Sky News made a seagull eat my chips

SO, with the date of the most important referendum any of us will have endured for the past 6 months only a couple of hours away, the media has been in overdrive about it. It’s rather like my house and CDs. YOu can’t turn hour head without either an opinion on Brexit (I absulutely hate the phrase) or someone spouting why my little tick on a piece of paper would CHANGE the face OF THE WORLD.

Anyway, enough about that, and about what was my most memorable part of this whole election debarcle. I just happened to be at work, after dragging myself from my man-flu laden pit, and glanced at one of the tellies that constantly show Sky News (except for that brief period where England had an afternoon game, and they were switched over to the footy), and noticed something familiar. Kay ” As Coarse As Sandpaper Undies” Burley.

Well, yes, she’s familar. But it was the background that caught my attention, and the fact it said “Hartlepool”, in the top right corner sort-of gave it away. Yes, Sky News had invaded my little home town. And, not only that, they were on the Marina about 10 minutes away from where I worked.

I headed off in the general direction of where they were broadcasting from, and a big old satellite truck gave their exact location away. Of course, the first stop off would be some dinner, and off I popped to get some chips. Bloody hell. £2 Two English Pounds. Apparently, this was a temporary price rise due to the price of potatoes going up. Oddly, I hadn’t seen anywhere else putting their prices up, but never mind. I got a portion of chips, and slowly walked around wh were the camera crew were.

I make no screts about me having an interest in television, and I love to take a good old photo of a telly camera whenever possible, and today was no exception. Unafortunately, I couldn’t get *really* close as they were broadcasting from a pontoon behind a 6 foot gate.

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In order to document the whole experience in digital form (a.k.a. take that photo), I had to put my chips down. That’s when an enterprising little twat known as Steven Seagull grabbed the bloody tray of chips from me, drag it just enough distance to save them from being hygenically rescued, and began to tear the tray open in front of my eyes.

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Yeah, thanks Sky News. You cost me my dinner.

(In case you’re wondering, yes, I did deflatedly pick the mangled tray/fork up and put it in a bin. I can’t stand litter.)

My record collection is complete

I know some of you are itching to find out what happened on Day 2 of the Amsterdam trip. Yeah, well, that’ll have to wait for a little bit, because I’ve just had a moment that is so heart-stoppingly brilliant that I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I now have every record I want, with the exception of songs that I don’t know the name of, but then, they’re going to be pretty hard to find if I don’t know what they are!

Anyway, this is the vinyl varmint that has been on my wanted list since as long as I can remember…

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It’s the theme to very short-lived gameshow Interceptor. Though you could possibly work that out by the look of the cover. And I now own a copy. Let me take you back, to the very beginning. 1989 to be precise.

Channel 4’s long running gameshow “Treasure Hunt” has been axed, and Chatsworth Television had a similar, but more exciting gameshow. Technology had come a long way since the days of Treasure Hunt, where “Sky-runner” Anneka Rice would run around, solving clues, with the help of a helicopter, and two contestants in the studio, guiding her around a course, sometimes thousands of miles away. Obviously, the only communications they had was via radio, and Anneka’s live scenes were recorded by two blokes, Graham and Frankie. One of them would carry a camera, and the other would carry a huge “portable” U-Matic tape machine on his chest.

Anneka Rice had gone off to pop a sprog, and was replaced by Annabel Croft for the final series.

Treasure Hunt was a fun program (which also had a theme composed by Zack Laurence. It’s called “Peak Performance” if you really want to dig around for it. It’s commercially available.

So, as I was saying. Treasure hunt had came to an end. The two helicopters used to film Treasure Hunt, were redeployed for Interceptor.

This show was a little more complicated than TH. Let’s see if I can explain it without rushing off to Wiki.

Annabel Croft was re-used for this show. She was the presenter, and also the “middle-man”. The show has two contestants. Each with a backpack. One has the prize money in it (£1,000), and the other is empty. The two players get dropped in a helicopter in random parts of the countryside. Once this is complete, a 40-minute timer starts. They have to explain to Annabel where they are. Once Annabel finds where they are on a map, a waypoint lights up. This is the location of the key to the other person’s box. They have to find each other’s key, then meet up and touch hands to stop the clock.

Oh, but there’s a twist. “The Interceptor”. And it was a brilliant twist. Hats off to the guy to thought of this one. One the back of each person’s backpack is a series of infra-red receptors. The Interceptor has his own helicopter, and can fire an infra-red beam to the receptors, and this will lock the box permanently. Obviously, the Interceptor wasn’t just confined to a helicopter, he had access to a car, motorbike, and even a horse. I can’t remember if that was actually used, but it was in the opening credits.

The whole point was that the Interceptor, played by Sean O’Kane, was a villain. A bloody brilliant pantomime villain. There were some moments where he would see the contestants from the helicopter, and then sneak up on them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy for the contestants to hide, as they’d have a bloke with a 1989-style TV camera following them.

It worked. It really worked. Everything worked, but just like everything good from the 1980s, it was shit-canned faster than you can say “IIIIIII LIKE IT!” . 8 episodes were produced.

So, enough of the warble that you could have easily looked up on Wikipedia, why this particular theme? Why did “I Like It”? (By the way, that’s the Interceptor’s catchphrase). Hard for me to say. I just do. Many, many years ago, I found that the theme had been released as a single. I’m thinking about 1998 here. Sime time later, I found an MP3 of it, both the A side and the B side. Unfortunately, it had been recorded in pretty low quality. It was still listenable, but hell, I’ll get the 7″. And so the search began

It can’t be that difficult. The bloke who ran “Interceptor’s Lair” has a copy, because that’s where I downloaded it from. Must be millions out there.

Well.

No, is the simple answer to that. People who know me know I love my records. People who know me actually despise the fact that I love my records, because if they’re out anywhere with me, I drag them around every record shop, every market stall, every second hand shop I can find Every place that is likely to sell records, I’m in there.

Naturally, I’ve been looking for other things too, hence the fact my record collection’s just got too big to manage. But deep down, in my gut, I knew that “rock Revolution wasn’t part of the collection. I trawled eBay. Two copies turned up for ridiculous amounts of money. And I mean ridiculous. I think one of them was £22. I have a screenshot somewhere.

So, today, then, and the fateful moment that allowed me to complete the collection.

Jamie S had rang me yesterday. He’d been working away, and was back home this morning, and wanted to know if I fancied doing something. My reply of “Do members of the ursidae line of mammals defecate in large wooded areas?” confirmed that I was freer than the afore mentioned ursine after a dose of curried prunes.

He had an errand to run, in Sunderland. Now, this is where I think fate kicked in. Does fate exist? I don’t know. Maybe this was just an extremely lucky course of events, but hey. There’s got to be some order to all of this.

We arrived in Sunderland, and proceeded to walk down Charity Shop Alley. It’s a row of shops with about eight charity shops in them. Jamie cracked a joke about something, and I said “For that, I’m going to have a look in this charity shop”. We laughed, and he continued walking. He wanted to find the place where this errand must be carried out. About 10 minutes later, he rang me and we met back at the train station. The call ended with “I’ve found something you might like”. Cor. My interest was piqued. He’d found a record shop that had just opened. It was a record / music / coffee shop type place.

I walked past, and looked through the window. There didn’t seem to be much in there. A row of records, a drum kit, some chairs, nothing substantial. I said I’d have a look in, but I’d probably end up in “That’s Entertainment”. It’s a chain of record shops that sell CDs, often hard to find ones, but for pennies. They often have 49p CDs, without cases, which are entirely random. I assume they’re rejects from proper CDs that had damaged cases, etc. You know this anyway, if you follow my music collection.

We went to McDonalds first. There was still some time to kill. Food was devoured, and Jamie was going to head off to Errandsborough, and I was going to go to That’s Entertainment. I was stopped in my tracks by the fact that “That’s Entertainment” had now closed. Gah! I think I know why they keep disappearing and reappearing, but this would be wild speculation.

Oh well, I thought I’d give that new record shop a go anyway. The stock consisted of stuff that looked like it came from a charity shop. 30p stickers, overridden by a £1.00 sticker on the other side. Never mind. I’d have a dig through. There were a couple of 12″ singles that sparked by interest, but for £1 each, I’d leave them there for now. I looked around and found a few boxes of 7″ singles.

I had an odd feeling. There would be something in there. The records just seemed the right era. There was a hand-written poem by someone on one record, which they clearly liked… “If this record attempts to roam, smack its bum and send it home”. I was tempted to buy it just because it made me smile, but it went back in the rack.

Jamie rang me shortly after, asking where I was. He didn’t see me in that record shop, probably because I was kneeled down. I explained about this, and come and entered the shop. He can’t have been in there more than 30 seconds when I pulled this out. This elusive, round, piece of black plastic that has chased me round the internet for nigh on two decades. My search was over.

I can’t possibly convey in a way that is meaningful what happened next, and I don’t expect anyone that doesn’t collect stuff to even know what this feels like. It’s like blood drained from my entire body for a split second, then rose back up. If Jamie had happened to have his phone recording, it’d went viral. It’s like a quest had ended.

It was an odd feeling. After finding the “Fourscore” record a couple of weeks ago, this was by last holy grail. The last piece of plastic that was never released on CD, and never available other than the original release. Even Darryl Way’s “Little Plum” proved much less elusive than this.

It was a feeling like “wow, I never have to go into a charity shop again. I never have to put my back out, trawling through dusty, mislabelled boxes, asking awkwardly how much the singles were.

I’ll never be on the lookout for that black, white and yellow cover. I have it now. It’s mine. I’m going to stick it in a safe deposit box in Hatton Gardens…. Maybe not.

I’ve naturally played it, and it’s noisy. Especially the B side. But I don’t care. It’s the charm of collecting records. Someone has played it before me. Played it many times. Maybe left it out of the cover for a bit. It’s had a home. Lost that home, and found a permanent one here. I’ve spent several hours typing this now, and I still glance to my left, there it is, “Rock Revolution”. I can’t believe it’s actually here.

God, I need a shag.

Finally found a clip of “Okavango”

I’ve whittered on about this a good few times, and you’ll know this if you’re a regular viewer, but there was an entirely forgettable show on The Disney Channel called “Okavango”. It aired in the mid nineties, and it disappeared without trace. No other channel over here showed it, as far as I’m aware. This led me, until a few moments ago, to believe it was a Disney production. Turns out it wasn’t. It was produced by “Gibraltar Entertainment”.

Anyway, the show itself is forgettable. It’s about a family that move from somewhere in Suburbia to, I assume, the Okavango Delta. I cared not for its plot, but what I did like was the theme music. Again, I’ve mentioned at least three times that I managed to source the MP3, and it was the first MP3 I ever purchased. Its name is “Invent Yourself”, by Julian Laxton

Because of copyright and all that jazz, I obviously couldn’t put the MP3 on here, so I’ve been searching the interwebs (or rather Youtube) for a clean copy of the theme I can link to, and as if by magic… here’s not only the theme, but a complete episode!

EDIT FEB 2016: Oh, you know what? It’s gone off Youtube now. Can’t seem to find another video either. Bah.

Before you rush to press play, I must warn you it’s in Russian. Incredibly badly dubbed Russian at that. But, if you can put up with some Russian bloke reading out the on-screen text, then you can appreciate this awesome theme. Skip to the end of the video (23:40) if you just want to hear the music. Note how there’s no credits for the music composer. Shame on you, Gibraltar Films or whatever you’re called.

I’ve got Eurosong fever, Ted…

Ahhh, yes. It’s the only Saturday night of the year I look forward to. It’s Eurovision night. the only night of the year where I can quite happily enjoy 20-odd songs of questionable garbage. And, as is tradition, I shall comment on here regarding my findings. So this post will look bare right now, but it will fill up as the night goes on, from when it all kicks off at 8. BRING ON THE CRAP!

Well, before it’s started, Status Quo have just been on the lottery. I’ve always had a soft spot for The Quo, and this isn’t bad. I’m not going to be running all the way to Amazon to buy it, but it if came on the radio, I wouldn’t turn it off. Though, chances of it actually being played on the radio are rather slim.

20:02: Oh dear. It’s a Eurovision butterfly.

20:05: Yeah, so they’re going through the buildup. They’re singing the new European anthem. Or something. It’s done by Avici and one of the blokes out of Abba.

20:14 – FRANCE

She really need to brush her hair. Song slightly reminds me of Black Velvet. I can’t remember the name of the song.

20:18 – LITHUANIA (Something)

That’s the song name. I missed part of the song while I went to get the laptop, but it was average.

20:29 Oh oh, oh oh a-ding-dong. I missed most of the last few minutes, I’ve just got my MP3 player to work properly.

20:31 – SPAIN (ESDM)

A song that stoarts off with bagpipes will either go one way or the other. It went the good way. I really liked that.

20:36 – BELGIUM

Poor guy looks like a young Chris De Burgh.

20:39 – ESTONIA

Oh, here we are, shitty, slow ballad that’ll probably do really well, even though it doesn’t deserve to. And dry ice.

20:43 – BELARUS

I’m sure this is on one of Shakira’s CDs. I like it. Except she appears to go Brummie… “When the sun is always shining on YAAAOW”. I missed the end of this song due to the fact iplayer crapped out.

09: MALTA

I realise it probably makes more sense to but the track number than the time.

10: RUSSIA (DINA GARIPOVA – WHAT IF)

I missed most of this, as I have broken the seal. didn’t seem to impressive

11: GERMANY

This wouldn’t sound out of place in a club somewhere. Come on, where are the daft songs? We’re up to number 11, and I haven’t cringed once.

12: ARMENIA

Composed by one of those blokes out of Black Sabbath. Hmm. Those flame effects are a bit yellow. they want to check for carbon monoxide right about there.

13: NETHERLANDS

Well, there was a brief pause there for a “comedy” film, and back to the songs. this is the worst one I’ve heard so far, which means, it’ll probably do really well. Slow, very little melody, and singer isn’t much of a looker. NEXT! Wow we’re half way through ,and I haven’t got bored of doing this yet. Hope you’re staying tuned.

14: ROMAINIA

Ah, here we go, the daft songs! Some bloke singing like an opera singer. I have no idea what he’s singing about.

15: GREAT BRITAIN

Here we go! I don’t know why they keep recycling old singers. Sponglebert Jumpydink last year, this year Bonnie Tyler. It’s the first time I’ve heard it, and so far it’s actually rather pedestrian. Where are the gimmicks? We wouldn’t have won in 1981 if it wasn’t for the miniskirts. We wouldn’t have won in 1997 if the singer wasn’t Canadian. It’s not great. but I do love Bonnie Tyler.

16: SWEDEN (ROBIN STJERNBERG – YOU

I usually have a soft spot for Sweden’s entries. One of my favourite songs is “Invincible / Evighet” by Carola. Unfortunately, this doesn’t meet up to the same standard as that.

17: HUNGARY

Yeah, I’m not always watching the screen, so to answer a question, that’s why I’m only putting certain track names in. the guy has glasses like I had when I was 8.

18: DENMARK

Apparently, this is the favourite to win it. Same with bagpipes. songles with penny whistles in them can go one way or another. I can see why this is the favourite, as I’m really, really liking it. Golden confetti really fucks with the iplayer stream.

19. ICELAND

Not bad, though the singer looks like the love child of Rick Wakeman, and Rod out of Rod, Jane & Freddy.

20 AZEJ…. AZJERBI…. ABERJI…. BORAT

Bloke in a box. Instant flashbacks of Peter Griffin cocking his leg and farting. What happens if there’s a fire and he needs to get out there? Now they’re filling the box with rose petals! Let’s hope the guy doesn’t have hay fever.

21: GREECE

A track called “Alcohol is Free”. and YES! This is the type of shit I was this for. Mad as a yard of mince. Douse Points!

22: UKRAINE

Singer carried on my 7′ 8″ bloke with size 24 feet. Big feet, big socks. I bet he can’t walk into Primani and get a back of five near the counter. Song forgettable.

23: ITALY

this was at number one for 8 weeks in Italy. I’d love to check the records and see when the last time we had a Eurovision song at number one BEFORE the contest. I’ll bet it’s a while ago. Music in Italy must be non-existant if this sold well. I don’t like it at all.

Is there a break soon? I need a wee.

24: NORWAY

Graham Norton’s just given his first warning about strobe effects. Now, so far before every song that uses them, it warns you with a big banner across the screen. Surely, if he’s giving the warning audibly, the only people who are listening, are those who can’t actually see, negating the need to audibly announce the strobing effects.

I’ve not actually listened to the song. I’m still trying to work the warning.

25: GEORGIA

It’s like a modern version of “Save Your Love”. One more song and then I can get a packet of Monster Munch and a piss. Not at the same time, might I add.

26: IRELAND

Normally they have good songs. Heavy percussion is a bonus, so I like the backing track but the song itself really isn’t amazeballs.

SONG’S FINISHED. To the toilet!

22:39
Right, here we go. Results time. 39 results to go.

22:49
29 results to go, and we’re second last, with one point. We need to pull out of this shit.

And, it was around that part of the night I gave up. We’d lost horribly, and I had some other things to play with, so I went off with those. We didn’t finish last. I think we were about 5th last. Can’t remember, don’t particularly care. Still, it was an enjoyable mess of songs. Some catchy, some complete dross, and some I’m actually considering buying. All in all, it’s been just like every other Eurovision. Except, it’s just not the same since Terry stopped doing it…

Sky Sports F1 theme

Look, I’m not back, I just thought I’d post about something I know about. It’s TV theme related, therefore, falls in my mental durastiction (or however it’s spelled) on adding a post on here. It’s too long to mention on facebook, and Twitter would laugh at me if I even attempted anything as lengthy.

The Sky Sports F1 theme is a slightly re-recorded version of “Just Drive” by Alistair Griffin. The original version was available for free on his website after it was used on the closing montage of BBC’s coverage of the 2010 season. the Sky version apparently has a new backing track, and a line re-recorded.. the line “Take it to the edge where I would die a thousand times” replaces dying with living. I’ve not heard it fully, as the first race was 5AM, and I had only half woke up when they played it.

For reference, everybody knows that BBC used “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac, from their timeless album “Rumours”. ITV, in their short, and disastrous hold of the terrestrial license used “Lift me up” by Moby (alongside Rocket, by Def Leppard for the sponsor advert breaks). I can go back to lurking now.