27.8.11

MUD, WET & BEERS

Just before Christmas last year the Sheffield band Pulp announced that they were reforming for a special gig at London's Hyde Park. No-one else was announced as support at this stage but both myself and my beautiful tiny girlfriend are fans of Jarvis Cocker's excellent slinky, finger-waving outfit and so, feeling a bit flush, I immediately bought two tickets.

The price of the tickets, after the booking fee had been added, came to roughly four times the amount I had paid to see the band in their mid-1990's prime (and one hundred and sixty times more than I'd paid to see them at a Heineken festival in Leeds' Roundhay Park, as we had a decent council who put on magificent free event back then, rather than ones struggling to manage to empty the bins on a weekly basis).



So tickets were purchased and the event was so far away that when it came aroud it would feel like a freebie - apart from having to book transport and acommodation.

In that London.

Hmm. So it wouldn't feel that cheap.

I have plenty of friends in that London who I could stay with, not least my beautiful and charming old chum Asha, writer of the brilliant simian-news blog Who Gives A Monkeys?.

It would feel a bit of an imposition, though, to rock up with my beautiful tiny girlfriend, both of us covered in mud and stinking of passive Jazz Woodbines and organic falafel at 1am, to use Asha's couch.

I suppose she could use us as a anthropological case-study for her blog, but it wouldn't feel right. So a hotel would have to be booked. One endorsed by Lenny Henry or threatening little Ray Winstone-style teddy bears, perhaps?

They're quite cheap.

"Birdfeed..."


So that's the plan.

Cushty.

Then Pulp annouced that they would be playing at the Leeds/Reading Festival.

The bastards!!

That's about half an hour's drive from my house. With a bus laid on. Dammit!

What to do??

I told my beautiful tiny girlfriend and a plan was hatched. We would sell our Hyde Park tickets (provided the support acts were sutiably terrible) and use the money to but Leeds Festival tickets. An excellent plan, amply aided by Pulp themselves who chose one of the most godawful line-ups for their Hyde Park Show.

So, with Hyde Park tickets sold we waited for the Leeds festival tickets to become available.

Hang on.

What's this?

On the Friday night... Elbow AND Muse headlining?



Elbow AND Muse?

Headlining?

Not one or the other, but BOTH??

Sorry Jarvis.

So, with Friday night booked instead of Sunday night, we sat back, smiled and relaxed waiting for the big day. A lovely August Bank Holiday weekend watching our favourite bands in Yorkshire.

What could go wrong?

Well, as my Nan wouldn't ever feel comfortable saying - it shat it down like a bastard.

What started out as a little bit overcast tured into an unrelenting downpour that lasted the best part of 10 fucking hours. Ten hours stood in a field that was turning to slurry. A slurry-filled field full of face-painted idiots and extortionate fairground rides.

It was like the Battle of The Somme.

But worse.


The lucky fuckers at the Battle of The Somme didn't have to put up with Enter Shikari... we know this because if they had they would have used a fuck of a lot more artillery shells.

Bounding about like they invented shit music, Enter Shikari have the fashion sense of Jay Kay from Jamiroquai, the backdrop of late 90's Manic Street Preachers and the entire back catologue of Rage Against The Machine to produce the musical equivalent of some bees at a picnic.


Constant annoying shit that you want to bat out of existence with a rolled up newspaper.

(Incidentally, one of my colleagues thought that their name was Enter Shakira - but I told him, that's a whole different act....)


By now the gloves I'd packed were not looking quite such a silly idea. However  from the bottom of my backpack the sunglasses & suncream were starting to take the piss a bit.
There was mud everywhere. The rain never stopped. It was cold.

I'd decided on a leather jacket, not just because I am inately cool but because it is lightweight AND waterproof thereby being the most versatile of my many coats for such an occaision. However, such was the rain that I needed a little help.

Maybe a three-quid poncho would maintain the level of cool needed and provide me with that extra bit of rain-protection?

Wrong on both counts.

It made me look like a cling-wrapped stick of liquorice.


"Please, if you're up there Superman, please make the sun shine..."

Walking around the site with the weather protection of some shop-bought apples in this gossamer fairy snot of a rain mac we decided to make the best of it and visit the 500+ fucking straw hat and offensive t-shirt stalls.

Mainly to go in and keep dry.

We entered one such stand as his next door neighbour, a wacky chap (as indicated by him having a hat & some loveheart-shaped sunglasses on his head) tried to entice hotpants-wearing glampers with his winning line "Come on in girls, I won't gang-rape you!"

Why, Mr Darcy, how could they refuse?

Immediately after this I accidentally, slightly nudged someone behind me with my holdall.

"Sorry!" says I, turning to see someone in a latex-rubber boar-mask.

"You will be.." growled the spotty 19-year old beneath, unaware of the shortness of my fucking tether at that point, or the short distance he was from the red-hot grill on fucking Hog Roast stand.

A distance getting shorter by the second in my furious mind.

These types of festival goers are cunts. I fucking hate them. They're not music fans, they are utter twats. They're wankers who can't afford a gap-year. Stag-Do's without a groom. The type of walking shits who confuse a fancy-dress outfit with having a personality.

Utter fucking showboating, mindless, imagination-free cunts

The vast majority of people who go to a gig are well-behaved music fans, but these types of festival-goers are boorish, face painted drunks who wander around dressed in fuck all but wellies and the words "Sexy" written on their chest in marker pen.

The kind of pricks who wave a massive banner at the front of the stage so no-one behind can see. The Aviator-sunglasses wearing glampers who love posing with their arms out on top of their boyfriend's shoulders so that they can get their fake-tanned faces on the enormous monitors.



The fancy dress-loving, can't-handle-my-beer-types who inevitably spend a large proportion of the festival in the St John's Ambulance tent being reassured by a middle aged woman armed with tea and biscuits as they vomit up their 'cocktail' of Jagermeister and blueberry smoothie.

Despite the freezing cold and the constant rain we saw a lot of flesh on display, from the stupid Rugby Society boys dressed as WRENS to the girls whose hotpants showed more of her cheeks than if she'd wore her swimsuit. Seriously, it was distrubing. It looked like a denim pendant.

I don't know... Maybe she just couldn't find anything else to wear?

"I can't fathom it. No-one seems to be buying the Girl's Vests, Terry.
We've got loads but nobody seems all that intereste... Terry?"

We also went to the comedy tent where everyone had decided to converge for a loud chat, blatantly ignoring the poor sod on stage. It was at the comedy tent I saw the Dad-like security men eject people for smoking.

In a well-ventilated tent, at a rock festival, people cannot smoke.
At a Festival. 

Now, I don't smoke anymore, I have occaisional relapses but am mostly off the nasty things, that said I don't mind other people smoking around me.

ESPECIALLY NOT AT A FUCKING ROCK FESTIVAL!!

They are supposed to fucking drink and smoke! That's what Festivals are for! It's part of Rock & Roll!

You wouldn't ask Keith Richards to make his way out from under a tent flap to suck his Woodbine in a downpour, would you?

"Is this bothering you? Then fuck off home..."

If you want to do something about Health & Safety go and find out what's inside the foot-long fucking hotdogs and let the poor fuckers having a crafty bifter alone.

Health & Safety, my arse.


By now there was only about an hour before Elbow were to come on, so we went to the bar to get a bit merry.

However, not having the disposable income of Sir Richard Branson or having the foresight of the sixteen-year-old who downed his pre-prepared bottle of "mouthwash" (vodka with green food dye in a listerine bottle) this would prove impossible.

Besides, with the drink & the cold that would mean regular visits to the on-site facilities... or, like the majority of men I saw, pissing against Enter Shikari posters on the perimeter fence.

So, one cold hog roast sandwich and one welcome cup of tea later and Elbow were on stage.

A brilliant band, playing brilliantly, even if the Guy Garvey-led chants of FUCK THE RAIN! didn't manage to completely lift the spirits, the music was wonderful.

Although, One Day Like This couldn't have been less appropriate.
If owt, it sounded a bit sarcastic.

With Elbow gone it was time for my favourite stadium-filling, space-obsessed, prog-pop-rock-glam-stompers, Muse.

I love Muse.

My mate Sweary Soo once described them as that "glam rock Doctor Who theme rubbish" - AS IF THAT WAS A BAD THING??



Anyway, I'd overestimated how much my beautiful tiny girlfriend liked their stadium-filling, space-obsessed, prog-pop-rock-glam-stomping music and while she gallantly froze to death I jumped about to the fabulous visuals, fireworks and lightshow... that I saw on the fucking monitors!!

Yes, I'd spent 8 months and the best part of £300 to freeze my favourite bollock off in a wet field watching a massive telly. Because the alternative view of the concert was blocked by this balloon-hat-wearing prick.


To make matters worse, once we got home there's a Facebook announcement that the Sunday night Reading gig will be televised on BBC3.

So we could watch Muse & Elbow at home?
With a decent brew that doesn't cost three fucking quid?
In the warm?

And the weather forecast for Sunday?
Sunny at Reading for Muse.
Sunny at Leeds for Pulp.

That's it. 

I'm too old for festivals any more.

I'm not even sure about gigs, to be honest.

If yesterday taught me anything then it is that after 25 years of being pushed about in muddy fields and sweaty halls, having people charge me £4 for a pint of lager vapour & tap water, eating soy noodles, shitting in a medieval well, having beer poured over me by an overly-apologetic inebriated Centurion or moshed by some bare-chested drunken Smurfs, I have had enough.

Instead, next year I plan to recreate the whole festival-experience by watching the coverage on BBC3 or ITV4 with all my windows and doors open, pouring a watering can over myself as I sit drinking supermarket lager in a Gro-Bag. I shall also let random strangers block my view of the telly and let them shit in my garden or piss up my living room wall.

It'll be just like being there.


As I said on Twitter, if I ever say I want go to another festival again you have my permission to remove my favourite bollock with a welder's torch.




Although I hear Benicassim is quite good.....




If you like this then why not join my Facebook group?
or you can follow me on Twitter - 



23.8.11

A KICK UP THE EIGHTIES

I've been invited to an Eighties-themed party to celebrate one of my favourite younger cousins joining me in being 40. She'll only join me for a day then I'll be a year older than her.

Again.

Anyway, an 80's party.

I told my beautiful tiny girlfriend about this and she wrinkled her nose. I could completely understand where she was coming from. The 80's?? The decade that time, decency, fashion, music and common sense forgot?

The 80's sucked.

It was the decade of shoulder pads, lip gloss, Studio Style from L'Oreal, Toyah Wilcox, Max Headroom, black ash furniture, Nescafe Gold Blend, public utility privatisation, Leslie Ash, Patsy Kensit, Simple Minds, Bros and Soda Streams.




It was all big hair, insane make-up, bad television, synthetic, plastic, neon-coated crap. The 80's gave us Stock, Aitken & Waterman, Jive Bunny, Network 7, Countdown, Nick Kamen, Athena posters, laserdiscs, Ronald Reagan & AIDS.




It was the decade of style over substance, the rise of the Yuppie, the Sloan and the new breed of Officer Class Tories who regarded the working classes as bolshie upstart scum from down the mines or off the terraces who should be sent off to die near Argentina for the sake of some sheep.

It was a fucking awful decade that produced some of the most unwatchable big budget films like the fucking appallingly popular Goonies and stupid crazes-dressed-up-as-geometry-homework such as the Rubik's cube/ball/hexagon/snake.




It was the decade we were all conned into thinking that Madonna was attractive and fashionable.



And worst of all it brought us fucking Street Dance.

Street Dance. The scourge of the paediatric chiropractor. The more useless physical manifestation of slam-poetry.

Street Dance. The jerking, spasmodic, sometime gymnastic peacockery that was the Michael Jackson's second-favourite thing to watch young people do.




Street Dance. A pervasive horror that started out as a bunch of energetic 10 year olds with a piece of rolled up lino and a tape of the Rocksteady Crew, trying to emulate the New York dance form popularised by someone called Crazylegs, that has thirty years later been turned into something that Simon Cowell thinks is fitting theatre entertainment for our elderly monarch.

I am by no means a Royalist, but this woman has met Churchill, Gandhi, Laurence Olivier.. and now, on a night out with her 90 year old husband, she has to watch fucking Diversity flinging themselves about to a sub-Ibiza dubstep tune like epileptic fucking acrobats?

Diversity: Marginally cooler than Susan Boyle

Of course, it wasn't called Street Dance in the 1980's, it was called Breakdancing, Bodypopping or, in extreme cases, the Electric Boogaloo.

But rest assured, it was Street Dance.

I hated it then as I hate it now - and not just because I couldn't do the Windmill as well as Richard Thomas, or the Robot as good as Danny Smith, or because the piece of lino was Julian Abbey's and he took it home just as I was getting good at it.

No.

I hated it because it was and is fucking stupid.

And because it hurt my neck.

But mainly because it was stupid.

I was glad it died out... or so I thought.


The other day my beautiful tiny girlfriend's beautiful tiny daughter (aka The Murnkey) was watching CBBC when this show called Alesha's Street Dance Stars came on.

If you haven't seen it then let me describe it to you.

One time member of the infamous rather than famous So Solid Crew turned BBC-sponsored Cha-Cha and Tango-puppet, Alesha Dixon, takes groups of children (aka 'crews') from all around Britain to hurl themselves around in bad sportswear to be judged by a panel of mumbling arseholes who cannot even put their own hats on correctly or wear trousers properly.

After each performance the children (aka 'crews') are given such pearls of Street-wisdom from MC Scratchknacker and DJ Cleft, such as "Always stay true. To yourself." or "Keep it Fresh." or any other number of useless platitudes that can be condensed into a sentence of no more than four words.

"It's 'Turbo', actually..."

They then go away and fling themselves about a bit more in a sports hall or scout hut until one of them pop a knee.

It's a bit like Why Don't You? for hyperactive morons. 


I fucking hate Street Dance. I'm sick of seeing Attention Deficits in big pumps expressing themselves through star-jumps & cartwheels. For one thing it's not a dance and for another it's not done on the Street.

Now I don't want to come over all David Starkey (eeeuuww... now there's an image!) but I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to be teaching young people. As much as I hate sport I can see that there is some merit and purpose to PE. If you are good at gymnastics you can become a gymnast. If you are good at football you can become a footballer.

Even pole vaulting has a goal.
Which is to knock that bar off it's tiny ledge... consistently... in front of the whole world.
(that observation c/o the brilliant Armando Iannucci)

But what does Street Dance do?

You can't go to a club and Street Dance the night away with your prospective partner. What would the other nine members of your 'crew' do when Careless Whisper comes on at the end?

(I'll admit, I haven't been to a club in quite a while... but nevertheless, my point remains valid.)


Some people might say that it's good exercise and has value because of that. Well, so has climbing a tree or hiking, so why doesn't that annoying little fucker from Diversity just go for a ramble instead of mugging and gurning while doing an elaborate roly-poly?

"Hang on... I've got cramp..."

As far as I can see it teaches little kids to leap around like lunatics, not that they need much encouragement, which is how I came to find myself catching the Murnkey in mid-air as she vaulted backwards off the sofa, intent on dashing her brains out to the thumping beats of the Black Eyed Piss.

I think what annoys me most about it is that somewhere, some bland committee has decided that it is cool. Well it isn't. Like hip-hop and rap and graffiti-art, it may have been cool once but it sure as fuck isn't now.

If you don't believe me then ruminate on this...


Simon Cowell thinks it is cool.
The Black Eyed Piss think it is cool.
CBBC thinks it is cool.




ARE THEY COOL?
ARE THEY??
DO YOU FEEL COOL NOW, FLAWLESS??

Street Dance is over thirty years old, for Christ's sake.

Simon Cowell & The Black Eyed Piss will remember it from the first time around!!

Why is it that these thirty and 40 year old youth trends are STILL seen as relevant and cutting edge? Why is it that advertisers or those godawful youth outreach groups and travelling community theatre companies think that they can get a message to young people through rapping or bodypopping.

That would be like someone coming to my school in the 70's to warn us off gluesniffing by doing a hand-jive display or jitterbugging about the dangers of playing near riverbanks.

"Remember, kids, Winners Don't Do Drugs! Just say NO!"

So, young people, get your own youth culture.

Leave hip-hop for those who are looking forward to getting hip-ops, like 53 year old Tim "Big Dog" Westwood.



There's a time and a place for Street Dance. It was New York. In 1983.



As the song says, it was acceptable in the 80's.

Street Dance, these days, is corporate, choreographed compliance with as much relevance and street-cred as joining the Yootha Joyce fan club. 

Or listening to the advice of The Daily Telegraph's Voice of Youth, Rosie Millard.


Still unconvinced?
Then watch Jean Claude Van Damme in this clip...




If you listen really closely you can hear the moment Street Dance died....



Anyway, none of this is helping me find a costume for the party.


And before you say anything, Victor Meldrew was created in 1990.




If you like this then why not join my Facebook group?
or you can follow me on Twitter - 

19.8.11

WARNING - THIS BLOG CONTAINS LANGUAGE

So.

It's a year since I started doing this blog - and what have we learnt in all this time?

Fuck all, I should imagine.

Football is shit.
X Factor is pointless.
As is the race to be Number 1.
I killed Bernard Matthews.
And The News Of The World.
The Government are fucking useless.
The newspapers are not only full of shit but they are also without any conceivable use in the 21st Century.
The Chinese hate time travel.
Jedward are pricks.
Pyjamas are brilliant.
All Jazz is awful.
Comic books are cool.


Apart from all of that, there's the undeniable fact that I really like to swear.

And I do like to swear.

It is big and it is clever.

Not convinced?



Still not cocking swayed?
By one of England's greatest minds?
A comedy colossus?
The King Of The Internet?

Then please take a look at any of the following....



(... and, Yes, I do that my felching carpet is arse-shaftingly awful.)

But the books are gorgeous... in their own sordid yet beautiful way.

In particular, I love the Viz Profanisaurus.

It. Is. Wonderful.

It is the kind of book that shouldn't exist but you're so glad it does. Discovering the Profanisaurus is one of the great and golden moments of modern life. I don't often endorse products (in fact, I've even refused this blog-site's host-company's constant requests on placing advertisements on my page) but in this case, I urge you to buy the Viz Profanisaurus.

The definitions it gives are the work of a warped yet genius mind, or several warped yet genii minds. There's a decorative flair coupled with a "devil may care" attitude to what is being written. If you feel like swearing, and many of us do on an all-too-regular-basis, then I suggest you buy a Profanisaurus to expand your vocabulary of vulgarity. It's just the greatest feeling to use a 16th century word that expresses your innermost anxiety while complexing your neighbouring eavesdroppers.

 Turning to a random page (the best way to reference this marvellous organ) I see that:

golf ball arse (noun. medic.) is a "condition of the buttocks after sitting too long on a beaded car seat"

and

necking turds (noun) is a phrase that "is made against one who is suffering from halitosis. 'Excuse me, madam, I do not wish to appear rude but have you been necking turds?'"


In the week that the Oxford English Dictionary celebrated it's 100th anniversary I can only hope and pray that the Profanisaurus reaches a similar milestone.

I like to invent some swearwords. It's more satisfying and stops you from going stale. I have a friend called Soo (hereafter known as "Sweary Soo") who used to text me the most offensive insults in such a casual manner that it became damn-near impossible not to smile. When someone enquires "Are you coming to the pub, cockbobber? Haven't seen you in ages.." it is quite charming, in its rough and ready way.

"This blog may contain the words 'cockmunch', 'monkeybummer' and 'cleft'..."


Btw, a 'cockbobber' is similar to 'apple-bobbing' in that you have to put your head under water.

To 'bob' for 'cocks'....

It is one of the main reasons that Soo has received a lifetime ban from the Log Flume ride at Alton Towers...

Over the years, Soo and I have invented a huge glossary of filth. Not as extensive or as well-thought out as the Profanisaurus or those other tomes of reference, but still it is quite an impressive lexicon.

I do believe that sometimes you really need to swear and I don't trust people who don't do it. 

Anyone who tells you that you can get by in the 21st Century without swearing is talking nonsense.

Absolute tommyrot.

Balderdash.

Piffle, pish, tosh and total bollocks.

Life has a way of throwing so much shit at you that it is practically impossible to get through it WITHOUT swearing.

For example - "Celebrity" Big Brother. Train fares. British Gas. Five A*++'s won't get you into Hull, but you can go to Skipton FE for £14,000 a year. The Smurfs movie. The Star Wars Prequels. George Lucas. The New Tintin Movie. The Black Eyed Peas. Fred Goodwin. The Daily Star.....


Colonel Gadaffi. Peter Stringfellow. Donatella Versace. Paddy McGuinness. Beady Eye. Peter Kay. Self-automated checkouts in supermarkets. Formula One. CGI monsters. The Royal Family. People who like The Royal Family. People who still bang on about Pippa Middleton's arse. The Daily Express. BBC3. Hollyoaks. Skins. Students...


Looters. Jazz. Piers Morgan. Michael Gove. The Sun. Kelvin MacKenzie. Phone hacking. The 1980's. Nightclubs. The Conservative Party in general. Fred Phelps and those pricks from the Westboro Baptist Church that picket funerals. Jeremy Kyle. Catherine Tate. Commemorative plates. Eastenders. That rubbery glue-stuff that's on the back of CDs you get free with Mojo magazine...


Swagger Jagger. Joss Stone. Wetherspoons. Racism. The Carpenters. The Eagles. Spy Kids 4D. Everybody, all the time, in the Merrion Centre. Fashion. Bill Paxton movies. Sky TV. Talksport. Jon Gaunt. Melanie Phillips. David Starkey. Betty's Tea Rooms. Cherry Vimto. People refusing to accept that Michael Jackson was a fiddler. Channel We Don't Call It Channel Anymore Five. Shed Seven. People who have been to Ibiza. Judge Jules...


Anders Behring Breivik. The football season. Julie Burchill banging on and on about how she used to be gorgeous in her twenties when she evidently looked like a man in drag. Tony Parsons. Tracy Emin. Heston Blumenthal. Gordon Ramsay. Madonna. Michelle Bachmann. Glenn Beck. Fox News. The Daily Mail. David Cameron still pretending to be our elected Prime Minister. Ed Milliband. The Taliban. The Lighthouse Family. Farm Shops. John Barrowman. Torchwood. Jedward....
to name but a few.


Now you should be all primed and ready to swear.

So, here are a few words and phrases from James MacDonald's Dictionary of Obscenity, Taboo & Euphemism and the peerless Profanisaurus, to help you get through the weekend:

Duck Fucker -  (colloquial) a general term of abuse. According to the 1811 Dictionary of Vulgar Tongue the expression had a more specific origin. It was the informal title of 'the man who has the care of poultry aboard a ship of war'.


Doxy -  a prostitute

Huffle - (colloquial) to simulate sexually intercourse by inserting the penis into another's armpit. See 'Bagpipe'.

Pintle - the penis

Roby Douglas - (col.) The anus. A once popular term of naval slang. The originator is unknown but in the 1785 Dictionary of Vulgar Tongue he is described as having "one eye and stinking breath".

Crackler - (noun) A particularly satisfying dump that crackles like someone gently rustling a crisp packet as it exits the nipsy.

Kexorcism - (noun) The act of expelling an evil, demonic  food ghost from one's chamber of horrors.

Sledge - (noun) a bloke who is constantly pulled by dogs.




Ahhhhhhhh......
Doesn't that feel better?

Still not convinced that you need gutter language to function?

Ok.


How about this?

X Factor is back.





There we go!!


Ooof! Alright. Steady on...


Pottymouth.








If you like this then why not join my Facebook group?
or you can follow me on Twitter -