Posts Tagged TV

I’ll have what he’s having

Of late I have become pretty much completely obsessed with Roxy Music. In the absence of the will or ability to write anything meaningful about them, and in particular Bryan Ferry, (yet), here’s a superb clip of them performing Virginia Plain on Top of the Pops in 1972.

It’s played at a slightly slower tempo than the studio version, making it a little easier to hear (if not necessarily understand) Ferry’s lyrics (“Havana sound we’re trying / Hard edge the hipster jiving, woah / Last picture shows down the drive-in” anyone? Anyone?).

What’s particularly noticeable is an in-cred-ible visual performance by Ferry. Here’s the video:

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From the sea to the land beyond

This is the best thing I’ve seen on TV for a long time: a documentary of the British coastline (both on- and off-shore), soundtracked almost exclusively by re-arrangements of British Sea Power songs.

Gentle, fascinating, touching, and (towards the very end, in something close to modern-day Blackpool) mildly profane.

Just beautiful, and absolutely essential watching.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01nyz3p/

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Watch out for the puppets

I watched a lot of ‘Wide Awake Club’ as a lad (back in the days of just three, then, glory be, four channels), but never saw ‘Data Run’, its predecessor in the Saturday morning kids’ TV slot. As such, I saw plenty of Mallet’s Mallet, but not this little gem.

The children of 1984 meet The Smiths – or ‘Paul’ Morrissey (his own fault for gadding about by surname only) and Johnny Marr at least. Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke are reduced to being off-handedly referred to by Marr, appropriately enough given the legal structure of the band which saw Joyce and Rourke reduced to, in effect, session players. Towards the end of the clip, in a weird coincidence, images of two puppets fighting intertwine with shots of Mike Joyce drumming (and grinning inanely), as if foretelling the end of the Smiths and subsequent legal battles.

We see lots of coquettish pointing between Moz and Marr, some half-arsed answers to the kids’ questions (despite it being clear they were never in the same place at the same time), a muddy rehearsal of ‘Hand In Glove’, and a curiously awkward acoustic version of ‘This Charming Man’. Morrissey describes how many of his songs were inspired by “horrible teachers who made life miserable for me” and warns how current pupils may one day sign up to record companies and “get their revolting revenge”. Not too much later, Moz would hammer this point home with The Headmaster Ritual (later, as I’ve already wittered on about, painting a more modern view of the classroom).

The presenter tells us to “watch out for the puppets”, although to be honest I’d rather just ignore them because, taken out of context, they’re a little too sinister for comfort. I suspect they were equally sinister in context to be honest. Why things are kicked off with a shot of Sinister Puppet #1 raising and lowering a newspaper from his face I really don’t know. And this over background audio of ‘Reel Around The Fountain’ which attracted (fairly laughable) tabloid accusations of paedophilia at the time (“It’s time the tale were told / Of how you took a child and made him old”).

If I ever get into TV, that’s how I intend to introduce every item from a primary school.

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Please do not adjust your set

Cartoon Network present The Hives. No, they really do.

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Lazy, lazy, lazy

This really is very lazy of me, inserting my very own ‘Bob-Holness-has-died-let’s-look-back-at-Blockbusters-in-some-kind-of-post-ironic-way-as-if-I’m-still-a-fucking-student’ post. But still, I’d forgotten how bloody brilliantly futuristic these early-90s titles were. I’m still angry that, now we’re officially living in the future (or do we need to wait til 2020 for that?), we’re not yet being transported around by hexagonal flying hovercraft things.

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