Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, March 30, 2007

Playstation 3 Is Shit Video...


So how are the Sony marketing-heads handling all the negative press surrounding the launch of their new games console? Stuff like this ain't helping, a lovely little song complaining about Sony pissing their brand away.

And here are the top ten things that Sony Execs wish they hadn't said.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Billy Mackenzie Tribute...


Last night Darren, David, Paul and I went to the Billy Mackenzie Tribute at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. It would have been Billy's 50th birthday so lots of bands got together for a bit of a party and a benefit night in aid of Sound Seekers.

The acts were there I guess because they were either Billy friends, fans or collaborators. We didn't get too much of the maestro's oeuvre in the end but enough to keep the interest up.

On the bill were Electric Soft Parade (a rather over long prog rock set I thought), British Electric Foundation (their first ever gig believe it or not with highlights being Claudia Brucken on backing vocals for Temptation and a haunting version of Party Fears Two), OneTwo (OMD + Ms Brucken = fabulousness), Claudia Brucken & Andrew Poppy (ZTT is alive and well my friends), Subterraneans (obviously real Billy fans and I loved their version of No) and Apollo 440 (their first gig in seven years and who came closest to actually sounding like Billy).

It was a great night and left me wanting more. Well, more Claudia Brucken to be honest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

YouTube Video Awards 2006...


So the seven 'best' clips on YouTube have been announced. They're all good but the OKGo video still gets my vote.

Flying The Flag (For You)...


I know this happened last week but I've been a bit busy: So Scooch's airline-themed tune Flying The Flag (For You) will be representing us in Eurovision in May. Fab. I for one love the camp song and the even camper dance routine. I have a bit of a soft spot for Scooch - Mike Stock and Matt Aitken's answer to Pete Warterman's Steps. Their hit When My Baby never fails to bring tears of joy to my eyes. No really. I cry with joy whenever I hear it. Really.

My name is overyourhead and I'm a Scooch fan. There, I've said it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Slapton...



It was fantastic weekend down in Devon. Sarah and I and the triplets drove down last Thursday and spent four days in a cottage in Slapton. We had gone down to spend some time with Sarah's brother Stuart. It was great to see Stuey who I have known as a close friend for going on twenty years now. But of course. as was right. everything centred arond the kiddy-winks. At fifteen months they are almost walking, almost talking and a handful of fun to be with. I got a chance to bathe them, dress them, feed them, walk them and play with them: being Daddy for a few days. Bliss. You can see a few snaps above. More here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Devon...


I'm off for a five day break down in Devon tomorrow. Sarah and I are taking the triplets down to see their Uncle Stuart and Uncle Christopher. Should be fun!

English National Opera: The Gondoliers...


Stuart treated me to a night at the opera on Saturday. Well, strictly speaking is was a night at the operetta; The English National Opera's production of The Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers.

I'd not seen the The Gondoliers before but it followed a typical G&S structure - lots of girls, lots of boys, two couples falling in love and funny officials getting in the way of true romance.

The staging was great. The cast sang with gusto and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

One odd thing though. Despite the opera being in English we had 'subtitles'. A screen far above the stage let us read every word that was being sung. Interesting and perhaps something that has been introduced for some time. It was indeed many, many moons ago since I last went to the opera. But it certainly helped us follow the plot (such as it was) more easily.

Hogarth...


On Saturday afternoon Stuart took me to Tate Britain to see the William Hogarth exhibition. It was quite a cultural weekend as you can tell.

It was a bigger show than I had expected; packed full of people and packed full of all the Hogarth favourites; the rather naughty A Harlot's Progress, the satirical A Rake's Progress and the oh so modern Marriage à-la-mode.

And I now know a lot more about him than before I went: William Hogarth was a talented painter and printmaker, really quite clever, a bit of a bounder and really quite vicious. And I think I like him.

And those Before and After pictures are very saucy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dolly Parton...


Last night Stuart and I went to Wembley Arena to see big-breasted, big-talented and big-voiced Dolly Parton stage the second night of her sell-out concert.

The packed house (mainly gays and groups of, ahem, wimmin) went wild for our Dolly as she took to the stage. Standing just five feet tall with a 40 inch bosom she cut a spangled, sparkly figure dressed in gold lame. She ran around the stage like a Barbie doll on speed and sang like Minnie Mouse on helium. But what a voice! She may be 61 years old but it's lost none of its power.

Her songs have mainly been country songs over the years with strong elements of folk music in them. And we were treated to some of her classics last night such as Shine, Coat Of Many Colors, Jolene, Two Doors Down, The Grass is Blue, Here You Come Again, Little Sparrow, Islands In The Stream and the all conquering 9 to 5.

She sang a few covers too: Those Were The Days, Imagine and Turn Turn Turn but sadly no Stairway to Heaven. I had been holding out for Love Is Like A Butterfly and A Tender Lie (my favourite Dolly song) too but it was not to be.

In between songs she bantered with the crowd telling us about her childhood and film career. She was always self-deprecating and always very funny.

Something I didn't know, in 1974, her song I Will Always Love You was released and went to the top of the country charts in the US. Around the same time, Elvis Presley indicated that he wanted to cover the song. Dolly was interested until Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, told her that she would have to sign over half of the publishing rights if Elvis recorded the song (as was the standard procedure for songs Elvis recorded). Dolly refused and that decision is credited with helping make her many millions of dollars in royalties from the song over the years. She claims to have made over $6 million from Whitney Houston's cover version alone - selling over 12 million copies.

Little known Dolly facts:
Her production company made the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
She owns her own wig company.

Dolly famous lines:
"It takes a lot of money to look this cheap."
"If I have one more face lift I'll have a beard!"

Monday, March 19, 2007

10cc...


On Friday Paul treated Simon and I to see 10cc (well, strictly speaking "10cc featuring Graham Gouldman and Friends") at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. And want a brilliant show it was.

The support act was Kiki Dee who wowed us with her amazing voice (she's 60 this year, dontcha know?), her keen sense of humour and great songs including Amoureuse, I Got The Music In Me and a fab cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill.

After the interval 10cc came on from the first note we knew we were in for something special. They sounded great. We were treated to pitch perfect renditions of all their hits including Donna, Rubber Bullets, The Dean and I, The Wall Street Shuffle, Silly Love, Life Is A Minestrone, I'm Not In Love, Art For Art's Sake, I'm Mandy, Fly Me (my personal favourite), The Things We Do For Love, Good Morning Judge and Dreadlock Holiday. We sang and danced throughout

Turns out that Graham Gouldman is a bit of a star turn though. He wrote (and they performed for us on Friday) The Yardbirds For Your Love, Herman's Hermits No Milk Today and The Hollies Bus Stop. Fancy.

And about half way through the set my life was complete in hearing the opening chords to... Wax's Bridge To Your Heart - another Graham Gouldman project with Andrew Gold. Heaven.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New Abercrombie and Fitch Store...


A new Abercrombie and Fitch store is opening in London's Saville Row just round the corner from my office on Thursday 22nd March. Maybe we should place bets as to how many A&F bags there will be on display at people's feet in Comptons on Saturday afternoon.

Notes On A Scandal...


Last night Stu took me to the cinema. We went to see something we'd been wanting to see in ages: Notes On A Scandal. It was great fun - Judy Dench playing the bunny boiler with a restraint and convinction with great aplomb.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mike Gambit...


Gareth Hunt who played Mike Gambit in the New Avengers has died. Shame. He and Joanna Lumley's Purdey and Patrick McNee's John Steed were true television icons. I used to quite fancy him too.

Blue Cheater...


Tsk, tsk. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How Green Were the Nazis?...


The competition to find the oddest book title 2007 is on. The shortlist is as follows:-
* Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan
* How Green Were the Nazis?
* D. Di Mascio's Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry? An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans
* The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
* Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium
* Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence
Vote here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

No Beatles Download...


It's a bit odd that the 'biggest band in the world' wouldn't want you to legitimately download (and let's not forget pay for) their music. Or is it? Beatles download rumour quashed. And I thought Apple vs. Apple was settled.

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Favourite Quotes From The Weekend...


It's like if you're in a room with Delmot O'Leary, Jamie Theakston and Patrick Kielty and you're got a shotgun and only two cartridge. What do you do?
Obvious really. You empty two barrels into Kielty and then have fun with the rifle butt.

I used to want to change the world... Now I just want to leave the room with a bit of dignity.

You're so far behind you think you're in the lead.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hot Fuzz...


Stu and I went to see Hot Fuzz last night. Very funny. The test of "it's a 'comedy' if you laugh out loud five or more times" was spot on. We laughed five times in the first ten minutes. And it's full of British stars old and new - spotting who they are is a game itself. Go see.

Brain Teaser Answers...


1. Sparkle = 4p
Wibbler = 23p
Nobbler = 13p

2. A big fish in a small pond

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Arsenal 1-1 PSV (agg 1-2)...


It was cold at the Emirates Stadium last night. And how prophetic that chill was. We missed so many chances in both halves and paid the price. Out of Europe for this season. Bummer. Just the Premiership to play for now. Third place anyone?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Brain Teasers...


1. At the local sweet shop, three particularly nice sweets are on special offer. A Sparkle, a Wibbler and a Nobbler together cost 40p. A Nobbler is over three times the price of a Sparkle. Six Sparkles are worth more than a Wibbler. A Nobbler, plus two Sparkles costs less than a Wibbler. Can you determine the price of each type of sweet?

2. What is represented by these letters? poFISHnd

Monday, March 05, 2007

Arsenal 2-1 Reading...


Paul and I went to the game on Saturday. It seemed like the first time we've had a traditional 3pm Saturday kick-off in ages. It was a fun game to watch albeit rather nerve racking. Cesc Fabregas missed an easy goal and then later scored in our own net. Hey ho. But it was the result we wanted. Now just one point behind Liverpool with two games in hand.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lost...


Along with 3 million other UK homes I get my digital TV through Cable London Telewest ntl:Telewest Virgin Media. And last night BSkyB and Virgin couldn't agree on the higher price of a contract to supply their basic channels so Sky took them all off air. No more Sky One. No more new Simpsons. No more 24. No more Lost. Well, until they sort it out anyway (which will probably be soon).

Mind you I don't watch 24. New Simpsons I buy on DVD. And Lost can be sourced elsewhere (a-hem). So I'm not too bothered. It might be nice if Virgon pass on the cost savings though.