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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

HAVE YOU GOT A LIFE BUOY? 

One thing I found out on re-visiting the spookily Gothic seaside resort of Cromer is that it only looks spookily Gothic when the weather is dark and dreary. We visited it on a sunny, busy weekend day and, for reasons I can't really explain, again on a dark, cold, windy and quiet weekday.

Short of anything else to do, we visited a record fair held in the parish hall. There wasn't much of interest on offer, although Geoff ended up getting Alex Chilton's ace Like Flies On Sherbert for a fiver.

At one point I had one of those "what is the point of existence?" moments. The stallholder opposite me was a corpulent bloke in his fifties, wearing a Police t-shirt. The song being played was She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby, which I probably hadn't heard for upwards of twenty years.

The synth bit that goes "eur eur euuur, eur"* in She Blinded Me With Science does enough to evoke nauseous memories of the early 1980's. Combined with the setting, it's surprising I didn't do myself in, there, on the spot.

The only saving grace was the fact that there was an entire section of vinyl dedicated to Norfolk hero The Singing Postman, of Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boi? infamy.


Phwoarr!

The Singing Postman shouldn't, of course, be confused with Mancunian post punk type Jon The Postman ...


... who was also a real postman, but now runs a secondhand record shop, or my favourite singing postman of all (and Kate McCann lookalike), Vic Godard of Subway Sect ...


... whose Ambition is still probably one of my top five favourite singles of all time. When I ordered it from Small Wonder records from the NME back in 1846, I found it waiting outside our back door on returning from school and was THRILLED beyond belief. I then played it a dozen times in a row on our rubbish mono record player. I still can't decide if being fifteen was the best or worst time of my life.

Anyway, there you go, respect to the postmen (... and bollocks to Adam Crozier).


*you can tell at this point that you're not reading The Church Of Me, or Ooh, Missus, You're Turning The Air Blue! or whatever he's calling it this week, can't you?

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Comments:
Oh, bollocks!
Now I've got "Molly Wimbley, she smokes like a chimbley but she's my little nicker-teen gal" stuck in my head!
I hang my head in shame in the knowledge that the Singing Postman is Norfolk's most enduring "pop star".
And the old bastard was a pædophile, as well as a musical desecration.
 
I note that the Singing Postman wore natty Bickerstaffe specs.

Perhaps they were the same person. We should be told.

Bollocks to the postpeople, the malingering bastards. I was expecting Clear Spot by Captain Beefheart to turn up from Amazon today.

Bastards.
 
Once again you've educated me in your nation's rich musical history. I had no idea there was a Singing Postman.

As one of my regular readers is a postie, this info makes for great ammo.
 
The Singing Postman, Rolf Harris and Bennie Hill. These three have always scared the living daylights out of me. In that "I fear for my children" kind of way.
How could I forget to include Jimmy Saville? Perhaps because he hasn't cut a record (or has he?).
 
I'm sure the singing postman wasn't a pædophile. He used to go around in a little red van like Pat.
And parts of Cromer are quite jolly. It all depends on your Cromer Zones.
*reaches for coat*
 
Benny Hill was a God, Arabella!!!! (Did Ernie die in vain?) I'll let you keep Rolf, however, until our house needs painting.
As for The Singing Postman - what a rock anthem that was! Elizabeth, that looks suspiciously like an album. Are you seriously telling me that after hitting the heights by lyrically asking someone to spark up his fag he went on to produce more slices of musical Ambrosia? I need more titles, chuck.
 
Dive - rather a harsh assessment. Weren't The Farmers Boys Norfolk's most enduring pop stars? ... which isn't much better, come to think of it.

Garfer - what? The Singing Postman is Rodney Bickerstaffe, who was Buddy Holly, who was the young Tim Footman? I can feel one of my headaches starting.

I'm sure the Beefheart is in the post, but is part of the huge backlog.

MJ - there is a long history of singing postmen. Robert Johnson sold his soul at the crossroads after a morning of delivering circulars and bills. Well, probably.

Arabella - Jimmy hasn't cut a record to my knowledge. Perhaps it's best not to know though, eh?

I think you're being a bit unfair about Rolf though: he seems a nice old sort. I don't even think that TV programme where he spent a lot of time in a swimming pool with children was dubious.

Murph - no, The Singing Postman wasn't a paedophile as far as I know. Just because he has a bit of an overbite! How do you do that dipthong thing?

I was scared to entering Cromer's Twilight Zones.

Reg - There is indeed a whole album of Postman tracks. Visit http://www.goodmusic.co.uk/pages/product/product.asp?prod=M2688&ctlg=goodmusic&ctgry=M_Comedy&affiliate=WW1486?gclid=CM-vhdj7hI8CFQspFQodCy-12A&ctgrypath=Music~M_Comedy&affiliate=WW1486?gclid=CM-vhdj7hI8CFQspFQodCy-12A&cookie%5Ftest=1

... er, sorry, I can't do hyperlinks on comments. I would also recommend Twenty Odd Years - The Story Of, a Vic Godard & Subway Sect compilation. Depending on your preference, of course.
 
Cromer's fantastic. As is "Ambition."

We stayed in a cottage in Norfolk some years back which turned out to be haunted. There were some v. strange goings-ons. Objects moving from where you'd put them down, appearing hours later in other rooms. Brrrrrrrrr.
 
Wasn't Ed Banger of the Nosebleeds a postman?

Hang on, he was actually a milkman.
 
Kek - there is something a bit witchy about Norfolk. Even the silence around where we were staying seemed a bit unnatural. Hearing animals (er, I presume they were animals) screeching outside at midnight frightened me a bit. We're only used to hearing urban foxes, but fuck knows what was out there ... oh, and we had to negotiate getting back from the pub through pitch black wooded areas (... well, slight exaggeration).

Billy - Ed Banger? The Nosebleeds? Are you really fifty?? Jon Anderson of Yes was also a milkman, apparently. As was Benny Hill, of course.
 
And Gene October off of Chelsea (the band, not the poncy football team) is a binman.

And John Cooper Clarke ran the tool room at Salford Tech.

And didn't Dave Vanian meet Rat Scabies when they were cleaning the toilets at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon?
 
Tim - ah, those were the days, when musicians were from 'umble backgrounds. These days you can't get into the top forty unless you're a member of the Royal Family (Blunty, Jack "Panini" Penate, etc.). Mind you, Chelsea were bloody awful (as are the poncy football team of course).
 
Ace post Bettster.

Just to complete the musical posties list;

Paul Cook, Sex Pistols drummer.

Kitty Yo-Yo Records recording artiste Richard Davis used to do the odd shift with Vic Godard at the Twickenham sorting office.

Former (although, I'm not sure they've actually split up) Ariels bassist Howesey also trod the streets in the pre-Crozier era Post Office uniform. He's currently residing in the 'where are they now'? file...

Can you do one on Librarians next, B?

Bob

p.s. Ambition is awesome, isn't it?
 
*furiously taking notes on musical posties for future reference*

Thanks, everybody.

As always, this blog is a source of great enlightenment and education to me.
 
The Singing Postman .... The Laughing Policeman .... Ernie the Fastest Milkman ... Bob The Builder .... all those musical tradesman! Nurse! Pass my medicine.
 
Bob - I think Happy Mondays also had something to do with the postal service. Mind you, gawd help you if you were relying on Bez to deliver your registered letters, eh?

It seems that Vic Godard hated Ambition - something to do with the production making it too poppy and the addition of that keyboard sound. Hate it when bands slag off songs of theirs that I really love, but I suppose a lot of musicians are contrary buggers really.

Musicians who were librarians? I'd have to look into that one. Er ... I know Morrissey used to deface library books (in the style of Joe Orton), but I don't know if that counts ...

MJ - this blog is an education for me as well. Mainly because of the stuff I read in the comments though. That and realising how I've mispelt words when I use the spellcheck function. I don't know where enlightenment fits into it though.

Llewtrah - Song Of A Baker by The Small Faces? Night Nurse by Gregory Isaacs? Echo And The Binmen? Erm ...
 
Moz's Mum was a Librarian.

I think that about exhausts the subject - oh, apart from some bird in one of the Riot Grrrl band's who used to work at Teddington Library. Can't remember which one - the band or the bird.


Nice to see you getting nice comments too Bett. Well, it's nice to see someone getting comments. I used to get them myself - a long, long, long time ago.

"Life is very long when you're lonely..."

Bob
 
Bob - no comments? Ah, well it'll be down to all that stuff about football. Most bloggers are middle class ponces who are obsessed with rugby and dinner parties. Oh, and all the birds want to read about is handbags and whether or not Britney Spears has accidentally microwaved one of her children. Best to stick to those subjects, eh?
 
The lack of comments pre-date the football-based posts Bettster.

But I take your point; being a guttersnipe from the underclasses who's not afraid to call a meally-mouthed, Rio Ferdinand-mouthed arse bandit a meally-mouthed, Rio Ferdinand-mouthed arse bandit when he sees one hasn't won me many friends.

But enough about Paul Morley...

Bob

wrod vrecifififfifification: galszasz.

You couldn't meck it up, could you??
 
*chokes on beverage*

Paul Morley speaks so highly of you as well. So does Rio Ferdinand. At least I think he does. It's difficult to understand what he's saying, isn't it?
 
Sean Connery was a milkman.

Paul Morley is an arse who gave up rock journalism aged 24 because he was 'too old'.
 
"Paul Morley speaks so highly of you as well. "

If that's the case, I must be an even bigger cunt than everybody else thinks, Bettster.
 
Garfer - he wasn't a rock 'n' roll milkman though was he (someone will probably say "actually, he was in a skiffle combo at one time" now).

Bob - it's always better to inspire hatred rather than indifference. Well, in theory anyway.
 
Just to clarify Mr Footman's earlier comment - it was Sensible that met Rat Scabies when they were cleaning the toilets at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. Dave Vanian used to be a grave digger.

Also, David Howes (not his real name) from The Dave Howes band used to be a postman in the Twickenham area before he got famous in Basingstoke.
 
Istvanski - I don't think many people will be surprised to find out that Dave Vanian used to be a gravedigger.

Your next task is to contribute names of famous people from Basingstoke ...
 
i used to think cromer was spelt chroma, like chromatography. no wonder i couldn't find it on maps
 
Why has no-one mentioned the exciting fact that Thomas Dolby is touring the country as we speak?!

Oh, I've just checked, it's just finished. Sorry.

He invented mobile phones as well, you know (or something).

Paul Morley just gets an orangutan to write his stuff, surely. Wank, the lot of it.
 
Rivergirlie - a town called Chroma wouldn't really be in England, though, would it? A hamlet in the Orkneys, perhaps.

Spinsterella - yeah, I checked Thomas Dolby's website. Eerie coincidence or what?

Ahem, gulp, I actually like Paul Morley, although his writing can be a bit hit and miss of late.

*runs away to hide*
 
"Bob - it's always better to inspire hatred rather than indifference. "

I know.

It was the indifference I was complaining about...
 
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