Wednesday, December 28, 2005



Do you know all I wanted for Xmas? Not much - just for the entire population of Southern England to STAY AT HOME and keep out of my fucking path. Oh people, what CUNTISHNESS I've had to endure in the past week. Half these morons aren't fit to be let past their front doors. Blokes with vomit down their jumpers, going "I LUGGHH YOU" to drunken ugly secretaries on the last tube home. And families with little children! What the fuck are they doing on the tube at 11.30pm? They should be in bed, parents and all....

That's it, I'm taking driving lessons and buying a car, the destruction of the environment is a meagre price to pay for escaping close proximity to these scum. And some nice entertainment on the telly, eh? "Nazi Holocaust On The Buses" - two 45-year old twats pretending to be 20 and getting up to 'hilarious' japes, like swapping Zyklon B for laughing gas and lacing the kommandant's sauerkraut with laxatives. That's a fine film to show to the family, to celebrate the birth of our saviour! Ah, it makes awful fool of the real Christmas....

((Speaking of which, do all these wankstains who dress as nazis at fetish clubs realise that, rather than oozing darkly sleazy, 'Night Porter'-style decadence, they ACTUALLY look like Reg Varney and his dodo mate? The stumpy, 'sexually liberated' FUCKS))


So, as soon as the government privatised the UK's border control service, I set up me own security firm and submitted a tender for a contract to process immigration claims. And whaddya know, I bagged it! I brought in me brother-in-law, Timmy, to help out. "Now Timmy", I says to him, "You'd better not cock this one up. This could be our big break, and I'm damned if I'll let you piss it up the wall for us!". "Don't worry Sid, you can count on me!" he says. I mean, the greasy little bleeder only ends up knobbing all the Ugandan Asian birds, forgets to stick the brakes on the transit van and then goes and loses a kilo of Bolivian marching powder...


Novelist / stand-up funnyman Stewart Home once observed that it's difficult to find specialist porn that features the kind of girls you'd really like to see. He was right. I'd really like to see a jazz mag called "Rollerdisco Squaw" which would be Red Indian* girls in full warpaint and feathers, photographed skating around to Chic...or reclining in the nip, showing off their lurid yellow and blue wheelieboots (I think that's the technical term?). Incidentally, if anybody does produce a mag like this, please contact me immediately, as I'd definitely be interested in making a purchase.

Or else you could have a 'cricket domination'-themed mag, with icy dominas, clad in knee-padding, tying their slaves to wicket stumps and pelting them with balls, though I haven't really thought this one through and don't like it as much as the skating squaws idea.

((* - I realise the term 'Red Indians' isn't considered 'right on' these days, but let me ask you - if YOU were a bunch of murderous cowboy scumbags who'd just shot a load of the Sioux at Wounded Knee and were sitting back at your ranch, cooking beans and listening to Johnny Cash, and a load of dustclouds suddenly appeared in the hills, what would scare you more? "LOOK SAH, RED INDIANS, HUNDREDS OF 'EM!" Or "LOOK SAH**, NATIVE AMERICANS!" Does "RED INDIANS" not imply SCALPINGS, MYSTERIOUS TOTEM POLES, TOMAHAWKS IN THE EYE? Revenge, rage, WAR WHOOPS? Whereas "NATIVE AMERICANS" just makes you wanna say, "Oh, Roger, tell the therapist to cancel his day off.."

Anyway, I was always the Red Indian [voluntarily, and proudly so too] in infant school fights - sometimes the only one, against a whole bunch of cowboys, with only Sheilagh 'the squaw' cheering me on - so fuck off))

(((** - I have no idea why these cowboys spoke like British soldiers at Rorke's Drift)))


Are illnesses really hereditary? The big killer in my family's always been Alzheimer's. Now, you might say 'Forewarned is forearmed', and that I should be eating loads of bananas or tomatoes or whatever fruit 'n' veg combo it is that overpaid scientists reckon staves off this cruel affliction (or is it sardines?), but I just can't see myself avoiding it. I think my sister's starting to show premature signs already. Ah, what the fuck, I won't remember any of it anyhow. And repetition is a mark of distinction. (BTW, can you please NOT drag up "Repetition" by The Fall)

Just in case I do get it really early on, can you, humble readers, do me a favour? I want "Isn't It Grand Boys" by Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers played at my funeral. I don't care if the lyrics are 'too obscene' for the inside of a church, or if my family objects (which they surely will, for the sake of an argument), just get it sorted. Also, when they actually slot me into the slow roast, I want Girls Aloud thrown in (alive) and cremated with me. Not cos I believe that they'll ascend with me to the Happy Hunting Ground and be my eternal wandering companions. I think the technical term is "for spite".

I dunno - have you seen these Royal Institution Xmas lectures on the TV? A load of scientists mouthing off to bored, impossibly well-behaved schoolkids about neutrons or nutrition or whatever. Every year, I fantasise about the invites being sent out, mistakenly, to a school for problem kids, and the squirts running riot on set, setting fire to curtains with Bunsen Burners, chalking words like FUCK and WANKERS on the blackboard, and generally going apeshit. It never happens, though. Still, maybe one year. I just hope I'm able to register what's going on when it does eventually kick off.


I just have to mention one pub incident which was the fucking funniest thing I've seen in a long time - some nobhead came into a pub in East Croydon and started going up to everyone in the bar, individually, saying, "Do you blame the weather, or do you blame the weathermen?", and then smiling inanely, with a pleased look on his face. He riled four people (including me - why is it always during my round?). The fifth person punched him.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Ritual Landscape and Betty's Utility Room blogs (turn right, click on the links, what did your last slave die of?) dissect the mundane horror of work Xmas parties. We had ours last week and it was crap, even though I ended up texting and ringing a load of people at 2am - as sure a sign of being a pissed up idiot as waking up with your clothes still on, to greet the 5am repeat of 'Countdown'.

I've always been quite well behaved at these sort of events, ironically. Well, apart from the year I threw beer in a bouncer's face and narrowly escaped a kicking (it was meant as a joke! some people....). Or the year I ended up singing on a traffic island at 3am. But that's smallfry compared to the time we stole a hoover from an art student's party and got arrested for destroying someone's garden fence....but anyway....

The sad thing about these parties is that you can never REALLY start raising hell, as your bosses are still hovering around. Some people at our place didn't let this put them off, however. There was a woman, nicknamed 'The Owl' by longer-serving staffers (I never found out why) whose claim to notoriety was that she'd been fucking the editor of an industrial mining magazine the very same night his wife was giving birth. She was quite attractive, but had a permanent disapproving pout (still didn't look like an owl, though). She'd just put a co-worker through a tribunal for alleged sexual harrassment - I really don't know anything about what happened, but he won it and kept his job. Whether or not he was as sexist as she claimed is uncertain, but he was definitely a grade-A moron, as he decided to get slaughtered at the Xmas party, two days after the hearing, approach her, and scream "You fucking cow!", before punching her and knocking her arse over tit. Strangely enough, he didn't get fired, and is currently doing well in another company at time of writing.

I also remember one painfully dull Xmas do, held in an ex-strip bar in Hoxton, which was basically a basement with mirrored walls. I can't remember why, but there was some sort of aggro between two salespeople over a girl. After they got chucked out, we were relating the incident to some people who'd missed it, and I happened to refer to one of the pissed-up pugilists as a 'gorilla'. This girl stopped, gave me a pure evil look, and said, " mean a black guy?"

Mother of pearl, what is it with some people? Still, half our directors were pretending they were record company execs - I've never heard such exagerrated sniffing sounds coming from toilet cubicles in all my years. This is what it really takes to get through an Xmas party. Ban them all, ban them all, the whole sorry lot of them.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


The following post is dedicated to any Christian readers who may have somehow discovered this blog. Now, far be it from me to cast the first stone ; I know most regular readers couldn't give a fig for religion, but while chatting to me old mucker Philip 'Don't be a sinner, be a winner!' Howard on Oxford Street, I've come to the realisation that a shower of lefty bastards want to BAN Christmas and replace it with some godawful (sorry) 'multi-faith' celebration - no doubt one that'll see our children co-erced into enacting fake beheadings and fellating Durex-wrapped bananas by the ex-SWP scum who've infiltrated the nation's classrooms! So, to prove that Christianity isn't exclusive to the wonderful world of POP, BTi offers you the true and terrible story of Sam Fox - the disco queen who found Christ but lost the plot!

Samantha Fox is by no means the only pop convert to Christianity. We all remember how Cliff Richard, backed by the sinisterly-named rock group The Shadows, recorded voodoo-fixated filth like 'Living Doll' before finding God in America, and using his newfound superpowers to spread the word of The Big Yin. And how he was rewarded! - there's few other celibates who could get away with releasing a single that recites The Lord's Prayer over "Auld Lang Syne", performed in front of a video screen displaying footage from the liberation of Auschwitz. This wasn't even back in 1959, but just a mere five years ago!

Rap fans may remember the brilliant Gangsta Boo, who used to appear with Three 6 Mafia. Few would have predicted that the girl responsible for tracks like "I Faked It Last Night", "Kill, Kill, Kill, Murder, Murder, Murder" and "Suck A Little Dick" would eventually see the light and re-moniker herself as Lady Boo. Similarly, power electronics fans will be familiar with the miraculous conversion of Milano noise artist Maurizio Bianchi to the Jehovah's Witness sect. As legend goes, in the late 1990s, some MB fan with way too much time on his hands contacted every 'Bianchi' in an old Milan phone directory, until he tracked down Maurizio at a monastery. Which does beg the question, if MB was meditating in a monastery cell , how did the superfan get through to him via his old flat phone number, from 10 years before? This miracle can be explained in two ways - 1) it's a load of publicity-seeking bullshit 2) the man responsible for terrifying noise classics such as "Symphony for a Genocide" and "Mectpyo Bakterium" actually lived with his parents at the peak of his recording powers.

But Samantha Fox - what a tale. It may surprise foreign readers, but back in the early 80s, this girl was seriously hot property. Sam was a cockney schoolgirl who had her own band and a deal with an independent label, before realising that, having been blessed with unfeasibly large breasts, she could escape the world of punk bands droning on about unemployment and nuclear war by becoming a Page 3 pin-up in the tabloid daily 'The Sun'. As funnyman Frank Carson would put it, "It beats working!!". Fox would later go on to pose in high-brow jazz mags like 'Playboy', but it wasn't until 1985 that she wowed school disco first-date snoggers all over the land with her debut single, "Touch Me".

Listening to this track 20 years on, it's obvious that "Touch Me" has all the makings of a classic record. The chorus is superb, Fox's voice is actually OK (even better than the amazing Sabrina's, if we're to be brutally honest) and the only really grating part, sonically, is when the guitarist ( a baldie in a bandanna with long hair at the back, if I recall) breaks into some thoroughly inexcusable 'axe-wanking' half-way through the song.

The lyrics are also slightly disturbing. If Stacey Q's hi-NRG classic "Two of Hearts", with its chorus of "Two of hearts, two hearts that beat as one" passionately invoked the spirit of socialist solidarity, the third verse of "Touch Me" encapsulated the brutal individualism of monetary capitalism, so rampant in Britain at the time :

"Hot and cold emotions confusing my brain/
I could not decide between pleasure and pain /
Like a tramp in the night, I was begging for you /
To treat my body like you wanted to"

As well as sounding unpleasantly masochistic, the reference to a "tramp in the night" revealed a sneering confirmation of most pop fans' worst suspicions - namely, that like a sad minority of working class people who come into easy money, Fox had turned into a SNOB.

These suspicions were confirmed by Fox's wicked and cowardly act of class betrayal the following year. The Wapping printers' strike in 1986 was a tragic re-run of the violence police had been meting out to striking miners in previous years. Fox was enlisted by her paymasters at 'The Sun' to break through the picket line in a tank. This cheap and nasty publicity stunt was made all the more sickening by the fact that the printers were regularly being roughed up by the cops. Fox, to her eternal shame, actually went ahead with this sordid farce, making her, by accurate definition, a "scab".

Class traitor Fox later reaped the rewards of her reprehensible actions. Her target new yuppie mates were far too busy listening to Sade' (broadcaster Robert Elms' girlfriend) and her smooth 'wine bar jazz' crooning to bother with a "big-mouthed bird with big tits". Fox attempted to revive her flagging reputation by co-hosting the Brit Awards with geriatric rock star Mick Fleetwood in 1989, a performance which has gone down in the annals of pop history as ranking slightly below the sinking of The Titanic.

There was only one answer - Fox fucked off to secure a career in the lucrative Bollywood film industry. I'm not 100% sure whether her press agent's claim that she was "the first Western woman to appear in a Bollywood movie" is true, but what IS clear is that if Bollywood fanatics were prepared to flock to the cinema to watch her song and dance routines, they were clearly disposed to watching any old shit. This is something to bear in mind next time Andrew Lloyd Webber enthuses about the dusky, exotic appeal of this simply spellbinding and culturally rich film industry.

In 2001, Fox returned to our screens, claiming, in a bizarre sequence of press conferences, that she a) was now a lesbian b) had found God c) wanted to become a female vicar. (( Part C isn't mentioned by her press agent on the official Sam Fox website, but I remember it clearly, from when the tawdry item appeared on Carlton's "London Tonight" programme).

It is easy to understand Fox's leap into Christianity, but has it done her any good? Subsequent TV appearances have seen her tottering around in a catatonic daze or blowing her top, perhaps resulting from alcohol abuse, or even the demons still haunting her from her disgusting 'tank' stunt back in 1986. Perhaps the Lord, in His infinite mercy, will one day forgive her her trespasses. Unfortunately, few of the rest of us can. Chicklets, don't sell out to The Man.



Saturday, December 17, 2005


Oh, bollocks to 'Treatment'. Meet the real hardcore. The kid second from the left is how I used to dress at 14, incidentally. IN 19-fucking-90. If the 'Treatment' pic is Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight by the Rezillos, this one's more like an unholy cross between the Undertones' Teenage Kicks and the riff from Monte Cazazza's To Mom on Mothers' Day. You'll have to mix them up yourselves if you don't believe me. In fact, if you don't believe me, why don't you go and suck on a can of sarin, fuck-o!

BUT I JEST....I'm just ill, you see. Been coughing up hot snot all day . Too sick to smoke. Caught the lurgi, seen? Though I am finding immeasurable comfort in a) mixing cider and Guinness to create a lo-fi, bootleg version of 'Black Velvet' b) the Shogun Assassin soundtrack album, which I illegally downloaded using a laptop from work - brilliant electronic score, pees over anything by Kraftwerk c) laughing my head off at the George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine advert - sorry, but it's fucking hilarious, I can't get enough of it. He's so proud of it, he put his name on it d) relaying all this shite to random strangers on the Internet. Too bad that means you, eh? Still, cheer up, at least you didn't join the police.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Right, forget Latvian skinheads, the Baader-Meinhof crew, pirate goths, zombie Chavs, zombie Hell's Angels, Muslim suicide bombers and borstal girls called Bunny. Is this not proof that the scariest youth subculture ever spawned was Millwall's 'Treatment' firm?

I mean, you've got UK football hooligans running riot in the 70s, mostly decked out in tanktops, flares, hobnail boots, bobble hats and shades so big they even blocked out their sideburns. How do you up the ante?

How about - slam on some surgical caps and facemasks and tool up with sharpened scalpels, thus ruthlessly psychologically exploiting the average punter's fear of hospitals and surgery - oh, and go completely and utterly fucking mental. The INLA kids sporting tea-cosy balaclavas with scissored out eyeholes, and Armalites tucked inside their 'Grim Reaper'-style long-hooded anoraks were the only ones who came close.

CONCLUSION - Yes, the high street clothing chains have sold us back a diluted version of 'youth rebellion'.

(DISCLAIMER - Ultraviolence isn't as much fun as Space Disco) (most of the time)


AKA "Chinese Traffic Lights". Requires three adults, one child and a 4-door car.

Game begins with registered owner of the car in the driving seat. Every time car reaches a red light, players bolt from their doors and run in clockwise circles around the vehicle until the lights change to amber. Players must then re-enter car via the doors currently nearest to them. Whoever is nearest to the driver's door must drive the car until the next red light, whereupon the players 're-shuffle' again.

NOTE - If child is unavailable, extremely drunken adult can be used as a substitute


Two people required, positioned facing each other on opposite sides of the road. As a car approaches, both simultaneously stoop down, keeping level with each other all the time, and pretend to slowly raise an invisible sheet of glass, spanning the width of the road. Hey presto, the car slams to a halt.

Position should be maintained until temptation to laugh sets in, at which point both players should turn around and walk away, whistling.

WARNING - Players should be prepared to leg it, sharp-ish, in case driver fails to see funny side and turns violent


Thursday, December 15, 2005

BTi's Top 5 All Time Xmas Classics

1) VIGDIS GRIMSDOTTIR - "Is It Snowing In Beirut?" (1987)

One of the bleakest Xmas pop moments ever. An angelic, Scandinavian voice pines for her kidnapped diplomat father and mourns the fact he won't be opening the presents she's nevertheless wrapped and stashed under the tree. Occasional bursts of samba give the song a unique poignancy which would melt even the most glacial of hearts. Not too keen on the "Just a hostage to fate / Like Terry Waite" line though.

2) THE ABBATOIR CHORUS - "Hotplates Flecked With Gore" (1980)

I'm not sure if Robin Webb had already become press officer for the Animal Liberation Front when he recorded this, but it's skewed enough to have appeared on the United Dairies label. Over a swirling industrial barrage and samples of animals howling, Webb delivers an epic eight-minute, snarled word rant that has to be heard to be believed -

"Do you tell your wife and children about the turkey on your plate? DO YOU? About how they gouged its eyes out with a hook, severed its genitals with bolt cutters, slit its tiny little throat with a blunt, dirty knife and laughed as they watched the gouts of blood explode all over the turd-strewn abbatoir floor? Will you pull a cracker and then shove your grandmother's face into a pile of rotting, decapitated organs, force her to stuff maggot-infested lumps of septic meat down her throat til she chokes on her own sick? Toast the Queen at 3pm...yes, go on, drink a pint of blood with greasy clots of fat floating in it, make your new year's resolution, for peace on earth and the EXTERMINATION OF THE ENTIRE ANIMAL POPULATION..."

And on and on. Jesus, it's well heavy.

3) THE NICE BOYS - "Pogo Round The Xmas Tree" (1977)

Powerpop stomper by the ultra-obscure Nice Boys. The only information I've managed to track down about this Catford 4-piece were that they once played legendary punk club The Vortex, during which said gig the guitarist burst into tears after an audience member spat at him. Possibly the only band to wear Aran jumpers and flares in 1977, the song's a belter all the same, with the singer detailing his love of mince pies and how he turned bright red when the girl at Woolworths sold him some wrapping paper. The 2-minute drum solo at the end is unnecessary, but you can't help feel sorry for them, especially the studio engineer's "This'll be bigger than Slade!" remark , as the needle slides towards the run-off.

4) SNAP - "I'm As Serious As Cancer When I Say There's a Reindeer Called Prancer" (1992)

Really tacky follow-up to "The Power", but I defy any straight male to deny they had a violent hard-on after watching the accompanying promo video. See? You can't.

5) SIGIL CLUSTER - "Xmas Is Pagan! / Let's Sigilise" (1994)

You probably only remember Sigil Cluster from that time Psychic TV tried to take them to court (for using the TOPY symbol on their record sleeves without permission), but have you heard this EBM classic? "JESUS DIDN'T EVEN EXIST! / PAN RULES DECEMBER THE 25TH!" goes the chorus. "AWAY IN A MANGER, NO CRIB FOR A BED? / AH, LET'S SIGILISE DOWN THE WOODS INSTEAD!". The B-Side was terrible though.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I'm sick of people walking around in these bright red BRIGADE ROSSE stencil T-shirts with the little RAF gun in the middle. What in Meinhof's name....? They're two completely separate entities! It's like wearing a Sampdoria shirt with a Bayern Munich badge. Or a Basement Jaxx T-shirt with the Einsturzende Neubaten logo in the centre. Sort it out! We know you've only ever fired an air rifle at some pigeons.


...which is a highfalutin way of saying two teenage prats used to drive around all night listening to Joy Division and talking shit.

Anyway, cheer up, willya? Look - the LINKS are back!, I don't want any 'links paranoia' bizness going down. I know some people actually rate their links in order of personal preference, but not this cat - I like you all the same. I could avoid confusion by doing it alphabetically, but that would be doomed to failure - Idiot's Guide to Dreaming, for instance, would complain that he was filed under "i" instead of "a" (as AN Idiot's Guide to Dreaming). And Woebot would forever prop up the stack. And to be honest, you all make me vomit with your pedantic bitching, so love it or shove it.

Anyway, cheer up, willya? Look - that massive black cloud of dripping benzene drifting over Britain - that'll sort out those feathered, Bird Flu-carrying pests!! OK, it might be inconvenient if you're asthmatic, and if you're expecting, your sprog might be born with 3 eyes. But we'll frazzle those sparrows! Did you know that being born with six fingers on one hand is a sign of good luck in the Philippines? I was chatting to a prostitute with an extra finger sprouting from her thumb (don't look at me like that ; I'll talk to anyone, even Owen Hatherley). I think her luck was out though. After realising I didn't want to sneak her back to the hotel through a load of bomb and weapon checks for a spot of "boom-boom", she told me that she was waiting for a romantic, caring, loaded Westerner to turn up at the bar and whisk her and her young son away to a life of plush sofas and Chris de Burgh slow dances. You know when you sort of nod, while thinking "Don't hold your breath, love". A disgusting, near-dead property contractor oozing gallons of Viagra-induced sweat through his pink Ralph Lauren shirt, more like. Guns never find their way into the six-fingered hands of the right people.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


If you could see through our eyes....the brickwork illuminated by 1,000 watt tungsten, the crowbar scuff marks across the doors of the ground and first floor flats, the intersections where the concrete turned to pungent yellow grass and the signs pointed ; Slumbering Village 8, Ghost Town 15, Crematorium, dead ahead....

If you could've seen Luton at 4.30am back then....there wasn't much to physically do, apart from look. Clubs where you'd pay 10 quid to enter (5 if you were a girl) with the promise of a free bar all night. Pints of watered down Kilkenny Ajax, or single vodkas with a squirt of orange. Bobby Brown skipping on the club's CD-player. Bare knuckle boxing tournaments outside kebab shops. You know you're in a fucked area when the KFC imitators loom large - Dallas Fried Chicken, where you can't differentiate between backside and beak, never mind between Halal, Kosher or Carcinogenic. So, we used to drive around all night. Hockwell Ring, Marsh Farm, Bury Park, Lewsey Farm, Wardown Park, Stopsley. And then sometimes out into the backwater villages, looking for signs of life. It could have almost been a Specials video, but there was only one album that ever really mattered during these nocturnal inspections, and 13 years on from then, it still makes me want to stay up all night and into the next day and then into night again, and dance til the speakers fall apart.

If you could have seen the 6am sun dapple the piece of lined A4, crudely attached to a boarded up house near the town centre : "THANKS TO SOUTH BEDS COUNCIL THIS ILL WOMAN HAS BEEN HOUNDED TO DEATH COUNCIL TAX IS A FUCKING CON". My friend would turn around in the car and say how Luton Bus Station, fogged up with a haze of swirling August rain, turning the lights into globs of burning sodium , reminded him of wartime Berlin, just before the Russians rolled in. Of course, how would he have fucking known, but maybe he was right. I didn't see the point of questioning him, because surrounded by the gloom, what wasn't there to fantasise about?

Ian Curtis once spent a night in Luton and Dunstable Hospital after an epileptic seizure ; this fact was relayed to me, in great detail, by my chauffeur, more than several times. The L&D had a more sinister reputation ; you went in with a minor complaint and they'd chop your leg off. Babies were wrongly tagged and swapped in their incubators by bungling nurses. People actually bled to death in the queues for A&E, after motionless hours of waiting to be treated for freshly inflicted head wounds.

How's this for horror - the story I'll never forget, a small item in the local rag, the Bengali factory worker who was deaf and mute. He accidentally got both his hands caught in some heavy duty machinery, which, over the course of five minutes, slowly crushed every bone in his hands, ripped his fingers to ribbons and only finished its feeding frenzy after it had completely severed his mits to about an inch above each wrist. Of course he'd screamed out in agony, but hadn't made a sound, and his co-worker had been too busy to notice his plight until he'd collapsed under a dark red fountain.

The picture on the front cover of "Unknown Pleasures", my chauffeur assured me, was directly transcribed from some sort of electronic medical chart, taken during one of Ian Curtis' s seizures. I later found out that this was a shameful lie : apparently it's an exploding star. Between the grooves, you can hear the cold metal reverberations of 5am-start shifts, the otherworld where the rattling lift opens up to a dark corridor full of nothingness, memos pinned to staff notice boards, advertising workshops and events that couldn't possibly exist in the same dimension you're currently prowling. BIOHAZARD, KEEP OUT, flammable bottles, pickled abortions, laminated signs wilting on grubby doors. Toilets where the cubicle walls crawl with depictions of woman as the ever-submissive, big titted Lorraine Chase, legs spread to reveal a bushy-cunted bullseye, and where the violence in the frenzied scrawls promises a terror campaign whereby every homosexual detected within this crumbling dump will be punitively ruptured by strictly hetero cock - biro rage, hacked in permanently with the edge of a key, for posterity's sake - scratch-wipe your shitty arses and dwell on white power –

They might as well have been dead, these pictures of children, spouses, propped up smiling on empty desks. Nobody was here, it was a twilight zone, nowhere was more lonely.

3.40am - the drug dealers, fuckers, queers, rapists, all playing the headlight flash game. A game of codes at the apex of Dunstable Downs and down around Wardown Park. If you had an ounce of sense, you wouldn't leave the car. Being trailed by two fellow night tourists, here come the flashes. "She's Lost Control", a jerky clanging disco track to accompany the slow death race. I never figured out these codes, but we'd play 'dare'. "Go on, flash them twice," I goaded the chauffeur. "What if they're tooled up?" he replied, sensibly. You could lose out big time if you flashed the wrong people in the wrong car ; a cellophaned rock or a slash in the face, an invitation to public toilet sex mistakenly read as a "COME ON THEN CUNTS, CALL THAT A CAR, TAKE YOU ALL ON!" The confusion in their eyes said it all.

And the chases, when they did kick off ; three of them in a car behind us, driving up close, arse to bumper. The threat of danger, but the adrenalin-spurting realisation, something's actually happening!! I'm not sure what our offence was, perhaps overtaking them. It was about 4am. We had enough petrol, we could have even shot down to Kilburn if we'd wanted to seriously shake them, it wasn't really a big deal, my chauffeur said. But like me, he was intrigued. The cracked plastic grill below the dashboard moaned, "Sons of chance take good care / From all the people out there / I'm not afraid any more..." Up obscure backstreets, the car kept chasing us. Winding down the window, would it be worth letting them get alongside, and then belt their windscreen in with the CrookLock? "No!" the chauffeur cried. They gave up in the end. Not much staying power. Not like "Bullitt", just an ugly, violent, temporary infatuation. And then –

If words didn't disobey me, and I could adequately describe the sensation of the sonic vapour that opens "New Dawn Fades", and the streaks of pink that clawed at the horizon above Sundon Park. Motorway turn-offs ignored, sudden attacks of memory shutdown. Why did we come out tonight anyway? Weren't we meant to have fun and end up going to a stranger's house or something....

Directionless, so plain to see....noises we'd never hear on a record again, sights we'd never return to ogle. Beyond the brick and metal and black and litter and the last few drunks, staggering aimlessly, limbs flaying, into the road, pissing against newsagent shutters, was something darker than anything me or the chauffeur had envisaged. "I keep thinking about what it'll be like if I'm sitting on a bus going through Marsh Farm in 2003, and the sun's setting. It's freaking me out", the chauffeur had once told me, as we parked up by Luton Airport one 2.30am, admiring the Wickerman of an air control tower (which, allegedly, can be seen from the top of Canary Wharf). By 2003, he wasn't in contact anymore, and I had no intention of going back to Luton to find out what he might have meant. We did have a war on, though. We couldn't have imagined 2003 would really come, it seemed too alien, not just in terms of years and the inevitable AGEING PROCESS, but as a concept that only belonged in sloppy sci-fi comics and hangovers from space race speedfreak pulp fiction.

You could feel something lurking in Luton, in the concrete, the brickwork, under the bridges, in the parks. It wasn't supernatural, it wasn't anything that would jump out of the dark pockets and grab you. It was more subtle, like the gradual onset of Alzheimer's. The muggings, race hatred, beatings, car crashes, suicides were just symptoms. Nobody wanted to be around when the disease suddenly accelerated and marched right over our heads–

Luton Town Football Club, desolate in the small hours, once given a DIY demolition job by Millwall's travelling support. When the ball was kicked towards the Bury Park Road end of the ground, the home fans used to chant, "IN, IN, IN THE CURRY!" Asian shopkeepers who defended their assets and homes with samurai swords when the bedroom windows began to explode inwards and the parked cars were punched, battered, rocked. I had a piss next to the ground, once - not out of any particular dislike for the club - and the chauffeur thought it would be a wheeze to drive off and leave me. He came back, as I suspected he would. He was an ex-Catholic, but hadn't shaken off the guilt and, for all his faults, he didn't want my corpse on his conscience.

Bus services that would cut off between 7pm and 6am. And here, 6.30am, we ended our trawl. Exhausted, beaten, the sun now fully in its slot. Milkfloats sighted! Cornershops opening up! Soon, Hockwell Ring would stir from its pit. The three menacing towerblocks of Marsh Farm, a police no-go zone, where the residents used to ring up the cops with false burglary reports, and then drop breeze blocks from the balconies onto whichever hapless patrol cars arrived, would just look sad and isolated. Cheeks beginning to crackle with the heat of a headswim brought on by lack of sleep. My chauffeur drove in silence, dropping me off back home. And "I Remember Nothing" filled the car, not so much a song but a gaping hole where memories twist and melt like polaroids tossed onto a bonfire. The last clacks and scrapes of something on another floor, another silo swinging into action, made dots swarm across my field of vision, another subcutaneous layer added to the temporary dark rings around the eyes.

Then the album flatlined, my chauffeur bade me farewell, til next weekend at least, and I'd stumble into bed, trying to block out the oppressive sounds of outdoor birdsong.

I've never listened to "Unknown Pleasures" during daylight ever since. It's quite simply one of the best Northern Soul records ever conceived.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Ah well. Four years ago today. On my sister's birthday too. Never a man to respect timing. I could hack out a zillion smart arse things here, but I'd rather just remember my fave ever quote from the old nutter :

"Terry Wogan. Came over here with nothing! And now look at him - on the TV, acting the cunt"

I'd like to posthumously thank my dad for never subjecting me to the humiliation of Irish dancing lessons, a fate suffered by my siblings.

"Let's not have a sniffle
Let's have a bloody good cry
And always remember the longer you live
The sooner you bloody well die"


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!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Hegel, if we are to give the dead old codger credit, once claimed that "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce". Samuel Johnson once observed that "A man who tires of London should fuck off back to the home counties and surrender his 250,000 quid 2-bed flat to appreciative proles of refined taste, or face an almighty fucking horsewhipping, the likes of which haven't been witnessed since Boadicea flayed the zitty backsides off 50 Roman centurions at Aldgate, while high on mead and copper fumes". ME? Well, I've already torpedoed one blog during a nihilist seizure, and watched a second destroyed by the nefarious creeps behind Casino Web. I wouldn't mind, but the lazy bastards have only done two posts in a month! And what a readership to target! Thai ladyboys, pirate goths, teenage perverts, Sutcliffe Jugend fans, biscuit lickers, swains, bopping Bengalis, tripwire affecionados (SP?) and dodgy old blokes who used to knock around with Aleister Crowley in Hastings, sending lost holidaymakers down lanes into marshy bogland, thus immobilising their cars and bicycles --- and all for a malevolent cackle on the chops of the Goat of Mendes!

Enough - the true RollerDisco Queen doesn't plummet to the dancefloor, sobbing, when she drops her flag. NO! SHe just carries on scooting around in circles, head held high, til Marsha Raven's Catch Me draws to a fadeout - then simply picks it up in time for Riccardo Cioni's In America. And so, here it is, again, the second repeat, the third coming in 18 months, it's...

Fuck it, do you want a gambling PhD? Would be far less hassle

(COMING SOON - some cheap and nasty ranting shit and all the old BTIRiP archives, except the really crap ones)

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