Posts from 12th January 2005

Jan 05

While we’re here

TMFDPost a comment • 1,155 views

While we’re here: a much-mentioned statistic was that half of the bijou but committed (and entertaining, and mental) Exeter City Supporters Club of Norway made it to the game, while only 0.025% of their Manchester United supporting compatriots made it. Here’s what you need to know:


De norske Exeter-supporterne er h’yt oppe etter sjokkresultatet mot Manchester United. (The first photo on this page really should be captioned “They don’t like it up ’em!”)

Kantina p’ Old Trafford er st’rre

Non-scientific top nine things about going to watch my small team play against Manchester United and gain a draw against most expectations

TMFDPost a comment • 232 views

Non-scientific top nine things about going to watch my small team play against Manchester United and gain a draw against most expectations

1. Not being able to sleep properly for two nights before the match.

2. Carsmile Steve’s face when we met for breakfast keeping on doing this nervous drawing-his-lips-tight-across-his-teeth thing.

3. Seeing the odd recognisable Exeter face in what seemed to me like an absolute ocean of people making their way to the ground. I’ve been to games which have attracted larger crowds than the 67,500 who went on Saturday, but the maybe the presence of the occasional Grecian scarf made it seem more amazing.

4. Being with my lot. As a result of the way our tickets were allocated, I sat with the FT kids and with my family. But we were also sitting near most of the folks I usually travel with, sing with, moan at. Watching this particular motley bunch go through the same agonies as I was suffering was strangely comforting. There is, and can be, only one Ben Nutter.

5. Magic socks! I received a nice warm pair of socks for Christmas which are slightly too small. I saw City beat Hereford 4-0 and 2-1 while wearing them, and so took them to Manchester with me. They are a bit uncomfortable but I’d be a fool to ignore actual real lucky hosiery. It’s every fan’s dream! Halfway through the evening I drift into reverie for a few seconds and interrupt my companions’ sane conversation with a big smile and the phrase “I’ve got magic socks!”

6. Buying a ton of papers for the rail journey home, and bumping into various bleary Grecians around Manchester with arms full of newsprint. We liked the coverage in the Sunday Times and the Sunday Mirror the best as it was the most fawning and excessive about Exeter City. Also the Mirror had a picture showing 50% of the SE22 Grecian Army. Happily, he’s more photogenic than I.

7. Article about the day by my good friend Al Crockford in the prestigious Exeter Express & Echo. Main thesis of article: after the game we did kamikaze drinking and -hey!- eating’s cheating. Accompanying picture shows AC with his complete solid diet for the evening i.e. two onion rings. He holds them aloft: 0-0.

8. Securing tickets for the replay.

9. The sleeping thing, again.

Radio: “You love us! Uh, don’t you?”

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,078 views

Radio: “You love us! Uh, don’t you?”

The bit about ‘we really break thousands of new artists and songs, no really’ makes me think of the various claims being advanced about how US Social Security is really in the toilet.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 281 views


Benjy’s is to revolutionise the mobile catering sector with its new Benjy’s Delivered francises. The company hopes to take a sector well known for low health and safety standards, poor value for money and lousy food and instill it with its own core brand values.

Hmm, a use of the word revolutionise I had hithertoo not been aware of.

Science Headline Of The Week

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 221 views

Science Headline Of The Week


Day 2: Going Down To Liverpool AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

I Hate Music5 comments • 1,924 views

Day 2: Going Down To Liverpool

The plan of course was to reach the sea as swiftly as possible. Whilst the bet did not specify that I should not use air travel, I have an aversion to the way the pressurised air on planes makes a gin and tonic taste. It flattens the bubbles and removes some of the sharpness. So a train from Euston it was to hopefully get us to Liverpool in time to catch a late night White Star Liner of some sort or other.

“Why Liverpool Ma’am?” My manservant pestered me. He had been basing his demeanor on Dirk Bogarde in The Servant for so long now that he was almost a caricature. Luckily I had not let him see the end of that film so was in no danger of the tables turning.
“Liverpool. Well since I am traveling I though it might be a good idea to assault the city which has provided so much pain to so many people. Cave in the Cavern Club, sink the Ferry Cross The Mersey. Usual acts of everyday anti-music terrorism.”
“I have the emergency bottle of meths that I always carry.”
“Prepare the Molatov cocktail then.”

This was all taking place ont he evening of Day One of course. Which slowly, due to the inefficiency of all versions of Locomotion (especially Little Eva’s) began to roll into Day Two. And most of Day Two was taken up with being hungover in Lime Street Station, followed by topping up Lee Mavers sleeping draught. In the evening though we removed ourselves to the docks to find passage on a luxury cruise liner. Apparently though the White Star Line no longer put sail from Liverpool Docks, due to some problem with an iceberg (I certainly had problems with Iceberg Slimm so I do not blame them). I had already put Black Star Liner out of business a number of years before, so instead myself and Crispian booked passage on a transport across the Irish Sea.

The Bangles: Going Down To Liverpool

What is crystal clear from this Bangles tune that they do not know what a Liverpool is. Or are all that sure why they are going down there. But dammit, Beatles Band came from there and so in a coat-tail hanging way to garner some sort of rock respectability they are going to go down there. The fact that the song was written by ex Soft Boy and future Wave Kimberley Rew is no excuse for a complete lack of research done.

Nevertheless they are going down to Liverpool, with a UB40 in their hands, and will be surprised to see that as Americans they cannot claim unemployment benefit. Again, it is quite clear that the meaning of UB40 is over their heads, as they sing it as if it were WD40 and their jaws need lubricating. Infact the tragedy of the song is that the world would have been better off if they had done exactly what the song says. If they had indeed gone down to Liverpool and done nothing. Instead they had to go and make Eternal Flame and Manic Monday…

MANFRED MANN – “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”

Popular22 comments • 3,613 views

#175, 15th August 1964

There’s so much happening in pop at this point that some records end up nudging into the canon almost by accident – they were just in the right place at the right time and got caught up in the general magic of things. “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is an enduring ‘golden oldie’ and I assume a lot of people are deeply fond of it, which seems odd to me because it’s awful.

It’s a strange combination of baby-talk lyrics and horribly exaggerated R’n’B singing, with a guitar part that sounds like it’s being played on elastic bands and a call-and-response part straight out of a primary school assembly. It’s hard to work out exactly what it’s aiming at – throaty rock’n’roll? crossover bubblegum? It lands somewhere uncomfortable and irritating in the middle, as things turn out.

But it almost works – it’s nearly stupid enough. There’s a quality of audacious dumbness some songs have, something brazen and divisive which makes you feel like you’re in on a joke (that turns out not to be a joke at all). Glam rock harnessed it best but it’s there stirring under “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” – maybe it’s just that awful studied rocker’s voice that limits it. This and the next two number ones serve as experiments – how basic can this new music get and still work? What can it get away with? Not this, I’m saying.


Do You SeePost a comment • 150 views


since the “GG leaves BB” story even got onto NEWSNIGHT fr god’s sake, I’m not gnna expand on it too tough => so hence some stuff off the top of my head
i. interesting that it took an actual real 60s radical – and echt feminist moreover – to realise the potential latent in the form, that is, to take the potential-for-platform in the unscored open-form play (IT’S A COLLECTIVE IMPROVISATION PEOPLE) and MAKE IT INTO A three-day-wonder (and counting) CROSS-MEDIA “POLITICAL” PLATFORM. To me it’s kinda like: AT *LAST* SOMEONE GOT THE JOKE of BB!! The nature of the politics is improvised also, of course, so may well fizzle out (i haven’t read anything she’s said today or written abt it yet).
ii. Terrestrial news of her walkout (and her debrief-w.-davina) coincided w.paul merton presenting 25 Years of the Comedy Store, which wz a punch of foax reminsicing abt how radical they were – and how wide open the world – back in the day, so monumental self-congratulation combined w.large scads of unexamined aspects (ie the degree to which political right-on-ness acted as an Indie Brake on potential for outreach and barrier-breaking; contrasted w.the degree to which out-group cultural solidarity and shared disgust and impatience actually allowed a monumental breach in the status quo to be achieved, forwever) (bob mills got a tiny slot on tarby: the next time he layed the CS, jeremy hardy and mark steel WALKED OUT in protest!!) (is such protest admirable or goofy? discuss, criticise and self-accuse, citizen=comrade
iii. revolution vs recuperation: they’re NOT dichotomous opposites (it emerged that some v.v.early Committee for Public Safety of the alter-comedy established included both Keith “chucked it away” Allen and Pauline “used it plus = actually funny on TV” Quirke, and the prog’s makers had smugly to slip in a little tic of fake astonishment that someone as “naff” as PQ shd be part of this, y’know, like they werent MAKING A we-love-the-80s-type DOCUMENTARY FOR THE BRITISH BROADCASTING SOCIETY grrrr)
iv. the hole that the (zzz) pistols and the alt.comedians (and janet street-porter and others) blew in media containment wz interestingly double-edged – back in the 70s, you couldn’t graduate to TV w/o being able to demonstrate that you understood and had attained certain “professional standards”, which were in the main deployed to ensure that the torrent of new ideas and stances unleached by the cataclysmic 50s-60s expansion of media formats *didn’t* all flood through; well, gradually TV has been opened up – in the interests of “punky” and “amateur” and “neighbour-from-hell” democracy – but has at the same time been countered by the establishment of incredibly sophisticated genre protocols and etiquettes (through which the jerry springer opera bust, also, apparently: the rules it apparently broke don’t eg apply to movies broadcast EVERY FKN WEEK on BBC2, ITV, C4, C5 etc etc, if the lack of protest at same is anything to judge by…
v. anyway, these protocols – which are what allow us to turn on the TV at random and know, immediately, what SPECIES of programme we’re watching (news, drama, comedy, advert) are – pretty much SELF-policed, in this sense. Since BB and Popstars debuted four(?) years ago, NO ONE from the rock/indie/counterculture/avant-garde (so-called) margins – except some lone animal-rights activist on TOUCH THE TRUCK!! – has thought, “Hey, look, they left the door wide open.” Instead it’s been all been formalist-moralising tantrums: “American Idol is Killing Our Youth” blah blah blah. Until Germaine, kinda sorta, bless her. Not that she had a plan even: but more like she had the memory of habits evolved back in days when spontaneity wz something WE cultivated to respond/command the same thing in events round us
vi. Peter Bazalgette‘s great great grandfather designed and built London’s sewer system HURRAH

Those Landmark No.1s In Full

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 984 views

Those Landmark No.1s In Full

(as requested by Alan T)

1st No.1 – Al Martino – “Here In My Heart”
100th No.1 – Anthony Newley – “Do You Mind”
200th No.1 – The Beatles – “Help”
300th No.1 – Dawn – “Knock Three Times”
400th No.1 – Julie Covington – “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”
500th No.1 – Nicole – “A Little Peace”
600th No.1 – T’Pau – “China In Your Hand”
700th No.1 – Chaka Demus and Pliers – “Twist And Shout”
800th No.1 – All Saints – “Bootie Call”
900th No.1 – Christina Aguilera et al – “Lady Marmalade”

250th No.1 – Gary Puckett And The Union Gap – “Young Girl”
750th No.1 – Robson And Jerome – “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted”

1000th No.1 – Joy Gruttman – “Schnappi Der Kleine Krokodil”

First order of business

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 371 views

First order of business is obviously the total farce that the 1000th No.1 has descended into. Midweeks are out showing that it’s going to be Elvis again, with a reissue of the not-particularly-great “One Night”. Underwhelming to say the least. Mind you when you look at the alternatives – The Killers and, oh sweet mercy NO the Manic Street Preachers – maybe we should count our blessings. (Actually I must reluctantly back the Killers on the grounds that i) it’s less annoying than their last one and ii) it at least hasn’t been number one before)

What gets me is that no record company seems to have realised that there’s a marketing opportunity here. Not a big one, but a chance for a chart scrap, a bit of publicity in a weak month, maybe a few extra sales. But no – the release schedules are a graveyard and the fattest corpse around is having a clear run. Even the Official Charts Company aren’t making any fuss about the 1000th No.1. Maybe only I care (and I admit I lost perspective on this some while ago). Bring on the sodding download chart and end this sorry business now, I think.