Come Dancing

Even without looking out of the window to see what the weather’s like, a cursory look over the TV listings tells you that the dark nights are drawing in.

Apart from the sudden slew of new drama series of varying quality suddenly clogging up the schedules, The X Factor returned the other week for its annual attempt to engage the British public and entice them into parting with their hard-earned cash in return for a ballad by a soon to be forgotten act with a traumatic back-story.

I haven’t watch the show for years now, and when I did it was only for the audition rounds which usually included some comedy gold. But it soon occurred to me that some of these people were not just deluded as to their ability, some had genuine mental health issues and throwing them into the bear-pit of an audition not just in front of millions of TV viewers but a baying live studio audience was perhaps not the best thing for them, so I stopped watching.

And then there’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Now, I’ve never watched this program. I’ve sat through it when there was simply no alternative – say, I was visiting friends who insisted on watching it, or when I’ve not been able to wriggle free of the leg-irons – but I’ve never actually watched it. It seems to me to just be a longer version of that excruciating moment on Children In Need when the news presenters try and do a song-and-dance number, just with less singing and more sequins. Mildly amusing the first time it happens, perhaps, but not a joke which stands up to repeat airings.

Plus, it has a habit of rehabilitating loathsome people, like, say, Ann Widdicombe, in the nation’s collective consciousness, making the perception of them shift from that of a loathsome, fussy, censorious, cantankerous politician who opposed the legality of abortion, rallied against issues of LGBT equality such as an equal age of consent and the repeal of Section 28, and who supported the re-introduction of the death penalty, to that of a loveable overweight old lady who flew through the air on a harness, or who was swung round by Anton du Beke as if she was a replacement floor polisher.

It does, however, always remind me of this single, which is it’s one redeeming feature:

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The Kinks – Come Dancing

Whilst The Kinks and Ray Davies are rightly revered as National Treasures, I think it’s fair to say that much of this richly deserved adulation and affection was not earned on the back of their later output.

But when listening to this record, I was reminded of a single I bought by them back in 1984; it’s no longer in my record collection, and I don’t recall seeing it amongst it for many years, so it’s fair to say I must have sold it or, more likely, donated it to a charity shop.

Which is a shame, because listening to it again, it’s not bad. It’s not great is the same way as, say “Waterloo Sunset” or “You Really Got Me” is, but it’s y’know, okay:

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The Kinks – Do It Again

More soon.

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Four (Two)

So, following on from last night’s post…

…it’s the weekend before payday, and I’m broke. So, a weekend, in the flat, watching TV and adding to the usual slew of posts that I generally write over these two days.

You may have noticed, despite my best efforts to disguise my ineptitude behind a veneer of seemingly planned series’, that often what I write here is pretty much made up of whatever I think of when the laptop grinds into life.

Even more often, usually just as I’ve clicked the button marked “Publish”, I think of something I wish I’d written instead.

Such was the case with last night’s post.

How can I let a fourth anniversary pass without mention of this:

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Which is of course, a reference to this timeless comedy sketch:

This seems appropriate:

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Led Zeppelin – Communication Breakdown

As do these four versions of the same song, the first of which I picked up on 7″ single back in 1986 from a Record Fayre (I never understood why they insisted on spelling Fayre like that, as if they thought it would add some rustic credibility to the event) at The Wirrina in Peterborough (demolished back in 2010, it’s only as I come to write this that I find Northern Soul All Nighters were held there in the 1970s):

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Elvis Costello – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Although perhaps the most famous version is this:

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The Animals – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Then there’s the obligatory Disco(ish) version:

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Santa Esmeralda starring Leroy Gomez – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

And of course, the Queen of all versions:

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Nina Simone – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

And, on a similar subject, another 7″ single I bought, also in 1986 (I was, arguably, starting to get the hang of buying decent singles by this point….):

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The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong

…as can be evidenced by the fact that I did not buy this one on 7″ single at all, but I am strangely filled with an overwhelming urge to hear it now:

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Spin Doctors – Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong

But I digress. Where was I?

Ah yes. Candles.

Then to round things off, I can’t let the chance to post this go by:

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Ian McCulloch – Candleland

More soon.