So Duran Duran are to play "The Best of British" Olympic opening concert. Who's excited!? Nobody but me, it seems, other faithful Duranies and Simon Le Bon's accountant. Not even the thought of lovely Paolo Nutini perks anyone up. That delightful Scottish boy who always turns up on my BBC3 red button festival coverage staggering about amidst propelled glasses of warm urine, singing his song "HRRRRRRRRNK SCOOOBY-HRRBGH!". I love that one. What about Stereophonics and Snow Patrol? No? There's no pleasing some people.
Regardless, I'm staying chipper. Having lived for the past six years within 800 yards of the Olympic stadium, or the building site which grew into it, I'm skilful at deflecting Olympic knockers. By "knockers", I mean "moaners", although in fairness I'd not be entirely shocked if Lord Coe called me within the next 80 days demanding I paint a Team GB Pride Lion onto one of my actual knockers, then stood topless in my front garden waving at tourists eating a McDonald's, like a titty Olympic burger mermaid.
In east London, we gave up a lot of freedom, land and civil liberty for the payback of cleaner streets, better shopping centres and more hipster cafes to buy a flat white, and in the main we're content, although morally we're somewhat adrift. I would have got more worked up about the surface-to-air missiles being placed on tower blocks near my house, but I was probably in Cos in shiny new Westfield Stratford City trying on frocks.
Lord Coe seems to get whatever his heart desires right now, which is possibly why this "Best of British" gig sounds like it could be called "Seb's Saturday Night funkytimes iPod Shuffle". Just the kind of cool, laid-back tunes Seb, Sam 'n' Dave, and George chillax to at an informal kitchen supper.
No female vocalists, God, no, not that bloody Adele woman with her terrible quacking on about women's pains and turning up at her ex-bloke's house uninvited, well she couldn't stay away, she couldn't fight it. I mean really, this is the sort of blatant disrespect for the sanctity of a committed couple that Sir Paul Coleridge is reviled by. Be gone, Adele, with your big hair! And no to you, too, Kate Bush. We'll have none of your "It's Cloudbusting daddy" carry on around the Olympics, thank you. Only blue sky thinking.
I'm guessing Seb's funky iPod shuffle wouldn't contain any of those pesky rappers either with their frankly confusing heritages and their sadly unpatriotic messages. Not today "Fizzy Rascal", you and that Plan B chap can just pipe down and stop frightening Samantha. The aggravating truth, I fear, about Olympic niggles – the music choices, ticket allocation, security, diplomacy – is that if one was given the God-like powers personally, one would make just as many cack-handed and self-serving decisions.
By now, drunk on power, I'd have caused an international incident by telling the Saudi team to naff off over their unwillingness to let women compete, I would have booked Adam Ant to play the both sides of his 1981 album Prince Charming, green-lit the Brazilian male swimming squad to stay at my house (in my bedroom), and booked Duran Duran to play even longer. After all, I used to sit in my living room aged 11 and weep at the veritable beauty of Simon Le Bon in his wrinkle-sleeved blazer, clinging to the front of a yacht. "The fact I will never marry him makes me so sad," I remember telling my mother, who promptly called Dr Dias, the family GP, for an appointment to have my head tested.
In the midst of yesterday's Twitchfork storm I entitled "This 'ere Olympics concert line up is well shit", I threw open the question "Who should we book?" and the responses made me grieve for Britain's sanity. Napalm Death, Black Sabbath, Bananarama, The Reynolds Girls, The Wurzels and the entire crew from Halifax Building Society FM were some of the more considered answers. We should be grateful Seb and the cronies let us have The Stereophonics. I've met the Man in the Street and his music taste is bloody awful.
There's an art to being this annoying
"Like my art, my name change annoys people," said Spartacus Chetwynd. "The moment it stops annoying people, I will rename myself again." Spartacus (formerly known as Lali) Chetwynd has been nominated for this year's Turner Prize. The mere existence of the Turner with its revolving door of spiky souls willing to create "annoying art" to prod, provoke and infuriate makes my heart soar.
I get a sharp kick out of artists, such like Chetwynd and her fellow nominees Luke Fowler, Elizabeth Price and Paul Noble, purely from their dogged determination to grab fanciful brainfarts and build them. Human beings are excellent. The vast majority of us let fanciful, silly notions blow right through our minds, in one ear, out the next. The remainder, if we did try to make art from it, would be thwarted by naysayers, finance, the sacrifice of time and friendships, and worse than all of this, that small destructive inner voice that says: "What on earth are you thinking, this makes no sense at all?" A tiny, minuscule number finish the job, win a Turner nomination and enrage millions merely by existing. More power to their annoying elbows.
Today's kids didn't invent sex, you know
First William "Cockroach" Roache's (Ken Barlow) revelation that he'd slept with 1,000 women and now DJ, national treasure and sexual tornado Tony Blackburn chips in with a, frankly lazy by comparison, 500 notches on his bedpost.
I'm enjoying the old guard coming clean (while staying slightly, deliciously grubby) about bygone sexual promiscuity. If you turned on last Thursday's Question Time and heard MPs chuntering over contraceptive pill dispensation, you'd think today's vile kids invented wild, irresponsible, pleasure-only bunk-ups.
Next I want to hear some of the old guard being honest about their average weekend 1960s drug-taking tally. That's one Big Conversation I'd love to earwig on.Reuse content