Archive | April, 2013

A long lost poem

29 Apr

Found this the other day

Bury was a shithole

Bury was a shithole
An awful monument to concrete
An awful monument to red brick
Dairy farms cascade with brick
Dark rain
The worlds most useless museum
Strange snake bus terminal
How are you meant to know
Buses to Prestwich dont go from P
They go from W
Or X
Or maybe T
Schools of disgust
Terrible football ground
Backs onto a cemetry
The team were awful
But they let you in for free at half time
My fathers buried there
I wish he wasnt
I felt he was

Im sure its still a shithole

I never understood why anyone would choose it ?

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Critique of Thatcher vs the spectator

17 Apr

Firstly I want to make the point again that I cant make moral judgements on peoples deaths as that seems like a religious thing to do ..and I dont do religious things .

But i was intrigued that The Spectator brought out its Thatcher special this week. I have sneaky guilty admiration for the spectator , it may be Tory as hell but it also amusing.

Anyway they pull out all the usual gubbins via celebrity writers. First up Cecil Parkinson , I thought he was dead but obviosuly not. For him she dealt with the problems of a declining country and freed millions from the grip of local authority bureaucrats. Well if she dealt with the declining country how come she left it in a mess ? And I suppose one mans freedom from bureaucrats is another mans homelessness.

Charles Powell ( rhymes with hole …I know ) gives a rather dotty if somewhat humane view on her later years.

Hugh Thomas gives me two concerns. Firstly he claims she was preoccupied with the right phrase. Jeez that means she meant to say ” theres no such thing as society ” and ” not all the khmer rouge were bad ” …secondly she was so polite she told a worker to telephone his wife to say he might be late …at 11.30 at night !

Matthew Parris is my one and only favoured tory and I wont mock or belittle anything he ever says .

Peter Carrington seems to have huge difficulty with what happened in foreign affairs during her premiership …but then again thats why he resigned isnt it ?

Andrew Roberts cried when he heard shed resigned. I had the same feeling when I heard Jeffrey Archer was banged up . Crying and laughter I often get them mixed up.

John Simpson says she was the first TV PM completely airbrushing Harold Wilson .

Claire Berlinski sees her as a female warrior ..how many women were in her cabinet again ?

Steve Hilton proves he should be sectioned by saying ” she was steve jobs,richard branson and lady gaga all rolled into one ”

So hyperbole all round from the spectator .

But theres more Ross Clark criticizes those on the left who DIDNT rejoice at her death as though they were repugnant hypocrits. Seriously.

The garland cartoons are as ever wonderful though.

Thatcher Music

14 Apr

Ive had strangely few feelings about the death of Thatcher ( no MRS ever required ) ..not because I dont have feelings about what she did but I find the idea of celebrating death very much a religious thing. And I dont do religious things .

I will return to some appraisal of Thatcherism , and let me warn you her phrase ” there were good khmer rouge ” may well be in it …but at the moment I find the fake controversy over songs about her death a waste of time. A waste because there are some great songs about Thatcher/Thatcherism that should have been played instead.

Firstly the Falls Birmingham school of business school. I love this as a sentiment on the 80s. Theres now a world where people choose to be business students. It has become a moral crusade, a purpose in itself to be a business student. While the country doesnt make anything anymore we study what exactly ?

Or how about This is England by the Clash , the last hurrah ( refer my previous post ) a great song about the lost battle as a country resigns itself to being a service centre.

Or for a laugh try Crass and How does it feel …Now I could never take Crass that seriosuly. I liked them , but I doubt they ever did a days work. It was all middle class guilt , gets rather tedious in the end. They can see through what everyone else is too dim to see…but still I liked some of the songs. Lets be clear as with Janet Brown , without Thatcher Crass would have had a much limited career. And without the Falklands a short one at that.

Why I still like spanking machine

8 Apr

Combing through old vinyl I was more than pleased to see my copy of Spanking MAchine by Babes in Toyland is still in awesome condition. I gave it a quick play and it all came rushing back ( I have it electronically as well but somehow ..).
Anyway I wouldnt ever say its my favourite album ever but it is one of them. I must have listened to it 100s of times in my late teens. I had a t-shirt with the angel clown thing on which finally disintegrated hiking round Europe 4 years later.

But why do I like it , what does it give me other things dont.
Just putting the first track on ” Swamp Pussy ” theres a pulsating beat , the guitars drag you down , maybe your being sonically mugged , your not sure where your going and then this vocal kicks in. Is it a scream , a schriech , a growl. I dont know or care , it puts you on edge – you know where shes coming from. Then the chorus ” Cease to exist ” I get that message . You just dont mess with these guys( Girls ).

Dont take my word for it , by the end theres the raw guitar cuts that feel like a chop across the head

Then theres just track after track of attitude , raw vocals , emotion , cool drums and bass and mean guitar licks. Try ” Vomit Heart ” if you want to know what early 90s rock should have been all about.The theres Dogg , sung by the ever so cool drummer ( see below ) which should be awful but isnt .

Still not convinced try ” Dust Cake Boy ” if that was on In Utero everyone would have nodded sagely.Or if Jack White tried it everyone would clap . And thats the thing , music is still a bastion of sexism. It okay for women to do the pretty stuff , but not the boys stuff ..utter rot of course but as a band they never got the recognition they should have, or perhaps the breaks. Much of that ” grunge ” scene stuff was utterly sexist and dressed up as smart arse for being so ( hard to articulate but your with me )

So for me Spanking Machine just stands up to the test of time , and Babes in Toyland were a wonderful band live ..no theatrical performance just raw music. With a slight danger edge. I must have seen them far too many times over that short period. I once got some banter with one of their entourage about my hair at a gig , this turned into a running joke for the night with the wonderful drummer who abused me from the stage …I was on side for a short while ! Yes she actually liked my red mowhawk.

The latter albums though good never quite got the same electric feel as the first one , I drifted away but it still has a place in my heart. If my daughters were ever in a band Id want them to be in one as good as Babes in Toyland , ready to kick you hard with a big drum and guitar. That is a compliment !

Animal Cricket X1

6 Apr

Seriously interesting how the mind wanders when you’ve got important tasks to do and a 1982 wisden on the desk …cricketers named like animals

No natural openers , surprisingly but some interesting characters

Albert “jack’ Russell
Maurice Bird
Andy DU-cat ..an interesting character http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Ducat
Alan Lamb ..a not interesting character
Laurie fish(lock)
Harold Gibbons , in as allrounder at 6
Paul Fish(er) , a specialist keeper , phew !
Charles Studd ( i know ) a missionary who played in the original ashes
Graeme Swann
Tony Pig-gott
Rodney Hogg

the bowlers were far more contemporary than the batters , not sure why and double pig opening bowlers , which if they ran as fast as our kune kune does at the moment would generate great pace