Saturday, April 23, 2016

I is the NME / mighty fallen

I remember when you’d get the likes of Bogshed on the front cover of the NME - and that was back in the days when the NME was a big deal and competing with Sounds and Melody Maker.  But this week it has a lad in a suit on the front with the headline ‘this is suiting’ (whatever that might mean) – it’s an advert for Topman.

How are the might fallen eh?

Given the way the modern world is mind, I can just hear someone claiming that the lad in the suit is not actually on the cover but on the ‘wraparound’ or some-such logic-defying made up ad-speak.  Call me out of touch but to me the front cover is the thing that’s on the actual front of the magazine, the bit that you see without having to open it.  You know, the front.  The cover.  The front cover.  And not what's hidden inside.

I’m not blaming the NME for this state of affairs by the way but it’s still sad to see.  I doubt whether the old NME would have had a full-page advert for DFS settees in it either (or cars) but there you go…

The cover does tell me that it’s now OK again to wear white socks.  About time, I never had a problem with them.  Mind you the suits are too skinny and the trousers too short even for a 20 year old.  So there.

Who’s on page 3?  Jimmy Clitheroe.  My name for Biffy Clitheroe.  Or Clyro.  I bet their publicity people tell the world that they're on the cover of the NME this week.  Unfortunately they're not.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Weather what they tell you is true or not...

I'm not particularly comfortable moaning about the weather forecast but well, today...

Today I heard them saying on Radio 4 at about 8.30am that the weather 'in the North of England' was grey and cloudy and showery and would stay that way.  In fact it was bright and sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky.  People were remarking about what brilliant weather it was.  At a couple of points during the morning I checked various on-line weather sites including the BBC.  Many of the forecasts had those graphs divided into hours - and all of them said that in Leeds it was cloudy and raining.  WTF? (Oh that's 'Want That Fashion' according to a hoarding I passed today - they're just so darned clever those advertising types y'know?!)

Did none of them have a single intern or anyone at all who could look out of the window and work out that they were completely wrong?

In the end the weather did turn bad (some time in the afternoon) but it's a really surreal experience to be told by authoritative voices on the radio and usually reliable on-line sources like the BBC that black is actually white, or rather bright blue skies are actually grey rainy skies.

Maybe it was a glitch in the Matrix or tax haven money being re-shovelled about that caused the world to shift off its axis slightly...Shows that our super duper ever so modern 24 hour rolling weather world is not as advertised though...

Comfort Essentials

There exists in the world such a thing as Moisturising Gel Reflexology Socks.

“Comfort Essentials” apparently…I thought it essential that I tell you this fact.  I expect the UN will add this to the list of things a person needs that are essential along with drinkable water, shelter etc.

Monday, April 04, 2016

One for apostrophe fans'

There you go apostrophe fans, pick the bones out of this one - Cleethorpes sea front btw...


Big night in planned...

I caught a glimpse of a TV listings magazine this week.  I think I may have to stay in on Thursday.  Channel 5 have "Botched Up Bodies - Big Boobs Gone Bad" followed immediately (actually after 10 minutes of adverts I imagine) by "Baby Faced Binge Eaters".

And they say that television is shite nowadays...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Little Mix

For reasons I won't go in to (intriguing eh?!) I saw Little Mix perform last night.  I was trying to sum it up in a sentence.  That sentence is 'an S&M show for 9 year olds'...Gosh I'm full of myself - but can't help being proud of my journalistic brevity.

Btw, I was suggesting to someone that the name Little Mix was a pun on 'Little Minx' but they said no, it wasn't.  But surely I'm right.  I must be right!  I must be!

Actually the show was very like the sort of thing you see on the pier end in Skeggie, just marketed and monetised to the max.  A sexy one, a spooky one, a sing-long, a wave your phones in the air, a sit on the face of the backing dancers in your scarlet waspie.  But that's where I came in...  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs - the fight against phishing...

I got an email earlier today supposedly from HM Revenue & Customs saying “Confirm your tax refund”.  Immediately smelling a rat, or at least phishing or spam or virus or whatever I went on-line to find the actual HMRC to see what they say about this kind of thing. They say “Forward any suspicious emails to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

So…I forwarded the dodgy email to them at that address.  Pretty soon I got a reply.  Did it say ‘thank you for forwarding your suspicious email to our suspicious email in box’ or similar?

No, I got a reply saying “The above message was not delivered due to the detection of virus "Mal/Phish-A" “

So there you go…if you get a dodgy email supposedly from Her Madge’s Tax and Revenue bear in mind that if it is actually a dodgy email it won’t get delivered…

I sent them this:

Dear HMRC

I got a suspicious email earlier today supposedly from yourselves.  I forwarded it to you as you suggest on your website.  It was rejected as a possible phishing email and not delivered.

If this is not a joke from someone with a neat line in irony perhaps you could tell me what is the point of forwarding suspicious emails to you if, when they are indeed suspicious, they get rejected so you never get to see them?

Yours sincerely


They don’t answer the phone so I don’t suppose they answer email either.  Or read it.  It's almost as if we're being had somewhere and that email address is a piece of taxpayer funded nonsense.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

...best avoided...

No point at the moment going on about David Bowie.  And I don't have anything different or half as interesting to say about him as thousands (millions probably) of other people.  But one quick thought...

I hadn't really thought very much about this previously, but you don't really get people who don't like David Bowie.  Not very many people would expect you to like everything he ever did, but surely everyone likes, or more likely loves a swathe of Bowie?

If they don't, I'd suggest that like people who don't like the Beatles, they be looked at suspiciously - and best avoided...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I am the Byrds!

I’ve been reading Jon Ronson’s book “So you’ve been publicly shamed” this weekend – and very good it is too.  The subject of plagiarism comes up in the book and this reminded me of something - I wrote the Byrds’ song Chestnut Mare!  I worry about the subject of plagiarism because I think that as well as it being something an unscrupulous individual might do it’s also possible to do by accident.  Hence my particular ahem, Chestnut…

Thing is that years ago I had this bit of a song I’d written that I really wanted to use but never did.  In hindsight it really wasn’t that great but my young self thought it was pretty good and certainly worth using.  I was particularly pleased that the chords changed quite fast under the melody which is / was not something I do that often.  It was just a chorus but I also had some words that seemed to sit with it really well.  Not great words mind but I thought I could use them and hang a song on it.  The words I had were something like ‘I’m going to get out there if I can’.  I might have played it to a couple of band members or something, I don’t remember.  It never got used. 

Scroll forward around 10 years and I heard the Byrd’s Chestnut Mare on the radio “I'm gonna' catch that horse if I can” – shit!  That’s my tune! Not only is that my tune but that’s pretty much my words too.  Thing is that before then I had never heard that song.  Absolutely not!  But well, it’s so close that I simply must have done – it was around on the radio when I was a kid (a Wikipedia entry tells me) so rather than the very very unlikely chance of it being a coincidence, it’s much more likely I’d heard it (maybe even a few times) and forgotten – and there it was popping out years later as if it was my own tune.  Luckily I never finished it, recorded it or released it.  And maybe if I had taken it further someone would have spotted the problem in advance and stopped me.  Point is that I nicked an important chunk of someone else’s song completely by accident.  In the modern world it seems very unlikely that the Twittersphere (or ‘one Twitter user’ or ‘observers took to Twitter’ as the modern media substitute for journalism has it) would (and we’re back to Jon Ronson’s book now) would have forgiven me.  And if I had any money it would have been presumably been taken off me by record company lawyers. 


I, ladies and gentlemen of the jury was a plagiarist.  And I had no idea…