User avatar Four Word Reviews: Motown Mania

Back in about 2004, when I was at university, I attended a guest lecture by Pete Waterman. The university had given him an honorary doctorate, for reasons that were largely to do with the campus being in Warrington and Pete Waterman being about the only person of any note to come from Warrington who wasn’t Kerry Katona. Perhaps Chris Evans was busy.

He said he was often asked, after the many chart hits of Stock Aitken and Waterman, what was the secret formula for chart success. “There is no formula,” he proudly told us. You have to do what is right for the song and for the artist. Oddly, when discussing what was right for the song and the artist, he chose not to mention an album he’d put together four years previously called Motown Mania.

Continue reading Four Word Reviews: Motown Mania

User avatar No

Just to say that I think I’ve found the worst object in the world.

Take care out there.

User avatar Where the things are

You know the things? Some of the old video things. And the old audio things. Not the finished things, we’ve got those, but the footage we shot when we were making the things? Those.

And some pictures. Those things too. And documents and writing and pictures and old websites. All those things.

Shall I show you where some of those things are? They used to be here:

But now they’re not there, because of brokenness and disaster. So now, I think they’re nowhere.

That’s where the things are. Or maybe, more accurately, that’s where the things aren’t.

User avatar James Earl Jones is Amazing

Do you know who’s amazing? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not you or I. Nor I. No, neither of us is amazing. You can show me all your achievements, medals, awards and dissertations but you will never be as amazing as James Earl Jones.

This will be difficult for some of us to understand (i.e. Chris) due to the fact that some of us cannot watch films for fear of exploding. That said, James Earl Jones, or JEJ as he is known to his closest friends and family, has also has a stuperbulous career on both television and on stage, so you’ve got no excuses some people. He is a huge talent and has played everyone from a man covered in black plastic to a huge lion and even read all 27 books of the New Testament in ‘James Earl Jones Reads the Bible’. I know now what everyone is getting for Christmas…

I have a ton of respect for James because he’s always been there in lots of things, lots of things I have enjoyed which is a rarity these days. I almost fell off the sofa though when I paused a film he was in and this came up:

Immature, juvenile, yes yet also immensely satisfying and hugely enjoyable. I think James Earl Jones looks even cooler with walrus tusks. Walrus tusks or sticks of chalk coming out of his nose. He can pull off any look, he’s that good an actor.

User avatar December Done Right

It’s too late to turn back now. We’re all going to be smothered in Christmas in three weeks’ time so we may as well accept it and get on with our lives. When I say get on with our lives I mean buy as many presents as possible from the internet in the hope that they arrive in time. I know what you’re thinking though, there is something missing and you can’t quite put your finger on it. There’s the tree in the corner of the room; it looks lovely, almost perfect. It isn’t quite finished, is it?

What you need is something to seal that deal in that wigwam, you know the one I’m referring to. How do you tart that tree up in a timely manner without breaking the bank? You need Kevindo Menendez’s Pork Baubles.

‘Pork Baubles

Hand-crafted from the most sensuous part of the pig, the eyelids, Kevindo Menendez’s Pork Baubles are what are missing from your Christmas; a dozen mouth-watering spheres of sweaty, meaty goodness generously licked with the mystery of our seventeen individual spices. Guaranteed to lighten and brighten up the most abysmal of trees, you can hang your Pork Baubles straight out of the packet and, on the big day itself, put them in the oven to accompany your Christmas dinner.

‘Pork Baubles’

With one or two of these in his mouth, Dad won’t be tempted to interrupt with another of his terrible jokes. Grandma won’t believe the taste sensation going down her throat. Mum can use the leftovers to throw at unsuspecting cold-callers trying their luck around the festive period.

‘Pork Baubles’

Don’t bother with another tiresome turkey, keep your dull as damp donuts gammon in the freezer and don’t even turn the oven on if all you’re going to do is try to feed me parsnips again. Do us all a favour and purchase Kevindo Menendez’s Pork Baubles.

‘Pork Baubles’ ‘Pork Baubles’ ‘Pork Baubles’ ‘Pork Baubles’

Fill up your trolleys and your stomachs. It’s got the Kevindo Menendez guarantee! Available in both the freezer and Christmas decoration aisles at all good local supermarkets.

User avatar How to cake

Do you need to cake? If your loved one is celebrating a birthday, wedding, divorce or bar mitzvah, you might need to cake. Nobody – and this, I must remind you, is the law – can celebrate properly without cake.

What I’m saying is that you almost certainly need to cake. But how do you cake? Don’t worry. I will tell you.

Continue reading How to cake

User avatar I’m flattered but…

Chris, mate, dear old friend of mine. How long have we known each other now? Something in the region of (properly) 24 years? Would that be a fair assumption? You’ve seen me in some pretty awful states. I’ve watched you try to get a refund for the worst steak pie ever cooked and served to human beings. I wrote you a song about a cheeky chaffinch whilst hammered on strong cider. We drove to the South coast of England, twice, ten years apart. We’ve recorded five number one albums together as everyone’s favourite quirky pop duo masterminds. You bought me a ticket to see the band Cake live. I once sent you a sandwich in the post, with Kev as the filling.

I could do this for a very long time.

I want you to know though, and I do mean this in the nicest possible way, I want you to be aware that I could not give two shits about your zodiac business.

Following my shining example, you decided to strike on your own in a new career. This should be commended because it’s never an easy thing to do (see all of my jobs over the last five years plus). Who would have thought you would have chosen astrology out of all the possible jobs available to you? I would have pinned you down as a dog shiner or a soup tester, maybe a road botherer. You may even have cut it as a moose wrangler, not that there are many mooses in the Royskopp area.

I want you to stop emailing me about zodiacs though. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want anything about star signs cluttering up my inbox or my junk folder. Send it to those who want to believe in bollocks that has absolutely no bearing on their lives whatever. Please feel free to indulge those gullible enough to accept that a vague explanation of their existence printed in a newspaper or a book on a daily basis is actually all about them and not beige enough to cover one twelfth of the population.

If I keep getting your emails I may have to contact the police or, worse, your dad who will ensure that you never get a proper key to use the gates at his house. Please stop.

(Photos provided courtesy of “fucking about” with my Windows phone)

User avatar Bells

You know what’s working bells? The phrase “that’s working bells, that is”. These days, it’s actually hard to find a phrase or idiom that hasn’t had the word “bells” inserted somewhere to get it right on the fashions.

In case you’re having trouble keeping up, here’s some of the most commonly-belled phrases around.

SituationWhat to say
Not wanting to talk about something“We’ll ring that bell when we come to it.”
Something has happened suddenly“That’s like a bell from the blue!”
Taking risks“Fortune favours the bells.”
Blaming poor work on others“It’s a poor workman who blames his bells.”
Understand the situation“I know which way the wind is belling.”
A good thing that seemed bad at first“That’s a belling in disguise.”
There’s a cost to doing something“You can’t make an omelette without going bells.”
It’s up to you to take the next step“The bell’s in your court!”
Something is unexpectedly positive“That’s a belling in disguise.”
Not noticing how long something has lasted because you’re enjoying yourself“Time flies when you’re going bells!”