Monday, December 12, 2005


What would make a really good TV pop show? I mean, there's this abysmal song - possibly the worst I've EVER heard (and I've heard Greyhound's 'Black and White', so I know what I'm on about) - by two arseholes calling themselves Nizlopi. Apparently this monstrosity is tipped to be Xmas number one, though the pair of them would be instantly tipped into an acid bath had words like 'dignity' and 'honour' not lost their meanings years ago.

Apparently their song's about the time the singer's dad took him to school in a JCB. And you thought Bob the Builder was scraping the depths! Well, I'll just write a song about the time my dad made me spend an entire week sitting in a portakabin, listening to concrete mixers whirring around and a load of paddies arguing over who ripped "July" out of the Linda Lusardi calendar, while a stinking German Shepherd growled and snarled in the corner. BY GOD'S VERY OWN FUCK, is this what it's come down to? Why didn't the kids on TOTP, instead of just standing there and looking awkward ((not an unsurprising reaction, given you can't dance to it and the lyrics suck like a newborn piglet)) GO MENTAL and KICK "NIZLOPI" OFFSTAGE?

So, anyway, what would be a truly great pop show? I'll tell you what - employ No Lay as a presenter. I'm convinced that this girl is the most vicious grime MC, even though admittedly I don't listen to much grime. I would even pay my license fee if I could tune in to see her dispatch yet another horde of snuffling indie mongs with some well-aimed lyrical poison darts. If the bands burst out crying and demand to be spoken to nicely, she should just do a Grace Jones job and slap 'n' scratch them out of the studio.

I'm not sure how many guitar groups would survive this sort of treatment. Maybe not even MIKABOMB, who I had the pleasure to witness live in Kentish Town on Saturday night. I'm just not sure about this group, not sure at all, long-suffering readers. I mean, OK, they sound like the Ramones on speed. The odds of them ever appearing on 'Later with Jools Holland' are virtually 500/1. So far, so good. But there was something missing, something not quite right. The audience seemed more interested in the fact that the singer and guitarists were Japanese girls in short skirts (though you can just download a clip of the All-Japan Reggae Dancers if that's your bag) - must we really perpetuate this fascination with "cute" Japanese girls? Is the whole point the fact they're meant to be the most industrious, intelligent and polite race on earth, even if they sell kid porn in their equivalents of 'Woolworths' and once buried David Bowie up to his neck in sand (actually, is that a plus point?), and that therefore a Japanese girl playing in a - wooh, scary and chaotic- PUNK band represents a perverse contradiction, and therefore raises her sex appeal by 35%?

Mikabomb strike me as being the kind of band who, if they ever got big (not like J-Punk ever does), would take an inflatable bouncy "pogo area" around with them on tour, so people who want to jump around like spastic chickens could do so without disturbing other (male) members of the audience, who just came to watch. Naturally, my friend nearly broke his shins sprinting over to one of the guitarists, after they later materialised in the bar, to buy her a drink - which she coolly accepted, before buggering off to hang out with the rest of the band. Making him feel as small as I once did when my ma discovered a crumpled up, semi-naked Linda Lusardi calendar page, hidden in an 'X-Men' back issue.

But no, we're off on a tangent again - do you know what'd be the best idea for a TV pop show? It's already here, but unless you've been to the Philippines, you won't have seen or heard of it. It's called "Live from Studio 23" and it's 3 hours of mayhem. It's presented in a mixture of Filipino and English, which means you get presenters gushing "The most AMAZING thing about the next band is that their school has contacted the police..." - and then the rest of the sentence is lost in translation.

Basically, the idea seems to be to fuse "X Factor", "Rock School" (not the current shit about a load of public school boys who wear frocks, but the old 80s programme), "It's a Knockout", "The Word", "Kilroy" and "Top of the Pops" into one epic Sunday evening pop tournament. Two cities compete against each other - say Manila vs Cebu - live, via video linkup. They warm up, naturally, by staging a breakdance competition - only the Cebu team are all dressed as members of the KKK, while the Manila kids go for a more laidback look, sporting camouflage, army caps and assault rifles (I would have added 'fake' to the last item, but trust me, given the Philippines' gun culture, it'd probably be cheaper to dish out fully functional guns than expensive, imported toy ones).

The "hip hop"'s not really "hip hop" (more like funky Euro-rave) and the kids can't breakdance for shit, but it's a wond'rous sight all the same. Then we have some teenage 'hopefuls' from each city, who do karaoke versions of Shakira songs. All the time, you're wondering exactly who's on top scores-wise, Manila or Cebu? I'd have given it to Manila by this stage, but bizarrely, we then cut to a studio where a panel comprising an unbelievably foxy looking girl, a priest, a guy with glasses who may have been a teacher and a thuggish-faced youth were discussing the merits of telling your boy/girlfriend how many sexual partners you've enjoyed before settling on your current relationship. What the priest had to contribute towards this was beyond me.

Luckily, this debate didn't go on too long, and we were soon back to Team Cebu, now dressed up as surfers, and their presenter waving a gun around and (probably) cussing out Manila. All danced out, the next step was to bring on the BANDS. Cebu had a fairly dull indie band, who managed to squeeze some rapping in on one verse. "Boo!!" I yelled at the TV. Manila's house band came on the counter attack with a really awful ska-punk-lite number - the song was atrocious, but maximum respect to the trombone player for wearing an Oppressed T-shirt. But it was starting to become obvious from the audience reactions that Manila was charging to a victory.

We then had some more yoof chat, this time about contraception, but again, every time something potentially interesting came up, the conversation reverted back to Filipino. The priest had a lot to say on this one, clearly oblivious to the fact that the girl to his right was wearing a crop top, a thong with feathers glued all over it and was more interested in swinging her knees in and out and playing with her army cap.

Anyway, anyway...the thing goes on so long you actually forget what the hell you're doing thousands of kilometres from home, never mind what's the point of the programme...anyway, the judging process does eventually arrive. The kids in Manila and Cebu hold their breaths. And this is how they determine the cut to another studio with some schoolgirls sitting around, and get them to pick their favourite performers in each category. I'd by now lost track of who was Manila and who was Cebu, but unsurprisingly, the girls all voted for ANY act featuring hunky, intense-looking boy performers. The Shakira imitators, the guy in the Oppressed shirt, they didn't even come close.

So, that was that. Then we were back to a discussion about something or other, with the hip priest gobbing off, so I decided to go out and get mortal instead. But trust me on this, "Live from Studio 23" is pop TV perfection. We haven't got anything remotely approaching it over here, and it's to Britain's detriment. Right, I'm off to watch the Hemel Hempstead fireworks display, see yas!
nice blog ,good work ,keep blogging
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