Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Hairline Laughter 

Culture is a part of all our lives, for some it is an irritation, for others a mild distraction, for biologists, it’s often something in a petri dish, but for Edinburgh it is a 4 weeks arts and entertainment extravaganza taking over the month of August. As a result of this, TiaPL will be spending the next few weeks attempting to bring you the highlights and the possibly slightly more frequent lowlights of what the Fringe has to offer.

We’ll mainly be going to see comedy, partly because that’s what we really like, but mainly so that we can steal the jokes of unknown comedians and use them on our site promote new comedy by featuring the material of rising stars. In addition to this we do plan on trying to see some theatre and music things, although anything performed by an amateur group or by school-children will be strictly out of bounds as they are all, without exception, rubbish. It is worth pointing out that the plan to see Kelly Osbourne definitely fits into the comedy side of things.

In the unlikely event that you have anything you want to recommend to us (or in the even more unlikely event of you being a promoter and want to give us free tickets, which would be great, as due to my abject failure to get onto the Perrier panel I’ll be putting my hand into my pocket on a regular basis) then you can e-mail us at talentinapreviouslife@hotmail.com. We’re off out now to try and blag some free tickets for any of the preview shows. And we do mean any. We have no shame.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Brotherly Ambivalence : With TiaPL 

Well, Big Brother is finally over for another year and, quite frankly, that’s 9 weeks of my life I’m not going to be getting back in a hurry. Cameron won, but to be quite honest, being the winner of this years BB is about as much of a proud achievement as being the winner of the Least Likely To Be Pissed On If On Fire contest.

Yes, we had Jon Tickle, who was entertaining in the same way as peeling your skin is entertaining - fun at the time, but it sure as hell isn’t something you’d want to spend much longer than a few minutes doing. The only one of this years housemates who I had any time for was Sissy, partly because she was firey, had real character and emotions and passions, but mainly because she was an attractive redhead so was excellent by default. Unfortunately though she was unable to win as the voting public decided to vote her out for reasons best known to their depraved and twisted minds.

So instead, bringing up the rear we were left with Steph, who I used to liken to a gerbil, which I now realise is rather unfair to the rodent, as at least gerbils tend to do stuff in their cage, rather than simply do an intake of breath and express surprise and amazement at every single little thing that happened no matter how mundane and trivial. Scott was next, who managed to be in the house for 9 weeks without doing a single thing of note except for look a little bit like Robbie Williams or Will Young, depending on which angle the camera was looking at him from.

In second place we got Ray who, to be fair to him, did have a personality, unfortunately it was the personality of an overly aggressive macho twat who happily told Nush that he wanted to punch Steph in the face. For some reason this meant that he came in second, rather than the third place which I predicted, which says something very worrying about the British public.

Ray’s other main contribution to the show was to have a wank in the toilet, which wasn’t the only time Channel 4 broadcast a load of toss in the name of Big Brother.

So now, we come to the winner, Cameron, proving that once again Granny Power is not a force to be underestimated, it’s like Robson and Jerome all over again. Here we have someone who is the very definition of the sort of guy mums want their daughters to bring home. He also has nice hair. How could he fail to win? Well, possibly the fact that he was putting on a naïve and innocent act, despite being someone who has travelled the world and has a brother who already works in the media (Well, he ‘presents’ on Scottish TV) so he’s hardly new to this whole thing. He is certainly not someone who would be surprised and overjoyed by the site of apples upon walking into the house, but it was things like that that seemed to endear him to the audience who would immediately coo over him and mutter about him being so sweet. The fools.

So, what have we learnt this year? Well, other than the fact that putting 12 strangers together doesn’t necessarily make for interesting and exciting television, not a lot. Personally I’ve not learnt my lesson, I’ll still be back for more next year, although with any luck Davina won’t be. People will still be clamouring to be on the show, despite the fact that the only guaranteed job that comes out of being a BB contestant is commentating on the next series of Big Brother. And Channel 4 will still continue to make a fortune on the eviction phone-lines, the adverts and the completely pointless and meaningless polls that they do on Little Brother that stupid people actually waste 25p on to express their point of view about whether the housemates should be given lamb or pork chops.

Still, looking on the bright side, at least it filled in a few hours of existence before our inevitable death.

Friday, July 25, 2003


We've just realised that the Mercury piece would have been 1.7% funnier if we'd referenced Altern-8 instead of The Shamen. We apologise for any discomfort that this may have caused.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Mercury Music "Why's" 

The shortlist for this years Mercury Music prize was announced today and looking through the list of albums which are apparently the 12 best of the year, you have to sit down and think “What is the point?” Fair enough if you’re a middle-aged family car-driver that needs to know what silver disc is most appropriate for his in-car CD player, but for those of us who actually enjoy music there appears to be little need for this list, other than to show us the most mundane and dull releases of the year so we know exactly what to avoid in our local record shop. Oh, and it provides poor quality internet humour blogs with something to write about.

According to Neil McCormick who, for reasons best known to himself, publicises himself as the music critic for the Daily Telegraph this list contains bands “chosen from the margins", perhaps someone could explain to me exactly which margins multi-million selling artists such as Radiohead or Coldplay come from? Or, indeed, which margin the TV advertisted Athlete and The Thrills are struggling to get their music heard from. Yes, fair enough, as usual there are the token, Jazz, Soul and Eliza Carthy nominations. Although, it must be pointed out that the panel claim that there are not token nominations, but are equal with the other albums to be listed. For this to be true, it implies that there must only be one good album released in each of these genres each year and… Actually, I think they might be onto something with that.

Also joining the tokenistic gesturing is Dizzee Rascal, presumably included to try and convince the public that the panel are not in-fact a bunch of balding, white, middle-class music critics, but are in fact down with their ghetto brothers. An act about as convincing as, well, Ms Dynamite winning the award last year. The rather large world of dance music also gets a single representative with Lemon Jelly, two blokes twatting about in masks doing songs about ducks. Come back The Shamen, all is forgiven. Well, nearly all.

The Darkness get a mention, and, while it could certainly be described as one of the albums of the year, the year in question is 1982, spandex rules the earth and ‘shame’ has yet to be defined as a concept.

The Thrills, who earlier this year, released the single One Horse Town, which was swiftly followed by the album One Trick Pony, are who I believe will win it, not because I think they're any good, but mainly because Morrisey likes them, and they’re Irish. The panel can easily be swayed by things like that. After all, looking at that list, it’s clearly not about the music.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Blair Must Go 

I have nothing funny to say about this, OK, nothing new there, but it doesn’t really matter as the only joke is the fact that we have a Prime Minister who is not only responsible for the deaths of many innocent Iraqis, but has now indirectly caused the death of a British citizen thanks to his obsession with image and spin. His position is no longer tenable and he should resign immediately and try and retain what little self-respect he has left. This is not some minor bit of sleaze that will blow over in a few days, this is a serious scandal and cannot be dealt with by the usual techniques of distraction and apologies. Goodbye Tony. No really, fuck off.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I Found My Soldier Girl, It's So Out Today. 

Well, yesterday actually,but I forgot to mention it. The new Polyphonic Spree single Soldier Girl is availiable in all good record shops now (and a few rubbish ones too. And Kazaa), so you should rush out and buy it immediately if you know what's good for you. I guarantee it will make your head spin around. (NOTE: Guarantee not legally binding in any way, shape or form, if head-spinning does occur please seek medical assistance immediately)

Monday, July 14, 2003


Well, T in the Park is now over and done with, reviews of the bands appear below this, but I thought I’d give a few general observations about the events before we get onto that. First of all, I am now sporting a permanently embarrassed look upon my face thanks to the sun being rather hot throughout the weekend and not using any suntan cream. I am trying to convince myself that it is a healthy glow, and not something that people are going to be pointing at and laughing at me in the street for.

The weather though, brings me to the following piece of advice for people. Gentleman, no matter how hot it is, keep your t-shirts on. The public have no desire to see your beer-bellies hanging out over your shorts. T-shirts where invented for a reason. Use them. And, because at TiaPL we believe in equality, we should point out to the ladies that sunburnt shoulders with white strap marks is seriously not a good look.

People who feel the desire to throw half-full pints of lager over the crowd, you are idiots. No-one, with the possible exception of Triple 8’s girlfriends, wants a sticky substance in their hair. You are not being funny or crazy, you are being a twat. If you want to show the world you’re a twat, then do what every other idiot does and get a ‘zany’ hat. It’s less hassle for us and gives off the same message.

Drunk people, you’re not as funny as you think you are. Stoned people, you’re not as interesting as you think you are.

Oh, and Bongo players can fuck right off.

Thank you.

Kinross No More 

This Is How It Fields 

Friday, July 11, 2003

The Green Fields of Foreverland 

This weekend I will have an excuse to not bother updating TiaPL as I’ll be off enjoying the sights, sounds and schemies at T in the Park. I will not be camping as I have grown fond of the concept of not having everything I own stolen, but will instead be getting a bus back to the safety of Edinburgh each night and will eye everyone with short gelled hair or a Burberry baseball cap with suspicion.

While at the festival I hope to catch The Polyphonic Spree, REM, The Futureheads, the Sugababes and the Inspiral Carpets, fortunately I no longer need to put effort into avoiding Ashely Hamilton as he has pulled out. Which is one in the eye for the organisers who patronisingly believe that due to the ‘unique’ atmosphere at Scottish gigs they can put on more unusual and unexpected acts. Or at least, that’s what they say publicly, What they mean privately is “the audience will be so pissed, we can put on any old rubbish and they’ll still cheer it madly”, which is, annoyingly, true, and can be the only reason The Datsuns are so high up on the bill.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Kick Out The Jams, Motherfucker. 

Right Dad, give Gooseberry the boot.