Posts from May 2010

May 10

The FT Top 25 Pubs of the 00s No 5: The Pillars Of Hercules, Soho

Pumpkin Publog9 comments • 1,707 views

Small poky one room pub whose small pokiness is often accentuated by being in Soho, having a dripping ceiling, a galley bar in the thinnest part of the pub and – oh – a bloke out back playing 45’s with flying barbie dolls dangling from his equipment. Said barbie dolls are usually decked out in fetishwear, a Ken wank fantasy while the slow grind of some early reggae or rock’n’roll ’45’s soundtracks the oddest tiny sized porno ever. But enough of DJ Wheeliebag for now, back to this pub which could so easily be the anonymous back alley pub nestled by sex shops in Soho. It even comes with its own built in back passage for you to slip up. Apparently there has been a pub on this dogleg of Greek Street for hundreds of years. Be that as it may, this is a more turn of the 20th century stab at reliable pubness, and just about convinces with age (holes in ceiling help). But it gets all the basics of being a pub absolutely right.

So how does an old Mitchell & Butler identikit pub make it into this list? With its “pies of the day” and little tabletop fake chalk promotions of Winter Pimms. Well for some reason the Pillars never fit the old M&B mould, despite having to carry that stuff. Its pies were actually really good, and have kept on being good. The beer was always kept well and you were guaranteed an interesting pint or too (and not afraid to just serve bitters which were just bitters).


bcz summer’s here and the time is right for shuffling in the slips

FTPost a comment • 262 views

zombie cricket: because the flipside of “hauntology” — the residual power of seemingly vanished projects — is the obnoxious material residue of projects that you fondly believe must have vanished (and should have), but still stumble along all around us!

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 6: the Number 5s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops47 comments • 1,764 views

Although our scoreboard currently remains unchanged from last time, the inconclusive voting pattern of the previous round has left our middle-ranking decades in a constant state of flux, and the gap at the bottom of the table is beginning to narrow:

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 19.81 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 18.44 points.
3(3) The Teens – 17.44 points.
4(4) The Noughties – 17.42 points.
5(5) The Sixties – 16.33 points.
6(6) The Seventies – 15.56 points.

After the grimness of our last selection, will today’s Number Fives restore our spirits? We can but hope…

1960: Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Fall In Love With You (video: expired link fixed)
1970: Dana – All Kinds Of Everything (video) (Tom’s post on Popular)
1980: David Essex – Silver Dream Machine (video)
1990: The Adventures Of Stevie V – Dirty Cash (video)
2000: Sisqó – Thong Song (video)
2010: Aggro Santos ft Kimberly Wyatt – Candy (video)

(Download the MP3)


ASWAD – “Don’t Turn Around”

Popular52 comments • 4,869 views

#605, 26th March 1988, video

Listened to on an overcast Wednesday this sounded supine and dreary: on a shirtsleeve Friday it’s springy and playful. Such is the way of pop-reggae, a genre which more than any other depends on the weather. Aswad’s version of “Don’t Turn Around” is one of a throng of covers – they weren’t the first reggae act to try it, and their reading leads directly to Ace of Base’s later hit. I admit I don’t hear a lot in the song to suggest why so many wanted a tilt at it: I think I’d like it more without the chorus in fact, if the singer’s despair was simply implied, not stated outright. But Aswad do a serviceable job, mostly thanks to Brinsley Forde’s lead performance – nothing revelatory, but charismatic and he reads the song well, getting the right mix of defiance and nervous bluff on “see if I care”, “I’m gonna be alright” et al. The arrangement gets in his way a little at the climax – “Don’t Go! Don’t Go!” he sings, his urgency drowned out by a plasticky crash of drums.

Pop World Cup – Weekend Update – The Quarterfinals

Pop World Cup PodcastPost a comment • 188 views

Roger Bozack gets Peter Baran down the line from Capetown to take in all the action from the Pop World Cup 2010 Quarterfinals. In an all-African tie Nigeria battles Ghana for the host continent crown, though the Cameroonians appear to be staking a claim for Kilimanjaro regardless when they face Spain (take that, imperialist French running dogs). The Netherlands face a surprising Honduras and then all of Germany takes on the southern half of Korea. You know what to do now – go vote!

Produced by Elisha Sessions

Brique de St Jean, Lingot de St Nicholas, Ossau Iraty (cheesy lovers #79, #80, #81)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/1 comment • 1,090 views

I can't find a picture of this cheese anywhere. Here's a cute baby goat instead!

Brique de St Jean

A small goat’s cheese from France, bought from Mons

We have half a brick of this pale goat’s cheese. It’s covered in a velvety, slippery, cream-and-white Geotrichum-wrinkled rind (reminding co-cheese-scoffer Sarah of brain). Inside, it’s soft and white, chalky towards the centre and slippery and liquid underneath the rind.

It’s smooth, and melts quickly, slightly grainily, in my mouth. It’s wonderfully sweet and milky, a touch almondy, soft and comforting, with just the slightest hint of a green, bitter spinachy leafiness. Sarah takes huge snout-filling sniffs of this cheese’s delicate fragrance, and declares it the winner of the Best Smelling Cheese Award.


Teen News

FT41 comments • 989 views

The Youth Of Today are a mysterious bunch, and often their movements and motivations are perplexing to the previous generation. Luckily help is at hand! Our friends at Digital Spy are doing a sterling job of keeping track of teenage* movements and bringing important events to our attention. Here is a quick round-up – think of it as an exclusive glimpse into the everyday lives of young celebrities:

Jonas Brothers “get trapped in a lift”
Justin Bieber “walks into door”
Miley Cyrus “stuck on Victoria line due to passenger action”
Ashlee Simpson “steps on rake”


Pop World Cup 2010: Fourth Quarter Final – Cameroon 2 Spain 1

FT/15 comments • 878 views

Can it be that this is the last of our Quarter Finals? So Soon? After this, just four games left in the PWC, and one of those is the third place play-off. We are moving so quickly towards the end of this particular road, and here in the commentary box we are enjoying the ride. Two teams who’ve weaved a mazy path through the tournament meet today to battle for the right to progress. On one hand, Weston Debevec’s Cameroon, stronger and stronger as the tournament progresses, the manager’s teamtalks drawing attention (and pressure) away from his consistently fine team. On the other, Alberto’s Spain team, perhaps as flexible as any in the whole PWC: there’s no way of knowing what formation will turn up on the day. Onwards!

This match closes at midnight on Thursday 27th May


May 10

Date Night

Do You See6 comments • 415 views

I completely fell for Tina Fey when she pulled her sweater off as a schoolteacher in Mean Girls, accidentally lifting her shirt with it. This of course was strongly reinforced by the wonderful 30 Rock, and she was soon by far the biggest celeb crush I have ever had. I would marry Liz Lemon tomorrow, given the chance, and that may be true of Tina Fey too.

So I didn’t care about whether any reviews said Date Night was good or not. An hour and a half where I could reasonably expect Fey on screen most of the time => I wanna see it. Frankly knowing more might have put me off a little: the idea of an ordinary couple getting drawn into big-league mob violence sounds like a ’70s movie version of a British sitcom, The Terry and June Movie or some such. And do I really want a big car chase starring Fey and Steve Carell?

The plot is ludicrous: mistaken identity, killer cops, mob bigwigs, corrupt politicians, and our heroes battling to survive them. It is hardly plausible, but in the way that Bringing Up Baby was barely plausible, so that was fine with me.


The Top 100 Songs Of All Time: 15. The Futureheads – The Hounds Of Love

FT12 comments • 1,473 views

There are a number of songs on this list that, in the cold light of day* it has been hard to find someone who will champion enough to write about it. One even got booted off of the list for that reason. A similar situation has arisen with The Futureheads version of The Hounds Of Love. To a sober mind it is hard to work out why this robust but one joke gag on one of Kate Bush’s best tracks should have made any list of the Top 100 Songs of All Time. Especially with Kate’s own Wuthering Heights wuthering considerably lower down.

To explain it, and to excuse saying much more about it than calling it “a robust but one joke gag on one of Kate Bush’s best tracks” it probably would make sense to explain again how this list was made. Since in the next couple of months we will finally make it to number one after this six year journey, let us go back to a room above the Jeremy Bentham pub on the 29th December 2004 and see how that group even suggested The Hounds Of Love by The Futureheads.