The great British public

I love writing about music.  One of the funniest things about it is when you go back to your pieces and read comments that have been left.  Some are great, they actually talk about the music and challenge opinion, and it’s great that this interactivity is avaliable.

Some, however, are just funny.

Recently I wrote about how I didn’t think the new Sugababes album was very good.  Here are some words on what others think:

"GOD R U DEAF OR WOT REVIEWER! this ablums amazing! heidi is sooo much better than that ginger 1 that was ere b4."

"I dont know whether the reviewer was listening to the new sugababes album or some pre sample of Girls Aloud’s new album. Its clearly obvious that the sugababes must have blanked him at one stage in his stalker life, and he’s figured him dis thm with a bad review, cos this album rocks, "

"the reviewer is obviously an atomic kitten fan."

"i dnt agree wit dat review at al! the sugababes r the greatest, even if the album wasn’t 2 gd it wud still b brilliant cos the sugababes mad it! msg 2 the reviwer – hav u got waxy ears lol"

And when I praised Rachel’s latest offering for being a pop masterpiece, the music snob brigade came in:

"crap sorry but crap, the only REAL music is music with GOOD lyrics. an exmaple is soul music, soul has very powerful strong lyrics with feelings and meanings unlike the pop we get now i dont know what the music is coming to. the only artist in pop with good lyrics and all the rest of it is Michael Jackson. no one will ever be able to top him, he is great! i true superstar. to me the only superstar. no wonder he is the king of pop. well to some up its not very good sorry oh and by the way i am only 13."

"This entire thread and article is ludicrous. I refuse to believe for a second that this is a "classic" album. Is the author really suggesting it rivals such classics as ‘Siamese Dream’, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magic’, ‘Blonde on Blonde’, ‘Bad’, ‘The Queen is Dead’, ‘Back in Black’, ‘The Joshua Tree’ etc. etc. etc. I don’t need to here this manufactured, disposable noise to realise that such plastic music to come from Rachel Stevens’s management is nothing more than a few catchy choruses filled out with empty, nonsensical lyrics. Albums like this are anything but classics are truly degrade the real meaning and power of music."

That’s enough to put a smile on my face for a while.

Dreadful Awful Rubbish : My friend Simon

Simon3On Sunday, our friend, Simon died unexpectedly, an hour or two after we last saw him.

I’m not going to go on about how he changed the landscape of clubbing and life for so many people. You can read that in other places. I want to remember my friend Simon, the guy who wasn’t just our boss, but a man we respected, a man we cherished, a man we loved and pretty much over the last 6 months, the centre of our universe.

I started going to Popstarz soon after moving to London in around September 2004. James and I always noticed this tall, omnipresent guy with black hair who was obviously involved in the club in someway. He was constantly there, and we found him quite a scary, foreboding prescence.

Roll forward and it’s May 2005. James & I arrive back from New York and head in a deleriously jetlagged state to Miss-Shapes at Ghetto, run by the same man. We see a poster saying there will be auditions for a DJ for the club and I’m straight on the case. We applied, headed down to Trash Palace to do a set and got the gig, all while nervously speaking to this guy we now know is Simon. He compliments us on our set, gives us some drink vouchers, and later not so subtly hints that the job is ours, though he’ll have to confirm that with Sandra. James and I look at each other amazed that this guy is even talking to us.

And that was that. Suddenly we were thrust into the spotlight, and into the world I fondly called The Hobart Empire. We were living out some of our dreams, DJing in a place we loved, meeting fantastic people and getting us and our friends into Popstarz for free. How cool was that!

We spent the next 6 months getting to know him. Both of us still in awe of him, but wondering how on earth we ever found him scary. He was so generous, letting us in everywhere for free, plying us with free drinks, and talking to us, telling us his fabulous stories of days gone by.

It was probably in the last 2 months, as he and J became closer, that I got to really know him and he changed from being the awe-inducing Simon Hobart, to being our friend Simon, Suddenly I was playing cupid, determined that these two great guys should be together. I helped J pick nice restaurants and filled Simon in on Js’ quirks and eccentricities.

Going to Ghetto was something I knew I could always do happily, even by myself. A few weeks ago I showed up after another party by myself at 1 in the morning knowing that inside I’d be able to enjoy myself even if I didn’t know anyone there. But I did, Simon of course was there, and we drunkedly spent the next 3 hours drinking and gossiping. It was great fun, and a far cry away from my fear of the immortal gothic prince that we used to see from afar. Similarly I could show up at Trash Palace, hook up with Simon and then head to Ghetto with him where we’d buy each other drinks and have a good gossip. In the last month or so, we were pretty much a regular feature at Ghetto from Wednesday til Saturday and we certainly wouldn’t have been there that much if Simon hadn’t been there.

And so to the final night. After having been out all day, James & I eventually rocked up to Ghetto at 12.45 just in time for Simon’s set at 1am. We greeted, we danced and then at about 3, we left. I told him to call me when he woke up about DJing on Sunday, and kissed him goodbye. And that was that.

I feel a bit embarassed at myself. Last night a group of his friends all got together and went out. There are people who have known him forever and there I am bursting into tears every two minutes. Perhaps I’m just not very good at coping with grief and being strong, but I do need to be strong for everyone else,.

I feel so sad and devastated. It doesn’t feel real, we showed up to DJ, made a phone call and got this terrible news. I can’t imagine walking down those stairs at Ghetto and him not being at the bottom. I can’t imagine going into Popstarz and looking forward to seeing him at the first bar and realising he’s not there and never will be. I’m just walking round my flat crying in a permanent state of disbelief. We walked from Wardour Street up to Falconberg Court when we got the news, and walking down Old Compton it felt like the world should stop. Why are there people walking round doing their usual business. It felt like Soho should be still.

I, like a lot of people, loved that man, and it’s near impossible to describe how great he was to people who didn’t know him. He was funny, intelligent, inspiring, handsome and kind.

He was so important to the way we operated that it’s even more impossible to imagine how our world can carry on without him.

Simon, please come back. I miss you.

Miss-Shapes : Playist 20 Oct

We played some good music last night!  And it stayed ridiculoulsy busy until the end.

Popstarz tonight! ARGH!

1030-1130
Billie – Something Deep Inside
Architecture in Helsinki – The Cemetary
Matthew Herbert – Celebrity
Vitalic vs Bjork – Who Am I
Goldfrapp – Ride a White horse
Clor – Good Stuff
Cardigans – Give Me Your Eyes
Magazine – Shot on Both Sides
Rinocerose – Bitch
Fischerspooner – Happy
Sugababes – Obsession
Visage – Fade To Gray
Speedway – Last Night
Garbage – Push It
Blur – There’s No Other Way
The Rakes – Work Work Work
The Kills – The Good Ones
The Concretes – Can’t Hurry Love

0130-0300
Madonna – Hung Up
Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
Weezer – Buddy Holly
Placebo – Nancy Boy
Muse – Plug In Baby
Melanie C – Goin’ Down
Britney Spears – Crazy
Softcell – Tainted Love
Tiga – You Gonna Want Me feat Jake shears
Le Tigre – Deceptacon
Blondie – Call Me
Cardigans – Favourite Game
Skunk Anansie – Twisted
Undertones – Teenage Kicks
Girls Aloud – Biology
Franz Ferdinand – Michael
Supergrass – Sun Hits The Sky
Sleeper – Sale of the Century
Primal Scream – Rocks
David Bowie – Suffragette City
Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
Pixies – Debaser
Interpol – Slow hands
Kaiser Chiefs – I Predicet A Riot
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love
No Doubt – Just A Girl
Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You
Pulp – Do you remember the first tim

Popstarz here we come

Wowza.

This Friday, we will be tackling the holy grail of DJing – the indie room at Popstarz.  Come and see us if you can.  We are very excited but also cacking our pants.

20/10 – Miss-Shapes @ Ghetto : 1030-1130 / 0130-0300

21/10 – Popstarz warmup @ Trash Palace : 1900 – 2300
                Popstarz ! @ Scala : 0200 – 0400

23/10 – Gay Freshers Fayre @ Trash Palace : 1930 -2300

Miss-Shapes : Oct 6 Playlist

The below is from 2 weeks ago.  We’re back at Ghetto tonight.

1030-1130

The Modern – Discotheque
Dead Disco – The Treatment
Sugababes – Obsession
Madonna – Borderline
Junior Senior – Itch You Can’t Skratch
Ladytron – International Dateline
Hefner – Christian Girls
John Cale – Perfect
Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
Kenickie – In Your Car
Strokes – Someday
Concretes – Can’t Hurry Love
Kaiser Chiefs – Time Honoured Tradition
Kula Shaker – Hush
Franz Ferdinand – Darts of Pleasure
Garbage – Special
Goldfrapp – Ride A White Horse
Scissor Sisters – Better Luck Next Time
Le Tigre – Deceptacon
Bloc Party – Banquet
White Stripes – Fell in Love With A Girl
David Bowie – Let’s Dance
The Who – Pinball Wizard

0130-0300
Holly Valance – State of Mind
Charlotte Hatherly – Bastardo
Supergrass – Alright
White Stripes – Hotel Yorba
Hives – Main Offender
Blur – Parklife
Michael Jackson – Beat It
Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl
Amerie – 1 Thing
Weezer – Buddy Holly
Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love
Placebo – 36 Degrees
No Doubt – Just A Girl
Girls Aloud – The Show
Alice Cooper – Poison
Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
Clash – London Calling
Dr & The Medics – Spirit in the Sky
Suede – Filmstar
Sleeper – Sale of the Century
Killers – Mr Brightside
Pixies – Debaser
Beck – Sexx Laws
Le Tigre – TKO
Pink Grease – Pink Grease
Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
George Baker – Little Green Bag
Pulp – Babies

Burning the candle at both ends

Currently I’m sat in a very cool place, earning quite a bit of money for not much work.  Sounds great huh?

The catch is its 817 and I’ve been up since 540.  The double catch is I only went to bed at 3.40.  Boo.

Last night was our first Friday at Trash Palace, which we’ll be doing each week from now on.  We then went to Popstarz, and then I got ‘dragged’ to Ghetto for a little while.   Upon leaving there was a lucky appearance of a cab so it’s not as bad as it could be.

But now half way through the show, I am flagging to the max.   

Today it will be home, sleep, if I wake up in time – a trip to Spitafields to visit our pig, then probably back to ghetto.  I’m such a glutton for punishment!  Boooo.

**** STOP PRESS ****

For one night only, I return to Warwick Students’ Union to DJ at the RaW edition of the Time Tunnel.

Joining me on the decks will be fellow London DJ and former Warwick Indiependance DJ James, his co-indiependance DJ Markt, and former Union DJ and Radio 1’s finest James King.

We’ll be playing the best tracks from the year RaW was born – 1970, as well as the tracks that student radio has made big ever since.

Expect T-Rex, David Bowie, Placebo, Elastica, Beck, Gorillaz, Black Sabbath, Freda Payne and even the Carpenters!

UWSU, The Cooler, 9  – 2am.  See you there!

[Yes I realise this isn’t the most exciting news ever but it’s exciting for me!]

Upcoming Gigs

06/10/05          Miss-Shapes, Ghetto
08/10/05          Time Tunner, The Cooler, UWSU
14/10/05           Trash Palace
20/10/05          Miss-Shapes, Ghetto
21/10/05           Trash Palace
28/10/05           Trash Palace
03/11/05            Londonist is 1. Offside Bar, Islington

Be at one of them or you’re a loser! 

(more…)

Happy 36th Birthday Grover!

Insidegrover
Happy Birthday to the best of all the muppets

I could rant about how unfairly Grover has been treated in life, how that wanker of a creature they call Elmo manipulated and destroyed Grover in the eyes of the CTW production team, but I’ll leave that to the brilliant ‘Grover is Bitter’ .

Let’s just remember the great times he gave us when we were growing up.   And continue spending time each night with our Elmo voodoo doll made of POO.