Apologies if this has been done before, but oh boy, what a show. The perfect counter to Squid Game.
Yesterday my stepson and I took my daughter and her stuff in a rental van to her hall of residence for the start of three years at University. They have the same mother, but she’s been as present and maternal as Thomas Pynchon, though, I suspect, with considerably more violence. So it’s been pretty much me raising my daughter from the start – the discovery of free babyccinos at the Starbucks in Borders where she learned to read; those primary school years which make Motherland look like a sanitised documentary; the switching secondary schools which made such a goddamn difference; the ferrying her to band practice which opened up new worlds; I could go on. I’ve known yesterday was coming. I’m already prone to tearing up at the passing of time: I was going to link to Abba’s Slipping Through My Fingers, but even just writing that title took me twenty minutes. So here’s the thing, the zinger. Because of the covids, she’s had the equivalent of two gap years, and in that time, gloriously, her independence has grown exponentially. Big circle of friends, out and about all the time, all marvellous, all the age appropriate developmental stages, though poignant » Continue Reading.
I’m sure, lestways I think I’m sure, that there’s a lot of love for OC here. I’m liking the new series very much, and even find myself getting some of the ones the contestants are flummoxed by (usually the music ones – two of ’em last night). The rounds I plump up the cushions for, and narrow my focus, are The Wall and Missing Vowels. I even sometimes pause the telly for The Wall and try to do it myself without the wittering of the teams. Missing Vowels, though, that’s the zinger. Look away those who haven’t seen earlier episodes of this series, but one guy on one team pretty much got the whole lot right, bringing his side up from the Isthmian league to top of the premiership. Here’s the heretical bit. I find myself fast forwarding through VCM’s intro and especially the outro, with its Michael Portillo gags. Soz. A thought – an Afterword team would do pretty well.
I was out walking this morning, wearing my Brighton & Hove Albion bobble hat so as to stave off the chill. The Albion were knocked out of the FA Cup last night by Lei-chester, and a passing (not in the football sense) old boy made a remark about the cup not mattering these days. I told him that I’m from Sunderland, and that my first experiences of going to matches was the FA Cup run of 1973. Before I’d finished, he said a single three syllable word, just as several others have done over the years. ‘Porterfield.’ No Jonathan Pearce hysteria, no drawn out enunciation, just the original David Coleman utterance. And here’s the thing. I was at Wembley that day, so I didn’t get to hear the commentary until many years later. Blimey, it’s powerful, though. It’s about 1-05 of the way in here, but do watch the whole thing.
In recent years, John Rawling and Barry Jones’ commentary during the final round of the first Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder is a true joy (‘I can’t believe » Continue Reading.
Aged 86, the mighty Fred Willard, scene stealer in Christopher Guest’s folk mockumentary A Mighty Wind, has died. He also pulled focus, in a very good way, in Guest’s Best In Show, the dog show, um, mockumentary, as the TV commentator with nary a clue about canines. Oh, and of course he was in This Is Spinal Tap, in the airbase scene.
Whilst repeats of Mrs Brown’s Boys seem to be the BBC’s main ENSA offering, I’m increasingly loving ROHOG as my go-to haven from the madness. The Suede bassist’s amiable younger brother is the perfect host for the daily tea-time quizzer, which tends to be won by comedians (and Stuart Maconie, who cantered home with the demeanour of Freddie Trueman in his Indoor League presenting days), and which (for me anyway) hits just the right level of difficulty. Bizarre cameraderies develop over the course of a week, though Samantha Womack (formerly Samantha J. Anus) is finding it hard to warm to the marvellous James Acaster this week. It’s a joy. Then again, I’m starting to slightly worry myself in my familiarity with all the teams on Only Connect and University Challenge.
Oh my goodness, it’s magnificent. Anyone who’s seen the documentary in which he was reunited with old teacher Mr Pigden might have an inkling what to expect. What a guy.
Rather than being lost in music at gigs these days, I often find myself asking ‘How can they afford to be playing?’ and this was certainly the case with PF support act The Wendy James Band. Rather than having some young computer whizz-kid intern emulating the sounds of a full combo, the former Transvision Vamper had five big lads, all, one assumes, on per diems, and including drum semi-legend Jim Sclavunos, backing her. She has a new, presumably crowd-funded, album out soon, and the set touched on that, with enough TV hits to keep some interest going. They ended with the best known one. The one that, perhaps appositely for this audience, ends ‘I don’t care’.
It’s 40 years since The PF’s debut single We Love You, though they don’t play it tonight and rarely do. Tonight’s a run through their various phases, from the debut album’s Sister Europe and India to Midnight To Midnight’s Heartbreak Beat via Talk Talk Talk’s Dumb Waiters, Mr Jones, Into You Like A Train and Pretty In Pink, Forever Now’s Love My Way and President Gas and Mirror Moves’ The Ghost in You and Heaven. I say run-through, but » Continue Reading.
I went to a Mick Houghton book talk hosted by Ben Thompson, and with a top notch guest appearance by David Balfe, and I think there’s a Hepworth podcast or some such with MH. And now there’s this report of an evening, or 40 minutes of one any road, hosted by Bill Drummond…
This’ll mean bog all to those that haven’t watched Stranger Things season 3 on The Netflix, and because some who are watching won’t have finished yet it’ll have to remain unexplained. BUT to those that have completed the series, I hope/imagine you share in my love of the final episode, especially the deeply moving speech by Hopper. There was a thread on here about gangs recently. The Stranger Things gang: that was the one to have been in.
Prior to bingeing on season 3 of Stranger Things, I’ve been pigging out on episodes of Jonesy’s Jukebox, all on the youtube, in which the former Sex Pistol chats and connects with various old muckers and associates. The one with Paul Cook is a joy, ditto the Brian May, Midge Ure and John Cooper Clarke editions. There’s not an ounce of showbiz nonsense or of a script to be stuck to, just a curiosity and camaraderie that results in great tales and connection. Not a fucking rotter.
I was saddened to hear of the sudden death, yesterday, of veteran music press writer David Cavanagh. His Creation Records book, My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize, is beautiful and definitive. He lived near me in Hove, and I kept meaning to go up and have a word, most recently after his Ian McCulloch piece for Mojo. Wish I had, now.
Not a misremembered Bow Wow Wow lyric but the Netflix 6 part documentary about the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh cult and their attempt to set up a commune in the US in the early 80s. All’s I’m saying is it’s a cracker, and I could’ve watched more. The Bhagwan later rebranded himself as Osho – you’ll find yards of his books in the ‘spiritual and self-help’ section. Anyone else watched it?
Concorde 2, Brighton
This was my 6th Fingers gig in 39 years, the first being in Durham in ’79. We had a break until 2014, partly because of me not getting on with Bruce Foxton’s bassplaying with SLF, but since then they’ve been an annual requirement, providing a formula with wriggle room that’s never failed to hit the spot. That formula includes decently priced tickets – £20 tonight – and a quality support act; last year Theatre of Hate, this year Ruts DC, with the mighty Dave Ruffy drumming like a wise old man with the energy of a young ‘un. SLF’s walk-on tune, as per, is the instrumental Go For It, from the 1981 album of the same name. It’s always bang on the money, a football chant-along of anticipation, and culminates with Jake Burns announcing ‘Good evening Brighton, it’s good to be back. We’re Stiff Little Fingers’ First minor tweak of the formula: there’s no “1-2-3-4!’ from Burns, rather, we’re led in by Steve Grantley’s drumming. They always play three songs without break at the top end, never the same three though but, and tonight it’s ‘Wait And See’, ‘Nobody’s Hero’ and ‘Gotta Getaway’. » Continue Reading.
I imagine this may go down the tumbleweed route – maybe with a ‘why would civilised people watch young men whaling the tar out of each other?’ side order – but there was an intriguing match-up last night, in which George Groves, quietly but confidently spoken, a master of self-regulation in press conferences when others talk trash (not that he was always like this…), schooled, as they say, Chris Eubank Jr. Eubank Jr and Sr made a big thing of the young man not being trainable, i.e. he’s a force of nature, 100 instagram friendly punches in 20 seconds, and knows what he’s doing, but this came unstuck against Groves, who has the necessary constellation around him – Shane McGuigan the trainer, a physio, a nutritionist, training buddies. It struck me that Eubank Jr is a little like Spoilt Bastard, the Viz character, who simply won’t be told and is indulged and told he’s Charlie Big Potatoes. For all Eubank Sr’s talk of instilling The Warrior Code in his son, last night demonstrated that we need people alongside us along the way. And/or maybe Jr just isn’t that good anyway – Groves wasn’t great – he didn’t have to be.
There are those who’ve been saying that Bob Mortimer became ‘funnier than Vic’ some time ago. Whatever, his appearances on Would I Lie To You have a warmth and humour that are priceless, and this, from his Athletico Mince podcast is one of the most poignant comedy offerings I’ve encountered in yonks.
Great feature about about the feller who called himself ‘Jesus’ and seemed to be omnipresent at festivals and gigs in the 70s and 80s. He always had fruit to hand out, and was very generous with his plums.
Almost along the lines of ‘I heard this song that goes ‘Help! I need somebody..”: does anyone know what it’s called?’…. The ridiculously familiar intro music that plays for about 30 seconds on this clip, before Stiff Little Fingers start their set: what is it? I was thinking some war movie, but a search doesn’t throw anything up in that area. Thanking you *hangs head in shame*
The Leeds and Wales custodian of the onion bag departed today at the age of 71. Bundled over the goal line, ball still in hands, by thick-set Newcastle centre half John McNamee in one of the first games I attended, and trigger for a Kop rendition of ‘Careless Hands’ when he threw the Casey into his own net, he was, nonetheless, a quality stopper of shots. When it comes to Leeds keepers, though, it’s David Harvey who always raises a smile, mainly because of this glorious day for the team I actually followed… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6bYIy4deD0
I’ve two tickets for the above gig, Block 106 Row C, seats 190 and 191. Sadly, I can’t go, so they’re available for their face value, £80 apiece. Contact me via PM or below if interested. Ta.
Just days after the Shoegaze compilation, along comes a new ‘un from the sort of stalwarts of that scene. Nothing to do with the shop selling soapy sherbet, everything to do with a particular order of chords. I think it’s lovely (and I hope the link to the video’s worked)
Perhaps because TV is no longer (just) broadcast via TV sets, this seems to me to be a l’age d’or for the medium. So far this year, I’ve spent hours enjoying Broadchurch, Better Caul Saul, Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis’s doc about the rise of fundamentalist islamism), and most recently, the hugely impressive Cucumber. House Of Cards season 3 is imminent. And all without having to rush home, or check that the recorder is set. Anyone else agree re the goggle box (actually a computer in my case)?
Apologies for the novella length, but here goes…. On monday morning this week, my i-phone had no signal, so I went along to the ee shop where it was purchased, to see what was up. They reckoned it must be a faulty sim card, so they put in a new one, got it up and running, and I left the shop. A few yards from the shop, I received a text from a number I didn’t recognise, saying ‘Hey’. I didn’t respond. The same message also appeared on whatsapp, and again, I didn’t respond. This morning (wednesday), I received ten texts in a row from my bank, all the same, informing me that ‘your requested telephone banking security number will be sent shortly’. I’ve never done telephone banking, so I rang the fraud department at the bank. They informed me that I’d have to take my passport to a branch of the bank to verify my identity, and that they’d blocked the account because a questionable transaction had been attempted two days previously – they’d sent me a letter which hadn’t yet arrived. They could tell me nothing more over the phone. I was in the bank branch for over » Continue Reading.
Three episodes in, and BCS, the sidebar prequel to Breaking Bad has become my tuesday night must-see show. Unlike other spin-offs – um, Tucker’s Luck, Joanie Loves Chachi – the quality’s there, and I’m eager to see how Jim becomes Saul Goodman. Lovely use of long-shots, especially in episode two when our hero was waiting for a pay phone call. My post-BB methadone, incidentally came in the form of Dexter, Misfits and Utopia (which also did a very good long-shot, though they tended to culminate in people being shot in the head). Anyone else enjoying BCS?