A rather tragic letting off of steam.

What makes life that little less liveable for me? Daft things, silly things that in reality amount to very little when compared to far more serious issues.

One of these things though are adverts. To be precise the slew of shitty, samey, faux cheerful banter filled adverts. Closely followed by those stern faced, shouty, pointy, high volume, finger waving, angry, soulless but impeccably tailored, ‘have you had an accident?!” type adverts. All in a constant loop of mind-numbing crappiness.

I remember a time not that long ago when you could pop your TV on and the first thing you heard or saw wasn’t always another advert, last night I went though the channels and every single one was on an ad break it seemed.
Even the BBC sneak ads of a sort in-between their programming only they call them ‘previews’. In reality they amount to little more than being adverts for far better shows than the one you’ve just been sat watching only this one isn’t on for another week though so tough luck there viewers.
This is why I hardly watch TV anymore, its chased me off by its sheer aggressive manner of over advertising.

Even the once mighty Barry Scott (aka actor Neil Burgess) seems robbed of his once overly violent energies now, a beaten man reduced to almost whispering his infamous greeting of “Hello! I’m Barry Scott!” well aware that the ironic party is long over and people rank their hatred of his character alongside that of Hitler, Fred West level murderers and Traffic Wardens.

B. Scott
If it’s not adverts it’s the proliferation of modern continuity announcers with thick impregnable regional and rural accents, some do little more than mumble the following schedule in some odd ‘street’ patois obviously aimed at the ‘yuff’.


All this might be bearable if all the channels hadn’t got into the habit of allowing these YTS level announcers to waffle over the end credits of your favourite programmes. Even before the action has finished and the first credits role the sound goes down and a needless announcement to ‘stay tuned!’ is made, or at least I think it is as I’m not always sure what they’ve said if they’re from the North East or the Midlands.
Sadly in the modern world concise and clear speech broadcasted outside of radio is seen as being a worrying sign of possible usage of Received Pronunciation (or RP if you’re common) and therefore putting the announcer in real danger of sounding patronising to the average viewer like a well meaning teacher speaking to the slow class kids.


So there you have it, a rather tragic lament over very little of any real worth but hey, what else is the internet for if you can’t share these things and annoy others in the process?

Well, that didn’t go down well at all.

Hmmmm, views to my blog appear to be slowing down. It would seem nobody wishes to read the laments of a mid thirties man as he bemoans not being cool enough to have fully enjoyed the entire ‘Britpop’ thing or being a young student about town back in the day. Now the 1990s is due a retrospective comeback I’m being racked with nostalgic blues and felt the need to share this aging induced moroseness with the world.
Big mistake, I’ve lost followers.
People are always telling me that I shouldn’t live in the past, but I don’t know, at least the beers cheaper if I can do so.

Also, I’m rather sorry that the previous entry might have at first appeared to have been a serious review of the book ‘Just For One day’ but it soon digressed into a series of self obsessed paragraphs with little in the way of connection to the original theme, I promise, hand on heart, to curb such actions in future posts. Can I state for the record that having finished the book I can assure you that it is actually a thoroughly decent read that has seen me schlepping around town to the mp3 player accompaniment of a collected assortment of mid to late 90s era indie in which Sleeper features quite heavily and has made running the gauntlet of the town centre much more bearable.


So to sum up, I now know long winded self important blog entries to be a bad thing and shortish, concise to an actual point entries to be the ideal. Thank you all for your patience, please bear with me as I find my way in the over saturated world of the blog.


A book about Britpop and now I’m feeling rather old thanks to it.

Back to Britpop and the 1990s.

just for one day

I’ve lately been dipping in and out of the book ‘Just For One Day’ adventures in Britpop, the memoir of Louise Wener from the band Sleeper. I’m currently in two minds about this book on one hand it rekindles a strong sense of nostalgia in myself and my own tentative forays into the world of pop music fandom, that wonderful point in adolescence when you start to develop your own tastes in clothing and music entirely distinct from what you may have heard from listening to your parents record collection or from those of your friends and siblings, in my case I suppose my first love was undoubtedly indie music, the sort of post Grebo, post-post punk, post-Madchester boon bands who would later be rallied under the genre title Britpop and a thousand Union Jack motifs.

At times though the book begins to read like a sulky complaint ridden account of those years compiled by a slightly jaded but surprisingly not quite as bitter as she should be individual. Wener it would appear, never quite managed to grow entirely out of her petulant teenage stroppy persona. Don’t get me wrong I can strop with the best of them and by Lordy I have good reason to an all but after a while you start to find her sarcastic wit and dry commentary grating a wee bit which might be a bit unfair as after all is said and done she does do all said stroppy commentary with style and there is also a lot of humour dotted about so I’m still on-board and rather enjoying the read. If you’re looking for an unbiased history of the era and the scene then this  obviously highly personal account of one persons experiences within the eye of the media storm isn’t really going to deliver on that score. It is though an entertaining and insightful look into the experiences of Louise Wener and the manner in which Sleeper were ushered into the indie Top of the Pops fold but sadly though since Sleeper were never in quite the same level as the mighty super league of bands like Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Suede and Radiohead you always feel as though you’re rather slumming it a bit in their company. At times you can almost feel the chill of the shared bedsit with no heating and the tedium of being skint enough not to be able to go out to the pub but just flush enough to fork out for a few shared cans to be passed around whilst sat on the fag scorched sofa or on the sticky carpet as the telly blares in the background. No sooner have Sleeper seemingly started to ‘make it’ by appearing on Top of the Pops and being interviewed in the music press then they’ve split up.

louise wener from sleeper

This whole era in British pop music and cultural history is amazingly already the subject of much retrospective myth making and cliché driven nonsense, from the politics of New Labour to the woeful advent of reality TV, Princess Di to ‘Blur Vs Oasis’, it didn’t happen quite as it might seem thanks to several retellings later. Poor old John Major has been rather airbrushed out of the histories as no one can quite bring themselves to admit that the biggest boon in home grown guitar pop or the idea of Britishness being sexy and cool again since the 1960s happened on his watch and under a Tory government. Instead it seems that the whole thing was orchestrated by the then saintly Tony Blair and New Labour to get the UK economy back on its feet by selling copies of ‘Definitely, Maybe’ to foreign markets.

Of course the entire story of these years is way beyond both the scope of this blog and frankly my own and your patience to work through it. Suffice to say the whole affair was undoubtedly a less sexy on ground level far in the provincial north away from the champagne parties at No:10 and the coke fuelled loos of the NME and Melody Maker to say nothing about Camden lock and London in general.

noel uk

According to those in the know on high street fashion, which unsurprisingly appears to be the clothing retailers and fashion press we’re soon to face hordes of fresh faced twenty-somethings decked out in mid to late 1990s indie fashion which personally I can’t wait to see, I genuinely liked the 90s for youth fashion even though I was hardly best placed to comment being a bit of a nark and being way out of the cool leagues with my Travel Fox trainers and Brutus jeans not having quite the same cut n’ dash of vintage Adidas and red tag Levis. What most of the 1990s indie crowd wore going from my memory was practically a homage to many UK youth cultures prior taking elements from post punk, Skinhead, Mod and up to the terrace Casuals ( is it me or did Britpop also happen about the same time that Football became decidedly ‘posher’ and more middle class?) so a 1990s revival will all make a welcome change from the current trend of everyone, absolutely everyone! wearing those seemingly same bloody green parkas.

As for the original ‘Britpop’ fad I had a chance to be a part of this entire 1990s coolness the first time round but blew it through no fault of my own as I was blessed a painfully obvious lack of self confidence to ever hope to play the Brett Anderson like louche card, had far too much puppy fat to pass for a Jarvis like introspective waif and the biggest blow being far too middle class and lacking in the required Manchester accent to pass for a hooligan Gallagher-a-like … although I did have the mono-brow. In fact the look that I did rock back then has since been described by people looking at the collected photographic evidence in such heart warming descriptive utterances of  ‘ JESUS! Yuck!’,  ‘Aww bless him’  and ‘What on earth where you thinking?” and my personal fav being  “Did your mum dress you at the time?!”. Sigh, Life is cruel indeed as now this time round I’ve been equally blessed with a middle aged spread, a receding hairline and bad eyesight, hardly the stuff of uber cool now is it? My only hope is to write my own warts n’ all memoir of my time on the lowest possible rung of the rock n’ roll ladder and garner some dubious kudos points from naming names and shaming faces. More on this idea later.bootys



Second installment from ‘Cheap Day Return’ : A Johnny LaCrosse adventure.

Chapter 25: ‘Leroy Entendre I presume?’

I slammed the gears of the bus I was now driving into third and took the corner of the road like Hitler took Poland. I was in no mood for politeness and the disability scooter shouldn’t have been on the highway to begin with. I pulled onto the curb and let the startled passengers off leaving my card on the driver seat should any wish to mail me their cash tips.double deckerI skipped up the first two steps to the council chambers then I skipped back down them then I hopped to the left and spun around. They didn’t call me the OCD Kid for nothing when I’d been a boxer. What had been a disability in normal everyday life had been a blessing in the ring, I’d spent so long skipping and hopping around in multiples of eight that the opposition had often just collapsed through boredom or given up in frustration, to be honest half the time I hadn’t been aware I was in a match I’d been so wrapped up in my rituals. But hey, I had the regional semi-final warm up games championship belt hung up in my closet at home to prove my pugilist credentials.

Now safely inside the chambers I shimmied to the reception counter and flicked the small dust covered rusting service bell, a shrill ting-a-ling rang out to be answered by a shriller voice from the staff room. A woman who looked like a shrew in a tweed scarf was now shuffling my way. Pausing only to break wind and blame it on the floorboards she moved behind the reception desk and placed a pince-nez on her face, not her nose just her face. It sort of hung pointlessly across her left cheek and seemed to be stuck under her eyelid. I pretended not to notice.

“Mr Entendre?” I asked.

“no..er.. Polly Cartwheel” she replied, I sighed the sort of long drawn out sigh usually reserved for use by special needs teachers or care workers.

“No” I said “I want to know which floor and office is his.”

“Oh no he doesn’t own any of them petal, he just works here. You see the council owns the building… it’s not his floor you understand. Is there anyone else with you that I can talk to for you?”

This dame was a loose end and it was time to cut the crap and get the job done. I pistol whipped the old dear to the ground and in sixty seconds or a minute, which ever is quickest, I’d had her trussed up like the Xmas goose and Xmas had come early this year along with a world of hurt because deep down we all know we’ve been naughty boys and girls and that Santa’s bringing the pain and heartache we all crave like a masochist craves a studded leather belt and a ball gag.

Pausing only to check the floor plans on the fire drill sheet I holstered my piece and took the stairs hopping and skipping all the way.

Damn it! I should have taken the lift this is going to take me all day to get to level three.

noir stairsI finally skipped and rotated up onto level three and as luck would have it I arrived the exact moment that fat man Entendre was leaving his office for his daily fix of fried chicken. His greasy malformed fingers clutching his money off coupon booklet like some grubby alien baby clutching an unhealthy rattle. The fat bastard was so engrossed in how much he could shave of his bargain bucket tab he’d failed to notice me creep up behind and whip out my revolver on him. I pushed the business end into where the arch of his back by all rights should have been, the gun vanished into rolls of fat, simply sucked into a vortex caused by the sheer scale of the man. Luckily I had a spare rod in my sock holster.

I bent down to retrieve it but in all the skipping and hopping I’d done that day the damn thing had slipped down almost pass the ankle as I pulled at it I went down flat on my back and that’s when the fat man stood back and the world went black!


When I awoke I was still on the floor in the hallway, the sweetness of the oblivion now replaced by a raging headache that felt like I’d been hoarding an army of woodpeckers in my head and told them to go nuts on the interior oak panelling. The fat man had long gone the lazy bastard hadn’t even bothered to finish me off or maybe he couldn’t risk leaning over in case he tumbled down the stairwell or had just figured he had no need to do any more. He knew what I had on him and the firm was shaky at best.

I’ll say this for the Fat Man he had guts alright.

jackie gleasonNow feeling as chastised as a nun at a family health clinic I worked my way back down the stairs again. Damn it! Forgot to use the bloody lift! I arrived at the ground floor to see several paramedics cart the old bag from reception away, with any luck they’d figure she just had fall and somehow managed to tangle herself in the detached phone cable which had worked itself into the shape of a hitch knot. Hell, old folks must do that all the time. I slipped my card into the top pocket of the community police warden along with a crisp two pound note bearing the visage of the heroic  King William III which I’d picked up from the no thrills bureau de change in the alleyway behind my office and headed off to hail a cab.

rain noirThe rain was coming down now like a kamikaze pilot making his final run and the wind weakly flicked around my trench coat like a lazy pervert gently fondles asses. I was on the trail of the Fat Man and I knew every location of every fried chicken outlet in the greater Blackpool area and had a passable health inspector warrant card forgery to get me in the backstage area should I need to. I pulled a cab over and got in.

Coshing the driver I took the wheel and sped off into the greying day, my rules baby, my rules.


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