Posts from 25th November 2003

Nov 03

What a Waste of Money!

TMFDPost a comment • 305 views

What a Waste of Money!

According to the Guardian, Barclaycard are spending ten grand on funding some poor soul to go round to football grounds and help us with making up songs. Thanks Barclaycard! If you made a list of all the different bits of football which need work or money or research, the songs fans sing would likely be somewhere very near the bottom.

The absence of obscenities is a mild disappointment: as any composer of terrace anthems will tell you, the odd bit of swearing can do wonders for your scansion and often add a cheap laugh along the way. But the real point-missed in this story is simply that fans very, very rarely accept songs written for them by someone else. There’s plenty of adaptation, sure, but I could count the examples of fans adopting songs foisted on them from outside on the fingers of a one-fingered hand. That single digit would be pointing at Leeds. ‘Marching On Together’ was first a dodgy Leeds United record, now it’s the key song in the Leeds fans’ repertoire. Each club already has its own laureate(s), with a built-in understanding of what’s important or potent or funny or relevant, external help isn’t wanted or needed. Particularly if it’s not sweary.


I Hate Music1 comment • 935 views

Okay, its better than Sigma Ros or the insane suggeston of Losig Ma Religion. I could talk about the Italian heavy metal band Sigma, but frankly the most I could do to insult them is to point out that they wear leather trousers and since they do this on purpose they would just stare on uncomprehending my oh so witty barbs. At least Sigue Sigue Spuntnik speak English. They understand when I tell them that their concept, their music and their very selves were crap.

Love Missile F-11 was a record with so little wit behind it that it is shocking that it was supposed to usher in a new age. A new age, mark me, where people wore ridiculous Mohican haircuts and had adverts in-between the tracks on their records. Imagine being in the ad sales for the SSS album. Actually the ads are the only successful thing on that disc, unsurprisingly having heard the paltry quality of the actual tracks any punter stupid enough to buy it found the ads to be some kind of respite. Far from being the future of rock’n’roll, Sigue Sigue Sputnik were uncannily like the past, tawdry and crap with very little going on behind some designer clothes.

The ultimate insult was to happen after they split up. Pop Will Eat Itself covered one of their songs. It is impossible to say if it improved it or not, we’ll just call it symptomatic.

ANDY WILLIAMS – “Butterfly”

Popular36 comments • 3,010 views

#59, 25th May 1957

To someone like me who’s never much listened to Elvis, it’s once again remarkable how obvious and immediate his vocal influence was. Those short “-uh” breath-stops at the end of each line are all over “Butterfly”, little tongue-shrugs made to mimic pelvic flicks. And it’s worth emphasising how mannered they seem: if you’ve been brought up on the received history that rock’n’roll brought something rawer and more natural to pop performance it’s intriguing to hear how theatrical and odd all those “uh-huh-huh”s sound at a distance. Here the new vocal armoury is deployed on a slight and rather unpleasant song – Andy loves his girl but she keeps hanging around other guys. After oiling around for a verse or two he hits on a solution – “I love you so much / I know what I’ll do / I’m clipping your wings / Your flying is through.” Ah, romance.

Tempting though Tom’s accounts of Macdonalds are,

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 489 views

Tempting though Tom’s accounts of Macdonalds are, I still won’t be visiting my local (horrific) branch. Mainly because I have the fantastic GRUBS on my doorstep to cater to my every burgery need. There are four or five branches in Brighton, not including the sadly short-lived Gobs, an organic variant. (There is now Sobs instead, which is, inexplicably, pizza.)

At Grubs you can get 100% beef or 100% vegetarian burgers in three different sizes and with a dizzying list of relishes covering two large blackboards (and there is no restriction on your choice of these if you’re having a veggie burger, which is nice). Your basic burger comes in at around ‘1.80, but for real value go for the chips… the portions are MASSIVE. ‘Regular’ is about three times as many as the Burger King/Macdonalds equivalent, and ‘Large’ is completely unmanageable. What you CAN eat are exactly the right thickness and crispiness though.

I’m rather fond of the mushroom burger at the moment, but there are exciting blue cheese and hawaiian experiments still to be carried out… the chilli burger is frankly dangerous though. Another hazard is hungry local vagrants who come in and hang about until the unwary staff call out a completed order, then claim it before anyone else can. A pitfall of the prepaid burger, alas.

Pub Quiz Report

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 201 views

Pub Quiz Report

Pub: The Shakespeare in Stoke Newington. Near the route of the 73 bus. The pub used to be part of the same ‘chain’ that runs the Rosemary Branch in De Beavoir Town, but might not be anymore. Anyway, plenty of seats, interesting decor (ie, it’s built up over time rather than part of a makeover). Good beer, Czech vibe as regards the lager.

Quiz: Two rounds of 20 questions, followed by a 4 question jackpot round at the end. Starts at around 9pm on Monday night, with final answers delivered at last orders or thereabouts, depending on the speed with which contestants return their answers to the QM. ‘1 per team member per round – maximum of 5 per team, though this rule can be flexibly observed.

Prize: First prize in each round – ’20 voucher for use at the bar. Second prize in each – ’10 voucher. Jackpot round is all the cash from the first two rounds – last night had ’120 up for grabs.

Questions: Good range of difficulty to produce the usual bell-curve of results. Still not enough ones that could be worked out through lateral thinking, nor are there many clues in the questions.

The quizmaster: Not as good as the bloke who used to do it, but still reasonable-ish. He thought our team name for round one was the wittiest of the many offerings based around rude combinations of words related to the Rugby World Cup Final.

He really blotted his copybook with the tie-breaker though. We were tied for first place with 5 teams each with 15/20. I’m still cursing Uranus now, having shilly-shallied between Saturn and Uranus and breaking a golden rule of quizzes in talking myself out of the first answer that came to me, and thus talking yourself out of the right answer. Anyway. The question was ‘In what year were seminal punk band Bow Wow Wow formed’. One member of our team was thinking early 1980s, whereas others (alright, me included) thought that in the absence of knowing when this might be, the use of the words ‘seminal’ and ‘punk’ would indicate something in mid-to-late 1970s bracket. We were wrong, and suggested to the QM that the question was slightly misleading, and that if he wanted to ask a simple question – ‘when were Bow Wow Wow formed?’ then he should just ask it without adding subjective judgements as to their seminality. He disagreed, arguing that since Malcolm McLaren was their manager, they were a punk band, and again, because of McLaren’s involvement, they were seminal. We were suspicious of his reasoning leading to our team name for the second round being ‘Punk was over by 1979’.

Will I go again? Yes. Having come second in Round Two. we have a ’10 voucher to be spent in the pub by next Monday.

Anything else?
– The guy who played Nigel in Eastenders was a contestant.
– You can buy pizzas from the pizza joint next door and bring them into the pub.
– There is slightly amusing graffiti in the gents.
– The sink in the gents has little cold water pressure, but good pressure on the hot water, which appears to be heated in Hell itself. Be careful, hygiene fans.
– The hand dryer is piss poor in the gents.
– The Pork scratchings were stale and proved that more packaging = poorer quality fried pig back fat.

Final Thought: Whatever happened to Cheese Moments? They are advertised on both Bacon Fries and Scampi Fries, but no-one has them. Ever.