Stick a Fork in Me, I’m Done

In the wake of the Manchester bombing on Monday night, the political parties agreed to suspend campaigning for the General Election and, an unspoken agreement this, wouldn’t try to use the horrific events for political point-scoring.

As I’ve mentioned before, you expect certain people (Hopkins, Piers) to ignore that, but there was one other notable person who decided to comment.

One Steven Patrick Morrissey.

On his Facebook page, he wrote this:

“Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.

For what reason will this ever stop?

Theresa May says such attacks “will not break us”, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, “will not break us” means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa. Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?

In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.


23 May 2017.”

There’s a lot to unpack there. Firstly, it’s pitched as a personal affront, as if the bombing really ruined his birthday.

Secondly, I’m not sure that the family of Jo Cox, the MP murdered in the build-up to the EU Referendum, would agree that politicians live in a protected bubble.

Also: “Everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private” is clearly a reference to immigration, but overlooks the fairly basic fact that the Manchester bomber was born in Britain.

I’m no royalist, but why criticise The Queen here for doing exactly what we’ve all pledged to do: carry on, regardless. Or Khan and Burnham for that matter?

Oh, but wait. Let’s not forget this interview Morrissey gave in 2013 where he said “I nearly voted for Ukip. I like Nigel Farage a great deal.” 

He has a history of making inflammatory statements, and, for that matter making records (post-Smiths) which cause a justified eyebrow to be raised. The songs you can explain away, just about, but it’s by the skin of your teeth, if I’m honest.

It’s not him, he’s writing in the third person on “The National Front Disco”, “Asian Rut” and “Bengali in Platforms” (all actual song titles he has penned, the latter containing the line “Life is hard enough when you belong here”). It’s a character, I have argued, that is forcing us to confront prejudices, not our Mozzer.

But no more. We’re done, me and you, Morrissey. I have loved you since I was a teenager, but I can defend you no longer.

Me Choca Cuando Mis Amigos Triunfan, as they say in Mexico.


Mexrissey – Me Choca Cuando Mis Amigos Triunfan

Build a wall around that, if you like.

More soon.

Soulful Sunday

A spontaneous post; I’ve spent the day lounging around, doing next to nothing except drinking, listening to records and posting the occasional thing on here.

And then this record came on, which I decided was worthy of a share:


Luther Vandross – Never Too Much

One of my ex-girlfriends was obsessed with Luther, and I really didn’t appreciate this song until many years after we broke up.

Actually, now I think about it, she was right about an awful lot of stuff that I hated back then, but love now.

We live, we learn.

More soon.

A History of Dubious Taste – 1986

So much for me keeping on top of these; it seems to be three months since I posted one of these.

So, here’s the next record I (remember) buying back in 1986, and it’s one that stretches my very idea that there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure to its’ very limits.

I have no funny story or recollection to tell about this, I simply offer this up for your enjoyment or otherwise.

For this is not a record that I’m proud to announce to the world that I bought, but I did, so there you are.


Diana Ross – Chain Reaction

All I can say by way of a defence is that I was still a few months away from my musical epiphany and, at the time, I knew it was written by the Bee Gees (not that I’m particularly a fan of the brothers Gibb, but credit where credit’s due, they knew how to write a hit single), and they’d been responsible for a song which I still consider to be one of the finest singles ever released, and a “had a few drinks on a Friday night, sing-a-long” favourite of mine and Hel’s:


Dionne Warwick – Heartbreaker

So there.

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Anyone who reads the Comments section of this here blog will have seen this coming, for last week, after a post mentioning the supposed baritone qualities of my own voice, I received a couple of requests by two of my female readers who rather enjoy a chap with a deep voice.

In the world of the blogger, you realise, this is on a par with Tom Jones having underwear thrown at him.

I have quite a lot of stuff by Lee Hazlewood, but I don’t think any of his solo recordings come anywhere close to touching the songs he recorded with Nancy Sinatra.

I’ve previously drawn a comparison (and I’m not the only one to have done so) between Lee and Nancy, and Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, a comparison given extra credence by the fact that when I once saw them perform at Cardiff’s sadly now defunct venue The Point, they did a cover of this song:


Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood – Summer Wine

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

A few weeks ago, I had a bit of a phase of posting records by Belle & Sebastian, or by former member Isobel Campbell on this thread.

Tonight, I’m going to briefly pop back to the same area.

The other day, with my trusty mp3 player, as always on shuffle, tonight’s song cropped up.

I could tell it was Belle & Sebastian, but couldn’t put my finger on what it was called or what album it was from, which surprised me as it had all of the hallmarks of a track from one of their earlier albums, which I much prefer to their more recent stuff. (The cut off point, in case you’re interested, is 2000’s “Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant”, or maybe, at a push, 2003’s “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”. And yes, I realise that makes me sound like one of those unbearable “Oh, I only like their early stuff, before they got popular” types, but that isn’t true (on this occasion), for I didn’t even know who they were until 1998’s “The Boy With The Arab Strap”)

Anyway, upon further investigation, I found that the song in question is this, lifted from 2006’s “The Life Pursuit”. It’s prime Belle & Sebastian: twinkly piano, mournful brass, lyrics both bitter and pervy at the same time….perfect for a late night, in fact.


Belle & Sebastian – Dress Up In You

Time for me to reassess those later albums, I think.

More soon.

Try Not to Let the Door Hit Your Arse on the Way Out


Following the attack on Westminster a few weeks ago, you may recall I wrote a little thing about how certain famous people would undoubtedly use it to further their despicable far-right agenda.

So you can imagine how happy I was yesterday to hear that one of those I mentioned in said post, Katie Hopkins, is to leave LBC radio “with immediate effect”.

The reason for this swift exit was a Tweet she posted – and then swiftly deleted – in the wake of the Manchester tragedy. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is:


It wasn’t the baiting of Philip Schofield (of all people) that caused the ruckus, it was the reference to “a final solution”. I would hope that you will understand the reference without my having to explain, and why saying such a thing is vile and offensive, and yet further evidence of what a nasty piece of work she is.

Having deleted the Tweet, she reposted it, with the word “final” replaced by the word “true”, claiming it had been a typing error. Well, it was certainly that, but perhaps not in the way she meant. Personally, whenever I try to type the “true” I accidentally type the word “final”, and vice versa. They’re just so similar, aren’t they?

I wonder who’ll she’ll be supporting in today’s FA Cup True? Oops, there, it’s just happened. It really is so easy to do, isn’t it?

She remains employed by The Mail Online, of course. But then that sort of comment resonates with the majority of The Mail’s readership. She’s probably considered quite the moderate, in fact.

Sadly, whilst she still has thumbs with which to (mis)type, I fear we’ve not heard the last of this trouble-stirring, self-promoting, blethering racist.

It is worth nothing that Hopkins is not a member of a political party; indeed, according to the Spectator she has applied to join UKIP several times but has always been denied. Let that sink in for a moment. Even UKIP consider her too toxic to be associated with.

So, as is the norm round these parts, this seems appropriate:


Blondie – Just Go Away

More soon.

They’ll Have to Try Harder Than That

Like many of you, I was stunned, shocked and saddened by the events in Manchester on Monday night.

I have wanted to post something all week, but haven’t been able to think of anything to say which didn’t sound glib or inappropriate.

I mean, what can you say after such an horrific event?

Of course, all of our thoughts are with the families and friends of those whose lives were so needlessly taken. Of course, we stand together with the people of Manchester. Of course, we won’t be beaten, broken or bowed by this or anything else those murderers care to throw at us. If they seriously think that blowing up children is going to win them any friends, or lead us to submit, then they really don’t know us at all.

For in the wake of the terror attack, stories emerged which were truly awe-inspiring: reports of Muslim – that’s real Muslims – and Sikh taxi drivers ferrying people home free of charge; of locals inviting the lost into their homes whilst the melee calmed down; of the homeless tending to the injured until the emergency services arrived.

People of Manchester: I salute you.

So, like Donald Trump after forcing his way to the front of a NATO photo opportunity, we puff out chests, hold our heads up, and get on with our lives just the same as we did before.

Which means, I need to post a tune. And a bloody uplifting one at that.

Fortuitously, this weekend sees that event that every man, woman and child in the UK loves: a bank holiday weekend.

And, remarkably, the weather here has been gorgeous all week and seems set to remain that way all weekend. (See what I mean about not wishing to seem glib?)

So here’s this; oft-posted here before, since it’s not just one of my favourite summer records but one of my favourite records, full stop.


Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky

Listen to that and remember that everything’s going to be okay.

Although, I have probably just jinxed the weather.

More soon.

The Election Section V2.5


Today is the last chance you have to make sure you are able to vote in the forthcoming General Election.


The Housemartins – Sitting on a Fence

At the risk of banging a point home, here’s that pie chart showing how many people didn’t vote in the EU Referendum:

C43Mq4SWQAA9-x7If you want to make sure that you have a say in matters on June 8th, you need to go here by the end of today, the 22nd May 2017.

It only takes five minutes, and all you will need is:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad

And don’t give me any of that “They’re all as bad as each other” nonsense, because they’re not. Some of them are clearly much, much worse than others.

You can help stop them from being in power for the next five years.

More soon.

No Such Thing as a Guilty Pleasure

The other weekend, I went to a wedding in Wales, and I had a really, really great time, not just because of the wedding, but also because I got to meet up with some old friends that I hadn’t seen since I left Wales, almost ten years ago.

In the evening, there was a disco. I’ll not pass comment on the DJ for two reasons: firstly, the groom has been known to visit these pages, and I wish to appear neither spiteful nor ungrateful, and secondly, the DJ did what any wedding DJ does: he played songs he thought would appeal to all of the generations in the room, and would get them on the dancefloor. Let’s just say that we enjoyed his set in a way which he probably didn’t intend.

One such song was this, which none of us danced to, but we did have a ruddy good sing-a-long to on on our table.


Mental As Anything – Live It Up

Yes, it’s a bit cheesy. But that doesn’t stop it from being a bit great.

More soon.