Friday, 31 August 2012

Wet Wet Wet: Angel Eyes

I heard this on the radio the other day and was transported back to the 80s in a flash. Generally, like all sane people, I dislike Wet Wet Wet a great deal. Goodbye Girl is a dirge of a tune. And Love Is All Around? No, it's not. Marti Pellow singing style makes me want to stick hot pins in my eyes. Yet, yet...

I have a soft spot for this ridiculous song. Sample lyric: "people say I'm so automatic, people say I am not so systematic." What does that even mean? It draws me in though. It's quite evil. I know what it's doing yet I can't help but like it. It's has a marvellously 80s video of nonsense too. Now I've just listened to Temptation and admit I quite like that too. Oh my god. "Sing along, sing along baby, sing along for the love of the children." Nooooooo! No wonder he turned to heroin.

Be afraid, I just read the group reformed back in 2004. If I never have to see Marti Pellow's face again, I shall be happy.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bring me sunshine

Today I was listening to the Desert Island Disc archive and it was Ernie Wise. I've never paid much attention to Ernie Wise in my life but I listened to him talking about him and Eric, and the songs he picked and let me tell you, you won't find a better 30 minutes of radio on the internet. I swear, I was welling up or I had something in my eye.

First of all, he picked Singing in the Rain and talked about when they did a skit on the song. I've looked it up and ummm, hello. Can you dance like this?


I have to say though, it's really not that funny. It's sacrilege to criticise Morecambe and Wise and I am certainly not going to as Ernie is such a little mover.

This song alone races me back to my childhood. My nan used to love them and always sang cheerily along. Can you imagine any show ending like this now? It's delightful. You can't argue with the lyrics. It can't fail to cheer you up. RIP Eric and Ernie, they really don't make them like you anymore.

Monday, 20 August 2012

RIP Tony Scott

It's with a heavy heart I do these posts. Today I've felt sad about the news of Tony Scott's suicide. It is said that he had inoperable brain cancer which makes me feel slightly better because if I had inoperable brain cancer, I'd probably do the same.

Let me just say right here, right now that I love Tony Scott movies. He made Saturday night movies like nobody else. Proper, rip-roaring entertainment. Of course Top Gun is one of my favourite films ever. I don't think there will be a film so completely over the top and ridiculously entertaining as Top Gun again. I say we all go watch it tonight. "Take me to bed or lose me forever!"

He also made Enemy Of The State, a film that made it into my wedding speech. One of the reasons I married TeenBoy is that he agrees that EOTS is the best Saturday night movie ever made. Bag of popcorn, Will Smith and a brilliant high-concept but crucially intelligently executed and well acted. There is nothing more you need in life for two hours. Tony made it look easy but we only have to look at the dross out there to know it isn't.

Spy Game gave us Brad Pitt and Robert Redford. Frankly, if you want more than that then you're just greedy. Deja Vu is brilliant - if you've not seen it, then seriously watch it because it's so good.

Revenge: Kevin Costner when he was attractive and Madeline Stowe. Again, a great film.

The Taking of Pelham 123 and Unstoppable may not be world-class but they are better than most films on offer at your average multiplex.

My confession is I've never seen True Romance because I am a bit squeamish about violence but in honour of Tony, I am going to watch it. In fact, I'm having a Tony-festival at Teen Towers. He deserves it. RIP Tony, you will be sorely missed.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Pet Shop Boys

It pleases me that the Pet Shop Boys have survived. I always thought they were a great band. I don't claim to sit and actively listen to them but whenever I hear a PSB song, I sing along happily, delighting in their sheer eccentric Englishness. I've always liked Neil Tennant's voice and the grumpiness of Chris. It's a band myself and MrPink agree on and regular readers know, this is not a frequent occurrence.

And on this Sunday evening, I present to you a few of my PSB favourites.

Obviously we must start with West End Girls. This is still their finest song, it has a great introduction, a wonderfully 80s video (check out the hair of the people walking about) and it doesn't sound dated at all. This song is 28 years old. *gulp*

It's A Sin. Another fabulous introduction here. They were epic! Unnervingly, Neil looks like Michael Ball here.

My second favourite PSB song is What Have I Done To Deserve This? The sublime Dusty Springfield gives this such class. This is a very clever song, it shouldn't work but does. Another great video.

Always On My Mind. It takes a brave band to cover an Elvis song but this works beautifully because they make it so different. And it has Joss Ackland in the video.

Left To My Own Devices. One of the best disco songs written in the non-Disco era. I love how he sings 'party animal'. The PSB had the best titles to their songs.


Go West. They choose the best songs to cover. I didn't think it was possible to top The Village People (goes without saying that I love The Village People) but this is fantastic.

They had so many songs but these are my favourites. Doing this list I realise what a treasure they are. They are of the era when the UK did proper pop bands and weren't afraid to be a bit odd and arty. I miss those days. Pet Shop Boys = national treasure.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Spice GIrls

My avid readers (I must have some, surely) will notice I've been neglecting this blog and the reason is simple, The Olympics. Having barely watched any athletics in my lifetime and with no idea what a velodrome is, I am now an Olympics convert. I found myself watching the boxing with real interest. What on earth? Thank goodness it's over and I can snap back to my cynical, hard-nosed self.

I watched the closing ceremony last night with some trepidation. It's always a bit embarrassing when Britain decides to be proud. I just don't think we've very good at blowing our own trumpet and I can only assume we threw the Spice Girls in to trip ourselves up.

Now listen, back in the day I appreciated Spice Girls for the fluffy little pop ensemble they were. I may have seen SpiceWorld. I may have hosted a Stars in Their Eyes party and had all Spicies represented (with two Baby Spices no less)* but that was a long time ago my friends. Time has not been kind to the girls. It often isn't when you don't have much talent to start with. They hit a moment and milked it and good luck to them but why do we insist on a reunion, drag Mrs Beckham to a party she doesn't want to attend and then all cringe when they can't perform? Honestly. Does history teach us nothing? Reunions are never a good idea. Unless it's Take That but nobody could have guessed at that.

Last night they sounded ropey, some of them looked a little chunky (let's be frank here, Scary Spice is not ageing well) and we had billions of people watching. What must they have thought? I think Eric Idle saved the day but only just. Nuns on rollerskates!

Spice Girls had one good song (which they didn't sing as they went for a medley of mediocrity). I think I can just about still remember the routine to this.

It's time for us to retire Spice Girls for good and leave them in the 90s where they belong. Take That's golden career does not await them because they don't have a Gary Barlow. Speaking of which, what a guy. That's professionalism for you, although I recognised those costumes...

*I was Nana Mouskouri. Obviously.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


My favourite fact about Shaggy is his real name is Orville. I have such a soft spot for Shaggy songs, I know they are ridiculous but they are so much fun. On this sunny Saturday morning I present to you my Shaggy picks!

Boombastic. Surely everyone likes this? It's hilarious.

"Life is one big party when you're still young but who's going to have your back when it's all done." Deep Shaggy.

It Wasn't Me always makes me think of Chris Evans. I used to listen to him in the morning back in the 90s and I remember him doing a very funny piece on this song. I miss 90s radio.

It's impossible to be miserable listening to a Shaggy song. I demand a revival right now.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Islands in the Stream

How have I not mentioned this before? It's only one of my favourite songs ever. Looking at the photo above gives me the warm and fuzzies. Written by The Bee Gees, this song is total perfection and the ideal way to start the weekend.

"Everything is nothing if you've got no one." I love that line. Dolly is magical in this video. The pair of them are so effortless. Thanks to my dad who sent me a one line email checking I hadn't neglected this song. That was all it said. Obsession clearly runs in the family.

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