Marina Hyde has written a spot-on article in The Guardian’s G2 supplement today highlighting the way celebrities hijack current news events just to get themselves in the papers; Atomic Kitten’s 9/11 trauma, Razorlight’s “brush with polonium 210, and so on. Heck, let’s be honest; we’ve all come close. I stood beneath the Twin Towers on my only visit to New York in 1994… if I’d just been 7 years later. oh,and only last week I had my lunch at Itsu. Bloomin’ heck I haven’t half diced with death. Read her article here and wonder at the people who exploit anything and everything to make themselves seem more interesting to those who couldn’t be less interested.

And now some former Big Brother contestants have jumped on the pig flu bandwagon. They caught it in Mexico. They haven’t been to see a doctor or anything, they just know they have it. Fools.


Mark E. Smith gets it right in his book Renegade. Having done my best to check whether you can quote others or not, I’m hoping this qualifies as “fair use”. If not and anyone (particularly Mr. Smith) is unhappy, I’ll remove it.

Things Like Big Brother I find very strange. Why should anyone want to watch somebody asleep at night? Now that’s weird.

… They asked me to replace Johnny Rotten on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I’d never dream of doing anything like that. He must have been seriously broke to have even considered it. But that’s his business. Programmes like that remind me of wartime Russia when they’d make so-called subversive artists dig holes and plough fields. It’s very sad: every year at a certain time we get to have a laugh at celebrities who are skint or desperate or just simply mad.

…All of a sudden people are making money out of tittle-tattle – I’m talking about the Big Brother mindset here.

Ok, I’m skint, desperate and simply mad, so should I ever end up on such a show (ha!) please remember “it’s my business”.

me-with-pigAnyways, back to the pigs and the BB pig flu liars. Leave the pigs alone. Who knows what’s going on, and I can’t be bothered researching it, but if we are all going to die from pig flu I’m guessing we only have ourselves to blame. Whenever I get a cold or a flu-like thing, it usually follows a journey on a crowded tube. When we are all pushed together like… well, like battery farmed pigs… we’re bound to sneeze on each other. Let a lovely pig roam free, feed it something proper rather than causing it so much stress it tries to eat another pigs tail (this much is true; that’s why battery farmed pigs have their tails snipped off) and the chances are the pig would be healthier and flu free.

I’m not a doctor, but I am right.


Robert lloyd out of The Nightingales

I’m reading Renegade; The Lives and tales of Mark E. Smith at the mo and it’s a right old read. The Fall; a band that’s had 10,000 members, all hired and fired by Prestwich’s finest living man. Ok, some of them walked, but they don’t count. I haven’t got a clue what The Fall are on about most of the time, but that’s ok by me. It takes me about 20 years on average to get to grips with lyrics. The sound comes first and then maybe later I’ll fill in some gaps. Or not bother. Yes, not bother. if I just want words I’ll buy a book. That’s what I did with Renegade and it’s a book that won’t shut up.

So, that’s a long roundabout way to get to the Nightingales. I’ve never known of them, but they’ve been around a bit, and over the years they’ve hobnobbed with The Fall. That’s it. That’s the connection. I think Mark E. Smith may like the Nightingales; may even be friends with Robert Lloyd, the band’s singer and songwriter. But then again…

Watch this and read this and see where you are. I know this; Mark E. Smith always makes me think of my Uncle Ken. I’m not sure why. Something to do with pubs in Prestwich.

So, last night I went along with Ben Norris to see The Nightingales. Although we were firstly there to see the support to the support to the support, David Cronenberg’s Wife. See them sing My Best Friend’s Going out with a Girl I Like.

The support to the support have gone from my mind, but the support was the marvellous and wilfully perverse Ted Chippington, a comedian who does his best to make an audience, well, angry. A comedian reading from notes, in German… or Russian, or Polish. I don’t know. A comedian who calls out for subject matter from the audience and then refuses to make a joke out of it.

When me and Trev started doing comedy in 1982 as The DevilfishhornClub we used to tell these “jokes”.

Joke 1. My dog’s got no nose. How does he smell? He can’t, he’s got no nose.

Joke 2. Have you seen my mother-in-law? No, course you haven’t. I’m not even married.

Joke 3. Doctor, doctor, I feel like a pair of curtains. You need to see apsychiatrist, you’re obviously mentally ill.

And so on. You get the idea. Anti-jokes. Then we got into kids tv and had to start smiling and pointing at each other on publicity cards.

I think we were maybe a little Chippington-esque. We certainly did enough hard gigs supporting local bands at the International in Rusholme. We even attempted comedy at the Hacienda, along with the Buzzcocks and the Redskins at a Lesbians and Gays support the Miners gig. Now there’s a combo-title you don’t see too often these days.

Anyways, I’m going off the point. Ted Chippington was great and awful, good and bad. Stewart Lee and his wife were there and me and Ben said hello. I muttered somethig inane about how his current show, The Stewart Lee Comedy Vehicle (BBC2), has had me laughing out loud. I’m a fan, and as a fan can’t help acting like a fan. He was very gracious about it. And like Ted, Stewart will push his audience, taking a joke as far as he possibly can, taking it all the way around the world until it comes back at you, anti-funny. And funnier. I wanted to find Stewart Lee talking about the rappers but couldn’t so have a look at him taking on Joe Pasquale in this great clip. Then, for a treat, watch Stewart Lee track down Ted Chippington.

I know. That’s a lot to make you watch. If you choose one item from the above links choose Stewart Lee does Joe Pasquale.


"get to the end of the cue"

I’d been playing pool all day; Interleague. My team, Waterloo 2, won all three matches, but no thanks to me, only managing 2 out of 6 frames. I had to take my cue to the 100 Club. I left it propped up by the photo wall. By the end of the evening it had gone. The staff weren’t much help. Eventually I tracked it down to behind the bar. They guy behind the bar, before handing it back, quizzed me as to what it looked like. A pool cue. He brought out the box. He wouldn’t hand it over. He wanted to know what colour it was. I think they were a bit pissed off because I hadn’t paid to put it in the cloakroom.

“If there was a career ladder Ted would have been carrying it rather than climbing it.” James Brown.

“I suppose there’s a case to be made, he was this country’s Andy Kaufman.” Phil Jupitus.