10 September 2008

Are they worth watching anyway?

Much hand-wringing today in the papers and on the radio about the lack of a highlights package on terrestrial television for the England game in Croatia.

Ultimately, Setanta made an honest bid and won. I don't have Setanta, and after the way their website blew up last year while I tried to subscribe, infuriating me, I won't ever have Setanta. The pubs do have Setanta though. So go to the pub. There are plenty of them subscribing as they know they'll comfortably recoup the dough in ale takings, no problem.

That's what all the hacks whingeing about the lack of terrestrial coverage will do, including those at the Daily Mail, who went totally overboard on their disgust and disapproval of the whole affair. Well tough. It's business, that's how it works. Setanta made an offer, it was accepted. They want 20% of their original layout from a free-to-air broadcaster in return for the highlights package (about a million quid) and none of them will cough up.

So be it. It's not as if Croatia versus England will be something to enjoy, given the state of the team and the recent record against a country rapidly outstripping Germany and the Argies as our chief nemesis. And anyway, home internationals are protected by broadcasting laws; away game rights belong to the hosting FA, and if the Andorran and Croatian FAs liked Setanta's noises, there's nothing any amount of complaining can do about it.

I'll be listening to 5 Live, me. I'd advise you to either do this or find a pub with the match. Unless you've subscribed to Setanta, which presumably means you had far better luck with their amateurish website than I did.

9 September 2008

Great forgotten songs of the 1990s - #13

I'm not a dance music devotee, but I've always liked this - not least because we read Viking FM's travel news over the instrumental version for a fair few months...

Don't think much of the video, mind.

"Seems to me girl, you know I've done all I can..."

In the absence of anything interesting to say or report, it's the blogging equivalent of the Get Out Of Jail Free card ... iPod roulette!

Into shuffle mode we go, and out comes...

1: Other Voices - The Cure
"Change your mind, you're alwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays ... wrong!" Hmmm, I do like the Cure and have done for years but I don't know much about the origins of this song as it came off the Staring At The Sea compilation. The bassline is filthy though, and I love the echo on Robert Smith's voice. I have an image of the Cure only playing really scary venues until The Lovecats made them a little more contemporary.

2: Easy - The Commodores
"I paid my dues to make it..." Impossible to dislike, irrespective of your musical prejudices. I didn't get the urge to open an account with the Halifax, mind. And anyone who runs out of milk when they have a thirsty cat whining at them deserves reporting to the RSPCA.

3: Save Me - Big Country
"I wasn't searching, but see what I've found..." Great, inflated show-off opening on a song which the band had so much confidence in, it opened their Through A Big Country compilation despite missing out on the Top 40. Foggy vocals and (yes) bagpipe guitars made their sound totally unique and they should have been treasured more.

4: Chemistry - Semisonic
"Some fine, fine girls with nothing but good intentions..." I don't know why I really like this, as it's a very rock-by-numbers song. Maybe it's the ba-ba-ba-ba-bang drums at the beginning or the simplistic story of adolescence told in scientific terms. I love the idea of a bloke suggesting to a "graduate" he fancied that they conduct "experiments".

5: She Comes In The Fall - Inspiral Carpets
"You should learn to walk, should learn to walk before you crawl..." Of all the Madchester acts, this lot had the best natural singer and the best drummer. Clint Boon, meanwhile, got away with murder with both haircut and keyboard playing. Ace stuff.

Not a bad quintet, by my standards. It's your go now...