Wednesday, March 29, 2006
In a vague attempt to make the country healthier, something which is doomed to failure unless a similar scheme attempting to persuade us that deep-frying every single thing we eat isn't the only way to cook food is set up, Scotland officially became a non-smoking country as of 6AM Sunday. Naturally this can only be a good thing, though this clearly wasn't a view shared by the venue owners at a gig we went to on Monday - The Fratellis, if you're interested. We really like Being You Can't be Easy and the band confidently played this as the second song in their set. Alas, such confidence was misplaced, as the rest of their set was the sort of rubbish early Libertines-esque music which we'd half been expecting. Still, at least they were better than the support band, possibly called The Rushes, who are great if you like shit indie played by ugly boys with bad hair. We don't. - as they decided to compensate for the smoke-free atmosphere by turning up the smoke machine to full blast which lead us to briefly believe we were taking part in a remake of The Fog. Never mind, though, to celebrate this, here are ten entirely true and in no way made up pop facts about Smoking:-
- "Is it my imagination", sang Liam Gallagher from Oasis "And all I found was cigarettes and alcohol". Alas, this episode of the children's TV series Let's Pretend was deemed unsuitable for broadcast.
- Smokie wondered in song form why they were no longer Living Next Door to Alice, never once stopping to think that the constant cloud of smoke, yellow stains all over the walls and the horrible stench of stale nicotine lingering over the property which was dragging down property prices might have been a key factor in persuading her to get out while the going was good.
- Natalie Imbruglia records are banned from being played during children's TV shows,not just because it was discovered that Smoke was a thinly veiled attempt to subliminally advertise cigarettes, paid for by the tobacco companies, but also because her recent stuff has been fucking awful.
- Without cigarettes, it's unlikely that Jazz would ever have existed. If ever there was a reason to invest heavily in building a time machine, like one in a film we've seen, and going back and changing the past, this is it.
- Similarly, the career of Take That, East 17, and other miscellaneous boy bands are unlikely to have done as well as they did without the existence of fags.
- Erasure are staunch anti-smokers and have often used their music to encourage people to give up. Stop, Breath of Life, Love to Hate You and Fingers and Thumbs (Cold Summer Day) all contained a message exhorting smokers to stub out the weed, though it's a bit more subtle on the latter.
- Every cigarette you smoke takes 8 minutes off your life. Smokers may wish to ponder on this fact, give up smoking, then send any unused cigarettes to Chico Slimani, care of Novelty Island.
- Justin Hawkins, from The Darkness - a novelty band from the early 00's, some readers may just about remember them - refuses to go into any potentially smoky atmosphere, such as a pub or nightclub, for fear that his voice may be damaged by doing so. And because he's scared he'd get beaten up for being an irritating little baldy prick.
- Ash, the band, have decided to devote all their time and energy to supporting ASH, the similarly named anti-smoking campaign group. Well, they've not got anything else better to do with their time right now so they might as well.
- Sometimes, all we need is the air that we breathe.