Monday, 30 June 2008
That pop festivals are better in real life than on the telly
Watching some of the BBC’s Glastonbury shows I was surprised by how limited their coverage was. The seemed to show 1 or 2 songs from certain artist repeatedly, quite large acts didn’t seem to figure at all.
Q: Also if Glastonbury is so vaunted for the breadth of the entertainment on show, how come none of this get on TV other than a few glib “here come the freak clips”? Why not have an evening of comedy or shoot the circus arena for the Saturday BBC1 variety slot etc?
Q: Also why not see more of the festival from the fans point of view?
Q: Also why do all the special acoustic sets in the studio when there’s 20 bands at anyone time playing live outside, they are usually not that great, it seems perverse.
Q: What’s all this cock about this year being the year of hip hop there’s been hip hop acts at Glastonbury before (maybe not head lining) but you’d think nobody in Britain had ever heard any Black music if you’d listen to Jay-Z , Zane Lowe and crew.
Q: Also if it is an arts festival where’s the critical distance?
We get it at the Edinburgh festival and the Cannes film festival, we even get it on the fotty but every single act was “fantastic” “brilliant”. I’ve seen lots of ropey bands at Glastonbury but Edith Bowman seemingly hasn’t? I do think that the presenters are compromised by the cheerleader role that and their chumminess with the organisers.
Westwood should have a kid’s show.
Every time I see the guy I’m gob struck with his total full on schtick, surely he can’t be like that all the time? How does he interact with people who don’t speak fluent nonsense? But I do think 4 years olds would entranced by him “look, look mummy the funny old man’s talking about shoes again look, look....”
Mark Radcliffe is slowly turning into John Peel: not only has he started to look like him , but also dresses like JP and his tv style is the same it’s faintly scary.
Q: How many times can Edith Bowman interview her boyfriend (him from T’Editors) without it being totally pointless and self indulgent?
Motty’s last stand: I was going to give him 20 minutes for old time’s sake but he managed to start his commentary with a barrage of tedious boring stats, so on went five live.
Dr Who Vs Mangy Man
I Player watchers spoiler alert!
Davros has come back how cool is that? He was always very scary and creepy all that rubbery skin and his weird blind sockets but with an artifical eye thing.
Me and my mate JC made our own Action Man villain called “Mangy Man™” based on Davros; he was a poor fallen soldier whose back was broken (we hit him with an hammer after putting him on a fire and the elastic snapped!). Sadly nailing his legs back on failed to restore his mobility so we dripped molten plastic crisp packets all over him and mashed his head up a bit with Stanley knife and then built him a sort flying armoured cardboard wheel chair with machine guns and rockets engines at the back. He was dead ace I think he had a hook or was that “Mighty Coalhead™” whose space suit saved his body from the flames of his burning HQ but his head shrivelled to lump of coal. The “Mighty Coalhead’s™” his special powers where surviving being run over by JC’s Dad’s car and being chucked in his fetid septic pond.... I blame the asbestos JC’s dad kept in the shed.
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Apparently even with higher fuels prices in the States pick-up trucks are still selling well, I can only assume it’s because the optional extras are so great!
On the GPIC front I did a promotional drive and out little group has got some even cooler pictures now.
24th June 2008
What can I say we had to wait along time...
Firstly they had to rename this place.....
Then they had to rebuild this place...
it's not too shabby ....
These were useful to...
I started writing a review but I slipped into "cathedrals of sound" territory and then I read this and Alex P said most of what I wanted to say...
More pictures here....
Sunday, 22 June 2008
Midsummer’s eve wasn’t marvellous weather, the brooding grey skies not raising our spirits much. The festival is a large tented village, a sort of Glastonbury food market come posh country show.
The punters are a mixed bunch; the bars of Bromley and St Albans but also Notting Hill and Fulham will have been empty. The air was thick with aftershave and loud scent. The style ran the whole spectrum from “Gap-py” casual to formal suits and pashminas to high street leery shirt and hair gel arm in arm with tiny mini dresses, too much gold and cleavage matched with gravy browning legs and porn heels. Inside posher types abound, I counted 3 pairs of almost canary yellow cords matched with Tattersall shirts (the sure sign of the very posh) accompanied by their equine partners in slightly toned down version of the “Bromley” girls' garb.
The worst dressed person? Other than your humble scribe a girl all in black other than a pair of stripy yellow blue and white wellies. I’m sorry I don’t care if Kate and Alexa rock them wellies are wellies.
So what was tasty?
Some Dorset crab, Thai’s prawns, excellent mini young’s beef pies (we had a few of these!) nice ice cream, some very good cheese from the Isle of Man, a brownie…blimey I didn’t think we’d eaten that much.
And why the f*ck would you want rice bran oil?
“She passed me one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the beer in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the cool liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory and I was back in that cramped “off-license” in old Streatham, the air thick with the smell of turmeric and damp, the shelves groaning with grim cellophane wrapped porn, the wheezing fridge packed with chilly cans of Stella and my mouth ,my mouth was full of the dry boring crumbs of those strangely indestructible everlasting German cakes that corner shops always stock but no one buys twice”
while waiting for BLBW to knock off I sat through a couple of cooking demo’s one from Thomisina do dah, the other from Shaun Hill a foodie hero who seemed a little bemused by the whole affair, you felt he was little to old for all this stuff.
Saturday, 21 June 2008
Now I know actors are self selecting in that the pretty one’s rise to the top and I’m all for glamour and fantasy but when it comes to real people aren’t we diminishing them some what by denying the plain their quota of passion and ? Isn’t it all the more involving seeing people with bad hair and battered faces in passionate tumult? And I don’t mean that nonsense where someone hot puts on a false nose and has “messed up” hair but the sort people normally cast as character actors playing romantic leads.
It would add to the realism, Mathew Rhys wouldn’t have any problem wooing Miller in real life where as Rhys Ifans would (oh no that’s wrong but you know what I mean) if Dylan Thomas was charismatic it wasn’t because of his cute looks and fluttering eyelashes it was his words and character and this requires actors to act not to rely on back lighting and lip gloss.
Now this film was written by Keira’s mum which probably accounts for Knightly Jnrs appearance but that’s no real excuse.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a love story with normal looking leads, you see them as the best friends, the crippled deaf and dumb family members but never in modern films see them having their “sun drenched Ingrid Bergman Kiss”.
*On the subject of the over exposed Miller am I the only person who can’t hold her face in their mind, she’s some kind of shape changing bland walking news story I swear I couldn’t pick her out of a line up if my life depended on it. Also she seems to have sustained a career on the basis of never making a good film ever
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Pavement Art: Gallery of the Lost & Found #9
Proof that it's not just Deptford that's awash with discarded CARDS! I found this one eyed fella in Highest of Holborn, on my way to the very leafy Inns of Court to have me lunch. It does cheer me up the idea that some day in the future we can have game of canasta all from cards found in the gutter.
The clip of Cyd dancing in “Central Park” with Fred Astaire they showed at the end of BBC4 news last night was wonderful the grace and timing of the two of them together was truly a wonder.
Cyd’s real name was Tula Ellice Finklea, top stuff! When she became a dancer, she joined Colonel de Basil’s Ballet Russes de Monet Carlo, double hurrah! Her Balerina names were Felia Sidorova and Maria Istomina, nice!
There’s a great quote from Fred Astaire (from a film)
Lastly in the piece she’s described as transforming her costume in a scene from workers clothes to evening dress topped with “Frivolous Paris hat" which may not be as good as Grace Kelly’s "decadent turban phase" but is almost there.
Anyway peace be with Cyd and her family and friends.
On the same page is an obit for an Ivy Butler whose life may have involved less glamour but seems to have lived a good life, worthy of wider remembrance.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Now call me boring (you're boring) but I’m not sure the world needs anymore flavours of crisp other than say salt flavour. I’m prepared to reach an agreement over say vinegar, Worcester sauce and maybe marmite but thus far and no further.
Now I’ve discerning palette, sorry let me rephrase that I’ve eaten a lot of food but I think even my Jill Gooden like taste buds would be challenged by some M&S flavours I saw today “Red Onion & four cheese crisps”.
This is clearly bo**ocks no one alive can pick out four different flavours of cheese on a bleeding crisp and as for tasting the colour of onion isn’t that some kind wonky neural syndrome; "The man who tasted colours".
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Having said that I’m always wary of the praise for the likes of Girls aloud and also that dubious phrase “classic pop” which usually means “music that smart clever people like me like, not that pleby stuff”.
I’ve never really got Girls Aloud they just seem a bit dead they don’t seem to like music, they are all a bit dull.
Anyway enough of today, I was wandering round London’s London the other day. It was sunny and I had an urge for some pop so I headed for HMV and shockingly in the basement they have a whole rack of Ace records reissues. Before you could say “dandelion and burdock” I had snapped up a best of Link Ray and blurty saxophone thing and best of all a compilation of girl groups called “where the Girls are Vol 1”.
Its dead good, full of little gems, you should head here immediately and buy it.
It contains my favourite song this week its wonderful Spectresque wall of sound classic with a strange mix of Camptown races and some excellent mariachi trumpets. It has a marvellous sound of throbbing wedding party heard from the parking lot as if it’s fallen from a Scorsese soundtrack.
Oh and the other best bit the band were called The Victorians. This is just fantastic.
So do the right thing and get yourself at copy today.
Oh and the album includes two songs from two famous “gals” can guess who they are? No cheating now.
Extra time bonus:
Found this t’other day it’s slice of pure 80’s synth pomp reminding me more of the theme to some TV cop show or straight the video Robocop knock off. It’s actually the theme that played as we all ranted at the TV while that cheating get Maradonna hand balled his way into history at 3 in the morning, yes I’m still bitter.
Girl group quiz who's who?
Sunday, 15 June 2008
Here’s a lp I got recently It’s one of Phase 4 many compilations, (world of spy thrillers). It’s one I bought for the cover, the tunes however aren’t too bad though, particularly if you’ve not got them elsewhere. It’s very stereo in places which isn’t a bad thing.
Couple of things.
The sleeve is just strange I know things were different in 1970’s but which hairy faced fray bentos eating 3 pints of harp at lunch drinking Rothmans smoking tank top wearing lost in cloud of spray mount scalpel wielding junior graphic designer thought it was groovy thing to have girls in bikinis for target practice, it’s weird and faintly creepy.
Also who bought all these lp’s I know there are types like me who like bit of lounge but did people really listen to these discs particularly as the early 1970’s weren’t exactly devoid of good tunes?
Anyway starting off with a funky take on the Mission Impossible theme which wins the award for theme tune that’s way way way better than the show/film it went with.
Next up on a mournful tip is the theme from the "spy who came in from the cold" which perfectly matches the films obsession with mournful cafes, stewed tea, flat pints in bleak boozers, damp book shops and damper and danker boarding rooms.
Misson Impossible (Roland Shaw)
Spy who came in from the cold (Roland Shaw)
Diamonds are forever (Roland Shaw)
Saturday, 14 June 2008
What we learnt from last night’s telly
Great British Menu: The Final
A few points:
I’ve never seen a famous chef taste another chef’s dish without saying it needs more salt. Which basically says “I’m damned if I’m going to admit it’s perfect and that I couldn’t do better”.
Next has Alex “the mould on the rind of British culture” James “from Britpop legends Blur” got pictures of the Head of the BBC fiddling with the Tweenies? As at least 3 times this week he’s popped up on various shows to say not very much in various states on tannedness and unshaveness. On the RA summer expo show they even had Jarvis on and only had him singing but t’old James was on bumbling away all the same tonight on GBM.
Lastly after all the dishes and Jenny royal correspondent doo dahs annoying voice-over, after we had the opinion of everyone on BBC’s summer schedule and the odd Michelin starred international chef it was a pretty good finale. Although the best bit of the entire series was when at the end of a 1 hour show set at the top of the gherkin with the combined talents of 3 top chefs, twenty or so Sou chefs, countless waiting staff, dishes that took a ballet of 8 hands to prepare , several 100 ingredients for four courses and £1,000’s of kitchen equipment the hapless BBC 2 presenter signs off with “if you want to recreate any on the dishes in the programme head to the BBC’s website for all the recipes” argggh!.
Why at the end, didn’t the Dr use his screwdriver to escape the hand cuffs and save their lass ? Oh and Katherine Tate was getting close to acting in this episode.
Why didn’t we have an Orchid club at our school, we had greenhouses but I think no one ever used them much like the language lab, the potters wheels, the long jump pit or the ropes in the old hall(apart from to put the leather ends between your legs to look like a large….)
The Culture show:
How can a show that has Elbow singing with Richard Hawley on it still harbour Karl Pilkington, a man so singular dully uninteresting and yet depressingly popular?
Here’s Richard Hawley singing with his mum at the Royal Albert hall as mentioned on the show.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
These couple of canadians have taken a silly idea through daffness into something almost profound....
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Looking up the Honeycombs I was doubly shamed for not knowing they had a tip top female drummer, a one Honey Lantree.
As everyone in the world except it seems me knows the Honeycombs were produced by Joe Meek and many of their songs are infused with his slightly unearthly weirdness.
The single I found however was one of their lesser hits (UK number 12). It’s got a weird spidery garage guitar riff and a flat sounding driving drum beat. Plus and here’s the best bit it fits in with my growing collection of weird 60’s stalker records. In it the thwarted protagonist follows, phones and stands outside the home of the object of his desire desperate to “get through to” her.
One suspects he’d do better if his song didn’t have strong whiff Dexedrine induced paranoia about it.
The Honeycombs “Can’t get through to you”
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
What could be better than a 99 on a hot day well may be cider lolly, but we won’t get cute?
A while ago I started a little flickr group “Giant Plastic Ice cream cones”. We are a select bunch 19 members and rising. This week the delightfully monikered “Kitten’s Arse” posted a number of Brighton based pics including this collision of ace British traditional fare e.g. a Wimpy and a 99.
I won’t go on or else I’ll slip into sub Ian Sinclair psyco-geopgraphy but mapping the position of every GPIC may yet tell us more about this occasionally sunny little island than perhaps we at first thought!!!!
Monday, 9 June 2008
Just seen this on the Culture show, it's an excellent animation by RCA graduate John Kelly.
It's visually very inventive and also runs to ground all the ways we avoid doing what we should. He does miss out Alan Bennet's fave of cleaning the fluff out of the tumble dryer though. Speaking for myself I've been known to clean the oven rather than fill a form in. Anyway maybe you should link to this post so you'll have something good to watch next time your avoiding......
Sunday, 8 June 2008
On the subject of Kirsty mmmmmm….
………Where was I oh yes
Bob Mill’s rule of comedy “ Keep saying funny things”
Why is Sainsbury’s bread so rubbish it’s really, really crap for toast?
Saturday, 7 June 2008
What to eat and drink at Glastonbury or other festivals
Why festivals aren’t getting more middle class (they always where)
I'm not a big one for changing allegiences but the European Chamionship are on and so more in a spirit of hope over exepriences than anything else, I'm going with the Spainsh. Seeing as I've just won 0p on the Derby it's probably not worth following . Internationally Spain flatter to decieve but you never know.
We are getting the opening ceremony now which as usual is a waste of time, the football ones are always crap. The end of the champions league was just pointless the winning team drenched in a blizzard of red confetti a sort of visual admission that the sponsors never really get football.
What is this nonsense dancing fridge boxes! just start the game.....
Friday, 6 June 2008
When my morning train pulls into Cannon street there is always a surprising rush to get off, the call of spread sheets is obviously strong for my fellow travellers.
Usually I hang back to let the others off first. Waiting with me this morning was a woman engrossed in her book. I’m always interested in what people are reading other than usual metro and harry cocking potter. I was a bit surprised to see she was so engrossed in the original novel of Sex and the City by Candice Bushell.
Surely that story’s been done with by now, after 50 tv shows and a film there can’t much juice/interest to ring out of it. I felt like leaning over and giving away the plot (spoiler) .....she marries her shoes!
Tunes for Friday
Nice in the paper by Jude Rogers about one of my current faves July Skies
Thursday, 5 June 2008
Firstly nice venue: beer garden with hanging baskets, comfy seat and more than acceptable Chinese food. Far better than the deep fried fat at the Brixton academy
Beer: usual range for £3 pint also sell haribo and chuppa chups!
Clientele: students, indie emo-types, rotund 40 somethings solo and with partners and a first for me blokes in shirts with cuff links (possibly it turns out from the record company). There was guy talking to himself and quite a few posh kids. One kid seemed to have come with his mum he was dressed immaculately rock kid wise in a leather jacket and knowingly scruffed big hair, we thought he was the next act but obviously the nice women next to him in the fleece was making sure he didn’t get led astray by the likes of evil old me. Kudos as ever to the vain witch gobby at the bar who talked loudly through the main gig cheers luv.
Frank Hammond (?) usual indie fare, songs about day time telly, nice “inept” stylophone solo though. A bit like the Jack Penate .
Next bloke (name forgotten sorry) played twangy surf music on his own. Sadly he forgot the golden rule that like surfing it’s not rock and roll if you’re sat down, oh and he needs a drummer.
Looked like a proper band matching hair cuts, similar clothes and crucially all stood up including the drummer!
Lead singer looks like a a cross between Ricky Gervais and late period Joe strummer, guitarist seemed to be drinking buckfast wine, the bass player would redeem himself in the movie by jumping on a grenade, and the drummer had an endearing way of looking at the drum she was going to hit next.
Basically they looked like a gang which is exactly as it should be.
On the whole even with a break for a dodgy lead, Glasvegas where wonderful.
I think they played all the songs they have, but with real passion and energy. I can see them winning over festivals with their “heart on ya sleeve Proclaimers” thing.
The music is driving loud-quiet indie rock but sung in at times in a dense vernacular that adds to the whole thing. Lyrics the usual really love, life and social workers.
Stand out songs:
Conclusion: Glasvegas were excellent and the Boiler house is a good friendly venue too. All in all a good night even the train ride home wasn’t bad peaceful in near empty carriage.
Ps: The “Too much information” award goes to the lads in the bogs talking about their urinary tract infections. Come on boys this is Guildford after all.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
But fear not as Hurrah squawking and chattering from the leafy suburbia come the green menace of ring necked parakeets. Frankly if all I have to worry about is the odd cockatoo I’m a happy man. Sadly for the hate mongers at the standards “the London loathing paper of the year” the only known predators of parakeets are over weight Romanian working single lesbian mums.....
And now the good news
So pop along here to find out more. You never know you might get some cheeky vinyl while you’re trying on some lush backless number with a pair pearl open toed sling backs.
You can imagine the scene
15 minutes later the BBC is sat in living room watching T4 surrounded by barrels of Brent crude when BBC’s mum come in
BBC’s Mum: So you found it them?
The only other way it could happen is that people have been almost using up oil fields and putting them back in fridge with just a little bit left and all the real oil is stuck in the ice at the back next to the wilted iceberg lettuce of coal reserves and the 2 month out of date bulging pot of natural gas peach melba yoghurt .. .
Half blind with steamed up misted glasses,
one sodden shoe from a loose tipping slab,
I am in the sodium light, Canary wharf winks between the trees
and then there's the damp wet smell of leylandi
and I'm 200 miles away and what could be as many years
in Doherty's garden
being Nick Fury dodging frisbees and brushing through the tight packed gloomy trunks
the sickly scent of pine drenches me .
And then another puddle fills the other shoe and the sirens and the pizza bike
drags me back and I hurry in.
Monday, 2 June 2008
Pick 'n' Mix on the road to chaos
I have talked before that Nestle selling Rowntree’s fruit pastilles in bags of only red and black ones was the sort of slippery slope that would lead this once great nation into the depths of hell quicker than anything this side of Noel Edmonds and onanism.
Well conversely and perversely they are aiming to make things worse in producing variety packs with pastilles, fruit, gums and fruit salads in them.
This has really got to stop. How can we teach children to make steadfast decisions, to act morally, if when they got to the sweet shop they don’t have to buy one kind of sweet and stick with it?
If they can have everything all at once it will only serve to sap their moral fibre, sweets aren’t about shallow fleeting sugary enjoyment they are an exercise in harsh Spartan morality and this laissez faire “come one come all” attitude is the tip of a very dangerous cola cube which will only make the problems of dog mess, street drinking and the parking in precinct that much worse.
Things you think about when trapped in a train 200 yards outside London Bridge for 25 minutes while a black guy in a tight fitting woolly bobble hat and yellow leather jackets huffs and puffs in and out of his seat next to you as if that will make the train move: a continuing series.
Will the 2012 Olympic Village have a village shop which stocks split peas,out of date Atora suet, faded 700 piece jigsaws of Ullswater, scary plastic dolls in cellophane bags and postal orders?
Will the badminton be played in the Olympic village hall after the Olympic village WI have had their meeting?
Will there by an Olympic village idiot? (Thanks to Jack Dee for this one)Will there be an Olympic model village?
Does Bobby Gillespie think working 12 ish-5 ish playing songs with his mates is really like working on a oil rig?
Does he really think early Primal Scream were a “rock and roll band”?Is he not man enough to admit he wrote a letter to council complaining about the noise from his local pub rather than blaming his wife?
Did that attractive looking girl really undo her top just then and show her female friend her chest?
Isn’t he hot in that hat?
Why doesn’t “toxo” get hit by train when he’s tagging?
If a man breaks wind in crowded railways carriage with his head phones on and nobody hears it did it really happen?
Am I the only one listening to St Etienne remixes on this train?
Did I turn off the stove?
What months are you supposed to eat oyster cards?
Ahh we are moving?
Oh we’ve stopped again?
He does look warm?
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Always count your shadows:
Things are never black and white, television is dumbing down we are told and to a large extent they are right with everything from “Grand designs” to “Britain’s got talent” being bland crud. But then you get a episode of Dr Who like last night which was genuinely creepy and involving and maybe just maybe things aren’t too bad.
Then there was the doc about Johnny Cash, and the bit in compilation of his “Country Gold” shows where the Everly brothers sang a song about their dad complete with guitar breaks from their dad that was so lovely I found I had something in my eye.
Lastly I finally caught “In the shadow of the moon” on channel 4 last night which was clearly wonderful, any film with Gus Grissom in it will do for me. It was about the Apollo moon landings and was simply but beautifully done mixing interviews with the 8 moon walkers left with excellent footage and stills.
I do think human history demands one last interview with Neil Armstrong, I respect his privacy but surely he can talk in private to someone and it be released say 10 years after he sadly passes. Imagine having a first hand record of Christopher Columbus.
One of the most amazing parts of the film was hearing Michael Collins (left in lunar orbit) talks about the moment when his circling ship slipped behind the Moon and he’s alone in something not much bigger than a camper van on his own in the Universe. The fact that he enjoyed it tells us something about the inner spirit of adventurers. The whole film was filled with optimism but not was never glib. Of course the BBC did much the same with the Dr and friends except they didn’t even need to leave Cardiff!