Monday, August 30, 2010


I'm quite fond of the work of Neil Innes and have been since back when he was with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. His songs have a depth of impish wistfulness which appeals to me. The combination of his sometimes beautifully poetical music with slyly off-kilter, occasionally even sinister, lyrics and delivery are always worth a second or third listen. His dark songs are very dark indeed, though always with an element of "let's take the piss out of the bogey man" to be found somewhere. And his straightforward let's-be-silly songs are an utter joy. It's a nice day, so I thought I'd share.

His stuff for "The Rutles" was spot on. In fact, that was part of the problem: it was too spot on, the songs are Beatles pastiches rather than parodies. But they did the job they were supposed to do and they're fun to listen to. He could always do a good Beatles; have a listen to Montana Cafe.

"The Innes Book of Records" and collaborations with one or other of the Monty Python team gave him free rein to romp around and show his versatility. Here's a selection of goodies:

  • "My Little Ukelele," a nice, but definitely not slavish, George Formby number.
  • "UFO Shanty," not trad. arr. Grainger. Come on, K9!
  • "Cats Don't Like The Rain," one of my favourites. I think the music's beautiful and the lyrics sneak up on you.
  • "Down That Road," inspired by all those Inspirational Ballads, complete with cynically-manipulative descending chords, that used to get sung all the time by blokes with lots of teeth on "Stars On Sunday."
  • "Mississippi Moon," has a very obviously Stan and Ollie vibe with touches of Leroy Shield's incidental music which then lurches into the vocal equivalent of a Krazy Kat Kartoon.
Here's a video version of "Godfrey Daniels," a multi-layered absurdity. And, like all the best absurdities, worth having a think about.

I did mention sinister, didn't I? Here's the video to "Down That Road." The world was a dark place long before Royston Vasey...

And lastly, well here's a treat. A daft and deft delight.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still on the subject...

Lunch with my cousin. We've not seen each other for over a decade and have never really been particularly close. Lunch is an affable enough affair, we chat about this and that and catch up with family ailments. He's a nice enough chap, though not without his eccentricities.

It's quite a disturbing event all in all.

I've never been fond of mirrors.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Midnight matinee last part

Camp as Christmas but all's well that ends well!

Midnight matinee part eight

Midnight matinee part seven

Midnight matinee part six

Midnight matinee part five

Midnight matinee part four

Friday, August 27, 2010

Midnight matinee part three

Midnight matinee part two

You can sing along with this scene...

Midnight matinee part one

Monte Carlo (1930)...

Monday, August 23, 2010

The mirror crack'd

Standing in the Co-op, buying a People's Friend and a tin of pineapple chunks, I'm bemused by the conversation behind me. A girl and two lads, all in dark "first accountancy suits." They were talking about the gossip mags on the rack, all boasting pictures of Abby Clancy, who is Nursing Heartache over Peter Crouch's Infidelity. Or as we used to call it: footballer's girlfriend pissed off at his dicking about.

"I mean," said the girl, "if you had a girlfriend like that would you go an sleep with a prostitute?"

"I dunno," said one of the lads, "she looks a bit ropey in that picture."

"She's upset, she's not going to be looking her best."

"Well, I dunno..."

I looked at him. He looked like a badly-filled hot water bottle.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday singalong

Come along now, you all know the words!

Probably not really trying

There should be more to a mid-life crisis than a pot of tea...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Operation Errol Flynn

When my grandfather was pinned down by sniper fire in a banana grove in Burma I wonder if he ever imagined I'd be sat here watching a train called "The Spirit of Osaka" taking Chinese white goods to what used to be the Empire's largest industrial park.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Biting the hand that feeds you

I don't mind the squirrel taking all the hazelnuts from the top of the bush before they're fully ripe. After all, I can't reach them so they may as well be doing somebody some good.

I do object to the furry hooligan barking at me for twenty minutes while I'm in the garden.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nuts in August

It's not so bad.

After an interesting day at the office and a long drag of a commute it's nice to find the back garden filled with lilies and then while away a good half hour pigging out on green hazelnuts picked fresh from the tree.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


As a last-minute nod to the weekend necessities of the domestic hearth I've just cleared out shelves two and three of the fridge. I had decided that there was no room in my life for anything with a "best by" date of 19 Sep 99.

I suppose I'd best sort out the little drawer in the bedroom next...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Let's parler franglais

I've long since stopped trying to fathom out how, or if, my mind works. For whatever reason, I was reminded of this hoary old chestnut on the bus home tonight. I expect it was told by Stainless Steven or someone of that vintage, back when the menfolk in their audience had a smattering of French after their participation in the first unpleasantness...

The lady two doors down has been taking French lessons and she's getting to be a bit of a bore about it. She keeps dropping phrases into her everyday conversation to show off a bit. Anyway she got her comeuppance the other day. She'd written a note to the coalman saying:

"Voulez-vouz donnez-moi un ton de nutty slack."

So he wrote her a note back.

"Certainments, madame, do you want it a la carte or cul de sac?"