Monday, 30 July 2007

The near-death lunacy of Noel Edmonds

Noel Edmonds' Late Late Breakfast Show was eventually taken off-air when that guy died during some ill-advised bungee jumping stunt. However, as the following clip perfectly illustrates, the show's cavalier attitude to safety made it a miracle it hadn't happened sooner. The basic premise is that members of the public tried to jump over a line of cars at Santa Pod, using regular crappy road cars. The first attempt falls badly short and the car wipes out into the crowd – probably because they're not stunt drivers, and it's absolutely pissing it down with rain. Undeterred, they run the stunt again, this time really screwing up, mangling the car and leaving the driver hideously injured. The most notable aspects of the clip are John Peel (commentator) audibly bricking it, and Edmonds' gleeful disregard for safety. Although all that said, it certainly makes for better entertainment than the kind of dross we get on Saturday nights nowadays…

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Lost Film Classics: Radio On

Chris Petit's early Eighties road movie, Radio On is now available on DVD. There's a very good review of it here at the new Brithack film reviews site. I think the author's a little harsh on the film, but it's definitely worth checking. Superb use of Bowie and Kraftwerk throughout it.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Harry Potter is a c*nt

Following on from my piece in last week's Sunday Telegraph, I went on BBC News this morning to explain why adults (like these losers, above) shouldn't be reading Harry Potter books. Interview seemed to go well enough, apart from the fact that contrary to what I'd been told by the booker, I was put up against a very articulate, enthusiastic seven year old. Honestly, fucking BBC - if they're not dicking the Queen over, they're trying to make EFTE look like a hater of children (which I am, but that's not really the point).

Also, spent an enjoyable few minutes kicking it with Simon Fanshawe in the green room. God, I'm a hack sometimes.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The king of British crime

Having constantly seen him referenced by David Peace and other people who generally don't suffer fools, I finally read Derek Raymond's He Died With His Eyes Open at the weekend. First published in 1984, it's a near-flawless piece of British noir touching on sex, the suburbs, alcoholism, murder, casual racism and the occult. The novel perfectly conjurs up the shabby, semi-derelict edge of early Eighties London, but avoids slipping into standard hardboiled territory thanks to the very moral (almost tender) core that Raymond gives his protagonist.

Raymond himself was pretty remarkable; an old Etonian who slipped the moorings of his class and upbringing and went into a life as a criminal, pornographer, peasant labourer and sporadic novellist. Predictably enough, he sold almost nothing for most of his career, although achieved a good deal of interest towards the end of his life. I seriously cannot recommend him highly enough to you.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Original pervert

Interesting article here about John Lindsay, pioneer of British porno cinema. Lindsay founded most of Soho's bongo clubs, was constantly in and out of court, and won several landmark obscenity trials. Most recent reports seemed to suggest that he's completely renounced the grumble game and now lives quietly in Kent. There's also some screen grabs etc over here courtesy of the ever-reliable Bgafd.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Classic UK soul...

Absolutely killer clip of David Joseph's Hi-Tension performing their eponymous track on Top of The Pops in 1978. Kid Jensen on the introduction, and the band appear to be performing in the crowd which I'm sure wasn't the norm on TOTP. There's a great long version of this song on the 12"; I lucked out in a FARA Romanian Orphans charity shop recently and got that, along with a 7" of their (superior, in my view) British Hustle single. Pretty much anything by them's recommended though.

Monday, 2 July 2007

"I'm bad, I'm nationwide"

Not only here, but now in America. The great women at Missbehave magazine have hired me to write a couple of pieces for them, and even found time to give me and Dan Stacey's club night, Crackin' Skullz a nice plug. Their mag is like a cross between Vice and XXL, and is probably the only women's mag in existence that doesn't make you feel mildly suicidal. Their next issue includes my indispensable European Guide To Sex Pests.

Pop Music and Class

This article of mine originally appeared in The Guardian, examining the relationship between pop music and class. Includes, Joy Division, Skrewdriver, Mud and the late, great, Biggie Smalls. May he rest in crazy peace…