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Stuff I’ve written this week:

Interview with novelist and comedian ALKennedy for IdeasTap

Toilet Wisdom for A Daddy Long Legs is Not A Father

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A few weeks ago I wrote an article as part of a job application in which I pointed out – albeit in a slightly glib manner – that Channel 4 is the King of news reporting.  And not just because of Jon Snow’s funky tie collection.  Anyone watching tonight as they revealed how it appears the News of the World not only hacked the phones of several murdered school girls, but put a police chief in charge of a murder investigation under surveillance in order to get further tidbits, must surely agree.

I didn’t get the job (a weekly column on popular culture), but I thought I would reproduce the article below, to lighten the mood of depression and outrage these revelations have caused.  Twitter is an angry place to be right now.

This week you may have heard the non-story of a farm in Ireland where rogue cows were escaping from a barn before the farmer came to let them out in the morning.

It was the greatest mystery of modern times. Poirot was called in. And Columbo.  And the Old Spice Guy.  Then it was broken to the farmer that the dimension between reality and fiction had a non-permeable membrane, and eventually his brother became so inflamed with curiosity he set up a camcorder to “find out what was going on” and not at all because he found cows sexy.

This highly technical deductive research led to the discovery that one cow had worked out she could push the lock open with her tongue, facilitating a great escape for the rest of the herd.  There followed a lively online debate about bovine intelligence, although Sky News reported, “Daisy seems unphased by her Twitter fame.”  She was probably too busy blogging in outrage about the fact ‘WeLoveChrisBrown’ was trending.  She has a point though.  Did I miss a ‘wife beating is cool’ memo?

Anyway, in the age of globalization and the world-wide-intermatron, news output is far reaching and often nonsensical.  From ITV reporting live outside a building where the accused used to work five years ago to the BBC choosing the weakest line of questioning you could possibly imagine (so Prime Minister, where did you get those socks?), journalists report on anything at all in order to fill the gaps between ad breaks.  And if you have cable TV you can watch Fox News, perpetrators of propaganda so outrageous that Colonel Gadaffi would say ‘Wait, what?’

Having examined the options, you’ve probably come to the same conclusion regarding newsgathering that I have.  It’s abundantly clear the only team who can be trusted is Channel 4.  If Jon Snow were put in charge of all news output in the world, there wouldn’t be a whisper of complaint.  You’d get serious reporting with proper questions asked; sprinkled with occasional bouts of dry humour but avoiding outright whimsy because they’re professional enough to recognise that’s what The One Show is for.

If I were to speculate wildly on why their coverage is better than anyone else’s, I’d say it’s because they all live in a big house together like in The Apprentice.  Jon Snow is the dad, ruling with a hand that’s firm but fair.  Krishnan Guru-Murthy is the mum, making pancakes for everyone in the morning before they go out looking for stories. Alex Thomson and Faisal Islam are the kids who are always picking on little sis Katie Razzall, and all three are forever knocking their knees off things and getting into hilarious scrapes.

Then there’s Uncle Gary Gibbon who likes shouting at politicians, and Cousin Sarah Smith who keeps Skyping from Washington DC to show off about the fact she had dinner with the Obamas again.  They may have their ups and downs, but they work together as a team to bring us The Truth.

Frankly it’s the fly on the wall documentary of the year.  How do I go about pitching programme ideas to Channel 4…?

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Link – IdeasTap

In another piece for the ‘Confessions of a penniless creative’ series I’ve been doing for IdeasTap, I spoke to professional dancer Fenella Kennedy about how difficult it is to get into the industry, and how dance shows on TV inadvertently support arts cuts.  Read it here.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #14 – Vanilla Jedward

Obviously a stroll down 90s music memory lane would not be complete without a look at the track that launched Irish Eurovision hopefuls Jedward out of the X-Factor and into the megastardom of advertising whichever site it is they do.  You know the ad, where one of them failed to compare holiday prices, ensuring howls of derisive laughter from Omid Djalili?  Meh.  Nevermind.  The big haired twins were only a couple of months old when the big haired original version of Ice Ice Baby assaulted the charts in December 1990, but apparently it went in deep.  Let us consider why the lyrics might have affected the halfwitted teenagers so.

Yo VIP let’s kick it

Is he talking to me?  Wow, Vanilla Ice considers me a Very Important Person?  That’s awesome!  Who is he again?

Ice ice baby, ice ice baby

This is an almost subliminal message designed to remind us who is talking throughout the song.  It also implies that he is cool.  To be fair, this is something that you would need to be reminded of almost constantly, as it is not immediately apparent from looking.

All right stop!  Collaborate and listen

I imagine this was him inadvertently foreshadowing Big Society.  You can totally imagine Cameron listening to him back in his early twenties and being like yeah!  A white rapper!  All the coolness of rap, none of the danger!

Ice is back with my brand new invention

At no point does he explain what this invention is.  He can’t be claiming to have come up with the concept of ice, after all.  Or can he..?

Something grabs a hold of me tightly

Again, he doesn’t really explain what this is.  Rhythm?  Hookers?  A sense of impending doom?

Flow like a harpoon daily and nightly

Anyone ever seen a harpoon ‘flow’?  Or do you think of it as more of a liquid adjective?  I suppose we will just have to allow him use of poetic license…  But daily and nightly?  Surely it’s reckless and dangerous to use a harpoon at night, particularly a flowing one?  Someone should take him to one side and have a word.

Will it ever stop yo I don’t know

That’s comforting.

Turn off the lights and I’ll glow

Four years on, Ice keeps the memory of Chernobyl alive.

To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal

The Germanic tribe responsible for the sack of Rome? My gosh, this man knows his politics and his history!  It just goes to show that looks can be deceiving.  No wonder Jedward want to continue his great work.

Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle

He sets the stage on fire and then kills a chump, much as he would extinguish a candle.  I can’t help thinking that’s a little off-message.

Dance go rush to the speaker that booms

I feel I should point out to tha kidz at this point that standing right by the speakers at a gig results in tinnitus-like symptoms for days afterward.

I’m killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom

Why would you do that, Ice?  Why?!

Deadly when I play a dope melody

I can’t believe he’s suddenly deciding to use his amazing musical talent for death and destruction.  *Re-evaluates world view*

Anything less than the best is a felony

Try telling that to Louis Walsh.  Please.

Love it or leave it you better gain weight

What?  But fat people are constantly victimised on TV, because people are afraid they won’t leave enough cake for the rest of us…

You better hit bull’s eye the kid don’t play

We have to learn how to play darts now?

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it

There wasn’t until you started throwing out all this conflicting advice! Now I don’t know what to think…

Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Presumably this is a fishing reference of some kind.  I’ve heard it said that Ice is a keen angler.

Ice ice baby vanilla, Ice ice baby vanilla, Ice ice baby vanilla, Ice ice baby vanilla.

Perhaps not the most anthemic chorus ever.  But it gets the point across.  Well, it doesn’t.  But if there were a point, it would.

Now that the party is jumping
With the bass kicked in and the vegas are pumpin’

True.  By the time this song comes on the party needs to be pumping, because otherwise people will stand around awkwardly going “uh? Is this a retro party? Nobody told me…” Stick it on around 1am, however, and the crowd will be like, “ahmagahd amazing!”

Quick to the point to the point no faking

He is a truthful sort of fellow..

I’m cooking MC’s like a pound of bacon

Not literally, you understand.  Cooking MC’s isn’t the rap equivalent of smashing up your guitar after a rock gig.

Burning them if you ain’t quick and nimble

… No.  I’m positive there’s no literal fire involved.

I go crazy when I hear a cymbal

Well, who doesn’t?

And a hi-hat with a souped up tempo

Yeah, relating to tha people with all this cymbal chat dude.  It’ll be a sizzle cymbal next…

I’m on a roll and it’s time to go solo

Weren’t you a solo act to start off with?  Surely nobody else could measure up to your level of coolness.

Rollin’ in my 5.0
With my rag-top down so my hair can blow

Come on now, with hair as carefully styled as yours that is just asking for trouble.  The paps will have a field day!  “Ice’s trademark do messed up by elements” shock!

The girlies on standby waving just to say hi

They should get jobs.  Oh wait, there’s a recession on, they can’t.

Did you stop?  No I just drove by

Hopefully yelling “SCRUBBERS!” all the while

Kept on pursuing to the next stop
I busted a left and I’m heading to the next block

This, of course, is what happened in the days before Satnav.

The block was dead
Yo so I continued to A1A Beachfront Avenue

Ah yes, that’s probably where I would have gone next too.  Probably wouldn’t have put it in the song, though.  People tend to glaze over when you give them details of your drive.  Mainly because it’s DULL.

Girls were hot wearing less than bikinis

So… naked, then?

Rockman lovers driving Lamborghinis

A rockman is of course a man that rocks.  And those who love these rockmen get to drive Lamborghinis. Clearly it pays to be an Aerosmith fan.

Jealous ’cause I’m out getting mine

Getting his what, you may ask, seeing as he shunned the ladies who wanted to get it on with him.  Well, let’s be patient, I’m sure all will become clear.

Shay with a gauge and Vanilla with a nine

Do not be perturbed by the fact that Shay hasn’t been mentioned at all before now.  This is because he is Ice’s badass ninja friend, who has just ninjed into the car bringing guns for all.  OK, now you can be perturbed.

Reading for the chumps on the wall

Chumps can’t read, of course, so this is a vital piece of volunteering work Ice is performing for the local community.  He has got out of his car and sat on the wall in order to do this.

The chumps acting ill because they’re so full of eight balls

Being illiterate, the magic 8 ball holds no allure for the average chump.  Frightened and confused by the fact that every time they shake an 8 ball, a different tangle of letters appears, the chumps have eaten them to make it stop.  Unsurprisingly, this made them unwell, hence they began ‘acting ill’.

Gunshots rang out like a bell

Meanwhile, back in the car, Shay got bored and decided to start something.

I grabbed my nine all I heard were shells, falling on the concrete real fast

Seashells, raining from the sky!  A miracle!

Jumped in my car slammed on the gas

Hoping that the windscreen wouldn’t be destroyed by sea life falling from the sky – I’m not covered for that and Autoglass can be pricey.

Bumper to bumper the avenue’s packed

With hindsight, slamming on the gas may not have been the best course of action in this situation.

I’m trying to get away before the jackers jack

Not really sure he should be worrying about that.  Given Beachfront Avenue is gridlocked due to the shell situation, car-jackers will have a pretty difficult task making a getaway.

Police on the scene you know what I mean

Well I think so. But by asking whether I know what you mean, you have implied there may be more to it than police investigating the aforementioned car jackers, gun crime and traffic obstructions.

They passed me up confronted all the dope fiends

Of course the police know Ice due to his volunteer work, so they passed him with a nod and had a go at some nearby dope fiends.

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it – REPEAT CHORUS

Still not convinced.

Take heed ’cause I’m a lyrical poet

Listen!  For these words are more than merely a throwaway novelty song.  They are poetry.

Miami’s on the scene just in case you didn’t know it

CSI Miami has not yet been invented, so it’s up to Ice to put it on the map with his poems and that.

My town that created all the bass sound

ALL the bass sound?  That seems a gross exaggeration.

Enough to shake and kick holes in the ground

You may think potholes are caused by bad weather, but in actuality they are almost exclusively down to the low frequency sounds emanating from Vanilla Ice and his beloved home town.  Who woulda thunk it.

‘Cause my style’s like a chemical spill

Not content with implying that by night he glows like a radioactive Chernobyl victim, he also dressed and behaves in much the same manner as an accidental leaking of toxic sludge.  But in a really cool way.

Feasible rhymes that you can vision and feel

Yep, thus far all of these rhymes have been totally feasible.  You can prove anything with facts, Vanilla.

Conducted and formed, this is a hell of a concept

And I, Vanilla Ice, am the first person to conduct and form my rhymes.  This is why they are feasible.  Meanwhile other rappers just say whatever comes into their heads!  Ridonkulous.

We make it hype and you want to step with this

Everyone wants to be in his gang right now because of all the hype.  Long may it continue.

Shay plays on the fade slice like a ninja

Told you Shay was a ninja.

Cut like a razor blade so fast other DJs say damn

Shay is also a DJ, and a good one at that.  He makes other DJs, like Dr Fox, say ‘damn!’, but pronouncing it ‘day-um!’

If my rhyme was a drug I’d sell it by the gram

Of course he knows in his heart this is nothing more than a dream.  If lyrics could be converted into weights, they would surely be measured in cubic litres.

Keep my composure when it’s time to get loose

It’s important to remain calm, especially when letting one’s hair down. Getting overexcited can lead to all kinds of shenanigans.

Magnetized by the mic while I kick my juice

That used to happen at Kid Canaveral gigs a lot – the lead singer would accidentally kick his drink over during the set and we’d all watch with interest as the liquid crept closer to the wires, waiting to see whether or not he would be electrocuted.  Vanilla has set a precedent.

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it
Check out the hook while Shay revolves it

No longer will I refer to him simply as ‘DJ’.  Shay’s true identity has been revealed and he is here to shtay.

Ice ice baby vanilla x 4

Yo man, let’s get out of here

After all, this has been going on for what feels like an interminable length of time.

Word to your mother.

At heart a polite young man, Vanilla would like if you pass on his respects to your mother.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #13 – Really, Bryan Adams?

In June 1991, just before I turned six, floppy haired bland rock monger Bryan Adams released THE GREATEST LOVE SONG EVER™.  It went to number one in the UK charts, and when my brother was born four months later it was still there.  Many tried, but the only track with the power to kill it turned out to be a not particularly great cover of Dizzy by Vic Reeves and The Wonderstuff, which finally knocked it off the top spot after 16 weeks.  Nearly twenty years later, “Who was still buying Everything I Do after 16 weeks?” is one of the single greatest mysteries of our time.  Particularly in light of the lyrical content, which is actually a little bit creepy.

Look into my eyes!

Said a scary hypnotist to the nation one day, and everyone complied.

You will see, What you mean to me

Squillions of dollars is what we meant to him, as it turned out.  Although you can’t really buy much with Canadian money.  They prefer to barter using maple syrup and moose jerky.  Probably.

Search your heart – search your soul
And when you find me there you’ll search no more

Because you’ll be filled with terror by the apparent fact you value your life so little that you’ve filled your metaphorical self with middle of the road music cynically designed to make people think Kevin Costner was a convincing man from Nottingham.

Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for

OK, I won’t.  But we both know I’m thinking it.

You can’t tell me it’s not worth dyin’ for

He means love, and I think that probably depends on context to a large extent.  She said, romantically.

You know it’s true
Everything I do – I do it for you

By ‘everything’ he very specifically means ‘making records’.  Sorry to break it to y’all, but Bryan Adams isn’t thinking of you when he makes his toast in the morning, or when he buys himself a sofa made of solid gold (not for sitting on, but because he can), or when he goes on holiday.  Bryan Adams wouldn’t help you mend a fence, or loan you 20p cause you’re slightly short of change for the bus.  He won’t even recommend a book you might like.

Look into your heart – you will find
There’s nothin’ there to hide

Really?  To me, ‘nothin’ there to hide’ implies emptiness.  Look at those two words in isolation: ‘nothin’ there’.  This doesn’t make an ounce of sense in a song that’s meant to be about eternal passionate love.  Furthermore, if you literally looked into a heart, you’d find four chambers and four valves and a bunch of veins and blood – they’re not nothin’.  They keep people alive and buying your records, Adams!  Meanwhile, if you metaphorically looked into a heart… I dunno, you’d probably find pictures of your loved ones or something.

Take me as I am

A vision in flannel…

Take my life

Tempting, but that’s not really how I roll.

I would give it all – I would sacrifice

Like, in a roman way?  White bulls for Jupiter, milk and honey for Ceres…

Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for
I can’t help it – there’s nothin’ I want more

Than to be number 1 all over the world for the best part of a year and make so much money that it hurts my brain to think about it all..

Ya know it’s true
Everything I do – I do it for you

I’ll believe it when I see it.

There’s no love – like your love

True.  Most love is more pure and true than the love between a record buyer and the.. buyee.

And no other – could give more love

I wonder if that was meant as a challenge, so that Britain would try to outshine other countries by buying even more copies of the single than anyone else?  Clever.

There’s nowhere – unless you’re there

Wow, sounds like all this wheedling people into buying the song has plunged Bry into some kind of existential crisis!  It’s OK man, you totally exist away from the hard earned cash of your fans.

All the time!  All the way!

That’s just silly.  You can’t spend all of your time together, you’ll get bored of one another.  It may take a long time – roughly sixteen weeks, at a guess – but eventually people get sick of each other and need to spend some time apart.  Maybe with Vic Reeves.

Oh – you can’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
I can’t help it – there’s nothin’ I want more

What, to be eternally at number 1 with this song?  Dude, it’s not worth trying for.  Do you have no artistic integrity whatsoever?!  Actually, maybe don’t answer that…

I would fight for you – I’d lie for you

Not necessary, but thanks.

Walk the wire for you!

Go on then! …*waits for some time*…  Yeah.  Thought not.

Yeah I’d die for yoooou..

Well, I guess we could call Alan Rickman and see if he’ll cut your heart out with a spoon.  He was good in that film, wasn’t he?  As my sister’s boyfriend says, “why have a man when you can have a Rick-man?”

Ya know it’s true
Everything I do – I do it for you.

In the words of the teenagers I used to work with in the library, “nah mate.  That’s lies.”

Jog on, Bryan Adams.  And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #11 – Hanson

Let’s Get Lyrical officially starts today! I am devastated that I’m not in Edinburgh for tonight’s event, Why Do Songs Have Lyrics? – based on some of the ones I’ve uncovered for this blog it seems a pertinent question! But I am house sitting in Perthshire, so all I can really do is take you back to the nineties.

Remember the nineties, internet? The decade of parachute pants, opal fruits, and ecstasy? No? Well then I shall ease you in gently by initially only going as far back as 1997, when Hanson shocked the world by writing a number one song about something called an ‘MMMbop‘.

It went a little something like this.

You have so many relationships in this life
Only one or two will last

This seems a little bit bleak, to me, but at the time Hanson were aged 12, 14 and 16 so perhaps they didn’t have the plethora of life experience to fall back on that the likes of N-Dubz enjoy today.

You go through all this pain and strife
Then you turn your back and they’re gone so fast
And they’re gone so fast

I was going to say they’d been watching too much Dawson’s Creek until I googled it and discovered that show actually started the following year.  But essentially I think that the media must have played a part in this outlook on love, because having seen the video documentary they made at the time (I had some enthusiastic fan-friends), their family life was cheesily happy; their parents were totally in love and kept spewing forth babies, and all of them got along really well.  Nary a pain or a strife to be seen.

So hold on to the ones who really care
In the end they’ll be the only ones there

The ones who really care?  Mum and Dad, by and large, innit?  Obviously it’s every parent’s dream to outlive their child, but sadly it doesn’t always work out that way…

When you get old and start losing your hair
Can you tell me who will still care?
Can you tell me who will still care?

WELL.  A lot of people manage to ensnare romantic partners, who are willing to at least give an appearance of caring as long as you return the favour.  If you’re in Hanson there are also about 8 million brothers and sisters, so the odds are that at least one or two might be fond of you.  And the Salvation Army are very caring, I’ve heard.  Help The Aged.  Your nosy neighbour.  Your own children.  Any pets that may rely on you for sustenance.  Members of the Bridge club you go to every Thursday.  Do old people still play Bridge, or is that a literary myth?  Anyway, hopefully lots of people still care about you when you’re old.  Be optimistic, guys.

Mmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du (Yea-ee-eah)

Mmm bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, Ba du dop
Ba du bop, Ba du dop
Ba du (Yea-ee-eah)

…. Yeah.  Well what do you expect, they were only kids.  It was probably pretty stressful coming up with actual words for all those pesky verses, they deserve a chorus consisting essentially of noises.

Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It’s a secret no one knows!

Um, guys?  That’s not a secret.  Although I do like the idea that Hanson had a planting frenzy before writing that bit, touring up and down the length and breadth of America planting seeds everywhere and moving on before they had time to grow, just to keep the mystery alive.

Repeat Chorus

Yeah I will! *dances round kitchen burbling unintelligible chorus noises*

In an mmm bop they’re gone.
In an mmm bop they’re not there.

According to an interview they did at the time with Smash Hits magazine, an ‘mmmbop’ was an unspecified period of time.  You should use that next time you’re running late.  “Sorry, missed the bus, but I’ll be there in an mmmbop!xx”  And let me know whether you get away with it, please.

In an mmm bop they’re gone.
In an mmm bop they’re not there.
Until you lose your hair. But you don’t care.

I think, Hanson, that you do care, by virtue of the fact you wrote a song about it.  If you didn’t care, you would surely not dedicate so much time and energy to the subject.  Also, why are you so worried about losing your hair? Is there a history of early balding in your family?  Worse things happen at sea, y’know.  You guys are so emo.

Repeat Chorus

Can you tell me?  You say you can, but you don’t know.

Is that a challenge?  I can totally tell you! Wait though, what are you actually asking?

Can you tell me which flower’s going to grow?

Oh right.  Well, depends what seed it was, really.  It should have told you on the packet.

Can you tell me if it’s going to be a daisy or a rose?

Well, what did the packet say?

Can you tell me which flower’s going to grow?
Can you tell me? You say you can but you don’t know.

Only because you haven’t given me enough information!  God you are so annoying, stop acting like a freakin’ 12 year old!  …oh.

Repeat Chorus

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Let’s Get Lyrical #10 – Rihanna

A most popular ditty of the noughties was Rihanna’s chat with Jay-Z on the subject of her umbrella. It was number 1 in the UK for ten consecutive weeks in 2007, which was pretty impressive in a decade where single sales were in rapid decline. But were the lyrics any craic?


No clouds in my stones


Let it rain, I hydroplane in the bank coming down with the Dow Jones

Again, pardon?  To hydroplane is to lose control of the steering when driving through a large body of water, and Dow Jones is a company that writes business news copy… Is Mr Z referring to an incident in which he drove through a moist bank, and someone from Dow Jones perhaps reported on it?  Banks count as businesses, so would no doubt be in their remit.

When the clouds come we gone, we Rockafella – we fly higher than weather

Rockafella, of course, refers to Jay-Z’s vast personal wealth, which enables him to fly above the clouds as soon as rain is even mentioned in passing.

In G5’s are better, you know me, in anticipation, for precipitation. Stack chips for the rainy day

That’s right, he has a gulfstream jet on standby at all times, just in case of a wee shower, and apparently it’s well stocked with crisps.

Jay, Rain Man is back with little Ms. Sunshine – Rihanna where you at?

One assumes that after that spiel she’s having a look at this jet of yours.


You have my heart and we’ll never be worlds apart

Well not literally at any rate, unless one of you (and my money’s on Jay- Z) invests in some kind of space travel device.

May be in magazines But you’ll still be m’star

Honey, you’ll both be in magazines.  I have seen your future.

Baby cause in the dark, you can’t see shiny cars

In that case, you’re doing it wrong.  Make him turn the headlights on, Ri Ri, it’s very hazardous to spev about in the dark without them.

And that’s when you need me there, with you I’ll always share, because

Fair point, it sounds as though he does need someone there, to stop him endangering himself and others around him.  Presumably what you’re about to share with him are the salient details of the Highway Code.


When the sun shines, we’ll shine together

Or not.

Told you I’ll be here forever

Because that’s not clingy / verging on creepy…

Said I’ll always be a friend, took an oath ima stick it out till the end

Oh, OK, that’s quite sweet.  But does Jay-Z really force his friends to swear allegiance to him like some kind of crazed emperor?!

Now that it’s raining more than ever, know that we’ll still have each other

It’s nice to have someone with whom you can share this kind of experience, isn’t it.

You can stand under my um-buh-rella, you can stand under my um-buh-rella

(Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my um-buh-rella (Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my um-buh-rella (Ella ella eh eh eh)

Under my um-buh-rella (Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)

Yeah, that’s going to be in your head for the rest of the day.  Sorry.

These fancy things, will never come in between

What fancy things?  Has Beyoncé got involved?  Perhaps thrown wellies and a sou’wester into the ring?  Better coverage than a measly brolly there.

You’re part of my entity, here for infinity

I’m sorry, but people don’t refer to ‘my entity’, the whole point of that word is that it is separate and ‘other’.  What you mean is that he is part of you, or your life, forever, but this is a deeply clumsy way of expressing that emotion.  So there.

When the war has took its part

Is this a specific war, or a more general fight to get by in this crazy world of ours?

When the world has dealt its cards

Like the sentient poker dealer it is…

If the hand is hard, together we’ll mend your heart

The world is of course renowned for dealing Jay-Z one terrible hand after another.  He’s like the unluckiest man in the music industry.  For realsies.

Because… [Chorus]

You can run into my arms

You don’t know how long I have waited to hear you say that…

It’s OK don’t be alarmed, come here to me

There’s no distance in between our love

Well… methinks there might be a Beyoncé-length distance involved, actually.

So gawn and let the rain pour, I’ll be all you need and moooooooo-OOOOOOORE

The capitals denote modulation.  Thanks, Standard Grade music.

Because.. [Chorus]

It’s raining

No it isn’t.

Ooh baby it’s raining

Nuh uh.

Baby come here to me, come here to me, it’s raining!

Seriously, shut up now.  It’s not.

Argument repeats to fade.

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Season’s Greetings

I wrote a festive guest post on someone else’s blog.  Read it here.

Merry Christmas!

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Guest Post

I wrote a guest post for gossip website Hecklerspray.  Read it here.

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Scottish Premiere – Red Harvest

This is actually my first interview.  It was conducted in haste by email, and originally published in The Edinburgh Reporter here.

What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?  It’s always useful to have a plan, and there are hundreds of films out there to give you help and advice.  But say you do survive, what then?  Chances are that none of your friends or family will make it.  What happens if it’s just you and some other guy you don’t even like that much?

This is the premise of Red Harvest, a short film by Mancunian director Matthew Faggiani, which saw its Scottish premiere this week in the glittering surroundings of the Jekyll and Hyde’s regular B-Movie night.  We spoke to Matthew about making the film and what inspired him to bring it to Edinburgh.

Tell us a bit about the film.

Red Harvest is a 15-minute short that tells the story of two survivors of a zombie holocaust set in a desolate south Manchester suburb.  I wanted it to be an alternative to the new wave of zombie cinema in recent years.  So instead of sprinting ghouls and hunky survivors spouting cheesy one-liners, I portrayed a world long after the initial outbreak of the undead and simply documented a day in the life of two depressed survivors who hate each other.”

Sounds intriguing!  What were your main influences when making the film?

“I’m a huge fan of the horror genre, particularly the films of George A Romero.  His zombie saga contains not only some of the most shocking imagery and special effects ever seen but have also continued to be very socially and politically relevant. My favourite of his films remains “Day of The Dead,” the darkest and most punchy installment.”

How long did it take to make?

“Although it’s only a 15-minute short, we recorded nearly five hours of footage over a six-month period. This was due to the limited availability of some of the more ambitious locations.  Like we filmed some stuff at the Trafford Centre, but that’s really busy so we had to get up really early to go and get filming done.”

Did you encounter any other problems?

“Getting the cast assembled in one place at 4.30am on a Sunday was a pretty big one!  We also had problems with the contact lenses we wanted to use to make the zombies’ eyes look dead – only one cast member was actually able to wear them, but we bought six pairs!  They were probably the biggest expense of the whole film…”

The film was made and set in Manchester.  What made you decide to bring it to Edinburgh?
“I was made aware of the Edinburgh B Team a few years ago and just thought it was fantastic that there was a venue showing cult movies every week, allowing fans of classic horror films to view them in a cinematic environment. I approached them and they were kind enough to screen our film as part of their ‘Zombie-a-looza’ event.”

What other projects have you got lined up?

“As well continuing to produce music videos and commercial promos, we’ve started writing a script for a werewolf movie set in 1930s Germany.  This is undoubtedly a more ambitious project, but with all the positive feedback and technical expertise gained whilst making Red Harvest we are confident that this will be a much more professional product.  We start filming early next year.”

Red Harvest is also being shown at the Glasgow School of Art on Tuesday 5th. Details of all showings can be found on the website

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