Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Latest Show on Earth: Japan 

The Live Earth juggernaut has made it's way to Japan, a country which is less concerned about having a carbon footprint the size of Godzilla as it is about, well, Godzilla. They're being a bit greedy about things and having not one but two concerts, thus doubling the amount of natural resources used and, if our maths is correct, hastening the onset of irreversible destruction of the polar ice caps by twenty years. Our maths may not be correct. Anyway, here's who's lined up for the gigs at Tokyo and at Kyoto:-...and at Kyoto...
Both stages also have the exciting sounding And Others TBA booked to play. We hope this isn't a tenuous booking for Dominic Masters' Others. Surely they must buck the Big in Japan cliche?

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

10 Things We State About... 

Big Brother kicks off tonight and the only televisual event which we'd find more exciting would be the long awaited announcement that they're finally going to make a new series of The Glam Metal Detectives. As always our favourites in the house will largely be ranked in order of prettiness as we are incredibly shallow but we're sure there'll be much to love and hate with this year's new intake. Mainly hate, if we're perfectly honest. Anyway, the country's most famous House has not been without it's share of musical connections, so here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about that very theme:-
  1. As it was the first series and you could still get away with that sort of thing, both BB winner Craig and BB loser Nichola released singles once they left the house, but given the total sales achieved by each track, the exact same effect could have been achieved by not releasing the singles, something which most people in Britain believe to have happened.
  2. Chantelle's fake band Kandyfloss was not the first time such a stunt had appeared in Celebrity Big Brother. In a previous series young unknown Kenzie had to try and convince his fellow housemates that he was the member of a band called Blazin' Squad. Unlike with Chantelle, of course, the housemates failed to fall for this transparent lie.
  3. Last year's winner Pete Bennett is currently working with Guy Chambers on his own musical career. Sorry, we've got that wrong, that should read "Last year's winner Pete Bennett is currently working with a guy in the legal chambers as he appeals against the suspension of his housing benefit.
  4. Big Brother 3 winner Kate is currently helping make ends meet by doing DJ work in clubs. Apparently if she carries the record boxes in for the DJ he'll give her a couple of free drinks vouchers, which can really make a difference when it's still a couple of days before your dole money arrives.
  5. Following the trend, Big Brother 6 winner Nadia released a single in an attempt to cash in on the novelty Christmas market. It was a cover of Shania Twain's Man, I Feel Like a Woman.
  6. Big Brother 7 winner, Antony has also, in a bid to ditch the 'being gay' rumours which have followed him around since leaving the house, will also be releasing an album. It's a collection of covers which he's chosen in an attempt to show the world that he's just who he is and has come through the allegations and untruths about him with his head held high, including such anthems as I Will Survive, Macho Man and I Am What I Am, this should finally prove his heterosexuality to an unconvinced world.
  7. Hard Fi's Stars of CCTV is a concept album about the Big Brother experience, it's lyrical heart laced liberally with Richard's bitterness about failing to impress at the auditions.
  8. Paul Oakenfold and Andy Gray, writers of the Big Brother theme, use the royalties they receive each year to buy at least two massive yachts, a canal boat sized Bounty bar and a Bounty bar sized canal boat each.
  9. At some point during the series, the housemates will be asked to write a song about their experiences on the show. In terms of cultural and artistic relevance, this is roughly up there with asking a six year old child to draw a picture representing what they did on their summer holidays. The latter, however, is generally a bit more coherent.
  10. Big Brother by Girls Aloud, of course, is really rather ace.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Something Kinda Phew 

So! The Girls Aloud gig then. As always this is definitely not the place to turn to for objective, unbiased coverage. Despite leaving it a week to write this, when it comes to GA our critical faculties completely desert us and we can muster up little more than an "OMG Girls Aloud are sooooo ace" style reporting, but hey, we're allowed to get a little bit over enthusiastic every now and again and besides, going to see the Girls live is a bit of a religious experience for us. Although it's safe to say that, outside the pages of the more scandal ridden Sunday tabloids, it's unlikely that you'll see many vicars and priests dressed in the sort of thing that Nicola and friends were wearing on stage. Anyway, here's what happened:-

Many things in life revolve around their entrances. Revolving doors spring immediately to mind, as do bouncers on roundabouts, but it's pop concerts where they truly matter. Well, that and being in a burning building, in which case the entrances and exits have never been so important, but that's not hugely relevant right now. Having employed both the curtain drop and the understage rise in previous years, the Girls take full advantage of the budgetary increase and this time around appear from above the stage suspended in a giant hydraulic cradle like five window cleaners, ready to shake their chamois like there's no tomorrow. At the current rate of spectacle expansion, this means that for their next tour they'll enter the arena by being fired in from a massive cannon at the back of the arena, but for now we'll just have to make do with them standing slightly awkwardly as the cradle slowly inches it's way down to stage level.

Never believing in saving the best til last, the Girls launch straight into Something Kinda Ooooh dressed in a sort of Sexy American Cop Style outfit, complete with GA baseball caps and gynaecologically tight trousers. All except Nicola, who appeared not to have got the same memo as the rest of them and has interpreted the American theme in her own way by wearing a cheerleading skirt designed for a girl at least a foot shorter than herself. Sigh. We, if we perhaps have not made this clear in the past, love Nicola. Once they got off of their cradle - and the only other time you'll see people distancing themselves from a Cradle with more speed is when Atomic Kitten get together and start discussing their back catalogue - the Girls strutted and preened and did generally did everything you could ever want Girls Aloud to do in the space of a three minute pop song, although whether this included 'singing every single note live' is something which is open to debate but equally is something which we think is largely irrelevant. The budget also didn't stretch to having tutu's on stage for the Girls to jump on. This was a Disappointment.

At the end of the song the Girls removed their hats and threw them into the crowd. Except that because the hats are no doubt a bit on the pricey side and also because each Girl is, of course, a girl and so throws like one, they carefully made sure they fell no further than the crash barrier at the front, ready to be collected and worn another day, leading, over time, to a fine dusting of, umm, dust, collecting around the top of their heads like a set of halos. Unpleasant, unhygienic and potentially allergy inflaming halos, admittedly, but halos none the less.

Having kicked off with a song whose video featured them arsing around in cars and treating the highway code with the same sort of reverence you might give to a book written by Piers Morgan or Richard Littlejohn, they then turned their attentions to Wake Me Up, a song whose video featured them treating motorcycles as if they were children's toys, rather than the metallic killing machines they actually are. On the basis of this evidence, we don't think Girls Aloud should be allowed on any motorised vehicle more powerful than a Segway, and even then we'd still feel a bit dubious if we were to see them coming towards us on a push bike. Anyway, they didn't have any bikes to ride for the performance and no-one, to the best of our knowledge died, so we consider the whole affair to be a success

Despite each of the Sugababes being far too busy getting arrested, hating the other members and being smilily oblivious to any sort of dischord respectively, the Girls still felt the need to perform Walk This Way even though it seems unlikely that it's omission from the setlist would have caused mass riots in the auditorium or, indeed, even been noticed. Without another band to rail against, the Girls instead stood on one side of the stage, directing their ire and anger towards the male dancers on the other side. As the dancers do not sing and, for a large part of the time, can barely dance, their response was limited to some awkward "Who us?" style gestures and some vaguely aggressive posturing. The main effect was to make the Girls look like they were hanging around outside the local Deaf and Dumb school, bullying the pupils as they tried to go about their business in the playground. It was not, it's safe to say, a success.

Finally, in this section at least, although it normally does close the tour, leading to some brief concern that the Girls had had enough of this performing lark and fancied making an early night of it, Jump made it's usual appearance and we all did which, in our unthinking mob following of orders, has much in common with how Hitler got in power. Perhaps they're wearing their authoritative, almost fascistic costumes for reasons other than mild titillation. Who knows? But it matters not as, with a blast of fireworks, they're off for their first costume change of the night. With the amount of hairspray present on the stage, however, we're not entirely convinced that the use of fireworks is a good idea. One stray spark and they could all go up.

Section two and the Girls are all rocking the Teeny Tiny Hotpants look. All, that is, except for Kimberley, who in some misguided sense of decorum has wrapped a dancer's skirt around herself, and Nicola who, having already rocked the Teeny Tiny Hotpants look on previous tours, has decided to go on stage in just her knickers. This is probably down to Nadine hiding her shorts in a cruel prank and, like the old PE punishment of old, is being forced to perform in her vest and pants, but it's not something we're going to complain about.

No Good Advice is the opening gambit here, sweariness fully intact, and is swiftly followed by Long Hot Summer, with its airiness fully intact. For no other reason than to provide a distraction while the stage hands prep the cradle with red cushions in preparation for Whole Lotta History, the Girls decide to lead the audience in a Mexican Wave, which is more the sort of thing you'd expect from a desperate compere at a Butlins resort who's beginning to lose the audience, rather than from a 21st century pop concert, but as this was one of the longest conversations they had with the crowd - the rest of the chat being limited to "How are you doing!" and "We love playing in (Insert name of city here) you're always such a great crowd" - we should perhaps be grateful for the attention and lap it up like the celeb-obsessed hordes that we are. Which, to be fair, we did.

Whole Lotta History was performed with, as hinted at above, the Girls lounging in the cradle which was now transformed into, depending on your point of view, a luxury boudoir or a soft furnishings sales pitch. They were raised slightly above the ground and softly swung back and forth as they sang this tender tale of lost love and painful memories. Of course, the fact the Girls were barely wearing enough material to make one complete outfit between them did somewhat detract from the effect they were trying to get at here, and may have led to the casual observer believing that, after the relationship came to an end, the girl was so broken by the heartache that she ended up falling into a career in the high class prostitution market, but we digress.

This year's 'surprise' cover was a Dirty Dancing medley, and while the screens didn't quite start flashing "WE ARE BEING INCREDIBLY LAZY AND UNIMAGINATIVE", they might as well have done. We only watched Dirty Dancing for the first time a couple of weeks ago and while we were very drunk the plot to us seemed to consist mainly of Patrick Swayzee taking pity on a mute girl who spends the entire film looking confused at what everybody says. This may well have been what she called 'acting'. Either way it was the worst film we've ever seen, and bear in mind that we've seen Species 2. As for the medley itself, well, if you've ever seen a Hen night in a karaoke bar then you'll pretty much know what to expect. Although if you have seen a hen night in a karaoke bar it's likely that you've already torn out your eyes and ears and self-performed a lobotomy in a bid to try and remove that painful memory from your mind.

Section three and pinstripes are the name of the game as the Girls rock a Gangster look, kicking off with Sound of the Underground, performed in the old school way with both Mic Stands and Nicola barely getting a word in edgeways. Also performed in an old school way, although in an entirely different sense of the word, is Life Got Cold, which is performed in a ska-stylee, coming across like The Specials woke up one morning and found they'd been turned into a girl band. It was, well, interesting if nothing else and does at least breathe a bit of life into Life Got Cold, a track we've never really warmed to. Arf.

N-N-N-N-N-N-N-Next was Graffiti My Soul, as the Girls, not content with mocking the mute decide to turn their bullying attentions towards those with stutters. But forget their claims that Real Life, the next song on the set list, was a song they really wanted to release as a single, this should have been sent hurtling chartwards instead of their pisspoor charity croon-a-long of I'll Stand By You. Still sounding a million times fresher than most of what makes up the chart, the skintight rhythms and spiky melody walks all over most of what passes for pop, what has passed for pop and even what will pass for pop. And it encourages the spraypainting of a fish, an act we can only condone.

A roulette wheel, giant dollar sign and big red dice are brought onto the stage as we prepare for the next movement in the Girls Aloud symphony. The costume change here is clearly quite a complicated one as the dancers, who have previously just been content with vaguely moving in time to the extended workout that the band perform while the Girls are off stage now appear to be attempting to act out some sort of routine which involves a plot. We have no idea what it was about, nor, frankly, do we care.

Finally, the Girls arrive, all glammed up in sparkly, Vegas style showgirl dresses, appropriate for the stage setting, if not the less than Vegas like weather of Glasgow, as the band begins a swing version of I Think We're Alone Now with Nadine taking, and when does she not, the lions share of the vocal. There's more chance of Pete Doherty giving up The Drugs as there is for Nadine to give up the limelight. We just hope that the stylistic choice doesn't portend a Robbie style swing album, even we would have trouble finding something good to say about that.

Things then move onto Money which seems to leave most of the audience nonplussed, although given that most of the audience seemed to love the Dirty Dancing medley, this leads us to the conclusion that most of the audience had their polarities crossed. From the sublime to the ridiculous as the Girls troop to the top of the stairs and perform I'll Stand By You on a spinning podium. Nicola holds onto Kim's hand as she does so, which is both sweet and indicative of vertigo. And at least it wasn't See The Day, something which we find to be a good point about most songs.

Closing this section and, indeed, the main set it's the old favourite Love Machine, a song which has rapidly become the Girls Aloud song, in the sense that it's the one most closely associated with the band, rather than being the definitive example of their oeuvre, and gets a predictably wild reaction. Half way through Cheryl yells "STOP!", clomps across the stage, sounding, although certainly not looking, like a baby elephant, downs a bottle of champagne before burping heavily and allowing the band to carry on. Surely Cheryl, better than any other member of the band, knows the dangers of binge drinking. Tsk!

And with that, it all comes to an end. Or does it? Of course not! We've all been to gigs, we all know how the encore thing works. Or least you'd think we did, anyway. The people in charge of the screens, however, were less sure, and insisted on putting up big messages encouraging us to scream, shout, make some noise and generally give ourselves laryngitis if we wanted to see some more, despite the fact the Girls would be contractually obliged to perform the full set and would have to return to the stage even if the arena gave them nothing more than a half hearted shrug and some polite applause. Either way, our enthusiasm was eventually deemed to be enough as the curtain was pulled back to reveal the Girls in bed doing The Show and dancing as best you can when you have a heavy duvet restricting your movements. The problems of the high tog rating were soon dealt with, as the Girls threw back the duvets revealing not only that they were all wearing rather ace silk GA bathrobes, but that they were each in bed with a young gentleman. This, we believe, is what the Daily Mail were referring to as youth-corrupting raunchy scenes, despite the fact it was about as raunchy as a Benny Hill show and as corruptive as a Bugs Bunny cartoon where he attempts to seduce Elmer Fudd. It was, however, incredibly ace, as pretty much all performance of The Show are, when you get right down to it.

Finally, and it really is finally this time around, the Girls whip off their robes to reveal they have their Biology-esque dresses on underneath. "What song can we perform dressed like this then?" they ask, and before the crowd even have time to reach a consensus they launch into, well, Biology, the single greatest song released in the last five years. It purrs, it thrills, it still sounds like a million songs rolled into one and it's still as thrilling as covering yourself in tinfoil before sticking a fork in the plug socket.

And then it was over. Just like Mika, it was so over. No more songs, no more dancing, no more teeny tiny hotpants, just the dark of the night and the excited chatter of thousands upon thousands of Girls Aloud fans left. "We'll see you again soon", was the excited cry from the stage as they vanished from view. Let's hope they're right, although given that the quality of our GA Live review has noticeably decreased this time around, perhaps it's for the best if they're wrong. Let's wait and see, shall we?

Labels: ,


You've had a couple of weeks now to digest the disappointment of Scooch's, ahem, less than impressive performance at Eurovision, so the prospect of looking back over the events of that night should be a bit less painful than they might have been. It's with good timing, then, that Stylus have put up their Eurovision Article. Including contributions both from ourselves and people who actually know what they're talking about, it always proves to be one of the funniest and most insightful pieces of music journalism on the web and provides a true flavour of the highs and lows of the Eurovision experience. This year is no exception. Enjoy.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Busy Doing Something 

This pretty much goes without saying, but Girls Aloud were ace on Saturday night. Unfortunately you're going to have to wait for us to actually back up this opinion with some, you know, words, as we are stupidly busy this week and barely have time to eat let alone write, so we doubt we'd have time to craft articles of the high standard you've no doubt come to expect. Or, to put it another way, they'd be even more half arsed than normal if we tried to write anything for the site. Oh well! We'll be back on either Sunday or Monday with the GA live review, though. Promise.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves in the meantime.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The A To Z of Girls Aloud 

We're going to see Girls Aloud on Saturday night, and we can safely say, without recourse to hyperbole or overexageration that it's likely to be the single greatest event in music, if not the world's history. We're a bit excited about it, in case you can't tell. Anyway, as we've exhausted all other avenues in our pretty much weekly coverage of the band, we've had to come up with a new feature to preview the gig and, as you should know by now, as far as we're concerned 'new' means 'knocked off', so join us as we proudly present The A to Z of Girls Aloud:-

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

10 Things We State About... 

Volta, the new album by clinically sane popstar Bjork is out in the usual outlets now. Although Bjork herself is not in the usual outfits, preferring instead to dress up as some strange multi-coloured chicken/beer bottle hybrid. This probably Means Something, but as we only got a 3 in Standard Grade art it's gone straight over our heads, but we're sure it's all good. The album certainly is, so to celebrate here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the slightly random Icelandic popstar. Who wants to take bets as to how long it'll take us to make the cliched and entirely unjustified observation that when she sings she sounds a bit like a fax machine?
  1. When Bjork sings she sounds a bit like a fax machine.
  2. She's from Iceland. Other things from Iceland include the hopeless fight against childhood obesity that is LazyTown, geothermal spas and a wide variety of cheap frozen products that keep Kerry Katona dining like a princess. Albeit one who, rather than feeling a pea through a thousand mattresses, can pee through them instead. Soaked through, apparently.
  3. She used to sing in The Sugarcubes, whose single Hit, was. Similarly, her own debut single, Ooops, was a bit of a mistake.
  4. She spends the vast majority of her waking life in preparation for the worldwide fancy dress party which she's convinced is just around the corner. So far she's been painfully disappointed.
  5. Part of the promotional campaign for Venus as a Boy involved painting a moustache on the Venus de Milo in the Louvre. This was frowned upon by the French authorities, who were big Einar fans.
  6. For one of her videos, Bjork famously turned herself into a sensual robot, who was then struck by lightning, gained sentience before heading off on a series of hilarious adventures as she tried to hide from the American military who were determined to bring her back under their jurisdiction. This, of course, was from the gorgeous song, All is Full of Jonny Five.
  7. Bjork's Pork was one of the less successful business ventures she's lent her name and image to, failing to reach the giddy heights of the Bjork's Corks range of novelty wine bottle stoppers.
  8. Not only did It's Oh So Quiet earn Bjork the biggest hit of her career, it also awarded her two Brit Awards and an ASBO.
  9. We have, as is transparently obvious, no idea how to add an umlaut onto the 'o' in Bjork. Oh well!
  10. Seriously, Earth Intruders is one of the best things we've heard in years. And bear in mind that we've spent a large part of the last few years listening to Girls Aloud and Daphne and Celeste so that's high praise indeed.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Latest Show on Earth: Australia 

The giant, carbon spewing juggernaut that is Al Gore's Live Earth's gigs continues on apace. The latest addition to the series of concerts which appeal mainly to those who'd like to be seen to be making a difference, rather than those who might actually make a difference is the line up for the Sydney gig in Australia. Given our ignorance of much of the line-up we can only assume that the artists are at the cutting edge of Australian music as otherwise it contains about as many stars as can be seen in the night skies of the more smog-ridden parts of London. Still, just because we haven't heard of them doesn't mean we're not going to make jokes about them. After all, our lack of knowledge has never stopped us in the past. Here's the skinny:-

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Hmm, well that could have gone a bit better really. Still, at least Malta didn't think we were insufferably awful. If only someone - anyone - else had agreed with them. Ah well, there's always next year.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lazy YouTube Pick of the Week 

Scooch are, of course, representing us at Eurovision tonight, and the best of luck to them. Frankly, they're going to need it. But let's not forget those who have gone before them and returned beaten, bruised, humiliated and a footnote in the history of Eurovision trivia. Here's last year's entrant Daz Sampson doing Teenage Life, a song which we still think is ace, even if the rest of Europe doesn't agree. It's worth pointing out that in real life hiding behind blackboards while schoolgirls dance in front of it is likely to get you arrested.

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fashion, Don't You Know 

The Arctic Monkeys are undeniably, if unaccountably, popular, so it comes as no surprise that even they are being strongarmed into coming up with some sort of fashion range. Here at Talent in a Previous Life we like to be ahead of the game, so in a bid to spoil that particular launch, we sent our Fashion Correspondent Laura out to persuade Alex to write a few words about his own personal style. Over to you, Laura:

Before we start, I'm just writing a note to the Rest Of The World about this week's fashion piece. Alex Turner, being one of those 'pesky northerners' and therefore, uneducated, was slightly confused about what I was actually asking him to do and appears to have written his piece in the style of one of his songs. And it isn't even a 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' type classic. Oh no. He's written it in his mother tongue. So, for the benefit of everyone who regards everywhere north of Watford as 'The North', I've provided a rough translation to each section. Hopefully this will be of some use to you. Laura x

Alex Turner's Guide To Not Letting Skiving Ruin A Day's Work

It's 'alf past sevun an' ah've bin wokken up by GMTV
Ad stay in bed burr'av gorra pho'ershoot wiv NME
Faverut wurse nightmare staring mi right in t'face
Rush hour traffic annah just ant got the pace

Alex is starting his day by immersing himself in some highly intellectual material - GMTV. He'd prefer to chill out and listen to what the UK's finest TV presenters have to say, and maybe enter a few of their phone-in competitions. After last week's shenanigans though, when he rang in to answer the question 'What is England's capital city?' (His answer? C. Scotland) and was charged £26 for the 20 second call, he's not so sure it's the best plan. Luckily, just before that scamp Kate Garraway has convinced Alex to ring in with the answer to today's question - 'Just how awful is Avril Lavigne?' (A. extremely, B. I'd rather saw my arm off with a plastic butter knife, or C. Simon Cowell) - he realises he's due to attend a photoshoot for that bible of all that is shit, NME. Alex just can't be arsed, to be honest.

I dote really care, annit's not very fun
Ad rarver bi sat on me arse down t'pub

Alex doesn't really care about NME and would rather be at the pub. Fully aware that boozing your day away won't shift any albums (Lindsay Lohan, Robbie Williams, The Fat One From Keane, TAKE NOTE), the record label bigwigs are not pleased with this new plan.

I 'ate bein Alex from t' Arctic Monkiz
Ah gerraway wiv noffin while ma bandmates are junkiz
They can skive n gerraway wivvit all
Burrif ah dote turn up, thez a bloody uproar

Poor old Alex. He's somewhat disheartened that he's the face of the band, as this means he actually has to promote the album. The other three need not turn up. Ever. It's a fact of life that 96% of the Rest of The World would only be able to pick out Alex and the guy who is on the cover of the album out of a line up. And even then, the guy on the album isn't even in the band. Never mind Al, have a chat with Nadine Coyle and Brendon Urie about being the face and focus of the band. They'll be able to give you some pearls of wisdom.

Ah call up t'manager ter tell 'im am busy
Am on t'other end of phone, but ah know 'e sounds pissy
I 'ang up the phone en gerrin another beer
En ignore mi phone fran'ickli ringin in me ear

Alex decides to sod off down to the pub anyway, and let's face it, who can blame him? A day down the pub, or rubbing shoulders with people who hysterically declare week in, week out that 'RAZORLIGHT ARE THE BEST BAND!!!!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!!!'. The poor guy's reluctance to answer his phone to his furious manager is more than understandable really.

E's almost as bitter as t' beer in my glass
85K in a day? I'm avin' the last bloody laff!

Alex mocks his defenceless manager from afar, and laughs that his own daily salary sends out a big 'screw you' message to anyone who tries to take him away from the pub. What poor old northern Alex forgets here is that if he doesn't go to the bloody photoshoot, he will be getting sod all and, indeed, his manager will be the one laughing because he gets paid regardless.

I 'ate bein Alex from t' Arctic Monkiz
Ah gerraway wiv noffin while ma bandmates are junkiz
They can skive n gerraway wivvit all
Burrif ah dote turn up, thez a bloody uproar

You've seen this one before. Alex is being a miserable sod.

A birrov fit be'ind t'bar, tryin ter pull more than a beer
Ah tell 'er am gonna go far, so why dote shi come over ere
I ask 'er ter tek a photo so wi keep the manager at bay
Of us four lads drinkin the day away
Shiz 'appy to 'elp n wivva click of me phone
NME got their bloody photo n can leave mi alone

Aha! A stroke of genius! The barmaid who is somewhat overwhelmed at the fact that Alex from the Arctic Monkeys is in the pub with three of his greasy mates, and tries to take an impromptu photo with her camera phone to send to all her mates. Unfortunately, the flash of the camera and the hideously irritating faux click of the camera 'shutter' gives her game away. Alex, realising what she's up to, asks her to text the picture to his manager, who in turn passes it on to the NME journos. Everyone is happy!

I 'ate bein Alex from t' Arctic Monkiz
Ah gerraway wiv noffin while ma bandmates are junkiz
They can skive n gerraway wivvit all
Burrif ah dote turn up, thez a bloody uproar

Oh you've seen this one before.

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Change of A Dress 

Lily Allen launched her fashion range for New Look this week and, much like fellow designer Kate Moss, whose Top Shop clothes serve mainly to make the wearer look like they're on their way to a fancy dress party dressed as a low rent Kate Moss, her collection simply flew off the rails. Although unlike Kate's this was less down to young trendy types snapping them up like they were going out of fashion, and more down to shamefaced shop assistants tearing them off the shelves once they realised exactly what they were supposed to be selling. We're sure selections from the range will be turning up in charity shops up and down the country soon enough, though, so here's a quick look at some of what Lily had on offer, just so that you know what to avoid:-And join us next time as we look at the new fashion range soon to be launched by James Morrison. Apparently he's going big on cords. Woo-eee!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

10 Things We State About... 

The Manic Street Preachers are back! Not only did they nearly get to number one at the weekend, but they've come back with an album that's nearly as good as what they used to do. To celebrate here are ten entirely true and in no way made up facts about the band that might nearly be amusing:-
  1. James Dean Bradfield has recently concluded his mission to eat every single meat and pastry product in the world. When asked why he attempted this feat he replied explaining that it was so that when anyone ever asked him again "Who ate all the pies?" he would be able to reply, with no small measure of pride in his voice, "I did. I ate all the pies".
  2. Despite their well-read, literary reputation, Nicky Wire only owns one book; The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
  3. In reality, motorcycles aren't empty. They're actually full of the metal bits which make it go.
  4. Sean Moore collects gadgets. This might not seem very interesting, but bear in mind that he is the drummer, so we've got to take what we can.
  5. The novelisation of their Holy Bible album is somewhat disappointing and appears to bear little or no relevance to the original piece.
  6. Before settling down to start work on the new album, James and Nicky decided to try their hands at bird rearing. Nicky brought his dove round to James' flat but, no matter how hard they tried, the bird simply wouldn't breed. Exasperated, Sean eventually tried to explain to them what the problem was: "Nicky", he began, in a polite yet terse manner, "Your dove alone is not enough".
  7. Due to continual shoplifting, all the Manics are banned from being within a 25 metre radius of the No. 7 make-up counter in all branches of Boots nationwide.
  8. Libraries don't give us power. They give us books. Which do, admittedly, burn quite well.
  9. Richey James Edwards has held the title of Welsh Hide and Seek Champion since 1995 and shows no signs whatsoever of giving up his title. Or, indeed, any signs full stop.
  10. You Stole The Sun From My Heart really is the absolute nadir of their career.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Latest Show On Earth: USA 

Our look at the Live Earth line up continues, although if they don't get round to announcing who's appearing at the other venues sharpish it's going to come grinding to a halt pretty quickly. You know, with such a delay between announcing the concerts and actually announcing who's going to be appearing at them, it's almost like they're having problems filling up the bill. Still, we're sure that can't be the case. Here's the line up for the American leg of the gig, highlighting the fact that organisation is somewhat lacking in this whole affair is that this gig will be taken place at an as yet unknown venue. It was originally planned to take place in Washington DC, but some people complained that this would be a bit too political. And besides, it would interrupt George W Bush's afternoon nap, and if he doesn't get enough sleep he gets really cranky:

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 07, 2007

Music Week 

It is, of course, Eurovision on Saturday, and we're sure Terry Wogan is already dusting down his book of Lazy European Stereotypes in preparation for his big moment. Let's hope that, unlike during Making Your Mind Up he can actually follow proceedings this time around. Unlike what he seemed to believe on the night, flying the flag for us are Scooch who'll be doing their best to do the UK proud. Or at the very least try not to embarrass as too much. With such a weight of expectation on their shoulders it's going to be a busy week for the boys and girls ageing men and women in the band, but what exactly is in store for them? Let's take a look:


It's time for that age old Eurovision tradition: the awkward photoshoot with Terry. As in recent years Britain's acts have performed in a manner which is only impressive as we watch with dread to see exactly how far down the rankings we can get, Terry is even more reluctant than normal this year to get involved, fearing that the stench of failure might cling to him more strongly than the old person smell of cabbage which tends to linger whenever he's in the room, initially refusing to even appear in the same photo. Fed up by this act of petulance, the PR girl politely but firmly points out that he should count himself lucky as there was a good chance he'd currently be required to be photographed with Justin Hawkins from the Darkness. Suitably chastened, he meekly allows himself to be photographed with Scooch, although he refuses point blank to put his arms out and pretend to be an aeroplane.


To help themselves get in the mood for the big event, Scooch decide to have a Finnish day before they travel to Helsinki. They plan on eating Finnish food, drinking Finnish drinks and doing Finnish things. Unfortunately this plan comes grinding to a halt when they realise they don't have any idea what traditional Finnish things are. Natalie brings along some crispy pancakes but is disappointed when someone points out that they're Findus, not Finnish.


It's time to go to Finland! And Scooch are all excited and keen to make their departure a big event. Alas, they turn up dressed in their stewardess/captain costumes that they'll be wearing for the performance and are promptly arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, charged with impersonating flight attendants in a bid to cause misery and pain on a European wide scale. They are only released after the judge listens to their CD a number of times, although even then he's not entirely convinced their aims are entirely benign.


Helsinki! And in between rehearsals - which the other entrants are in no way watching and sniggering at - Russ is chuffed when an excited Finn comes running up to him to ask for his autograph. "See! They love us here!", he exclaims, the sheer joy of his emotion obvious in his voice, "We're so going to win this!". The others decide not to ruin his mood by telling him that the kid is currently labouring under the delusion he's just got one of Lordi's autograph. It would be more than he needed to know.


It's the day before the main event and, while undoubtedly platinum selling megastars in their home country, Scooch are painfully aware that their profile is somewhat lacking on a more international basis. To counteract this, today is largely spent attempting to press the flesh of the international media in a bid to boost awareness of the band's existence. Unfortunately they, once again, choose to do this in their flight attendant uniforms, which fails to increase Scooch's profile, but does leave the assembled media with a greater awareness of the benefits of flying business class with British Airways.


Eurovision night itself! The nerves get to Russ and he, getting confused about what show he's appearing on, flashes back to his time on Boys Will Be Girls and begins dressing up in Caroline's outfit by mistake, getting into something of a tizzy about the five o'clock shadow on his face. The problem resolved, the band go out on stage, perform their little hearts out and generally do Britain proud. They go to the green room, sit back, relax, and await the voting with hope in their hearts and the feeling of satisfaction of a job well done, knowing that this, this, has to be their night.


Leaving Finland with their tail between their legs, they take the plane back to Britain, doing their best to ignore the desultory headlines in the Sunday papers and the tomatoes of failure which are likely to be hurled at them as they attempt to make a quick and undignified exit from Heathrow. Poor Scooch.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Lazy YouTube Pick of the Week 

In common with many other websites these days, we're far too lazy to actually come up with content for the site ourselves, so instead each week we're going to scour YouTube and stick something up from there, saving us the hassle of actually trying to be creative and write something. It's a winning idea, we feel.

First up in this 'exciting' new feature is the video for the vastly underrated and, frankly, lost classic Bingo by Catch. It's worth pointing out that this was released in the late nineties so the special effects used were actually cutting edge back then. The same, however, cannot be said about their haircuts

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Actual Worst Records... Ever 

Close your ears

What on earth possesses people to go out and buy Snow Patrol records? It's a good question, and one which, frankly, is beyond us. So we turn, as we do with all of life's big questions, to 82ASK who, in answer to that poser, reply "We really don't know. It may be a genetic defect or possibly the result of too much sun. We also have a theory that it may be because people like the name" which, while not really answering our question, does at least prove why we love 82ASK so much.

Anyway, it was inevitable that Snow Patrol would eventually turn up in our list of The Actual Worst Records... Ever. It was only a matter of when and for what song and, indeed, we did have an entry ready to go on Crashing Cars, but reluctantly decided to spike it when the Virgin Radio audience declared it to be the best song ever written of all time, ever, ever, ever. Clearly we were wrong to consider it to be a lazy piece of beige pointlessness with all the good qualities of a Hitler/Vernon Kay genetic crossbreed. After all, who knows more about music? Us or a group of people who still think Noel Gallagher is worth listening to, think black music begins and ends with Bob Marley and who consider music made by women to be nothing more than an amusing novelty which shouldn't really be encouraged. Ah, that would be us then.

But perhaps it was fortunate that the proud expression of their deeply held opinions depressed us so much that we briefly considered jacking the site in as Gary Lightbody - a man who barely has enough personality to warrant having a name - and the rest of the band - who don't even have that - had something else up his sleeve: a song duller, more irrelevant and infinitely more irritating than anything they'd yet come up with. That song is Open Your Eyes. If you ever met him you'd almost have to congratulate him on that feat, or you would if you weren't fighting the urge to extinguish lit cigarettes on tender parts of his body in the hope that some real suffering, as opposed to feeling alternately a bit achey cause he's getting older, or vaguely maudlin but not that fussed really, when you get right down to it, because girls aren't hugely interested in him which seems to be his main inspiration, might cause him to write a decent song for once in his life. And just for the sheer enjoyment of punishing someone who truly deserves it, of course.

Open Your Eyes is the former sort of song, although it's hard to tell as the lyrics consist mainly of Gary intoning "Tell me that you'll open your eyes" in a dull monotone for pretty much the entirety of the track. If even the writer of the song can't be bothered to come up with proper lyrics - not that he can be bothered singing it either, his performance coming across with the same sort of enthusiasm and passion as someone who's been given the task of reading Piers Morgan's new 'book' aloud to an audience consisting entirely of Piers Morgan - then it's hard to know exactly why we should bother listening to it. Although given that it currently seems to crop up on every single radio station every thirty minutes, no matter what genre the station claims to cover - we're convinced we heard it on the BBC Asian Network the other day - it's not really like you're afforded much choice in the matter, the playlist clerks' eyes presumably being closed to soporific qualities of the track. Or perhaps that's why it's being played so often. The listeners doze off with, much like the track itself, barely a murmur of protest, the radio still blaring away in the background, allowing the station concerned to claim all manner of ludicrous listening figures, happily ignoring the fact that the vast majority of their audience is dozing away, drool dripping unpleasantly down their chin and with the very real possibility that they've soiled themselves in the meantime.

Ah, we're back to Virgin Radio's audience again, aren't we?

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Knock Three Times If You Wanna See a Secret Gig 

It seems that Britney Spears is no longer mad. Hooray! Although the people willing to pay $125 dollars (At the current rate of exchange that's roughly £5 in real money, but it's a lot to them) to see her perform would probably have a hard time claiming to be on the right side of the mental state divide. Yes, Britney has returned to doing what she does best: shaking her bits to the hits, providing fodder for tabloid gossip columnists and giving lazy music bloggers something to write about instead of coming up with something original, interesting, witty and insightful. Ahem.

She was performing in San Diego in a secret gig at the House of Blues. Although given that it was heavily plugged and covered in the days leading up to the event, it was about as secret as Lily Allen's forehead. Appearing under the name of The M&Ms - Yes, it probably was a sponsorship thing, and we can see why the smooth, spherical, nutty snacks might feel that association with Britney was a natural thing - Britney did six songs in fifteen minutes and not very many clothes. She also wore a wig, putting her into the same sort of pop pedigree as Elton John and Gary Glitter, which presumably was glued to her head with industrial strength adhesive to stop it falling off during some of her more energetic dance routines.

Still, publicity gimmick it may well have been, at least she seems to be feeling a bit, ahem, 'better'. And has finally bought herself some knickers, even if 'a top' still seems to be low down on her list of shopping priorities.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Latest Show On Earth: UK 

Live Earth, Al Gore's last ditch attempt to meet some pop stars and, as a bit of an afterthought, possibly save the world while he's about it, kicks off on July 7th and it's an event whose complete pointlessness is likely to be in direct contrast to the media coverage afforded to it, much of which will focus on the 'stellar' nature of the line up and, mainly because they don't want to jeopardise their chances of free tickets, a lot less to say about the environmental impact of seven mega-gigs taking place with artists travelling via airplane from all over the world with an expected audience of 2 billion (although this seems less an estimation and more a number plucked out of thin air) enjoying the concerts via television, radio or the internet, even though this is likely to make a more significant impact on the polar ice-caps than us occasionally leaving our phone charger plugged in. Still, we're sure they'll half-heartedly plant a few trees somewhere so as to desperately assuage their guilt at being single handedly responsible for making Pingu homeless offset the carbon costs of the event. Still, just like proper music journalists who know what they're talking about, we're equally lazy and happy to have features spoon fed to us, so here is the first of many - seriously it's going to be worse than our Live 8 coverage - pieces looking at the Live Earth line up. First up, the UK's concert in London:-

Labels: ,