20 Sep 2009

"Come on my friends, I would now like to propose a toast-
To the strength I see that's surrounding me and those who've cared,
Oh yes, I've been scared and I'm telling anyone who'll listen
I've seen what's on show and now there's no more to know,
Oh I've been there, I've seen there, I've seemed it, dreamed it,
Schemed it.
You see I know this to be true,
Now would I lie to you?
And I'm not waiting for approval from you."

Well it happened, I succumbed to the thrall that the mega pop star band Madness continue to hold me in. I am as we speak awaiting my ticket from the gig down the road. For the first time in several tours they are playing the B.I.C and I may be persuaded to part with some of my hardly earned and miss a payment on my 50" tv (unless I have saved enough by then that is). I've already started looking around for different providers of electrical goods. All I need to do is stay employed (some days are easier than others). One of these days one of the homeless scum will push me too far by stealing some of our crap. I chuck them out and new ones just come the next day. I really will write to the council with regards to my gas chamber plan or 'Final solution' as I like to call it. I mean let's be honest, life is all about choices. Obviously there are the right ones and the wrong ones.
Here's a story about me from my dark dank distant past in the dark ages (Norfolk in the Eighties). Picture the scene, I was fostered with a bunch of c*nts exactly twelve miles from anywhere. I was banned from seeing my old friends (not that that stopped me) I was made to walk twelve miles to Norwich job centre and back instead of the one four miles in the other direction for fear that I'd see my old 'ruffian friends' (ha if only you knew those three, I was the ruffian). With only a broken walkman with one tape of Mad Not Mad and Radio 2 the only station available and the grey and brown landscape flat as the prospects of a job for a school leaver with little or no qualifications and holes in his shoes. Now in the midle of the often cold days I'd be hungry due to the large amount of excercise I was being made to take and the quite often dull and windy weather around the North Norfolk countryside. I was permanently skint as the fosterers seemed to have thought I didn't need any. Picture the scene behind what was woolworths in Norwich and still is Marks & Spencer's and some jewellers I can't remember the name of is an alley way leading up to a multi storey car park and a short cut to the old job centre which was next to HMV down the road from the Theatre Royal. In the days before cctv I could have quite easily done over the little old lady and taken her purse full of notes. I don't know how much it was but there were a lot of brown and blue notes the corners of which were poking there noses out into the cold grey morning. I'm ashamed to say that the idea crossed my mind fleetingly, but I'm not ashamed that immediately I dismissed it. The woman was obviously unaware that I was there and I could have made a small fortune to me in those days. But she was someone's mother/grandmother/aunt and possibly I would have been caught and my life could have had a drastic change. The thing is to illustrate my point that if I can make the right decision and never regret it no matter how skint or hungry I may be I will not tolerate it in others. Despite the whole world getting more and more grey areas as we get older some things remain black and white. Always make the right decision. Apologies btw if I've told this tale before.

Music is Morrissey - The Mirabell Sessions and a repost of the Madness - Liberty of Norton Folgate boxset. Enjoy

9 Sep 2009

"Laugh and say I'm green
I've seen things you'll never see.
Talk behind my back
But I'm off the beaten track.
I'll take on anyone
Ain't scared of a bloody nose,
Drink till I drop down
With one eye on my clothes."
Ok so let me set the scene, there I was expecting a school musical crossed with the Troy McLure Planet of the Apes Musical from the Simpsons. ("He can talk he can talk" "I can siiiiiiiiing!") etc. Musical theatre not exactly being the first thing I'd rush out and see. I did steadfastly refuse to watch more than the first twenty minutes of the Madness musical Our House due to feeling quite angry after all. Even after several attempts of trying as well. I had further misgivings outside the Mayflower theatre Southampton when the opposite courtyard was awash with scooters and 'more authentic than me' middle aged mods. I immediately thought that it was going to be like the Rocky horror dreadful bollocks show where everyone has to dress up and sing and dance in the aisles and all that unBritish crap.
But, no I was blown away from the opening moments, a live band who although were no where near the quality of The Who (who could be (no pun intended)), still gave an immense performance. The cast were fantastic and had no kind of the usual 'performance art school poppet' about them at all. The only downside that I've got with it is the bloke who played 'The Godfather' character resembled Eddie Izzard rather than the Mod icon pop star and although had a passable voice couldn't reach the powerful notes and sounded like Eddie Izzard being strangled at one point... which would be no bad thing if it were actually happening. The girl who gave a fantastic performance of 'Love Reign Over Me' sang so powerfully almost brought a tear to my wizened old self (adjusts to manly voice "No it was the air con that affected my contacts ... if I wore any"). But seriously she can't 'alf belt out a tune that one. I might even buy the dvd if one comes out. I have recently listened to the album as a result and can quite honestly say that due to the cast singing individual lines as I think Mr Townsend meant it to be sung. The album has become a totally new experience by that I mean the album instead of me thinking it was sung by one or two characters turns out to be sung by several. It now has resparked my interest in the album and I will have to keep it on the spare MP3 player I use when falling asleep. I wish I'd taken my dictaphone as I planned to do originally and do a bootleg for you all. When Jimmy (for it was he) told me it was the greatest present a fellow ageing Mod could give another for a birthday present I was a little dubious to say the least. When I had to break my embargo on Boscombe to get to his flat to be picked up walking past the Police wrestling with the homeless drunks in Boscombe gardens I was a little dubious. When I saw the (fellow) ageing mods outside I was little dubious when the curtain went up and the band launched into 'The Real Me' (brilliantly choreagraphed (oooh get me) by the use of four Jimmy the Mods to represent the four facets of Jimmy's personality) I wasn't dubious anymore. I don't even mind the having to set foot in Boscombe anymore (the first time since the incident at wankinson's (oooh the bitterness is still there then?)

Anyway I'd like to thank Jimmy and Emma for the 40 and half birthday treat. It was the greatest birthday present an ageing mod can give another that doesn't involve Winona Ryder and a jar of honey and certainly beats a paltry ten pound note from family into cocked pork pie hat.

Anyway enough bitterness here's the downloads. Firstly I've upped the Anthology albums from the Be - At Les for you to enjoy. Also I've upped the original vinyl version of the Quadrophenia album which I found on a torrent. Enjoy.

1 Sep 2009

"Nothing, it seems, lasts forever
People change just like the weather
Some for good and sometimes never
I hope things work out for the better."

My pic from Bournemouth Air Festival 22/08/09 Guinot Wing Walkers

I think I may have hit upon the reason we all like to share online content. It's because when it all comes down to it the MP3s or whatever are pretty worthless really. Yes there are some great items posted by everyone but when all is said and done they are after all just electrons albeit electrons arranged into the tunes or video you like or have just discovered. I don't see them as a 21st century version of a record collection I see them as a modern version of taking your record collection around your mate's house and saying "you've got to hear this". If they tape it so be it but in my experience most of my friends have gone out and bought physical copies of the DVDs, albums or whatever that I've lent them. I have also done the same as my shelves will testify. I haven't bought all admittedly but a fair proportion of them all the same. Maybe it is just me being cynical and middle aged but home taping didn't kill music after all, Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell did but only if you listen to the charts which I don't. If you listen to BBC6 Music (here) then you realise what great music there is about.
What got me started thinking about all this was the current madness single is released as an MP3 only and therefore will leave a gap in my collection, many others on the official site were miffed too but a few took the 'my band right or wrong' stance and just became insulting which is pointless and anti democratic, everyone should be able to opine rightly or wrongly without some Daily Star reading moron banging his chimp like knuckles on the keyboard in argument so I deleted the bookmark and don't plan to go back to the site. My beef is that when they wanted forty quid from us nothing was too good, the Norton Folgate box set was good value for money and I'll buy another for my mate at Christmas. But when it comes to providing a solid object for the paltry some of £1.79 no one thought it was worth the effort. It's like if I'd paid to see the aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton Air Day back in July and they'd just had some bloke walking past the crowd with pictures of the aircraft instead. It's a pity because Madness of old would bend over backwards to give you value for money and sometimes (more often than not), you'd get more than expected. There were always reasons to buy the 12" be it a remix or an extra track or two or free comic. The fan club as I'm sure many of you were aware was great value and was voted so back in the '80's. But then I suppose like everyone else the band and the management have succumbed to the 'Me' generation and are feathering the nests for retirement? I will of course buy the Madness book (here), the Suggs book (here) and the new Madness compilation (here) even though I have all the tracks. You can never really get over your first love can you? They cheat on you but you still throw money at them in an effort to get them to be wholly yours again but it's never the same. Despite it all you still yearn albeit with a bitter twang at the back of your mind.

Here's the music from a certain popular beat combo from Liverpool the stereo remasters. (ahem) For a clue here's a clue type clue. Certain amount of joy to be found as they are all on my ipod.