Saturday, July 27, 2002

NOW IT'S GETTING STUPID: Okay, Brit. Time to call an end to your dual status as Nation's Little Girl and America's Whore, because when you're writhing in underpants covered in a thin, clingy layer of sweat one minute; the next apologising for giving the paparazzi the finger (like a fifth grader caught doing a Liam impression), the duality ain't going to hold. Time for "I'm not a girl or a woman" is way over - either give us a Janet Jackson style "Now I'm all grown up" Control-era album statement, or take holy orders. If you need any help guessing which would be best, career-wise, ask yourself: How many Rolling Stone covers did Mother Theresa get?
By the way: No Rock and Roll Fun hotdamndigs the BeeGees - Shakira - Britney mix currently clocking up serious airtime on Kiss TV. Life's better without panpipes.

RED HOT SILLY BEGGARS: There's something that's been worrying us about that Red Hot Chilli Peppers single, and we've just twigged what it is - it sounds like a Shed Seven bside. Now, this isn't a criticism - this, indeed, is our favourite RHCP track ever - but it just seems to be a strange career twist from the band, from chasing the dragon to Chasing Rainbows...

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: Over on capitolgrilling, someone makes the fair point that our comment on the death of Entwistle wasn't caused by the coke, but by his heart, was akin to "It wasn't the fall which killed him, it was the hitting the ground." Though, really, we'd say the comparison would be more accurate to "it wasn't the tower that killed him, it was the falling off..." - sure, he maybe wouldn't have died if he hadn't taken the coke, but if it wasn't for the heart, he'd have been fine. I spose you could argue we're almost edging into a Charlton Heston "Its not guns that kill people" area of distinction; indeed, I'm surprised the Barbara Bush-whackers haven't already pointed out that if the coke he took swamped his heart, he technically had overdosed himself; but, regardless - it's nice to see some sort of official recognition that there is a level of drug usage that is generally safe. Even if it does make you as boring as fuck when you're on it.

Friday, July 26, 2002

MORE THE VINES: Rolling Stone have done another collection of artists to watch, and, in common with the rest of the English speaking world, have decided to annoint the Vines amongst the collection. You'd have to say that's looking like a pretty safe bet.
They came together at McDonalds [Rolling Stone] - last time it was Clinic, you know

WE DIDN'T MEAN IT, MA'AAAAM: Virgin Radio have ended up in a lot of silly bother after forgetting they'd pre-programmed a show to come out of the news with the Pistol's God Save The Queen. The problem, of course, was the news bulletin it came out of had contained the Queen reading a eulogy for her recently deceased Mother. Hey, who said John had lost his shock value? [Ananova] - actually, we're more disgusted that a national radio station uses so much pre-recorded stuff on its airwaves anyway - maybe the frequency should be given to someone broadcasting radio rather than playing records?

YOUR LIFE WAS MY IDEA: Gary Binkow desperately trying to claim that The Osbournes was his 'concept'. In court, of course - this is America, after all...
"Go on, take the bloody lot" [Ananova] - Paul Watson may suggest that, actually, pointing a camera at a family and sticking the results on TV when he did The Family

AH! ASSURANCES ON SECURITY: So, Leeds council withdrew its objections to the Leeds Festival after receiving assurances about security and sanitation plans for the event. Apparently references were taken from Glastonbury before the Council were happy - presumably whoever wrote them sketched over the three officials who were arrested over that assault, then. Meanwhile, Oxfam are offering people the chance to get into Reading and Leeds for free by volunteering for stewarding positions. It would be easy to raise an easy laugh at the prospect of the future of the Leeds Festival being put into the hands of Norris Coles, but in fact the Oxfam scheme has been tried and tested over years at Glastonbury - stewards who aren't already well known to Oxfam have to provide a reference, which does get checked out; to be given any sort of supervisory responsibility you have to demonstrate that you've participated as a steward before. Indeed, since this is the first year that Leeds/Reading have used Oxfam stewards, the irony is that the Glastonbury licensing committee wanted Glasto to bring in the Mean Fiddler to use their knowledge of how to run a festival, and the MF have ended up acknowledging that maybe Michael Eavis had come up with a better system anyway.

RADIO - FREE AT LAST? Changes at the top of Radio-crushing behemoth Clear Channel, with the wonderfully named Randy Michaels being shunted out of the radio division, being replaced by the chief executive's son. That, of course, is good news for radio fans, since scions of media families tend to be really rubbish at running communications businesses (witness Packer and Murdoch's next generation balls-up at One.Tel) and so it's probable that for a while at least Clear Channel's whale-after-crill hoovering up of competitors might be knocked off course slightly while the company tries to work out quite why its allure to shareholders has dropped so badly. Michael's change of role and the early announcement of profits came after a huge dip in the price of CC stock on Monday night.
Michaels says he's looking forward to new challenges [] - yes, that Head of Carpets and Soft Furnishings office is sweet

MOANING SCOUSE GITS: Now, we're as quick as anyone to point out the flaws in the NME, but for the love of God, can the poor sods do anything right? A couple of weeks ago, tha paper ran a feature about how, after ages, there's stuff going on in Liverpool beyond the Atomic Kitten facade. It enthused over about a dozen or so cool bands, mostly focused on the Bandwagon night. For once, a piece about Liverpool didn't fall back on banging on about empty shops and prowling youths (as the last time the NME focused on Liverpool As Scene did, back in the early 90's?) And are people happy? Are they buggery. The usually unimpeachanble local music site Gigwise responds withWho do you think you are kidding Mr. NME?. At first, we thought this might have been a spoof - it was just a little too bit like a version ofthat Harry Enfield sketch most people in this city refuse to accept is accurate:
Londoner: My, your refreshing 21st century take on the guitar band sound is wonderful
Scouser: Yer what? Are you saying that our riot grrl bands and lo-fi acts are rubbish?
But it's not intended as a joke. The response to the first bit of interest shown in the potential of Liverpool as The Next Great Music City in years, and what's the response? Moaning. Complaining. Sabre-rattling. Poking the chest of the nme.
A few years back, the bolshie attitude of just one artist managed to make the whole of Merseyside marked down as a bunch of difficult wankers who, frankly, weren't worth the effort for an entire decade. Let's not do that again, shall we? Getting the balance right between local pride and petty pointscoring is difficult, it's true. But the correct response to someone praising your guitar bands might be "Yes, but there's a lot more to us than that" rather than "Bollocks, bollocks and thrice bollocks! "
Of course, the Real People are supporting Meat Loaf in London.

ALL HE NEEDS IS THAT KLF MANUAL: Interesting new show starting on Discovery Channel this Monday evening, when Tony Hawks is challenged to follow up his hit as Morris Minor and the Majors (Stutter Rap? You do... "some people threw bottles and some would chuck a can... chucka chucka chucka can...") by getting a record into some Top 20, anywhere. Apparently, Tony manages to get a six week series out of writing a large cheque to a radio station and delivering a massive box of free CDs to his local Virgin megastore.
TV show details - "off the wall" not intended as an insult in this context
Don't have a TV? Buy the book instead - with the benefit of not having to worry about hearing the songs themselves

IT WASN'T THE ROCKS THAT CARRIED THE OX, IT WAS THE QUAFFING THAT DID THE OX OFFING: Or, to put it another way, the inquest into the death of John Entwistle, has concluded that he didn't overdose on cocaine, but the coke he had taken brought on a massive heart attack. What is nice that someone can actually make the distinction, in these times of drug hysteria, that what might be a safe level of drug use for some might not always be safe.
BBC : Cocaine 'killed The Who star' - BBC News Online's headline manifestly fails to grasp the significance of coroner saying that the cocaine didn't kill him

HEY! THAT'S OUR TURF: Guardian Unlimited has started a new music gossip featurette, called On The Record, added to the site on a pleasingly Smash Hits-esque fortnightly basis.

THE STEPTOES OF ROCK: A couple of years ago, the BBC suddenly noticed that in seventy years of broadcasting, the only things they'd managed to keep on tape were that bit on The Frost Report where John Cleese and the Two Ronnies do a skit about class, some early Eastenders from when Pauline's cardigan was clean, and a copy of the Ipcress File with the ending missing. They ran a campaign to get people to send in stuff they'd taped, and were rewarded with lovingly preserved copies of black and white Steptoes and two thousand separate copies of the first ever Auntie's Bloomers. Of course, had the BBC been the RIAA, at this point they would have filed the tapes away, cleared a slot in the BBC2 schedules to stick the best out as repeats, and then sued the arses of the people who'd sent the tapes in for breaching their copyright in the first place. Anyway, all this is merely a prelude to mentioning that scary, devil-cursing Mogwai band are launching a similar plea for stuff to build their own history - presumably lottery funding for a seveteen story Museum of Modern Mogwai has come through - and they're appealing for anyone with old setlists, photos and posters to send 'em in to them. I'd imagine they'll trade sex of some sort in return.
Mogwai site: send us stuff - but don't all Mogwai concert goers end up dead from strange diseases?

OTHER MUSIC BLOGS ARE AVAILABLE: Our only problem with Stereo is that, erm, its written in a language we don't speak, but nevertheless, we enjoy the bits that we can make out, and the quality of its tracklisting alone is worth the visit - it's through them that we discovered the rather wonderful Sick Anchor's take on Atomic Kitten.

ICE T: BETTER WITH SPICE: Rock is coming back into vogue, you can't deny it - and not like 2000's flirtation with rock-as-image, all Iron Maiden tshirts and commissioning series about Ozzy. Now, apparently Ice T is about to embark on a rock project, under the splendid name of Perverted Sex Cult. Ice is promising that it'll be "scary stripper music" - by which we hope he means the music will be scary, and the sort of music you'd hear in a strip bar, rather than merely sounding like the noise a scary-looking stripper would make as they fiddled with zippers and buckles. Although actually, that sounds good, too, now we come to think of it.
Comes in 2003 [ reports] - then he'll start work on his Hinge & Brackett tribute album

WHO NEEDS CRAIG VINES WHEN WE'VE GOT JEREMY VINE?: A while back we covered the pleasing news that Jeremy Vine has been selected to fill the shoes of Jimmy Young on Radio 2. Somehow, as a result, No Rock & Roll Fun managed to worm its way into the top responses when people Googled on Jeremy Vine's name. Now, while we think that anyone with a hole in their schedule and a song on their lips would be delighted to spend time on this site, we were starting to feel a bit guilty about all the people looking to expand their knowledge about Mr. V who were clicking through here. So we asked him if he'd help us out and supply a list of his all-time Top Ten. To his eternal credit, he did. And it's a bloody impressive collection of tracks too:
1. Lipstick Vogue (Elvis Costello)
2. Imitation of Christ (Psychedelic Furs)
3. Rector vs Spectre (The Fall)
4. The Book I Read (Talking Heads)
5. Shipbuilding (Robert Wyatt)
6. Legion (Theatre of Hate)
7. Last Night (The Strokes)
8. Anything from 'Dummy' (Portishead)
9. Isolation (Joy Division)
10. The Name of the Game (Abba)

Actually, forget the Jimmy Young show - this man should be doing the Evening Session at the very least...
Next week: John Humphrys' Top Ten Guitar Solos.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

SOMETHING TO READ: Put A Pistol In My Mouth Finder's fee for this goes to Rory.

SCARY, SCARY YAHOO GROUP: Anais Gallagher - Noel's mini-me. There's just something slightly... "shouldn't they be on some sort of register" about this, isn't there?

RETURN TO NEVERLAND: Mariah Carey has entered the messy Jaco versus Sony battle, objecting to having been included in his rant against Tommy Mottola (we've actually struggled to find a quote that mentions Carey, but then she isn't really that newsworthy these days). Of course, Tommy is Mariah's ex, and there isn't any love lost between them (her slut-at-c&A wardrobe is claimed to be a big F-you to to the man who wanted to keep her covered up), so for Mariah to stick up for him is quite something. Anyway, since the Jacko controv has gone warm again, this gives us an excuse to mull some questions. Like: If Mottola is such a stinking racist, we can understand - perhaps - Michael Jackson having to work with him, but why would he have made a rare public foray to go to his wedding just 18-odd months ago? If Jackson really believes racism was at the heart of his treatment, why didn't he mention this back in May, when His People gave an exclusive to the Mirror about the feud with Sony? The usual complaints about no advertising support, and sabotage, but nothing about racially motivated behaviour - indeed, a source described by the Mirror as "a pal" (shorthand for a member of the Jacko industry) said ""Michael wants out of Sony, and he believes that some of the highest people in that company are hoping to make him pay the price for his disloyalty.
The company has have stopped all promotion on the Invincible album, prevented him from releasing singles and basically sabotaged his career.
Jackson is furious at Mottola and any working relationship they had is now over".
They are the two most powerful men in music going head to head in an all out war."
- and if that last quote doesn't prove that it Has To Be a genuine friend, then nothing will convince you. But there you are: mid May, Jackson's saying that he's going to war with Sony, due to Sony behaving spitefully because he wants to leave. July, all of sudden, Jackson is claiming Sony's lack of support is because he is black. Even Al Sharpton and Jackson's own publicist are refusing to support Jacko's claims Mottola is a racist, devillish type. Jesus, he's a record company executive, and even we think that it's ridiculous.
Meanwhile, let's not forget this little outburst: "Once I started breaking sales records, I broke Elvis Presley's record, I broke the Beatles' record - once I started doing that, overnight they called me a freak, a homosexual, a child molester." First up, Michael - no, the music industry didn't call you a child molester - that was the family of the boy who used to go for sleepovers with you that called you that - you might recall paying them a large sum of money to go away. Secondly, if one is pulling on the trousers of Champion of the Minorities, you might want to think twice about bracketing gays with freaks and child molesters. Because actual homophobia stinks, you know?

STUPID SPOOFS: Writing for's Digital Beat David Kushner raised a problem with the Music Industry's new ploy of spoofing MP3s. See, what we thought the labels would do would be get some of their staff to hang about and spit in a bucket, cough a bit, hammer and generally make up a track of white noise or other rubbish. But what the labels - who really are so stupid we're considering having Alan Levy sectioned for his own good - have done is to make Red Hot Chilli Peppers tracks that just loop, or Alanis Morisette songs which are badly distorted. "How can you tell the difference?" you might wonder, and, as Kushner points out, that's exactly the problem. While the label might expect the punter sat at his 'puter to go "Oh, what a waste of time this downloading is, it'll be quicker to go and get a legitimate copy of the album from a shop", what they're just as likely to think is "Blimey, Alanis has really lost it - this track is just awful. I shan't bother buying that this weekend."

ACTION... CUT...: Michael J Fox and Joan Jett as brother and sister? Read Hollywood Bitchslap's excellent guide to the Ten Bad Rock Career Killing Movies

MORE COURT NEWS: The Destiny's Child libel action - in which dumped children LeToya and LaTavia whined that Beyonce's lines in Survivor were breaking an agreement to not be beastly about each other, and Beyonce claimed that lines like "said you wouldn't sell without you/sold nine million" and "LeToya and LaTavia give wanks to dogs" weren't actually about them at all. Details of the settlement haven't been released, of course. Which is a pity.
It's unclear if Matthew Marsden has any plans to sue.
"Unfortunate the plaintiffs having nothing better to do" statement likely to create new lawsuit [BBC] - The other two are probably a bit downcast this morning, too

LIFE IN PLASTIC'S... FANTASTIC: An American appeals court has thrown out attempts by the overprotective Mattel corporation. What's even more bizarre is the judgement apparenty told both sides to "chill"
C'mon Barbie, lets go party [Ananova] - this court judgement is brought to you by Oasis, apparently
Barbee Killed Ken - probably also relieved

FREE AT LAST: Or Becky Bamboo (No rock & roll fun's second favourite websearch after Jeremy Vine) goes to see Arthur Lee:
instead of scribbling notes about the concert randomly on any scratch paper I can find in my purse (B&N flyers, receipts, the phone bill) I've upgraded to a cute little purple notebook. some guy I was standing next to asked me what I was taking notes on. I told him the performance. later he commented to his friends something about not wanting his conversations written down. dude, if you're reading this - I wasn't writing anything down you were saying cos you weren't that interesting. and you dress funny. but you are friends with a guy who is friends with arthur lee so I won't make fun of your hair. but I could.
the opening band was stew. they were a big black guy with a goatee and a baseball cap who played the acoustic guitar, backed by a skinny white girl on backup vocals and electric guitar. the first line of the first song: "the naked dutch painter in the kitchen does not want to fuck you." the second song was about how ken (the doll) is gay and his bosses at mattel don't like it. "my name is ken and I like men." Two songs in and he's totally cracking my shit up. it was like an especially entertaining poetry slam set to music. he was witty and cool and had songs with words like "erudite" in them. one of the songs was him lamenting about being at a boring party and not being on any drugs. in another a girl gets out of rehab and joins a band called the "star of david brinkley". he was awesome. if I had had any money on me I would've bought a cd.
and then. arthur lee comes out, cool as fuck in a fringed jacket, cowboy hat, cowboy shirt, ostrich boots, and sunglasses. they open with 'my little red book' and rock the fuck out of it. I'm jumping up and down and trying not to grin too much. you can keep your overblown staduim rock dinosaur tours (the who, the rolling stones.. I'm looking at you)... give me love, baby. they swing into some of the later, more psychadelic songs, peppered here and there with some rockers from the first album. lee fairly spits out the line, "all I want in this world is to say I'm a man that's free" and you believe he means every word. in between songs he talks a bit about being in prison, rambles some stuff about God, and some more about politics. he says he was the first black hippie and will be the last. he calls sly stone an "egotistical ass" and casually mentions jimi.. janice.. jerry. I'm overwhelmed at being 2 feet from this man. towards the end of the show, after an incredible version of 'a house is not a motel' he says "I'd like to see Lenny Kravitz put on a show like this." HAHAHHAHAHA. he then clarifies, "no, no.. he's cool. he can't sing or write, but he's cool." HAHAHHAHHAAHAHA. I love arthur lee. the band plays for about 2 hours. no encore, but that's all right. I've had my socks rocked.

SPAMBANDS - BACK: It's been quiet on the Spam bands front recently, but all that has changed with the emergence of the drearily named Metropolitan, and the sudden re-emergence of Pole Position. Back in April, they were outed as one of the first spam bands, but a couple of posts to bsn recently took the saga a stage further. After having had a series of cross-posted gig announcements bounced back, their supporter tried to post again under a "this is not Spam" subject line - which we waved through purely on the strength of its Magritte-style surrealist subject line. Their argument was that they were talking about a gig on a list that was about music, and they had no financial interest in the event, so they weren't spamming. Which misunderstood both the nature of the list - which is for discussions between musical enthusiasms amongst people of a certain outlook, not a pin board for press releases; and the nature of spam - which is pasting the same message to multiple places. Pole Position remain, until they prove otherwise.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

the best of young britain is chosen by the New Statesman this week - the sort of thing you'd expect, really; so mark Thomas choses Shazia Mirza as the best young comic in the country, because she's a female muslim stand-up rather than because she's funny - which, sadly, she isn't, really. The realities of this sort of talentspotting are played out when the Staggers turns to 'whatever happened to other young prodigies' - it seems to suggest its selections are on a par with Andy Crane and Chesney Hawkes, which is sad and desperate. Oh, and Eddie The Eagle, of course...

jake shillingford's claim in new media guardian that his post-My Life Story project, Exile Inside are "the first internet band" might come as a shock to all the other internet bands...

music week is showing off the new-look ash - manga style cartoons to promote the new material. Charlotte actually looks better in real life...

ash also pop-up in the big take over (thanks to kellie, a wodge of americana pop paper has arrived at what, were we to take on a fanciful TV Cream style tone, we'd call Pop Papers Towers) with Tim and Rick discussing why they've made a pop record: "We wanted to make a pop record in contrast to all the Travis, Coldplay, all that kind of stuff" says Tim, while Rick reckons "No one else in the UK seems to be making guitar music these days. It seems like all these groups are about to slash their wrists." You might pause to notice that Ash, unlike Travis and Coldplay, not only talk to girls, but include girls in their ranks.

We always think of the Big take Over as Australian, even though it isn't, for some reason; it might be the title the team at Careless Talk Costs Lives had in mind when they were creating their baby. Certainly, it's unique in music magazines in being almost entirely about the music (man). Hence, the Breeders piece glances at heroin and hysteria, but sneaks out of Kim Deal the nugget tht Sinister Fox is based on pre-dinosaur rock act UFO ("chi-chung, chi-chung" she explains) and Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy and My Life Story in the same pop papers - who'd have thought?) is given space to talk about the real damage the Beatles did: "it's all about the Sgt Pepper, isn't it? It's pre- and post- Sergeant Pepper, because from there, the recorded song was more important than the song itself. How it sounded on record became everything." And Jason Pierce gets grilled about the spiritual references on the new Spiritualized album: "They're just words... 'Lord, can you hear me' is quite colloquial. Some of that meaning to some people is religious, and that's fine. It's like the language of rock and roll. I don't feel foolish using the word 'baby' in a song, but I don't go around calling a girl baby. For me, it's not like seeking redemption. They kind of get this idea that I'm slitting my wrists and taking these things as some sort of a cathartic porcess, and it's certainly not like that." More slitting wrists? It's the Big Bleed Over...

The latest Punk Planet is a special, an extended love letter to the city of Chicago (do not think of the nme Madchester special at this point, it'll queer your pitch.) In fact, more than love, as columnist Jessica Hooper observes "not unlike the hardware store, the fiction section at Myopic Books, and most Led Zeppelin songs, the downtown Chicago skyline makes me want to fuck." Amongst the Chicagites (or did we decide it was Chicagoans?) interviewed are The Mekons, who, of course, aren't native. John Langford says of his adopted home "Chicago is a lot like the north of England. It reminds me of somewhere like Manchester." And Sally Timms agrees: "I felt like I'd moved back to Leeds. They both have a town feel although they're really cities." The cover of PP features mayor Richard M Daley - the artwork is very PP, but the framing of the mayor is traditional. Compare with the only mayor to have made it to the front of a UK pop paper, when the nme put Ken on the cover while he was discjockeying. The irony is that Ken is pretty cool and in touch - goddammit, he has brawls and knocks people over walls; he is a rock & roll mayor - but making mayors look like rock stars doesn't work...

Theresa May is on the cover of this week's nme, astride a leather clad gimp boy. Okay, really, it's The Coral, but its touch and go which would be the less attractive option - one of the reasons the La's became smackheads rather than stars was the fact that the face of Lee Mavers could never be reconciled with the beautiful music he made. On this basis, we can only conclude that Liverpool's blood is more Ringo than it is George...

news: Nicky Wire warns that the manics haven't yet decided about their future. In 1990, this would have meant they were unsure if they'd explode in a mix of blood and eyeliner, or just disappear. In 2002, it means they're torn between a Stakeholder pension and a straight investment in government stocks. "We've written 14 songs" says Nicky "so there's plenty of Bsides." Many will probably be released as lead tracks anyway; Eminem is executing a model of Moby on stage every night - which must go down well with the fans ('who's that?' 'dunno... is it meant to be the baldy guy from ABC?' 'nah, it's mini-me, isn't it?'); does anyone care about the Oasis-Starsailor fight? A sniffer dog led to oasis being pulled over by Italian customs - probably on suspiscion of not having had a bath; they ask a load of rock stars if they believe cannabis should be decriminalised - the closest to a dissenting voice is Jimi from Doves saying 'I couldn't care less either way'; Joshua Todd has quit Buckcherry, causing no end of upset. Sorry, that should read: causing no torment"; Noel Gallagher is to play drums for Weller on his new album - hey, Noel, I know what I am - what are you?; the organisers of the Essential Festival reckon "twelve years of the festival have been shot in the foot" - the Alan Partridges of festival organisation at least realise at long last who it is who's buggered them up - and it wasn't the Badminton Horse Trials or the big Gay Festival; Craig Nicholls has zipped himself up to complain about the Vines' US label replacing his - um, idiosyncratic - artwork with a picture of the band. Which has then been scribbled over with a red pen. "Brighton was my Knebworth" says Norman Cook. Erm...shouldn't that be Altamont? Sorry, been believing the Evening Argus for a moment there. Impressivley, the traffic jam on the A23 stretched one-fifth of the way to London. Cream would kill to be able to create that sort of gridlock...

on bands: boniface - cheeky r&b extrovert who can fly, by the looks of things; and young heart attack, who are from Austin, Texas with all that that means...

"we're not a cilt" insist the Polyphonic Spree - although, to be honest, they remind me of Baby Amphetamine more than the Moonies...

out of the mouths of babes: the coral's james skelly reckons "The Coral (debut album) is better than the Who's first album or The Small Faces' - you've got aim for that, haven't you?" - well, yes, because otherwise the record company will drop you. He also says "I'd rather listen to S Club 7 [than Doves]. The Sex Pistols were just S Club 7 with acne." And no TV series, either. But Nick then says "watching MTV for two hours its like sucking on a sugar dummy." But, seriously: do you know how great it is to hear a Scouse band saying "we're not like fuckin' 60s heads." It's been too long a coming...

I still have a kind of dyslexic-amneisa that makes me see The Beatings and go "Hurrah - the Beatnigs... oh." So they're fighting a sense of disappointment all the time. But apparently they're part of a London scene that also includes the Libertines, The Black madonnas, The Kills, The Left Hand, The Toes (this is starting to sound like The Bits of Van Hoogstraten's enemies they found), The Banknotes and The Hells. Hurrah for London. Actually, this reminds us: A couple of weeks ago, the New Statesman had a London special which reminded us of TV Go Home's London regional listings, with a bunch of capital-felching writers saying things like "In London, society is multicultural - nowhere else in the country do people of all races mix so easily." Which still irritates us now to think of it. Grrr...

Jimi Goodwin pops back to complete a list of ten tracks he'd put on a CD if he was going to make one - the four seasons (valli, not vivaldi), sly & robbie and david bowie - but quicksand, of course, rather than One You Know...

"I'll fuckin say what I believe. If anyone's got a problem with that they can ask me to my face" pledges Bobby 'did I say anything about bombing the Pentagon?' Gillespie. However, as that face seems to have started caving in, that's not much of an offer. In fact, he claims about 'Bomb The Pentagon' that "the song was not all about dropping bombs in the Pentagon. That was one line in the song." Yeah, and Loaded wasn't about dropping drugs, Bob. Of course. Bobby seems a little confused, to be honest - on one hand comdemning the nme for not writing about stuff like RIPA and security crackdowns, then, when offered the chance to use the paper as a platform to discuss Palestinian-Israeli affairs backs down _ "I could sit here and talk about this shit all day, but its not going to change US and Israeli policy." Hmmm, maybe not, Bobby, but it might inspire some readers to find out more; it's hard to tell if he's feeling out of his league or just tired of fighting - "I don't think I can do it" suggests one conclusion; the general emptiness of "I think it would be beautiful to see the Palestinian people attain equal rights and independence" points heavily in the opposite direction. He certainly seems happier on ground like the age old Rock/Punk wars - "Kate Moss is more of a rock star than anybody in a band right now." Still, good work Roger Morton for an excellent interview...

back to the records, then: beth orton - daybreaker ("a blurred passport photograph seen from the window of a moving bus", 8); wire - read & burn ("punk may be middle aged... its vital signs have never shown more strongly", 8); linkin park - reanimatyion ("the summer holiday album", 6); charlatans - live it like you love it ("good memories in one cd-shaped place", 7)...

sotw: the polyphonic spree - soldier girl ("like grandaddy, except with god instead of beards"). Not sotw: britney spears - boys ("best single for ages") - and is it just us, or is the sleeve basically Britney taking all the slaggy, whorey, lapdancing insults and going "Yeah - but I'm so good at it?"...

live: big beach boutique ("If Brighton can take it, we'll see you again next year"); charlatans in manchester ("a tsunami of niceness. a bit dull."); monica in kings cross - brandy's love rival from The Boy Is Mine, you'll recall; The Bellrays in Brighton ("music spiked with attitude, but - just a simportantly - it's music to dance to"); the Move festival ("back catalogue rich pickings for New Order")...

and finally, Mixmag (or it might be Ministry - why do all dance mags start with M? It's certainly not Muzik) wonders on its cover why [and don't you hate the childish dot com bit of that name?] is outperforming the Megaclubs. It's a bit like asking why the local newsagent is doing better than an antique shop, but we think we can help you. It's to do with the relative attractiveness of a night out to the slightly better off late twentysomethings who can afford frankly scary doorprices - the prospect (albeit usually dashed) of women dressed in short skirts and white shirts and pigtails, dancing to songs they know compared to being in a hall full of kids watching some bald guy in the distance play tracks they've never come across and couldn't holler along to in a drunken fashion even if they had heard them before. Next question?

BLUFF CALLING WINS: The Mean Fiddler's frankly unlikely claims that it could roll out of town anyday seem to have won over the Leeds Magistrates, who've approved the licence for the Carling Weekender. The Council have been assured that the rubbish and riots left by previous festivals won't be repeated this time round.
BBC Leeds - Decision made - the Mean Fiddler seemed very sure they would win, didn't they?

MONKEYSHAME: Mediamonkey might be very good at filleting the pompous Andrew Neil and holding Jeremy Vine up to the light, but he knows shit about music, as this entry in his diary clearly proves:
Last night Dominic 'I am a celeb' Mohan was up to his usual toe-curling namedropping on a TV documentary about Chris Evans, reminding everyone how close he is to the stars. He had just finished his umpteenth tale about the time "Chris called me on my mobile", when he broke down and started reminiscing about the golden age that was, wait for it, 1996. According to Mohan, the best track of that glorious year in the musical calender was Wake Up Boo by the Boo Radleys - the most irritatingly cheesy, middle class, bland Britpop single ever. Which simply confirms what all music lovers already know: Mohan is today's answer to Dave Lee Travis.

BAD NEWS FOR MEL C: Or for any celeb who might be letting the side down by living like - god forbid - ordinary people, eating kettle chips and toying with same-sex liasons (not, of course, that Mel C has ever done either), as EMAP are preparing to produce a sister magazine to Heat, designed to cross the 'Look - it's a celeb' eyes wide of Heat with the sarky bite of Private Eye. Pop star ridicule a go-go, then? Like the glory days of Smash Hits... well, maybe not. It's unlikely EMAP are going to go too far when they're also relying on the same stars to fill The Box, Q albums, Radio City...
Heat... Sneak... Sheet? - not that we'd approve of taking the piss out of people who make records, of course.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

WELL, THEY'VE GOT THE ANGLE OF THE ARSE RIGHT: Madame Tussaud's new Kylie waxwork - clearly, they've just used the William Hague head and stuck some ahir on it, haven't they? - see for yourself.

SORIBADA, JONNY: Revolt in Korea over attempts to close down the local version of Napster, soribada, which has just shrugged and promises to continue as usual. the Korean Record Industry reckons that any attempt to start a legal file sharing service has been bankrupted by the illegal free service (yeah, because whoever heard of a dotcom going bust on its own?).
Closer to home, and Universal aren't so cash strapped they can't afford to create a post of Chasing Monkeys Up Trees - they've announced David Benjamin has been made Vice President in charge of anti-piracy. Quite how this will work isn't clear - maybe he'll be given a helicopter which allows him to hover over houses of kids with illegal Cranberries MP3s, shouting forever - but its certainly not unexciting.
FT reports from Korea - quick, before it hides behind its subscriber only protection

Shhh... don't mention Cream... we've lots of other great companies here... just be quiet about Cream... - Liverpool City of Culture Bid develops rather large hole in central strategy

DON'T TELL ME THE CREAM IS OVER: Cream is over, in all but name. The nights which has strong-armed the Merseyside scene for a decade is closing its doors, shifting its offices to London and will in future exist solely as a brand name floggin CDs and 'specials.' This isn't entirely unexpected - the night has been struggling badly for months, and the non-appearance of its much-trumpeted Brighton venue was a clear indication the end was near. Strangely, the Liverpool Echo is reporting that Creamfields will continue, but since the dance festival was little more than a loss leader, we'll believe that when we see it. So, that's dance officially dead now, is it?
Official statement - it's not like we're going out of business, we're just getting into different businesses

NEXT UP: TEN FAMOUS BELGIANS: Can things really be as desperate in the land of the Maple and the Mountie as Jam's
Best Canadian Band poll would suggest? Not only does the attempt to come up with enough choices mean Bachman Turner Overdrive and Rush made the shortlist, but at present, Barenaked Ladies and Our Lady Peace are duking it out for the title. Still, Nickelback are on a probably fair enough zero percent.
Additional: The Google Directory listing for Canadian rock bands is likewise a bit scanty. Platinum Blonde?

Life Imitates Blockhead's Razzle In My Pocket

TEN: Sean Moore's favourite C86 era tunes:
1 The Bodines - 'Terese'
2 Primal Scream - 'All Fall Down'
3 Big Flame - 'Why Pop Stars Can't Dance'
4 The Loft - 'Up The Hill And Down The Slope'
5 The Wedding Present - 'Once More'
6 McCarthy - 'Red Sleeping Beauty'
7 Pop Will Eat It Itself - 'Poppies Say Grrrr EP'
8 Talulah Gosh - 'Talulah Gosh'
9 My Bloody Valentine - 'Sunny Sundae Smile'
10 Shop Assistants - 'Somewhere In China'
The other two's can be found over at, which is also reporting details of a Christmas tour of enormo-domes by the Manics.

Andrew WK duets with Kelly Osbourne [NME.COM] - no further comment needed, I think

BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF... WHO, PRECISELY? More convoluted developments over at neverland, with a Japanese label insisting that Sony are refusing to clear its artists for the mawkish September 11th 'tribute' Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and other totally sane members of society recorded before the corpses were cold. Possibly because the executive producer used to make gay porn, possibly because of the ongoing Jacko-Sony spat. Who knows? Maybe its because someone at Sony realised how bad it would look for a bunch of washed-up has-beens to try and draw attention to themselves on the back of an act of mass murder. Maybe someone noticed that whereas Band Aid provided financial support to the most wretched of a desperately poor country, the State and insurers in the US have done a pretty good deal of supporting the families of the victims already, and as such any charitable funds would be being badly misdirected?
BBC report - life imitates 'Rock The Blind'

I COLLECT, I REJECT: So, as Madonna attempts to frustrate a tenth anniversary relaunch of her Sex book - apparently, she's afraid her daughter might see it and realise her mother once consorted with Vanilla Ice - she might want to make sure Lourdes access to Ebay is blocked, to avoid forty-odd copies currently being offered there in various states of undress and languages...

NETWORK HEAVEN: Having done a fair bit to drive sales of computers, music is again going to be pressed into battle to bring home networks into the 'must have' part of the cash-rich's Venn Diagram. Having worked out that nobody is going to waste thousands in order to be able to switch a coffee pot on from their bedroom (that, after all, is what timeswitches do for a fiver) the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that consumer interest is being tempted by the prospect of getting those MP3s off the hard drive and into the bedroom. Of course, that's assuming the record industry don't stifle the interest at birth by fulminating that playing a track in two rooms at once constitutes some sort of theft and will ensure that Madonna starves forever.

OUCH: "Bloggers make the worst music critics" phrase hurled out in the midst of debate about that 100 albums you should get rid of list on the Barbelith Underground.

LAST WITH THE NEWS: Okay, it might have been last March, but the Melys Netherlands tour diary is still worth a read. Naked piercings - Earl Brutus ugly slurs - tram surfing. It's all there.

PIRACY MUST STOP. SOME DAY: Nice piece from the BBC's Matthew Price in Belgrade, covering the pirate CD market there. What's interesting is the pragmatic approach taken by the Serbian government. Deputy Culture Minister Aleksandra Jovicevic tells Price that, yes, something must be done to stop pirates. Soon. But with the culture of underground swapping of music having taken hold during the war, and generally low wages, it's clear that they're reluctant to diminish the quality of people's lives still further by sudden and decisive action. In effect, the Serbian government seems to be saying: We'll start to deal with the problem, when the record companies start to make their product a bit more realisitcally priced.

IS GARBAGE.COM THE NEW TWOINCHES?: Is it just us, or does the high bandwidth version of the Garbage website just trigger a never-ending cascade of blank windows? Which is a pity, because there's a wealth of good news now that Shirley Manson's online diary is back (it had been bought up by Q Magazine). First up, the band has written a couple of new songs - one called Sex Never Goes Out of Fashion - and, more importantly, Shirl is toying with returning to red:
Reasons to be blond:
I like it.
It makes me feel frivalous.
It suits me.
Reasons to be red:
Red means beautiful in russian.
It makes me feel empowered.
Everytime I see a red haired person,no matter who it is, I feel as though I recognise them and I'm desirous of their redness.

The official site - just make sure you choose Low Bandwidth

TWO IN A BAR SHOCKER: During yesterday's questions on Culture, Media and Sport, the issue of the present two-in-a-bar rule (which limits the singing of live music in pubs) was given another airing. While its a noble aim, we're not sure whether Lawrie Quinn is going the right way about making his case by inviting Kim Howells to go and hear him and Billy Bragg break the current law - "it all sounds a bit left-wing for me" was the new Labour minister's response to the invite. Siobahn McDonagh approached the question from a different angel, asking earlier in the debate why crowds can gather to watch football in pubs, but not to listen to music. Howells replied "[the government] will certainly look at getting rid of the absurd two in a bar rule. I have looked long and hard at the evidence, but we have never received any to suggest that watching television in a pub causes the kinds of scenes that have sometimes occurred in pubs with live music. Nor, indeed, have we had any reports of disturbances caused by watching television in a pub—we have certainly received some reports of incidents following the playing of live music in pubs. Generally speaking, however, pubs are excellent venues for live music. We want to make sure that that continues to be the case and that there are more venues for live music, not fewer." Which is positive sounding - although I'd be curious to know exactly how the government has managed to avoid being in a pub at the moment when the beery atmosphere turns fetid at the full time whistle - or, indeed, what these incidents of music leading to riot are, precisely.
Hansard coverage - turning slightly into the now-defunct Melody Maker

RIP: Sad to hear of the death of Alan Lomax, dedicated musicologist-cum-obsessionist. He died on the 19th, at the age of 87.
Rolling Stone obit

MY FACE IS RED, I STAND CORRECTED: We could try and blame it on the stress of overhauling the site visuals, but you know it's just sloppiness - Matthew Marsden was the Corrie mechanic; Michael Marsden the actor slated to appear in the forthcoming new brit gangster flick. And since he was in Reservoir Dogs, that's probably even more ridiculous. And Matthew was in Black Hawk Down, which made it seem plausible.
Michael Marsden, of course, does have a link with the music industry, having been a presenter of an award at this year's Brits. Thanks to everyone who pointed out the error - no, really. But I stand by my claim that Ozzy had no musical talent.

Monday, July 22, 2002

WE CAN'T BE SURE, BUT...: Can the most popular act in Spain really be Heinz endorsed band called The Ketchup? It appears they claim to be "the daughters of the tomato" and, according to Google, they're the most-searched for band in the Iberian peninsula right now...
Especial - Las Ketchup - although who knows what the world made of Bananarama?

TWO LISTS OF 100 RECORDS: First up, there's that 100 Records you should remove from your collection. Now, we're as happy to join in with a spot of mindless iconoclasm as the next person (that's except for when we're stood next to Jeremy Clarkson, of course), but this list is really just a great title with an ill-thought out list beneath. About a third of these actually hold together with a sense of cohesion - being either stuff that likes to think of itself as beyond reproach, or stuff that wanted to be liked so very, very desperately that it deserves contempt, but really it just seems to be a list of records that the compilers don't really like much. And it kicks the statue over onto its own foot straight away by admitting in its first choice "completists like me may never part with [Combat Rock]."
Better is TV Cream's real top 100 singles of all time, an attempt to make a chart of records which wouldn't end up with Bohemian Rhapsody at number one. Their choice of toppermost of the poppermost - Don't You Want Me? - sounds like a number one that Means Something, justifying the whole exercise. And anything that includes The Korgis and Rupert Giles' brother can't be wrong.

BLIMEY, LADS, HE'S GOT A SHOOTER: Just when you thought that the twitching, badly beaten corpse of British Cinema could take no more, they announce they're going to make another fucking gangster movie. Hold on, it gets worse. Michael Marsden - once second fiddle to Kevin Webster in the Corrie garage - is in it. So is David Beckham in a cameo. And that, of course, means his missus has got to be on the soundtrack. They're going to use technology to make a "dearly missed" celeb come back to life. And, as if that wasn't enough to make the smell overwhelming, it's going to have Gavin Rossdale from Bush in it.
Several stars prepare to revolve in grave - maybe they just mean they plan to re-animate Beckham?

DAUGHTER IN FLAW: One of the lowlights of a rather fine weekend was being hunted down by Kelly Osbourne ("of the brilliant Osbournes", as a Century FM dj helpfully explained) and her version of Papa Don't Preach. Gah. Clearly, there was never going to be much merit in the project - a lame brained cash-in with only half an attempt to come up with an 'apt' song. (Why not rewrite The Clash slightly instead - 'Daddy was a bat-gobbler, but he never hurt nobody...'?) But taking on Madonna is a tough call, and Kelly doesn't manage to rise to the occasion at all. While it was possible to really believe Madonna was a knocked-up teen, even though we knew in real life her Daddy's reaction to the news of a pregnancy would be "Why are you telling me? You're thirty, you're a millionaire and if the local abortion clinic didn't have a favourite bed set aside for you, I'd be very surprised", Kelly's trot through the track has all the emotional impact of a spoiled teen saying "whoops, I forgot to fill the tank in the GTI before I parked it." Ozzy never let a lack of musical skill hold him back, and his daughter has followed his example; sadly, her inability to even attempt to reach up for notes is a lot more grating.
Hmmm. Person of limited ability attempts to squeeze more cash from fleeting fame on reality TV show by releasing poorly-realised version of vaguely 'apt' tune? Kelly Osbourne, you are the new Maureen from Driving School.
Panto in Petersfield is awaiting you.

YOU CAN'T SAY IT: Of course, the BPI would never condone censorship, oh no no no; but it does like those little stickers that say 'this is rude'. It's just refreshed its advice on when its members really should put a Parental Advisory sticker on its product. Interestingly, rather than bother to draw up its own criteria, the BPI just says the best guide to deciding whether the content is explicit and/or offensive is to use the guidelines set out in the Video Recordings Act 1984. Now, while this might seem appropriate, there's a world of difference between a video and song. In fact, the 1984 guidelines state that anything which is "likely to encourage human sexual activity" should be stickered. So, that's Lets Get It On, Sexual Healing and the entire Barry White back catalogue going under the counter then. Meanwhile, the strictures on violence would have Another Sunny Day's You should all be murdered given a peace-keeping label, too. It's fair enough that a system should be in place to alert people to the potentially upsetting nature of some music, but the system really should be one designed for music, not brought lumbering over from another field of artistic endeavour.

RIP...: Apparently - and we stress this is just a rumour at the moment - former Bowie producer Gus Dudgeon has died in a car crash. Either he'll be sadly missed, or there's someone very obscurely bored on Popbitch today...
Don't say 'who', say 'ah'

IF YOU PAY FOR MONKEYS, YOU MAKE PEANUTS: EMI's shareholders came together on Friday to stare hard at the board that cheerfully shoved twenty million down Mariah Carey's cleavage and waved her off, to ask just why the failed executives also get huge pay-offs. One shareholder angrily observed "Its amazing how when things go well, its great management, but when things go badly the board blames market conditions", and asked why useless executives get huge pay-offs when they get sacked. Chairman Eric Nicoli held his features straight and said "The salaries and bonuses we pay out are dictated by market forces, if you want to attract the best talent, you have to pay market rates." Which is corn at the best of times, but exactly what is the market rate for someone who's been so shit at their job they've brought the company to the brink of collapse? Have I missed the recruitment ads where six-figure sums are on offer for people lacking any skills and talent? It's arguable that multi-million pay packets are required for good executives - it's not like there are dozens of international labels seeking CEOs, and I'm guessing that Fierce Panda aren't forcing the rates up past the hundreds of thousands mark in the wider market, either. But to suggest the market is so bad you have to pay squillions to attract piss-poor talent that results in 1,800 people being dumped into dole misery is just risible, and an insult to our intelligence. What do the good ones earn? Surely at these rates there isn't enough money in the world?
In a bid to distract attention from how rubbish they are, the board announced that it's bought up the bit of the Motown publishing it didn't already earn, and proudly announced their belief that the new Atomic Kitten and Blue records will save the company - so every time you buy a Lamont-Dozier-Lamont classic, you'll be helping pay the salaries of people whose grip on music is so poor they can't spot when plastic bands are all mined out, either.
Levy and Faxon had their new positions approved, but an embarrasing one in five shareholders failed to support their remuneration package.
FT report on shareholder's meeting - goes subscribers only only early August

IT'S NEW RELEASE MONDAY: And, following on from the best of, the b-sides, and the Christmas swing album, the Charlatans pad out the recording process with the inevitable live album. Still, at least Live It Like You Love It has the decency to include a version of Sproston Green on it. Having tried to sneak out his first solo album under the Biscuitboy alias, Paul Heaton seems to have decided that his profile might be more of a help than a hindrance to sales of Fat Chance, so now it returns with his name and picture appended to the release. Also coming back for seconds are Let It Blast and Grand Fury, hoping to turn the new interest in the Bellrays into space in the stockroom. Blimey, the Sex Gang Children are still going, with a new one Bastard Art fillig the racks today, but the third Origins of the Species compilation from Psychic TV also out, there'll be some struggles for the goth's record tokens today. If you prefer your compilations a little more delicate, and you'd rather the small girl in the floral dress isn't blood stained and sobbing uncontrollably, From A Distance gathers together the wonderful Nanci Griffith's nublugrass into a handy single serving, making at a stroke Shania Twain's dusty resurrection of For The Love Him as obsolete as it is unwelcome.

Over in the bite-size boutique, it's the battle of the advertising whores with Dirty Vegas' ghosts going head to head with beauty on fire from Natalie Imbruglia. (Beauty on fire? Don't they test that face cream on bunnies first?). Better fare from The Streets weak become heroes, Nerd's Rock Star and zero star from Sugarcoma. Government approved sources of musical nutrition Pete Yorn (Strange Condition) and Michelle Branch (All That You wanted) will be of interest if you like your indie lite and unthreatening; but the real battle this week pitches Doves' Pounding and Primal Scream's mighty return Miss Lucifer into a two-way battle.

SUBMERGE: What does two mill buy you these days? It should, coupled with a ridiculous level of slavish press, get you a decent hit, so Ministry of Sound must have been rattled at last week's low entry for Fischerspooner. Still, 25 got them onto TOTP, and since they're constantly telling us they're as much a visual act as an aural one, trip-trapping over prime time telly must help sales, surely? New chart has them at an Asda bargain-bin filling 44.
Footnote: Fischerspooner's dads, the Pet Shop Boys, managed to get into the top 20. That, of course, is class showing.

I GET CAUGHT OUT, BUT I GET OUT AGAIN: We've called Chumbawamba before on how giving away cash from commercials isn't an excuse for setting aside capitalist principles in the first place - we know that you're helping charities, but it still looks to us like you're using the muscle power of the multinational corps to flog a few extra copies of your records; and besides, giving your fee to a 'don't use cars' campaign is hardly going to offset the multi-million 'use cars' commercials you're helpfully soundtracking, while millions that hear your music endorsing the corporation are hugely unlikely to read your apologias in the new left press.
But it turns out their defence is even more hypocritical and half-assed than we'd assumed. They turned down General Electric's request to use Tubthumping on an ad for an X-Ray machine because "We have to deal with each one of these ads as they come along but we simply couldn't find a reason big enough to excuse the fact that GE's engines were flying over Afghanistan dropping bombs and incinerating civilians." Which could be fair enough. However, the band are happy to allow their music appear on a Pontiac advert. Pontiac is a General Motors brand, as is, of course, GM Defense and Delco Systems. Now, while we could see that an exception might be worth making to promote something socially useful like an X-Ray machine, how do the 'wumba justify dealing with a branch of the murderous weapons industry to give a sales boost to a gas-guzzling sports car?
Please like us still, beg Chumbas [Ananova] - we know people with guns, you know...

THERE, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD: Death stalks the Rolling Stones, as a long serving roadie drops dead of a heart attack. Apparently, this guy had been working on their road crew for thirty years - clearly, the Stones don't believe in giving even their most loyal staff much of a pension option.
Seriously, Ananova say 'It's not known if Magree's death will disrupt the Stone's rehearsal schedule' - not as much as it's going to disrupt his, that's for certain

CAN'T COME OUT TO PLAY, MAM SAY'S I'M TO FINISH MY HOMEWORK: Sigur Ros have called off their European tour in order to complete their new album instead, apparently.
Hopefully it'll be finished by tea [ANANOVA] - or there'll be TV tonight, either...

WILL THEY NEVER LEARN?: If you must, like Mystikal actually video yourself performing criminal acts, at least try and keep hold of the evidence. Otherwise, like R Kelly, you might find yourself looking at a messy bill for trying to round up the copies...

Sunday, July 21, 2002

DOPE, TRAINS AND FUCKING IN THE STREETS: More on the aftermath of what a generation is calling Normstock, the Fatboy Slim Brighton-beach-based-boogie-bash last Saturday. According to the Brighton Argus, the Police are now suggesting they should get awards and plaudits for their work on the night - and, indeed, it seems the fifty officers on duty worked bloody hard to keep order and safety on the night. And, let's not forget, did so successfully. You might want to wonder how only fifty officers were on duty in the first place - remember, they were expecting 100,000 people to turn up anyway; readers in the Brighton area might want to perform calculations with slide rules to compare the number of police the Sussex constabulary insist they need to cope with the largely docile and mainly local 5,000 odd who turn up for Brighton and Hove Albion's games, and the relative light touch used for the larger, mainly out-of-town crowd expected for the beach boutique.
Not that the police are happy, anyway. Inspector Kevin Claxon, according to the Argus, said some observers thought only six arrests made it a good night but added 'I could have arrested 300 people myself. All we could do was help people around as best we could and keep them safe." But... isn't the first role of the police to keep people safe? Isn't that what we pay them for? Clearly, the opportunity to make the arrests rate for the Sussex force was there, but, sadly, the police had to work in the public's interest instead. Head of Brighton & Hove police Chief Superintendent Doug Rattray praised his team: "There was a small number of officers which was stretched to the limit." Hmmm. Who would be responsible for there only being a small number of officers, Doug? The Argus observes the police "had to focus on public safety and ignore hundreds of crimes including drug dealing, assaults, and having sex in public." Ah, the crime of having sex in public, eh? Some people say it's a victimless crime, but, you know, if we don't crack down on That Sort Of Thing, it'll be gayers doing it next. And, forgive us if we're wrong, but if the whole of Brighton was just a massive crush of flesh in danger of exploding, how were people able to shag and deal in the midst of it? We've read reports of people who faced crushes in various locations, and yet we can't recall of anyone who thought as their lungs were being squeezed slowly flat "blimey, if I can flog this quarter of weed and shag Tracey, it'll all be worthwhile."
The main trouble seems to have been at the station - and, as we've observed before, that's what you get when Rail Companies fuck up, not when there's a party on the beach. If inquiries need to be held, it should start by looking at just how the train operators thought they were going to cope with the last train at 11, when at least 80,000 people could have been expected to want to get out of the city at midnight. But we shouldn't be surprised - the last few years have shown many people in the rail industry have at best a blase attitude to public safety, never mind the needs of the travelling public.