Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Apologies: this is yet another music related post. But what a great summer for music this has been!!!

It is only a few days since Tim, Tom and Tasha were holding their lighters aloft, swaying along to Keane at Glastonbury. It would be a bit mean of me to suggest that they would have been better off holding hand grenades aloft instead but ... ahh, what memories!

Soon enough, however, and THE music event of the year will be upon us. Yes, Live 8 is "rocking all over the world" (apart from Lincolnshire) and world poverty will be over, just like that, in one fell swoop. And no wonder - it is all being steered by the very great Sir Bob Geldorrrff.

The reason Sir Bob Geldorrrff is very great is that he is from an era in which pop music provided a steady stream of "new wave" frontpersons whose names could easily be got wrong by parents - Ian Drury, Phil Oakley of the Human League and Blondie Out Of Blondie (as in your mum's "It's a shame, that Blondie Out Of Blondie is a nice looking girl, but she has got hair like a bird's nest").

Sir Bob sat down for hours with gorgeous, dreamy Midge Ure out of Slik discussing which of the top acts of today should represent Britain in this much more serious version of "International It's A Knockout". With their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in the streets, clubs, alleys, scout huts and recreational halls of the country, they came up with the final, definitive list. Although there is no grime, eski or bashment, innit?, it provides a cosmopolitan overview of what is happening in Britain's streets, alleys, kennel clubs, etc. Acts appearing include:

Sir Elton John.
Sir Richard Attenborough.
Dame Madge Ritchie.
Dame Maggie Smith.
Sir Eric "Look, No Hands" Clapton.
Sir Sting, doing some jazz nonsense, as usual.
Dame Edith Sitwell.
Dame Annie Lennox - ARGG!! NOOO!!
Mister Mister.
Climbie Fischer.
Johnnie Hates Jazz.
That band that did "St. Elmo's Fire".
Dame Jen. Saunders & Dame Dawn French doing their hilarious White Stripes skit for a bit of light relief.
Sir Paul Macca, Sir Brian May and Ringo Starr doing "The Pipes Of Peace"
The Eagles (from America).
Mike And The Mechanics.
The Joolls Holland Big Band with Beverly Knight and Sir Bob Geldorrrff.
Excitement!! For the youngsters!! The exciting new young cutting edge "indie dance" sounds of Jesus Jones and EMF!!!
What is left of the Travellin' Wilburies.
Sir Phil Collins doing Motown songs.
Sir Cliff Richard & Dame Vera Lynn.
Sir Lenny Henry and Sir Billy Connolly berating us all for not taking it seriously enough.

So, come on everybody! Do your bit! We can all make history by making history poverty!!!

(... er, actually, I will not be able to be there. It is my birthday and I may be forced to let my hair down. Is it alright if I send a postal order instead?)

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Each resident of the British Isles should breathe a collective sigh of relief. Coldplay's album went straight in at number one in 68,72,804 countries, thus saving us from a hellish money market freefall and a future of squalor and poverty for all of us. Indeed, the FTSE index rose by 180 points the day after Coldplay's chart success was announced. It also does the heart good to know that there are so many nice, polite, well-brought-up people in their late 20's and early 30's in 68,72,804 countries around the world.

Now, the big question - can the Crazy Frog do the same for Sweden? After the huge success of the ringtone and Axel F single, can he be the biggest Swedish export since Abba were the biggest export since Volvo?

Initial reports are not good. Already he feels he is "too big" to go on "Top Of The Pops", resulting in some of the most woeful TOTP performances ever - half a dozen or so dancers from the Sylvia Young C-List who have obviously been told to make something up an hour before going on stage.

The rumour mill is also implying that there are "difficulties" in recording the album due to his overindulgence in the cliched rock star lifestyle of booze, exquisite drugs and beautiful but easily pleased women on tap.

It looks as though the classic "celebrity can't handle sudden fame" story is unfolding infront of our eyes. Discovered skulking behind a dustbin on a Malmo patio, he had previously spent his time in muddy bits of the garden or jumping out of the way of lawnmowers in order to avoid a grisly death - the life of any pond scum, basically. It's no surprise he can't cope with sudden huge wealth, press intrusion and hoardes of "yes men" boosting his ego.

Still, his record company has tentatively released a list of cover versions which will appear on the album and which they report he will interpret in his "own unique style":

"Spawn To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf
"Life Begins At The Hop" - XTC
"The Green Man" - Shut Up And Dance
"Pondlife" - Blur
"Ribbit" - Chas 'n' Dave
"Pictures Of Lilypad" - The Who
"Lovers Of Toady" - The Only Ones
"Croak 'n' Roll Star" - Oasis

Notice - cover versions only. The usual record company "safe" option. A bad sign. Whether this album goes on to be a world beater, or an overindulgent folly like the Stone Roses' "Second Coming" remains to be seen.

Monday, June 13, 2005


Upper arm dough. Bingo wings. What purpose do these bits of dimpled, unsightly flab serve? If there is a God, is it His way of punishing women for surviving beyond the age of 35?

I am becoming obsessed with my ever devolving upper arms. The rest of me is still more or less the same shape, if a bit frayed at the edges. I'm sure Big Arms are a defult setting on my mother's side of the family, and I remember a photograph of my grandmother in middle age in which her arms took up about 70% of the picture, so everything is conspiring against me. Despite doing that behind the head exercise with a bottle of water, and a variety of arm work with a couple of bottles of tomato ketchup, my upper arm circumference is still about 4 feet. The bits on top are even becoming slightly defined, but the undersides hang there stupidly like the last two fat dopey children to leave a party.

At this time of year, with so much ghastly flesh on show, I am also constantly noticing other women's upper arms. If they are older and seem to have skinny, elegant arms - why?

There aren't many women beyond their late 30's, in truth, who I can think of who don't have bingo wings. In the celeb world, there is Madonna, who, in one recent unflattering snap, wearing a singlet, seems to have opted for the Iggy Pop circa "Raw Power" look. Then there is Jerry Hall, whose genetic make up is mainly Texan thoroughbred hoss, so she doesn't count.

Around here, I occasionally see skinny armed women - hard faced Teddy Sheringham lookalikes (but with long straight blonde hair, of course). They seem to be "of a certain age", but I have to remind myself that this is South London, and they are probably chain smoking 28 year old grandmothers who have had a rough life and can probably hold their own in a fight outside a snooker hall, so it is best not to make eye contact with them.

Under the circumstances, the only option may be to take up rowing, possibly building up to a trans-Atlantic crossing.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


It is summer, and therefore it is carnival time.

So, spotted up the town centre today - thirty women of retirement age in white blouses and black polyester "slax" line dancing to "I Love To Boogie" by T. Rex.

Monday, June 06, 2005


There seems to have been a film about the life of Ian Curtis in the pipeline for some time now, but no definite statement about who will take the lead role. To someone of my age, the thought that Jude Law was to be cast (as was rumoured) really stuck in the craw. Mr BritcackprittyboyyummycoolestmaninBritain(accordingtoHeatmagazine)? Errk. Mind, I'm sure he was really fascinated by Ian's life and was relishing the challenge of portraying him, so it's a shame really.

Still, it looks as if the casting agents may well have their man. Come on, it is staring them in the face.

The same sallow complexion. The same habit of wearing dark grey suits and shirts which just sort of hang there due to his emaciated physique. The same deep set, watery, haunted eyes. Even the ability to throw his arms about in a windmilling fashion. If he could just curb his tendency to be so chipper, the BBC's new weatherman Daniel Corbett would surely walk it.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Re: yesterday's post. I have been informed that the all-new kettles do in fact have a hidden element.

Oo-er, don't we all missus.

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