9 Aug 2013

Anesthetise me, now...

Gawd, was 90s UK indie music dull, or what?

We found this out, or rather had long forgotten memories of "meh" rekindled last night. You remember the Malt Shovel Music Quiz on Monday, the quiz that never was? Well, The Fucktard Brothers and P went to the damn thing on the correct night last night.

The quiz is hosted by a shambling tribute to every Working Men's Club MC there ever was, and his soma-inducing style has in the past made us say that we would never go to one of his quizzes again. But that was General Knowledge, this is Music, so what have we got to lose? Three hours of our lives we'll never see again, that's what. To think we paid £2 per person for the privilege, too!

We started off well enough, playing our Joker (meaning double points) on the first round, a musical general knowledge thang where we got ten out of ten. The next round, a missing words from titles of tunes thing, we got eight out ten. So far so good, although we were already struggling to stay awake, to the point where round three, the place where our rapid decline started in earnest, has been entirely erased from our my memory already...ah...got it; food related song titles and artist names...or was that round two?

Anyway, this third round we scored a miserable four out of ten. Then....music, at last! The first of two rounds, played from a cassette deck (no, really) was name the musical from the tune. None of us know much about musicals, but I'm not complaining, specialist rounds are to be expected, and it gives teams lagging in other areas the chance to catch up. I believe we got four of them.

The last of the two actual music rounds was "Groups". That sounds a bit more like it we thought. It wasn't anything like it at all. Trying to identify a group from a too short snippet of a song, cut short before any hookline comes round, is difficult enough. This is compounded when all the groups concerned were taken from the same genre, and mostly from the same time period. My opening sentence says it all. One dreary Razorlight was followed by another ennui-inducing Starsailor, to the point where IT ALL SOUNDED THE SAME.

Two points illustrate the sheer anodyne whiny vapidity of it all. One - standing out like a stream of bat's piss when all around is dark was a song by The Verve, taken from their recent utterly forgettable Fourth album. At least this one ventured outside the 90s. Two - we failed to identify Bonio's dulcet tones on a U2 song near the end, because by then we wanted to bite the MC's face off.

And, yes, had the round been twenty second cut-outs of prog rock classics, I'd probably have got them all, but it would honestly give me no pleasure to watch everyone else in the room becoming more and more pissed off.

If you're going to do a Groups round, by all means bung in one or two highly eclectic tunes to sort the men from the boys, but making most of it unrecognisable by leaving out hooklines of songs unknown to most in the room is pointless. Vary the genre for fucks sake, and throw in a few popular things that most will know, otherwise folk will just lose interest and not come back again. More than one team left before the end.

This may read like sour grapes because we didn't win, but coming third in an enjoyable and involving quiz would have been no problem at all, believe me. This was about as enjoyable as being forced to listen to an endless loop tape of prosaic and dishwater-grey UK indie....err...

Out of the eight or so teams present only half got more than half marks. We came third with 80 points out of a possible 120, there being two points per correct answer. The winners got 86.

Wombat Omnishambles will not be returning to a Malt Shovel quiz of any variety while it is hosted by this sack of lard who is to quizzes what Hot Spot is proving to be to cricket. Worse than useless.

6 Aug 2013

Wastes Of Space in Time Travelling Omnishambles

A 30 minute programme to announce the new Dr Who? I know TV schedules are poor in the summer, but come on; this makes Countryfile look like must-see TV. Good result though!

This was inevitable, and you've probably seen it already, but it's worth repeating: .

Ooh...sweary! I have often thought of hanging a sign in my office that reads "Come the fuck in, or fuck the fuck off" :)

Spam scams from Nigeria, land the morally suspect opportunist, have not really changed much over the years, but "Harry Black wants to give you part of his Lottery winnings as charity" did make me laugh. If anyone falls for that, they deserve to have their bank account raided until it is sore.

Butterflies are magnificent and beautiful creatures as well as performing an important role as pollinators. Apparently due to a combination of successive appalling summers and the increase in pesticides they have been suffering a rapid decline in recent years. This year however, the budlea outside my office window has been swarming with large and small whites, peacocks and tortoiseshells in particular. It must be down to the glorious summer we are having, for once.

There is a National Butterfly Count here in the UK this year, so my stats have been winged (ouch) off. However, holding a count in a rare example of a "proper" summer may well give skewed results, methinks.

Talking of wastes of space...

Last Thursday while stood in the bar of the very fine drinking establishment that is The Malt Shovel, Phill and I cast our eyes over an advert for their Music Quiz the following week. We thought we'd give it a go, having never experienced a quiz of the musical variety in this venue, and so this Monday, Phill, P and I turned up all expectant, and probably wassname.

Monday was the 5th of August. On reading the same advert again, it said, clearly too, the quiz was on Thursday 8th of August. Considering I'm an accountant (allegedly) it seems I can no longer read numbers. Phill has just set up a publishing company where he is, amongst other things, editor-in-chief. It seems he can't read words.

The conclusion is that we are each 50% of an idiot. P was by turns exasperated and amused at our thorough uselessness. :)

I met a record collecting legend today. Back in the late 60s and early 70s there were many UK bands without record labels who made private pressings of albums that were either given away or sold to their usually very localised and very small fan bases. The print runs were never more than 99 copies to avoid Purchase Tax, the forerunner of VAT. All of these have been collectable over the years, but the jewel in the crown, for no discernable logical reason, other than it looked and sounded great, is Dark Round The Edges by Shoesville's very own Dark.

The album has recently been given a deluxe reissue, and Dark's guitarist Steve Giles, who some of you who reside in these parts may remember as the Giles in Giles Photography of years gone by, visited my office today and loaned me some examples of the new lavishly tooled reissue for a soon come review by moi in my other guise as the very pale reflection of Lester Bangs. Steve's a lovely bloke; we chatted about all things Dark, and I even managed to correctly guess the street name from the photograph on the front cover (see above), taken in Steve's then living room. First guess, too! A prize of an unripened banana to any Shoesville residents who can do the same.

The review will either be on DPRP or Astounded by Sound! in the hopefully not too distant future, if any of you read that nonsense.

England 2 English weather 1 Aussies 0 - Ashes retained. Wahey!