Sunday 28 October 2007

North/South Divide

The North/South divide is essentially an invention of hacks that never venture beyond the M25. Those London centric pontificators of the unreal. This article in the Observer has irritated me no end.

The first point to make is there is no clear divide. North merges into south in many ways over various geographical locations.
Apparently "The new line, devised by Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at the University of Sheffield, is based on a number of more recent socio-economic developments, including rising house prices, increased life expectancy and voting patterns.". Bollocks ! There is no way that it can ever be that clear cut. How does the saying go, "Lies, damn lies and statistics" ?

Academics know that if they present this sort of stuff it will be published, and journalists love to write about and print it. It is effectively mutual masturbation.

I’ve got news for Prof. Dorling and hack Day. There are two other significant points on the compass, and I live in one of them. The East. It ain’t North and it ain’t South. I suspect that those in the West Country get equally pissed off, not to mention inhabitants of the Midlands. I’m sure like their papers, journalists would like life to be black and white, but thankfully it is not.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Thursday 11 October 2007

Matinee Idol

Being born and bred in a brewing town, it’s hard to imagine what life must be like living in a dry area, e.g. a remote village without a pub. For me it would be a horror of horrors. Equally as bad, and very much a reality for me, is living in a town without a record shop.

A year ago Bury St Edmunds had an MVC and a Fopp. Then MVC went into receivership. Fopp bought MVC. Fopp went into receivership. Result - droves of portly, balding middle-aged blokes, desperately trying to hang on to their misspent youth and not the spare cash in their pockets, bereft of a refuge on a shopping trip to town. Now I know that you can just about get any CD on the internet, and I have in fact made purchases this way, but it ain’t the same as rifling through racks in a shop. Rifling and wondering, "have I got this album on vinyl or CD" or thinking, "this looks interesting, I might give that a go". The only choice, if choice is really the word, is now Woolworth or Tesco with all the limitations that that implies.

I’m a great lover of rock-a-boogie music sung in a British regional accent. Arctic Monkeys and The Proclaimers being two obvious example exponents of this fine art. But for the last few months I’ve been champing at the bit awaiting the release of Jack Peñate’s debut album Matinee. My biggest worry was, "where am I going to get it from ?". Release date had been advertised as 2/10/07. Came the day and I went in search, but alas my search was fruitless. I searched subsequent days, still nothing. After the weekend I discovered that the release date had been delayed by about a week. Got me greasy mitts on it yesterday. Fan-bloody-tastic ! If you’re not familiar with this bright young upstart, then I could probably best describe him as a cross between Mike Sarne, Billy Bragg and Jamiroquai. Some might even compare him with Paul Weller or Lily Allen. He’s a lively performer who bounces around stage playing a mean guitar. Jack Peñate is rock ‘n’ soul !


Saturday 6 October 2007