Thursday, January 25, 2007

You'll Have A Gay Old Time

Last week the media, and public, were obsessed with tales of discrimination in the Big Brother house. Anyone & everyone tried forming an opinion on this non-story which to me was nothing more that typical female bitchiness. No offence female readers but get a few girls together for a couple of hours and bitchiness usually follows. (Miss Smeg was the first to agree!)

This week there comes a genuinely serious form of discrimination but it seems the public aren’t as eager to discuss it.

The Catholic Church is telling the government that they will refuse to place orphaned children into gay homes because it is against their religion. This is making my head implode. As much as I respect people that should have the right to believe this is surely a sign that religion is totally outdated.

Not content with being largely responsible for the aids crisis in Africa the Catholic Church will now be actively preventing under-privileged children from finding loving homes. Let’s face it there are a lot of gay couples out there that could probably offer a much more stable and caring home life than some straight couples.

My girlfriend is a Catholic but she’s utterly disgusted by her own religion’s views, hence the reason she stopped being an active follower of the faith some time ago.

The Catholic Church should be celebrating the fact that, in these times of rising divorce rates, there are two humans that are so in love and devoted to one another that they want to share that love with a child by offering them a stable home.

It seems that Church are more worried that the gay couple will corrupt the child and make them grow up a homosexual too – total rubbish. There’s only one unwanted doctrine that’s being forced here… it’s not the gay one.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pump Up The Volume

Would you go into a club, bar or pub and demand they change the volume of their music? I wouldn’t.

As a manager in the leisure industry I often visit other ‘venues’ and notice things that others wouldn’t. I’m fascinated by quirks of the industry. Orders that have come form above that have to be obeyed. Orders in place to control a venues atmosphere ensuring customers have a similar experience on return visits and the continuity of a venues image is maintained. (I’m also on the look out for good ideas we can pinch…)

One such policy is the music volume. You visit Wetherspoons knowing there will be no music. You go to a Lloyds anticipating louder, livelier music. In Hereford the same applies. The Litten Tree & JDs offer a high-volume pre-club experience and you accept that.

At my venue we’re strictly aimed at the family. Our customers range from 8 to 80 and we are most certainly not a ‘pre-club’ venue. Thus the music policy is that it’s loud enough to hear and entertain but quiet enough to enjoy a meal and audible conversation.

Last night one man disagreed. He asked for the music to be turned up. I refused, apologised, but told him it’s at our ‘set level.’ The normal person would accept that this must be company policy and get over it. Unfortunately this man was a moron and for the next 2 hours asked at least a further 3 times. At one point he told me I was speaking bullshit. (Bullshit? He thinks he knows more about the venue I’ve been working at for 10 years than I do, that makes sense…) It resulted in him wishing to lodge a formal complaint.

It really does leave me questioning the mentality Why did this bloke feel that he was far more important that anyone else in the venue?

Of course, when he left I did get a perverse satisfaction out of increasing the volume… just a touch…

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pop Princess

It’s 1990, I’m only 10 but I know I hate her. Her dumb squeaky clean, irritating pop tunes. God Kylie is awful. Give me Queen any day.

It’s 1996, I’m 16 and a fan of TV sitcom Men Behaving Badly. I just can’t understand their obsession with Kylie Minogue. Gary keeps going on about how perfect she is. Why? She’s a washed up ex pop star dating a washed up rock star and trying to sound cool with awful indie style songs. Give me Dodgy any day.

It’s 2000. I’m at work. There’s a fantastic tune on the radio. A song that I know will go down a storm if I can get hold of it for my next DJ gig. Come on Mr Radio DJ tell me what it is… oh Spinning Around. Who’s it by? Kylie… what?!

And that’s where it began. My love affair with the Australian Princess of Pop. Each song getting better and better. I thought Spinning Around was great, On A Night Like This even better, Please Stay fantastic then came Can’t Get You Out Of My head and I’m hooked. Tunes that rock my world when I’m Djing and tunes I can’t stop listening to when I’m at home. Oh and those golden hot pants… sigh. When did she suddenly become so gorgeous?

Over the following years I listen more to her back catalogue and although I still cringe at her early Hi-NRG late 80s stuff I’ve grown to love her mid to late 90s Indie-lite stuff especially ‘Impossible Princess’

So my love affair culminated in 2003 when I got her autograph. I though that was the most fanboy I would ever get. Until Xmas Day… Miss Smeg had a surprise for me. Tickets to go and see Kylie live. I’ll fill you in after the gig next week…

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Eye Eye

I will stop watching Big Brother on Friday.

The last 3 BB’s I have found completely unwatchable. Last year I vowed never to tune in again but the curiosity of the live launch show drew me in again.

The problem I have is with the meddling. The first 4 BB’s were great but because the forth was classed by the media as ‘The Boring One’ the producers had a knee-jerk reaction – Big Brother must never be boring again. They got evil. Throwing spanners in the works at every turn. Problem is it’s damaging the very essence of the show. It is no longer 10 strangers in a house, what happens? It’s 10 strangers in a house what can WE do to them?

Rather than letting it naturally flow and the groups bond and divide the producers try to twist events and, for me it’s totally irritating. The secret graden, the secret house etc. Re introducing Nicky last year was the final straw for me – totally against the shows ethos.

Last night I saw a promising range of contestants enter the house. They weren’t the hopeless media wannabees of the usual BB instead they were people I actually found interesting. But then Davina proudly announced that Friday would be interesting because the Big Brother family will be going in… once again the producers meddling.

They need to be careful. For many people last year the bubble burst. This series could be make or break.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

One Word Reviews

As normal there were a number of TV shows (or ‘events’ as media PR types now prefer to call them) that were highly anticipated by the viewing public and me over the festive season. Rather than waffle on about them here’s my one word reviews.

Doctor Who ‘The Runaway Bride’: Enjoyable
Doctor Who: A Musical Tribute: Excellent
Torchwood Finale: Awful
This Life +10: Boring
Challenge Anneka: Disappointing
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Great
Little Britain Abroad: Amusing
Doc Martin: Pleasant

And that’s about it really. Nothing stood out making me want to scream how great it was. In fact most was a let down, especially This Life which I loved back in ye day.

My highlight over the festive period was actually watching ‘Scrooged’, the 1988 Bill Murray film and the mid-way cliffhanger of Battlestar Galactica’s third season.

2007 will be the year that broadband TV on demand will really develop in leaps and bounds so I fear the tradition of the big BBC Xmas day sitcom is now over. RIP Xmas telly.

Monday, January 01, 2007


I am perhaps the only DJ in the land that completely forgot the most important ingredient to New Year’s Eve.

At 11.59pm and 30 seconds there I was belting out Pussycat Dolls to a half full dance floor when my brain suddenly screamed.

“The countdown!!!!”

Bugger. I scrambled to get the radio I’d wired into my mixer earlier on at the right gain just as Big Ben’s chimes started. The dance floor looked confused as the ‘dung’ sounded atop the bass line of ‘Don’t Cha’

I ignored them racing to cue up ‘Auld Lang’ as they all realised it was midnight. Screams of joy and party poppers firing as I managed to hit play. Thankfully my version of Auld Lang has Big Ben at the start so it blended perfectly with Radio 4’s live Big Ben.

If anything it worked better. NYE is always an anti-climax so forgetting the countdown and plunging straight in with the chimes seemed to get everyone into a genuine frenzy rather than the normal halfhearted cheer.

My first track of 2007? Donna Summer: I Feel Love. It’s long intro also blending nicely and filling the dance floor more than Auld Lang.

Happy New Year gang!