Posts from 8th February 2002

Feb 02

Kym Marsh vs Jonathan King

FT2 comments • 6,278 views


Nick McMeier: ‘Kind of a compliment, that a famous person was interested in me’
Jon Ronson: ‘You say famous. But he was JUST JONATHAN KING!’

Manipulative, quite. Predatory, exactly. Yet at the root of an accusation so late in coming , suggests one of the people Ronson interviews, is not the scar of unwanted sex imposed too young, but instead the hurt and humiliation of promises broken, the resentful fury that brews of trampled dreams. Except of course that this interviewee is a convicted abuser himself, a long-banished one-time colleague of King’s flipping unsettlingly between self-insight, self-interest and self-delusion (‘sex is usually nice’); between qualified remorse, battered dignity and egocentric derision.

‘The lid has literally been lifted on the music business. It gives everyone a chance. Anyone out there trying to fake it – anyone who doesn’t deserve it, they’re quaking in their boots. Cos we’re coming to GET YOU!!’ Thus spake Myleen Klass, college-trained musician, when the first hear’say single arrived so apparently convincingly at UK #1, in Spring 2001. Thrown together by chance or design, she and Kym Marsh apparently never found a workable rhythm, but there – at the start at least – was the percussion that should have fused it: the rolling ash between (on one hand) their shared, hungry, naive idealism and (on the other) the cynical reason not so much of the industry, but of all wised-up industry watchers, of anyone who’s ever mouthed the words “manufactured” or “hyped” or product” with any sort of contempt. The argument is that Jonathan King flourished because those around him knew, stayed quiet, were complicit. But the complicity of cynical reason goes far further than that: this is the deepest, most hateful insight of this bright, talented, unhappy, arrogant, wounded, deeply unpleasant man.

‘The one thing I have always cared about is music,’ says King still: and in his first hit (the likable ëEveryone’s Gone to the Moon’, 1965, written and recorded when he was still a slender teenager himself, long years before he sneered his looks away), there’s a deep-set tension between its of-the-times idealism ñ now we’re all free to be freaks, equal and lovely in our shared estrangement – and the overt unreality, not to say impossibility, of the title and the claim. What King came to twig between then and his next hits (and first known abuses) was that the deliberate abolition of exactly that 60s popcult idealism – the open presentation, in other words, of the industry as a ruthless enjoyment-dispensing machine that only the superior have the gumption to grasp and run and use and not be used by ñ would present, and be accepted, as a refreshing, robust, unsappy vision of the mass-culture combine unmasked. Stardom is never talent; fame is never love; only losers dream. And – as his attitude to his victims continues furiously to shout – if they believed any of those promises, they deserved all they got; if they were hating what I was doing, they were fools and knaves and liars for not saying so sooner….

Three weeks ago Kym Marsh refused to bite her tongue yet again: a filmed show for Brit troops in Oman was ‘a shameless publicity stunt’, she announced, and this time she was off and away. As she maybe threw away her last chance of celebrity escape from herself, the wised-up world crowed in near-unison: ‘Publicity stunt? What about hear’say WASN’T a publicity stunt? This silly talent-free puppet bimbo, everyone understood the contract but her…’ So how soon do we get to denounce the wised-up crowing world as King’s most-used, most-trusted, most-fooled accomplice?

I prefer Mary(b)lin(g) Manson

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,226 views

I prefer Mary(b)lin(g) Manson – ho ho ho see what I did there did you see?


Hear’Say say ‘NO FIX’

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 340 views

Hear’Say say ‘NO FIX’!!! And do we believe them readers? ‘Plain facts’ include the news that audtions were filmed by ITV2 and therefore you will SEE if it’s a fix or not!! Don’t you SEE?? Are you BLIND??

In other news, I couldn’t sleep this morning and started to my UNCEASING HORROR to hum XANADU by the glam to the max Bright New Hope of I dunno, something –MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY! This was not good. Toss. Toss. Hold on, isn’t it ‘toss’ then ‘turn’? No mate it’s just toss. SEE WHOT I DID THERE ahahahahaha!!! ALSO! On T4 I saw them perform with a pink feather boa wrapped around the microphone stand. Was that meant to be for the BLING BLING? By MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY?? Tits up!

My worst nightmare squared

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 573 views

Hey kids, there’s a fresh def new musical phenomenon doing the ’rounds’. Just imagine if you will the rapping from Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliott (unpleasant I know but bear with me), and then – get this – imagine that rapping over the music from George Michael’s “Faith”. My God what an incredible musical mindmeld! Then! Imagine that this hilarious pairing was called “George Gets His Faith On” – do you see? – and that it was setting the underground clubs on fire with its witty pop juxtaposition.

Got all that? Good. Now imagine me actually setting the underground clubs on fire with a huge tankerload of flaming hot tar, and then dancing with glee as the Freelance Hellraiser, Osymiso, DJ Frenchbloke, DJ Shitgibbon, and DJ Piece Of Piss Mate all suffered a terrible boiling death. Can I make myself clearer? One of these is the acceptible future of dance music, one is a bootleg.

There was a time that when a bootleg was a tape sold to you by a dodgy bloke after a gig which had been recorded on a dictaphone and I was frankly all in favour of these. Here you were getting a tape of hateful music that you could not hear properly over pissed people trying to give “Dave a tenner to get shome Lahger at the bar”. My reasoning was that buying such a shoddy product may well turn people off listening to music for life – or at least render them listening to the Grateful Dead stoned under hiss forever and out of my way.

These days the word bootleg – a word derived let us not forget for the thoroughly honourable profession of beating prohibition – has taken on an even more sinister meaning. These tracks are the worst idea since the tape recorder and if you like them then you are like a bootleg of King Kong and a Cunt. Why so bad? Because fundamentally they involve playing at least two records at once. A one handed friend of mine used to do as he couldn’t start a record and mix it at the same time. I soon solved this problem by using Islamic law and cutting the other hand off. The principle of two unrelated tracks ‘fitting really well together’ is the same principle invoked by the sort of pot-stricken fuckwits who play Pink Floyd over the top of The Wizard Of Oz. The name is apt however since they make me want to place a boot – a very pointy steel-capped one – upon my leg and connect it with the arse of the people responsible.

Bootlegs are squarely in a tradition of half-arsed medley records which includes Stars On 45 and Jive Bunny. The difference is that the Mastermixers didn’t live in Hoxton and didn’t have any Missy Elliot records. At least 50% of bootlegs, you see, involve Get Ur Freak On. This is because Missy Elliot is such a dreadful rapper that she sounds the same i.e bad over any beat in the world. If Missy were killed in a car crash tomorrow the scene would implode overnight. Or it would were it not for the fact the bootlegs are the easiest records in the world to make. Forget all that nonsense about CoolEdit and ProTools – all you need to be a master bootlegger are a pair of decks with a broken crossfader stuck in the middle: the results will be the same, to wit a grisly mess. And boys in bakers hats will stare at you while you are DJ-ing as if you are the cleverest man alive for supergluing an REM and Maddonna track together and calling it “Losing My Virginity”

May I borrow your books of hairstyles?

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 736 views

May I borrow your books of hairstyles? Pre-club trip to the Bricklayers Arms last night showed how randomness should be the order of the pub experience. A hair magazine was extracted for the purposes of discussing which haircut would be best for one of the female protagonists. Along with Your Hair magazine came a free booklet with more hairstyles in it (hair magazines are very, very strange things like all specialist things). Enter to the scene a nice-but-dim character exiting the Gents. Initially attracted because he thought it might be a lady porno, he was soon drawn to the free magazine.

“Can I borrow your hair booklet? I’ll give you a pound deposit.” Much laughing behind hands and tittering went on, a small wrangle and we were sans free booklet and up a pound. Probably no good to poor old Ange since she had plumped on going for one of the do’s in the book. He then took it upstairs and it was never seen again. The bizarreness of this pub nutter encounter was contrasted with the mundanity of the pub embarking on its second full playing of OK Computer.


New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 401 views


If you don’t know about this already, you might not know that Club Sussed is the name of the club run by the estimable Carsmile Steve and No-Nickname Pete, at which Steve and I are the resident DJs. It used to take place every month at Club L*tino’s in Oxford, but they switched our night from a Thursday to a Wednesday, audiences halved and we realised that the club was a shocking dive nobody wanted to go to. So now on Sunday 10th we’re hosting the first – hopefully of many – Sunday Sussed! nights at The Cellar, Cornmarket Street, Oxford i.e. right in the centre of town. If you’re reading this in Oxford then you should come along because you will enjoy it, and there’s fuck all else to do on a Sunday. Doors are at 8, booze is served and music played until half past 12, and it’s going to be terrific. It costs two quid.

What is it? It’s been reviewed as “the most eclectic indie night in Oxford”, and basically the concept is that we mix indie with chart pop, hip-hop, bootlegs, electro and whatever tickles our fancies. Anything with a hook is fair game. Expect drunkenly-recalled playlists to be posted on the Monday!

A big thanks to boom selection

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 969 views

A big thanks to boom selection (which would be in the urgent and key sidebar if my template editing wasn’t crashing the browser – in other words GO THERE) for alerting us to the King of The Boots night last night – most fun I’ve had at a club in ages. I hope the people who came up and asked if I was the guy who ran that website (meaning boom selection I believe) found you! I obviously look ‘the type’ – a saddening thought.

Speaking of pub crawls and jukeboxes

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 341 views

Speaking of pub crawls and jukeboxes, I put to you the proposal for Pub Idol (following the success of Pub Brother/Trig Brother last year). The rules are as before – ten contestants and an eviction process – but the determining factor is jukebox use. Each round the contestants put a song each on the juker on a theme, a la Pop Idol – love songs, oldies, No.1s, political songs, etc. This then influences the vote. The problem as far as I can tell is finding even five pubs in central London which still have jukeboxes.