Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stop 1 - The Stag

Every good work do starts with a meal and mine's no different. Steak and Ale pie at a surprisingly busy Stag.

Ordered a Carlsberg to go with it because the Guinness is always crap in here and the only bitter they have is Yorkshire rubbish.

Pie was piping hot and gorgeous. Beer palatable, atmosphere good and the scary locals got less and less scary the more they harmonised with the Human


League tunes on the jukebox.

Got a call from housemate and colleague Moss who's up for tagging along.

She and another possible recruit, Louisa, are waiting at stop 2, The Mount.

Location:The Stag, Orrell Road

Christmas Do Day

Afternoon campers.

So the office Christmas Do is something I always look forward to, and this year's was a belter in Warrington. Unfortunately I was on my best behaviour for whatever reason.

I went out with a girl from Ramsbottom way back when and her dad was a self employed plumber and every year would have his own Christmas Do. He'd do a job in the morning then park the van back at their house an walk down to the pub and do what self employed plumbers do best. Drink until he was fluent in Polish.

Now I'm currently trying to convince the Revenue that I'm no longer self-employed but for today I'm going to pander to them and have myself a "self employed Christmas Do".

I'm going to start with some lunch at one end of Orrell Road in Wigan and make my way into town to meet with my friend Shaun for a curry.

The perfect Christmas Do and, like the actual official Christmas do, I'm paying for it myself!

I've got my mp3 player for the walk, my phone so that if people want to join me they can find out where I am, and this beautiful iPad so that I can write my findings not just of the experience of my first Self Employed do but the quality of an Orrell Road pub crawl.

Location:Pemberton Palace

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hacienda Must Be Built

I’m currently reading Peter Hook’s fabulous “How Not To Run a Club” which is making the Hacienda sound like the coolest place to be but the most frustrating place to be involved in. It’s a cracking read as well. As much for the appendices as anything, from the original membership application form to set lists of concerts.

From the book (and the club’s end of year newsletter) here’s the 1982 Hacienda Top 20.

Hacienda 1982

Buy the book

Friday, August 19, 2011

Butch and sincere....but what was the year?

I have many theories about radio. The vast majority of them are wrong and moronic I'm told but every now and again I come up with one that has merit and I believe this to be one of them.

What if we only did Top 10 at 10's if we did them properly? Like how they started. A real Top 10 from this week in a year gone by rather than playing from the pool of the same 15 songs because they're the only ones that "fit the brand".

So, as a little exercise here's the Top 10 from this week in the year that Wish FM is using today. Would this sit well on a music radio station in 2011 or is it just too spikey.....and if so, why?

This is purely a "what if?" exercise...I'm not suggesting that we do it, I'm suggesting it's something to talk about when you don't want to do any actual work.

Hey, why not play along at home m'darling!

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9



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1

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Manchester, So Much To Answer For.

What you’re about to read will not help anyone. It’s not a sensible solution, it’s not the kind of thing that anyone should really condone. It’s just the gut feeling and heartfelt outpourings of a bloke watching a collection of pillocks taking the piss in his hometown.

After a couple of nights rioting in London and kidding myself that it wouldn’t happen in Manchester because, as tweeters across the city have said, we lead – we don’t follow, it seems to have kicked off tonight.

I had a little kip at 3.00 and there were reports of a bit of a police presence in Piccadilly but no bad temper at all, woke up at 7 and Miss Selfridge is on fire, BBC Manchester have had their radio car totalled and there’s widespread looting at Salford Shopping City (although what you can “loot” from 3 branches of Cash Converters I’m not sure).

Listening to Key 103 – who have done well tonight – there’s a bloke from the City centre’s Pub and Club Watch saying that all pubs are closed for the night. No buses or trams entering Manchester tonight either.

The latest is that the crowds are making  their way to King Street to see what they can get from the nice shops.

This has particularly rankled me.

Why are they being allowed to run free through Manchester  Why are they being given the freedom of the town to kick in whichever shops they like?

I’d love to see these idiots kettled into Piccadilly Gardens and ordinary Mancunians standing behind the police so that instead of watching these ratboys we don’t allow them through into the city.

We should be doing what Manchester does best and just getting on with it so that these cretins don’t feel special. Why the fuck are they being allowed to do it?

I realise that it’s very rich from me sitting here 15 miles away and not facing up and going to protect my beloved home city but like I say, it’s just what’s on the top of my head.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Friends In The West

North West Tonight, the wonderful and humble organ of regional news on BBC1 reported on the fact that Pete Best, “The 5th Beatle” is having a street named after him in Liverpool.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-14275755

The new estate in West Derby will also have a street named Casbah Close, after the club that was half a mile away where the Beatles started their career.

You know how much I love our Scouse brethren, only in Liverpool would they name a street after someone who was NEARLY in the biggest band in the world, and a club that was QUITE CLOSE, not on the site, quite close some years ago.

And another thing……how many places in Liverpool did the Beatles start their career? Every street corner from L1 to L12 proclaims itself as “de place where it all started!”

In other Mersey themed news, it’s been a very short 7 months but happy birthday to a man I already consider to be a great friend, East Lancs legend Kev Seed is 25 again tomorrow. Nice one ace!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Friday, July 08, 2011

I Want My MTV!

I’ve been getting to grips with news feeds and what have you on Firefox and in order to get music news about people who seem to be named after dangerous pets I’ve subscribed to MTV News.

When I got rid of Sky about 18 months ago I worked out that it had been a couple of years since I had watched MTV for music, and even then I recorded 120 Minutes at stupid o’clock in the morning to watch when I came in from work.

This was going to be a diatribe tredding a path followed a number of times about how they should drop the “M” but instead of that I got on You Tube and looked up some MTV that I loved.

I grew up watching MTV when it was by far the best channel on Astra and have narrowed down my 5 favourite things about good old MTV.

5. Davina McCall in leather!

Davina was fit. She was funny, she was irreverent, she could hold her own against the wave of testosterone that was whichever Italian happened to be on with her at that time and she was fit!

She also had an amazing rock n roll back story which was eluded to much more on MTV than it ever has been since and this put her alongside the best MTV presenters who also walked the walk.

She also used to wear leather, tight leather, a lot!

4. Post 10pm “Alternative” programming

Most of MTV’s alternative programming was great. Alternative Nation was a breath of fresh air, indie and leftfield music being treated like all the pop that was on during the day. 120 Minutes was the nearest thing to John Peel on the TV and the fact that this was MTV Europe meant that there was literally no way of knowing what was coming up next. Dirty Norwegian techno segueing with a series of on-screen idents (obviously in the infancy of on-screen graphics because you could time them loading the next ident on, it normally took 90 seconds to show the name of the artist, song, MTV strand, MTV show, etc) into Ride.

Then there was the Brothers Grunt, Liquid Television, Ren and Stimpy. TV that looked and felt like creative minds realised you can’t please all of the people all of the time and were actually trying to flex their minds. Superb stuff.

3. European VJ’s 

They’d stand in front of a green screen swaying with their arms behind their back, speaking in the pidgen-est of English, starting every sentence with “OK guys”. You know they’re speaking in English, you can make out the words, but the fact that every VJ had their own pattern of speech depending on which part of the continent they were from was brilliant and, personally, fostered feelings of European brotherhood.

The best thing about MTV Europe VJ’s, however, was that for a teenager going through the changes a teenager does, these slightly older girls with funky hair and tight clothes on was mesmerizing. My own personal favourite was Marijne Van Der Vlugt. I’m still a sucker for long brown hair, doe-eyes and faux coyness…….AND she was in a band!

image

2. Summer holidays, Neighbours has finished, time for Whale and MC Solaar

Before I really understood what tight rotation and playlists were I just thought that Pip Dann and VJ Ingo had amazing music taste which is why Swedish rockers Whale and French rapper MC Solaar would always be on in the afternoon. Could you imagine anyone in charge of any media outlet allowing people to see these videos during the day?

 

1. Most Wanted with Ray Cokes.

STILL the only TV show I made an effort to watch every single day.

It was like all the radio I loved at the time (and there is no higher compliment). Fun, loads of people involved, crammed with ideas, operating within it’s own boundaries, interactive without pleading for contact, happy to talk nonsense and include in-jokes because if the crew are enjoying it chances are the viewer is too! “Your input is our output”, “Cans of Bis”, “Club Bed” and all presided over by a bloke who was more than happy with the fact that this is all a bit crap which is why people genuinely loved the last great TV presenter Ray Cokes.

Fact : Youth TV viewers love watching blokes who are obviously in their late 30’s pissing about like a top uncle who talks to you like your on his level!

Here he is with Take That….who obviously adore him and will swear like troopers to fit in! (NB : Isn’t Robbie a knob?)

 

He’s now presenting the Belgian version of “James and Oz Get Smashed” – trufax!

Anyway, back to the plot, there may be no 120 Minutes any more but you can make your own because MTV put stuff on their website that doesn’t quite fit with “16, Pregnant and Spoilt”. Enjoy Little Scream presenting “Lamb”

http://www.mtv.co.uk/artists/little-scream/video/first-take-little-scream

Sunday, June 19, 2011

An Apology

My Auntie Gabrielle is an amazing woman.
She is a mother to two very switched on children, both now grown up and ploughing their own furrow.
She is a nurse, and a bloody good one at that with experience coming out of her ears.
She’s a graduate, with a Masters no less.
However, she is prone to the odd faux-pas and eccentricity. For example she’s got to the age she is convinced that the word “next” is spelt “NEXED” despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Recently she confused X Factor loser Ray Quinn for survival expert Ray Mears and spectacularly during a family holiday in Yugoslavia she had a disagreement with her partner, picked up her handbag and stormed away from the pool…forgetting that she had attached her handbag to the table and took the table and it’s contents halfway through the hotel bar.
For as long as I’ve been interested in music and plying my trade in radio she’s talked about a song called “Marie Celeste” that she remembers from the 1980’s. The whole family have checked websites like everyhit.com and their battered copies of the British Hit Singles to find this haunting melody (and in the 20-odd years she’s sung it back to us it gets more and more haunting and less and less melodic).
I’ve scoured the record libraries of 2 hospital radio stations and 3 large commercial radio groups. I’ve asked bona fide experts if they’ve heard of the song and always drawn a blank.
In all that time we’ve never found any song that sounds remotely like it and it’s become a  bit of a joke. A stick to hit her with when she is trying on convince us that she’s right or that she’s more intelligent than she’s cracked on.
Then, last Thursday, I did ANOTHER search for the lyrics. “Marie Celeste, I’m in distress. I’m in a force 9 gale”
It actually came good. Another resident of Cyberspace was searching in vain for “Marie Celeste”. No repliers had ever heard of it….except one.
“I think it was by a Jon vansomething or Eric vonsomething”
Eventually, after clicking on link after link, I found an article about a prominent record collector who sadly died in 2005. It wasn’t known by all of his associates but he used to be a pop star. He called himself Greg Vandike and released a song in 1980 which didn’t chart but did get played on Radio 1 a few times.
Guess what it was called……
So, Gabrielle Green, for not believing you for all these DECADES about the existence of this appalling tat. I apologise wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

5 Things I’m Doing Right Now

Watching the IT Crowd Series 2 – it’s the dinner party one!

Running the battery down on my kindle

Making a brew

Stroking my new facial hair arrangement

Writing a test page using Live Writer to see if it marries up with the changes I made to the template

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If I could, I would!

Kudos to Anthony from work for finding this gem.

From Italia’s Got Talent : fast forward through the judges taking the mickey to about 3 minutes in to see the greatest performance in reality TV history.

If I could do this, I’d be queuing at the auditions as fast as my legs could carry me!

 

I’m not a father…

…or at least not as far as I know….eh, eh! (No, seriously, I’m not and there is no chance on God’s earth that I am)

Anyway, I’m not a parent but Molly Forbes’ blog about being a mother is aces, and you can vote for it here

http://www.the-mads.com/index.htm

Holidaze!

So then, day 2 of my “holiday” (it’s in inverted commas because I’m not actually going anywhere, just staying in the flat)

The plan was that I’d spend this time getting up to speed on things that I’ve neglected, however so far I’ve watched Jeremy Kyle and fallen asleep on the couch.

Hopefully today will be different with a bit of time set aside for “Twelve Monkeys” which I’ve got from Love Film and still haven’t seen.

Good start so far! Out of bed a whole hour earlier than yesterday…

Monday, March 07, 2011

Testing my True Faith

On Friday morning we got word at "The Lodge" that George Michael was releasing a cover version of "True Faith" to raise money for Comic Relief. I must admit to taking the trademark Fatmancunian position of head shaking and mumbling at the revelation.

This morning I heard it.

Gobsmacked.

My first reaction was to wonder whether Comic Relief had gone back to the good old days of Llallaneeneenoonoo and Hale And Pace by releasing a comedy record but, no. It would appear that this is a serious effort.

It's like when you're "tired and emotional" and someone's given you a kiddie's Cyberman helmet to sing through and then slowed right down as if it might have sounded fairly normal once but has been applied to an iron maiden.

It is without doubt the worst, most ill-concieved record I have ever heard. If I was Comic Relief I'm be annoyed beyond belief and demanding action from George Michael's management to remedy this appalling action.

He was in the press today admitting he should have been jailed for the drink-driving conviction he received. Add "murder" to that charge list now.

As for New Order.....who the f**k said this would be OK!?

If you've not heard it yet......you can die happy!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A "Falling Down" Moment

Brilliant story about a woman who went postal in a cake shop after being told they didn't have her favourite cake anymore.

My favourite bit of the piece is the desciption the police gave. "A 5'3" well built lady aged between 35-45 with shoulder length strawberry blond hair.." which has to be the politest way of say "big old ginger" in history.

Hang on, let me read that description again....has anyone asked Geri Halliwell where she was when this happened?

Woman goes proper mental in a cake shop

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Finally…

I bought the netbook in my hands for a reason, and that reason wasn’t to take round to various hotels up and down the country trying to watch iPlayer (although that is a happy biproduct). It was so that I found it easier to blog and would hopefully do more of it.

I’m using Windows Live Writer which all looks fine to me and not at all problematic. Having said that it’s only day 1.

Today I’ve enjoyed saying the wrong station name on air, snoozing in front of the Simpsons and Matthew Rudd’s marvellous 80’s show on Q Radio.

Going to read a bit of Zig Ziglar before sleep. 3.30 dart tomorrow morning, loads to do!