Sunday, November 28

This is a Public Service Announcement (With Guitars)
I've started a new MP3 blog called Louder Than War. So why don't you drop in and say hi.

The legend returns
You know what we haven't had enough of lately on this blog? ......Bergerac! Well fear not, as it's time to remedy that situation.

May I direct you to this rather excellentGerman Bergerac Fan Site. The host of the site explains:

"Hello - this is a german fanpage about the TV-Series "Bergerac". (in germany called: "Jim Bergerac ermittelt") It was very famous - especially in the former GDR. I would like to get in contact with any fan of "Bergerac" and John Nettles. If you have any material (photos, adresses, URL's, screen- shots, curriculum vitae, texts and so on) please mail me to keep this webpage alive. I also know that "Bergerac" is very famous in Norway, Netherlands, France and Finland."

On the site you can download most excellent Bergerac wallpaper (which I left on my computer at my old job as a leaving present). It's full of facts and information about the Jersey crime fighting legend, but sadly it's almost all in German.

Don't despair though, have a listen to the Bergerac Theme Tune

I love the way the site features the weather on Jersey. So you can think, it's raining, I hope Jim has taken his umbrella when he's out looking for criminals, and he better put the top up on his sportscar, he'll get the leather interior wet...it will get ruined....

Tuesday, November 23

The Viking gets very sweaty
Darts legend Andy 'The Viking' Fordham has followed in the footsteps of Paula Radcliffe. He was forced to quit his World Title Unification match against Phil 'The Power' Taylor, because of breathing difficulties and heat exhaustion. The Viking sweated profusely throughout the match and it was not a pretty sight. Spare a thought for his wife too, who probably has to wash all his darts shirts....

Darts hero Fordham was doing well initially, but soon the man mountain (who has been on an extensive lager drinking regime to exercise his injured arm), began to suffer under the TV lights and the sauna like atmosphere of darts Mecca, The Circus Tavern, Purfleet, Essex. He reported breathing difficulties and had a 15 minute break to use an asthma inhaler, take a walk around the car park and have a pint, but doctors advised him not to continue.

Darts is of course a high pressure game and 'The Power' was concerned about his opponent: "He's a big lad and it's very, very hot down there. I was thinking. Oh, crikey, I'm going to kill him here." he said in a Stoke accent. Fordham will defend his title in January at a venue with better air conditioning.

'The Viking' will also soon be entering ITV's Celebrity Fit Club in an effort to shift some excess poundage...no really it's true!

Monday, November 22

Minor indie band start blog
So, do you remember My Vitriol?
- Third rate indie band from a few years back.
- Lots of whiny songs.
- Released an album and had some moderately high festival slots on the smaller stages.
- Singer chewed his sleeves a lot.

Still stumped?
Well fear not and control your excitement because they've started their own blog.

To me though, the whole blog has a whiff of PR and marketing about it. I mean, check out the blog description at the top

'Check in with My Vitriol in their London studio, as they track the eagerly anticipated follow up to their critically acclaimed debut album "Finelines".' Who speaks like that apart from someone in the PR business, hmmm, hmmm??? Have we uncovered a new and sinister phenomenon in the music business, blogs been used as PR machines....

You can hear clips of the forthcoming album recorded on a mobile phone for the special 'in the studio' quality.

I don't know if any of you (apart from Katy) know who My Vitriol actually are - but I quite liked their album and saw them in concert doing support slots twice - both times they were excruciatingly bad, tuning up for minutes after EVERY song and having seemingly no regard for the audience. Maybe I caught them on a bad night - TWICE!

Next week: An ex-member of Menswear starts a blog.

Sunday, November 21

Last night saw the social event of the season in Birmingham. I am of course talking about Brownstock - the fundraiser for German Regional League anarchist football team - FC St Pauli, headlined by Gold Blade. Held in the downstairs room of the Royal George pub in Digbeth, a venue reminiscent of the front room of a northern terraced house (think garish carpets and anaglypta wallpaper).

The gig had sold out in advance and i'd like to think that had something to do with the excellent media coverage the event received. So I donned my Danish Anarchist T-Shirt and with Fincho we set off for the venue. Who do we spot outside, but the impressive quiffed mohawk haircut of Gold Blade frontman John Robb - we were in the right place.

Inside the venue was a mix of aging punks, football supporters, crusties and a smattering of Germans. An important part of the evening was the raffle, drawn by John Robb himself. Prizes included a selection of pornographic magazines, a trip on the 11 bus route, a bottle of Brown Sauce and other various Birmingham delicacies. What everyone wanted was the signed St Pauli shirt, but sadly I didn't win.

The compere was a man with a floor length leopardskin coat and some of the bands were...well....variable. The first band Eastfield were a railway obsessed punk band from Crewe featuring a woman whose sole job seemed to be to shout the chorus to every song, really loud.

Second band The People's Republic of Mercia were rather good and a bonus slightly less wearing on the old ear drums. And The Blunts were...erm...very loud.

But it was Gold Blade that the punters had come to see and as they blasted into 'Do You Believe in the Power of Rock n Roll' things got decidedly more lively. Now I don't pretend to be a huge Gold Blade fan, but I was pleased when they played 'Hairstyle' complete with a pair of scissors as a stage prop for extra effect (careful John, you'll have someone's eye out).

When female fans were invited on to the stage to dance, a randy middle aged woman took her chance. Over the next few songs she proceeded to grope each member of the band, whilst they were still playing perfectly in time - a skill to be admired. As her wandering hands explored the torso of the drummer, John Robb was prompted to ask 'How many people are playing that bloody drum kit?'

So it was an entertaining evening enlivened every time I went to the Gents. The first time a guy started this really long conversation about working on markets and very educational it was too. He has to get up at 4am you know. The second time, two German guys started talking to me in Danish, before realising I was local and then screaming ASTON VILLA into my ear. The third time featured an in-depth discussion about antique hand-dryers.

As we prepared to leave after the gig I spotted several copies of my article printed off on the bar. Now worse for wear they were covered in spilt beer and fag ash, after being used as makeshift beermats for the evening. A truly beautiful sight and surely something every writer worth his salt aspires to.

Friday, November 19

Well it seems the verbal amusement arcade that is Ian Holloway is up for the Wolves job and judging by some of the women i've seen heading out of Flares on a Saturday night in Wolverhampton - he might be OK.

"To put it in gentleman's terms if you've been out for a night and you're looking for a young lady and you pull one, some weeks they're good looking and some weeks they're not the best. Our performance today would have been not the best looking bird but at least we got her in the taxi. She weren't the best looking lady we ended up taking home but she was very pleasant and very nice, so thanks very much lets have a coffee"

Brazillian legend Socrates is set to play for Yorkshire non-league side Garforth Town tomorrow. The 50 year old '82 and '86 World Cup veteran is poised to line up in the North East Counties League against the mighty Tadcaster Albion (Come on you Tadcaster!).

Talking of philisophy - Has anyone seen the Mark Steel lectures? Marvellous stuff indeed, especially last weeks punch up between Di Vinci and Michelangelo.

Wednesday's International Friendly was decidedly unfriendly, and that was just Gary Neville's challenges. Staging the match at the home of Real Madrid's band of loveable fascists the ultras, probably wasn't the best idea, but at least someone said sorry eh.

Did Kerry win in Ohio?

Wednesday, November 17

The king is dead, long live the king
Ciarán went to John Peel's funeral. Read his words and see his pictures

Monday, November 15

'I got a letter from the Government the other day'
I received a letter from my MP Tom 'Watso' Watson earlier this week, asking me for my opinion on the proposed closure of a branch of the Post Office that is near to my house. Nice of him to note the name of this blog and my expertise in postal matters - I thought - until I realised that I wasn't the only person he had written to.

Whilst it is good of him to consult his constituents on a local, though largely inconsequential issue in an attempt to drum up a few cheap political points, I'd prefer to have been asked my opinion on something more important. Like perhaps for example, the British assistance in the American invasion of Iraq, leading the the deaths of many thousands of innocent people - authorised by his party. But hey we can't have everything...

By the looks of it, Watso's blog appears to be down at the moment and has been for a few days. Surely not just a coincidence that this has happened shortly after he became a Junior Whip. Has his blog been attacked by anti-war protesters, Iraqi insurgents or disgruntled Hamstead pensioners? I'll leave that to you to decide.

Let us have a look at what Watso has been doing whilst people are killed in Iraq. Nice intervention in the hotly debated flora and fauna issue I thought. He also bagged free tickets to the Mercury Music Prize I note and gets free RAC membership - nice!

Other fascinating MP facts I learnt from the rather excellent theyworkforyou.com:
Tim Yeo (Con South Suffolk) has a column in Golf Weekly Magazine and also a very funny blog dedicated to him.
Alan Duncan (Con Rutland & Melton) has received a gift of a traditional Omani coffee pot and incense burner from the Government of Oman.
Tony Blair (Lab Sedgefield) has two flats in Bristol.
Michael Meacher (Lab Oldham West & Royton) has FOUR flats in London! He used to have even more.

And whilst we're talking about the Post Office - What's going on with this Napster voucher business?

Multiple Choice quiz

If I want to download a song, am I:
A. Going to walk 15 minutes up the road to the Post Office (if it hasn't closed down), pay for a voucher and then walk 15 minutes back to my house - then download it.
B. Download it using one of the many free sites around - at no cost - without leaving my house and with Broadband taking about 15 seconds.


Dale, Cilla and a portion of chips
So myself and El Fincherino went to a wedding the other week in London and even though I didn't know anyone there - it was still a good party. The best man made the happy couple Keele University Top Trumps cards with ratings such as Squirrel Count, which I thought was cool.

Anyway we met this guy who told us this story of how he met Dale Winton and Cilla Black whilst on holiday in Spain. It was some trendy resort with loads of boats and he's walking down the street looking for his lost mate when who does he see, but Mr Camp Orange himself Dale Winton. 'Can I have a chip' said Dale suggestively....'well' said our anonymous storyteller 'I spilt vinegar on them in the chippy so they are a bit tangy'. 'Ooooohhhhhhh, I love a bit of vinegar on my chips if you know what I mean' says Dale archly.

Later that night in a club, who do they see but Cilla Black. They chat with her for a bit and she shockingly admits that blind date is fixed amongst other things.

Later still on the way home Dale and Cilla are walking back to her yacht arm in arm. 'It's the chip guy. Hellloooo chip guy' says Dale drunkenly but still camply. 'Thanks for letting me have a nibble on your battered sausage' and with that they stroll off slightly unsteadily into the night.

Is this a true story or the deluded ramblings of a madman? I guess we'll never know.

Wednesday, November 10

A new addiction
Since getting broadband I can't get enough of Internet chess. A slightly geeky addiction and not quite as cool as drugs but certainly healthier.

Whilst were on the subject of addiction. I was in Tesco today browsing, when a man burst into my aisle. He was unshaven, perspiring, twitching and generally looking uncomftable. 'Ah, he'll be heading for the special brew' I thought - but something didn't quite fit as he was in the wrong aisle. He grew more frantic as he scanned the shelves of instant noodles and pasta sauces 'no, no, no, no, NO' he muttered to himself, and then 'AHA' as he reached for the Soy Sauce, picking up two bottles. Just about to head towards the counter he paused for a moment and looked at me 'Better take three, just in case' he said with the smile of a madman, before picking up another bottle and scuttling towards the check out. Morale of the story: Soy Sauce - Don't do it kids.

Monday, November 8

My sister dropped her mobile phone in a cup of tea and now it won't work - for some reason I think that's really funny - well at least it beats dropping it down the toilet. Unsurprisingly it appears that Orange don't have a standard policy on dealing with phones dropped in hot beverages. I wonder if she drank the tea afterwards?

Sunday, November 7

Broadband ahoy
Well i've been away for a bit but now i'm back with my brand spanking new 1gig Broadband connection. It only took BT 6 days to get it working but bless their cotton socks they got there in the end. So you can expect more posts more often on Danger! High Postage or your money back.

So what have I been doing - taking 360 degree photographs on the Birmingham Big Wheel for a start.

Also check out my feature about the forthcoming FC St Pauli fundraising might in Birmingham:
Punk rock football

I met Girls Aloud last week too - they were all five foot tall and wore tracksuits, chav chic if you will. A couple of them I must say were quite good looking, but one of them was decidedly rough I have to say (presumably she's the one that can sing).

I've been to two fireworks parties in the space of two nights, both in the Black Country. The first featured a consignment of stolen fireworks (not by me) from a well known supermarket (taps back pocket), whilst I of course don't condone stealing fireworks I must say there were some impressive rockets on show. Also while we're on the subject - don't bother with buying Asda no frills sparklers - they just don't cut the mustard in the sparkley stakes i'm afraid.

I'm sure i'll get the hang of this blogging thing again soon....

Also i've made a revolutionary advance in the world of dating. Frisbee dating. The details are sketchy at the moment but i'm certain there is money to be made...