Posts from 1st April 2004

Apr 04

Blackpool. Golden mile. What might this suggest?

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 456 views

Blackpool. Golden mile. What might this suggest?Well to me obviously, it would be a mile of wonderous, beautiful pints. Blackpool disagrees, its golden mile is named after the slightly sewaged tinged sand. And there are no pubs in Blackpool at all.

Okay, that is not strictly true. But there are no good pubs near the sea front and the town centre is full of horrible things which may have been pubs once are now vomitariums cum bare knuckle boxing rings. On an off season Sunday evening I had seen a streetside upchuck followed by a bloke trying to batter a quizmaster in the only pub we could find. The Yates Wine Bar in the centre of town was closed for refurbishment, for which I read sluicing down and fumigating.

Instead the golden mile is made up of solid family hotels. In which one finds the Hotel Bar. A nice formica affair with Calsbeg (or if you are lucky Skol) on tap and a selection of Cherry Brandy’s and Chartrueses on the back bar. Served by the aged family member who is on duty, with a scowl especially if it is after 9pm. Which is a shame as with the manky food and lack of nightlife you cannot enjoy without being absolutely smashed is next to zero. Perhaps it was because there was a conference of students there that they hid all the pubs. Cos it can’t be as terrible as that all year round AND be Britain’s number one holiday destination. Can it?

Today’s ILM Highlight

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 326 views

Today’s ILM Highlight.

CRAIG DOUGLAS – ‘Only Sixteen’

Popular29 comments • 6,179 views

#89, 11th September 1959

Craig Douglas on the other hand makes Cliff seem like James Dean. On the cover of Cuddle Up With Craig he looks distinctly uncomfortable, and distinctly grown-up. He sings grown-up too. ‘Only Sixteen’ is a look back to a romance that could never be ‘ ‘She was too young to fall in love / And I was too young to know’ ‘ the cute twist being that the singer is only 17 now. But Craig’s awkwardly precise, high voice sounds far too sensible for that ‘ he sounds like he’s singing for the parents and grandmas of young lovers, who can cluck their tongues and say ‘aah’, knowing that at least one of these new ‘pop singers’ is on their side. In a word, ‘Only Sixteen’ is square. Its jolly tune is grounded by lumbering production and stolid drums, and its whistling backing vocals round out a fairly obnoxious package.


Do You SeePost a comment • 387 views


Why did I go and see Welcome To The Jungle? Was part of me swayed by the temptation of hearing Guns’n’Roses really loud on the Warner Village sound system. Actually no, it was the prospect of seeing another low budget Sean William Scott action movie that did it. Nevertheless, I did feel slightly cheated when the final credits rolled and the song did not appear. Much like Save The Last Dance, Two Can Play That Game and Killing Me Softly, this trend seems to get worse as the songs get better. The suggestion is that a mere song title has some how gained the level of proverb and therefore can be used as a film title. This is false advertising.

Welcome To The Jungle would have been a film which would have sorted my family out as a video choice in 1988. Action and violence for me and my dad. Comedy for me and my sister. A little bit of romance for my mum, but not too much bloodshed. Radical anti-slavery and sweat shop politics for me. A thoroughly competent action comedy. And some days, I do not want any more. Considering, as his brief cameo does, that this was the kind of film Arnie used to make, his replacement here The Rock is so much better. He can speak English. He does self-deprication. Unfortunately though he is an ex-wrestler and hence the overlong fight scenes are as cartoonish as those in wrestling. With the emphasis on somewhat unpleasant sound effects.

Consider though. You have the Rock for fighting. You have Sean William Scott for comedy. You have Christopher Walken as a bad guy (palying loopy to the hilt). You even have poor old Rosario Dawson as the spunky heroine (she should change her agent maybe, with Men In Black 2, and Pluto Nash on her CV this may well be her best film). A low budget which makes the most of its second and third hand script. There will be an awful lot of this summrs event movies which will be much, much worse than this. Thoroughly derivative, far too noisy, but man alive what fun. Just no Guns’N’Roses.

*My research has shown that Welcome To The Jungle was known in the US as The Rundown, which is an even worse title as people do not get run down in it. Only stampeded by bulls.

Andrew Rilstone on Cerebus 300

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 254 views

Andrew Rilstone on Cerebus 300: This is superb (and no, you don’t have to have been reading the comic to appreciate it – I haven’t been! – though knowing who/what Cerebus and Dave Sim are would help). It’s so good that I have completely forgotten the blog I sourced the link from – if I remember I will credit it!

BEGGAR AND CO. – “Somebody (Help Me Out)”

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BEGGAR AND CO. – “Somebody (Help Me Out)” (aka PopNose6). I saw this song mentioned on Marcello’s blog and then it popped into my head again reading the 80s soul discussion on Woebot. A spin-off from Brit jazz-funk group Light Of The World, this was Beggar And Co’s biggest hit, in 1981. It’s interesting that Alex in the comments box identified it as chart-pop, or even indie: it was of course chart pop but it shows how blurred the lines were at that point in time. An encounter with Marcello in the pub last night sorted me out with some more background detail – the lads going “who-ho” on the backing vox are none other than members of Spandau Ballet!

Tim H. described it as “weak” – I find it pretty groovalicious myself in a sort of crudely bumping way but this is hardly my territory. I doubt this is what he meant by the word, but it is a ‘weak’ song psychologically, sung from the point of view of a pretty desperate loser – “it hurts deep inside / to know that you think of me / as a waste of time”. The almost-chanted vocals have a real lapel-grabbing, shouting-in-your-face feel, you want to tell the guy to cool it and back away slowly, and of course he knows you do, that’s why he’s cracking up. Oddly his slight and tewwibly Bwitish lisp adds to the vulnerability.

(The easiest place to find this is on Soul Jazz’ British Hustle compilation, by the way.)