Posts from 26th November 2003

Nov 03

It’s finally happened

TMFDPost a comment • 199 views

It’s finally happened; a quick look at this weekend’s league tables for the Scottish and English Premier Leagues shows that the gap between those in with a shout of glory and the also rans is bigger in England; in Scotland, the third placed team are 8 points behind second place, whereas in England, it’s 9.

This is possibly the least surprising thing to happen in the Premiership ever, since it’s the entire point of the forces unleashed by its formation in 1992; let market forces lead to aggregating resources around a small number of clubs and end the elements of redistribution that maintain a competitive situation.

Everyone else is thus reduced to also-rans; the season boils down to the 6 games in England between the big three, and they expect to win against the others. The title is therefore decided by the outcome of the big games and who has an off day against a team they should beat. Every season has one team who look most likely candidates for ‘they might take a few points off the big teams and thus have a hand in deciding the title race’ but it’s a bit part and no more.

It’s speeding up too; a few years back, people commented on their being three leagues in the Premiership: those fighting relegation, those with a shot at the UEFA Cup and those with a shout of winning the whole thing. Those gradations still exist, but the group at the top has contracted – just as it did in Scotland as first Dundee United and then Aberdeen fell off the pace as the redistributive elements were removed allowing the Old Firm to make the most of their massive fanbases without any support to mitigate those factors for the rest.

We see in Scotland what the end result is; the TV rights suffer as no-one wants to pay the money for a season of games that don’t affect the outcome too much, and want to concentrate on those matches with will have a major impact on the title race. Those big clubs start to suffer from not getting a decent run-out often enough, and they’ll want to clamber aboard a European Super-League proper, as opposed to the lite version in the form of the Champions League. And the rest, bored by a season in which mediocrity is the best they can hope for, will support them, just as most non-Old Firm fans can’t wait to see the back of them.

What’s sad is the utter inevitability of it all. This isn’t an unforseen consequence but something people have been arguing for years. But no. The Premiership is the best League in the world, apparently, and like british fascism, the Scottish League scenario couldn’t happen here. Well it has. Well done to the ostriches concerned.

σ is also for…The Sigma Sound Studios

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 1,144 views

What do you think of when I say the word Philadelphia. Is it the lush, orchestration of Philly soul classics, timeless songwriting buffed up by the exemplary studio work of the Sigma Sound Studios. Or a particularly bland cream cheese. Yep, it was the cheese wasn’t it?

The Sigma Sound Studios, opened in 1968, were responsible for the supposedly iconic sounds of Philadelphia Soul (remember, bland cream cheese soul). Almost instantly the studios formed an unique partnership with Philly songwriters like Leon Huff and Thom Bell (warning, use of the first name Thom). Unique of course because no other studio would work with such Middle Of The Road chancers. Artists of the calibre, and I use that word purely in the selecting the right bullet sense, of Teddy Pendergrass and the O’Jays passed through its doors, so much so that it resembled a holding cell for musical criminals. A factor finally proved when that arch criminal David Bowie recorded the Young Americans album there, the first recorded time that someone had actually killed someone with a saxophone.

Anti-vivsectionists bomb the labs of the scientists plying their trade – unfortunately taking out the animals sometimes in the process. I think it follows that I can spread my campaign against recording studios. If I take out Patti LaBelle on the way, well that would be a bonus.

Regarding chants,

TMFDPost a comment • 354 views

Regarding chants, myself and mrs carsmile were commenting last night on the universality of the tunes used. The Inter fans were singing something to the tune of “glory, glory man united”/”who the fucking hell are slipknot” and it took me about 5 minutes to work through the layers of words to this tune in my head (“he jumped from 40,000 feet without a parachute” anyone? “stop the bus I want a weewee” even?) to get back to “John Brown’s Body”…

Possible Top Five Most Used Songs For Football Chants:
1. Bread of Heaven
2. Go West
3. John Brown’s Body
4. Guantanamera
4. Que Sera Sera