Excerpts from this weeks R.C. Weekly Newsletter brought to you by 991.com
I know it’s not my place to be writing about TV – I am supposed to be a top rock critic. You know what I mean by that: “Hey, band, you are new and therefore fantastic. Hey, band, you are two months out of fashion, never darken my door again. Hey, band, welcome back, where have you been?, five stars out of five, always loved you.” But there ain’t half a lot of pony on telly at the moment. At my age, the TV is a constant companion. All my fantasies are played out through it. Breakfast telly presenters are now the most attractive women I’ve seen in years – even the men. You spend Sunday nights, when you are not cursing eBay on a tatty laptop, staring blankly at Countryfile and longing for the return of Jack Hargreaves. As a record collector, you are disappointed by Vertigo Roadtrip when you discover it’s about a phobia, not 70s prog. And you grimace at Britain’s Probably Got Talent But We Prefer Sob Stories And Mocking The Afflicted.
Yes, I watched Britain’s Got Talent, and Britain’s Got More Talent. The horror, the horror. But I have an excuse. My friend texted me and told me she was on one or the other. If I’d known which, I might have saved some of my Saturday night. But she didn’t know, so I saw all of BGT, then switched to its disturbed twin when my friend wasn’t on it. She wasn’t on that either, and now languishes on the cutting-room floor. How crummy is the show? How disturbing that X million people watch it every week and hang on every word Ant & Dec say. Why? They seem hilarious, but have they ever said anything funny? I think they are like the nation’s kids; every parent thinks their children are hilarious and clever, even when the rest of the world knows better. And that’s how it is for Ant & Dec: they’re kinda cute to their fans. But to the rest of the country… shrug. As for the talent, when there was someone on the show who could sing, they performed something awful. Sometimes they wrote their own awfulness, but mostly it was awfulness copied from someone else. Possibly Mariah Carey.
But at least I managed to sit through Britain’s Probably Got Talent. The show I could not have sat through, in fact could not even bear to see its trailers, was When Corden Met Barlow. I am not a violent person, thanks to the monthly chemical cosh injections. But I found myself fighting an urge to kill every time the BBC plugged the programme. Surely something could have averted this catastrophe of misplaced mutual admiration? Couldn’t a knife have been slipped into each celeb’s hand at the moment they slapped each other on the back? No? Well, whoever invented the TV remote control, you saved me from running amok. And just as I don’t get why Ant & Dec are so beloved, I don’t get why Gary Barlow is a national treasure. Inspector Barlow, yes. But Gary?
I did do some musical stuff this week. I am still suffering the long dark night of the De La Soul – ie, my stupidly expensive album hasn’t turned up yet. But I went to see them in London, earplugs inserted, and they were good, although my right ear is still giving me gyp a week later, which is why I don’t go to gigs. (I know what you are thinking: he slags off Gary Barlow, yet likes De La Soul… what gives?) The worrying thing was, someone I didn’t know came over and told me how great it was that I was dancing at the gig because “I looked so bored”. Bored? That was my ecstatic face! But the person meant well: she was glad I was enjoying myself and I was glad she was enjoying herself. Everybody wins.
At the weekend I bought a few other records that I am also waiting for stop yeah wait a minute Mr Postman to brighten my day with. While buying vinyl online often means you get stuff you never find elsewhere, it also means you have to wait. I am not patient. I would much rather see the record somewhere, buy it and take it home to my lair, fondling it pathetically on the way. Hence it is with some envy that I must inform you that our furry friends at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have another record stall at their Spring Fair on Saturday 17 May from 10am till 12 noon at Ruddington Village Hall in Nottingham. I am jealous because they promise lots of tasty vinyl goodies and I won’t be there to buy or fondle. If you go, and spot anything I am looking for, let me know… it’s all in a good cause.
It’s been a bit of a rant, this one, hasn’t it? Apologies. Thank you for reading it, and Record Collector. And remember to stay away from the telly. Have a great week,