Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Monday, December 29, 2003

Victoria; Sneerer 

While we're loathe to turn TiaPL into a Nicola Roberts fansite (and if you believe that, you may also believe that we're loathe to carry on breathing), this story could not pass without comment. Take a look at the picture on the left, what thoughts pass through your mind? "Awww, bless" perhaps? Maybe "I should tear out my eyes, as after that vision of sheer loveliness looking at anything else will merely sully the memory"? Slightly more likely, admittedly, is that you'll think "OK, a kinda dodgy outfit, but the shoes are nice and she still outshines the brightest star in the galaxy, such is her radiant beauty". All pretty straight forward and obvious really, unless you happen to be Victoria Newton, the quite literally Bizarre 'writer' for popular 'newspaper' The Sun, who looked at this photo and decided to declare Nicola as the Monday Minger.

Now, we're happy to accept other people's opinions as much as the next man, as long as the next man is the sort of person to refuse to believe that his own opinions are anything else but facts and that anyone who disagrees with him is clearly wrong, but this sort of nonsense is just going too far. While we realise that Nicola may not be everyone's idea of the perfect woman, mainly because she is just too perfect and it's hard for people to gaze upon perfection without feeling demeaned and embarassed by their own imperfections, she cannot be decribed as a minger. Just because a girl is not a 'conventional' beauty, i.e. all blonde flicky hair, vacant blue eyes and a willingness to pose in a couple of bits of strings for Loaded, does not make her ugly. Writing pointless, nasty, jealous comments in a piss-poor column in the second vilest newspaper in the country, on the other hand, does.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

So. Here it is. 

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through TiaPL
Not a creature was stirring - save a worm in an apple
The stockings were hung by the bedspread with care
In the hope that Saint Nicola was on her way there

Flum was all nestled snug in his bed
While visions of silver shoes danced in his head
And Liberty Jess wearing bronzer, and Will in his cap
Had just settled down for a long winters nap

When out on the lawn Flum heard such a clatter
He sprang from his bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window he flew like a flash
Scared that the commotion was caused by rock's Slash

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below
The vision was not that of G'n'R rockers
But a minature sleigh and seven tiny popstars

With a lithe, lovely driver, her hair red and thick
He knew in an instant it must be St Nic
More rapid than eagles her coursers they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, CHERYL! now, KIMMY! now, NADINE and SARAH!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
All singing in harmony, a dance routine too.

And then, in a twinkling, he heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As he drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicola came with a bound.

She was dressed all in silver, from her dress to her shoes,
Her make up was perfect, to give her her dues ;
On her head was a tiara, hand made in Devon,
She looked like an angel who was sent down from heaven.

Her eyes -- how they twinkled! her dimples how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!
Her cute little mouth was frowning, just so,
And the tone of her skin was as white as the snow;

The stick of a lolly she held tight in her teeth,
She'd clearly have shone at the MTV awards in Leith;
She had a cute little face and a perfect flat belly,
She was exactly as perfect as she looked on the telly.

She was slimline and pale, a moody young elf,
He laughed when he saw her, in spite of himself;
A wink of her eye and a beautiful smile,
Soon gave him to know life would be good for a while;

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
She tried on the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
Not that sort of jerk, your mind is quite dirty,
As Nicola left, without getting flirty;

She sprang to her sleigh, to her team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard her exclaim, as she drove out of sight,

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Tambourine Dream 

Musical talent is, alas, something that passes a lot of us by. Not that lacking it stops certain people attempting a career in the industry - Jennifer Ellison, we're looking at you here. Fortunately though, there are instruments that allow those of us with the melodic skills of an upset dog to live out our pop fantasies, so with that in mind, we hail Tambourines as the 5th acest thing in the world ever.
Why are they so ace? Partly because they're so versatile; they can be both hit and shaken, much like children, partly because they jangle fantastically in the background of many pop songs, partly because they require no skill whatsoever to play; even Brett Anderson managed to use one. But the main reason for hailing their aceness is so that we have an excuse to use this picture. Isn't it lovely? It makes us want to come back as a tambourine in our next life.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Lord of the Whinge. 

The new Lord of the Rings movie is out today. We're not going to see it, mainly because we're not 12, but if any of the following things happen then we're likely to make it down to the cinema faster than it takes Michelle Pop Idol to taste the bitter flavour of pop failure.

Friday, December 19, 2003

All New Thoughts of the Pops 

Yes, it may be all new and a bit rubbish, but that doesn't mean that we still can't learn from TotP. lets see what nuggets of knowledge entered our brain this week...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Spleen There, Done That 

The TiaPL Spleen hasn't been around for a few weeks, this is due to the fact that our private surgeon started getting nervous about doing dangerous invasive surgery on a weekly basis. Fortunately after much searching we've found a dodgy one who thinks that Ethics was the star of Boon. So, without further ado, lets get this weeks question under the spotlight...


I must say I'm very confused. Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated, Spleen?
I see the way you’re acting like somebody else, gets me frustrated. Life’s like this and you’ll, fall and you crawl and you break and you take what you get and turn it into honesty promised me I’m never gonna find you fake it.



Well Jonny, it's really very simple. You see, you're just a boy and I'm just a spleen. Can I make it any more obvious? You were a punk, I was a large, highly vascular lymphoid organ, lying in the human body to the left of the stomach below the diaphragm, serving to store blood, disintegrate old blood cells, filter foreign substances from the blood, and produce lymphocytes. What more can I say? You wanted me, I'd never tell but secretly I wanted you as well, but all of my friends stuck up their nose - they had a problem with the fact that you weren't an internal organ. Oh you were a sk8r boy, I said see you later boy - you didn't have an organ donor card.

Hope that's cleared things up for you.

Thanks again Spleen! And if you have any questions for the Spleen then please leave them in the box below or mail them to talentinapreviouslife@hotmail.com and the Spleen will answer them to the best of his abilities. Remember! If you wish to remove your spleen and have it deal with your pop related questions, make sure you have trained medical personel on stand-by. Failing that, at least have a mate who's watched Casualty a couple of times waiting by the phone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

In this country we get all excited by the prospect of what might be the Christmas Number One. This is presumably down to some insatiable desire to populate our CD collections with crap. As a result of this, we've decided to do a round up of some of the singles that are hoping to cash in on people. We don't normally do this sort of thing, mainly because Popjustice.com does it so much better than us (but then, they do most things better than us though we're pretty sure we make better mashed potato), but seeing as it's Christmas and we've got nothing better to write about we thought we'd give it a shot.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

ELO, ELO, ELO, What's All This Then? 

Don't worry, we've not forgotten the 117 Acest Things in the World... Ever, even though it's quite likely that you, the dear TiaPL reader, probably have. Anyway, we now present to you the fourth acest thing in the world, and it's also the acest song of all time as well:- Electric Light Orchestra - Mr Blue Sky.

Now, we know what you're thinking, you're thinking "ELO? Sod off!", and all we can say in response to that is "No! You sod off." ELO were very ace indeed and Mr Blue Sky is the pinnacle of songwriting genius. From the "rum-pum-rum-pum-rum-pum-rum-pum" intro to the swirlingly beautiful end via the "ting-ting-ting-ting" bits, not a second is wasted or goes wrong in any way, shape or form. It's long been a belief of ours that this song desperately needs to be covered by The Polyphonic Spree, a fact which they clearly semi-agree with as it was on their intro tape when we saw them earlier this year.

It's a tumbling, euphoric pop rush of a song, the sort of tune that makes a rubbish day seem more like the sort of day which Nick Heyward once sang about. Yes, lyrically it's not exactly touching any deep waters, but who cares? Sometimes all you want to do is hear something that celebrates the simple joy of a beautiful sunny day, even if the sun may be glinting off of a shattered windscreen as the light dances to the sound of a car alarm. We want summer in musical form, and that's what this is.

Living Thing is fantastic as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Gimmie a D! Gimmie an Iabolocal! 

Right, The Darkness' Christmas single is about to be released, so lets get the things we actually like about it out of the way first:-
OK, now that's out of the way, lets get to the brunt of the matter. Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End) is shitee, not only is it a bad song, but it's a bad song that should have been so fabulously excellent it would have made the British Isles a land filled with people smiling like village idiots. The Darkness have, up until now at any rate, been great in a ridiculous guitary rocky Queeny kind of way, so the concept of them doing an Christmas single should have resulted in a piece of music that was as good as Wizzard's I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day. Perhaps it's our fault, we did have stupidly high hopes for it and told virtually everyone we knew exactly how fab it would be. Unfortunately, and we're getting used to admitting this now, we were wrong. It's not even as good as anything Shakin' Stevens has done and even makes you long for the days when Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll Christmas was allowed radio play.

The main problem is this; while The Darkness are clearly having fun and playing with an affectionate homage to a maligned genre of music, they always played it straight. I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a great pop song, but wouldn't have worked in any sort of way if the listener thought for a second that this was some sort of joke. They worked because they played it as serious as it was possible to do when you're singling falsetto in a lycra catsuit. However with this single they're not only parodying the music they claim to love, but they've become a parody of themselves. It's so piss-poor it's makes us entertain the belief that they found a sketch that was written for Alistair McGowan's Big Impression and just decided to use that instead, rather than go through the hassle of actually writing something half decent themselves.

Ah well, we had once claimed that this would be their last single anyway as there's no way that their concept could sustain a second album - we feel we've been proved right by this state of affairs. We're going off now to listen to Fountains of Wayne doing I Want An Alien For Christmas, a song that proves it is possible to do a new Christmas song and do it well.

Oh, and Avid Merrion's effort is pish as well, but at least he admits it's a joke.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Tommi Pun 

A couple of weeks ago, the world famous (not actually world famous) TiaPL Spleen answered a question about dogs by referring to girl band Tommi. This is all well and good, but the person who asked the question is antipodean in nature (and we'd like to thank Kylie Minogue for introducing the word Antipodean into general usage in this country) and so did not actually know who Tommi were. There is, quite frankly, no shame in this as there aren't many people in the UK who know who Tommi are either so, as a result, we are proud to present TiaPL's Rough Guide to Tommi, and believe us, rough is very much the appropriate word here.

Despite only having a career that has so far lasted one single - the actually rather good Like What - Tommi have already had their share of mishaps, well two; and one of those is actually being in Tommi. The other is the loss of a member, Lil Chill after their first release. Clearly she's the brains of the band and could sense the sickly metal stench of the dumper calling the girls in much the same way that steam from pies calls tramps in cartoons. This is a shame as we'd like Tommi to continue their pop career for as long as possible, mainly so that they don't return to their previous jobs of hanging around outside our local shop and intimidating us when we go in to buy milk.

As you may have guessed, we are slightly scared of Tommi, we're pretty sure that they could have us in a fight, but this is hardly worth mentioning as we believe that pretty much every popstar could have us in a fight; from P!nk all the way down to S Club 8 and The Cheeky Girls, but not Abs though, we could have him. Easily. Unlless we were disabled by rolling on the floor laughing at his accent.

Anyway, the girls are continuing on after the tragic loss of Lil Chill, presumably in the hope that they will eventually earn enough money to keep them in tracksuits and cheap jewelery for life. Their website informs us that we should "Keep it rugged", so it is nice to see them support their local carpet making industry, despite their own pop misfortunes. But we're going to be nice to them, we're not going to keep it rugged as we don't want them to suffer carpet burns on their arses as they slide with some speed and force them back to the obscurity from which they came.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Studt Up 

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned the fact that Amy Studt was going to be doing a cover of a Sheryl Crow song. We weren't totally convinced by this idea, indeed the word 'rubbish' was used quite a lot and we claimed that the only way this would be a good idea would be if it sounded entirely different to the original and was, in fact, a completely different song. We're sure you'll all agree that these are fine opinions to have and that most people would have had similar views. Well... It causes us great pain to admit this but... umm... we were wrong. We've now heard and seen it and it is a rather ace thing indeed. Not quite as ace as The Delgados covering ELO's Mr Blue Sky admittedly, but certainly acer than Westlife's attempts to destroy popular music by any means necessary.

Oh, and the video has a fantastic piece of eyebrow raising action by Miss Studt, so hooray!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Hello, Hello 

Did you miss us when we were away? Did you hang our picture on your wall? Did you love us in your own special way (although you couldn't see us at all)? Yes, dodgy paedophiliac pop-star referencing aside, we've returned and it is good to be back. During our hiatus all manner of pop related nonsense occured, most of which was, alas, as dull as ditchwater, but here's a few things of note:-

While our back was turned, Susanne got voted out of Pop Idol. We'd like to say that this came as a surprise, but this was about as shocking as sitting on an electric chair while being fully encased in rubber. We've now, rather half-heartedly, decided to back Chris - mainly on the basis that he looks a bit like comedian Jimmy Carr. Admittedly this isn't much to go on, but it is still one personality trait more than the others left in the competition have. Once he's voted out on Saturday we'll lose what little interest in the show we have left and never mention it on this site again. (Note: This may not actually be true, depending on how desperate we are to find something to write about)

The All New Top of the Pops launched last Friday and the main thing we learnt from it is that Andi Peters clearly believes that 'rubbish' is spelt "n-e-w". We also learnt that Tim Kash shouldn't be allowed near live TV, Blazin' Squad fans scare us, as does anybody who thinks that standing behind the presenter looking gormless while he struggles with the autocue is a good idea. We'd also never heard Gareth Gates speak before, so it came as a nice surprise to discover that his accent is hilarious.

This album has been released and is, unsurprisingly, one of the highlights of the year. If you don't rush out and get a copy immediatly then you are doing a disservice to your CD player, a crime which is on a par with using it to play Jet or Datsun records. Imagine your CD player is a little kitten and popART by the Pet Shop Boys is a catnip scented toy fish on a stick. You wouldn't deny the kitten it's catnip related joy, would you? Of course not, so why deny your CD player the pop classics it so desperately craves?

Rumours abound that Charlie from time-travelling wedding crashers Busted is wanting to leave the band thanks to his recent non-appearence at various appearences due to an apparant illness. While these rumours are strenuously denied by their management, at TiaPL we've managed to get an exclusive picture of his replacement:-

It's hoped that his inclusion will increase their chances of being asked to play Woodstock.