Late Night Stargazing

Another resurrected thread.

From their much maligned “Up” album, which many say marks the start of R.E.M.’s downward trajectory. Sure, their high points were behind them by now, but we can only say that with the benefit of hindsight. For on this album, and all of the subsequent ones, bad though the albums may be (by which I mean, not as good as those they released at their absolute peak), there’s always at least one song, often more,¬†which gleams through the silt, showing what they were still capable of.

In football terms, “Up” would be described as a “transitional period”, since it was the first release after¬†founder member Bill Berry quit. That’s what happens when you collapse on stage¬†from a ruptured brain aneurysm:¬† you suddenly become less keen on playing live.

What the remaining members seemed to do next was¬†to turn to new technologies to try and cover up for his absence, and on the whole this tactic doesn’t really work.

But that’s¬†not really all that obvious on today’s choice, the utterly gorgeous:

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R.E.M. – Suspicion

They knew what they were doing when they shot the video, though. Simple, stripped back, beautiful.

More soon.

 

 

 

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Remembering Kirsty

I’m sure I won’t be the only person here in the blogosphere that will be writing a post in memory of Kirsty MacColl today, for today it is 15 years since this astoundingly talented woman was so cruelly taken from us.

In case you don’t know the story of her untimely demise, on 18 December 2000 she and her sons were on holiday in Mexico, and went diving in a designated diving area at the Chankanaab reef, that watercraft were restricted from entering .¬†As the group were surfacing from a dive, a high-speed powerboat¬†entered the¬†area. Kirsty¬†saw the boat coming before her sons did; Jamie (then 15) was in its path but Kirsty¬†was able to push him out of the way. Tragically,¬†in doing so she was struck by the boat and died instantly.

The powerboat involved in the accident was owned by Guillermo Gonz√°lez Nova, multimillionaire president of the Comercial Mexicana¬†supermarket chain, who was on board with members of his family. One of his employees, boat-hand Jos√© Cen Yam, stated that he was in control of the boat at the time of the incident. He¬†was found guilty of culpable homicide¬†and was sentenced to 2 years 10 months in prison. However, under Mexican law he was allowed to pay a punitive fine of¬†1,034 pesos¬†(about¬†¬£61) in lieu of the prison sentence. He was also ordered to pay approximately ¬£1,425.22 in restitution to Kirsty’s family, an amount based on his wages.

To add insult to quite literal injury,¬†eyewitnesses contradict Cen Yam’s claim that he was in control of the speedboat, and people who have spoken to him since say that he has admitted to receiving money¬†– presumably from Nova – for taking the blame.

If you’d like to read more about Kirsty and the campaign to get justice, you can do so here.

All of which just makes me…well, sad. And not just because of the injustice, nor for the¬†frankly gruesome nature of her death.¬†That too, of course….but what makes me sad is the fact that whenever I hear any song by her or featuring her, I am immediately reminded of all that I have written so far here today.

Which means whilst I love all I am about to post, I do it with a very heavy heart.

So, let’s start this tribute off with one of her very earliest single, from 1981, the catchily-titled:

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Kirsty MacColl – There’s a Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis

Here’s Kirsty doing the very same song on Top of The Pops:

And, from her debut album “Desperate Character”, a slower, more country, version:

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Kirsty MacColl – There’s a Guy…(Country Version)

Personally, I always thought that version¬†was very much a template for the next song, a single from 1989’s¬†utterly wonderful “Kite” album:

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Kirsty MacColl – Don’t Come the Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!

In between these two albums, due to some wranglings of a contractual nature, Kirsty earned her corn doing¬†session work as a backing singer, and became very much in demand, particularly after she appeared on “Fairytale of New York” with The Pogues. Either side of that she appeared on (to name but a few):

The Smiths – “Ask” (not to mention the B-side too, a cover of Twinkle’s “Golden Lights”)

Billy Bragg – “Sexuality” (She looks fantastic in this, happy, the sort of woman you would have a right laugh down the pub with; the bit when she mocks the size of Billy’s….er….lil Bill behind his back always raises a smile round these parts)

Happy Mondays – “Hallelujah” (This is from that legendary edition of Top of The Pops when the Mondays appeared along with The Stone Roses, one of those era defining moments when us indie heads finally felt like we might be winning…and there’s Kirsty, right in the middle of it, wisely electing not to try to out-Bez dance Bez)

Morrissey – “Interesting Drug”(His fourth solo single following the messy end The Smiths met, and there’s Kirsty again, popping up on backing vocal duties, if not in the video. Not one of his better efforts this, mostly only notable for The Moz sneezing as the track edges towards fade-out.)

The Wonder Stuff – “Welcome to the Cheap Seats” (I can’t say I’m overly fond of this one, big fan of The Stuffies that I am. Suffice it to say, in my opinion, Kirsty is by far the best thing about it.)

Without fail, every interview you read given by anyone who worked on any of those records, they will say one, if not all three, of the following things:

  1. What a delight she was to work with
  2. That she never needed a second take, nailing her part first time..
  3. …a skill which inevitably draws comparison with either Karen Carpenter or Dusty Springfield.

That’s the sort of illustrious company in which Kirsty’s name should rightly be mentioned.

But all of this belittles what a wonderful artist she was in her own right. And to prove it, here’s two live performances of songs from what turned out to be her last album, “Tropical Brainstorm”, where she was experimenting with Latin American rhythms, instruments¬†and sounds, not the sort of thing I normally go for, I’ll admit, but since I could happily listen to Kirsty singing my shopping list, I love.

Kirsty MacColl – “In These Shoes?” (Live on Later with Jools Holland)

Kirsty MacColl – “England 2, Columbia 0” (Live on Later with Jools Holland)

And thankfully, Jools is kept well away from the piano, thus preventing it turning into more of his tiresome boogie woogie.

I’ll be raising a drink to Kirsty tonight. Thanks for the memories. I just wish there were more of them.

More soon.

 

It’s The End of the World as We Know It (And I Don’t Feel Fine)

You don’t need me to explain, do you?

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“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” – R.E.M.

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“We’re All Going To Die” – Malcolm Middleton

Predictable choices? Probably. Saddened to be posting them? Definitely.

More soon. Hopefully.

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I think I’ve spoiled you recently, with my five songs to a post on here. Austerity rules, I’m afraid, Back to one per post (subtext: or I’ll run out of stuff to play you pretty quickly).

The keen observer will have noticed that I’m a big fan of R.E.M. When¬†I say I’m a big fan, like most other big fans I accept that they had their day in the spotlight, and that their last few albums really aren’t much cop.

Usually with great bands, it’s a bit tricky, trying to work out where it went wrong. Not R.E.M. Oh no. With them, there are two things that happened around the same time, and after they did, nothing was ever the same, or as good.

Firstly, the signed a multi-million dollar deal with Warner Brothers. Nowt wrong with that. They’d paid their dues. They was owed.

Secondly, BIll Berry, the drummer, quit the band.¬†The guy did collapse with an¬†aneurysm mid-concert, so you can’t blame him for getting out before he became a Spinal Tap/Pretenders dead drummer statistic.

The last record he appeared on was “New Adventures in Hi-Fi”, an album mostly recorded on the road whist they promoted the “Monster” album. It’s a great record, even if a friend of mine insists on pronouncing it he-fe. (Not sure that translates…)

And then, after that…well, it just wasn’t the same. Poor pronunciation or not.

However, whilst they soldiered on for another few albums, they must have known¬†their days were numbered, finally giving in and quitting in 2011. (As I type that, I honestly can’t believe it’s been 4 years since that happened.)

Anyway, they released a Greatest Hits album as they died, and of course it featured, as is the vogue these days, a few unreleased tracks. And there, hidden amongst them, was today’s post, a song which was exactly the sort of song their fans had been hoping they would make again:

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R.E.M. – We All Go Back To Where We Belong

I can’t help but think that had those final years had a few more songs like this, then they might still be with us. Ho hum.

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I seem to be in the mood (i.e. hungover) for a few more of these mellow Sunday Morning tunes, so indulge me and allow me to share a few more.

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Love’s Been Good To Me

Johnny Cash covered this one on his wonderful Rick Rubin produced American Recordings series, and his version is top-notch of course. But for my money, you can’t beat Ol’ Blue Eyes’ version. And any mention of Frank always makes me think of the much over-looked Fast Show character you can find here at 09.08. The whole episode is worth a watch if you have time; Series 3 is when Whitehouse, Higson, Thompson et al¬†were at their absolute peak, in my book.

Like it? Go buy it here.

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Leaving New York

From their absolute dog of an album “Around The Sun”, the opening track and frankly, you can eject the CD¬†as soon as you’ve listened to this one. (Do people still play CDs..?) Archetypal R.E.M., it’s all gorgeous harmonies and backing vocals to die for. As I mentioned in a previous post, when I used to share a flat with Heledd (although I don’t think I actually mentioned her name. Consider that rectified. And hello Hel!), our Fridays would often involve a playlist I had prepared. Apart from laughing at my attempts to sing along to “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It”, Hel is not a big fan of¬†Stipe, Buck, Mills (and Berry), but this tune caught her ear, and as a result cropped up regularly post-playlist when we were both in “a bit pissed and ready for a sing-song” mode. Right after we’d played Max Boyce, usually.¬†Many songs remind me of many people, but as a result of those Friday nights, this song more than any other reminds me of Hel.¬†She doesn’t own it,¬†yet she totally owns it. Cheers!

Like it? Go buy it here

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Sweet Jane

A Lou Reed cover, as you no doubt know, and if you ever want an example of a song being re-worked so far it almost sounds like a completely different song, this is it. Better than the original, in my opinion. There. I’ve said it.

Like it? Go buy it here

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I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be For Ever)

Taken from the first Stevie Wonder album I ever bought, and as the premise behind me writing this blog stems from the book High Fidelity (see Introduction, Explanation, Justification for my mission statement), it seems appropriate that I get things back on track by posting the song which is played over the end credits of the film adaptation of the novel.

Like it? Go buy it here.

More soon.

Glastonbury, So Much to Answer For… (Part 1)

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The plan for this week’s post was to travel back to 1983 and talk about some of the records I bought back then. But I was, and still am, truth be told,¬†struggling to think of anything much of interest to say about any of them. So as I was lazing around my blog-cave today, seeking inspiration by watching¬†“Pride” (which is rapidly becoming my favourite film ever; if you’ve not seen it yet, I urge you to do so: it’s the one of the best films ever about the relationship between¬†gays, lesbians and striking miners.¬†Well, I say one of the best: it’s definitely in the Top 10 of that saturated genre,¬†anyway), when I received an email from See Tickets, telling me that my tickets for this year’s Glastonbury had been posted out to me today.

Yes, indeed. Glastonbury here I come. This will be my 6th Glastonbury, the first being back in 2003. I guess you could say I was a bit of a latecomer to the whole festival scene, and some will probably take this as evidence of Glastonbury being tailored towards the more middle-aged, middle class clientele these days than it used to be.That might well be the case; since I didn’t go to my first Glastonbury until 2003, I have no frame of reference as to what it was like in the good old days, bar the usual old stories about how much better it was before the fences went up, and of course Julian Temple’s rather wonderful 2006 rockumentary, pithily entitled “Glastonbury”. (I don’t know how he does it, I really don’t)

Glasto 2003 wasn’t the first festival I’d been to. No siree bob. The first festival I went to was Reading in 1989, at the end of my first year at college. (I appreciate calling it a college makes me sound like a plaid-shirted, gum-chewing, Chevy-driving, yee-hawing¬†Yankee, but having dossed around far too much at school, I didn’t get good enough grades to go to a University, and I ended up going to¬†a Polytechnic. A¬†Polytechnic was¬†a place where¬†people not bright enough to go to University, but who weren’t ready to go get a proper job yet, ended up, like an Immigrant Holding Cell for the moderately clever but lazy. It¬†became a University literally moments after I graduated. I’d no sooner handed¬†back my mortar board and gown¬†after my graduation ceremony than¬†they started painting over the sign and giving the whole campus a makeover. I swear they were waiting for me to leave.)

Reading 1989 was an experience I was not keen to replicate, hence the 14 year gap before I¬†attended another festival. This was the¬†first year after it stopped being “Reading Rocks” (I believe a bottle of piss throwing incident involving the crowd, Meatloaf and¬†Bonnie Tyler was the final nail in the coffin of that particular incarnation¬†of Reading. Tyler has subsequently apologised).¬†My reluctance to go to another festival had nothing to do with the line up at this one:¬†the headiners were Friday: New Order (tick!); Saturday: The Pogues (tick!); Sunday: The Mission (ah well, can’t have everything, I suppose).

Utter virgins at this kind of thing, me and my mate Ian had turned up with a borrowed tent on the Friday morning, pitched and rocked up to the Main Stage (I say Main Stage, my recollection is that it was the only stage, although I’m open to correction there), just in time to a) miss Gaye Bikers on Acid (result!) and b) catch Spacemen 3. I was already a massive fan of their¬†“Revolution”, which regular readers may remember I posted a while ago in those wildly optimistic pre-election days. Next up were My Bloody Valentine:¬†this would have been around the time they were starting to record the masterpiece that is their “Loveless” album, and so the set comprised, as far as I recall, mostly of early¬†versions of what would go on to become that fine album. I was totally blown away by them. And of course they played this, which I still think is one of the greatest, noisiest records ever made that I somehow managed not to buy.

(Actually, I know how I managed not to buy it: I had just¬†started DJ’ing the Indie Night at the Student’s Union, so I could listen to it as much as I liked there, often getting paid to play it.¬†At least one person I know would say that no amount of money would be enough to make her listen to it.)

But anyway, I digress. This isn’t about Reading or me DJ’ing – I can talk about both¬†another time.¬†And I will. You’ve been warned.

No, this is about me popping my Glasto cherry,

Now, I don’t intend to review each act I saw that year, or on any of the years I’ve gone to since; gig reviews are not really what I do here, and besides, there are people who do gig reviews a whole lot better than I could (which reminds me, if you get chance, check out Lorraine’s blog over at “Still Got Manners“. She’s very good, and has a taste for going to the right gigs; her recent review¬†of the Super Furries recent gig in Glasgow¬†is so on the money you’ll see¬†why I didn’t even attempt to write a review after I saw at them at Brixton Academy a few weeks back. No point – she’s already done it far better than I could have managed)

So, Glasto 2003. 10 of us had managed to get tickets – these were the days before it sold out in 26 minutes, and we’d all spent hours redialling and clicking refresh.¬†Seven of us¬†hired a minibus and drove up from Cardiff on the Thursday, the other three came from further west in Wales (Neath) and we not only all managed to meet up, but also pitched our tents together. This would not happen these days; if you’re not there first thing Wednesday morning when the gates open, you’re going to struggle to find space to pitch one tent, let alone a group of tents. Somewhat optimistically, we pitched them in the round, and woke up on the Friday morning to find someone had pitched theirs right in the middle of our group. Morning!

You’ve probably noticed a reluctance in the past for me to name people¬†I’m writing about (I haven’t even told you my brother’s name, and he’s been mentioned loads), and that’s because I wanted to afford them some level of anonymity, just in case I ever write about anything on here they would rather I didn’t announce to the world. But usually I’m just talking about one person, and they know I’m writing about them; now, with 10 of us, I think it’s time to call a register.

There was me (Hello! Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by), my flat mate Llyr, his sister Hel, two of our mates O’Keefe and Ballard (mates from work, both blokes, hence referred to by their surnames, as is the tradition), Mike and Vicky (married, from Neath), Johnno (not a bloke, hence everyone else apart from me calling her Claire), Mark and Val (couple, also from Cardiff). ¬†I wish I saw all of these people¬†more often than I do these days. What a merry band we must have looked as we all wandered around the site on the Thursday afternoon, drinking in the atmosphere, before¬†visiting the late night fun on offer that night, and then we finally traipsed off to the Pyramid Stage ready for the first act, on stage around mid-day on the Friday.

We decided we’d head towards the back of the field (stopping off at the bar on the way up, of course)¬†and positioned ourselves right at the top of the slope. There’s a first aid tent there we decided was a convenient reference point in case any of us got lost. I’ve used this as a rendezvous every year that I’ve been since.

First act on were The Darkness. This was before they went massive – or as massive as they got – and imploded (before reforming). We’d never heard of them, but were all pretty impressed with them.

About mid-way through their set, it started raining. Of course it did. Disorganised Glasto virgins as we were, none of us had considered bringing waterproof clothing out with us, so we all purchased what was essentially a transparent bin bag with a hood and two arm holes cut into it from an enterprising local who wandered past. Hilariously, Mark’s only had one arm cut in it, and I will never forget the utterly pissed off look on his face as he attempted to smoke a cigarette using the tethered arm, as rain dripped off his brow.

Next up was the newly reformed Inspiral Carpets, who we all loved, being from “our era” as they were, followed by Echo & the Bunnymen, who the continued rain seemed to suit (and who I also loved). It was a running joke for years later that wherever we went, Mr McCulloch and co would be playing somewhere; it was some years later before a year happened where we didn’t see Echo & the Bunnymen play.

Still the rain continued. It was that fine rain, the sort that soaks you right through. Some of the gang wandered off to go and watch other things –¬†namely Junior Senior, and Har Mar Superstar, the latter of which has resolutely failed to tickle my fancy. But I remained, along with a few of the others to watch the Inspirals and the Bunnymen. Later acts were De La Soul and Jimmy Cliff, and it was during one of these acts that the sun finally decided to reappear. It’s such a simple pleasure, but there’s very little better in this life than the sun coming out at Glastonbury; you can feel the mood of the whole place lift.

You can tell this was my first Glastonbury, because I pretty much spent the rest of the weekend in the same spot, watching all the acts come and go on the Pyramid Stage. This was fine by me, for although The Other Stage culminated on the Friday with Super Furry Animals, with Primal Scream headlining, R.E.M. were playing the Pyramid, and there was no way I was going to miss them. This would be the third time I’d seen them, and I still say that the greatest gig I ever went to was¬†not this one, but R.E.M. at the Newport Centre in 1989 promoting the Green album. More of that another time.

(NB – when you arrive at Glastonbury, you’re¬†given a little booklet showing the band times for the whole weekend; having just checked mine from 2003 (of course, I’ve kept it)¬†I find that my recollection is a little skew-whiff: apparently Super Furries headlined the Other Stage on the Saturday night, and Jimmy Cliff played the Pyramid on the Saturday too. This is not my recollection, although I’m certainly not going to argue. But this is about what I remember, so take it that the running orders from hereon in may not be accurate. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the organisers of Glastonbury, you could say. The reason my memory might be a little off beam will become clear…),

R.E.M. would at this time, 2003, have been promoting, or at the very least working on, their “Around The Sun”, generally accepted as being the worst album they ever made. This is not a consensus I would disagree with; bar one, maybe two songs, it’s an absolute stinker. Thankfully, most of the songs on there were still in their early stages, so we were subjected to very few of them. Instead, we basically got a Greatest Hits set, which is, I think, what you want of an established band at a festival. Their gig was also¬†memorable for Johnno complaining afterwards that it would’ve been nice to hear Stipe sing, rather than having my dulcet tones¬†bellowing¬†along to every song in her close vicinity. Here’s them doing Electrolite; ask me nicely and I’ll sing it¬†in your ear throughout.

So ended Friday. On Saturday, a few of us settle ourselves at roughly the same spot, and it was here that an extra member of our group was introduced to me. One of our little gang (who shall remain nameless, for fairly obvious reasons) had brought it upon themselves to bring some cakes with them. Brownies, to be precise. As you can imagine, there was chocolate in them. And one other vital ingredient, which you can work out for yourself.

The sun was absolutely blistering that day; yet we munched on the brownies like they were going out of fashion (which they had, around 30 years¬†earlier) and then found ourselves totally incapable of speaking, let alone moving,¬†for the rest of the day. I remember sitting next to O’Keefe and neither of us uttering a word for about 2 hours, just looking at each other every now and then and either giggling or just staring.¬†And this was nothing to do with not being able to be heard over¬†the sound levels.

All sorts of cretinous acts passed before us, who I would not normally have gone within a mile radius of.¬†However it’s quite amazing how you find yourself able to endure the likes of Jools Holland and his Boogie Woogie Band (that’s probably what they were called, anyway), Turin Brakes and (I think) David Gray when you are so utterly mashed on space cakes that your legs don’t work.

O’Keefe, from somewhere, suddenly managed to muster the energy to get up and move. He later told me he thought he was going to get sunstroke and decided he had to go and try and find shade, which he did, in one of the Dance Tents, where he promptly had a kip to the sound of some banging techno.

(On returning home, I read about a woman, probably a bit older than I am now, who had been spotted at the festival, clearly off her face, naked, propped up against a bandstand in one of the peripheral fields, legs akimbo, demonstrating the old rustic art¬†of Bean-Flicking to anyone who cared, or could hold their falafel down long enough,¬†to watch. There but for the grace of God, and all that….)

One of the highlights (I think) O’Keefe missed was The Polyphonic Spree, a band I was aware of and had heard a couple of tracks by, and who seemed to be going for the record for Most People on a Stage Wearing White Smocks. They were great, perfect sunny afternoon whilst trashed fodder.

Saturday night was rounded off with The Flaming Lips (wonderful) followed by headliners Radiohead, who were just incredible. I, despite my brilliant plan of making sure every one was by the First Aid tent, managed to get lost on the way back from a trip to the loo, and found myself wandering almost to the front during Karma Police¬†There’s something¬†almost reassuringly unsettling about meandering around, lost in the dark, utterly mashed, in a¬†crowd of some 100,000 or so¬†people who are¬†singing in unison that they’ve lost themselves. Yeh, you and me both.

On Sunday, I vowed that I wasn’t going to spend the whole day at the Pyramid Stage. And thus it was the case: plus¬†everyone else swore off the remaining brownies and I was given the unenviable task of “looking after them” for the day. I decided that “Looking after them” could be interpreted as “eat as many as you like”, and I considered this a challenge I was up too. Cue me comatose outside the Acoustic Tent half listening to Roddy Frame as I drifted in and out of consciousness. The rest of the¬†day¬†is a bit of a blur, understandably. I know that¬†I somehow managed to hook up with most of the gang over at The Other Stage in time to see Grandaddy (never heard of them before, loved them so much I bought some of their records when I got home), Sigur Ros (ditto) and Doves (already perfectly aware of them, thank you very much).

So that was Glastonbury 2003. If you’ve ploughed through all of that, you deserve some tunes:

The Darkness – Get Your Hands Off My Woman

Inspiral Carpets – She Comes in The Fall

Echo & The Bunnymen – Nothing Lasts For Ever

De La Soul – Eye Know

Jimmy Cliff – Wonderful World, Beautiful People

R.E.M.- Little America

The Polyphonic Spree – Section 09 (Light & Day – Reach For The Sun)

The Flaming Lips – Race for the Prize (remix)

Radiohead – There There. (The Boney King of Nowhere)

Roddy Frame – This Boy Wonders (live at Ronnie Scott’s)

Grandaddy – On Standby

Doves – Pounding

As always, if you like ’em, go buy ’em. You don’t need me to tell you where from.

More soon.

The Election Section #10

Okay, so my analysis.

Firstly, let me say I’m not an ungracious loser. The Tories won, fair and square. I can accept it, but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.

Here’s why, I think:

1. Miliband’s handling of the SNP question. I think he got this wrong. I understand why he felt the need to say he had “fundamental differences” with the SNP which prevented him from going into coalition with them; he wanted to seem firm and decisive in the face of the Tory assertion that a Lab/SNP would be bad for the UK.

But why rule it out entirely? We all knew the only way Ed was going to get in was in coalition with someone. So to say he had fundamental differences with the SNP as opposed to with anyone else, makes no sense. Surely, you have fundamental differences with all of the other parties, Ed? Tackle the Tory position rather than the SNP, Ed.

Ed – your reluctance to hold out an olive branch to Scotland cost you dearly (coupled with Point 2).¬†Link that with Scotland’s general contempt for Labour’s association with¬†the Better Together campaign, and you can see why you lost so much support North of the Border. And once you lost that….well, you were screwed. In the same way you would have been if they had gone independent. Natch.

2. Cameron’s handling of the SNP question. Fair play, he played this pretty well, deflecting everything to a negative portrayal of a Labour/SNP pact. I’m not convinced such a pact would have been such a bad thing, but the public bought that it would have been, hook line and sinker. Twats.

3. The Russell Brand effect. I genuinely think the chat with RB was a good thing. It would’ve engaged a lot of disenfranchised younger voters, and RB’s endorsement would’ve done him bucket loads of good. Now, I don’t think all of RB’s followers would have blindly refused to register to vote. But some of them will have.¬†So if you’re aiming for those¬†people not going to vote (as you must have been, just to do the interview), then do it¬†BEFORE the cut off date to register to vote had passed. By the time they actually did the interview, those who has listened to RB’s call to abstain were too late to register – so the whole exercise was pointless. 3 weeks earlier and it could have made a difference.

4. The TV Debates. Generally, Ed did ok. He came across as firm and determined – but he also did so at the wrong point. I’ve already discussed the SNP situation, but it didn’t end there,¬†His refusal to admit Labour had over-spent cost him dearly. We all know they did. And he’s admitted as much before: mistakes were made. But his answer to that bloke who he was “not going to convince” didn’t convince anyone.

5. Ed Balls. No one likes him. No one is sorry he lost his seat.

6. The Tablet of Stone. Jesus wept, who thought of this? Fire them, now. This has Perfect Curve written all over it. They have spoiled their own ballot paper, never let them near a political party again.

7. The Barbie Bus. Oh for fuck sake. Insult the intelligence of¬†50% the electorate, why don’t you?

8. The crushing of the Lib Dems and UKIP.¬†Nobody wanted to be seen to supporting either of these, for vastly different reasons. The Lib Dems because of the whole tuition fees thing, from which they have never recovered;¬†UKIP just because they’re UKIP.

8. And the fucking Press.¬†Scare-mongered into voting for one of the main parties by the mostly right-wing press, our beautiful populace¬†panicked and voted Blue. And I don’t just mean the Murdoch-owned monopoly: the Evening Standard’s front page on Wednesday was frankly disgusting right-wing¬†penis swinging machismo, which I’m proud to note most of us Londoners paid no attention to.¬†But this was just a reflection of how the rest of the press was going.

7. Failure to monopolise.¬†Frankly, if Dermot Murnaghan can make¬†Cameron look like the lying tit we all know he is¬†when he forgets which football team he claims to have supported since he was a kid and you can’t, you don’t deserve to win. Much like West Ham/Aston Villa (delete as applicable)

8.¬†Just….Ed. I’m sorry to say it, but I don’t think anyone ever really bought into Ed¬†Miliband being a credible leader. The bacon sandwich. The falling off the stage on the TV broadcast. The “Hell Yeh”s. None of this speaks of leadership qualities. Not that many people think Cameron is any more credible, he’s just a shiny faced posh boy, but him having been in position for 5 years means he didn’t have to out-credential Ed. Oh Ed. I’m sure you and your two kitchens are lovely, but, Milibrands apart nobody was going to buy you as a leader. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure his heart was in the right place, that he truly wanted to lead a red revolution. Just….sorry, Ed, but you were too Ed.

So some songs to sum this up.

This springs to mind:

R_E_M__-_It's_the_End_of_the_World_as_We_Know_It_(And_I_Feel_Fine)_(United_States)

though I don’t feel fine.

This is me being gracious in defeat.

114761016

Kind of.

And I bloody hate this lot:

noah-and-the-whale-2-trk-maxi-12-5-five-years-time-fc-kahuna-mixes-collyer-2009--2_4123870

but an FC Kahuna remix is always a thing of beauty, and the title is apt, if nothing else¬†(lap it up, I’ll never post anything by these stripy-topped, turn-up wearing, moustache waxing Shoreditch-ites again)

And, since we’re in this fucking situation, the least you can do is go here and try to save the NHS. Don’t swallow¬†Cameron’s “my son was really ill and I owe the NHS everything” shit, the NHS is¬†in real danger.¬†He left his other kid in a pub garden, such is his love and care for his reptilian offspring.

Ahem. Deep breaths.

Normality will be restored soon here, if not in the real world.