Tuesday 30 June 2009

Pop star uses bad language, crowd has orgasm

Lest I sound like some Daily Mail anti beardy-weirdy tree-hugging lentil-loving pinko-hippy type, I ought to say up front how much I enjoyed Glastonbury this weekend. I didn’t go of course. The idea of me trying to survive in a tent overnight, let alone three, is ridiculous. Instead I relaxed on the sofa, navigated my way through the various BBC interactive channels and caught up on their website.

I wasn’t taken with Bruce Springsteen, I fell out of love with him a long time ago, and Blur were a little rusty, seemingly desperate to get to the end of some songs with some band members quicker than others. Franz Ferdinand suggested the crowd had carnal knowledge of their own mothers and, judging from the resultant roar of the crowd, they may have been right. I liked their set but, even with the more electronic sound, I’m beginning to find them a little predictable.

There was a whole load of stuff I hardly dare admit I hadn’t heard before. White Lies overcame the cheap suits, lyrics such as “and all we heard was lies about the truth” and my short-lived mean-spiritedness; enough to persuade me to buy their album. Pendulum were loud enough to damage my hearing with the sound muted and were huge fun to watch. There were Doves, who I’d heard of but until now never listened to… and I finally discovered why Lady GaGa is “whack”.

However my favourite thirty-or-so minutes came from The Specials who managed to induce a big cheesy grin throughout their show. Terry Hall has understandably filled out a little and appeared to amble around the stage, leaning forward earnestly every so often; then I remembered he’d always moved that way. My favourite song, “Friday night Saturday Morning” didn’t really work, but that’s a minor quibble.

There was a lot of great music. Even acts such as Status Quo take on a new light when your seven year old daughter starts jumping up and down… though I may attempt to steer her in other directions next year. If I could stay in a hotel I’d take her…

Monday 22 June 2009

Consistently inconsistent

Liam Neeson in Taken
I seem to have a haphazard approach to films recently. Of those I've seen recently, only two (In America, Metropolitan) would fall into a 'recommended' category. The others were either rubbish (Lady in the Water, Curse of The Golden Flower, Wolverine, Paycheck), not as good as I remembered (Cop Land) or guilty pleasures (Star Trek, Taken). The last group is a particular problem for those sad people who have a compulsion to score what they’ve seen; I’d give Star Trek seven out of ten… I enjoyed it but, at the risk of a few Klingon death threats, I can’t quite find it in me to call it good; just to make sure I saw it twice. Taken is problematic because despite the formulaic setup it’s executed well and is a lot of fun. I’ll be watching that again too.

Then there are the films I hardly dare watch again. Is the moment as beautiful as I remember? I watch and am often disappointed... but sometimes I am reminded of how great it is to be. There are those who would argue this reticence is misplaced, that we shouldn’t be afraid of moving on and leaving the past behind us. I’m not sure I care for this brand of progress, or even whether it’s practical or representative of the truth; the past may bind us, but isn't it part of who we are? If we can wipe it away so easily what does that say about us?

Sunday 7 June 2009

Damn… and I only had 8,401 days until retirement

Everything annoys. People leaving shopping trolleys in parking bays. The able bodied using disabled parking spaces. The government for suggesting fundamental changes to our democratic system; when the main mistake was made years ago in breaking with tradition and appointing an incompetent half-wit, from their own party, to be leader of the house. Racist idiots using the expenses scandal as an excuse to vote BNP. People who don’t vote. Adjusting the thermostat up and down or switching the heating off altogether rather than letting the thermostat do its god damn job. The mess in the kitchen. Bullying. Bullying at work. Physical bullies. Intellectual bullies. Men who hit women. Men who hit men. A pack of crisps from a multi-pack is smaller than an individual pack of crisps. It’s the same with chocolate. People talking in cinemas. Big Brother. People who watch Big Brother.

It's entirely possible I may need a break...