It’s not a prerequisite for a successful musician to be an erudite figure but when they are I find it refreshing. I like the ones whom when asked a question will endeavor to answer it in an interesting or informative way as opposed to being deliberately obtuse or smart arsey without any humour to make the retort worthwhile. One man I admire greatly is Mark Everett of Eels. The music he has produced ranging from one of the best songs of the 90′s Novocaine For The Soul through albums such as Electro-Shock Blues and Souljacker to the latest release Tomorrow Morning serve to show him as not just a hugely accomplished songwriter but a genuinely interesting artist. Furthermore, when I have heard or seen him interviewed such as here, or in fronting the superb BBC documentary Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives on the life and work of his father, he seems a thoroughly decent bloke which is all the more commendable due to the hardships he has suffered in his personal life. These hardships and his many successes are brilliantly recounted in his book Things The Grandchildren Should Know, which as The Word magazine‘s quote that graces the cover states “Shares less with rock memoir than it does with the likes of The Corrections, Middlesex and The Ice Storm… I’ve never read a better book by a musician”. There are a select band of musicians I would genuinely like to have a drink with and Mr Everett would certainly be one. Due to the fact I have never met him the chances of that drink are slim so instead I will offer up not only one of my favourite songs by Eels but one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in the last few years from the tremendous Blinking Lights And Other Revelations album – From Which I Came/ A Magic World.
I now find myself back in London after a trip to Scotland to film with one of my favourite bands, Belle and Sebastian. It was a hugely enjoyable experience and I think the trailer for the tv show we did together looks really good. So, whilst I unpack my bags, replenish the milk stock in the fridge and consider what book to start next after finishing the tremendous Things The Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett aka E from the Eels, here is the Belle and Sebastian trailer, I hope you like it.
Along with countless others I have always believed Internazionale to have one of the most iconic shirts in football. Who can mistake the classic and simplistic blue and black stripes of the Nerazzurri? As a result it is quite disturbing to see the new seasons shirt which appears to have been conceived by someone intent on facilitating a headache for anyone who looks at the thing. If this is what happens when a team wins the Champions League I am relieved to support one which never will.
A few weeks ago I was trying to change the tariff on my mobile phone account and also to get a new hand set. After waiting to be connected to an advisor for about twenty minutes, all the time having to listen to insincere pre-recorded apologies at the waiting time due to a high volume of calls which I’m sure used the official voiceover skills of Sara Cawood, I was eventually put through to someone called “Kath”. Actually, it might have been “Cath” but regardless of the K or C she seemed at first, helpful. The new tariff was quickly set up and I was told that although the phone I wanted wasn’t currently in stock it soon would be and the mobile phone company in question would contact me in the next few days to arrange when I would be at home to sign for it. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be out when this delivery occurred and so I expressed my concerns to KCath. Sounding alarmingly dismissive to these concerns I was told “well we don’t just send them out without telling people, we will be in touch”. One week passed – nothing. A second week passed – nothing. Then there was a third – nothing. By this point I was imagining KCath ignoring customer calls and instead trying to eat 6 Tunnocks Tea Takes all at once whilst gloating to workmates that she can fart the melody of Jimmy Nail’s Crocodile Shoes if she has been eating enough fibre.
Today I took a stand and phoned up the mobile company ready for a fight. This would entail me putting on a stronger Scottish accent than normal and making it clear that I would turn up at their headquarters ready to take on anyone who would stand in the way of me and my new phone. Instead and to my surprise, I was greeted by the friendly tones of “Lee” who within a minute had apologised profusely for the work shy foppishness of KCath and informed me that I would have a new phone sent out tomorrow. Why can’t there be more Lee’s in the workplace? To that man I say thank you. To KCath I say pull your socks up and if as I suspect, you would rather be at home rubbing your arse with a brick than doing what you are supposedly paid for then do so. Right, that’s all off the chest and another one of life’s small burdens has been lifted. I feel I’ve come out on top today but tomorrow will be another battle…