Thursday, 26 February 2009

Men-bashing. Again.

Turn it in. I don't know why I bothered reading this. I'm not one of those types mentioned and know how to treat a lay-dee on a date. Who fancies finding out? Nobody? Thought not...
As Twisted Sister once said, I am I'm me.

By the way, since when has Gordon Ramsay been English?

Enter Metallica

This blog post was supposed to be about the joys of shopping in Fopp (the complete Day Today and Badlands DVDs and Nirvana's In Utero, and got change out of £15!), the horrors of dining in a restaurant alone (something I'm going to have to get used to) and the excellence of Waterstone's staying open till 7pm (I expanded my 'graphic novel' library). And also about the sinking feeling when you realise you've gone out without putting your watch on, I feel naked without a watch.
I wasn't going to mention why I was wondering the streets of Nottingham alone. I was there to see Metallica and I know that absolutely nobody who reads this would be interested in that, but sod it, if you don't like it, look away now.

Metallica are one of only two bands who I genuinely get excited about just before they hit the stage (the others being Rush, yeah, I know, I know...). It's been a long time since I last saw them, and I was so excited I thought I was going to wee myself.

Bloody hell, it was good. In fact I'd go as far as to say it's the best concert I've ever been to. The stage was 'in the round' (one big stage in the middle of the floor), that was a fantastic idea. The drum kit started off facing away from me and I found it intensely fascinating to watch a drummer from the back. Playing the drums - especially a double bass kit - obviously isn't as easy as it appears. During the set the drum kit gradually revolved to face different parts of the audience. There were eight microphones dotted around the stage so James Hetfield come move around during the course of a song and still keep singing. The band aren't even constrained by effects pedals - the roadies do all that for them.

There are other benefits to a 'round' stage. For a start the band have nowhere to hide, you get to look at your band member of choice whenever you like, even if they've got their back to you. You can also see them when they go offstage for a break during a short solo spot and see what they get up to (even if it is only changing a shirt, having a drink and talking to the instrument techs). Also with a 'round' stage, nobody in the crowd's ever all that far from the stage, especially in a relatively 'small' arena like Nottingham's. There's also the small matter of the band having to walk through the audience to get to the stage. Can you imagine U2 doing that?

Metallica have got a ton of stick over the past ten years over downloading and not being very nice to their fans (I'd like to say here that they were very misunderstood, and I'm not a Lars Ulrich apologist by any means). But I've been looking at their website this morning and I can't think of a better artist website. There's online Twitter-style tour updates, pictures from last night (the picture at the top of this post was taken last night), tour video reports, and by the weekend there'll be a recording of last night's show to be in my iPod. That's a proper recording, not a crappy bootleg.

They went over time because the crowd kept calling them back. They got fined. They didn't care. I went hoarse from shouting. I want to go and see them again soon.

I'm not an advocate of male crying, but even I was filling up at the end. After seeing Some Kind of Monster - although a fascinating document on human relationships - I thought I'd never see them again as it's heartbreaking to see one of your favourite bands on the verge of splitting.

They've come back stronger and better than ever. Even grizzly metal bands have the power to make a grown man cry.

Finally, I notice in August they're playing a racecourse in Ireland called 'Fairyhouse'. Is there a more un-metal name for a venue?

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Hug a Hoody

What a waste of money. Celebrating a common criminal. Again. This is the same bloke who's responsible for the Nottingham Eye, which would be quite a good idea if there was actually anything of interest to look at from the top.

And who's going to want to eat a crap meal in Robin Hood's bollocks? Not I, everything'll taste salty. Here's a hint for Mr Mellors: restaurants in tall buildings don't generally work. See the Post Office Tower and St. John's Beacon in Liverpool.

Why doesn't this bloke put his money into something useful, like Nottingham Forest's proposed new 45,000 seat stadium? Which may look just as daft when they're playing fourth division football. Hey ho...

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

And another thing...

...why do we have to do down people who know a lot of 'stuff' in this country? So what if she doesn't know that a mediocre Welsh soul singer won a bloody crappy Brit or who had underage sex without protection. She knows about proper stuff. The fucking girly swotty pants.

Oh, and on the subject of general knowledge and swottiness, whose not-very-fantastic idea was it to punt Eghheads to 6.30 and put the one man personality vacuum that is Nicky Campbell on in its place? I reckon Campbell's got some naughty pics of a BBC boss in his possession and is using them as blackmail. How else do you explain his appearance 5 nights a week at 6pm, once a week at 7.30pm and once a week at 10.00am on the telly and five days a week on the wireless?
Now, if it was the vino-guzzling 'hey everybody, let's P-A-R-T-Y' one-woman-fun-factory that's his Watchdog colleague Julia Bradbury, then that'd be totally different kettle of fish. Besides, she was responsible for one of my favourite ever lines uttered on television: "Ooh, I wish I hadn't had those fish and chips."

A load of Joeys*

Christ on a bike! Here's a crap idea: why not just lock away anyone with a disability - no matter how minor - in sanitariums in the countryside where we don't have to look at them?

Apparently one parent complained that he'd had to confront the issue of disability with his/her children 'before they were ready to deal with it'. What if his/her kids saw someone in a wheelchair or carrying a white stick whilst out shopping? We all know that kids have a tendency to shout rather loudly 'Why is that man in a wheelchair?'

Grow up.

Edit: I didn't realise that Mr Avenues and Alleyways had already blogged on this topic when I wrote and published it, so soz.

*And I know that saying 'Joeys' isn't right, but these are the sort of twats who probably still say it.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Vindicated! Again!

Brooker hits the right note again. I must point out that I've never seen Noels's HQ (what with me only having council digital), but I heard that rant - which I blogged about earlier in the week - on the Jeremy Vine show. They were discussing the case, not the rant.
Stop Edmonds now!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Don't want to bang on about Twitter, but... I'm on the horns of a dilemma. Christine Bleakley v Charlie Brooker. They both enrich my life but one's pro-Twitter and the other one's anti. Can I just read Twitter without actually saying anything myself? Because I'd quite like to 'follow' Brooker.

Anyway, this popped up on my iPod today during a shuffle. I hadn't heard it in ages and it was most welcome. Especially as Metallica use it as their intro music and I'm going to see them the week after next. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up because normally when I hear it I know I'm going to feel the full force of James Hetfield's wrath in a few minutes. It has everything I love about Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western music: Twanging electric guitars, squealing trumpets, a wailing bint, a clanging bell and a huge choir. Pretty good visuals too, courtesy of Sergio Leone and Eli Wallach.

Q. What are you doing? A. Not going on Twitter

Well, the votes have been cast, the results counted and not verified, and the verdict is that out of ten of you who could be arsed to vote, six of you said you'd follow me on Twitter. Which is bad news for six people as I won't be Twittering any time soon.

I don't know how to access the internet on my phone (which is surely essential for any serious Twitterer; I'm so thick, aren't I?), my life is nowhere near interesting enough for anyone to want to 'follow' it on Twitter (my life bores me so it's bound to bore anyone else) and when you look at what Stephen Fry posts on Twitter (like 'I've just finished a day's filming at Twentieth Century Fox studios in Los Angeles'), then what chance do you stand of getting yourself noticed?

Not only that, there was a Twitter item on The One Show last night and Christine Bleakley said she didn't Twitter and didn't see the point of it. So that's that. I use The Bleakley as a kind of life coach, even though she doesn't know it. Gyles Brandreth did the item and he Twitters. I could rest my case right there.

The thing is, is it just fad? In 2001 it was Friends Reunited (which I may have made myself look a complete tit on last week, but never mind), 2004 it was eBay, 2006 was MySpace's year and a couple of year's ago it was Facebook.

Now I've come to quite like Facebook. You can post videos on there without clogging up your blog. There's some fantastic pictures of me as a kid and adolescent on there and it's enabled me to come back into contact with people I haven't seen for years. As well as come into contact with charming and witty people who share my enthusiasm for early 80s footballers and looking through the CD sale at Sainsbury's.

So, you Twitterers, enjoy yourself and think of all the fun I'm missing out on.

While I'm at it, does anyone here use Spotify?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Life in a shite East Midlands town

Thanks to a heads-up by the mighty Woo, I've just been listening to this. It's a great listen, fucking hilarious in fact.

What I loved was his disdain for Long Eaton. All small East Midlands' towns must be like that, I know it's the same here. The way he says that nobody wants to do anything is spot-on. If I go out into town for a drink on a weekend you see the same faces that I saw when I first started going into town drinking in the late 80s.

And the whole "Luke 'Aines!? Oo the 'ell's ee when ee's at 'ome?" kind of attitude still exists too. I told my family members I was going to see The Mighty Boosh live and that was "The Mighty Boosh!? What the 'ell's that when it's at 'ome?"

And I've just had a woman on the phone who was looking for my business to service my car call me 'ducky' at the end of the conversation. "Thanks, ducky". Er, shouldn't that be "Thanks Mr Ambassador?" (Even though that isn't my real name, clearly, but you worked it out, right? I mean, you're not from Newark).

It makes my head want to crumple inwards like a slowly deflating balloon.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Smell my cheese, you mother!

The fun starts at 5m 30s.

I'm not passing comment on the individual case here, but do we really want to see Noel Edmonds spraffing off on our TV screens like some sort of tidy-bearded British Rush Limbaugh? I'd like to say to Edmonds that he doesn't speak for me. I can fight my own battles, unlike the braying Daily Mail readers in the audience.

It's Alan Partridge made real. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Let's have a heated debate!

I know Mr FC has already blogged about Question Time, but fuck it.
I don't regularly watch it, but while listening to Radcliffe and Maconie last night, they said Will Young was going to be on it, so I thought I'd give it a go when I got in.
Billy Connolly once said that the desire to be a politician should automatically bar you from ever being one. Something I agree strongly with. I hate all politicians (except Ken Clarke).
The thing is with QT is that it's just a fancier Mrs Merton Heated Debate. A heated debate with cocks. I think they should just do a Harry Hill and have a great big fight.
Let's look at last night's line-up (we'll come back to Young later):

Geoff Hoon - Goverment mouthpiece. Obviously briefed for hours beforehand by a team of people. Nottingham MP who was recently banned from attending the Latitude Festival. Cock.

Theresa May - Conservative mouthpiece. There solely to argue with Hoon. A career politician of the worst kind. Minge.

Nigel Farage - Oh dear, where to start? UKIP leader. A man who not only looks like a penis but talks like one too. Has an annoying habit of laughing at his own putdowns while playing to the crowd. There to argue with Hoon and May. Arsehole.

Shami Chakrabarti - Head honcho of pressure group Liberty. FC's said it all. But I think I would she'll, no doubt, be glad to hear. There to argue with anyone she bloody well likes 'because that's what living in a democracy's all about, right'? Every time I watch QT, she seems to be on it. Mong.

Now, Mr Will Young. Whoever thought he'd make a good choice for that show needs sacking. I gather they do it to go after ver kids. Well perhaps they should have got her off the Ting Tings or Dizzee Rascal to do it because Young appeals to...oh, I don't know, does Young appeal to anyone? What's going on with that chin? You could get pickles out of a jar with that monster.
All his answers started with "", which left Chakrabarti with golden opportunities to come in and start shouting about what she thought. Which she was loving. And to justify it she was saying stuff like "Well, I agree with Will on that point, but..."
And I'm surprised you didn't hear me laughing at your house when Will came out with this little corker: "This whole snow business makes me so angry!" There's no business like snow business, clearly.

I won't tune in again in a hurry. Mind you, Monty Don's on next week, so the curiosity of seeing how his stroke's affected him might get me to have a gawp.

Oh, and yesterday I had the highest number of returning visitors ever to this blog. Thank you, I love you all.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Pass my pills

What gives with Twitter? Over the past week it's suddenly been all over the media. Much to my amusement they had a Celebrity Twitterers feature in the Mirror last week. One of the so-called celebs was Will Carling. Now by all means Twitter if that's your thang but at least have the gall to put something interesting on there. One of Carling's entries was 'Taking the dog out'. Phew, the life of an ex-England rugby captain and Royal adulterer, eh? I don't know how he copes.

A lot of this has come about because Stephen Fry is a compulsive Twitterer. Why, only this week he was trapped in a lift and Twittered on about it to the 750 million people who follow him on Twitter. Now I'm not good in a crisis involving myself, I tend to panic. And although I'm not a lift-phobic, I do have a sense of relief when the bell goes, the doors open and I can step out of one. So the last thing I'm going to do if I'm trapped in a lift is to start Twittering (besides, I have an internet-enabled phone, but don't ask me how to access the internet on it). In reality, what would happen to me is that I'd be crying and pissing myself so much the lift would gradually fill up with water so that only my head would be exposed at the top of the lift carriage, like in a disaster film.
And why would you want to follow the minutiae of someone's life like that? You might as well move in with them.
Things came to a head last night when my preferred Forest blogger announced that he was going to Twitter match updates from the stands. When I go to football I go to watch the match and have a laugh with my mates. Not to stand there staring into a mobile phone all night Twittering. Mind you, I'd have loved to see some of last night's entries after half time, probably something like "Oh God, I'm going to jump off Trent Bridge if Kris Commons scores" leading on to "Oh shit, goodbye cruel world..."

And what if nobody wants to follow you on Twitter? How depressed would you be? Who the hell would be interested in what I've got to say:
07.00 Got up for a shit, shave, shower and shampoo
07.15 Preparing porridge.
08.00 Having a lazy wank
08.15 Watching Freshly Squeezed on Channel 4 Plus One
09.30 Watching To Buy or Not to Buy
10.00 Having a lazy wank
12.00 Preparing dinner. Heinz Ravioli on toast I think
See? How mundane is that? Let's have a little straw poll, who'd follow me on Twitter? I bet nobody. Anyway, I'm a Faceberk man, and going on Twitter would be like sleeping with your best mate's missus.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The day the music didn't die

Two points from yesterday's Steve Wright show:

1 - He kept banging on about it being fifty years since Buddy Holly wished he'd took the bus instead. This kept being referred to as 'the day the music died', it clearly didn't. I know this because 99% of my record collection is made up of records written and made after February 1959. He'd obviously been told to promote something that was on later called The Hour the Music Died, which dramatised the hour leading up to Holly's death. The clips made it sound awful, like a cross between the Radio Ham and Airplane. Holly would have been so proud. Not.
My parents went to see Holly at Nottingham Palais when they were still courting (What a lovely term. Do people still 'court' each other, like deer?). True to form, Dad fell asleep. Only Dad could fall asleep at a rock 'n' roll gig. He was deeply uninterested in music and probably only took mater to keep her quiet. Dad did anything for a quiet life.

2 - Much as I loathe Wright, he does sometimes play some good records which you can tell he likes because you don't hear anyone else play them very often (see here). Yesterday he played Is it Like Today by World Party. Like XTC and The Auteurs/Luke Haines, I love everything I've heard by them but have never got round to buying the catalogue. The other thing is, what happened to World Party? I know they were mainly an ex-Waterboy called Karl Wallinger, but what's happened to him? Like Talk Talk's wonderful Mark Hollis, he seems to have disappeared without trace. Here's the other World Party songs I know and love (And I know She's the One but only because the fat dancer from Take That covered it. Wasn't Guy Chambers in the World Party orbit at some point?).

While looking for those videos, I found this. I used to love it and haven't heard it for probably the best part of twenty years. Now tell me that You Tube isn't the internet's finest hour.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Fille de Fer douze points!

I know I shouldn't allow myself to get wound up by Eurovision, but this year it really is the limit.

If you aren't aware, Andrew Lloyd Webber's took it upon himself to write the UK's entry for the 2009 contest in Moscow. Lloyd Webber, quite rightly, thinks that the UK's involvement has been seriously undermined over the years by people like Terry Wogan and the block voting of Eastern European countries. The problem is that the song he's written is, in a word, pants. As you can see, if you watch that video, it's one of those oh-my-God-I-don't-believe-I've-won-this X Factor winner's efforts, complete with histrionic vocals. It'd probably sit well in a musical, but this is about pop records, and ALW doesn't write pop records. It's the sort of song that's so easily forgotten when mixed in with a Croation band of accordianists and jugglers and intense Gallic chanteuses (is that a word?) on the big night.

In an earlier show we witnessed ALW trolling around Eastern Europe begging people, including, get this, Vladimir Putin to vote for the UK. I'm sorry, but you can't moan about block voting and then expect people to block vote for you. Apparently ALW's popular in Eastern Europe, which is apparently why he thinks people will vote for a song he's penned. Wrongitty wrong. On that reasoning, Iron Maiden are massive in Eastern and Northern Europe, so they should be a shoo-in, surely. Besides, they've got the stagecraft down to a fine art already, Bruce Dickinson loves running around a stage waving a Union Jack (including, rather insensitively, at Dublin's Croke Park stadium) So, next year, can we have Iron Maiden represent us please? Remember Lordi?

Monday, 2 February 2009

Beer today, gone tomo....Oh, I'll get me coat....

Whilst enjoying a few cans of refreshing Grolsch lager over the weekend, I noticed this symbol on the side. I presumed it meant that Grolsch wasn't a beer to be enjoyed by heavy metal fans who modelled themselves on Mr Greedy with severe backache. I then had it explained to me that it means 'lay-deez, don't drink it if you're up the stick'. Surely if you're sexually active and mature enough to get yourself pregnant then you should already know that drinking copious amounts of mid-strength Dutch beer is detrimental to the unborn baby's health? Or am I being very old-fashioned? I also notice that the silhouette, handily, already has a Croydon facelift.
It's health and safety gawn mad. And that's coming from a H&S officer.
Anyway, on an unrelated note, I've just been out clearing mine and some neighbours' drives and pathways of snow and putting salt down. I don't believe in the afterlife, but just in case it does exist I reckon I've put a few points in the bank this morning. I'm bloody great , me.
Doh!* I promised myself that I wasn't going to blog about snow. Bah!
*That's a Peter Glaze 'doh!', not a Homer Simpson one, because I'm British.