Thursday, September 28, 2006
Which meant that I spent most of the night dreaming about Girl With A One Track Mind's future.
In the dream, she marries a man who is in his fifties, is a foot shorter than her and looks like a hybrid of Mohamed Al-Fayed and Brian Glover, with a shaven head, olive skin and mad, staring dark brown eyes. A brick shithouse of a man who becomes her agent and manager. She is so hopelessly in love with him that he controls her finances and elbows his way into co-presenting a series of television shows with her.
I watch them doing an Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks style-dance routine together. Do television programmes like this get made anymore?
Then there is the interview on the David Letterman show ...
The last thing I see before I wake up is their rehearsals for a Holiday On Ice style extravaganza. There are a lot of arguments going on. It all looks pretty ominous.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Anyway, I quite like the blogs I write on where I only have one visitor a week, usually someone from Taiwan looking for "The Growing Pains Of PC Penrose DVD's at discount price" or somesuch.
Don't know if the other "team member" will be contributing. Judging by the woeful performances of West Ham United recently, it might help to take his mind of football, though.
I'm also in the process of deleting some of the stuff in the Utility Room archive because it's dead embarrassing and really badly written, even by my low standards. Especially the post-July 7th touchy feely stuff. Yecchh! We're all entitled to have a funny turn now and again but it's best to stay on the straight and narrow if possible. Anything that's too serious or ponderous will have to go: it's just not in the remit of this blog to stray beyond the shallow or silly.
In other news, Low Breasts are recording their debut major label "album" release, which is going to be called HRT On UHT, and it will tie in with a Low Breasts art installation being shown at the Turbine Hall at London's Tate Modern. Ooh, I'm not going to tell you what it'll be - it's a surprise!
Never look back, only forward.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Don't blame me, it all stems back to childhood when I preferred loud, vulgar, garish Sweet and Slade to introspective whiney acoustic Gordon Lightfoot, or whoever else Noel Edmonds was playing on the radio as I prepared to go to school.
I am ancient and should have put aside foolish things and listen instead to quiet, introspective Grant Lubbock or Wilco, but I am blameless. It's society what done it.
I know that Kasabian have that gipsyish style magazine look which would inspire the drip who writes for The Measure in the Guardian Weekend to exclaim "Sergio Pizzorno's waistcoat - we like!!!" but look - their last single had a Status Quo bit in and I actually adore both their albums for reasons I can't really fathom.
That will have to suffice as a recommendation. I can't write about music I love.
Instead, to tie in with another rubbish Charlie Stubbs storyline in Coronation Street, could I just say that Charlie Stubbs looks a bit like that bloke who sings for Kasabian?
Well, they both have the same romany colouring and the same big malleable gob.
Alright, the singer from Kasabian is a scrawny, Dickensian, tubercular version of Charlie Stubbs.
Once, we put the telly on pause during a scene involving Stubbsy on Coronation Street and both said "John wuzza scientist, he wuz hokkked on LSD" because when you're married you have to have tedious in-jokes which no one else understands.
See what you think ...
evil womanising mindgame playin' Stubbsy
that bloke who sings with Kasabian
Friday, September 22, 2006
Visited North Wales.
The first time I travelled through the heart of North Wales was on a coach trip, destination unremembered, when I was about nine years old, and it was a pretty overwhelming experience.
Afterwards, my mother was liable to tell her family and friends "it was the first time that **** thought that there might be some greater power controlling everything, because the scenery was so beautiful".
... which might have been taking it too far.
I mean, I'd not actually travelled anywhere during my childhood. In the 1960's and 70's, if you came from a working class family you went to the same holiday destination, year in, year out, in the same way that you always supported the same football team. To do otherwise was unthinkable. We didn't have a car, so a bus drive to Walsall Illuminations was as exciting as it got until I became a cosmopolitan lower middle class "ooh, we're going on a city break to Budapest ackcherleee, it should be absolutelee fascinating" insufferably smug twat about two years ago.
So North Wales - which wasn't actually very far from my West Midlands' home - has always seemed impossibly exotic to me.
I know I have a closed mind, but to me there's nothing more perfect than looking out over the coast from Llanddwyn Island on a sunny afternoon.
... but then I haven't visited Echo Beach ...
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Saw Nobby Stiles at Corley Motorway Services.
He'd parked badly directly in front of us.
"Well, he's got bad eyesight" said the husband.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
In the meantime, this one is dedicated to the excellent Molly Bloom.
For anyone who can't access YouTube, it's some footage of Bud Flanagan's ghost.
Any road, don't become an internet ghost, Molly. Even the dead manage to make contact with us from the other side at times.
Friday, September 15, 2006
The air will be clean and bracing, and I will be partaking of long hearty walks in the pouring rain and driving, freezing wind.
At the establishment I'm staying at breakfast will be served at 6.30 am prompt and will comprise of eggs, sossidgez, beans, bacon, black pudding, (one) piece of fried bread, mushrooms, (one) tinned plum tomato, four "rounds" of toast with butter and marmalade, a pot of tea for seven accompanied by five spoons of sugar per cup, a bowl of cornflakes and no orange juice, but not necessarily in that order.
I can't say I'll miss any of you, especially when I'm having the ECT treatment, but I'll be back next week discussing second hand shops, Charlie Stubbs and Kasabian among very few other things.
In the meantime, I hope you will be good, and would advise you, in the words of the New Seekers, to love one another and feel for each other from now on.
Have fun, take care and look out for your fellow man.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
A lot has been said on blogs recently about the Library Thing thing.
Unfortunately, most of it has been said by people who are eloquent, urbane and well-read.
So I feel it my duty to stand up for those of us in the hemhemhem "blogging community" who are stupid, barely literate and don't know anything about Ishiguro.
I've slightly adapted the Library Thing style for my own ends and to describe some books wot we got that's taking up too much space and gathering dust on our (rubbish, MFI) bookshelf.
Reader's Digest DIY Manual - Various Overall Clad Handymen
Categories: useful tips about removing candlewax from clothes and getting rid of air bubbles from sink taps, terrifyingly complicated advice on laying your own carpet or patio.
Star rating: ** out of five.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra/Beyond Good And Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
Categories: life advancing whathaveyou, the concept of "The Cooperman", "Will To Power", "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff", a lot of grumbling about everybody and everything.
Note: Nietzsche's surliness may have been a defence mechanism because he didn't have much luck with the ladies, who didn't like his walrus moustache. Mind you, who can blame them? Imagine going on that all important first date with Nietzsche and he orders cream of mushroom soup as a starter, and it all gets stuck in his moustache! Euhh, like, GROSS!
Star rating: *****
Roy Hudd's Cavalcade Of Variety Acts - Roy Hudd
Categories: introduction to music hall and theatrical variety acts over the past hundred years or so, gratuitous nudity (stoutly built lasses).
Note: comedian Bill Murray had a Nietzsche-like moustache! He must've been a bachelor, then.
The British Medical Association Family Doctor Home Advisor - Edited by Dr Tony Smith
Category: inducing hypochondria.
Star rating: ** and a half.
Birds Of Britain And Europe - Roger Tory Peterson, Guy Mountfort and P.A.D. Hollom
Categories: useful "in the field" guide to birds, appearance, behaviour, calls and territory. Has provoked responses like "I think it's a reed bunting - er, probably" near the Kent Royal Military Canal and "bloody hell, it's a coal tit!" in own garden.
Star rating: **** and a bit.
I might post up some more of these in the future, but only if it doesn't bore you too much.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Yesterday we spent the day in Deal, which was actually pretty enjoyable.
Visiting coastal towns is definitely recommended out of season and during school terms, if possible. Deal benefited from the lack of tiresome eleven year old boys running people over on bikes, toddlers darting about and dropping ice cream, bands playing Show Me The Way To Amarillo to an indifferent audience of sleeping pensioners and burger guzzling, arguing famileees, and that gang of fourteen year olds who managed to extort twenty five pence out of us last year so they could "get the bus cuz we've run out of mon-eeee" with piss-taking "oooh, FANK YOU's" when the husband paid up ... little bastards.
Yeah, bollocks to human beings. They really spoil EVERYTHING.
Anyway, we also benefited from freakishly summery weather.
Heh heh, you HATE us, don't you?
We did a lovely walk along the coastal path adjacent to the sea, with views over the country side. This had the added advantage of not being over rugged stony paths. I was wearing my gold sandals with the bows on the front, and don't *do* any sort of practical footwear (trainers and the like) unless absolutely required to (hearty, muddy winter rambles in the South Downs for instance).
Later we sat on the shingley, virtually deserted beach.
A chance to imbibe what must surely be the last day of summer: a shimmery sea and sky that melted together in the mist in the style of an impressionist painting; the occasional yacht or boat in the distance; one or two people swimming; a juvenile herring gull pecking at a polystyrene chip container and systematically walking along the beach looking for anything vaguely edible like a surly vagrant looking for cigarette butts; a couple of blokes in a speedboat, one of them shouting "I'M DESPERATE FOR A PISS"; the gentle lapping of the sea against the shingle.
I realise that my descent into old age is complete.
Nothing makes me happy apart from Getting Away From It All.
Or most of it, at any rate.
Friday, September 08, 2006
The husband was right about that Istvanski bloke though.
"He looks like a cross between Captain Sensible and someone else", he said.
Not only that, on the podcast he SOUNDS like a cross between Captain Sensible and someone else! The Seeds, Megadeth and uhm, The Damned, feature, as does that unspeakable song about sitting on someone's face that I last heard in my mid teens. Memories light the corner of my mind.
RockabillyOyez!Billy played Ween, Pavement, My Bloody Valentine and some other guitar bands which I'm too old to know anything about. God, I'm old. He also does that speaking between the songs thing which sounds like David Coleman's commentary from the 1970 World Cup. Does he record that bit live by satellite from Mexico using a 1970 BBC technology microphone?
Bobertswipe continues to record about ten Swipecasts a week, loves Roxy Music and Atlantic soul records, and plays a lot of songs I remember from my sixth form years, including something by B A Robertson.
Still, keep it up, Bob, as it were.
Mike's most recent podcasts have a new, improved theme tune, and have included a tortured internal dialogue about Thom Yorke's recent single (odd that - Thom Yorke probably has lots of tortured internal dialogues and then inspires tortured internal dialogues among those who listen to his music ...). His is the only podcast where I've heard Cascada. He also professes a love for Atlantic soul music (hmm ... I see a pattern emerging ...). Top stuff.
Rockmother has some stories about Johnny "Guitar" Watson and his cream nylon suit, and has the good sense to play a Chic record. More disco music, you podcasters!
* * * * * * *
Meantime, I'm in the process of recording my first podcast, with a bit of help from my mate Charlie Blunt, in a makeshift studio situated in the potting shed at his sprawling, crumbling estate. Charlie is a bit of a ham radio fan on the quiet, and gave me some sterling broadcasting advice.
I would like to thank him for the loan of the stirring military band albums he kindly let me use during the broadcast.
Charlie wants me to let everyone (what - my readership?!) know that he is delighted with "heir apparent's choice of girlfriend".
"Decent East European filly, good to inject some foreign blood into Blunt stock. Otherwise family becomes rather inbred, what? Puts one in mind of glory days of Austro-Hungarian empire and Prussia, what? I wish he would give up that bally singing lark though" said Charlie.
Anyway, will let you know more at a later date.
Also bear in mind my new policy of charging forty quid to anyone who I link to on a blog post - I make reference to it in the comments here. Cheques/postal orders should be made payable to Betty Utility-Room and be sent to 12a The Business Park, The Roman Road, Erith.
PS: My favourite links are Roxy Music and the singing lark. I only put Charlie Blunt in to plug my archive. Flogging a dead horse, more like.
I make myself laugh so much, I really do.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Alright then. Ever upwards and onwards: don't look back. So I wish to recommend a current television programme to you.
It is called The ONE Show and is on BBC 1 at 7.00 pm, if you're lucky enough to be at home at that hour.
The thing is, I haven't actually watched it with the sound turned on, which I'm sure makes it an infinitely more interesting programme.
I seem to think it is a modern take on the Beeb's old programme Nationwide, presented by the late great Michael "Syd" Barrett of Pink Floyd and Sue Lawley (you don't know the Sue Lawley story? An obtuse reference was made to it in Chris Morris's The Day Today). In other words, it is a programme that can get the whole family, all over Britain, involved and feeling a lovely warmth in the pit of their stomach at the thought of everyone else, everywhere sitting down to watch the telly together after their tea.
In other words, the dream audience for anyone marketing a television programme. Of course, it AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.
Normally at that time of the evening the husband is on the walking machine, exercising along to the dadrock sounds of, I dunno, Jimi Hendrix or Funkadelic (I know, ours is a very strange household. What do you expect? Have a laugh at our expense, if you must). This explains why we've got the television volume on mute, anyway.
I don't really understand The ONE Show, which is quite enjoyable in itself, but the main entertainment arises from the "chemistry" between the presenters, Adrian Chiles and Nadia Sawalha.
I have, of course, to put in a good word for Adrian "Voodoo" Chiles as, like me, he is a thick, slow witted, clodhopping Brummie (... well, I first met the mother in law eleven years ago and explained that I am not from Birmingham, but she still refers to my "Birmingham" accent and said to some Solihull residents she met on holiday "ooh, my son's wife is from Birmingham!" Hence, I have decided that I AM a Brummie). Adrian, you are absolutely lovely, babe!
As for Nadia Sawalha ... she is the key that unlocks the appeal of The ONE Show, in that you can play an amusing parlour game during the show.
Why not place bets on how soon into the show Nadia starts grinning chinlessly from ear to ear, and with how much ferocity? Keep a stopwatch at hand and join in the fun. In our house, we even provide the vocal soundtrack to her smiling:
"eee" (as the corners of her mouth turn up)
"eeeee" (as the tooth glare starts to blind you)
"EEEEEEEEEE!" (as she starts to collapse into hysterics after seeing an amusing picture of Adrian from the 1980's)
This is what we pay our licence fee for.
Monday, September 04, 2006
A couple of posts ago I tried to reactivate the comments section by asking my millions of readers who they thought would win in a fight between the Mike Sammes Singers and The Cliff Adams Singers (or, as Richard would point out, The Cliff Adams Singers featuring Cliff Adams and His Cliff Adams Singers). I knew I was on a hiding to nothing, but thanks to Kek-W who suggested that the Mike Sammes Singers would easily win, unless the Black And White Minstrels turned up. Everyone in the East End of London knows about the Minstrels and their rep: that fat bloke with the lovely baritone used to be known as Grievous Bodily Harm. Enough said.
However, I know that, despite their easy goin', easy listenin' reputation, The Cliff Adams Singers were a right lot.
After recording Sing Something Simple, the honey voiced vocalists would retire to a local pub, the Old Bull And Bush, which was a hostelry favoured by many a showbusiness type in the 1950's through to the 1970's. It was demolished in 1982.
The Adamsiz would descend on the pub and the drink would flow way into the night. They would always insist on a lock-in. Anyone of a more sensible disposition would make their exit as quickly as possible. There would be scenes of debauchery not seen since the days of the Roman Empire. All sorts of sexually transmitted diseases ran rife through the world of showbusiness at one point, and most of the problems led back to the doors of the Cliff Adams Singers.
Put it this way, there were several incidents in which members of the high kicking Tiller Girls dance troupe had to retire because they were "in the family way". There would be so much gossip from those in the know that the expression "she's been down the Old Bull And Bush" became a part of the parlance of the day.
The person to ask about these days of debauchery is variety and light entertainment expert Roy Hudd. However, it is best to "soften him up" first by plying him with a few shots of single malt, and asking him some slightly less seedy stories, preferably ones about how the Glasgow Empire was the graveyard of many a variety act. When he is completely plastered, just whisper the words "Cliff Adams" in his ear and you'll find out more than you ever wanted to.
Just don't say I didn't warn you.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Thanks for the offer of virtual crumpet (oh, it's toward the end of the comments, if you can't be bothered to read it all). I must say, I "virtually" *would*. Phwoarr.
Any road, I was going to do a long whiney post about how depressed I feel at the moment but I'm trying to keep it at bay. I still might post it actually and go all cathartic on yo' ass, if you are really unfortunate.
Then there are the other Bank Holiday television posts - if I can be bothered. I have been really unkind to you. No wonder visitor figures are DWINDLING and comments are DWINDLING.
Soon they may all DWINDLE away to nothing. Or will I jump before I'm pushed ...?
The rest of you, if I don't bother to post again ...
(a) you've had a lucky escape.
(b) have a larvely larvely weekend/life you larvely people. I love you all very much and could give you all a long, lingering, squelchy, noisy, sultry kiss. If you were really unfortunate.