I Hate Music

Dec 00


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Yes, yes, I hear your mocking tones. “Tanya, you pitiful woman! It is Christmas Day, a day for friends and family to be together and make merry – and yet! You are posting to your weblog? Have you taken leave of your senses?” Be silent – as it happens I was playing quite the gracious hostess until a foolhardy guest attempted to put on XFM’s It’s A Cool Cool Christmas. As I was putting the final touches to my gin pudding, I heard Belle And Sebastian’s “O Come O Come Emmanuel” trill from a smuggled-in stereo. The hapless perpetrator soon found his head in the bowels of a boiling bird, and I chased my guests from the door, pelting them with iron-hard sprouts as they fled. “Get out! Take your Christmas filth with you! ‘Redeem thy captive Israel’ indeed! – this is nothing but a first-century version of the Human League’s “The Lebanon” rendered even more shit by that mince-brained living puddle Belle and her dolt-like pansy-named pal! It is as welcome as a rotten tangerine at the bottom of one of Keith Richards’ stockings! Begone!”

“Ow! Ow! Yaroop!” cried my fast-departing friends. “But Tanya, have a heart! Surely at this time of year you can find goodwill in your soul towards music, which after all brings joy to so many! It’s Christmas!”

Now as you can imagine, readers, quoting Noddy Holder cut little ice with me. “Bah! Humbug!” I yelled, and shuffled back inside to reacquaint myself with Mr. Gordons, a true friend at any season. But their words had struck – I flinch at the very word – a chord. I sat back in my drummer-skin armchair and began to remember the curious events of the previous night….


“You shall have a shiny penny for your labours, sir, and nothing more!” I shrieked at the portly figure of Bob The Builder Cratchit, who’d spent the long, cold winter providing me with a splendid new musician trap.
“Oh please, Miss, please,” moaned the portly childrens’ favourite, “have pity on a poor craftsman! ‘Tis Christmastime – and my poor family with not even fifty pence to feed the meter! How will we ever watch Christmas Top of the Pops?”
“Bah! Humbug!” I roared, righteous anger burning. “If every fool who went around with a ‘Merry Christmas’ or a ‘Who Will Be Number One’ on his lips were buried with Simon Bates’ false teeth around his throat, the world would be better for it! As it happens I had prepared a generous bonus for you….until I discovered that you yourself had released a Christmas single! Instead I have spent it on a tanker of the finest tonic water, for my own use.”
“Oh Miss Headon, it is a mere trifle to amuse the youngsters!” whimpered Cratchit, as his man-faced cement mixer affected a pitiable grimace. “Why, they love it so. BOBBBBB THE BUILDER! Can! He! Fix! It! BOBBBBBB THE BUILDER! Yes! He! Caaaaaaaaaaaawk -”
Bob’s song was rudely cut off as I twisted his ruddy face 360 degrees round. “Get out! Get out or I shall kick your plasticine arse from here to Timbuktu! Go and show off your claymation crack in ill-fitting jeans and leer at Bella from the Tweenies, you tiresome proletarian propaganda figure!”

He slunk away and I returned to my armchair and my bottle. Another Christmas spoiled by grasping music-makers, then. My mood was foul: even Rock Deaths: The Video Collection could not lift it. I double-checked the soundproofing on the windows and then slipped into a troubled doze…

“Tanyaaaaa…….TAAAAAAAANYA………..” – I awoke with a start, hearing a voice. Posh yet charisma-bereft, able to do nothing but moan…was someone tormenting me with a Coldplay album? And then I saw something uncanny…..a SPIRIT. I drank it. There was still some ghost floating around the room though, waving its skinny arms and dragging a train of unreturned videotapes behind it. I immediately recognised my ex-partner, Crispian DeSavary.
“Take that ridiculous sheet off, Crispian, you fool. You can’t have your page back. It was shit.”
“Noooo…..nooooo…..it is too laaaaaaate for me, Tanya.” droned the piteous haunt, “I AMMMMM dead, killed by bile when forced to watch Billy Elliot….and I must waaaaaaarn you…..change your hating ways or the same will befall youuuuuuuuuuuu…..I wear the videos I slagged off in life!”
“Well it’s a good thing you were such a lazy fucker, then. There’s only about ten of them. ‘I Hate Films’ my arse – ‘I Hate Work’ more like.”
“Mock meeeee notttttttttttttttttttttt,” he screamed, drenching me in ectoplasmic spit, “Think on your own sinnnnns….the number of CDs yoooou have execrated! Imagine, Tanya, the size of yoooooour burden! Heed me! Tonight you will be visited by threeee spirits, far more terrifying than meeeee!”
It struck me this would not be difficult. Before I could think of an appropriately shrewish response, a celestial voice boomed, “TAKE YOUR SEATS FOR THE MIDNIGHT SHOWING OF ROCKY HORROR” and with a ghastly howl Crispian’s ghost faded into the ether. I snorted, rolled over, and fell back to sleep.

Once again, I awoke. On my shoulder there rested a vile, leathery hand, attached to a bony arm, attached to a stooped and aged shoulder, attached in turn to a hideous face, fixed by time and stupidity into a disgusting parody of its once-youthful self. A feathercut that would have looked idiotic on a man of 20 topped off the simian visage. The apparition’s face was a permanent miserly frown and its eyes betrayed its lifetime of mean-spirited pettiness, funlessly measuring music for its soulfulness and purity.
“Weller,” I snarled, and reached for my shotgun.
“That won’t do you no good, Tanya,” moaned the ghostly Modfather, “I have as little desire to meet you as you to meet me, right – you don’t show no Respect to Marriott, you ain’t never listened to a Faces LP, you wouldn’t know a Vespa scooter from a Vesta bleedin’ Chow Mein!”
“Rubbish,” I said, “I know what a Vespa is – that frightful anachronism which was most famous for hurtling over a cliff at the end of Quadrophenia because even Phil fucking Daniels realised that ALL MODS WERE TOSSERS. Though it seems that news took a few years to reach Woking, sadly preventing you becoming the laughing stock of the world with your anal retentive dedication to the lostest cause of all.”
Weller turned a most un-ghostly scarlet and his crabbed hands twitched, but the risible old fool continued nonetheless. “Come with me, Tanya!” he said, “Come, see the innocent girl you once were…for I am the SPIRIT OF POP PAST!”

Phantom mists swirled around us, and when they cleared I saw a scene I had not thought to ever witness again….an end-of-term disco! All around me boys and girls were dancing, laughing, snogging, showing off their rat-tails, legwarmers and horrid lacy puffball skirts. “Behold!” croaked Weller, “1985! See the innocent girl you once were, Tanya! See what you were like before your sonic cynicism took a hold! SEE!” Weller pointed at one pouting brat, giddily mouthing the words to Baltimora’s novelty abortion “Tarzan Boy”. Her face was contorted in childish delight as she danced along, and next to her a runtish boy, his red face streaked by running gel, spun on his shoulders in a feeble attempt at ‘breaking’.
“That’s not me.” I informed the spirit.
“You what?”
“That’s Abbie Roberts, my so-called best friend. And the boy is Kevin, who I’d been going out with and she just stole from me by knowing all the words to “Careless Whisper”. THE TUPPENY HARLOT!”
“So….so where are you?” asked Weller, clearly nonplussed.
“Look behind the DJ.” The vision shifted again….and there I was, crouching by the power cables with a massive pair of shears. I felt a flush of pride! I remembered how the lights had gone out, Baltimora silenced forever, and how faithless Kevin had spent the next year in a neck brace. That was the night when I had first tasted the sweet rewards of unconditional music hate.
“Hmph.” muttered Weller, “That seems a poor thing to base a lifelong career of loathing music on.”
“Shut up, weasel,” I shot back, “At the time you were palling around with Mick Talbot and putting on war paint for photoshoots, and if you think I’m taking career advice from a man who recorded a house record so almighty bad – and this in 1989, when farting over a four-beat would have gone Top Ten for five months – that it was deemed unreleasable, then you can fuck off and take your rare groove collection, your celebrity mates, your interview tantrums, your drizzly acoustic shitfests and your all-too-public mid-life crisis with you!”

Suddenly, I was back in my own time and in my own bed. But, sadly, not alone. Snoring alongside me was none other than the Porky Pig of Po-Mo Pastiche Priory Pop, Robbie Williams. Naked. Horse’s head in a bed be damned, this was even worse than finding “Horses” by Patti Smith under your duvet! I leaped out as if bitten by a snake. Williams blearily grunted awake and pulled the blankets over his pimply arse.
“‘Ello, Taz!” he grinned, each syllable like being slapped in the face by Frank Black’s bum, “Robbie Williams here, fans! You’ve caught me showing my cheek! Get it! Cheek! Cheeky! Oh, I’m such an all-round entertainer an’ no mistake! Let me entertain yoooOOOOOuuuufffff – ” his balls hit the top of his skull and kept travelling at the application of a well-aimed Headon foot.
“That might work on the office bints and grannies, Williams, but it doesn’t wash with me – what in Hades’ name are you supposed to be?”
“I am the SPIRIT OF POP PRESENT. But as you can see – ” he gave me a grim wink – “I’ve torn all the wrappin’ off!”.
“It’s hardly the first rip-off you’ve pulled, Williams.” I replied. “And I’m well aware you have pop in a remorseless headlock of homage. Every year you serve up some platter of plagiarised pus to the record-buying public and every year they lap from your trough of tribute. Take That? Oh what a fucking surprise, you already have. There was no need to take the “Live Twice” in that song literally, and now you’re recycling “I Will Survive” – yes, survive as a reanimated zombie cadaver with your mental-case rapping smeared over the top like sick on a human face.”
“Oo er missus!” bleated the nation’s favourite puckish pop pustule, “It sounds like you’re in need of a bit of cheering up! It’s all entertainment, innit? It’s only fun!! It’s a LAUGH!”
“Give me abject misery any day.” I replied. The spectre’s face darkened.
“Well, if you’re going to be like that…..follow me!”

We found ourselves outside a familiar plasticene hovel. “Now, Tanya,” Robbie intoned as gravely as he could given his squeaky little voice, “See what your hatred has wrought!”
“But…but…this is Bob The Builder Cratchit’s house!” I gasped. “What could you possibly want to show me here?”
We passed through the door. There was Bob, and his hateful anthropomorphic pals, and there was a plasticene table with plasticene food and drink upon it. And at the end of this table, sitting upon a pile of books, was the most miserable, stunted being I had ever laid eyes on, his hair like dead straw, his face bony and contorted, his hands permanently wringing, his expression locked in a conceited misanthropic sneer…and his eye! There are not the words to describe his hideous deformed eye! Well, except for “wonky”.
“Another slice of plasticene, Tiny Thom?” Bob asked, his voice full of concern.
“Yet again you subject me to the idiot’s carnival that is the whole mealtime process, father.” Thom wearily muttered, “You imprison me in a branded middlebrow hell, your whole life a product placement, leaving me to shuffle like an idiot human dog around the inferno that is our existence, with only your fake plasticene – ha! do you see? – appliances for company? And then while millions are forced to eat their own hair because of Tony Blair’s fascist debt schemes, you have the gall to complain that your employer won’t let you participate in the hollow horror-feast that is Christmas. AND you say that your cement mixer can make nicer noises than my boundary breaking Kid A album. AS IF NICE WAS THE POINT, you compromised sack of shit!”
“Hmm. Well, I’ll save it for later then. Maybe you’ll like it cold.”, Bob said.
I turned to Robbie. “And what exactly is this meant to prove, you twat?” I asked.
For once in his life, Robbie was silent. Finally he piped thinly up: “I thought his one about the creep was OK, like.”

Back in my bed I could not sleep. I turned on the TV. Car advert. I switched channel. Insurance advert. I switched again. Perfume. Coffee. Trainers….and each advert had the same song playing. The room felt chill and dank….and behind me, I felt something rub against me. Robbie again? Oh sweet lord NO! Behind me stood a cloaked figure, shrouded in darkness and carrying a scythe, and under its great black hood I could see the gleam of white, shiny, bone…..
“Right, you.” I said, pulling the hood back. The bald head of Moby looked out sheepishly. “You’ve dragged your shrivelled genitals over the wrong woman this time, you repellent soul-selling pervert. It won’t be your heart that’s feeling bad once I’ve used that ridiculous thing you’re carrying on your bollocks. Any last words?”
“Aw, no! Stop! C’mon Tanya! I am the SPIRIT OF POP FUTURE come to show you what will happen if you don’t change your ways! You can’t chop off my balls!”
“Only cause you lost them a long time ago, Moby. And what’s this ‘future’ shit? Your pathetic record is built on the dead shoulders of your musical betters, and even they were frog-voicecd rubbish. Not to mention that it’s been around for two years already – you’re as futuristic as the horse and fucking cart!”
The spirit shrugged. “What can I say? My marketing people tell me that 44.3% of the executive-level target market still don’t own a copy of Play, and that a mere 14.3% own one copy per car – in addition, when a special Xtra-Bland version of the record is released next year we confidently expect that total Play penetration will be boosted by a further two-thirds, allowing us leverage in key advertising categories such as butter-substitutes, pantyliners, and nuclear arms. Following that we’ve a radical new incentivisation scheme where Play will actually be used to advertise other people’s records. So as you can see, I am pop music’s future.”
“I doubt you can show me anything more horrible than that.” I replied. “But feel free to try.”

The noise was deafening, in a polite kind of way. Everywhere I looked I could see pony tails trailing down white shirts, those same shirts marked by spreading wings of yellow sweat, reaching down to the bulging spare tyres and overfed guts of stinking record executive scum. The suits were dancing, or rather bobbing like chunks in a septic tank: giggling bimbettes with meringue oozing from their pretty ears ducked and weaved in between them, skilfully dodging their flailing paws. This was a record company party. This, truly, was hell. “Spirit, what is this you show me? And is there any way I can come back with a bomb?”
Moby beckoned me to the very heart of the party, where the sycophantic whinnying of a hundred fools indicated the presence of the star, the corrupt maggot at the heart of this pop corpse. “Show me, Spirit! Show me the wretch whose party this is!” I implored.
Moby merely pointed, and my gaze followed his bony finger to the figure at the centre of the party. There, smoking a cigar the size of a sausage and with a seal-pup-and-truffle vol-au-vent in the other hand, there, O reader, I stood.
“President Headon! President Headon!” cried a wretched voice. A down-at-heel man with a notebook stood near the door. “A quote I beg you! Your acquisition of Bertelsmann-Phillips gives you utter control over all record companies! And yet you started as one who hated all music! How did you manage this meteoric rise?”
The horrid future me brayed like a horrid horse. “Well, Dahling, I could have done nothing without my readers! Their post-nihilist irony gave me the fan base I needed to make it to the top – and once I realised I truly was a pop-culture antiheroine for the nu-masses, the rest was easy. My dear husband couldn’t be with us tonight because of his Coca-Cola and Nike commitments, but ‘Tiny’ – and hey, there’s an irony – Thom, this one’s for you!”

Reader, I am ashamed to say I lost my cool, and my ample lunch, though I am not ashamed to say I lost it all over Moby. “Take…..take me home…..” I sobbed. And then I was back in my bed. It was Christmas morning. I flung the windows open….bells were pealing! And they sounded……well, shit, really. But I could no longer afford such thinking, not if I was to escape the ghastly picture the spectre had shown me. I stopped only for a quick snifter of gin, and then ran headlong to Tower Records. The spotty youth behind the counter paused a minute in his perusal of Limp Bizkit: In Their Own Word and I breathlessly grabbed them by the lapels.
“You! Young man! Merry Christmas! And quickly! Get me the best record in the shop! Only the finest will do mind – the biggest seller! The number one! It’s time for me to reconnect with music, to find within myself once more the joy and beauty, the innovation and risk-taking of this most unquenchable of artforms! Fetch the album that’s top of the charts, boy – there’s a golden guinea in it for you!”
He slouched off, and swiftly returned. With trembling hands I took the record – the magnificent new record that would be my gateway into a deep, abiding love of music in all its forms. How beautiful its burnished red sleeve seemed, how stately the single….yellow….figure…..
“Wait a fucking minute,” I said, “This is the fucking Beatles!”
“Yes, Beatles One! All the Beatles’ No.1 singles on one – get it! – CD! You gotta respect the Beatles, lady! It’s all there! Everything from “She Loves You” to “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”! A masterpiece, each one! That’s, uh, fifteen pounds.”
“Fifteen poundings more like!” I exploded, “Are you seriously trying to tell me that the best-selling record of 2000 is the cunting Beatles – twenty-seven of the most overapplied aural enemas of all time crammed like mewling veal calves on one stinking disc! That’s not an album, it’s a war crime! Paging the fucking Hague! Everybody in the world knows those songs better than they know how to wipe their arse, an appropriate comparison since the Beatles are a festering heap of shit! John was a cunt, Ringo is a cunt, Paul is a cunt and George “Cunt” Harrison is an extra horrible supreme cunt. The world has taken leave of its senses – there is still work for me to do, and damn the consequences!”

And there reader, I leave you, as I left him, though minus the rectal surgery to remove the splintered aluminium and plastic. A merry and muted Christmas to each and every one of you. Unless you play an instrument, you fuckers.

Dec 00


I Hate Music2 comments • 1,598 views


It may just be me, but the very mention of yuletide immediately brings to my mind the image of the hapless, curly-haired waste of skin who goes by the name of Doug Yule.

I’m bored witless of hearing how Mr Yule ruined the Velvet Underground, who remain a rock music sacred cow as lardy, leathery and bristled as a lustful union between Elton John and David Crosby. As far as I’m concerned, Yule made the VU better, although (obviously) they remained unlistenable shite. Anything has to be an improvement on that droning bloody viola.

Certainly, Doug Yule is preferable to the loathesome Lou Reed and John Cale, who between them have managed to construct a joint canon so large and so grim that it’s only rivalled by the bastard Beatles. The only VU member I can’t bring myself to hate is that Tucker woman, who looks like my Grandmother. Unfortunately her drumming is rather worse than my grandmother’s, even after the old girl had that nasty bout of rheumatoid arthritis.

Anyway, Doug Yule. Anyone sane would be delighted to have a history of musical crime in the Velvet Undergroud airbrushed from the record. But not Doug. Doug thinks he played a crucial role and has been written out of history. He’s particularly sore at not being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of them, though why anyone would want to rub shoulders with Doris Schwartz and Leroy (in his pre-Prodigy Dancer days – incidentally there is no worse song than “Death Of The Prodigy Dancers” – such promise! such disappointment!) is beyond me.

Perhaps it’s the time of year, but I’m not inclined to be too hard on our Doug. It’s hard to feel anything but pity for a man who feels cheated by the world’s undervaluation of his part in the VU. What’s more, Mr. Yule made the wise move of giving up music for many years to pursue a career as a cabinet maker. If only more musicians would turn their hands to something useful. Maybe he even makes his cabinets out of old pianos…mmmmmm……

Nevertheless, there are three key reasons to hate Doug Yule:

1. He’s named after a time of year when children are encouraged to sing on the street after their bedtimes, and expect money in return. This is clearly a bad thing, not least because it increases the gross sum of music in public spaces.

2. He prolonged the recording lifespan of the Velvet Underground, a crime so self-evident that it needs no further explanation, except to say that if it wasn’t for the Yule incarnation of the band, the world may never have had to bear the horror that is ‘Sweet Jane’.

3. It’s been said that if Cale hadn’t left VU, then he (Cale) and Reed would have killed each other. By filling Cale-bach’s place in the Velvets, Yule made the final John-Lou conflict less likely, effectively forming a human shield between the two. The idea of either – or both – of these twin pillars of rock being cut down before inflicting their hateful solo careers on us is one of the happiest I can iimagine. Anyone with any responsibility for preventing it, however small, is to be despised forever. Take him away.

ADVENT CALENDAR OF FILTH 10. GREG LAKE – I Believe In Father Christmas

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10. GREG LAKE – I Believe In Father Christmas

For christ-sake (and if not for his sake, whose sake are you making Christmas records – except o’course for your bank managers) if you have not realised by the age of 34 that Father Christmas no more exists than any sort of credibility for people who nick classical tunes as the blood and guts of their records then much hope has gone Cully.

Lake (of Blankety Blank question : my Dad bought a piss poor Prog Rock record by Emerson ____ and Palmer) was on his own in still believing in this phsyically impossible present delivery system. He admittedly never said he believed in Rudolph, but then a consumately fit animal with a glow in the dark nose is pretty unlikey. Less unlikely then than a fat man fitting down chimneys maybe but…

“They said there’d be snow at Christmas”

No weatherman worth their salt (useful on icey roads) would ever predict snow at Christmas. Or a silent night on Dec 24. Frankly all Lake could do was nick a bit of Prokofiev and fuck off and laugh his red nose off. A silly nose it is too (you’ve seen Close Encounters – well the mountain was Lakes nose).

He is obvious too old to believe in FC or even SC or St Nick, but that never got in the way of an ageing rock star who fancies feeling up the younger ladies whilst using the Santa Hat Condom. He is leading yet another generation down the slippery slope that is believing in a non-existant and rather unlikely supernatural beasties. So lake, go drown yerself in yerself.

Dec 00


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A close runner-up to Jona Lewie in the pledging-things-that-are-not-strictly-neccessary-now-are-they stakes, this. Holly Johnson’s love, unlike his voice, is strong and to prove it he will protect you from the Hooded Claw. Now, while there is an obvious parallel to be drawn between the Ant Hill Mob (useless) and Frankie Goes To Hollywood (useless) , this is still not a promise likely to impress anyone save Penelope Pitstop. The Hooded Claw is a man in a cartoon: he cannot come out and harm you and even a four-year old would not think otherwise. So what Holly’s ‘protection’ would boil down to is him standing in front of your television (probably with Ped and ‘Nasher’ as back-up) and stopping you seeing it in case the unconvincing cowled villain came on.

Thankfully Holly’s skill set runs to more than just protecting you from animated threats. He will also keep the vampires from your door.

Which is easy, really, seeing as they don’t exist. Had he pledged to keep the Goths from my door, we could maybe have worked out a deal, or in fact if he’d just agreed never to darken my door again with his bombastic hi-NRG arse. But no, vampires it is. I’d tell you about the rest of the song, dear reader, but I’ve never made it past that opening growl.

(“Claw”/”Door” of course was only one in a string of piss-weak Frankie rhyme crimes. In fact, rubbish couplets were something of a trademark for the lovable Scouse provocateurs. “When two tribes go to war / A point is all that you can score.”, in Eurovision perhaps, or maybe they were talking about the somewhat trite political ‘point’ made by dressing up two fat has-been actors in tatty rubber masks. And as for “Relax”! “Don’t do it / When you want to suck and chew it”. Is ‘it’ by any chance an Opal Fruit?? Now, I cannot speak for Holly Johnson, but I hailed a passing gay man and and was told that were chewing on the cards he would indeed say “Don’t do it”, relaxed or otherwise. Also it doesn’t scan. Shakespeare always managed to scan, and he didn’t even have Paul Morley to help with the words, did he?)

Dec 00

ADVENT CALENAR OF FILTH 8: ROY WOOD & WIZZARD – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

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8: ROY WOOD & WIZZARD – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

The archetypal Christmas song in both its lack of any redeeming features and nonsensical lyrics. Shall we start with the non-philosophical problems here?

“When the snowman brings the snow”

Yeah, okay. “When the Milkman brings the milk”, that would make sense. It was the early seventies so I guess you could have had “When the Coal man brings the coal”. Problem is there is little market in selling snow, even at the most festive of times. Its gosh darned difficult to store, its market value is relatively low for the storage costs and what fool is going to buy what they can get for free if the atmospheric conditions are right. And anyway, Snowmen are made of snow, they don’t bring the snow. It would be like saying, “When the blood and flesh man brings the gore”. Imagine Aled Jones singing about some snowman that kept on divesting his body everywhere. Then jumping back into his electrically power Snow Float and rattling down the street delivering bottles of snow to everyone. White, powdery residue everywhere – perhaps this is what Roy Wood meant, being off his tits on cocaine.

Before we get to the philosophical crutch of this argument we should digress at least briefly to look at the figure of Roy Wood. Not since a certain God of Hellfire, and not until Kiss had such half arsed face paint been applied to a fella. He must of scared the bejeasus out of all the little kids watching television. It was enough to scare you off of the entire concept of Christmas, let alone it occuring everyday.

And there you have it. Roy Wood is actually an enemy of Christmas. For if we had Christmas everyday, the holiday would no longer be special. You’d have to get really longlife Christams trees too. But what is by far and away worse is that Mr Wood is actually an enemy of mankind. Think: if it was Christmas everyday, it would be a holiday. So no-one would go to work. Foodstuff would stop being produced (especially because the weather would be inclement, what with that snowman bringing his snow and all). The police would all be on double time, but who would be paying them? No-one is working, manufacturing industry has ground to a halt – no taxation. Capitalism would fall apart, govvernments crumble – leading in anarchy.

With a badly face painted Roy Wood at the helm. And his badly spelt Wizzard. Let us thank god it is not Christmas everyday. And banish Roy Wood to the deepest pit of hell, the one where all enemies of mankind go. Along with Hitler, Pol Pot and Jimi Hendrix.

Dec 00


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7: ST ETIENNE & TIM BURGESS – I Was Born On Christmas Day

You didn’t expect to see this amongst the hoary old chestnuts roasting on an open hell-fire below. If you didn’t then you obviously still do not understand this site, and you are also possibly deaf. The man with a lifejacket for lips and the graverobbers of pop – together for the first time in Christmas excrement shocker.

The Et (a nickname based not so much on a shortening of the bands name – rather Bob Stanley’s resemblance to the film character) fancy themselves as post modern pop pioneers. Apparently they do this playing simplistic pop in an arch style which Kylie would not touch with a bargepole. The Charlatans, are charlatans and also know a good thing when they steal it. I’m surprised the pop police were not snuffling round when this aural aquivalent of getting a pair of socks for Christmas limped out.

Hey, it was the Christmas single indie fans were allowed to like. Indie fans being students and generally poor, managed to rocket the single to number 16. Sarah Cracknell was so glad she just got her pay, I assume it was not a bumper pay packet, especially after paying for Burgess’s colagen top ups.

Proof of this tracks true lack of worth though is its subject matter. For neither Cracknell, Wiggs, Stanley or Burgess were born on Christmas Day. Instead this song was ghosted by the true culprit, the true evil spirit of Chritmas. Noel Edmonds was born on Christmas Day – and this song is obviously about him.

Dec 00


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6: JOHN LENNON & THE PLASTIC ONO BAND : Merry Christmas (War Is Over)

Much has been said on this very site about the utter wretchedness of John Lennon’s solo career. This track has escaped much lampooning so far pretty much because it takes the piss out of itself. Not only is it a Christmas record – and a ropey one at that – it is also a political record. On that worst of subjects, War.

The War Song by Culture Club is a stupid record, but even it does not posit the end of all war. Lennon does, from the safety of his well guarded (in retrospect not well enough) big white double bed. Six years before Lennon had said there was going to be a revolution. All he got were bed sores.

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun”

Eh? I think Johnno should take a quick look at his calendar – albeit the one he has in hell. Christmas is December 25th. True another year is almost over, but a new one has certainly not begun yet. The week between Christmas and New Year is just that – a week (and a fine one to go all drinking in I must add). Still, he was always a bit simple, as evidenced by the line:

“A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear”

This nonsense – without any fear? – must have obviously been produced under the influence of alcohol. So much so that Yoko nicked in before his Top Of The Pops performance and changed the line to “without any beer”.

Though in some ways Lennon was right. War was over. The Vietnam War. And to honour the dead man in the white suits memory there have been no wars since. Falkland Conflict, Gulf War Enfraction, the Bosnian Scuffle…. War is over indeed.

Dec 00


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5 JONA LEWIE – Stop The Cavalry

Jona Lewie looked like he’d been slapped every day of his miserable life. His hangdog face matched his awful flat voice and his awful voice was backed up with a casio your kid sister would turn up her nose at. Of course, the charts being the festering plague hole they are this did not stop him having hits. Well, two hits. His first was an autobiographical ditty, “You Will Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties”. Come now, Jona, that can’t be true! You’re having us on! Who after all would invite you to a party in the first place?

The second pop-bothering number concerns us here, though. “Stop The Cavalry” imagined itself a song with an epic sweep, a Chrismas-tinted “Universal Soldier” style track which would sum up the heartbreaking folly of WAR and the pain of soldiering through the ages. What better phrase to sum up these epic themes than the simple, yet so affecting, “stop the cavalry”.

The problem of course was that Jona had forgotten something – it is quite simple to stop cavalry, as the first person who turned a machine gun on them swiftly learned. Therefore as a metaphor for the impossible futility of resisting war Jona’s plea was frankly rubbish. Had Jona confined himself to singing in character, as a trench soldier, the problem might not have arisen quite as much, but with Paul McCartney and the whole of the Farm down there, the trenches were getting a bit crowded, so Jona expanded his timeline with vague references to centuries of fighting and a “nuclear fallout zone”. There aren’t going to be any horses in a nuclear fallout zone, now are there? It’s no wonder his lyrical imagination failed him for the chorus and he could muster only “dubba-dubba-dum-dum”.

What was Jona’s proposed solution to this eternal cavalry-centric onslaught? A simple one. Should he return from the war, he would “run for all presidencies” and, if elected, “stop the cavalry”. The simplicity! The genius! But can I be alone in detecting a flaw or two in Jona’s scheme? Even were running for all presidencies at once possible, it would be difficult to imagine a single-issue platform with less appeal out on the stump.

“So Mr. Lewie, what do you stand for?”
“Well, if elected I’ll stop the cavalry”
“What cavalry?”
The cavalry.”
“What? What about the tanks? What about stopping them? People don’t use cavalry any more, you fool!”
“Well, um, there’s the Horse Guards.”

THE ADVENT CALENDAR OF FILTH 4: WINGS – Wonderful Christmastime

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4: WINGS – Wonderful Christmastime

The Beatles never made a Christmas single. Unless you include those fanclub flexi’s where John Lennon does his amusing John Lennon voice and tells jokes you would only allow a pop star to get away with. ie Rubbish ones. John Lennon was the self styled wit of the band, and like many office pranksters had a sense of humour as developed as Sierra Leone (that joke is for all you geographical economists out there – I know you like Paul McCartney). Odd then that as soon as the band split the songwriting powerhouses of the Moptopped Maladjusts went hell for leather into the Christmas market. I’ll get to Lennon’s – though rest assured it is as much hippy claptrap as you would expect.

But to Macca and his Wings (I can only assume he named his band after those handy pantyliner appendages). He states in this jolly sleigh-bell-along that he is “simply having a wonderful Christmastime” – as if Christmastime is a real word. Plenty of other lyricists make this linguistic error – it may be because the word Christmas really does not rhyme with anything. Wheras time rhymes with so many words that it even rhymes with rhyme – which is about a rhymey as you can get.

Anyway, back to the McCartney’s Christmastime, of which they are having a wonderful one of. Well of course he is having a wonderful fucking Christmastime. He had just bought much of Berkshire, had a happy family, was not married to some mad Japanese performance artist and in Mull Of Kintyre he had managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the entire single buying public. He was on an unnatural high, which is possibly why he wrote a song bereft of any good points whatsoever. You would have to be the happiest man in the world, or extremely high on drugs, to possibly enjoy Wonderful Christmastime. Its disingenuity is ingenious in scope.

Still – its not as stupid as Merry Christmas – (War Is Over).

Dec 00


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There are crudely two ways of marketing a Christmas single. That’s because crudely (and these are Christmas singles so sophistication is right out of the window) there are two types of Yuletide tune. There is the gung-ho, sleigh-bell a-jangling “isn’t it great – this Christmas thing”. But there is also the Christmas ballad, whinging about how shit it is to be single at Christmas. The first kind of single appeals to every idiot who has ever enjoyed an office Christmas party. The second is aimed directly at girls who have tight boyfriends.

Your tight boyfriend, your Andrew Ridgley some might say (tight skin once his nose job was done) does a balancing act. Yes – Christmas snogs can be nice, but your girlfriend might want stuff like presents bought for her. All expensive. So if she isn’t much of a looker, dump her. And she’ll go down to Woolies crying her eyes out and fork out her pocket money, and the money she was going to spend on a Roy Of The Rovers Annual for him on this Wham! Single instead.

Indeed old Yog and his big nosed mate came up with a cash cow with this one. It’s a simple tale of man, woman and a particularly heart surgeon. I always imagined it taking place in Harefield Hospital – but the video suggested the complicated heart based shenanigans took place on a ski-ing trip (proving point one of the Christmas video, let it snow). It turns out that George got involved with a young lady with some kind of heart problem, and therefore offered to give his heart to her. But lack of gratitude was the order of the day, because on Boxing Day she gave the heart away. (Imagine how much the heart surgeon would charge for working on both Christmas and Boxing Day).

What’s worse, this year George intends to give it away again. This suggests that either he has two hearts – like Doctor Who – or somewhere along the line he got his original heart back after being kept alive by complicated machinery. Machinery considerably more expensive that the Roland synths producing the cod twinkly backing track. Anyway, it is not documented what happened after he gave his heart away the second time – but one can only assume that he did not do all that well – since he went off girls around then and started liking boys better.

Moral. The only winner in Last Christmas is the surgeon. The listener certainly isn’t.