We went to Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green for the first time last night (it’s only been open a couple of weeks) and it’s LOVELY! Twenty-odd taps of well-kept keg (including seven last night from De Molen), six fridges of well selected bottles and red, white and fizzy wine on tap too!
The space (why yes, it *is* in a railway arch) is bright and airy, the tables well spread out (I suspect this may change as it becomes more popular, there’s certainly room for more) and on a spring evening it feels just right.
When “All Around The World” came out, it wasn’t yet quite clear that Oasis had peaked. Yes, the album was a folly, but they were still colossal, with no sign they wouldn’t come back stronger next time. This record felt belligerent: the pointless length, the Pepperland video – a band being deliberately, grandly lazy. Think what you like about us, it said, we’re going nowhere.
Which turned out to be true. And with hindsight, I can hear a different, far less triumphant record hidden in this one’s rolls and folds of overdubbed flab. To get to it, though, I have to ask: how on Earth did this thing get so big, anyway? What were they feeding it?
USA (managed by The Lex), Portugal (managed by Weej) and Ghana (managed by Jonathan Bogart) all have 4 points, and the barest whisker of percentile difference between them. So it’s a straight knockout – the two sides doing best from those three go through.
Germany (managed by Tak), meanwhile, fell victim to the Group of Death and are on 0 points. They’ll be playing for pride only.
Poll and songs below the cut, and an ADMIN UPDATE for fans of those.
“Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains…”
—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865.
“‘I just want to rock and roll all night, and party every day.’ That’s an old Kiss song. But back when the song was new and my wife Leslie was 12 years old (this was before we married), she heard it as, ‘I just want to rock and roll all night, and part of every day.’ OK. Again, a necessary mistake, to make the dream accessible — imaginable — to a 12-year-old.”
—Frank Kogan, ‘Let MTV Ring’, Village Voice, 5 June 1990
In the mid-90s I was working as a sub-editor at the film journal Sight and Sound, a job I enjoyed a lot: the people I worked with were smart and friendly and entertaining; the magazine’s subject matter was detailed and interesting, and a lot of it was new to me; during work hours focusing on and absorbing the history of cinema, in my own time researching earlier histories of music and technology, I was able to push to the back of my conscious mind how exhausted and burnt-out I was on paying mind to present-day music; how dispirited and heartbroken I was at losing my job at The Wire, though this wasn’t the cheerful story I told myself. A brief season as chief explorer of an amazing secret path under the pop entire battlefield! And now an exile; or double exile, really…
Pretty straightforwardly, as it happens, since both the earlier results in this group ran exactly the same way. Nigeria (managed by Cis) are through on 6 points, Bosnia-Herzegovina (managed by Scott) are eliminated with zero. Which leaves Iran (Wichita Lineman) in a strong position for the second qualifying place with 4 points, and Argentina (Chris) needing a win here on 2.
Songs and poll below the cut!
You’re in the car with the radio on and no expectations, and suddenly you hear it: a song that stops everything around it, breaking through the playlist and announcing itself as a hit. More than a hit, a classic, a song you’ll be hearing for the rest of your life. And the feeling when it happens is a kind of classic itself, one of the iconic freeze-frame moments of loving music. As a self-conscious pop fan it’s something I knew was meant to happen, and every time I was listening to the radio a part of me was willing it to.
So when it did happen – when, for instance, I was in my girlfriend’s car at the end of 1997 and I heard a song start with the chords from “Amazing Grace” and a hesitant woman tiptoeing across them, talking out of the radio, asking for help turning fragments back into a life that might make some kind of sense – how much could I believe my reaction? I’d spent the back half of the year getting my own head together, and the glue I’d used was 60s pop and soul. I’d listened – a lot – to Motown, Philly, Spector, girl groups. I was ready for “Never Ever”. I needed it. Right then, I loved it.
It’s back at last! The highly anticipated Game of Thrones has returned to our televisions and computers, promising boobs, dodgy accents, great costumes, boobs, murder, betrayal, heartache, boobs, UNHOLY ACTING TALENT, dragons, and boobs. For the next ten weeks (or longer, if HBO schedules any breaks) I’ll be recapping and hyper-analysing each episode. NOTHING BUT SPOILERS AHOY, so be warned from…now!
I give every entry a mark out of 10. Here’s your opportunity to tick the ones you’d have given 6 or more to.
My highest score of 1997 turns out to have been a solitary 8, for Hanson’s “MMMBop”. U2 and Elton both got 2s. Use the comments box to talk about the year in general!
Their three Christmas number ones are as much to do with canny release date bagatelle as with enduring public love, but the Spice Girls still gave the impression of taking special care over their year-end singles. Or maybe they just had a knack for ballads. “Too Much” isn’t their most distinctive record – less lush than “2 Become 1”, less melodramatic than their later big weepies – but after the slapdash clatter of “Spice Up Your Life”, a bit of crafted stability might be no bad thing.
France (managed by Jessica) have qualified with 6 points, and will top the group unless they come last here.
Honduras (managed by Kat) have 3.5 points. They will definitely qualify if they come first or second, and may do even if they don’t.
Switzerland (managed by Mullah Rezmat) have 1.5 points. They need to go for the win here and hope Honduras screw up.
Ecuador (managed by Meghan) have 1 point. They also need to go for the win and hope Honduras screw up.
To the songs and votes!