Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Brotherly love

I'm incredibly impressed that, not only are Electric Soft Parade still going (they're back! back! back! after a six-year hiatus), but that their new single, Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone is as impressive as anything they've ever done. This is essentially the best song Belle & Sebastian never wrote and I love it to bits. The new album, Idiots!, follows on June 17th. Can't wait.

Buy Brother, You Must Walk Your Path Alone as a digital download here

Gideon Coe 6 Music interview with Alex and Thomas White of ESP (interview starts 2 hours & 8 minutes in)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

I dun arf like... Toast!

Here's another 1978 Top of the Pops performance that'll probably never see the light of day on BBC Four thanks to the edition it featured on being presented by DLT. Shame! I love the fact that the singer narrator* went on to become one of the biggest pop stars in the world for a while five years later, and also that it eulogises an often overlooked culinary delight. I mean, when did you last see one of those poncey cooks on the millions of TV food porn programmes preparing a toast-based dish?!

*Paul Young. But you knew that already, right?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A touch of class

Have you seen Glenda Jackson's parliamentary "tribute" to Thatcher yet? Magnificent.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

My generation

Been watching an absolutely brilliant 1983 BBC documentary about Musical Youth, Musical Roots, in which the five Birmingham schoolboys - briefly an internationally famous band - are given eight days off school at the end of January to go on a short tour of Jamaica, where their families had hailed from. What follows is an absolute joy to watch, as five mildly bewildered lads from the UK experience the culture shock of seeing a world far removed from anything they've known before: the poverty-stricken living in shacks and not being able to afford footwear, for example. Oh, and the sun. The blazing sun! And the fact that you can actually stand about in the street and chat without the police moving you on.

Also, there's a hilarious encounter on a bus with someone called Winston Jarrett, who really is quite the character. At least I think he is; I could barely understand a thing he was saying - or, more accurately, raving on about. (I suspect he'd had too many blue Smarties.)

Anyway, please do watch; it's guaranteed to brighten up your day. (God knows we need a bit of cheering up at the moment.) My absolute favourite part would have to be the bit where they visit a school on the island and self-consciously stand up in class when prompted by a teacher and introduce themselves one by one, before miming along to Never Gonna Give You Up during an impromptu show for the schoolkids in the playground.

But the whole thing is just a great snapshot in time and a reminder of just how natural and unobtrusive television documentaries were back then (no narration; no manipulative incidental music; no contrived story arc or spurious emotional "journey"; no teasers; no repetition; no bullshit, in a nutshell. Just an old-fashioned travologue, following people as they explore a new place).

Meanwhile, in 2013, there's a documentary on Channel 4 tonight about... dogging. Grim. No, you can keep the present. I'm having too much fun in 1983.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Mop of the Pops

You'll probably never see this on TV again as it's from the 23rd March 1978 edition of Top of the Pops presented by Dave "Persona non grata" Lee Travis, so I'm putting it up here as it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible (about three, in the case of this blog). It's Legs & Co. frumping up brilliantly to the strains of Donna Summer's Rumour Has It.