Monday, 31 October 2011

Now then, now then, guys and gals etc

No, not a blog post about Jimmy Savile, look elsewhere for that. This posts about impressions, impersonations, call them what you will. Now, I'm quite a good mimic, I reckon and as such I have a range of celebrity (and non-celebrity) voices ready to go at the drop of as hat. I think most people do. For instance, on the Jeremy Vine show today there was a discussion about Savile. One bloke phoned in to say that he was an 8 year-old on Jim'll Fix It in 1985 with Les Dennis and Dustin Gee. Jeremy asked him what impressions he did and got most excited when he said he did Coronation Street's Mavis Riley. Jeremy got incredibly excited by this and asked if he could hear his Mavis Riley. Now, this is the point of this post, most amateur impressionists have one stock line for each person they're doing. Can you guess what it is Mavis's case? Of course you do, you're intelligent and WAY ahead of the game here. The line is, if you were born after 1990, "I dooonnn't reeaally knooww" Yeah? Now you're pissing yourself aren't you. No? oh, okay. The thing that bugs me about these amateur impressionists is the laziness of that. I'd prefer to have a string of phrases to use for each person I do. I mean, who wants to hear "Mmm, Betty, that cat's done a whoopsy on the floor" again? I don't. My Frank Spencer also includes "Now then, Jessica, who's going to see the Queen on Christmas Day then?" or "RAF socks...RAF braces". Yeah, the second one's a little more for the hardcore Spencerite to enjoy, but hey, I like an obscurity. Or take my Jimmy Savile. I always prefer my own line - once uttered on an episode of Jim'll, fact fans - which goes "Turn a Shetland pony into a Shirehorse? Wow" See, how much more refreshing is that than the stock "Er-er-er-er, now then now then, guys and gals, over there, you see, we have the Alan Price Set, like that."
To compound this fact about amateur one line merchants, when our Jim'll Fix It chum had reeled off his own impressions for Jeremy Vine, then Vine himself then thought he treat us to his Larry Grayson. I'm telling you, it was dire. It sounded like my mum saying "Look at the muck in here" I did manage a bit of a laugh at this hardnosed ex- Newsnight man being a bit camp for the benefit of his listeners though.

So here's a guide of what you'll expect to hear from life's less fortunate mimics:
Denis Healey - "What a silly billy"
Harold Wilson (one for the teenagers) - "The pound in your pocket"
Prince Charles - "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" or something
Norman Wisdom - "Mr Grimsdale!"
Bruce Forsyth - "Didn't he do well?!" Although a more advanced amateur might throw in a "Let's have a quick look at the scoreboard" or "Nice to see, to see you, NICE"
Jimmy Tarbuck - "Wo-ho!"
Dot Cotton  -"Ooh, I saaay"
Sid James - "A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha"
Su Pollard - "Miss Cathcart!"
Michael Caine - "Notalotapeopleknowthat"
Del Boy - "Shat it, you tart"
Brian Clough - "Young man"
Fred Trueman - "I'll si thee"
Barbara Woodhouse - "Walkies!"

Those people are still popular, aren't they? I mean  my pop cultural knowledge clearly ended in 1988.

If anyone is looking to hire me as an impressionist then I'm available for birthdays, weddings, christenings, bah mitzvahs and funerals. My John Gordon Sinclair in Gregory's Girl and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy have to be heard to be believed. You'd think you were at a showbiz party with my thousand voices. "I'm walkin' here! I'M WALKIN' HERE!"

Here's the best Jimmy Savile impression there is. And hang around for the David Attenborough gag at the end, I really did, ugh, LOL when I heard it.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Pussy galore

 I was in the town of Ludlow* just this past weekend. You know, having a mooch around, looking in shop windows, all that stuff. Anyway I came across the Cats Protection League (although these days they're just called Cats Protection) charity shop. I don't know how many of you are familliar with that series in which that dreadful Mary Portas woman shouted at a load of OAPs who'd volunteered to help out in a branch of Save the Children, but I reckon this branch of Cats Protection could have done with a nicer version of Portas to go in and give them some pointers. I have in my head the sort of person who'd either donate or bequeeth item to a cats charity. I'm sure you have the same picture in your head: elderly woman, likes a comfy cardy, doesn't get out much, stinks of cat piss. Is that the same mental picture as yours? I thought so. And obviously the same goes for the kind of person who would volunteer to work in the Cats Protection shop. To be honest, I was shocked at the items put on display in the window. That's right, in the window. You know, in the window where you're supposed to put all the decent, eye-catching gear.
Exhibit 1:
A nice floral teapot. But look closer. It has dried tea drips on it. What's happened there, do you think? Have the staff in the shop been using it to brew their breaktime cuppa? And why is tea running down it from the top? The tea's supposed to be either inside the pot or coming out of the spout, isn't it? Or am I being very old-fashioned and this is some new kind of avant garde tea-making? Or, and I suspect this to be the case, did the staff not wash the teapot before putting it on display. In the window?

Exhibit 2:

I like a nice salad as much as the next man but what you can't really see on that photo is the amount of muck that looked as though it had collected around the plastic on the top. Would you put an iceberg lettuce, spring onions, radishes and a few tomatoes in there? Would you? You would? You're insane. I value my health. Would you put that item in the window or in the skip? Total scut.

Exhibit 3:

On the left is a teaspoon rest. Now I find the teaspoon rest to be a handy item for any home (in fact, I covet one for myself). Not only can you rest teaspoons on there but also teabags freshly plucked from a mug or pot so that you can get them dry before they drip on the kitchen floor in transit to the bin (we've all been there, right?). That one was incredibly mucky. So mucky that I wouldn't even use it after it had had a good going over with a bit Domestos diluted in hot water. Again, this item was in the window, with what is supposed to be the best gear. And look at that football mug! Who'd pay money for that? It's the sort of thing that comes with a really cheap Easter egg. I bet if you turned it round in really really cheap-looking, non-trademark lettering it says 'Ipswich' or 'Queen of the South'. Scut, scut, scut!

This next item though is my favourite:

This piece of A4 fascinates me. It's clearly intended as an ad to find a stray cat a home. Why then has someone stuck not onkly Blu Tack but also Cats Protection price stickers over the text? Has someone in Cats Protection took a shine to old Demon here? Or is something more sinister afoot? Look to the right and you'll see written, and then scribbled out, 'found dead'. What's happened to Demon? Was he alive at the vets, escaped and then his was corpse found later? I've hardly slept a wink since worrying about him. Pity the shop was shut or I'd have gone in and asked.

*Nice place. It's crowning glory has to be the public toilets though. I mean, how can you not like a place whose bogs pipes in Donna Summer's State of Independence whilst you're straining your greens?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Now we are 3

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that while I've been away on holiday this blog celebrated its third birthday. Hooray for Modern Gutnish! Little did I know that back in the summer of 2008 whike innocently posting a photo of Diane Keen with a breast on show on one of this blog's first entries, Modern Gutnish would be no.1 in the Google search list for 'Diane Ken tits'. Who knew so many people were interested in the Cuckoo Waltz star's knockers? Not I, that's for sure as mustn't. Turns out this blog is also no.2 on the Google list for the search term 'Jo Whiley tits'. Funny thing is that the sentence I wrote on that particular entry was "Jo Whiley's a tit". So, for all the pervs out there I'm going to try a little experiment just to see how stupid some people are. Here goes: JUNE WHITFIELD TITS. There, now I just need to sit back and see what happens.
Getting back to 2008, do you remember it? A long time ago now of course, but let's get a bit nostalgic, eh? Lehman Brothers Bank was still very much a going concern, Gordon Brown was well on his way to becoming one of the UK's best-loved Prime Ministers, your house was worth double what it's worth now, you could get credit just like that, Cher Lloyd was busy being a school bully, my mother was still very much with us, there was one of the greatest statesmen of our time in the Whitehouse, nobody had heard of swine 'flu, I still thought Christine Bleakley was nice, Rupert Murdoch was a cuddly old gent who just happened to own a few newspapers. Halcyon days indeed. Here's to the next three years of Modern Gutnish!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

De drummer på sondring

Right, I've literally been inundated with absolutely no requests from people asking how I did on my drum grading exam, but I'm going to tell you anyway. I passed. With distinction. Can you believe that? I can't. Look, that's my certificate there on the photo. Obviously I've covered up my name with a pair of drumsticks, but I can assure you that really is my certificate. If you don't know my name then you'd best just pretend that it really is Vic Firth. The examiner was even very kind in his notes. I'm rather chuffed. I know it's only Grade 1 but it's a big thing for me.
In other news, kind of related to the drum exam, I'm growing a beard. The last time I had a shave was the day of the exam. It needs a lot of work. I find myself trying to push hair out so it goes from the stage of looking like you can't be arsed to shave to having a beard. Trouble is that if I get to the stage where I look like I've got a Noel Edmonds Tidy Beard then it's coming off. I've even got an electric 'grooming kit'. Oh dear, that's just a slippery slope towards moisturising territory. I hope that doesn't happen as I'm a man after all. And only tonight while looking at an early photo of Metallica (which I like to do every now and again) I realise I bear an uncanny resemblance to a 20 year-old Lars Ulrich...minus the head hair. Hmmm.
And in some more news, I saw Darren Ferguson in a motorway service station the other week. Just thought I'd tell you that. Have you ever seen the son of anyone famous?

Anyway, have one of my favourite tracks for drums courtesy of the talented man Dave Grohl. Too talented for his own good. The bastard.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Der Trommler

So, had my first drum exam yesterday. Oh dear. Grade 1 and things didn't go according to plan. The day started with a two hour lesson which kicked off at 6am. Now, I don't know about you but I doubt if there's many occasions where drumming is deemed acceptable at such an early hour. I was the first exam of the day so we had to travel to Lincoln for an 8:45 start. Got there early so just managed to sneak in a cheeky bacon bap from a tea bar around the corner from the studio where the exam was due to take place. Surprisingly for an exam phobic like me I felt strangely serene - that should have been the portent.
Went to the studio where I was allowed fifteen minutes warm up time. My drum tutor came with me - we knew he wouldn't be allowed in the actual exam but he wanted to come anyway as I'm the first person he's sent for grading - and told me that I'd best practise my rudiments. Now rudiments are the easy stuff you're supposed to know in your sleep. Not going to get technical but they involve rolls, triplets and paradiddles. So, armed with my 'lucky' drumsticks (a pair of Zildjian Zak Starkey's complete with mod roundels which have virtually worn off, as you can see in the pic which was taken in my very own pad, you lucky bastards. A gift from my drum tutor, even though I have plenty of sticks of my own. It was he who called them my' lucky sticks'. His girlfriend bought them for a pound from a car boot sale) I was called into the examination room. The examiner, a personable Geordie in his forties, put me at ease and asked me which three set pieces of music I'd be playing (there's a guy playing one of them here. It isn't me, but if you're unlucky enough to be a friend of mine on Faceberk then there's a video of me playing all three pieces on there). Now, the set music is supposed to be one of the harder parts of the exam. I sailed through all three barely putting a foot wrong, perhaps two small mistakes.
Then came the rudiments section. Oh dear. I had the choice to play along with a metronome or not. Should have said 'not' but was mindful that more points would be added to my score if I could play along in time with a metronome...which I normally can. All three rudiments he asked me to play were a complete and utter shambles. In fact I'd even go as far as to say it was fucking awful. Shit!
Next part of the exam was recalling a groove, recalling rolls and sight reading and interpretation, and questions on music notation and general music questions, all of which I sailed through. Again, I got the more difficult stuff right. Oh well, fifteen minutes and the exam was over - the examiner said "You've done very well. You'll get your results in two to three weeks." Yeah, right on the 'you've done very well bit', I bet he says that to all the others going for Drum Grade 1, which is usually eleven year-old boys, not midlife crisis boy here.
Went back to get tutor, who could hear every thing despite it supposedly being soundproofed, where he called me a wanker for the rudiments section. Yes, what a wanker. Still, at least we could laugh about it - on the way back we were going over what the examiner might have been saying to the guy who owned the studio: "Did you hear old baldie's rudiments? What a prick, they get a bit of cash in their pockets buy a kit and think they're Dave Grohl. A-ha-ha. A-ha-ha." Yes, A-ha-ha indeed. At least I can drum along to AC/DC's Back in Black, hardly Rush's YYZ but hey.
Roll on Grade 2.

The King of the Tits

Good to hear Roger Taylor off of Queen having a pop at Rupert Murdoch along with everyone else. Hurrah! That's Roger Taylor off of Queen who thought it was okey-dokey to play in South Africa in the 1980s. I can't think of any other song which includes the word 'denominators', can you?

The lyrics in full:

Dear Mr. Murdoch you play hard to see
But with your bare-arsed cheek you should be on page three
And dear Mr. Murdoch you're really the pits
Bad news is good business, you're the king of the tits

They stain all they touch, they're real woman haters
But we're on their trail
They go straight for the lowest common denominators
How could they fail? go straight to jail - (no bail)!

Dear Mr. Murdoch you're a powerful man
You control half our media whose values don't scan
And dear Mr. Murdoch we're not so amused
Just line up the people whose lives they've abused

Dear Mr. Murdoch what do you know
With your minions like vultures and carrion crow
They've sunk just as low as humans can sink
For profit they tell us how mass murderers think

And dear Mr. Murdoch you come down from on high
You even bought up the air waves, you control all our sky

Dear Mr. Murdoch you're a dangerous chap
With your jingoist lingo we're drowning in crap

Dear Mr. Murdoch where are you coming from?
Getting so hard to tell if you're a yank, oz or pom

Dear Mr. Murdoch you're really the pits
Bad news is good business, you're the king of the tits

Dear Mr. Murdoch you do it with zing
At lowering the standards you're really the king

And dear Mr. Murdoch what have you done?
You're not quite as nice as Attila the Hun

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Now then

Yeah, I'm back, back, BACK! Got meself a hot new computer and internet connection. I bet you're all so pleased, eh? No? Oh, please yourselves...
Anyway, I'm back and have absolutely nothing to blog about, so soz about that. Icould have a moan about something I suppose, but sod it. Not only that but my sister's just texted me to tell me that Elbow are on BBC3 in ten minutes so I'd better hurry up and settle myself in for more, er 'stuff'. I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me, but tonight I'm going to watch some telly for the first time in ages. As the song goes: "Food in my belly and a licence for my telly and nothing's gonna bring me down" Hurrah!

Edit: I have got something to moan about: the announcer on BBC3 saying "One Day Like This byElbow is one of my most favourite songs ever - always cheers me up" Oh, piss off will you?

'Ere, have a bang on this, currently residing in the 'where are they now file'.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Hey Scenesters!

Hey, you groovy cats, I'm going to be without decent internet access for three - yes, count 'em - three weeks! So I'll be quiet for a bit, which will no doubt come as a relief to you all. Behave yourselves while I'm gone and have a bang on this because I love power pop, Charlotte Hatherley and cheerleaders. Mind how you go:

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I've lost that loving feeling

I don't want to keep quacking on about Rush, it's very boring for you and even I'm starting to get fed up of it. Thing is that last night's Rush show might have been my last. I don't know what it was but it was all just a bit 'meh'. 60% of it was good, 40% of it was merely okay. Nothing was particularly excellent, they just seemed to be going through the motions. The tour's called Time Machine; as they've no new LP to promote at the moment it's a 'greatest hits' package but with the 1981 classic album Moving Pictures played in its entirety. That bit was great, as it was proper 'old' but there was too much stuff from the blandathon mid-80s and early-90s albums.
The band themselves even looked like they were going through the motions. The drum solo, a highlight for many Rush fans, was lacklustre. They tried to do comedy at the beginning of both halves of the show by showing overlong films they'd made trying to be funny. Neither film worked particularly well. And we were kept back for another ten minutes at the end while another 'funny' film was shown featuring two blokes from a film called I Love You, Man (no I've not seen it either). I watched this film in the belief that Rush were going to come back on and blow us a way with a rip-roaring run through of Anthem or The Trees, but when it finished the houselights came up and I was just left a bit miffed that I'd missed out on beating-the-rush-to-the-car-park time.
Somebody also needs to have a word with Geddy Lee about his vocals - he strains, and I mean really strains - to hit top notes these days. It was painful to hear, especially during 2112. Perhaps he ought to think about dropping down an octave or two.
I was just left a bit deflated after all the excitement, and that was the general consensus in the car afterwards. Hmmm... Still, I did have a bit of an 'Elbow moment' when I saw them walking out onto the stage, so it wasn't all bad.
Whether they'll come back to the UK remains to be seen, they're recording a new album due for release next year but I can't see them coming back in such a short space of time. And Neil Peart has hinted that this might be their last album. I think that might have been the last time I'll see them. Farewell to Kings.

Remember them this way, I suppose...

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I'm going to see Rush tomorrow night. Look what some idiot's written on the Facebook Events page for the gig:
"Carnt wait, my partner is cumming with me, No she aint a fan,lol. we goin at dinnertime monday make sure we r there intime, we onlt 1 1/2 away but ya never no with traffic, i always panic ) we stopping at the Hilton Hotel tha night too, we in block C row 2"

Thank God I'm in Block A, away from him. I thought Rush fans were supposed to be intelligent? Well, apart from me, that is.
I think it should have read like this:
"I can't wait! My partner's coming with me - she's not a fan! We're leaving home at lunchtime on Monday to make sure we're there in time; we only live ninety minutes away but you never know what the traffic's going to be like and I always panic. We're staying the night at the Hilton, where no doubt my partner will be 'cumming' with me. Ho ho! Our seats are on Block C Row 2, so if you're sitting there you're in for a treat!"
I understand his excitement but leaving at lunchtime? I live less that ninety minutes away and I'm not picking my party up until 16:30. By the way, it seems I'm being a personal taxi for this lift I'm giving them, they all want picking up from their homes. I'm just too bloody nice, that's my problem.

Oh, while I'm on - if you drive one of these...

...I hate you.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Mr Noseybonk

I love a bit of people watching, me. I was away over Easter and I spent most of my time just gawping at other people and listening in to their conversations (as I've already mentioned, I love just snippets of conversations). For a kick off on Sunday I found myself in Whitstable (quite nice although it smells fishy and I saw a bloke actually eating jellied eels) and I decided to go for a refreshing drink at an open air quayside cafe (the two guys running the joint are another blog post entirely, just put it this way, whatever they'd smoked the night before was clearly good shit). I was sitting there taking in the vista of fishing boats and a gravel works when I became aware of two women sitting at the next table. Candice was about thirty while Candice's Mate was about twenty one. Well Candice's Mate was very open about her love life. She used to go out with Steve, right, this Scotch bloke, but, Candice, there's was no way she could afford to get up to Glasgow every weekend. Besides, he was only meant to be a holiday shag, but you know, it all got out of hand. But Candice, there's absolutely no way she wants a bloke right now, yeah? She's just enjoying myself, Candice yeah? SHE DOESN'T WANT A BLOKE, CANDICE! I think the lady doth protest too much.
On the way home on Monday I stopped in Cambridge, lovely city, and decided to buy a sandwich for lunch and take it down to a park near the river. Well, what do you know, it was people watching heaven. Watching blokes try and steer punts to impress ladies is fantastic fun, culminating when one dickhead fell in. Mind you it serves him right for wearing a pink shirt and Kicker deck shoes with shorts. There was also the woman in her sixties who thought it was acceptable to wear jeggings, the American woman who didn't realise she'd ripped the back of her skirt, the kid who was like that one from Outnumbered who just had to find a dead duckling, the bloke barbecuing some stuff in little foil bags and a woman who was trying to fish her son's football out of the river with a borrowed punting pole while very nearly falling in herself.
The highlight for me though was watching a couple on the more secluded opposite bank. The guy had his hand on his ladyfriend's more intimate area and was clearly 'rubbing'. I think they thought they were being dead discrete with the way she'd positioned herself but let me tell you, I could see exactly what was going off. I tried to look away. Honest.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Royal tattoo

I was going to blog about the Royal wedding, but I feel so much antipathy towards it that I just can't be arsed. Last night I arranged a drum lesson for 11am next Friday, so I'll miss it even if I wanted to watch. I asked my drum tutor if he wanted to watch so  we could rearrange but he just shrugged his shoulders and said "Nah", like nearly everyone else I know. It's not even as though the day off's much good to me, I've had every Friday off since January.

So anyway, where do you stand on tattoos? Now I'm sure there are people reading this who have one, they're just not for me I'm afraid. I think that even if I did want one I'd decide a couple of days later that it looked rubbish and I'd want to get rid of it straight away. Not only that but I couldn't stand the pain, I;m not some kind of sadist. Besides, what would I have? A swallow on my hand? Geddy Lee on my calf? 'Modern Gutnish' on my arse cheeks? 'Fancy a brew' on my bicep? I ask because I went to Bridlington on Sunday (that's an experience, especially a shop that screamed "We've got the smelliest balls in Brid!" Although it has to be said that Brid is a bit nicer than the nearest seaside to here, Skegness) and I saw this couple with his 'n' hers tats. They were identical except his was bigger. They both had them on their backs, it was of two entwined winged sperm with the legend 'Two become one' in finest copperplate script underneath. Why would you do that? For a start I think their biology's a little bit out. I never did biology as an option but even I know that two entwined sperm do not a baby make. Besides, it just looked awful. I'm not calling into question the talent of the tattooist - far from it, he seemed very skilled in his art - it's just that I cannot imagine the thought process that went into designing that and having it applied to your skin. And sperm? Winged sperm? Really?
Do you think Kate and Wills will have wedding tattoos done? You know, like Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson tattooing their wedding rings on? I reckon a tattooed wedding band would look great on Kate's finger next to her dead mother-in-law's engagement ring.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Midnight at the lost and found

Have a look at the 'Lost and Found' section of that photograph. People who've been reading this garbage for an awfully long time will know how much my local paper gets on my wick. But every now and again there's something in it which makes me pull up short.
When I originally saw that ad I thought to myself "What a fantastic citizen that person is, they've found this photo and they've gone to all the trouble of putting an ad in the paper, at some considerable expense, to try and find the owner of it. And looking at that dialling code they must be from miles away, that's not a local dialling code that I know."
Then I looked again and I'm left with the impression that the ad has been put in by someone who's lost the photo. Is it really that valuable? And if they're such a fan of the Crafty Cockney then how come they can't spell his name correctly? And if they knew they'd lost it outside 99p Stores then why didn't they go back for it? Does this person prize this photo so much that they carry it around in an inside pocket, next to their heart, and have to keep pulling it put every few strides to make sure it's there? So as they walked along in the precinct they pulled it out at Wilkinson's and still had it. Pulled it out again at Julian Graves, still had it. Pulled it out at the travel agents, still had it. Pulled it out at Claire's Accessories, still had it. Pulled it out at 99p Stores, still had it. Pulled it out at Marks and Spencer's, SHIT WHERE'S IT GONE? IT MUST HAVE GONE WHEN I PULLED IT OUT AT 99P STORES!
To be honest, I can't really see a photo with Eric Bristow in it being all that valuable either. And if they loved it then why not keep it safe at home? I guess there are some things in life that just remain a mystery.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Whadda Guy

I know John Medd's already blogged about this but I can't let it go without mentioning it. The Boat That Guy Built really is turning into one of my favourite telly programmes. Ever. If you've not seen it it's about 'world famous' (so 'world famous', in fact, that I'd never previously heard of him) motorbike racer and HGV mechanic (!) Guy Martin doing up a narrowboat. But Guy can't just go to the chandlers and B&Q and do up his boat, no, he has to do everything from scratch. Like build a mini foundry to make a kettle, go to Wedgewood's in Stoke to make a mug, make his own baked beans, blend his own tea, learn how to make a steam pump to power the shower, render some animal fat to make soap and weave his own sheets. In fact the bloke's so down to Earth he was prepared to admit on camera that he thought cotton came from a sheet.
Guy and his mate Mark are just a couple of lovely blokes doing stuff. That's all it is. Not much happens but it's just nice to see two blokes happy in each other's company dicking about. I like to see nice people doing nice things. In fact I did some research on Guy just to find out a bit more about him. Turns out he's got a film coming out. In 3D an'all, if you please. It's about his motorbike racing. Apparently in the world of road racing he's quite big news. Road racing's like the Isle of Man TT type stuff, no gravel traps or tyre walls. It's brick walls, manhole covers and telegraph poles that these fellas have to contend with. There's a lovely bit on the end of the trailer (see below) where Guy says "Some lads love going to the pub, some lads love shaggin'. I don't mind it but different people are into different things. I like doing this" Which I find incredibly refreshing. In fact we could tell how relaxed Guy is towards sex when a lady signwriter did some work on his boat on this week's TBTGB and it was clear she fancied him. I'm, not an expert in lady signals but I'm sure the fact that she kept asking if they could 'go below and make a cup of tea' wasn't particularly a request about hot beverages. Guy wasn't really listening though, he only had eyes for the roses he was painting on to the boat. I was screaming at the telly "Guy! She's bloody choking for it!" Bless him. Anyway, it's the last one next week and some of it was filmed in Newark. Hurrah! According to this week's Newark Advertiser, "Guy enjoyed filming in Newark and he says he 'had a good laugh'" Which is what it's all about really, isn't it? Good old Guy!
Oh, and he sounds like me when he talks.

Anyway, something else I've been enjoying just recently is Friday Night Dinner. It's one of the rare comedies these days that actually makes me, ugh, 'LOL'. It's got some famous people in it. You know, her off of Black Books, the lad off of The Inbetweeners and Jim Rosenthal's kid. It's incredibly well observed about family life. It revolves around a Jewish family meeting on a Friday night for dinner. We used to do the same when Mum and Dad were alive on a Saturday afternoon ('Getting your bottle filled' is how my brother-in-law used to describe it. Go figure). And it's the same set-up, an aloof dad whose always pottering and a mum who finds him exasperating but is still mad about him at the same time.
It also reminds me of the relationship I had with my sister. You may have grown up but when you go back to your parents house you regress back to childhood. I thought we were the only ones who carried on sitting on each other, tipping salt into each others drinks, eating Spiller's Shapes dog biscuits, trying to trip each other up and do a special thing whenever the other came to sit next to us (and I'm not going to tell you what that is because you'll talk about me) when we were in our twenties and thirties
It's the last one of them this week too, but the good news is that it's been recommissioned. Hurrah! Again!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

He sees faces in the sky

People often say to me "Hey, Bright Ambassador, where did you get that groovy user name from?" Well, wonder no more, dear reader, because here's where I got the name from. The last time I saw this band I had the full force of the bit at 7m 12s in this video directly in my ear'ole because I'd found myself standing right next to the PA in an attempt to get a better view of Chloe Alper. I seem to remember climbing on top of floppy-haired students, such was my desire to have a gawp at the nu-prog goddess of the four string. I was 38 at the time. Oh dear. I reckon I could piss the drum part in this an'all. Ee-zee!
What a pity their last LP was a bit of a stinker. Ho-hum.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fools Rush in

So this Rush ticket thing then. I wish I'd never bothered asking this Random Rush Fan to come now. I said to him "If you can't find anyone to go with you can come with us". He's more than taken me up on that offer. He rang me the other night and said "I'm looking at Rush tickets now, how many extra people can you get in your car?" Bloody hell. I'm sure I've got an aura above my head that I can't see which reads "Sucker". I've offered to take the bloke, out of the goodness of my heart I might add, thinking it'd be a shame for him to go on his own, and now he's roping in all sorts of mates to come along. I have a hatchback, not a minibus.
I kind of wish I was going on my own now. I've seen Rush quite a few times now and I've always been on my own. I do this because I know they're a bit of an acquired taste and I certainly wouldn't want to subject anyone else to Geddy Lee singing, in the way he does, about a dystopian world in the future where music has been banned and then a guy who finds an ancient flute in a cave gets chucked into chokey for playing it. Or something. See what I mean? Would you like to sit through that? And a ten minute drum solo? Thought not. Whenever you say to people that you like Rush they always either say "Who?" or they roll around on the floor pointing and laughing. It's best if you hide your light under a bushel as far as liking Rush goes. Saying you like Rush is a bit like saying you vote UKIP. Or admitting you're still a virgin (and in many cases with Rush fans...). Or that you think Jeremy Clarkson has got some interesting things to say (and in many cases with Rush fans...)
The other reason I like to go on my own is so that you don't have to interact too much with other Rush fans. You can just turn up, get your ticket ripped and enjoy the show. More typical Rush fans can't wait to spend time together. They rock up in the Signals Tour t-shirt they bought at Stafford Bingley Hall in 1982 and swap  tales about the flattened sixteenth Alex dropped into Closer to the Heart at Wembley on the Hold Your Fire Tour of 1988. Or the time that Neil Peart fluffed a drum fill during By Tor and the Snow Dog at Birmingham Odeon in 1979. Aah, what larks. Not.
They also love to drink. And they love to drink together. Usually while eating a curry. Eating a curry while wearing their Moving Pictures t-shirt. And when they've finished doing that they like to headbang and throw that stupid devil's horn sign populated by Ronnie James Dio. And when they've finished doing that they moan that Rush aren't as good as they used to be. I tell you, Desmond Morris could get a whole book out of observing Rush fans at a Rush convention.
Aah, now then, Rush conventions. I used to be quite pally with a lad, when I used to frequent Rush messageboards (not advised, Rush messageboards. All human life is there) and I asked him once if he fancied going to the UK Rush fan convention, you know, 'for a laugh'. I loved his answer, and I've never forgotten it: "Spend a day with a load of Rush fans? No thanks."
So I wish I was going on my own now and not having to spend the late afternoon and evening listening to some Rush fans quack on about Cygnus X-1. Sometimes loving a band is very hard work. I hope Geddy Lee's pleased with himself.
Having said all that though, they're one of only two bands whom I get incredibly excited about when I see them walking onstage. Who'd have thought that three Canadians could exert that much emotional power over one human being?

Here's the world's greatest living drummer, and, as it happens, also the world's mardiest man trying to do 'comedy'.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Not very special Kay

I give to charity. I feel that as a relatively decent human being that I should. I'm not saying "I'm great cos I give to charity and I'm going to shout about it so you all know", but as someone who's in relative good health, has a roof over his head, is kept warm, gets paid okay for his job, has access to clean water and a plentiful supply of food then I feel I'm a lot better off than two thirds of this planet's population, so you might as well spread the wealth a bit.
Something that always surprises me is when people ask what you'd do if you won the lottery. I tell them that I'd keep enough for myself to live on for the rest of my days, spread some amongst my family and friends and then give the rest away to charity. "Why would you do that?" a colleague asked me once. The answer is that where I'd spend the money on thrash metal box sets, sweets, army surplus vehicles, Top Trumps, expensive pants, trainers, or Lamborghinis, there's a whole lot of good work some charities could do with a million or two. Of course it's not up to me to dictate how other people spend their money. For all you know I might have a crack cocaine and high class escort addiction and that would be my right to indulge in those things (although crack is illegal. The closest I get to a high these days is last winter when I mistakenly took a dizzying cocktail of Red Bull, Disprin and Tixylix. What a night that was! And the nearest sexy thrill is a sly glance at the odd bum every now and again).
So anyway, this colleague countered with "I don't need charity so they're not having my money" Which got me riled up for a start. He wouldn't have my argument that in the future he or his family might need to call on the services of a charity.
What I'm leading to here is this: I saw Peter Kay on telly the other night promoting that single he's done for Comic Relief. A worthy cause, I'm sure you'll agree. What he then was announced was that he was releasing an exta 500 tickets per night the last stint of his tour. Why can't he just promote something for charity without promoting his own career? I saw him launch that Children in Need single, then in the next breath said "Oh, and tickets for my tour go on sale tomorrow morning at nine, that's nine o'clock!" To be fair he did say that a pound from the sale of each of these 500 extra tickets will be donated to Comic Relief. But not to be fair, only a pound? Couldn't the exchequer of Peter Kay find a bit more in himself to donate more than £500 a night? This is Peter Kay who sold out 21 nights at the Manchester Arena in an hour, that's over 300,000 tickets. Plus there's the other venues ticket sales too, so he's hardly on his uppers, is he?
How much money does one person need? Really? Especially as he always quacks on about how he's just this normal bloke from Bolton who doesn't live a showbiz life. He's clearly saving up for something; God knows what.
He's not even very funny. As the great Stewart Lee once observed: "Peter Kay isn't really a comedian, just someone whose very good at remembering things."

Friday, 18 March 2011

Throw beef curtains wide...soz, couldn't help myself

Please be aware that the usual bigging up of prog metal bans, shite TV rants and other nonsense is being suspended for the duration of this post while I talk about 'man feelings'. Eeerrgghh! Yes, I know, but if we all hold hands we can get through it together, okay?

So then, to the Nottingham Arena last night to watch Elbow. Not been there for a couple of years since I went to see a shirtless James Hetfield of Metallica stomping around the stage with a customised Flying V strapped on shouting "COME ON SING, NOTTING-HAM! LET'S MOTHERFUCKING TEAR THE MOTHERFUCKING ROOF OFF THIS MOTHERFUCKING PLACE!"
Last night couldn't have been more different. First things first though and the evening got off to bad start when I saw a Glaswegian I know who used the medium of Facebook last year to openly criticise me. Don't know what I'd done to upset her but the cheeky cow kissed me and addressed me as 'Big boy' last night. Ugh! So that put me in a bad mood.
Wasn't to last long though. Elbow are one of those bands that get grown men weeping. Don't know why. Look at leader Guy Garvey, a lump of a man in a three piece suit who wouldn't look out of place as a bouncer (also nice to see someone the same shape as me make it as a rock star).  Thing is, he's immediately got everyone on side; women fancy him and men want to be his mate. In between songs his patter is that of a stand-up comic but when the music starts again his voice is like hot butter dripping off a biscuit. He could break a thousand hearts with one song. And he did with me, unlike a lot of the crowd who decided to film it via mobile phones, during Mirrorball (perhaps my favourite Elbow song) I shut my eyes and sang along. Bloody amazing.
I did have my doubts about how Elbow would cope in an arena; needn't have worried. A smaller stage had been set up on the floor with a runway between so that Garvey, and other band members at times, could go into the middle of the crowd. This stage came into its own when a piano doubled as a cocktail cabinet which the band took green drinks out of while a spare was handed to an audience member.
There was also another lovely moment  - similar to the last time I saw them when Garvey directly addressed a couple in the audience the male half of whom was going to ask his girlfriend to marry him during a particular song - where he directly addressed a couple in a block right at the back of the arena. He announced that they were officially the farthest people from the stage and bought them up on a big screen. During the finale of One Day Like This he ran from the stage up to that couple and sang to them. Just lovely.
I'm not known as 'a crier' but I had a massive lump in my throat at the end. That's what you get with Elbow you see: loveliness. You come out feeling so good about yourself and every other human being on the planet. It's left me with a great feeling today. I love Elbow. I love my gig-going mate who always laughs at me throwing in Gregory's Girl quotes randomly. I love that shifty man who was standing a bit too close to my car when we got back to it. I even love that Glaswegian woman. And I love you.

Edit 19/03/11: Elbow once said "we still believe in love so fuck you". Sentiments which I whole-heartedly agree with. BUT I still don't want to go on holiday with you.
It's a beautiful day out there, go on, go outside and pat a random small child on the head. Or summat.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Just had a phone call from my drum tutor (he hates being called that. Good) to tell me that he's given my phone number out to some random Rush fan who wants to go and see the Canadian prog metal power trio. Thing is, this Random Rush Fan asked me ages ago if he could come with me next time I was going to see them. Guess what? I've already bought myself and my drum tutor tickets for Rush without telling Random Rush Fan that I'd got them. I didn't tell him because a) I'm not overly bothered about going with him and b) I, er, kind of conveniently forgot about him. Now this tit of a drum tutor's gone and given him my mobile number so that Random Rush Fan can ring me to discuss going to see Geddy Lee and co at Sheffield Arena. When Random Rush Fan asked Drum Tutor if he knew if I'd got tickets to see Rush he just said *insert stupid voice here* "Er, I know he's thinking about it". 'Thinking about it?' I bought him and myself two tickets last October! What am I supposed to say to Random Rush Fan when he phones now? "Oh yeah, I wasn't bothered about going with you so I didn't bother to tell you." Or how about "Oh yeah, Rush, you say? Do you know I think I might already have got myself and Drum Tutor tickets, let me check in my fucking ticket stash and find out. I know they're one of my favourite bands and everything but it's slipped my mind about buying tickets. Now, where did I put them..?" I know Drum Tutor reads this, and I hope you're enjoying teaching someone triplets, paradiddles and 12 stroke rolls while I'm sitting here fretting about what I'm gonna tell this bloke. I bet you're pissing yourself, aren't you, Mr Drum Tutor? Groo! Well done, you're starring on my blog.

Anyone got any suggestions for a get out? God, I'm fucking mad...

Thursday, 10 March 2011


So, being forty then. What was I worried about? It's fine. I've not suddenly gone all uncool, started eating Werther's Originals, stopped liking loud music or moaning about aches and pains. In fact, seven weeks in, I think forty suits me quite well. It means I can now go "Of course I don't know who Jessie J is, I'm forty for God's sake" or "I'm a little bit past all that, I'm forty for God's sake!" or "Of course you won't remember the YTS/not having a mobile phone/having to do a paper round/Margaret Thatcher/John Major/Tony Blair, because you're an embryo and I'm forty." It's also great fun to say to your friends who haven't reached forty yet "Make the most of this year, after your 39th birthday it's the quickest year you'll ever know. Can you hear that clock ticking? 'tick tock tick tock tick tock' is how it goes. Can you hear it? 'Tick tock tick tock tick tock.'" Yes, I am a pain in the arse, aren't I?
Besides, I often think that getting older will suit me as I'm quite looking forward to being one of those old gits who makes out they're 'a little bit deaf'. Deaf enough to be able to hear "Would you like a cup of tea and a biscuit?" but deaf enough not to hear "Would you like to come and help with the washing-up?" Hoo-hoo, I can't wait for all that. I'll have the time of my life.
What I do find about reaching this age is that other people of a similar age without kids suddenly want to come on holiday with you. As though we've all got to huddle together for warmth from the Parent Mafia. I don't care whether you have kids or not, I'm telling you now, I DON'T want to go on holiday with you. Holidays are a little bit like Christmas Day: spending them with other people is weird. Everyone has their own traditions and customs, like eating pork pie for breakfast or making up their own rules to Monopoly. I don't want to go to the bloody pub with you every night that we're on holiday. Or go to that nice place where you and Clive went last year. Or have a cream tea at the place that you can't find but you know it's down this lane somewhere. Or listen to you two shagging. Okay? I'm not going on holiday with you.
I've had this "Hey you should come on holiday with us!" thing twice in the past few weeks. The latest coming from a very good friend who is forty next year along with his wife. Their big idea is that they hire a castle and loads of us all go for the week. No, no, NO! I refuse! For a start there'll be loads of people I don't know, there'll be enforced jollity and his wife gets on my wick after a couple of hours (They've been together for well over ten years and are entirely wrapped up in each other still. Which is nice, it must have been kismet or something. Yeah, there you go you see, I'm still an old romantic really). Besides which, I'm intimidated by her breasts.

So yeah, I'm really chilled now I've got to forty. Can you tell..?

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Pop your top off

I've had my biennial medical check-up at work today. I hate having them. I think it's because I'm always frightened that they're going to tell me I've got something horribly wrong with me. Working with powders we have to have this lung function test. Have you had one of those? You blow into this pipe. And I mean BLOW. The guy doing it's stood there going "Keep going...keep going...keep going" by which time I'm collapsing after expelling my lungs into the mouthpiece of this instrument. Mind you, at least I did better than one employee who had his medical yesterday. Instead of putting his lips around the mouthpiece he pushed his lips inside it. Something went horribly wrong and he now looks like this. What an idiot, and he's a supervisor. Mind you, it's given me something to laugh about for the last two days. Other than that this medicals all box-ticking, you know: "Blow into that, stand on that, stand under that, can you read that?, what numbers do you see?, do you smoke? take your glasses off, can I check your blood pressure?, have you ever had a discharge coming from your ears? Yada yada yada..." I've never known anyone not pass this medical. That's because it's there purely for the company's benefit, they just do it for their insurance. What I hate though is "Can you go and do something in there for me?" Groo. Going to the miserable toilets with a miserable sample bottle. And the bastard shouted after me "From mid flow please!" Err, how degrading. Every time I go to the loo I have a srtruggle fighting with this monster I'm packing in my undercrackers, factor into that having to stop mid flow to direct it into a small opening and then stop again when it gets half full. Errrggghhhh! Horrid. Mind you, it did give me chance to use my stock gag when he asked me to "Put something in there", my witty repost was "Have you got, you know, any magazines?" Eh? Eh? Are you having that? Eh? Oh, please yourselves...
Anyway, you'll be pleased to know that everything's fine and dandy. Hurrah!

What I should have asked him to check was if I had the word 'TWAT' emblazoned across my forehead. I took my sister out last night because nobody else wanted to go and see Mike Harding with her. I bought her the tickets, drove her 15 miles to see it, paid for the car park ticket AND bought her a drink. At the interval I said to her "Do you want a drink?" to which she replied "Nah, I'll just go to the loo" Charming! I don't want people to think I'm cheap but she's my sister I certainly wasn't expecting, or wanting, a quick snog and other shenanigans as a reward for all my financial efforts. I wouldn't mind but I know she's not exactly hard up. I'm going with her to see John Shuttleworth next week, I'd best take my credit card.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Take a match to these two

I detest those two fuckwits. In fact I don't just detest them, I hate them. Whoever thought this would make a good idea for an advert has obviously never been inside a music shop. For the uninitiated, music shops are even more of an intimidating place than independent record shops. The minute you walk in the door the bloke behind the counter will say "Ay up, mate, can I help?" (cos he's your mate as he knows that you know how to play something. Or not, in my case). You never walk in and just start picking out a tune on an instrument, unless you're the kind of cretin who goes in just to show off his "chops" on an "axe" he could never afford in a month of Sundays by playing Van Halen's Eruption.
And what's all this "I like old movies" bullshit? He likes old movies like the Godfather Pt. 3. That's hardly an "old movie", is it? The first time I saw it I was expecting him to say "I like old movies, like The Battleship Potemkin". The Godfather Pt.3 was released in 1990, oh yeah, very old. Mind you, to these two pillocks 1990 probably was a long time ago considering she looks like she was born when the Poll Tax riots were going off. And isn't it funny how he's a little bit quirky-looking but not exactly ugly while she's got a face like a doll. How come he doesn't look as though he's the bastard love child of Olive off of On the Buses and Plug off of The Bash Street Kids?
Besides, who actually does that? You know just start picking out a tune like that in the hope that this lass might take a shine to him? I can just imagine my song:
"I like fairly new, ugh, 'movies' like Gregory's Girl and Reservoir Dogs...but that's just me. I listen to Radio Nottingham at the weekends but only for the football. I fart in my sleep. I also have an unhealthy interest in the Cold War and I don't like shaving very much as you can probably tell, but that's just me. Oh, and I don't moisturise but I have got a manbag just to prove I'm not a neanderthal, but that's just me"

And while we're on adverts, how come 'Toilet Duck' is now just called 'Duck'? What happened? Didn't Mr Duck and his germ-fighting, bog-cleanser-squirting aeroplane like being associated with human functions? Flaming spoilsport.
And there's two massive flaws in that new Yellow Pages/JR Hartley ad: there aren't that many record shops left any more. And as if his real name's Day V Lately, when he rang to reserve his copy surely he'd have given his real name like Clive Biscuits or Tom Gusset.

I hate ad men. Apart from those in Mad Men.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Gladstone Bag

I watched that documentary about Ronald Reagan this week. Hmm, funny fellow. Anyway, this film featured a bloke whose job it was to persuade American states, counties and towns to name something after the 40th prez. That's his job, can you imagine? And he's not the only one, he was the HEAD of the naming people so he must have underlings.
All of which got me thinking: we don't name things after politicians in the UK, do we? Things are named after Royals (okay, I know that they're head of state like the American presidents but unlike American presidents they're technically politicians) or military leaders from 200 years ago.  I think more things must be named after the Duke of Wellington than anything else (and yes, I know Wellington was PM but surely he's more remembered for Waterloo). This is a country where the only things I can think of named after our greatest leader is a tank and a nodding, monosyllabic insurance bulldog. This is a country where airports are named after selfish singers and alcoholic footballists. How is that allowed to happen?
I think it's time we redressed the balance. For instance, how about the Herbert Asquith public toilets? The Alec Douglas-Home amusement arcade? The Clement Atlee fountain? The Neville Chamberlain airport where everyone steps off a plane saying "I hold in my hand a piece of paper..."? The Ramsay MacDonald dogging spot? I'm sure the ladies out there would love to go for an examination at The Edward Heath Centre for Gynaecological Excellence. How about the James Callaghan Memorial School of Economics? The Margaret Thatcher Museum of Mining? The Gordon Brown Charm School?
Us Brits are missing out here.

Friday, 4 February 2011


Hello. What you've just witnessed was me taking a break from blogs for the month of January. Not only did I take a break from blogs, I also took a break from social networking sites. Oh yes. And I feel much better for it too. I knew that something had to give when I my drumming tutor told me I was becoming obsessed with Facebook. He could tell I was becoming obsessed because I was checking Facebook on my phone in the middle of a drumming lesson.
So come January 1st I deactivated my Facebook account and did the same with Twitter. The trouble with Twitter is that you can't deactivate your account without deleting it. So I did. I have to say that I don't miss it. Twitter is something that I don't feel I've ever really come to grips with. It's okay for finding out about stuff, but it's pretty unokay if you're not particularly interested in X Factor or Question Time as your Thursday and Saturday night Twitter feed will be clogged up with people quacking on about both. I believe this is called, ugh, 'sofalising'. I'd call it 'a bag of wank.' I can't pay attention to TV shows and use my mobile internet device at the same time. Sorry. So I am no longer a Twitterer, which probably comes as a great relief to people who followed me.
As for Facebook, I bumped into a friend at Forest three weeks ago who asked me why I wasn't updating my Facebook profile any more. I told him it was because I was having a break from it. He replied "To be honest, you were getting on my tits a bit." Which I took as meaning that he thought I was a little verbose and gobby. I liked his honesty, it's made me look at how I handle myself on Facebook. Although that friend has now been deleted from my Facebook friends. There's being honest and there's being a honest. If he don't like it, he can fuck himself*, just because he writes about Forest for The Observer....

I have to say it's all been rather freeing. I've watched films, listened to LPs, practised a lot more on the drums and got through tons of stuff on my TV hard drive. You should try it, and I'll definitely do it again.

Anyway, as for the blog I've decided not to blog as much and change what I blog about. I mean who wants to read another bloody blog about the queue at the bank or supermarkets or the neighbours? I don't, especially when others do it so much better than me. I also won't be blogging as much as instead of working for 8 hours a day 5 days a week, I now work 10 hours a day 4 days a week so I won't have so much time.

But have this, it's great. I wonder what they'd have been like if they hadn't spent the mid to late 70s traipsing around the stadiums of America as Aerosmith's support act but doing more stuff like this:

*Not really, yeah I've deleted him but he's still a sound lad.