Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Top of the Pops leaves BBC One...
OMG. Top of the Pops leaves BBC One.
Links From The Weekend...
And fresh from my sidebar:

99 Rooms - fab photos and arty flash work
[Thanks Bryan]

The Cure For Gayness - it's cured me!
[Thanks Pete]

Monday, November 29, 2004

Spot the difference: Gollum, Appleton & Dobby...
Couch Potato...
It's been a lovely few days - I've been doing what I enjoy most. I sat my butt down on the sofa Friday morning and I bearly moved since; Paper Mario, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Fusion Frenzy, Mashed and Metroid Prime: Echoes. Thumb-achingly-tastic. Roll on Jak 3.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Whack Your Boss...
Having a tough day at work? Why don't you whack your boss? The coffee cup is my favourite. Needs flash.
[Thanks Mark]
I'm A Celebrity... Get Out Of My House!
Ozzy Osbourne is not the only celebrity to suffer having an intruder despite sophisticated security. This week police are looking for a woman who broke into pop star George Michael's north London home earlier this month. A female intruder was found in his Hampstead house on 4th November but had gone by the time officers arrived, the Metropolitan Police said. The break-in came eight days after a woman was cautioned for harassing the singer after being found in the house. Michael recently revealed a female fan hid under his floorboards for four days last year. Don't come 'Round Here'!

According to the latest British Crime Survey, only 3.2% of British households reported suffering a burglary in the last year, so Madonna can consider herself to have been unfortunate. In June 2000, raiders forced open the front gate of her multi-million pound Edwardian London home, and broke into the gardener's quarters, without being able to get into the main house. Less than six months later, thieves struck again, prowling round the same home while she and husband Guy were asleep upstairs. The burglars chanced upon the keys to Ritchie's Range Rover, which they drove away.

Other pop stars have also been plagued by criminals. Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell was burgled in March 2001. It was reported at the time that the singer had to move into a hotel as the intruders had sprinkled milk and Ribena over much of her flat as well as daubing obscene graffiti on the walls. Bag it up, girl!

In August 2002, Icelandic solo star Bjork was the victim, having expensive audio equipment stolen as she slept in her Maida Vale flat. Big Time Bummer!

Footballers are also a common target for avaricious criminals. Chelsea footballer Juan Sebastian Veron was allegedly threatened with a machete during a burglary at his home in January this year.

But perhaps the least advisable intrusions were those in the Formby, Merseyside, home of Everton striker Duncan Ferguson. Carl Bishop, 37, was jailed for four years in February last year, after being apprehended by the 6ft 4in footballer. Ferguson punched Bishop in the face and grappled him to the floor, leaving the drug addict "battered and bruised". He unsuccessfully pursued an assault claim against the Everton star. Bishop should perhaps have been aware that Ferguson had dealt similarly with previous burglars in January 2001. Barry Dawson, 22, had to spend three days in hospital after Ferguson - who once served a jail term for headbutting a player - restrained him, again at his Formby home.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Get Bent...
Last night Simon, Paul, Drew, Sasi, Emma and I went to see Nottingham's finest, Bent, at the Islington Academy. Prior to a few weeks ago Bent had only just about registered on my musical radar. But over the past few years and after three albums (Programmed To Love, The Everlasting Blink and their newy, Ariels) I was surprised at how much of their stuff I knew. The place was packed and the crowd loved them. And I have to say my head was rather turned too.

Sounding somewhat down-tempo in the main (like Air, Zero 7 and Royksopp) they have in the past made surprising, but ultimately genius, collaborations with the likes of David Essex on 'Stay The Same', fleeting Seventies pop icons Captain and Tenille on the Balearic beauty 'Magic Love' and Billie Jo Spears on the country hoedown of 'So Long Without You'. They like a good sample do Bent. Rumour has it they've worked with Nana Mouskouri and Nicole Kidman is a big fan.

Last night they had just two women as singers who didn't look much unlike Jo and Susan from The Human League. However they sang like angels and did formatation dancing to the more up-tempo numbers. They did have this rather strange habit of sticking their thumbs up at the crowd after every song too which looked a tad comical at times. Very Bernard Matthews. Bootiful.

I'm not sure why Bent aren't bigger than they are actually. The music was great. The crowd danced and swayed. Maybe it's the 'kiss of death' journalism stuff like this that jinxes them:

BBC (2003): Nottingham's Bent are on the verge of making it big; even more so after the recent release of 'The Everlasting Blink'.

BBC (2004): Nottingham's Bent have been on the verge of making it big for the last couple of years. Now their new album Ariels is set to take them into the mainstream.

If you want to know more, their rather fabby teletext web site (http://www.bent-world.com/) is a joy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Old friends...
As I say it was a great weekend. But a bit weird too.

Saturday night Ian and I went to the Trash Palace, Duckie and finally D.N.A. We had a great time bopping and boozing and swapping anecdotes (no, I haven't forgotten what you said about Tom Robinson or Joni Mitchell, Ian).

But the weirdness started in Duckie.

Duckie (Sunday 1am): "Hello, you used to swim in Highbury Pool", said a tall dark buy greying stranger. "Er... yes.. 20 years ago though", I replied. "Remember me?" "Sorry, no" "David. You used to go out with a teacher" "Yes, that's right. Oh my God. Now I remember you. Bloody Hell! 20 years!" "How are you?" "Yeah, great thanks."

D.N.A. (Sunday 3am): "Well, hello Jonathan. How are you keeping? Not seen you in ages", said a muscled Adonis turning towards me on the edge of the dancefloor. "Well, well, well. Phillip. How the devil are you?", my eyes widened to take in his handsome face and smooth chest. "This is my new boyfriend. Jonathan, Paul. Paul, Jonathan." "Hi" "Hi" Turning back to my Adonis "So it was Sitges, right? 5 years ago?" "Yes. The last time I saw you must have been Summer '99. I was still going out with Dale then." "Yes, that's right. Seems like only yesterday" "Having fun?" "Oh, yes" "Well, great to see you" "You too" "Bye" "Bye"

D.N.A. (Sunday 4am): I was bopping away on the crowded dancefloor. "Hello, Jonathan. Remember me?", said a smiling ginger-haired bloke. "Oh my God, Jonathan! Of course I remember you. How are you?", I exclaimed. "Great thanks" "Wow! It must be what? 19 years?" "Yeah, 1985 at least. You haven't changed a bit. Well, not much." "No, you neither" "Great to see you" "Yeah, you too" "Wow! This is really weird" "Why?" "Oh nothing. Just bumping into old friends tonight" "Great to see you" "Yeah, you too" "Bye" "Laters"

A "Bar" (Sunday 5pm): Me chatting to a friend, "Yeah, it was really funny. Last night I bumped into three people I hadn't in ages; someone from 20 years ago, someone from 5 years ago and someone from 19 years ago." (one heartbeat later) Tap on my shoulder "Hello Jonathan!" "Fuck me! HENRY! How the devil are you? This is so weird! Another one! Great to see you!" "Yes, you too. Another one? What do you mean?" "Oh nothing" Henry looked at me a bit oddly. "I haven't see you since what? 1987?" "Yes, that's 17 years. This is so weird. 20, 5, 19 and now 17" "Sorry?" "Oh, I've been bumping into old friends all day. Not that you're old of course (embarrassed laugh as I check him out) but it just been such a weird weekend." "Well great tos ee you you." "Thanks, you too" "See ya later" "Yeah, you too"

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Chinese Whispers...
Lost in Translation - or what happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages.
Museum Piece...
What a great weekend it was. On Saturday during the day my sister, Jo-Jo, Martin and the kids all came up and we went to the Natural History Museum for a day out. We had great fun looking at all the dino-roars, pushing the buttons in the human biology rooms (hello? bit too graphic some of those pictures!) and being shaken about in the earthquake section. Great fun.

Later that night I met Ian for a beer and when relating my day mentioned the trip to the museum. "Oh", he said, "I made all the interactive dinosaur consoles in the main room." "Really?" "Oh, yes. I got a temporary job - someone else designed them and I constructed them all. Even did a refresh to them a few years later by myself."

Well, well, well. You learn something new about your friends everyday. I always knew you should be in a museum, Ian. Fnah.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Powerful Stuff...
You may know / remember Larry Kramer. He's an AIDS activist guy who also wrote the justly praised play The Normal Heart.

Well, he has just made a speech that is equally powerful, unsettling, controversial and compelling. Here is one section:

I have recently gone through my diaries of the worst of the plague years. I saw day after day a notation of another friend's death. I listed all the ones I'd slept with. There were a couple hundred. Was it my sperm that killed them, that did the trick? It is no longer possible for me to avoid this question of myself. Have you ever wondered how many men you killed? I know I murdered some of them. I just know. You know how you sometimes know things? I know. Several hundred over a bunch of years, I have to have murdered some of them, planting in him the original seed. I have put this to several doctors. Mostly they refuse to discuss it, even if they are gay. Most doctors do not like to discuss sex or what we do or did. (I still have not heard a consensus on the true dangers of oral sex, for instance.) They play blind. God knows what they must be thinking when they examine us. Particularly if they aren't gay. One doctor answered me, it takes two to tango so you cannot take the responsibility alone. But in some cases it isn't so easy to answer so flippantly. The sweet young boy who didn't know anything and was in awe of me. I was the first man who fucked him. I think I murdered him. The old boyfriend who did not want to go to bed with me and I made him. The man I let fuck me because I was trying to make my then boyfriend, now lover, jealous. I know, by the way, that that other one is the one who infected me. You know how you sometime know things? I know he infected me. I tried to murder myself on that one.

If this sort of thing interests you I urge you to take the time to read what else he has to say. Powerful stuff.
[Thanks to Mark for the link]

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bill Bailey : Part Troll...
Last night Simon, Paul and I went to see Bill Bailey's Part Troll show at the Apollo in Shaftsbury Avenue. I like stand-up comedy and mousieur Bailey is at the top of his game.

BB used to be the lead guitarist in a rock band but then found a career in comedy was more his line - now starring in Black Books on TV, a regular on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, an intermitent blogger and all round funny guy.

* Kraftwerk Hokey-Cokey? Inspired!
* Comparitive theology? In a stand up comedy show? How does that work?
* Dope cooked in baked alaska (contribution from the audience). Fab.
* Drum 'n' Bush. Excellent.
* Hillbilly style Bohemian Rhapsody. Marvellous.

And it was a clean show. Not one swear word.

At one point he asked us, the audience, "How do we measure time?". No one said anything. "Come on, someone must know. Someone knew it last night, how do we measure time?" As no one seemed to know the answer I shouted out "Caeseum!" (hey, I studied theoretical physics so why wouldn't I know that caesium atomic clocks accurately define a second as 9,192,631,770 vibrations per second?). "Correct! How did you know that?" asked Bill looking at me. Some wag shouted out , "Because he was here last night!" Ha, ha.

You can see a sample of Bill stand-up by clicking here. My favourite is the BBC News theme as a rave - Apocalypse BBC.
Faster, Baby, Faster...
8Mb ADSL for just £39.99 a month. Wow! Let's hear it for local loop unbundling!

I saw guy with a T-shirt on yesterday. It said: "I'll do anything for bandwidth. Anything."

So is bandwidth the new currency? Will you soon be able to borrow it, lend it or save it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Band Aid vs. Morrissey...

'I'm not afraid to say that I think Band Aid was diabolical. Or to say that I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.'

- Morrissey talking about the first Do They Know It's Christmas?
Animated CV...
A fabby animated CV by a cute French blogger guy.
[Thanks Rog]

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Band Aid vs. Band Aid II vs. Band Aid 20...
OK, my obsession with all things Band Aid is pretty much spent. But glory in the BBC's comparison of the three versions of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? (Windows Media format) Other format versions available from video link here.
[From BBC]
Kiki and Herb vs. Erasure...
When Justin met Andy.

[(c) Andy Bell]

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Band Aid 20 - Who sings what...
The new Band Aid 20 single got played on Radio One just now. It's actually quite good. A slightly different sound but essentially the same thing.

Here's who sings what:

Chris Martin (Coldplay) - It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid. At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade
Dido - And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy. Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time.
Robbie Williams - But say a prayer, Pray for the other ones. At Christmas time it's hard, but when you're having fun.
Sugababes - There's a world outside your window, and it's a world of dread and fear.
Fran Healy (Travis) - Where the only water flowing
Fran Healy and the Sugababes - Is the bitter sting of tears
Fran Healy and Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) - And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Bono - Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
Will Young and Jamelia - And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time
Ms Dynamite and Beverly Knight - (Oooh) Where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow
Group of 10 and Joss Stone - Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
Tom Chaplin (Keane) - Here's to you
Justin Hawkins - Raise a glass for everyone
Dizzee Rascal - Spare a thought this yuletide for the deprived, if the table was turned would you survive
Busted - Here's to them
Justin Hawkins - Underneath that burning sun
Dizzee Rascal - You ain't gotta feel guilt just selfless, give a little help to the helpless
Joss Stone and Justin Hawkins - Do they know it's Christmas time at all?
Tom Chaplin - Feed the world
Tom Chaplin and Chris Martin - Feed the world
Tom Chaplin, Chris Martin and Sugababes - Feed the world
Everyone - Feed the world, let them know it's Christmas time again (repeated)
Fran Healy - Wooo
Group of 10 - Feed the world
Everyone - Feed the world (repeated to end)
Joss Stone - Ad-libs over outro

Monday, November 15, 2004

Boris Johnson's sacked...
Our ex-neighbour, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, is now an ex-member of the shadow cabinet. The father of four was apparently 'less than candid' (i.e. lied) about his affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt. Tsk, tsk, Boris. Being caught with your trousers down is OK - but lying about it ain't.

So it's on your bike topical quiz show host, blogger, magazine editor, cyclist and the Tories' bumbler-in-chief.
Band Aid III 20...
Band Aid III will now to be called Band Aid 20 as it is 20 years since the original. It'll be out in two weeks time on CD for £3.99 and also for download. The complete line-up involved are:
* Chris Martin
* Sir Paul McCartney (bass guitar)
* Bob Geldof
* Midge Ure
* Radiohead
* Robbie Williams
* Dido
* Bono
* Daniel Bedingfield
* Natasha Bedingfield
* Turin Brakes
* The Thrills
* Will Young
* Katie Melua
* Busted
* Joss Stone
* Lemar
* Jamelia
* Keane
* Beverley Knight
* The Darkness
* Dizzee Rascal
* Ms Dynamite
* Snow Patrol
* Sugababes
* Travis
* Danny Goffey (Supergrass, drums)
* Rachel Stevens
* Estelle
* Feeder
* The Divine Comedy
* Moloko
* Shaznay Lewis
* Morcheeba
* Ash
* Damon Albarn (serving tea and biscuits)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Band Aid III...
The BBC is running a Band Aid blog with a blow by blow account of the recording process today. Nice snippets such as:

"Coldplay's Chris Martin has done the opening verse, originally recorded by Paul Young. That will definitely be in the finished version - but everything else is up for grabs.

In the rough cut, Dido has done Boy George's part, Sugababes have taken Simon Le Bon's place and The Darkness' Justin Hawkins sings Bono's famous line: "Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you," with a typical falsetto flourish at the end.

In fact "lots of people have recorded that line but no decisions had been made. They may even use Bono's original vocals. It's got to be the one that works the best, the one that's got that hair-standing-on-end factor."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Produced by Trevor Horn...
Last night David, Roberto, Paul and I went to Wembley to see the one-off charity gig: Produced - celebrating the career of record producer Trevor Horn. Trevor Horn dominated '80s orchestral pop and is my favourite producer bar none. He has produced and nurtured some of the best pop songs ever.

The show last night was absolutely amazing - a gazillion musicians flooded the stage to recreate, and in some instances better, the studio wall of sound that Horn would have spent days or weeks creating on the originals.

Here is last night track listing - with possibly a few omissions due to my poor memory.

Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star ("This is the first time we have ever performed this live as a group")
Buggles - Living In The Plastic Age (My favourite Trevor Horn song)
Dollar - Mirror, Mirror ("We haven't changed a bit, have we?" Ahem)
Dollar - Give Me Back My Heart (I welled up when they played this)
Propaganda - Das Testament des Dr Mabuse (The boys were looking daggers at the girls - tension, my lovelies?)
Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm (Did you know Ian McShane voiced the "Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Grace Jones" intro?)
Art Of Noise - Close To The Edit (And incredible live version)
Belle & Sebastian - Step In To My Office ('Fraid to say this was a bit lame)
Yes - Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Let's Prog!)

Pet Shop Boys - Left To My Own Devices (Introducing the soprano, Neil Tennant said: "She sang on the original, you know. We only met her yesterday!")
Pet Shop Boys - It's Alright ("We had the cheek to cover this")
tATu - All The Things She Said (Less lesbian than one might have hoped)
ABC - Poison Arrow (Martin Fry looking pretty good in a black frock coat. But where was the poof?)
ABC - All Of My Heart ("I didn't want the orchestrals. But Trevor insisted")
ABC - The Look Of Love (Out came the gold lame suit)
Lisa Stansfield - Say It To Me Now ("Redefines the term Soul Diva" Really?)
Seal - Killer (The audience rose as one)
Seal - Kiss From a Rose ("I knew Trevor was the man for me - (pause) - but not like that!")
Seal - Crazy (We danced like... er... crazy)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasure Dome (New singer did a good job)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax (With Trevor Horn joining the vocals)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes (The crowd went wild)
Bea Aurther vs KFC...
If you eat Kentucky Fried Chicken you should take a look at what Beatrice Arthur has to say. I'm never going to eat there again. Unless I'm drunk. Or hungry. Or, as is usually the case, both.
(Needs Windows Media Player).
[Thanks Rog]
Happy Birthday, Sarah...
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday, dear Sarah
Happy Birthday to You

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Only Gay In The Village...
And straight from my sidebar... The Only Gay In The Village - The Musical.
[Thanks Pete]
Searching, Loving For Love...
Microsoft has just released the beta version of it's new search engine - it's trying to play catch up with our beloved Google. My first impressions of this pretender are (a) it's trying to look like Google, (b) it's slower than Google, and (c) at this very moment "This site is temporarily unavailable, please check back soon" so I guess they still have loading issues. Hmmm. Think I'll stick to the search engine I love. Google.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Firefox...
Have any of you tried the Firefox web browser? So good I'm surprised Google haven't bought it. Yet.

The installation was very easy, it copied all my all settings over and so far it seems to do everything I've asked of it i.e. to 'just work'. It hasn't crashed, is fun to use and has some nice features - there are loads of extensions.

It says here: "Firefox allows the pages of different websites to be arranged as tabs so users can switch easily between them. It blocks pop-ups, has a neat way of finding text on a page and lets you search through the pages you have browsed."

It obviously takes a little while for one's cache to get fully populated but then that's geek living for you, no?

Let me know if I find out anything bad about it - if not, why not give it a whirl?
Brain Teasers: The answers...
Well done David, well done Jon.

1. 2 x 2 = 4. It doesn't matter how many times you do the sum, 2 x 2 will always equal 4

2. BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

OveryourheAD...
I've been approached to put adverts on my web site. Do you think I should? I'm thinking 'probably not' and guessing it would be a pointless and frustrating distraction to both you and me. But... I would get paid to do so (hurrah!) But probably not very much (booo!)

So they can sod off.

Screen inchage (is that a word?) is valuable enough as it is without all those ads cluttering it up and slowing page load times. Right?
Brain Teasers...
1. If you multiply 2 by itself a thousand times, what do you get?

2. The following proverb has had all of the vowels taken out and the remaining letters broken up into groups of four letters each. Replace the vowels and find the proverb. BRDS FFTH RFLC KTGT HR

Monday, November 08, 2004

Harry for King!...
Trash Palace...
This coming Wednesday the Trash Palace is opening. Simon Hobart's new bar is at 11 Wardour Street and promises 'great decor, cool music and cheap beer'. Let's hope it's a success. Hang on, did they say cheap beer? I guess it's bound to be a success, then. It'll be open until 12:30am during the week and till 4am at weekends (free to get in, £3 after 11pm at the weekend).

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Vigil for Sinders...
Last night Darren, Vinny and I attended Sinders' (aka David Morley's) candlelit vigil. It was a very moving service with tributes by some of his friends, a message from Ken Livingstone and singing by the Gay Men's Choir. Afterwards we walked down to the South Bank and placed some flowers where Sinders had been murdered. It was something we just wanted to do.

UPDATE: Three men have now been charged.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Like to test, sir?...
So former Chelsea star Adrian Mutu has been suspended for 7 months and fined £20,000 by the Football Association after testing positive for a recreational drug, believed to be cocaine.

Hmmm. So Rio Ferdinand gets 8 months for failing to take a drugs test and Adrian Mutu gets 7 months for taking and failing one.

A tough call for the FA but as I see that this is sending out two quite different messages to two different groups of people.

1. To all footballers: better to take the drugs test and fail than to not take the test at all

2. To everyone else: take drugs - you might get a lighter punishment

But, hey, why not argue the toss here?
Happy Birthday Ian...
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday, dear Ian
Happy Birthday to You

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Newsnight Gay Hate Crime Investigation...
Have your been affected by possible gay hate crime? Newsnight wants to hear from you for it's gay hate crime investigation. This is following the tragic murder of David Morley for whom there is a Candlelit March from the Admiral Duncan to the South Bank tomorrow night at 6:30pm (Friday). Bring candles and flowers.
Queen Of The Sky...
The US blogger Queen Of The Sky, an airstewardess for Delta, has been sacked for "inappropriate images" on her blog i.e. her in uniform.

In the postings, she made up fictional names for cities and other companies she mentioned to protect anonymity. But some postings contained images of herself in uniform. Of the 10 or so images only one showed Ms Simonetti's flight "wings". She removed them as soon as she was informed of her suspension. "I never meant it as something to harm my company and don't understand how they think it did harm them," Ms Simonetti said. I agree. Freedom of speech and all that. I guess I'll be avoiding Delta for a while then.

In (un)related news: Delta might have to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy prevention. Hah!
A message From Marc...

Marc has asked us to pass on his thanks for all the good wishes he has received from his fans. He is overwhelmed by the amount of support shown and says it has been a big help. He is recovering slowly in hospital but is confident he will get back to full health eventually, although he realises it is going to take time.

--------------------------------------------
Theatre of Marc Almond
http://www.marcalmond.co.uk

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Divine Comedy at the RAH...
Ben, Sarah, Paul and I went to the Royal Albert Hall last night to go and see The Divine Comedy do a one-off full orchestral gig. And what a great gig it was. The place was packed and Neil Hannon was in good form.

The evening started with a proper overture. Yes, a proper overture - all his hits in an orchestral medley. Fancy. And over the next two and a half hours we enjoyed each song only hinted at earlier in full. Amongst others we were treated to 'Generation Sex', 'The Certainty Of Chance', 'Everybody Knows (Except You)', 'Something For The Weekend', 'Bad Ambassador', more recent jhits such as the wonderful 'Absent Friends' and 'Our Mutual Friend' and of course the marvellous 'National Express'. Why, he even played songs from 'Liberation', their massively unsuccessful 1993 album.

Hannon influences are clear; Jacques Brel, Scott Walker and Michael Nyman. (Note to self: I really must get more Scott Walker - Marc likes him too.) He's a bit of a showman too. He chatted in between the songs telling jokes and relating weird stories, he drank beer too, he climbed on the grand piano, he threw flowers into the audience and he fell to his knees more often than a nun with a wonky knee.

Encores of 'Songs of Love' ('Father Ted' theme tune with lyrics added) and Fin De Siecle's 'Sunrise' finished the evening off perfectly.

Oh, and did I mention there was a proper interval too. One suspects it wouldn't be too hazardous to suggest that Neil Hannon is having by far the finest night of his entire sodding life.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Homophobic Killing...
A gay man who survived the Admiral Duncan bombing has died after a vicious 'gay hate' attack on the South Bank. Dreadful. Just dreadful. It's makes me sick to my stomach.
The Official God FAQ...
Everything you always wanted to know about God in one place: The Official God FAQ.

In the quite unlikely event that you were to discover any omissions or inaccuracies on this page, they may be reported to the international headquarters of The Official God FAQ, at aod@400monkeys.com, where they will be thoroughly investigated, submitted to rigorous scientific testing and, if substantiated, included in a subsequent update. Thank you.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Jokes from Edinburgh festival...

The dodo died. Then Dodi died, Di died and Dando died... Dido must be shitting herself.

Colin & Fergus at the Pleasance



My parents are from Glasgow which means they're incredibly hard, but I was never smacked as a child... well maybe one or two grams to get me to sleep at night.

Susan Murray at the Underbelly



Is it fair to say that there'd be less litter in Britain if blind people were given pointed sticks?

Adam Bloom at the Pleasance



My mum and dad are Scottish but they moved down to Wolverhampton when I was two, 'cause they wanted me to sound like a twat.

Susan Murray at the Underbelly



A lady with a clipboard stopped me in the street the other day. She said, "Can you spare a few minutes for cancer research?"

I said, "All right, but we're not going to get much done."

Jimmy Carr at the ICC



I realised I was dyslexic when I went to a toga party dressed as a goat.

Marcus Brigstocke at the Assembly Rooms



My dad's dying wish was to have his family around him. I can't help thinking he would have been better off with more oxygen.

Jimmy Carr at the ICC



You have to remember all the trivia that your girlfriend tells you, because eventually you get tested. She'll go: "What's my favourite flower?"

And you murmur to yourself: "Shit, I wasn't listening ...
Self-raising?"

Addy Van-Der-Borgh at the Assembly Rooms



The world is a dangerous place; only yesterday I went into Boots and punched someone in the face.

Jeremy Limb, at the Trap



Cats have nine lives. Which makes them ideal for experimentation.

Jimmy Carr



I saw that show, 50 Things To Do Before You Die. I would have thought the obvious one was "Shout For Help".

Mark Watson, Rhod Gilbert at the Tron



I went out with an Irish Catholic. Very frustrating. You can take the Girl out of Cork ...

Markus Birdman at the Pod Deco



Got a phone call today to do a gig at a fire station. Went along.
Turned out it was a bloody hoax.

Adrian Poynton at the Pleasance



Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a winner and a loser at the same time.

Demetri Martin at the Assembly Rooms



The right to bear arms is slightly less ludicrous than the right to arm bears.

Chris Addison at the Pleasance



My dad is Irish and my mum is Iranian, which meant that we spent most of our family holidays in Customs.

Patrick Monahan at the Gilded Balloon



Sleeping with prostitutes is like making your cat dance with you on its hind legs. You know it's wrong, but you try to convince yourself that they're enjoying it as well.

Scott Capurro at the Pleasance



A dog goes into a hardware store and says: "I'd like a job please"
. The hardware store owner says: "We don't hire dogs, why don't you go join the circus?" The dog replies: "What would the circus want with a plumber".

Steven Alan Green at C34



Hey - you want to feel really handsome? Go shopping at Asda.

Brendon Burns at the Pleasance



I like to go into the Body Shop and shout out really loud "I've already got one!"

Norman Lovett at The Stand



It's easy to distract fat people. It's a piece of cake.

Chris Addison at the Pleasance



I enjoy using the comedy technique of self-deprecation - but I'm not very good at it.

Arnold Brown at The Stand



If you're being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire.
They're trained for that.

Milton Jones at the Underbelly



I was walking the streets of Glasgow the other week and I saw this
sign: "This door is alarmed." I said to myself: "How do you think I feel?"

Arnold Brown at The Stand

[Thanks Rog]