Must I Draw You a Picture?

Glastonbury 2003.

R.E.M. are headlining the Pyramid Stage on the Friday.

My little gang – me, Mike, Vicky, Mark, Val, Claire – are relatively close to the front. We are 8 or 9 songs into the set when I turn to offer Mark a cigarette.

He declines.

“I like to have a smoke when one of my favourites is on,” he says by way of an explanation.

Fair enough.

Song 10 starts.

“Now I’ll have one,” says Mark.

The song? This, and whenever I hear it, I think of Mark:

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R.E.M. – Fall On Me

I mention this now because Mark is an amazing artist. Here’s something he sent me the other day:

Mark Stipe

Yes. That’s a drawing (the blue spot is my fault, can’t get rid of it, sorry!) of a photo that featured in – if I remember correctly – a Melody Maker article, circa 1989.

Amazingly good, isn’t it?

You can follow Mark on Facebook at “Must I Draw You a Picture” (which is a genius name, as any Billy Bragg fan will tell you); ask him nicely and he’ll do something for you, for a nominal fee, of course. I’ll be eternally grateful if you did.

More soon.

This Is Pop #9

A little while ago, when I could be arsed to write this regularly, I posted a track by Sugababes, and made reference to a single they did with Richard X.

Well, here’s another single from the same album, this time featuring the gorgeous Kelis singing The S.O.S. Band’s “The Finest”, all mashed up with Human League’s “The Things That Dreams Are Made Of”.

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Richard X featuring Kelis – Finest Dreams

I’d imagine Jamie Theakston, to this day, still has to pinch himself to make sure he didn’t imagine that he once dated Kelis. That’s if he doesn’t have somebody else pinching him, of course, like the prostitute who “tricked him” into visiting a vice club (just the once of course) where he was photographed and subsequently blackmailed.

Which neatly leads me on to another great pop record by that saucepot Kelis:

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Kelis – Trick Me

More soon (after a cold shower).

Finally

You’ll forgive me this self-indulgent post, I hope.

Regular readers will know that I’m a long standing, long suffering fan of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. You can read about how this love affair started here, if you like.

We got knocked out of the FA Cup last week (by Chelsea) , and currently sit 2nd in the Premiership (with only Chelsea above us).

It would be easy to focus on Chelsea as the enemy right now, and they are, but there’s another team which deserves that attention, for the moment, at least.

For the last 22 years, our bitterest rivals, North London invaders Arsenal, have celebrated “St Totteringham’s Day” – the day when it becomes impossible for us to overtake them in the Premiership.

Yesterday, we played Arsenal, and beat them 2-0. That leaves us 17 points ahead of them, with 5 games to play. 3 points for a win means it is now impossible for Arsenal to catch us.

You have no idea how happy it makes me to be able to type those words.

For whilst we might not manage to catch Chelsea, and Arsenal may still win the FA Cup, yesterday’s result leaves it impossible for Arsenal to overtake us in the one that really matters: the Premiership.

That’s the first time that’s happened since the 1994-95 season. 22 years of hurt and, finally, after many a close call, we have bragging rights over our (not really) North London rivals.

Ten years or so ago, I entered into a bet two seasons running with an Arsenal friend of mine: £50.00 says we’ll finish above you.

Whilst I know the official club message is that we’re still in the hunt for the Premiership title (which we are, just), you’ll forgive me if, £100.00 poorer, I’m in the mood for some gloating; I’ve waited a long time for this moment.

I wish I could think of better, more relevant songs than this to mark the moment, but what the heck:

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Hard-Fi – Hard to Beat

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Kings of Tomorrow (feat. Julie McKnight) – Finally

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Ce Ce Pensiton – Finally

More soon. Next season, for example.