechaun children with large heads and false ginger beards are welcome.

Meanwhile on the telly, we have Top Gear with the odious Jeremy and his mates.

So we leave this pub and head for the Turkish restaurant.

The restaurant is busy for a Wednesday night. Big men are getting stuck into big steaks, cramming chips into their big mouths. Out of the front window of this tastefully decorated very pleasant establishment I see the bookies over the road, bereft of customers, next door to the greengrocer's, which is next door to the Londis which doubles up as the local Post Office. The heart of the town.

The background music is awful 80s. Young at Heart, Eternal Flame, (I've Had) The Time of My Life, you get the picture. Pure shite but loved by everyone of a certain age, the age for coming out on a Wednesday night, stuffing your face with your partner.

So we leave the restaurant and, oh fuck, it's the bus: "RUN!"

Sunday, September 05, 2010

The 6Music Subspecies

The Simon Armitage interview with Morrissey said far more about the state of my BBC sponsored demographic's establishment attitudes than about the plodding indie anachronism himself.

I feel like I should be part of the Mark, Lard, Armitage, middle-aged dry-humoured serious music fan set, but I just can't bring myself to raise my game and stroke my chin to a succession of bands that wouldn't have got record contracts in the 70s but are now lauded on 6Music's Pub Lunch With Graham Beard.

Talking about a new band called the Smiths, "Peel was never one for hype or eulogy, but somewhere within the lugubrious voice and deadpan delivery, I thought I heard a little note of excitement and perhaps even an adjective of praise."

Wrong, Simon. Peel's little note of excitement was his mind drifting to images of pretty young girls. He thought the Smiths were a load of old cunt and would much rather be playing something sent in by some unlistenable no-hope band recorded in some poor old deaf gran's kitchen in Uttoxeter.

One of the rules for my generation when talking about music is to drop John Peel's name into the conversation. As if we didn't have minds of our own. This nostalgia is suffocating and inaccurate and would send me to prison if ever I were to come across ex public schoolboy Phill Jupitus in the flesh and tempt him into talking about ex public schoolboys Peel and Strummer and wait for the sentimental "we're in this together" tear in his eye.

Armitage hides his not quite double platinum selling band's CD in his book of poetry gift to Morrissey. Morrissey is embarrassed as he forgot to bring his own 40 year old book of poetry Salacious Salford to give to Armitage and return the compliment.

I cringe for my establishment figures.