Sunday, 16 March 2014

Not Bowie

"Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be David Bowie ten years before David Bowie was David Bowie."

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Alan's Cuddly Toy

This may well be my favourite opening credit sequence of any film ever. (The actual credits have been excised here but that's not important!)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Ogden Couple

Coronation Street, November 14th 1977. Stan and Hilda win a second honeymoon in a competition. Much hilarity ensues.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Brady Bunch Hour

Extraordinary. You've not lived till you've seen Greg's Pinball Wizard.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Santo, Sam & Ed's Total Football

We don't make humorous football TV programmes along the lines of Baddiel & Skinner's Fantasy Football League in England any more, but thankfully they do in Australia. Santo, Sam & Ed's Total Football is the perfect antidote if you're fed up with football being taken so damned seriously all the time; and what makes it even better for those of us not living in Oz, is the fact that new episodes are uploaded to YouTube weekly. Here's last night's, featuring a guest appearance from Alessandro Del Piero no less. Get watching!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Seeing red

^ Further to that; Frimpong's just been sent off 31 minutes into his Barnsley debut. Clearly life in the Championship is a massive comedown when you've been used to the glamour of Arsenal's reserves.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Hancock's Half Minute

In this classic clip from The Rebel, Tony Hancock sticks it to The Man. The man in this case being John Le Mesurier.

Which reminds me of this iconoclastic Spotify playlist some bright spark put together a while back. *cough*

Daryll-Ann Again

The reformation of Dutch maestros Daryll-Ann has been a huge cause of celebration round these parts this winter. The band are back playing gigs together and with a comprehensive anthology box set, Daryll-Ann Again, on sale, covering their entire recorded output from 1988-2004 plus loads of previously unreleased demos and outtakes. They are still sounding absolutely magnificent as well. If there's a better live band out there I've yet to hear them. Cop a load of these recent performances!

And this was them twenty years ago in the promo video for Stay, which I'd never seen before until Excelsior Records stuck it up on YouTube a couple of months ago. Unearthed treasure.

Buy the Daryll-Ann Again Box Set here

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Song of the Day

In the spirit of this song, I can't be arsed to write much here. Just enjoy.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Lowe and behold

In rather thrilling festive music news, Nick Lowe has released a Christmas album entitled Quality Street (and this splendid accompanying advent calendar)! So why is it that all I ever hear on Radio 2 is boyband guff, Michael sodding Buble and - if they're feeling especially edgy - Chris Rea? What sort of world is this? And why am I not listening to 6 Music like any sane human being?!

Buy Nick Lowe's Quality Street here.

Song of the Day

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Helen Love unleash free new Christmas single

Sampling M/A//R/R/S and Tom Jones? What fresh festive madness is this? Good but!

Download the single for free by going to Elefant Records and entering the following code when prompted: 0253ZYWPQ6Y4

Sunday, 15 December 2013

People - Persson!

Look who's back! Nina Persson! Animal Heart is the title of her new single - and it's genuinely fantastic. How I've missed those distinctive tones. Ace promo video too, all done in the one take; see her stoically soldier on despite trying and failing to get her arm in a sleeve right near the end. The show must go on!

Animal Heart will be followed by an album of the same name in January 2014 which, if the single is anything to go by, should be well worth forking out for. You can pre-order the album - and get a signed copy! - here.

Friday, 13 December 2013

SATIRE

Have you seen the five best-selling albums in the UK this week? The list really does make for the most marvellous reading:

1 One Direction - Midnight Memories

2 Robbie Williams - Swing Both Ways

3 Gary Barlow - Since I Saw You Last

4 Olly Murs - Right Place Right Time

5 Il Divo - A Musical Affair

A fine list by anyone's standards, I'm sure you'll agree. There really is something for everyone there; be you a fan of 1990s boy bands, 2010s boy bands, a Saturday night TV singing contest runner-up who could feasibly have been a boy band member, or simply photogenic boy band-esque operatic ensembles put together on a Saturday night TV singing contest - all possible tastes are catered for.

Perhaps what's most remarkable about the aforementioned best-selling artists is that they've all achieved success on their own terms with precious little fanfare or help from any of the major TV channels, radio stations or utterly charmless yet inexplicably popular and enduring musical svengalis. OK, so there was the whole X-Factor thing for a lot of them but really, who watches that? Hardly anyone.

OK, and I suppose there's also the wall-to-wall airplay our brave lads enjoy on the nation's most-listened-to radio station, Radio 2, which a churl might suggest leads to some sort of brainwashing effect on the music-buying masses who don't know any better because they're not offered anything better. But I would counter this by saying that Gary, Robbie and the boys' music is almost entirely ignored by the BBC World Service, Radio 3 and Five Live Sports Extra. That's a hell of a lot of potential airplay they're missing out on.

Although, actually, come to think of it, Il Divo probably do get played sometimes on Radio 3. Oh, and there was that hour-long Robbie Williams concert in primetime on BBC One last Friday night, and the Beeb's reluctantly-scaled-back plans for an across-the-networks Gary Barlow Day. (The idea of which seems a bit insulting. Surely there should be some sort of annual Bank Holiday in his honour by now. I mean come on.)

Anyway, despite the cold indifference with which our musical pioneers are treated by broadcasters, the music biz and showbiz in general, their talent has somehow prevailed and, thank the lord, they're not alone. Other brave visionaries are also still going strong, such as Boyzone - who this year celebrate their 20th anniversary. Two richly-deserved decades at the very top of the industry.

It's funny to think now that up until the emergence of The 'Zone, Take That and their ilk, boy bands were considered five-minute wonders who'd bother the charts with a few crappy cover versions of disco classics before swiftly slinking back to obscurity amid mass public indifference and ever-diminishing record sales. Thank god those days are gone!

Just imagine, if you can, a world without Boyzone. It's a chilling thought - kind of like that bit in It's A Wonderful Life where (spoiler alert) George Bailey's shown what a desperate place Bedford Falls would've been had he never been born. God, I don't want to live in a world where Mikey Graham never existed!

Think of all those great songs Boyzone had hits with: Love Me For A Reason, Working My Way Back To You, Father And Son, Baby Can I Hold You, When The Going Gets Tough, etc etc. I mean, where else are you going to hear great songs like those?! No, there's only one winner thanks to Mikey and chums' continued existence: humanity.

So yes, a bit long-winded, I know, but this whole post has really just been my way of saying thanks to all these great acts for continuing to contribute so much to the fine musical tradition of the UK. Sit back and relax The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Jam, The Smiths, Madness and Big Fun - your legacy is in safe hands.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ladytron - He Took Her To A Movie

An old one but still sounding great. Also, I love what the person uploading the song to YouTube has done with this; playing it over clips from Vivre Sa Vie, a 1962 Jean-Luc Godard film apparently about a woman's slow descent into prostitution. Lordy. Anyway, although - or perhaps because of - taking the song's lyrics so literally, this footage works well in (presumably) the absence of any official promo vid.