Rant

I’ve not done one of these for a few weeks for two reasons (well, three if you count “can’t be bothered”).

Firstly, I strongly suspected that the next round of Covid-restrictions being lifted on June 21st probably wasn’t going to happen, and I didn’t want to be the miserable, gloomy sod explaining I thought it to be the case, like one of those beard and sandals nutters you see in disaster movies, wearing a sandwich-board with “The End is Nigh!” written on it, laughed at by the main character just moments before a meteor crashes into The White House.

And secondly, probably – no, definitely (note the spelling) – because I would have to write the following words: I agree with something the Conservative Government have done.

I know, right? Who do I think I am, Sir Kier Starmer?

A few months ago, the Government set out their plan, their roadmap if you must, to coming out of lockdown, where a number of dates were signposted as being significant, when certain restrictions would be lifted. And this plan came with a caveat, which many people chose to ignore: that plans were subject to change if the data indicated it might be sensible to delay matters.

Which, with that mid-June date getting ever nearer, so the rumbling reminders have emanated from Downing Street, when they’re not having weddings or using ¬£50.00 notes to wallpaper the guest room, that is.

I’m writing this on Friday night and whilst a continuation of current restrictions has not yet been announced, I think it’s in offing, what with our new enemy the Delta variant coughing it’s way across the country. Daily cases are up 2,056 on last week, whilst daily deaths are at 11. Nowhere near where the figures have been, thankfully, but still on the increase. So, I think it’s sensible that we approach June 21st with caution and understanding that perhaps the time is not yet right for us to get back to normal (or, that hated phrase, “the new normal”).

See, what we don’t want a repeat of is what happened at Christmas. You remember what happened then, right? When the Government promised us it would be fine for us all to go home and spend Christmas with our families, before having to announce that what they actually meant was that you could pop home for a day, not stay overnight (so no getting drunk, which is the only purpose of Christmas in my book) and on the proviso that you ensured any older, more vulnerable members of your family spent the entire time sitting next to an open window.

Were the restrictions to remain, then the usual bunch of anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, and anti-common-sensers will doubtless be up in arms. Some people still don’t seem to have got the fact that a return to normal is not going to be an overnight operation, it has to be a gradual, step-by-step process. And those people will wail about restrictions being an infringement of their civil liberties (yes, they are – that’s the fucking point of them) and how they want everything back to how it was before Covid, but for it to have happened, like, yesterday.

Queen – I Want It All

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want the restrictions to be kept in place, but faced with the choice of that or another six months under tighter lockdown restrictions – like we had to previously when we tried to come out of lockdown too quickly – then I’m afraid I go with erring on the side of caution every time.

Of course, an extension or tightening of restrictions became more likely when the Government reacted with all the speed of a cargo ship trying to turn in the Suez Canal when the news of the new variant arriving here began to become a concern. For just as the with the last times this happened, there was indecision, prevarication and a reluctance to shut down travel between the source of the new variant, and us.

If you’ve always thought that PM Johnson’s style of leadership was based on ex-President Trump, then I’ve got news for you. It’s not that bad. He clearly takes a leaf out of this numb-nut’s book:

I mean, this shouldn’t be difficult, should it? I mean – and I hate to sound like a broken record – but wasn’t control of our borders one of the main things that Brexit was about? So what exactly is the issue with shutting down travel from locations where the virus is more prevalent than it is here?

What we have got, of course, is the Government’s excellent and not at all open to mis-interpretation traffic light scheme, telling us which countries we can and cannot travel to. That seems quite a binary set of options we have there, right? And it would be, were it not for a third, sort of in between, neither one nor the other, option.

So to clarify matters, here’s what Michael Green Grant Shapps MP said in a written statement to Parliament, the full details of which you can read here: “As the virus is still spreading in many parts of the world, people should not be travelling to amber or red countries…Countries on the green list pose the lowest risk, therefore passengers who have only visited or transited through a green list country will not be required to quarantine on arrival in England.”

Which doesn’t exactly make it terribly clear what the difference between the red and amber lists are, does it?

We all understand what the traffic lights mean in their natural habitat, in the context of when we’re driving: red = stop, green = go, amber = (broadly) the lights are changing from one to the other so don’t do anything stupid. Unless you live in London, of course, where all three mean go, just at varying speeds (Green = at the speed you were already travelling at, amber = a bit faster, red = pedal to the metal).

But in this context of international travel, this seems to imply there is no difference between red and amber in which case….what’s the point of the amber list?

Add to this the fact that our lists do not take into consideration what restrictions other countries were placing on us. So, when international travel resumed on May 17th, we were given the following giddy list of places we could travel to:

  • Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)
  • Israel and Jerusalem (oh, yeh, that seems a dream holiday destination right now…)
  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland (not the scummy shop)
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • New Zealand
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (wasn’t he one of Prince Archie’s godparents….?)
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

I can’t confess to have looked into all of these, but New Zealand’s borders remain closed to almost all travellers, while only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents and their immediate family members are permitted to enter Australia without an exemption until further notice. I mean, under normal circumstances these guys won’t let you in if you have dirt on your shoes, so this is hardly unexpected. So, we can fly there, get refused admission, and come home again. What a holiday!

Our traffic light list is, obviously, subject to change, and so it was that yesterday it was announced that Portugal was moving from green to amber list. Cue those that had booked two weeks on the Algarve throwing their arms up in the air and their toys out of the pram. Whilst I get they are disappointed, surely they knew this was a possibility?

It did, of course, lead to perhaps the most distressing headline of the week. Brace yourself:

Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time.

Three things:

1 – if you can’t go on holiday to your choice of destination, that is not a disaster.

2 – After her appearance delivering the UK Judging panel’s scores on Eurovision the other week – saying hello in English and then in “forren”, before going on to claim she didn’t understand or even know which language she had just spoken – then frankly Holden gets everything she deserves. Sure, by that time of the night every other nation had already decided they weren’t going to give us any points, but c’mon….they hate us enough already, without some talentless airhead giggling vaguely xenophobic tropes at them to reinforce their opinion.

3 – Um, who exactly is Jacqueline Jossa?

The Boo Radleys – Stuck on Amber

Meanwhile Liz Truss is busy doing what she does best, striking up new trade deals to replace all of those that we lost when we left the EU:

And this week, the wonderful news that deals had been struck with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which included – for the first time – the introduction of caps on the charges mobile operators are allowed to charge each other (and, ultimately, pass on to us, the consumer) for international roaming, keeping costs low for holiday makers and business travellers. (When I say “for the first time”, I mean as part of a trade deal, and when I say “introduction” I actually mean “re-introduction”, because we already enjoyed these benefits when we were part of the EU).

But I don’t wish to seem ungrateful. Thanks Liz! At least this time you don’t appear to have killed off the UK’s lamb farming industry like you did with the deal you recently struck with Australia and New Zealand.

And now, we can all wait with baited breath for that day when we can all once again travel to that internationally renowned holiday destination for your average Brit in search of sun, sea and sangria: Liechtenstein.

Since I’ve mentioned Brexit, a story in five parts, starring the Worzel Gummidge of Brexiteers, Wetherspoons‘ boss Tim Martin:

The penny’s surely going to drop at some point, isn’t readers?

“Psst! Tim! Tim! We already had the power to control our borders when we were in the EU, we just couldn’t be bothered to finance or implement it properly.”

You asked for this, so suck it up.

And your pubs are shit.

The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want

******

And finally, one of these rants wouldn’t be complete without the mention of everyone’s least favourite smirking bully, Priti Patel.

On Thursday, she tweeted this:

There are three things to note about this tweet:

1 – a tweet can have a maximum of 280 characters, so the omission of the word “I’m” from the start of the tweet rather implies that Ms Patel is not really that pleased, she’s practically disowning it from the very start;

2 – “published” is not the same as “co-authored”

3 – this just happened to coincide with some more revelations about cronyism and corruption within the Conservative Party.

The release of the Electoral Commissions report on donations showed that in the quarter since October 2020 more than £600,000 has been donated to the Conservative Party by firms and individuals who have been awarded around £400 million in public contracts since the pandemic started.

First up, Oluwole Kolade, who has donated ¬£884,342 to the Tories since 2011, ¬£10,000 of which was to Secretary for Health Matt Hancock; Kolade is the managing partner of Livingbridge, a private equity firm which held a controlling stake in Efficio (which sounds like a team name on the Italian version of The Apprentice), and which has received ¬£11 million from the Government since the Coronavirus kicked in. Kolade is a colleague of ‚ÄėTest and Trace‚Äô boss Baroness Dido Harding. Just a coincidence, of course.

Then there’s Baron John Nash, who recently donated ¬£90,000, and who is linked to IT Consultancy Softcat PLC, who, again coincidentally I’m sure, have been awarded contracts worth ¬£16.2 million since February 2020.

Not forgetting Lord James Wharton, the sole director of GBMW Ltd, a consultancy firm he established after losing his seat of Stockton South in the 2017 General Election. Wharton/GBMW claimed up to £10,000 a month under the furlough scheme between from December 2020 to March 2021. But bless him, he donated £8000.00 of that back to the Conservative Party. Nothing to see here, of course.

And finally, thankfully, one which doesn’t relate to the award of Covid-related contracts: Peter Cruddas resigned as Conservative Party co-treasurer in 2012 after offering undercover reporters access to then Prime Minister David Cameron in exchange for ¬£250,000 in donations. He was subsequently nominated for a peerage by Boris Johnson despite the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. He is now Lord Peter Cruddas and he has donated more than ¬£500,000 to the Tory party since he was elevated to his lofty position. Has this guy never heard of moonpig.com?

Seriously, if this doesn’t make you angry, then frankly you’re part of the problem.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard ft. Kelis – Got Your Money

More soon.

Happy (Not) Together

It’s that bloody day again.

The day when it’s impossible for singletons like me to meet up with our friends, because they’re all off doing couply things.

Or to just go to the pub, because you’ll end up being the bloke stood at the bar on your own all night, the rest of the nauseating happily coupled-up drinkers nudging each other and nodding with smirking sympathy in your direction.

Which sounds like I’m bitter or sad about being single on this day of all days, but really I’m not. For a start, I haven’t got to fork out for an M&S Valentine’s Meal for Two and a bunch of half-dead roses. Or rather, if I do, I can scoff the whole thing myself and with the money I saved by not buying flowers, I can buy me an extra pudding or three. Yum!

Nor do I have to haul my sorry arse to the local cinema where I’d have to apply gaffer tape my eye lids to keep them open throughout the entirety of whatever unfunny and entirely predictable rom-com has been rushed out just in time for the weekend.

See, being single doesn’t bother me and I really like living on my own. And I know that were this blissful paradise of watching TV in my pants ever to end, I would look back on these halcyon playboy years with dewy-eyed nostalgia, and rue the day I ever got involved with anyone again.

Most of all, I’d miss doing exactly what Sean Lock says he does:

Never has such a short snippet of a stand-up routine resonated with me more.

Which leads me to songs, and I thought I’d post a couple of songs about being happy and single.

Turns out there aren’t too many of them, though. Or rather, none that I recognise. A quick Google search tells me there are some, but they’re by annoyingly young and pretty people who I don’t recognise and definately don’t identify with.

So instead, two of the greatest, to my mind, angry break-up records. Coincidentally, these are both by women, because it’s never their fault, amIrightfellers? (God, I hope you lot can sense irony…)

And speaking of things ironic, here’s bit of angry rudeness with a teensy bit of the effing and jeffing that offends some folk:

Alanis Morrisette – You Oughta Know

Next up, something from Jamie Theakston’s finest moment:

Kelis – Caught Out There

There are, of course, loads of songs about being single and sad and lonely. And since there will doubtless be some of you who, rather than bathe yourself in the glory of freedom today will prefer to wallow in self-pity, here’s one of my favourite songs ever. it’s utterly, gloriously depressing. You’ll love it.

And let it be a reminder to any of you out there who are feeling sad and lonely today, things could be worse: the main character gets jilted at the altar, contemplates suicide and then his family all start dropping dead, allowing him only a moment’s pause to ponder the brutality of grief. It’s brilliant, and in my book one of the finest lyrics ever written:

Gilbert O’Sulivan – Alone Again (Naturally)

You also should have a word with your stylist, though, Gilbert.

Remaining under our single duvet of doom one last time, and speaking of fine lyrics, there’s another songwriter that I greatly admire, and about whom I have written before. The band he was most recently/famously (arguably) in are often derided – I’ve lost count of the amount of times friends have recoiled when looking through my CD collection, gasping “Why have you got records by them….?” – but I’d like to wrap things up today with the final track from their last album that I liked more than half of:

The Beautiful South – Alone

And one more, an obscure B-side (us bloggers love obscure B-sides), one which will leave you with a smile, a look of shock, or more likely disgust. Personally, I think it’s probably the greatest song title ever (Sorry Mum!):

The Beautiful South – Valentine’s Day Wank

Whatever you’re doing this evening – yes, even that – enjoy yourself.

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”.

Richard_X_-_Finest_Dreams_single_cover

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:

XXX-537943

Kelis – Trick Me

More soon (after a cold shower).

Friday Night Music Club

For the past seven days, I have been picking out songs for this week’s Friday Night shenanigans, popping them into an order that felt right, and trying to think of something vaguely amusing to say about them.

But then on Thursday, I got some news which made me change this week’s theme entirely.

So, here are this¬†week’s tunes; the tunes I intended to post this week would be next week, but I have next week’s planned already, so the original ones from this week won’t feature next week, but the week after that,¬†unless anything happens in the next couple of weeks that makes this week’s get postponed for another week.

Everybody clear about that?

Ok, so this week’s theme is…well, let’s see if you can work it out.¬†And please don’t write in, it’s just for fun. Nor is it¬†particularly tricky.

steppenwolf-magic-carpet-ride-stateside-3

177. Steppenwolf – Magic Carpet Ride

In case you were wondering, this is not the version used on the “Reservoir Dogs” soundtrack;¬†that’s a cover version¬†recorded by¬†Nashville ¬†group “Bedlam” who certainly sound scary, don’t they readers? I bet they have a “You Don’t Have To Be Mad To Work Here, But It Helps!” sign on their studio wall.

By the way, have you ever noticed Рand I do not claim to be the first person to have ever pointed this out Рthat the traditional depiction of a magic carpet, is not a carpet, but a rug?

Look:

Aladdin-and-Magic-Carpet

That’s a rug, that is. It’s got tassles on the corners!

Mind you, apart from the historical precedent that had been set,  I can see why Disney continued to refer to it as a carpet in their 1992 film Aladdin: too many references to rugs might have put Elton John off writing the songs for The Lion King.

Now who are these shifty looking chaps peeking out from¬†behind some trees? It’s only blimming 60s rock pioneers and runners-up in the 1968 “World’s Worst Hide¬†‘n’ Seekers”¬†Creedence Clearwater Revival, that’s who:

creedence_clearwater_revival-i_put_a_spell_on_you_s_2

178. Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Put a Spell on You

Have you got it yet? Okay, well let’s have another tune then. You’ll like this one. Not a lot, but you’ll like it. Here’s another load of hunks:

focus-hocus-pocus

179. Focus – Hocus Pocus

Yes, that was some proper yodelling you just heard there.

When I used to go clubbing, a mate of mine was into his progressive house music big time. At some point or another he heard the term “progressive rock” and was curious, so he asked me if I knew any bands he should check out. I mentioned “Yes” and “E.L.P.” which drew a blank look. Well, Dum Dum, if you’re reading this, that was prog 1970s style. I do hope you didn’t waste any money.

Moving on to 1982 now, and a song which I seem to remember used to get this 12 year old boy a little bit hot and bothered when the video came on Top of The Pops:

the_steve_miller_band-abracadabra(1)

180. The Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra

Looking at it now, I have no idea why:

I think it’s the line about “silk and satin, leather and lace, black panties with an angel’s face” that made me blush so. And if you think that’s rather lame, you should have seen the state I was in a year earlier when this was a hit:

Girls did not look like that in my class, that’s for sure. I might have turned up a bit more often if they had.

Anyway, I digress. The more astute of you will have noticed a magical theme through the songs so far, and that’s because here in the UK, 2016 claimed another celebrity from my childhood with the death of TV magician Paul Daniels.

When I was a kid in the late 1970s and early 1980s Daniels was everywhere: he had his own magic show on BBC1; hosted several game shows, and even had a children’s show called “Wizbit”.

It struck me recently, in a particularly dark moment, that one of the reasons so many popular entertainers from my youth have died recently is because I’m no spring chicken anymore either, and since they were generally about 30 years older than me back then…well, it’s hardly surprising. Yeh, I know, bleak, right?

Anyway, in his later, post-regular-TV-appearance years, Daniels became a bit of a figure of fun, a relic of those light entertainment shows from the period which had been banished from the TV listings by alternative comedy, by satellite and cable, by the mass media’s¬†lustful craving for something a little saucier than he and the lovely Debbie Magee could ever produce. I always found that a little sad and distasteful, especially as he always seemed to take it all on the chin, and even play up to it to a degree. He’d made his fortune and got out¬†while the going was good, what did he care?

But I come here not to bury him but to praise him.¬†He always seemed a good egg to me (although it was pretty funny when he was hospitalised after Sooty hit him in the face with a pizza. True story. Shouldn’t laugh but…could an anecdote be any more 70s children’s entertainment?)¬†and he was a genuine influence on my life, albeit briefly; I tried to take up magic in my youth, buying a pack of Paul Daniels Playing Cards and a book of card tricks, which I think I gave up on after a couple of weeks of realising I couldn’t even shuffle the bloody things properly.

So when the news of his death broke on Thursday, I was genuinely saddened and decided to dedicate tonight’s Music Club to him, and dig out a few tunes with a somewhat¬†magical quality.

And here we are. Shall we continue?

218

181. The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe In Magic

Surely, somewhere, there must be a 60s-themed¬†bistro called “The Lovin’ Spoonful”, right?

I’m absolutely gutted that I posted Super Furry Animals “God Show Me Magic” on here a couple of weeks ago, or that would be in this list. As it is, here’s a couple that I can’t really avoid posting:

akindofmagic

182. Queen – A Kind Of Magic

From one of their most commercially successful albums, which, coincidentally, was released the year after their iconic performance at Live Aid (I’m sure those two facts are in no way linked) this to my mind marked the end of Queen’s final purple patch. The next album, although yielding a Number One single in “Innuendo”, also saw them writing songs about being an Invisible Man (something it’s very hard to imagine Freddie Mercury ever being – and yes I know Roger Taylor penned that one, no need to tell me) and twatting about on top of steam trains at the Nene Valley Railway (near my childhood home) in the “Breakthru” video. Mind you, they probably had more pressing matters on their minds at the time…

Ok, here’s another one I can’t really avoid:

take-that-could-it-be-magic-1992

183. Take That – Could It Be Magic

Count yourself lucky I didn’t post the Barry Manilow version.

Time for a factoid: did you know Manilow nicked the chord progression for this from Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20? Don’t believe me? Check this out:

Maybe he didn’t write the songs that make the whole world sing after all.

One more blindingly obvious one:

Magic_by_Pilot

184. Pilot – Magic

What finer recommendation do you need for a song than that it was included on the soundtrack of “Happy Gilmore”? So I’m told, anyway. I wouldn’t know. Never seen it. Might be a very funny film, though I somewhat doubt it.

“Happy Gilmore” stars Adam Sandler, so I will never watch it. My default setting when it comes to Sandler is “Avoid”.

Though I have seen “The Wedding Singer”, but that had Billy Idol in it, which just about saved it.

Something a tad more contemporary now. From¬†their third album “Bruiser”, and the main track¬† on their 2010 “Kusama EP”, the much under-rated:

the-duke-spirit-everybodys-under-your-spell-shangrila-music-cs

185. The Duke Spirit – Everybody’s Under Your Spell

That’s pretty bloody great, isn’t it? The greatest thing to come out of Cheltenham, easily surpassing “The Races” and¬†the recent lower league footballers pissing into a pint glass and pouring it over a balcony controversy. Worst apology ever, by the way.

The Duke Spirit’s fourth album “Kin” is out in April, and I cannot wait. But I’ll have to. Stay with me til then, won’t you?

In 2007, frustrated by their record label’s decision to basically ignore their “Twilight of the Innocents” album, Ash started describing it as their “final album” and made it known that henceforth¬†they would be eschewing the album format. This sparked many a rumour that the band was about to split; instead they began releasing a series of singles, a new one every fortnight between October 2009 until¬†September 2010 on 7″ vinyl and¬†digital download only. That’s 26 singles in total (take that, The Wedding Present, with your feeble 12 singles in one year!), one for each letter of the alphabet, hence the whole lot being released on two…erm…albums, pithily¬†called “A- Z Series Volumes 1 & 2”.

This was the first, and watch out, it has one fuck of a bassline:

Ash+Return+Of+White+Rabbit+475036

186. Ash – Return of White Rabbit

Scooting along now:

51C925RDQ4L__SY355_

187. The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost

I was hoping to track down a clip of when they walked off Top of the Pops after host Richard Bacon introduced them as a band that had been¬†put in a “fat melting pot of talent”, but apparently it was in the rehearsals so there is no footage. Ho hum.¬†¬†Bacon is said to have tried to apologise and claimed he was¬†referring to their status, not their appearance. Course you were, Richard. Course you were. And you only did the one line of coke too, right?

Next, a band who’ve never really made it big over here in the UK, which is a shame, for they made some really great power pop records in their time. This is from their 1977 album “In Color” (that’s not a typo, they’re American, that’s how they spell “colour”):

cheap-trick-i-want-you-to-want-me-5712

188. Cheap Trick – I Want You To Want Me

As usual, I seem to have gone on a bit longer than I intended again, so just two more to go.

I was going to post Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip’s “Magician’s Assistant” but then I listened to it and remembered just how depressing it is, being about self-harm and suicide and all, so I decided against it. But the mere allusion (or should that be “illusion”? Ha, see what I did there?)¬†to the lovely Debbie McGee allows me to post this classic TV moment:

And yes, that’s Peter Hook playing the walk-on music.

Hands up who want to hear Kelis? Very well. This is from her third album “Tasty”, the follow-up¬†single to 2003’s “Milkshake”, when she was in full-on saucepot mode:

Kelis+Trick+Me+286551b

189. Kelis – Trick Me

And if my recollection is correct, then chapeau to legendary pork-swordsman Jamie Theakston…

Finally, we go out where we came in:

41Y0912CAFL

190. Mighty Dub Katz – Magic Carpet Ride

…who as I’m sure you know is actually Norman Cook in one of his many chart-busting guises.

And that’s yer lot, as they say.

Next Friday night I’ll be watching Underworld at The Roundhouse; it’ll be the first time I’ve ever managed to see them (quite how I’ve avoided them all these years is beyond me), so next week expect to see me trying to pretend I know something about dance music, other than¬†tunes which I got out of my tree to back¬†in my clubbing days.

Or to put it another way: More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

It’s Children in Need night in the UK, a night when almost the entire BBC1 content is given over to a fund raising live event, usually hosted by Terry Wogan, but I see that tonight Dermot O’Leary has stepped in at the nth hour as Terry is unwell. (Wig malfunction, perhaps..?)

That decision not to host The X Factor this year¬†is looking smarter by the second, isn’t it, Dermot?

Ok, I’ve mentioned Terry Wogan, so I cannot resist sharing this, the most defiantly, knowingly¬†awkward appearance on Top of the Pops ever. And this, just in case you want to hear/download the studio recorded version of the same.

Terry used to host the Radio 2 Breakfast show, and after he quit Chris Evans, who I think it’s fair to say is a very different kind of DJ, took over. I listened once, and heard him play this, proclaiming it an excellent record to wake up to (which it is). But the cynic in me¬†can’t help but wonder if he was taking the piss a little given that he’d just replaced Sir Terry.

Anyhoo, I have a lot of time for Dermot (and for Sir Terry, of course. Evans? Not so much…have you seen the reboot of TFI Friday…?), probably from his days of hosting Big Brother’s Little Brother, but his Saturday afternoon show on Radio 2 is often worth a listen, even if he does every now and then give the impression of someone who doesn’t really know much about music. I swear I once heard him¬†announce¬†that he had never heard of The Velvet Underground.

Anyway, you know what Children in Need is all about: various BBC related personalities perform an amusing skit on their usual personas, generally culminating in the BBC newsreaders dressing up and doing a song, in an effort to raise funds for a very worthy cause.

Here’s some examples of their awfulness: BBC Newsreaders do “Weapon of Choice”

And just so there’s some semblance of order round these parts, the video they were taking off. Yeh, you totally nailed it guys.

And here, perhaps the very nadir of this kind of thing: The Time Warp.

They could’ve saved a few quid on suspenders and high heels if Frank Bough had still been a newsreader then.

The only thing worse than watching that was witnessing my parents trying to do The Time Warp¬†at a wedding a few years ago. I’m so mentally scarred as a result, I have no idea whose wedding it was.

(NB. Is it just me, or is it ironic that the BBC should have a “Children in Need” night¬†every year,¬†when they¬†housed so many of our now discredited/imprisoned/dead and discredited TV celebrities in the 1970s…? I’ll ask Alanis. Or Ed.)

If you’re anything like me, at some point while watching Children in Need, you will undoubtedly feel a rush of shame as you reach for the remote and search for something a little less…well, shit.

Fear not, for the next five songs in the Friday Night Music Club are here to save you.

(NB. There seems to be an issue with my usual download provider, so I’ve switched to a new one for now. Let me know if there are any issues…? Or if you prefer one over the other? Or just don’t give a flying shit?)

41YCMV56P2L Tomcraft РLoneliness

5021392951195 Kelis РFriday Fish Fry

artworks-000011524153-5tnr45-original¬†Friends – I’m His Girl

homepage_large_e7c05d6b tUnE-yArDs РHey Life

item Michachu РGolden Phone

Oh and of course, you can donate to Children in Need here. Please do.

More soon.