Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wise Words Dec 2006

Welcome to final Wise Words of 2006. I wish you alI a Happy Christmas and I hope Santa brings you all you asked for. I have yet another huge list of rants and observations to get through so I better get started.

It’s almost Christmas and I can’t think of a better way to start the proceedings that taking a look at the weekly car crash that is “The X Factor”. I have a passing interest in the show as it is on religiously in my house because my wife and kids love it so I have often caught bits of it. I watched the “Big Band” show which was a double eliminator and saw Dionne sent packing, shortly followed by Kerry, in the wheelchair, who lost the “sing-off” with Ashley. I have seen this Ashley kid before slaughtering The Commodores classic “Easy”. This twat couldn't hold a tune if he was carrying it in a bucket. He performed “Moondance” and forgot the words as well as singing it out of tune. He was a way worse singer than the other two girls and he gets to go through. A triumph of style over substance I feel. He is a cocky little prick with nothing to be cocky about. He might get a gig as a Terence Trent D'Arby tribute act some day and he may get a few little girls excited with his handsome visage but he will never be a great singer whilst there is a hole in his arse. I like the Scottish girl Nikkita and was hoping that she would win although second choice would be a large bomb going off in the building and wiping out all the contestants and the judges, especially Louis Walsh. What has he given the music industry? Boyzone and Westlife. Thanks Louis, what would we have done without you? Anyway tomorrow is the big final and we have the little Scouser Ray against the wailing Leonna. I couldn’t call it could you. I reckon the wee Scouse will pull it off because he has the blue rinse vote with his cheeky Scouse smile. He performed on the “Scouse Aid” gig for the Tsunami that me and Noel played and my mother in law thought he was “marvellous”. There’s your proof. This blog should be posted before the final is over so it could be out of date within 24 hours. If it is not posted then my ranting has extended to Olympic lengths and I didn’t get finished in time.

It has to be the most expensive turkey ever known to man despite it being “cold”. I will begin some moans about the society we live in with a small piece about the convicts who were recently given a share of £800,000 for being forced to endure cold turkey when they were taken into custody. I have to say that I have just had a two minute break after reading that last paragraph back to myself. I was thinking what was going to come next and you know what? There isn’t anything! I am truly lost for words. If you have any that you would like to contribute then please do.

It seems the government have stumbled across a solution to deal with absent fathers who have not been making maintainence payments. They are going to shame them by publishing their names on the internet. I am sure that will do it! When it is introduced I am sure that half the named and shamed will be spending their maintainence money on a pc from Dell and some lively broadband so that when their mates come around they can show them how well they are doing. Again, I feel I can’t add anything more to this piece to make it any more amusing or ridiculous. I think a better solution would be going round to the house and taking the sofa and telly. Everyone loves the telly and if you’ve got a telly you need something to sit on.

I will end this bit with a rant about “24 hour rolling news”. I think we are in danger of being over informed. Every tragic event, every murder, every plague, war, famine, disease is now piped into our living room all day, every day. I wouldn’t mind if there was the odd item that would inject a little sunshine into the proceedings but it always seems to be gloomy. It seems the war in Iraq is old news unless some suicide bomber gets a hit of over forty scalps. If it is one death and a few shrapnel wounds we won’t even hear about it. I don’t know if or where it will end but if it does it will be coming live from the Middle East. I think I better wrap this bit up before this sounds like a column in the Daily Mail.

I recently attended a couple of 18th birthday parties, one for my daughter Lois and the other for her boyfriend Tom. Let’s begin with Tom’s party. Nice do. Weird seeing this kids freaking out to “Summer Of 69”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and Van Halen’s “Jump”. I don’t why they like these tunes I guess they found them in their parents record collections just like we all did at some point. Saying that there was nothing contempory about my old man’s record collection. The only thing that caught my ear was Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Frank. Franks is so big you don’t even have to say his second name. A bit like Robbie….but good. The rest of it was John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk. The evening brought something to my attention that I have wanted to discuss for a long time and something which I have only just fully understood. I am a man and I buy a pair of shoes and I wear them probably everyday until they look shabby and then I buy another pair. The last four pairs of shoes have been exactly the same and the last six pairs have been the same brand. I wear these Merrell street slippers. They are called something much groovier than that but that’s what I call them. I have two pair of kickers and a pair of Grenson boots that are for weddings and shit and are the second pair that I have owned and date back to the last Frankie tour. I have two feet and I reckon four pairs of shoes are going to do me for every occasion and barring a tsunami reaching the first floor and wiping out my wardrobe I reckon I am well covered. My wife, on the other hand, has several pairs of shoes. I remember the last time there was an official census and the count ended at 52. A lot have been lashed since then, most notably eight pairs of converse in every colour. I reckon they would have bagged a few quid on Ebay today. I know that womens shoes hurt their feet but I only found out recently that women expect them to hurt. How did I miss that one. I thought that when they bought their shoes and they hurt it was because they were new and needed wearing in but even when they have been worn twenty times they still hurt. Plasters are applied and feet are blistered and damaged but it doesn’t matter anyway because any amount of suffering is worth it if the shoes are fucking killer. I like a pair of shoes just as much as the next guy but I would not wear them more than once if they fucked my feet up. Anyway back to the 18th and where this rant started. Tom’s Mum had a really high pair of stiletto heels on. They were at least five inches and she was really struggling, especially after throwing a few shapes around the dance floor to “Dancing In The Dark”. They were high and very pointy and I think they could have put in her traction but she seemed happy enough. Feet are killing but I’m still dancing and smiling.

Next up was my daughter’s 18th. She asked me to DJ at her party. Being her DJ involved getting the DJ gear and shlepping it up to the venue and then playing five cds that she had compiled. I got into cross-fading a few tracks and if I would have been getting paid then it would have been money for old rope. Funny thing was the next when I went into the pub the barmaid asked me to do her 21st. Even when I explained that it was not my selection of music she just told me to play what I “played the other night”. The party went really well and bar a few early knock outs and puke ups I think it was a success.

Let’s get musical. First up are “the clean of Scotland”: Clean George IV. This band features two guys who were formerly in a band called Serial P.O.P. that were managed by my mate Grant. I went to see them at The Dublin Castle in Camden the other night with Grant and Smarty and they were fucking amazing. It was the third time I have seen them and they just get better every time. The have a single out at the moment called “The First Blast Of The Trumpet Against The Monstrous Regiment Of Women”. It was Edith Bowman’s single of the week and was also being played by Colin Murray on Radio 1. It was a shame that I think us three were the onl ones who were there to see them. Well, you lot missed out. They are fucking boss. The played a new song called “Fat Equals Death” which has a chorus that has the lyric “Return to Slender. Fat equals death”. Really killer guitar riff that hooks you and drags you along. Should you wish you can hear them at

Next up the new Beatles Album. I ain’t heard it yet so I don’t have an opinion. I believe it was written for a Cirque Du Soliel show that is currently in Las Vegas so I guess if you listen to it without the acrobats then you are only getting half the picture. It is a bit weird that it was done by the father and son (I guess John and George are the Holy Ghosts). I saw some of the tv surrounding the launch and seeing George and Giles reminded of someone handing over the family business. Until I hear the “Love” album I will furnish you with my mate’s opinion. He reckons it’s the Beatles Do Jive Bunny”. Whilst we are Beatling I am just listening to a couple of tracks from ”Chaos and Creation In The Backyard”. There is a track called “A Certain Softness” which sounds like it was written about Heather. I wonder what songs will be on his next offering. I suggest “Ripped Off” to the tune of “Get Back”. I have three tracks from his last “critically acclaimed” album. The one I am listening to now is a rip off of “Many Rivers To Cross” and the other one apart from the Heather one is not much cop either. Stay at home Paul and count your money while you still have all of it.

I got to go to a gig recently and was made to feel like a fan which is a very rare thing for me these days. Myself and a few guests went up to Liverpool to see The Real People play at The Academy. Trev, Kev, Tonto, Big Al and I let virgin take the strain and went up for a night out in the pool. We managed to hit the centre of town before the Anglican Cathedral closed and we took the opportunity to go to the top of the tower and have a look at the city below. We had a few locals with us and we had a boss night out. Beer, and then some football, that’s if you count the appalling 0-0 draw the Liverpool got at Middlesbrough as football. More beer and then some Tandoori Lamb Chops for ten (that comes to at least a couple of lambs) and then on to see The Realies. It was boss. It was such a long time since I saw them play I had almost forgotten some of the words. When the gig started I was singing every word (like my Mrs at a Robbie concert). It was great to see a gig in Liverpool where the audience is so much more up for a good time than in London. It was a great gig and a great night out and something I will be repeating next week when I travel north to see them again.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The View From The Tower Of The Anglican Cathedral Liverpool

Last up on stage are Frost. I got a phone call from Mitt a couple of months ago and he said “Frost” and I said “Yeah ok, if you say so?”. Didn’t know anything about them until I got to the gig. They are prog, with a capital P. Quite mad to hear this sort of music being played in a small club like The Scala. It kinda washed over me a bit because I was not familiar with the tunes. There were three tunes but the last one was 25 minutes long with several different movements. It was good to see four blokes playing their instruments very well and writing some good shit but I need to hear an album because it was all over a bit quick and I was a bit gassed. You can check out Frost for yourself at and those of you with prog leanings can let me know your thoughts.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Frost Live At The Scala, London

I will close the music section with a brief mention about the Ardmore Christmas party. I have been to this party for the last two years and got up and played a few tunes with the boys in my band as they are usually providing the entertainment. I only did three tunes, two of which were covers and then got back to having a few beers with Smarty. Another night to remember (or forget, depends which way you look at it). It was hosted by The Crown Hotel in Cricklewood which was modernised by Ardmore. It is a famous place, especially among early Irish immigrants, but it is a very posh establishment these days and I don’t reckon you would get past reception in a donkey jacket or hard hat these days. I almost volunteered to play with the lads the following night but work commitments prevented me from going but I will be at some point in the future. Go and get my cover on with boys and Mad O’Brien.

I made a long overdue visit to Wales to visit Tim and to attend the official opening of his new studio. His new stduio is fantastic.He managed to get his hands on the old SSL desk from Wessex Studios in London. This desk was probably used to mix two of my favourite albums: “Spirit Of Eden” and “Laughing Stock” by Talk Talk. I reckon I will have to pop up there in the new year and do some recording with the boys in his new huge live room. We spent the evening eating Thai food and putting the world to rights. I did a little bit of star-spotting whilst I was waiting for Tim at Llanelli station. Who should pull up in his Merc but none other than Welsh snooker legend Terry Griffiths. He was dropping off some young snooker protoge at the station. What lovely hair he has. I reckon he is on the same hair dye as Macca.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tim's Studio

I almost forgot to mention the wee man. My guitar man Noel had his 30th birthday this week. We had a little gathering at a local Italian eaterie and I took my chance to eat some veal. I feel eating veal in a little off these days. You know, baby calves, in boxes, no life, bred to be ate. Sorry, they taste real good and until a calf comes up with a cure for cancer and fights his way to the top of the food chain then the plate is always going to be his, or hers, final destination. Happy birthday Noel, and as I said on your card, I hope you are still my guitar man when you are celebrating your 40th!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Dan & Noel

I wanna rave for a little while about my latest toy. I got a new phone. Well, it’s a camera with a phone in it. It has a 3.2 megapixels and a Carl Ziess Tessar lens on it. With the memory card it takes about a million pictures and has an hour of video. I have been getting well into it. Not like I wasn’t before but the pictures I have had out of this phone have been fantastic. If this blog has worked out ok then you should have been able to view some of the pics in this blog. If not it appears I have been foiled. At worst you should see some links to be able to see them. There should be a few snaps below of me getting arty with the camera phone. Any thoughts welcome.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Ed Smart, Waiting Room, West Finchley Tube.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Bank Branch, West Finchley Tube.

Note to all car designers. When can we have retractable wing mirrors on all cars??? I recently had the wing mirror smashed on my car. The guy who did it probably didn’t even realise but then again he may have been a bus driver. If you have read any of my previous blogs then you will know that bus drivers are not my favourite people. Anyway, I digress, the wing mirror is busted. So I go on the internet to look for a spare. I find this spares gateway for auto parts and within a day I have four places in the uk that have what I want (except it ain’t sprayed?). So I get a wing mirror for £40. A bargain but still a large £40 pain in the arse. We live in narrow streets and there are cars everywhere. Do me a favour and save us all a few quid and get some retractables on the go. Close door, press key, alarm car, admire your fuck-off, retracting, james bond wing mirrors. Manufacturers can make them go up and down and even defrost them so why not have them disappear into the door. I would rather have that than a heated seat or an ipod compatible car stereo. Wouldn’t you?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Kop v Manchester City

Let’s have some sport. I recently went to see Liverpool play Man City at Anfield. The game was poor and the highlight was seeing Didi Hamman warm up alongside the main stand and receive a massive ovation from the Kop and the rest of the assembled throng. What a player. Liverpool fans have seen some great midfield players in their history but I would rank The Kaiser amongst the very best that have ever worn the reds shirt. I was sad to see him leave and would still have him on the books because he is true class. His finest hour for Liverpool was his introduction at half time in the Champions League final against AC Milan. Three nil down, looking grim, hoping it ain’t an absolute spanking, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” live from Istanbul. Oh, it might be ok, Didi’s coming on. I don’t think I have seen him have a bad game. I am sure some pedantic statto may disagree with me but I don’t remember one. The master of keeping the ball because there is no pass, and then falling over to win a free kick. As predictable as rainfall in Manchester. And let’s not forget the goals. I saw the goal that won him Goal Of The Season against Newcastle at Anfield. The man could hit a ball, pass a ball, win the ball and keep the ball. I must say I did take a large amount of joy out of his goal against England in the final game at Wembley. Was it Didi’s goal that made Keegan realise he was “a little way short”? He deserved every clap of the applause that greeted him on his return to Anfield. Thanks Didi, you were the bollocks.

It seems that my club is going to be bought out by the sheik. I don’t think this will be an Abromovich situation like at Chelsea. These people are an investment group with the accent being on investment. Rick Parry, the Liverpool chief exec, was quoted as saying “you only sell the family silver once so you better get it right”. That’s what it feels like to me. Selling the silver. I guess nothing stands in the way of progress and money and I guess it was inevitable at some point down the line. We have a new stadium to build but I believe that we should stay at Anfield. I think in the very near future every club will be struggling to fill their stadiums. The rising cost of tickets and the non-competition of the Premier League I believe that football is at it’s zenith. How intimidating will Anfield be for a Carling Cup game on a wet Wednesday in November when only 30,000 turn up? Liverpool have never played to a crowd of less than 50% of capacity in my memory. If they have, let me know. I know Chelsea have had less than 10,000 at The Bridge during the history of the Premiership. Sorry couldn’t resist it, reminds me of that famous song, oh how does it go? oh, I know “Where were you when you were shit?”. The days of your sky season ticket for the club of your choice are not far away. That’s where the money is. I would ask any football fan reading, or listening to, this to tell me how much they would be prepared to pay to watch their teams home and away games from the comfort of the sofa? If Liverpool can licence their games throughout the world then they will take it. Sky TV have put the hardware in place and people have got used to the hardware now. Instead of the Playboy Channel you can have “green porn” and watch your team instead? Sky’s Premier League exclusivity is doomed. The clubs have got a taste for the money and they want more. Their investors want more and the fans want success at any cost. I would exclude Leeds fans from that last statement as they lived the dream for a few years only to wake and find their club had been sold from under them and the reality was relegation, administration on the goldfish on lease. My prediction is that within the next Sky deal will be the option of the big clubs retaining the rights to the games against the other big clubs and Sky just getting a licence to show the matches. I bet The Emirates Stadium has a nice TV production suite within it as well as more than enough camera points. I am sure every new stadium will. At the end of the day it is just another way that they will try to keep you on the sofa. That’s why I watch all my games in the pub!

Sometime in the next few days I am going to have to do some Christmas shopping. I dropped off a bag of my wife’s clothes at the Cancer Shop next to the studio. I don’t know which particular Cancer Shop it is but it is a Cancer Shop. I went past there again today and I was wondering if it would be possible for me to go into the shop looking for something for the Mrs and actually buy something that I had dropped off the day before. I wouldn’t know half her clothes if they were on a rail in front of me. I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but the thought of me doing that (and being truly capable of doing that) seemed amusing at the time.

I have tried to end every section of this edition with a request for your opinion or input. This especially applies to the podcast. I know that there are plenty of readers because I see the stats and you may not wish to contribute to the comments because they will get lost amongst the Viagra advertisements but feel free to stick something in the forum or drop a mail on the podcast page. It is a new thing for me and any tips comments that will improve my output are welcome.

I want to finish with a culinary topic. Don’t panic, I’m not going to go all Ramsey on you and start effing and blinding any more than I usually do. The topic is Mince Pies. Why can you only get mince pies at Christmas. You can probably get them all year round but they are not called mince pies and they are often disguised as something else. I don’t know about you but I love a mince pie. Mince pie and cream, mince pie and custard, mince pie with another two mince pies. I love them. This year I am going to make a note of when they disappear and then make a note of when they start appearing and declare a “Mince Pie Season”. We could have a website . We could have a forum. Subject: “Mince Pies spotted in Welsh Co-Op”. Subject “Tesco’s Finest Mince Pies Are Not Much Cop”. People could discuss the finer points of Mince pies and their seasonal appearance. I will close as this is getting a bit Eddie Izzard when it is really the result of Ed Smart for it was he who gave me the idea for this section when he said “A puppy’s not just for Christmas but a mince pie is!”, Hope you enjoyed it?

MUSIC BIT AT THE BOTTOM: A – Teen Dance Ordinance, Paul McHeather – Chaos & Creation In The Backyard, Depeche Mode – Playing The Angel, Clean George IV, 4 Way Street – Pretzel Park. Most sounds courtesy of Trev’s Jumping Jukebox.


Post a Comment

<< Home