Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Last of the Indie Vid Shops

For all the justified mumbles, grumbles and moans regarding the decline of local record shops - it's easy to overlook the disappearance of another small scale independent entertainment outlet. Video rental shops. The last of the indie vid's in our area shut up shop a couple of weeks ago, and until the closed sign was finally flipped forever it maintained all the required trappings and trimmings of a generic local video shop

The 'card-full-o'-signatures' loaner system (was there ever a name for that?)

A sticker claiming '6 (or 8) copies available' on recent releases - although all 6(or 8)copies were rarely available.

Poster splattered walls and windows.

Oddbod titles with one solo signature on the rental card 'Dunstan Checks In'

Faded Copies of Donnie Brasco or Devil's Advocate for sale (£5)in the ex-rentals bin

So are there any still standing near you, and what are the names please? Or do you have any cherished memories from the eighties rental boom and beyond (£50 deposit and £1 a night hire) when video shops spread across the UK faster than swine flu.

A couple video-rewinds of mine are...

The first wave saturation of video renters and bandwagon riders. Record shops, garages even a hardware shop (yes I was a member) were lending from their extensive overnight libraries.

In the splatter-friendly pre-certification days, a film chosen as suitable viewing for a former girlfriend and myself by her parents (while they went out for an evening) was the full strength, unedited version of 'Cannibal Holocaust'!?!?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Chooses The Music For Suburban Swinger Parties

Don't panic - I'm not thinking of throwing or going to some swinging affair. Although right now somewhere, someone (possibly even, someone you know ) will be planning and prepping a home-counties communal love-in this weekend. And like any other suburban do, there must be some pre-party production and a tick list of sorts

Drinks/nibbles to be bought (spicy must be off the menu)
Rearranging furniture
Tweaking the lighting
Choosing the music
Bowls for peanuts and car keys

So do they add some musical colour and atmos' at these low-key local get-it-togethers? Is there a carefully picked playlist of smoochy tunes perhaps titled 'Songs For Swinging Lovers'. You couldn't risk a random shuffle could you (behave - I mean on the iPod) suppose a passion killer from the collection boomed into view - Amazing Grace, Ace Of Spades or Grandad We Love You ..

On arrival is there the usual party pre-amble - "How's the job, any holidays planned" etc..and who gives the skirts-up/trousers-down signal. Surely the neighbours must rumble that something's ahoy as car-loads of unknown middle aged meddlers start pinching all the parking spaces..

It goes on everywhere you know - there's even visual evidence of local interest activties happening in my hometown and it's surrounding suburbs

Barge Gladys home to the family friendy Benfleet Yacht Club was notoriously outed in the Sunday papers some years back as a location for the am-cam movie 'Kym's Sea Shanty'.

A regular reader of this blog once lent me 'Benfleet a-Go-Go' as they named it. A sort of home made have-it-away-day filmed on the Fenchurch Street to Southend line one Sunday afternoon, a hand held not-so-steadycam film of two couples making their own in-carriage entertainment .

Even folksy Old Leigh isn't safe - the local nature reserve Two Tree Island is a magnet for dog walkers by day but doggers by night

So consider this - amongst your network of friends - work, social or virtual who would you ring as the swinger of the scene. Think of it as kinky Cluedo (Lewdo - perhaps) who is the Professor Plum or Miss Scarlet? Is that a lead pipe in his pocket or is he just pleased to see her, and what caper are they hoping to carry off in the study this weekend?

Or if you are someone hosting a communal cosy-up over the bank holiday, help yourself to this and think if it as something for the weekend. A very cheeky compilation titled 'I'm Not Feeling Myself Tonight'- described as...

"From under the counter, Jigoku's Lovely Jon and Quiet Village's Joel Martin present this very rude, XXX rated (and as the title suggests, a very tongue-in-cheek) limited edition mix. Expect to hear sleazy disco, dirty funk, glam rock and punk interspersed with snippets of dialogue from blue movies, 70's jazzmag flexidiscs, and more. Distinctly British and distinctly 70s, this filthy little party mix is brimming with low-budget sleaze - utterly explicit and rather politically incorrect."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Let's R.O.C.K - All Girl Action

Girlschool - Snakes Alive the sort of hairy, scary girls that beat grown men at snooker, wear 'Makin' Bacon' T-shirts and keep a spare motorbike engine in the bath.

The Donnas - An agit-girl-gang and Red-Bull-Bangles that only bother with boys for lighting their gaspers and popping bottle tops..

*Note the SG's in both vid's plank-fans cherry red and natural *

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We Have A Winner - Lewis Collins

Well done, full marks and five house points to Office Pest for correctly nailing our mystery man as French Crop cop Lewis Collins.

In a past life the C15 agent, had been a bass player for Mersey band The Mojo's, whose semi-hit 'Everything's Alright' was covered by Bowie on his album Pin Ups...

Top work OP - you've won a peep at the the early non car-crashing-glass-smashing Professionals titles

For my earth pounds Lewis Collins would have made the perfect follow on Bond from Roger Moore. An approach was made by the Bond production team - but....

"It would be nice to get back to the original Bond, not the character created by Sean Connery - but the one from the books. He's not over-handsome, over-tall. He's about my age and has got my attitudes... I was in Cubby Broccoli's office for five minutes, but it was really over for me in seconds. I have heard since that he doesn't like me. That's unfair. He's expecting another Connery to walk through the door and there are few of them around. I think he's really shut the door on me. He found me too aggressive. I knew it all -- that kind of attitude. Two or three years ago that would be the case, purely because I was nervous and defensive. I felt they were playing the producer bit with fat cigars. When someone walks into their office for the most popular film job in the world, a little actor is bound to put on a few airs. If Cubby couldn't see I was being self-protective I don't have faith in his judgment."

He's even got a Myspace site you know..
Lewis Collins

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who's The (Not Quite So) Heavy-Hitting Celeb?

Strike a pose stage left

Strum a bass stage right

Any ideas? Couple o' clues...

He hit his peak in the seventies, but not as a musician.

Continental readers are unlikely to be as aware of his work.

Bowie covered one of his band's tunes.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Friday. Let's R.O.C.K

EODM - Almost everything you want from a Rock Band: a gallery of tattoos, quality vintage kit and the sort of heavy-level riffing that could flatten tanks..

Not many bands can crack the rock-o-nundrum of making squealy synths and screaming guitars work together. Electric Six can.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Confusement Has Occured

What's a'popping within this medley of madness? If the idea of a bespoke title theme for an Italian airing of George & Mildred (which surely should have been titled Giorgio & Moroder) isn't brain scrambling enough - consider these points...

Was the Italian G & M a straight export version just refitted with dandy new theme?

Or more jarringly perhaps, reworked as a continental adaptation?

And are those two pictured (Abba meets Borat) the actors or singers?

How did the 'composers' get away reformatting 10CC's Dreadlock Holiday into this number without getting walloped?

Where does 'Gin and Tonic' come into it?

*Goes purple and faints from the giddy overload*