13 March 2009

Long to Wayne over us

Well, duh. Wayne Rooney declares his hatred of Liverpool FC and folk start whining.

Rooney is a born and raised Evertonian who played for his boyhood club.

Evertonians don't like Liverpool.

He then joined Manchester United.

Manchester United people don't like Liverpool.

Rocket science it ain't.

Rooney declared his hatred in an interview on the Manchester United website yesterday. A few hours later the comment was pulled but, it would appear, the "damage" has been done.

Oh forgawdsakes. There is no damage. It's not as if Liverpool fans were going to treat Rooney as a knockabout lovable Scouser, one of them, had he decided not to make this comment.

When Rooney goes to Anfield, he is treated like a total scumbag.

Evertonians don't like Rooney now, because he had the gall to leave his boyhood club and join one which has brought him global riches, fame and - the key factor for any self-respecting footballer - medals.

And Everton got an absolute fortune for him.

When Rooney goes to Goodison Park now, he is treated like a total scumbag.

It's hardly surprising he kissed the badge there earlier this season, though clearly it was a moronic thing to do and even his manager, Sir Alex "it was nice to knock Liverpool off their f**king perch" Ferguson accepted that and promptly subbed him.

Rooney is a masterly footballer but his mouth is an issue. Yet there is far less grief to be had from a "no shit, Sherlock" comment in an interview designed only for Manchester United fans than there is from the way he monsters and abuses referees week in, week out.

If only the authorities would get worked up about that. He gets away with far too much on the pitch.

But having a go at this youthful, gifted Scouser for having exactly the same feelings as the Evertonians he grew up with and the Manchester United devotees who pay to watch him is entirely pointless.

He should be congratulated, in some ways. After all, footballers are often accused of being out of touch with the supporters. This comment proves Rooney is still very much thinking what the fans are thinking.

12 March 2009

"I don't talk to anyone I don't know."

David Mitchell should be on Question Time every week.

11 March 2009

Kelly's condoms

It amuses me that a Chinese contraceptive firm has used a picture of Kelly Brook on its condom packaging without her permission.

It amuses me more that her management company are now "looking into" the unauthorised endorsement.

What on earth can they do? If they publicly dissociate Brook (the most sexless woman ever to be given sex symbol status - on Strictly Come Dancing she had the physical appeal and charisma of a chisel) with the product, then it would be easy for folk to trample on her as someone who doesn't believe in safe sex.

They can't withdraw the product as the stable door has long been ajar. China is a big place. People will have bought these contraceptives. And as she's clearly an unknown there, people will just wonder what the fuss is about prior to spotting an ego on a nonentity.

No, stay well clear. Actually, given that the photo seems to be pushing ten years old, it may do her some good. She looked okay back then. This isn't necessarily a surprise, given that we can all look better with ten years shaved off our lives (apart from Dannii Minogue), but the only time Kelly Brook "did it" was when she was modelling and keeping her mouth shut. Remember the Big Breakfast fiasco? Ooooch. Downhill thereafter.

The best celebrity non-endorsement I recall was featured in the press a good decade or so ago when a photo of Anthea Turner - and I mean imperial phase, Flake-scoffing Anthea of National Lottery and GMTV plasticity - was used by an eastern bloc country on an advert for sex lines. Now while I can at least acknowledge that lonely, single Bulgarians may well have been forced to reach for the telephone as their only means of getting their basic kicks, one sight of that ubiquitous Turner grin would surely have flaccidised them for a lifetime. Still, at least they didn't have to listen to her too...

10 March 2009

I've ad enough

Three ads are currently getting the proverbial goat:

Firstly, the ads warning us about how to spot if someone is having a stroke. All worthy of course, but if they scare a (wussy, admittedly) 35 year old six-footer like me, then God knows what they do to kids watching.

Secondly, the Thomson ads featuring Welcome To My World by Jim Reeves. I love that song, and their edited version makes a mockery of its meaning, structure and rhyme, and really irritates me. Here's the proper version...


Thirdly, the anti-speeding advert, featuring the dead child everywhere the man turns. Don't ever let anyone live with a mistake, will you? And it can't do much for the drivers who knocked down children when they weren't speeding ... sometimes the pedestrian is at fault too, y'know...

9 March 2009

"Take your hairdryer, blow them all away..."

Love And Pride by King. Still a tremendously parping piece of pop which could appeal to the moody adolescent bumfluffer in black while enjoying the attention of teen pop kids.

Paul King had a great voice and a terrific onstage charisma - and he knew it. The two appearances King made on Top Of The Pops with this song proved this, as he hurtled around the stage, flamboyantly gesturing the words and jumping on and off the bass drum while systematically failing - or not especially caring - to look like he could actually mime.

Both appearances were in early 1985 and the first was introduced by Steve Wright (imperially in tinted pilot specs and perm) as "it's King - right here!" and the camera whizzed 270 degrees to the sight of this tall guy with an impossible seven-haircuts-as-one and a yellow and black check suit. He capered around the stage as if insects had been released into his undercrackers while his two similarly barneted axemates did the cloudy backing vocals and mimed diligently.

King had shot from #21 to #6 that week and this performance raised them a further two places. The character of the song - which was on re-release - and the willingness of the singer to be interviewed helped their cause tremendously - he was the sort of chap who my father would instantly write off as a "yob" until he heard him speak, then a smooth, articulate Home Counties accent would soon make him alter his mind. Radio 1 went crazy for King, and another week later they were at #2 and back on Top Of The Pops, hosted by Richard Skinner and Gary Davies. The latter had opened the show with the mantra "Stick around, we've got hit after hit after hit..." and Skinner paid off that line with "... starting with this one, it's King with Love And Pride!"

The camera panned to their right and there were the chaps again - the three front men with the cockatoo hair, their balding Jim Diamond-alike keyboard player and a leather becapped drummer who, like Graeme Duffin, Dee C Lee, DJ Milf and others, was onstage with a band for pretty much every TV appearance and concert they did, despite being not an official member.

This Top Of The Pops performance was remarkable to my eleven year old eyes. If you saw footage of a heart-throb band in concert at the time - Duran Duran, Culture Club et al - the screaming from teenage girls was as audible and as shiver-inducing as the performance and the music. Yet even when these A-list acts, who only (in Simon Le Bon's own words) had to "release a fart and it would go to Number One", did Top Of The Pops, there was never any out-and-out fanatical screaming. There was appreciative cheering and that staid bit of "indifferent bop" (as described by Danny Baker on TV Heroes) dancing from the proles, but that's all they were allowed to do. There were the 1980s hired dancers, all puffballs and lemon trousers, doing the twigs-in-vest gubbins on the circular stages, and the rest were there to clap, watch and get as close to the host as they could without actually giving him a wedgie. They barely even smiled.

So when Skinner introduced King, I was rather taken aback to hear really piercing teenage screams drown out the generic cheering and that marvellous hup-two-three-four drum fill which began the song. It was unheard of in the 1980s. Someone has rather kindly put it on YouTube...

The singer was in a white suit this time, along with the obligatory black Doc Martens boots, graciously mentioned as a backing vocal in the song itself. He milked the screams, isolated as they were, doing even madder things when not required to mime and making sure he fixed that winning smile as much as he could whether looking at the 19 year old conquests-in-waiting in the bearpit or at the cameras. Two moments spring to mind - the "aah, aah, aah, aah" interlude into "I'm taking it round the wor-wor-wor-wor-wor-wor--wor-world"; and the final "some love and pride (woooooOOOH!) - that's...!" from which he garnered just this amazingly high-shrilled shrieking from these girls somewhere in the studio, who were presumably being hunted out by both Top Of The Pops bailiffs for breaking noise rules and King's own entourage for age verification and then, if suitable, a spot of entertainment in the dressing room.

Despite the brilliance of song and performer, Love And Pride stuck at #2 for three weeks as aunties everywhere were bulk-buying Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson.

The video (YouTube has blocked embedding, but here it is) was never shown in full on Top Of The Pops but there were enough snippets on the Top 10 countdown - in the mid-1980s the Top 10 was always done with clips from the videos, longer clips for the songs not falling down the charts - to see the basic premise. The band were in a desolate country location with scrap cars and metal, dressed in familiar attire bordering between garish and smart, while the singer (I can't just call him King, as that poses a problem distinguishing between he and his band) messed about with discarded branches, corrugated metal and spray paint. Then a bunch of identically-clothed stage school lads pitch up, get their boots sprayed (obviously) and begin a dance routine of backspins, caterpillars and sub-Blockbusters clapping, led by one who looks like Roman Abramovich aged 14.

The same week that King appeared on Top Of The Pops to screams, the video snippet was naturally shown 20 minutes later during the Top 10 countdown and - yes - there were more screams. Clearly the bouncers didn't do a good job.

King followed it up with Won't You Hold My Hand Now, complete with green and white check suit, then returned later in the year with the excellent Alone Without You and the less memorable, piano-led Taste Of Your Tears. Paul King's looks and presentable speaking voice was soon getting him on telly with MTV and the band barely lasted out of 1986.