The humble art of the mixtape…

I’m sure that calling it a “mixtape” is some type of American colloquialism, therefore I feel slightly dirty using it on my blog, but sod it, that’s what I’m going to call it. Those of you around my age will remember these, and the joy they used to bring you.

You give a friend a C90, it returns several days later, filled with questionable music. It was like the Napster of the Nineties. Or the eMule of the Eighties. And possibly the WinMX of the Sev… wait, that one doesn’t really work.

Andy the Iridium Fan is someone who still embraces the analogue era, and likes nothing more than to slap on his walkman, and ride around the streets of Hartlepool listening to his compilations of C120s, entitled “Music for the Weekend”.

You may know that I’m currently borrowing it a tape recorder of his, in the vain hope of getting the majority of my decaying tapes onto some type of digital media. This is a job not for the faint hearted. In payback for the loan of the tape deck, he thrust a C120 tape into my hand and DEMANDED I fill it with shit. OK, a little bit of artistic license there, I just had to fill it. Now, for obvious reasons, such as I don’t particularly want to be sued, I can’t divulge the contents of the afore-mentioned tape (Dear Lawyers, for all you know, it’s actually 120 minutes of me gargling in the bath), but choosing the tracks to go on there was extremely difficult.

I started the tape about 6 weeks ago, and only finished it two days ago. What was odd, is the complicated procedure that some of the songs…. no, sorry, sounds of me gargling in the bath, went through… it would have started life on record, recorded via USB turntable, compressed to MP3, written to CDR, played on CD player, recorded onto tape…. in fact, this tape…

It did drive one thing home, how much I missed the whole “mixtape” idea. With archives of entire music catalogues at our disposal at the click of a mouse, it seems that a once fine art is dying out, replaced with faceless playlists, on third-party websites. I still have tapes recorded for me by Chad, and I’m sure I’ve blogged about them in the past. As much as I hate to say it, these were my greatest influence when it comes to music I listen to 20 years later. In 2nd place, are the tapes Daddykins used to get from the petrol station. In fact, I’m listening to “No Regrets” by The Walker Brothers, which I first heard on one of those tapes.

And, for those of you of a nosey disposition, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look of me taking the above photo, courtesy of ATIF…

Resting my camera on a mug half-full of tea. Quinticenstally British. For those who have been following, I named my tape “Music For the Weak End 1”. I have no idea if there’ll be a followup.

Does anyone know this song?

I don’t do this often, but I have another “unknown” song I’d like someone to name. This one’s different as I have the ENTIRE song, but have no idea what it’s called, or who it’s by.

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I really don’t know much about this song, though I did actually buy it, or at least the magazine it was given away on. It came part of a free tape on the front of a music magazine from around 1989, possibly 1990. I can tell you I bought it from King Oswy shops, the original tape was black, and came in a slipcase. It may have featured “Inner City Mama” by Nenah Cherry on the tape too.

Not that it helps much.

Unfortunately, the original tape came from a manufacturer who made tapes that didn’t agree with my tape deck, and it probably got chewed up and binned. I certainly don’t have it anymore.

With the borrowment of Andrew’s cassette deck, I’ve been able to source one of my old C90s which had a copy of this song on it. Unfortunately, it was copied in high-speed mode, meaning the above track sounds tinny as hell. Just for old times sake, I’d like to know who it is and who by. Don’t bother googling the “lyrics”. “Blip Blipiddy Blop Bleep” doesn’t bring up any usefull results.

Feel free to comment / email. If it sounds familar, that’s great, but unless you’ve got a *really* good idea of who it is, then don’t! Also ,comments about my questionable taste in music, then, you know that already.

Hartlepool Dockfest 2009, Day 1.

So, going by my many postings there, you can hazard a guess that day 1 of the Hartlepool Dockfest is now complete. Time to write up a review, and post pictures wherever necessary.

I headed off to the Marina, slightly annoyed at losing one of the rubber earbuds for my phone’s headpiece. That wasn’t a good start to the day. It meant that on my strut from Mercuryvapour Towers, to the afore-mentioned Marina was spent only half-listening to the music. The other half was spent trying to keep the earpiece in without having my head tilted to one side. Grrr.

Eventually, I arrived, and had planned to meet Andrew there. I phoned his mobile to see where he was.

I rang…

“It’s me, where are you at?”

I got some crypic reply back, along the lines of “If you’re calling for my brother, he’s out”.

Eh?

Eventually, the call fizzled out. I must have been in a position where he couldn’t understand me, or didn’t think it was me. I moved location and rang back…

“It’s Jamie, I know you’re out, you asked me to ring you when… oh.”

It had currently dawned on me that instead of ringing Andrew’s mobile, I’d rang his house phone. It was indeed his brother that answered, who must sound very similar to him on the phone, which means that Andrew’s brother’s brother was indeed out, and awaiting a call on his mobile instead of the house phone, as he was not in, as described in the initial call answered by Andrew’s brother’s brother’s brother. If you see what I mean.

So, I eventually get in contact with Andrew, and we meet up at the Wingfield Castle. He had his camcorder, needless to say, I took my camera.

The first “treat” of the day was the “Community Cavalcade” Now, I didn’t really know what to expect from this. Turns out, I should have expected very little. Best way to describe it was a town-wide school play, with kids singing in between. Of course, I didn’t realise this, and thought it was the opening ceremony. WROOOONG.

I could have cried. We started queuing at 11:30, didn’t get in there until 12:21. For the 51 minutes, we were in the blazing sunshine. My sunburn is back with a vengence. I wish I’d actually read what it is we were queuing up to watch.

I only took interest in part of it, and that part was when the music CD malfunctioned.

Despite the relaxing shade of the large entertainment tent, we abandoned the “cavalcade”, and by chance happened tofind one piece of “street entertainment” from a guy called Turbo Jonez. As you can guess by my “heartening” description of the cavalcade, it should now be clear that I don’t have a cynical bone in my body, in the same way that I don’t have a sarcastic one.

OK, I’m sarcastic and cynical, but when I say that this guy was one of the best street acts I’ve ever seen in my numerous years visiting these “maritime festivals”, I really mean it…

It takes a lot for me to laugh at stuff like that, but this guy was awesome. After his show had finished, I even went up and shook his hand, and had a quick discussion about the records and equipment used in his act. An all round nice guy.

There was a performance immediately after, next to the Wingfield Castle, about punishment in the middle ages…

I think there’s one of those every week. At this point, one of Andrew’s camera batteries had died, so he headed off to a top-secret location to put the battery on charge. While he did that, I took some photoes of the Thundercats…

OK, I could have said speedboat, but I didn’t.

We walked back in the general direction of the tents, and happened to stumble across the “FoodFest” tent.

As well as containing an oven, this place also behaved like an oven. I was dismayed to find that the recipe he was cooking contained smoked fish. Ugh. Oddly, I stayed in my seat, without running out of the place like a screaming girl. Turns out all of the savoury dishes being prepared over the weekend actually contain fish.

The guy running the workshop also had to teach this recipe to a bunch of children at the same time, something which he CLEARLY had never had any experience with.

COnsider the following paragraph as “Citation needed”, as I can’t remember the exact order of events, but one of the little kiddywinks, asks if the thing he is cooking it on is “hot”. The chef replies “Yes, that’s why it says ‘Caution Hot Surface’, pointing to a sign laid flat on the table in front of the hotplates. Slight issue with that, is that the child was too small to see any sign laid flat on the table, or understand the words, and was only asking the question because the chef turned over something in the pan with his fingers. Oh, man. I hope Andrew got it on tape, but I doubt he did, so I may have made the entire last paragraph up.

We walked out of the cookery class, and decided that refreshments were in order. I ended up paying £1 for a bottle of water, followed by £2.50 for a tray of curry and chips.

We then watched a juggler with the worst sound system known to man, and then decided to head off to Navigation Point. This was to be my place of departure, as I wanted to go home for a bit or a rest before the music section started good and proper.

Daddykins picked me up, and I did certain tasks as take plenty of fluid on board, and examine my fucking sunburn in greater detail. Why is it, now, that when I was a kid, I could be out in the sun all hours of the day (well, yes, up until 6PM, Chad.), yet these days, my skin incinerates the second a bit of sun hits it? If that’s not evidence of a depleting ozone layer, I don’t know what is, or we may have just had shit summers in my childhood.

OK, back on topic.

I had arranged to meet Andrew again after I’d returned. By this time the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Cloud had spilled in from all directions, and by complete coincidence, Daddykins was heading off to the Marina by means of a taxi. I asked if I could jump in too. He answered affirmatively, and I’m glad he did, as the heavens opened whilst on the way there.

I got dropped off, and attempted to reach Andrew via the mobile airwaves. His phone was switched off. Bugger. Oh well, I was on my own for the night. No matter, but it would have been nice to not look like a Billy-no-mates all night.

The first couple of bands came on, and they were both… erm, “not my scene”, despite the fact I’d made my way to the front of the audience area, and now only had a 4-fit railing between me and whowever was performing. It was then, I came across a fear of dread, or maybe it was dehydration. I’d realised that if I was at the front, I’d be there for the long term. One of the bands finished, and the crowd dispersed slightly. I had to do it. I had to head to the bar. There were several reasons I was putting it off. Mainly the price. A “pint” of lager for £3.50

Of course, the reason why they charge through the nose for your beer, despite the fact you’ve been queuing up for 25 minutes before eventually receiving a plastic glass full of luke-warm piss, is that you’re receiving top-notch entertainment for nothing. If you’re thirsty, pay for it, like the freeloading whore that you are.

After queuing for 25 minutes before eventually receiving a plastic glass full of luke-warm piss, I head back to the front of the stage. Phew. There was still a little space. At this point, Andrew texted me saying that he also returned home for a bit, and will be there shortly.

He turned up in time to see the John Power Band. Now, I’d personally never heard of them. For some reason, I was expecting some type of large brass band number, thinking it would be a bit odd to but them on before the Lightining Seeds. Turns out, they weren’t. In fact they were another normal band. SOmething, somewhere mentioned that he was the lead singer out of “Cast”. My word, that was blast from the past, in a way.

It started off with several new tracks, or songs that were John Power Band only. Although enjoyable, it wasn’t something I was familiar with, or could enjoy, despite certain members of the female audience attempting to force themselves next to my perfectly reserved spot. Note to females, should you attempt to push your 4’10” frame into a space occupied by a 5’x” fat c*nt, you’re not going to succeed. It is likely that person will class it as the biggest sexual encounter he’s had for several months.

Something awesome happened during this. John Power announced that he was going to play some of his old stuff for the first time in years. Yes, all of the old Cast hits came out, including “Walkaway”… a song that is hard for me to explain. It’s one if the songs that made sense while I was going through puberty, but for no explicable reason, took no notice of it after that period.

I still knew every word, sang at the top of my voice, and for a short time, after the song finished, stood there shaking, as if some type of chemical bubble had burst in my brain… I’d never expected that I’d be singing that song, mere feet away from the person who brought it into my life in the first place.

Next up were The Lightning Seeds. Had my life been reaching up to this beautiful climax? You may remember my (clearly drunken) analysis of the song in 2004. I couldn’t imagine how good it would sound live.

Apparently, Hartlepool was their first gig for 10 years. They must have read my blog, and made sure they played on one of the nights I was off work. Thanks guys. Unfortunately, you might want to stop reading here…

… I thought it was, on the whole, awful. They really sounded like a band who had not practised together for 10 years, never mind just played a gig together

Technical difficulties marred everything they did, from squealing feedback, to whole guitars cutting out for no apparent reason, to the point where Ian Broudie closed his eyes and just realised that nothing was going his way. Many vocals were out of key.

If it really WAS ten years since the band last played together at a gig, I’m sure that the last thing they’d want to hear is constant chants of “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, football’s coming home” every time there’s a break between songs. Unfortunately, that particular fact wasn’t relayed to the audience by the “Real Radio” DJ who encouraged the audience to “ask” them for the song.

After several poor efforts by The “Seeds” to get audience participation, the finale was about to come. “The Life of Riley” was first. Unfortunately, this caused a crowd surge that caused anyone in the very front row (i.e. me) to be bounced around like a turd in one of those choppy up things for when you don’t have a real sewer line thing…

The finale, an all acoustic version of “Three Lions”, went down an absolute storm. As the crowd dispersed, the chant of “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, football’s coming home” grew ever more quieter. It’s one of those odd moments, like when the band James used to close their gigs to the chorus of “Sit Down”.

Unfortunately, after getting the front row, I realised (long after it was possible to make any difference) I have been included in many, many photos. Some I posed for, some I didn’t. No doubt I’ll be in the mail again. Whooppee…

It’s finally, finally happened.

Since I started attending flea markets and car boot sales back in about 1993, when my Aunt Rose took me down one Wednesday morning, I have been after owning one object. It has, as far as I know, never been there. Everything else has been sold, including broken smoke alarms, rubbers in potties, and more second-hand underwear than you could shake a nasty gonorrhea infection at.

This particular object is, thankfully, none of the above, it is in fact a 7″ copy of “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and The Range. Eagle-eyed flickr-ists will notice I already have one copy, but I got that from ebay. It’s easy to get them ebay. There’s no challenge, and no sense of achievement.

Yeterday, I awoke on the sofa at 8AM. It looked like a sunny day, so off I went.

Something which is very odd, is the fact that around near where I live, they’re flattening the old hospital buildings which have been there for years. Lots of years. I’ve discussed on here that I’m glad to see the back of them, as they were very cold and sinister. Not nice places to be in at all, especially when you’re a six year old getting your chest x-rayed in them… ooo, childhood flashback.

Anyway, yes. There buildings, I believe, date back to the days when treatment was more of a punishment. I have heard it used to be a mental asylum of some sort. The surrounding walls actually have broken glass bottles embedded in the concrete. I don’t know whether that was to stop people getting in, or to stop them escaping. I guess I’ll never know. Either way, these buildings have now be reduced to this.

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Anyway, I put the camera away, and headed towards the flea market, a mere short bus ride away, which cost me £1.05. Jaysus.

I had no intention of staying a while, or anything over a few minutes, if I’m honest, but it was pretty busy, and there were a good few stalls there, for once.

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However, the ones that stood out, were the ones I didn’t expect to be any good. There’s always a few stalls which appear to be full of garbage and rusty metalwork or rusty tools, which nothing worth looking at. I walked past one of these stalls, and saw some random guy flipping through some records. I had been bitterly disappointed by the CD’s on offer from one of the stalls which are normally quite good (£1 each, and I’ve bought some great ones from there in the past.), so I thought I’d take a look. That’s when I found “it”. Its yellow, creased cover, staring back at me. The title, arranged in a semi-circle, in the middle of the cover. It was all there. I was holding it in my hands. For ten whole seconds, I just laughed to myself, and thought “Heh, Cool” as I placed it back in the box along with the rest of the records I was holding.

Of course, I suddenly had a moment of clarity, and it suddenly struck me, that this was the moment I’d waited for since way back. Every single flea market, car boot sale, record fair I’d ever been to, had been all for this moment. I was about to buy “The Way It Is”. I handed my shiny pennies over (well, OK, they were 50p each, and I bought about another 6), and I walked away with a sense of satisfaction, as if to say to myself “I’ve done it. It’s all over. It’s finished”.

The day didn’t just stop there, I continued my searching for other stuff. The next stall along had an Andrew W.K’s “I Get Wet” buried amongst the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck and Pavarotti. Needless to say, I snapped that up. I’ve been after that CD for years too.

I walked around the stalls, to see that Eric has returned permanently. Eric owns one of the good stores, he used to be the one near the Corner House (or whatever it’s called now), but in his own words, he gave up for a couple of years. I did miss his stall, as he always had a good (and varied) collection of CDs. He’s back, but with a smaller CD collection. A few other things are missing too, but hopefully he’s going to be there for a few more years to come. He had a sealed copy of Sandi Thom’s CD (oh, I wish I was a punk rocker, etc) for £2, so I bought that. I’ve not listened to it yet, as I’ve got the Andrew W.K. CD on repeat. His album is only 35 minutes long, but every track is a winner. The longest track is 3:33 in length.

Overall, a fantastic day music-wise.

The last day in Berlin…

Judging by the lack of comments on the last few posts, I guess that by this point, I’ve completely bored you all to death with my ramblings of travelling to a far-flung land. Normal service will be resumed my the end of this post. You’ll all be reading again about how much I hate work, how much I like streetlights, how much curry I’ve eaten, and how much of it flies out of my bowels at a shocking rate of knots. I bet you can’t wait. In fact, I’ll even try to cover all of them in this post.

So, anyway, it was a sunday. I awoke to see the worst weather in the whole of my time there. The building site across the road from the hotel was one big puddle. It wasn’t a nice day. Now, you’ll remember my 72-hour ticket? Well, it was used up…. and there was no point getting a travel ticket for just one day. by the time we’d got ready, the rain hadn’t let up at all… it was still lashing down.

On our way out of the door to begin the last day, Chris asked the guy behind the reception desk if they had any umbrellas. But they didn’t. The hotel was “all out of umbrellas”. I did, however, successfully manage to order a taxi, to pick us up from the hotel the following morning. Or rather, I just asked the guy behind the reception desk to do it for me.

We decided to give the outdoor cafes a miss, and instead headed off to a Starbucks nearby. I can’t see the fascination with coffee, personally, so I settled for a croissant and a bottle of water. Chris also had a croissant, and some fruit smoothie thing which just looked odd. As we weren’t going to travel around much, we decided to stay in the vacinity. The tour guide Jonathan had picked up from the hotel showed some good museums, and Chris remembered a few places he wanted to see from that very first bus trip, all of them were in the same general direction…

By the time we’d finished eating and drinking, it was getting a little bit brighter… the rain had stopped, and the place was drying out nicely. Chris wanted a closer look at this building…

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… and also to find out why it had a big V painted on the front of it. I think it was adverising some exhibition or another. Anyway, turns out it’s one of the Humboldt University buildings, therefore it was locked. And that book sale wasn’t there either. We crossed over the road, in the hope of finding something open, and while Chris and Jonathan took care of the map, I took photos…

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Unsuccessful, we crossed back over the road, and noticed a sign saying “Kunst”… First of all, I thought it was a strip club for dyslexics, but it turned out to be an arts and crafts market, though, it didn’t take me long to be in my element…

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I didn’t buy anything at this point, because there was no way they’d survive in the suitcase, and I didn’t fancy carrying LPs all the way through on hand luggage. I’d already had that Herbert Groenemeyer CD, so I was more then happy to spend only a few minutes looking through these, especially as they were expensive. Chris found joy by searching through some old print stamps… one of which he’d pay €20 for later in the day. The craft fair ended after about 20 stalls, and we followed the road round until we came to something more like a traditional flea market affair, selling CDs for cheap. €1 each. Happiness! I ended up buying the Gladiators (yes, GladiatorS) soundtrack, and a song called Highland, by Swedish band “One More Time” (Wiki), which are of no musical relation to Swedish band One 2 Many. Apparently.

Another stall sold 7″ singles, by far my audio format favourite. I picked “I promised Myself” by Nick Kamen – a song which I’d heard originally in the Hartlepool shopping centre, at about 8AM in the morning before the shops even opened. But that’s a story for another day. I also bought two others which aren’t really worth mentioning, as they were simply ro replace scratched copies of records I already had.

Either way, I bought these records, and it looked like it was about to piss down, so the next step was to find a cheap umbrella that we could all share. And, there was indeed a store that sold umbrellas. Wooo. So, for €6, we ended up with the shoddiest looking umbrella you have ever seen, with holes in to complete the job. Ironically, about 30 seconds later, the rain stopped, so it wasn’t much use anyway. We returned to the hotel, and I dropped off my musical delights.

Within seconds we were back out of the door, and heading back in the same direction from whence we came, but this time omitting the KunstMarkt, or whatever it was called, and headed over the bridge to the other side of the river. We had a quick look around the Berliner Dom, an architectually stunning building….

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The next stop was the DDR museum – a museum showing the way of life in the old East Germany, including a real-life trabant…

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Chris was more than excited at the sight of an old model kit he used to have as a kid. I also managed to get a shot of the traffic lights which are all over the city. For some reason, they’re a lot more “jolly” than the ones we have over here. The green man has a hat on, and he looks like he’s all set off for a bloody good stroll…

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Classy. By this time, it was mid afternoon so we headed back out, in the search of some “luxury” items to take back. I ended up getting a pen, a t-shirt, and some…. strange thing with little gold coins in it. It was all a terrible waste of money, but it was better than lots of useless Euros bashing about in my wallet.

It was getting on, so we returned back to the hotel, and began the tedious task of packing our belongings away. This was relatively straightforward for me… everything liquid based went in the bin. Everything else went in the case. I travelled light in all honesty, so I was finished within an hour or so. Chris and Jonathan took slightly longer, as Chris had to work out how to pack two boxes of chocolates without them getting shattered or melted.

Eventually, we were finished, and headed off out just one more time. Unfortunately, it looked like it was about to absolutely piss down….

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This was around the same time that the last of my electrical items went back in the case, so I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know that there are no more big photos to look at.

So, we wanted somewhere not too far away, under cover… Have a guess where we went. Yes, of course… the INDIAN. I just had to have one more German curry. Even Chris went for the Madras.

Before the main meal, they left these poppadom things I’ve never seen before. They weren’t just normal poppadoms, but they had some stupidly hot flavouring to them. I was in *love*. Unfortunately, I don’t know the German for “What were those hot poppadom things?” so exactly what they were will remain forever a mystery. Bugger.

The meal was consumed, and I was as happy as a pig in shit. I’d somehow survived a week where I didn’t know the food, didn’t know the language, and more importantly, I learned that there was more to a trip away than just finding the nearest Gregg’s….

The finale of the night was spent back at the Berliner Republik…. the place where we’d spent most of our mornings getting stocked up on pretzels and Currywurst. This time, we sat inside, and tried out something which wouldn’t be allowed in England… beer trading.

To put it bluntly, Beer trading means the prices of the different beers change every 6 minutes, up or down, depending on some unknwon factor.

I was down to my last few Euros, so I was taking this beer trading thing seriously, sipping my pseudo-pint slowly, until the price of the beer I was drinking changed. I watched the screen… Oooo! My preferred tipple had went down from €3.70 to €3.50… GREAT! I quickly call a waitress over (easier said than done), point at my glass, she takes a note and then disappears off to fetch the beer.

The clock slowly counts down, with no sign of the beer…

4 minutes left before the price change… then two minutes… one minute… thirty seconds… five seconds… DING! The prices change.. aaaand, my beer’s gone up to €3.90.

Seconds after the price change, out pops the waitress… surely, I’d only be charged the €3.50? No ‘king way. The receipt said €3.90. At that point, I just totally lost interest in “beer trading”, which is clearly just a rip-off. I didn’t feel like drinking anyway, as I was completely stuffed from the wonderful curry I’d eaten earlier. It was about 10:30 by this point, and we decided to move on… except everywhere else was shutting up. It was like a ghost town. The bad weather had held off, so that wasn’t to blame. It was just all very eerie and quiet.

We walked back to the hotel, crossing the River Spree one final time, and we headed into the hotel bar for one last drink of authentic German Pilsner, knowing it would be one hell of a long time before I would ever come into contact with it again. Sob.

We left the bar, and returned to our respective hotel rooms for one last time, knowing that there was a 600-mile journey back to blightly in front of us the next day… I awoke, at 4AM, with the biggest case of the shits I’ve had in years. I have no idea if it was the curry or the beer. I’ll steer clear of the details, but this went on for two hours. It did give me a chance to take some last photos out of the window. It was amazing how quiet and still everything was at 6AM in the morning.

Eventually, I got back off to sleep and awoke at 8AM, to find one of the machines on the building site completely ruined….

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Chris said there was one hell of a bang as it went over. Somehow, I slept through it.

The last of the packing was done, I double-checked, and triple checked everything, and jumped into the taxi for the journey back to the airport. The taxi driver was the most miserable bastard in the whole history of the world. The only words he spoke (with the exception of expletives and horn-sound) was “AIR BERLIN???”, as we approached the airport. Not understanding him, we all nodded politely and said “yes”, suddenly realising that Air Berlin was the name of one of the departure gates. But it was too late. The driver huffed and puffed, like I’d just taken his toys away, and eventually dropped us at the airport. The total cost was €18. I gave him 20. The bastard didn’t even give me any change.

The airport was the same rigmariole as before, only I knew what to expect, so it was even more boring. We get a drink, then check in. Our bags disappear to places unknown, and we sit around, waiting for the plane to turn up. Oh, and I bought some duty free, namely a box of Dime (I refuse to call them Daim) bars, and a 500-gram bag of Haribo cola bottles. Larvely. No alcohol, though. I was disappointed in myself.

Eventually, the plane turns up, we board, and the journey starts. I didn’t have a window seat, so I studied the on-board literature. A lot. Though, there could only be so many times I could read about fastening my seatbelt before it came tedious. Sandwhiches were passed around. they had a wonderful choice of two (count ’em! TWO!) types. Salmon and something, and Cheese and something… I passed, but did take up the opportunity of having a nice, cold refreshing can of beer. After all, it was 11AM by this point. Erm.

So, we land in Amsterdam. The weather was better than it was on the journey there. No chance of any delays THIS time. Once again, we go through the usual security checks… empty pockets, take off belt, blah de blah. Now I’d managed to get through three of these things, surely I’d be able to get through the fourth…. No.

It beeped. The whole thing lit up like a christmas tree. What the fooch?

“Step to one side, sir”… said some balding, middle aged bloke.

“Do you mind if I search you?”.

“No, of course, not”, I reply. After all, what were my alternatives? I really didn’t fancy the ol’ “rubber Glove” treatment, so I let him do his thing. Thankfully I was free to go, though I was still unaware of what made the machine squeal. Maybe the can of beer I’d drank contained a shiny penny? I will never know.

The journey from Amsterdam back to Newcastle was even more boring. Chris and Jonathan were on one side of the aisle, I was on the other. I couldn’t even see out of the window, without looking over everyone else. Shite. The only reason it’s worth mentioning is that I had another can of beer.

Upon my return back to the UK, I switched on my phone, to find that Daddykins was picking me up, and waiting in the car park, which eventually cost him £6. the final stupid expense of the trip. The A1 back home was completely blocked by an overturned lorry, which shed 18 tonnes of cable over the carriageway. This led to a detour around the suburbs of South Tyneside, and getting lost about three times.

And that, is it. The end. There is no more. Actually, there’s lots more, but I thought that after three weeks of typing this holiday up, I’ll draw the line here and now. I shall conclude by posting Youtube links to the video I made while I was there….

Day 1… http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fJRuIbhX260 (Incomplete due to a tape fault)
Day 2 part 1… http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MIbDSfEkrIg
Day 2 part 2… http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fYhQZ95Vw78
Day 2 dart 3… http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2Tg6gE1EQjo
Day 3… http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1k4ozi1bcTc

The rest of the days coming soon, including the zoo footage…

Now I can get back to talking about other stuff. Wooooo.

Saturdays in Berlin…

Yikes… it was a weekend, though it didn’t exactly feel like it. We had 24 hours of our “City Tour” ticket left, and there were still so many places left to see. This day was a relatively early start for me, with the first image being taken on the camera at 9:20 AM.

Now knowing that my wallet was running on vapours, my task for the morning was to find a working cashpoint. This was a city, so it couldn’t have been hard. Jonathan mentioned there was a cashpoint on the station a few yards away. Great! That’s that sorted. I look, and I look, and couldn’t find a thing. I did, however, find a supermarket selling the necessities (drink, but not of the alcoholic kind.. apple juice and coke). I decide to walk in a northerly direction up Friedrichstrasse, in the hope to find a cash point. I fail miserably, on my first visit. On my way back down to the hotel, I notice some woman walking into a glass fronted building. I have no idea what it was, but it looked like it might have been a bank.

I had nothing to lose by following her. I walk into the building and fall to my knees. SEVEN CASH MACHINES. ALL THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW. Ok, that’s not strictly true, but there were indeed seven of them. I was delighted.

I watch some guy finishing up with his transaction, and I decide to use his machine, as it appeared to be working correctly. I insert my card, and… nothing. It wouldn’t even take the card. Surely, there was some mistake. I push that little harder. Nothing. I was ready to cry, but then I look at the little diagram on the card reader… it needed to be inserted strip-side-up. How odd is that? This time, the card was accepted, and thankfully, I was able to get some funds from it. I return to the supermarket I’d found earlier, and purchase the apple juice, and some strange cola drink. It was called Vita-Cola It’s totally uninspiring. Sorry, I really didn’t like it much at all.

By the time I returned back to the hotel, I knocked on Chris + Jonathan’s door. They were already awake, so I told them of my great discovery – cashpoints and reasonably priced soft drinks. With only two days to go, they were hardly enthusiastic, but I was happy anyway.

Anway, the plan was to go to Spandau to see the prison. There was an unknwon delay which meant we didn’t set off until around Midday. Maybe we went for breakfast, maybe we didn’t. I have no idea. I don’t think we did.

Anwyay, by this time, despite our problems with the trains over the last couple of days, we had got the hang of it, and even knew the station where we needed to change to get to Spandau. This, however wall Chris and Jonathan’s doing, as I still didn’t really have a clue. We boarded the train, and I spent the next 20 minutes in geek filled heaven. Actually, no, this is more of a nerd thing. Skip this paragraph if you’re not interested.

Inside the carriages are scrolling LED display boards which tell you where the next station is, so you know where to get off. They don’t appear to be anything special. 5×7 font, green LEDs. The one above where I was sitting would begin to show the station, then crash, resulting in a SELFTEST message being displayed. It struck me later on in the day where I had seen it. Someone else (a total stranger) on flickr had posted an image of an identical display doing the same thing. Woo!

OK, so onto Spandau. We get off the train, and land in a market. It was just a normal market, however, with nothing special on offer. Just the usual fruit, vegetables, meat, etc. The whole point of the trip was to go and find Spandau prison. Except it wasn’t marked on any of the maps, so we didn’t know if we’d even be able to find it. We walked up a row of shops, similar in appearance to the ones we experienced in Potsdam.

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This photo was taken at the end of the road, where again, there was a church. It must be a common feature, main shopping parades have churches at the end of them. Odd.

It appeared there was a wedding or something happening at this church, as there were a lot of people roaming about, all dressed up. There was a display of some sort in the church, but we didn’t go in incase it was cancelled because of whatever was happening. Instead, we walked around for a bit again.

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At this point, I spie a Woolworths! Or rather, just Woolworth. We couldn’t resist a look in, to see just how different it was. Naturally, I went over to the CD section… basically, about 1 foot of shelf space. They didn’t seem to be big on music over there. I spied one CD there, which I just had to buy… Through the Barricades, by Spandau Ballet. I can claim to be one of the few people in the entire world to have bought a Spandau Ballet CD from Spandau. I will now wait until the fateful day, years down the line, when someone flips through my CD collection, spots it, and asks where I bought it from. I shall reply with Spandau. And they shall go “Wow”. And I’ll be like, “Yeah, I totally did”. And they’ll be like “NO WAY!” And I’ll be like, “WAY!”… And, I appear to have gotten stuck in a 1990 loop.

Other things purchased at the Woolworth store were a packet of Big Red Gum, which I talked about briefly in another post, two Daim bars, mainly to see if they tasted any different over there, and some spare batteries for my camera, just in case I needed them.

We walked back up the street towards the station, and passed underneath it towards a large and impressive looking shopping centre – The Spandau Arcaden, which looked like it had just been built 15 minutes ago. There wasn’t exactly a wide range of shops in there, but at the end of one floor was a stupidly large supermarket. I forget the name of it, but it was enormous. Outside the store were boxes full of CDs for sale. I couldn’t resist a flick through them. One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned, is that I also travelled to Germany to purchase a song. Just one song. “Manner” by Herbert Groenemeyer. After viewing every CD on sale, I didn’t find it. Shite. There was only one day to go.

I didn’t go home empty handed, however. I purchased the greatest hits of Albert Hammond for €3, for the song “The Free Electric Band”. We all had a Maccy D’s to see if it tasted different over there. Apparently, the burgers were greasier, but the chips… sorry, fries, were just as acceptable.

We had seen the sights of Spandau, and so we headed back. Two things I learned while typing this entry is that “The term Spandau Ballet referred to the spasms of the Nazi war criminals as they “danced at the end of the rope”, when they were hanged at Spandau Prison.” (source: wikipedia, so that’s probably wrong), and that Spandau Prison was demolished after Rudolph Hess died. So, no matter how much we searched for it, we’d have never found it. It was just over a mile from where we were anyway.

The trip back was interesting. The train seemed to be full of beggars and vagrants. This seemed odd, as we’d hardly seen any in the whole of our time there. Some guy hopped from carriage to carriage, changing each time the train stopped at a station. Unlike most of the trains here in the UK, you can’t walk between carriages. There were also beggars at the station, and a pack of cheeky beggars on the bridge near the hotel…

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The mad looking one standing up with the mohawk attempted to intimidate people by walking right up to them and asking for spare change. He tried it on Jonathan and got told to fuck off not-so-politely. What isn’t in this picture, however, is that there were another load of them on the other side of the road doing exactly the same thing, all part of the same gang, as they would both put their ill-gotten gains into one kitty. This was the only time they were there.

At this point, Chris wanted to head off back to Checkpoint Charlie to get his passport stamped. If you pay €2, you can get it stamped with the Checkpoint Charlie logo. I was a bit tired, so I retired to the hotel for a bit of a lie down while he went up there and got it stamped. He returned quite a bit later, but with his passport successfully stamped. I’d have thought that would be illegal, but nope, it isn’t.

I livened myself up rather unspectacularly. I’d taken a huge swig of apple juice before I laid down, which only seemed to ferment in my stomach, making me feel like I was about to throw up for about half an hour. Unfortunately, this half an hour consisted of a ride on the underground system, and then 15 minutes, in he hottest train I have ever been in my entire life. The sweat was dripping off me, but luckily, this caused the fermeting apple juice to be absorbed into my body so I didn’t feel sick anymore.

Our destination was the KaDeWe – the German version of Harrods, though we didn’t know it at the time. We walked through the doors into a marble hallway, with watch manufacturers either side, with prices ranging from €1,000 to €WTF,000. I felt a little out of place, walking around in my £4 Matalan T-shirt. We started on the top floor and worked our way down, as it was about 6PM, and the store closed at 8PM. The top floor was a restaurant / bar. No interest there, so we moved down into the food section. It had everything. And when I mean everything, I mean it even had a fish counter that I could actually walk around without borking my ring up. It’s the first place that sells fresh fish where I could actually breathe the air. Now that’s a sign of a good shop.

Of course, there wasn’t just the fish counter, there was everyhing else from bread to ornemental bottles of rice vinegar. We did spend a bit of time here, especially in the confectionary section … Chris bought the sugariest cake of all time (more on that later), and I bought some pressies. It came to something extortionate, but at least they allowed me to use my card.

The floor below it was the technology section. Large CD and DVD selection. Obviously, the DVD’s would be in German, but the music section should have that CD I was looking for. After about half an hour of searching though the G’s, I finally strike gold…

The store had a very interesting computer system which allowed you to scan a barcode, and hear the appropriate CD via email, just to make sure it was the one you wanted. A quick scan later, and there it was… Manner…. Track 2.

I don’t know why I like the song so much, as I can’t understand a word of it, but I “knew of” it, thanks to someone in #speccy. While at work, months aro, the German language speakers were streaming some unknown German radio station via the interwebs. All of a sudden, ‘Manner’ came on. I jumped out of my chair, stood upright, pointing at the speakers, shouting “I KNOW THIS ONE!”

I don’t know whether this made me like it more or not, but it certainly didn’t harm my opinion of it. As far as I was concerned, I was holding his CD in my hand. This was my biggest wanted souvenir of the trip, and although I knew it would cost €18.99, I knew that if I put it back on the shelf, I’d be horribly disappointed in myself. Therefore, it was bought, and although it was probably in the top 10 of the most expensive CDs I’d bought, it would be money well spent.

We walked around the store, mainly gasping at the price of everything… my personal favourite was €300 for a 1Gb USB stick… it was clear, anyone who bought that must have a very small cock.

The last main stop was the men’s clothes section, just in case there was a bargain or two to be found. There wasn’t anything close to being a bargain. I think the cheapest thing I saw in there was an ugly green polo shirt for €25. Eveything else was closer to the €100 mark. There was no way I was even coming close to spending that amount.

After that, we left, and decided to head back, so we could get something to eat. We remembered how bad the underground was, and luckily, I noticed a signpost, pointing to the zoo, some 800 metres away. This was good, as we knew the station. We set off, and begin to head off into the suburbs. This wasn’t looking like it was the way to go. Eventually, we turn back, and come to the conclusion that some jokers had turned the signpost around. We complete a full circle, and end up back where we were originally. Walking was for losers, and seeing as our train tickets were also allowed on buses, we got the bus to the station.

This time, we knew exactly where to go, and boarded the train back to Friedrichstrasse. The beggars hadn’t let up, and were still roaming the carriages. Dark clouds were beginning to form overhead. Could this be rain?

We get back to the hotel, and begin to devour Chris’s cake, and found it more sugary than any of us had possibly imagined. I devoured the licorice bits on top, which weren’t really licorice, they tasted like cherry cola. I think I was the only one that liked them.

The main cake itself wasn’t made out of marshmallow as originally thought, instead it was made almost entirely out of sugar. Hard sugar. Chris began to attempt to eat it, but didn’t even break the surface until the sugar rush was too much. We headed out for some fresh air. Chris noticed, that while he was wandering around the hotel, it had a terrace…. or rather, a roof section that was accessible. I have no idea whether we were supposed to be on the roof or not, but opening the door didn’t set off the fire alarm. Naturally, I used this as an excuse to take more photos.

It started to rain, so we headed back inside, and got changed for the night. The penultimate night saw us back at the Argentinian steak house, where I had burger and chips. Jonathan had the same (I think), and I have no idea what Chris had. We all enjoyed our meal, and had a couple more back at the Kartoffelkeller, before retiring to the hotel, and having one or two there. Jonathan didn’t join us, however, so me and Chris stayed and had a couple more, before calling it a night.

Only one more day to go.

There now follows a theme-music appreciation post.

I know everyone hates these, but sod it. It’s my blog. I’ve not updated for ages, and I’m hoping this will get me into the swing of things again.

I’ve recently bought the following CD.


OK, it doesn’t look like much. In fact, it looks like one of those cheap CD’s you’d pick up on the open market for £2, with entirely re-recorded versions of your favourite sports TV themes.

Not even close. It cost me £6.99, and it’s almost jam-packed with the greatest works of sports theme ever. I say almost. I may have a rant about the Match Of The Day Theme. Let’s play it through.

(01) Grandstand (Current Theme) – Sound Stage Orchestra

There simply couldn’t be a sports theme CD without this classic, soon to be removed from our TV screens. I love it. From its over-emphasised brass section, to the over-the-top trumpet leading to the seldom heard middle eight. Andy M informed me that the day Grandstand’s demise was announced, Radio 1 played the full version of this. And good on them!

(02) News Scoop (Grandstand Original Theme) – Symphonia Orchestra Conducted By Ludo Philipp

Used by the beeb whenever they introduce vintage clips. And also the theme to Auntie’s Sporting Bloomers. Oh, a pole vaulter’s pole snapped! And someone’s landed head first in the water jump! Actually, that’s quite funny.

(03) The Trap (London Marathon) – Ron Goodwin And His Concert Orchestra

Also the intro to the oliver Reed film “the Trap” as documented in… um, the name of the track. the longest track on the CD, at a whopping 3m 9s. Countless views of Tower Bridge, Cutty Sark and athletes pissing in the street. An absolute classic. The original version had lyrics (I actually saw the film one dreary afternoon)… something like “and she shall have diamonds and pearls”, sung by Reedy himself. It’s a top tune, and still used by the beeb to this day.

(04) Pop Looks Bach (Ski Sunday) – New Dance Orchestra

What can I say? This is Ski Sunday. Literally. Violins, kettle drums, sitting on a sunday afternoon eating biscuits, and maybe some leftover joint. (meat-type, natch). Again, only watched by children to see massive injuries. I’ve ran out of things to say, and there’s still 20 seconds of the track left, ah here’s the big finish!

(05) Soul Limbo (Test Cricket) – Booker T & The MGs

Yes, it’s the unmistakable cricket theme, with more cowbells and xylophones than you can shake a wicket at. A record in its own right, naturally. An intro which always reminded me of my mother emptying the tin ashtray we had at the time. And still have, despite nobody smoking in our house for over 9 years.

(06) Drag Racer (Snooker) – Doug Wood Group

The snooker theme. There is no other. Sod Pot Black. What surprisies me was that this track was recorded in 1976, but the version I have on 7″ is copyright 1982, despite it being the same version. The beeb thought it would be funny to stick crap snooker sound effects on the start and the end, which is probably the reason of the revised copyright date. It’s still a top track. And the remixes of it currently broadcast are sacrelege. Can’t spell that word.

(07) Offside (Match Of The Day Theme) – Mike Vickers Orchestra

THIS MAKES MY EARS BLEED. THIS IS NOT THE MATCH OF THE DAY THEME. THIS IS THE WEEDY ATTEMPT FEATURED ON EVERYTHING SEEING AS BBC WON’T RELEASE THE BARRY THING VERSION. THIS IS MAKING MY EARS BLEED. MAKE IT STOP. Bit of an insight, as there’s still a minute to go. Barry Fenton recorded the original track in 1969, still used to this day. This 1970 mockup is an awful representation of it. You’ll have heard it before. This is by far the low point of the CD. It’s finished!

(08) Drum Majorette (Match Of The Day Original Theme) – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon

Er. I’m not familiar with this one at all. Oh, actually, about 30 seconds into it, a little bit of it is recognisable. Hmmm. 22 more tracks to go. Not familiar with this one at all. Did I put the milk back in the fridge?….. Meh.

(09) Sportsnight (Theme) – Tony Hatch Orchestra

Ahhh. Tony Hatch. I have vague recollections of this theme. My parents weren’t sporty, and this show was always on past my bedtime. Therefore, I know of it expecially, the DA DA DA DA-DA DA! at the end. Wow, it has a really shit sax solo. My god, it’s awful. Never heard this before. Ah, back onto the main theme. Still over a minute to go, and as seems to be the par for the course on these themes…. start bit, cheesy middle secton, start bit again, proper ending.

(10) All Sports March – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon

I can place it. But it’s crap. So. A little about my day, then. I had a bit of a headache this morning when I woke up. But that soon cleared when I got to work, of all places. they’re still replacing the streetlights on Easington Road…… Um…. this theme is really crap. Only 30 seconds to go. I might have to stop and get more beer in a second.

(11) Light And Tuneful (Wimbledon Opening Music) – Sound Stage Orchestra

Bit of a strange name for something that really isn’t that light, to be honest. I love this theme. Usual structure. Main theme, then the cheesy middle eight which gets talked over by Sue Barker, then the end of the theme, which is the same as the start, only in a different key, which I don’t think gets used any more.

(12) Sporting Occasion (Wimbledon Closing Music) – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon

I don’t think this gets used as the closing any more. It got used as the opening a few years ago, to the dislike of most of the public. It’s a boring, tra-la-la thing, with a bit of fanfare in it. Bleh. Not my cup of tea.

(13) Holy Mackerel! (Rugby Special) – Brian Bennett Band

Brian Bennet, ex member of the Shadows, brings us this ditty I always remember from my childhood. Wah-wah synth. and lots of it. you can almost sing the lyrics “This is rugby league!” over it. That’s my strongest recollection of it. Not used any more. At all. Ever. Completely forgotten.

(14) Cranes (Darts) – Doug Wood Group

The entire reason I bought this CD. I knew the name, and the artist of the track. Many google searches drew a blank. Though, a few nights ago, it struck me I might have been searching for the wrong thing. I’d known the artist as “Doug Wood BAND”. The other night, I searched for “Doug Wood GROUP”. Within an instant, I was redirected to HMV, where they had snippets of all of the themes on here. My word! they were all the original versions, and this track was included A google search later, meant I got it from amazon for almost £4 cheaper. Woo. Um, back to the track. Clear recollections of saturday afternoons, with a rotating dartboard, and that scary last note. Almost 2 minutes of sheer brilliance. They really knew how to do snare drums in the 70’s.

(15) Derby Day – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen

Not familiar with this one at all. I’m sure they probably still use it on Derby Day. But not in my presence. We’re only half way through. I expect a lot of rubbish tracks, and some quality ones. Can’t quite remember the track order.

(16) The Challenge (BBC Sports Personality Of The Year) – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen

Oh dear, we’re onto the rubbish. This one has deteriorated badly. Recorded presumably in Mono. I know it to a point, and I think they still use it. It’s not that good.

(17) World Series – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen

Er. I have no idea what they used this one for. Thankfully the last one in the trio of Ole Jensen tracks I’ve not actually heard before.

(18) Saturday Sports (Sportsview) – National Light Orchestra

But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the crap tracks. No recollection of this AT ALL. Literally. I know it about as well as I know the back of my neck. Well, I know there’s a wart on there, but that’s not the point.

(19) Soul Riff (Crown Green Bowls) – Doug Wood Group

To be honest, this is the only Doug Wood Group track I’m not familiar with. I quite like it though. I don’t think the beeb use it any more.

(20) International Sports March – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Sidney Torch

YOU JOIN ME! IN THE MIDDLE OF A TRACK I’VE NEVER HEARD BEFORE! The 2nd longest track on the CD, at 3mins 8secs. Great. Time to get more beers……

(21) World Of Sport March (World Of Sport) – Don Harper Big Band

The only track to stray away from the comfort of the BBC. This is the famous ITV World of Sport theme. It’s beautiful. Stupidly loud piccolos, mute trumpets, more bass than a freshwater lake, and clocking in at a paltry 1min 45secs. It’s just *too* short. I could have listened to it for hours!

(22) World Series (Athletics) – Sound Stage Orchestra

What I love about this CD is the names that were originally given to the tracks, in this case “World Series”. Never-before-heard honkytonk piano solo. I absolutely love this. And, they don’t use it anymore. A few years ago, for whatever reason, they replaced this theme with a synthed-up soundalike. It was exactly the same, except for whatever reason, they re-recorded it. I can only assume that someone at the beeb lost their master before they went ahead and showed the highlights of the long jump from Oslo. Brilliant track.

(23) Grandstand – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon

Another Grandstand theme. The 70’s have something to be thankful for. They got rid of this from our screens. Can you imagine Des Lynam introducing Crown Green Bowls from Wembley over this?

(24) Out Of The Blue (Sports Report (BBC Light Programme And Radio 5)) – Band Of The Irish Guards Conducted By Major C.H. Jaeger

I can only assume, a very famous piece of music. It sounds very recently recorded. Probably from around the time Radio 5 started, which if I remember, was late 80’s? Bugger. I’ve put the CD box somewhere now… oh, there it is…. 1951 according to the booklet. No way.

(25) Goodwood Galop – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon

Wy word. This is fast paced. I thought the CD was skipping. In fact no, it wasn’t skipping, it’s just a crap track. Copyright 1950, apparently. I don’t think they even DO racing from Goodwood anymore.

(26) Sportsmaster – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen

Er. Didn’t I hear this track earlier? Oh, wait. It’s almost the same as the other ones by the same “band”.

(27) Heavy Action (Superstars) – Sound Stage Orchestra

The SUPERSTARS THEME! I took a shine to this after the Beeb resurrected Superstars a year or two ago. Though, when I say resurrected, I’m sure I mean “A chance for some past it celebreties and some dodgy presenters to sun themselves up on a sunny island for however long it took them to record it. I mean, does Johnny Vaughan *need* another holiday? What’s wrong with the swimming baths at Rhyl? That’s where Ron Pickering was every week! Needless to say, Sportstarts has not returned to our screens during 2006. Whew. Only a few tracks to go.

(UPDATE: Superstars is back for Summer 2008, on Channel 5. Although I only caught about 5 seconds of it, it doesn’t appear that they use this theme anymore. For shame My mistake! After actually watching an episode, they do still use this theme.).

(28) The Big Match – Sound Stage Orchestra

I’m divided about this one to be honest. It’s the famous track. Fast paced. Usual structure. Start. Mad oragan solo. End, same as the start, but with a bitey ending. But was it BBC or ITV?

(29) Tour De France – New Concert Orchestra Conducted By Nat Nyll

Nat Nyll. Now there’s a name that rolls off the tongue. No, I’m only joking. Never heard of him, or the theme.

(30) Football Fanfare – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen

Oh, god. It’s back to Melodi Light, with another load of bollocks I’ve never heard before.

So, it’s clear, to me, which tracks are the stand-out ones, and which ones are a complete waste of disc. It is, of course, my personal opionion, and someone reading this could be jumping up and down at the prospect of hearing “Goodwood Gallop” again. And they can, if you buy the CD, which I assume is still in print.

Here’s the lowdown, should you wish to buy it…

UK Code: CD GOAL 1
Something Code: THE GREAT SPORTING EXPERIENCE 7243 5 56711 2 7
EMI Records.
Running Time: 71:16
Time to type: Considerably Longer

I enjoyed that. Normal service WILL resume shortly.