Posts from 20th April 2006

Apr 06

THE TREMELOES – “Silence Is Golden”

Popular45 comments • 8,079 views

#233, 20th May 1967

A song about wimpiness and non-intervention, whose subject seems to infect its delivery: close harmony as a coccoon, a kind of pretty disengagement from the beastly world. It’s a cover version of a record that’s only three years old but it sounds further out of time than that. And ahead of time too – ear-squint and this is in the same bandstand as Westlife, maybe. A discussion flowered briefly on ILM yesterday about why male harmony singing fails to get the hip recognition the (generalised) ‘girl group sound’ does – perhaps this sense that the voices are covering up for one another is part of the reason?

Footballin’ Science

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 352 views

The BBC’s page on football and science. A shameless attempt to try and make the sentence “if you like football, you’ll LOVE SCIENCE” really work. However I particularly the bit on referees:

A referee’s perspective
Watching football can, however, also be frustrating, especially when it comes to the decisions of referees and officials.

Take a linesman trying to judge if a player is offside. Unless they are exactly in line with the last defender they will find it extremely difficult to judge whether the striker is in front of the defender or not.

Even if the linesman is as little as a metre in front of the defender, their perception is significantly distorted and the attacker will appear further forward than they really are.

Many scientists have suggested that offside decisions would be better taken from the stands where there is a much better perspective.

Yes, many “scientists” have suggested that. Also many “scientists” have suggested not picking blind refs, not to mention that they should pay more attention to Mickey Mouse’s hands.

(Also on the site: David Ginola using air to score goals. I shall not make the big puff (of air) joke here honest.)

Around The World in 80 Lousy Tunes, Day 62: China Crisis

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 659 views

After a refreshing sleep in Stanley (away from the road) I got the maps out and started to plan the trip properly. I had traversed three quarters of the world in about three quarters of the time, though I had my biggest landmasses to come. The ancient nation of China spread out in front of me, and I hoped that I could handily get through it via train. Which is when I had my first of many crises, there was no direct train. Instead I had to hitch-hike into the mainland.

I hate hitch-hiking. Not just because it was a dodgy sixties dance. Not just because of Roger Waters’ “The Pros And Cons Of Hitch-Hiking”. Well okay, mainly for those two reasons (the nude on the cover of TPACOHH illustrates everything that was wrong with THE WORLD in the early eighties). But I got my thumb out and within no time I was sharing a lorry with a thick set, slightly malodorous truck driver.

Who listened to Convoy.

Why do all truck drivers listen to Convoy on a perpetual loop? Its not as if I listen to songs about hating music on a constant loop to try and justify who I am. Okay there are a couple of logical flaws in that argument:
a) There aren’t any songs about hating music
b) If there were, they would be music, what I hate
But you get my point. But I put up with it for the transport down the Chinese Way into the heart of the worlds most populous nation. Even after that Wham! concert – yet another China Crisis for me.


Yes, yes: Black Man Ray. But I have not come here just to eviscerate one racist song by this bunch of chancers. No, this is much worse. This is the whole bands ouvre. China Crisis, Liverpool Crisis more like.

Think about it. People always talk about Liverpool as some sort of musical holy grail town. If you were to accept that the Beatles were something special (I am not, but you fool might) its not as if other bands of similar stature have even come from Liverpool. Let’s look at the evidence. The Zutons. Case closed? No need. The Christians! Not enough. SPACE! I’m running out of bolds. Here have a look at a list twelve piss poor bands from Liverpool. AND IT DOES NOT EVEN INCLUDE THE HORROR THAT WAS CHINA CRISIS. The Boo Radleys are seen as being better that CC. Gives you some sort of idea of how poor they were.

The early eighties was a foetid hunting ground for many bands, but like a very poor mans Tears For Fears, China Crisis went about there business of being annoying in a lumpen, deliberately bad way. Black Man Ray has been mentioned, a metronomic ode to tedium and Ray Charles, who they had noticed was black. But may I present King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up) as their true nadir. The Wake Up in brackets was a hint to any sonambulent buyer to not to get the damn thing. Later aped by the Boo Radleys in their Wake Up Boo, which equally got bought more than a song like that had any right to be.

It is unclear what King In A Catholic Style is about – though there is some suggestion that it is on the fascinating subject of Polder reclamation in a Holland run by George Bush Snr:
The residential black sea band
they rose up out of a sinking sand
the presidential elect man said
for what you want take me instead

What else can that mean. But its attempt at being jaunty and danceable showed their limitation was pretty much in just making music. They burned away quickly, when people actually Woke Up and realised how rubbish they were.

Really there is little I need to say when their first two album titles tell you what utter twats they were:
Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms (Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain)
Working With Fire And Steel (Possible Pop Songs Volume Two)

Football Cake Shock

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 7,847 views

I was not a huge football fan as a kid. And anyway, my parents were not the sort to go overboard on elaborate birthday cakes. Therefore I have never eaten a football cake, either one decorated like a football, or a football pitch. Toying with the idea for a World Cup party I innocently put the phrase Football Cake into Google.

Much has been said about the tarnishing of Google’s halo of late, what with the Chinese censorship deal and the arguments with the US government over search terms. But HOLD. These are nothing against the scandal of that Google search page. EVERY SINGLE LINK IS TO AN AMERICAN FOOTBALL/GRIDIRON PITCH SHAPED CAKE. For shame.

Luckily Google UK redeems them slightly (top two entries before NFL horror leaps in). But Google Images is still pretty sorry viewing.

Football / Politics Theory Step 1

Blog 7Post a comment • 497 views

I am sure if not certain that someone has done some work on this somewhere, but it strikes me that there is clearly a line to be drawn between elections and football teams. In particular the colours worn by football teams and the colours which represent the political parties. Not to put too fine a point on it: teams which win the league (Premiership since 1992) tend to wear red or blue. And predominantly red.

Now okay, Leeds wear white. Villa have did it once in the 80’s. Derby County (also white) had a strong run in the seventies. But you have to go all the way back to Wolves in 1958 before a team wearing anything which could be considered Liberal or Lib Dem colours ever won. Probably doesn’t mean anything.

Anyone want to add anything to this nascent theory?

Here We Go, Here We Go etcetc

Do You SeePost a comment • 362 views

In fact, with only 49 days to go until you know what starts, EVERYTHING is going football crazy, even the pictures, not that you’d know yet from the curzon website, but according to fourfourtwo there is to be an festival of football films from june 2 to 8, and even (if you read the paper version, rather than the website) pro-evo 5 tournaments on the GIANT SCREEN and everything (and escape to victory, obv.)!

EDIT: Official Website squirrelled away at!

That Football / Philosophy Link Keeps Growing

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 1,057 views

Tootling round the University of London site trying to find something useful, I came across the website of the Institute Of Philosophy part of the School Of Advanced Studies. Nicely designed I thought. And then I noticed: instead of an Upcoming Events tab, they had a Fixtures List. This football philosophy madness must end here.

Wetherspoon’s News

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 269 views

I went into a Wetherspoon’s last night. Something I now rarely do (outside of airports). This one, The Asparagus in Wandsworth, was as bog standard as most. And indeed the standard of the bogs belied the name of the pub. I have not been in pub toilets which have stank so much in years.

Still settling down to my half of mild I had chance to peruse the drinks selection. It would appear that with their new range they are not only targeting cash strapped OAP binge drinkers, but have an eye on the money conscious Eastern European migrant worker buck too. Bottles of Zwyiek for under two quid, and three other Eastern European lagers available is clearly aiming at this batch. And as usual, the beers in a Wetherspoon’s were well kept and tasty (my Titanic Mild was excellent). But god: the pubs are so free of atmosphere and depressing joints. Who cares how cheap or interesting the beer is?

There will be more from Wetherspoon’s News in the next couple of days, including the frightening range of ciders and perrys now availible, but here is this nice piece of PR flummery. “Wetherspoon’s have spent 1 million pounds* converting all our pubs in Scotland to non-smoking”. How much do No Smoking signs cost!

*One assumes Scottish Pounds.

I Used To Know A Girl Called Sophie Gardens

TMFDPost a comment • 576 views

The rest of the world must be looking upon Wales as “that country where England go to play sport”. Not just happy to host the FA Cup yet again, it appears that the Sophie Gardens cricket ground in Cardiff is to not only get test status, but host an Ashes test in 2009. Good luck to them: though Old Trafford lovers will be miffed (are there any lovers of Trent Bridge except lovers of the completely random). One assumes that much of the redevelopment coming to Sophie Gardens is to up its capacity some what.

Which brings me to an audacious plan hatched by a friend of mine last week regarding the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. What to do with it. West Ham and Spurs at the moment don’t want it, and Leyton Orient (despite previously finding Wembley home for a brief period) couldn’t fill it. Frankly we will not need a 100,000 capacity athletics stadium, and it seems a bit of fanny dangle to just keep it for local School. But with the running track turfed over and a pitch flown in, it could easily become a cricket ground to rival the MCG. Offer it to Essex (though they might have trouble filling it) make it the home of 20:20 or One-Day Cricket, and play an Ashes test there. The fact that there are currently eight test venues, with Durham not far off, may cause a problem, especially with two already being in London. But imagine an Ashes test in a stadium like that!