Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday Night Music - Two Weeks Last Summer

Way back - and in the context of Rugby Union anthems, I noted that in music form can be as important as content.

An illustration follows.

I can't remember if this version of Dave Cousins' song "Two Weeks Last Summer" was recorded in a two-track studio in Tivoli in August 1967, or whether it was done in one of those "make your own record" booths, like the one in 'Brighton Rock' where Pinky records a tender message for his soon to be ex-girlfriend. The speed certainly sounds a little odd. But the whole thing sounds throwaway, a play around, not at all memorable. In fact if you play it, you might spoil the second version.

Three years on, a certain Mr Joe Boyd is in charge of production. What an incredible transformation. Every gabbled phrase from the first version is considered, deliberate - the simple accompaniment is just right, neither understated nor intruding on the wonderful vocals - the whole thing's beautiful. And this wasn't released for 25 years !

You can get the 3-CD box set from whence this comes for only £146 on Amazon. Naturlich, my Youtube version is lowish-fi, that her daughter and grandchildren may benefit. But it's still gorgeous.

While we're on the Divine Ms Denny, here's a little something showing the baleful effects of the cultural revolution on spoken English. Nowt wrong with the London accent, whether Norf or Sarf - and it's sad to see it being replaced by twatois among the young. But why adopt it if it ain't yours? Following the example set by middle-class LSE business studies student Mick Jagger, Sandy goes Mockney.

Quote Of The Day

Ross in the comments :

"I was so disgusted at the NOTW's behaviour that I rang them to complain but couldn't get through- so I just left a message on my voicemail instead."

(my son says "that's been around for ages, Dad" - well I hadn't heard it!)

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Wisdom of the Brits

Let's face it. No one cared two hoots about someone picking up Burnt Umber's (or was it Raw Sienna's ?) or Andy Gray's voicemail, or getting Max Mosley's ersatz wardress to give an interview about his outre sexual tastes.

Yet the legal system of England and Wales seemed to care a great deal.

By contrast, everyone is rightly outraged at a reporter picking up a missing girl's voicemail - not to mention the voicemails of dead soldiers families. It's true that not one in fifty of us ever changes the default voicemail code - is it '0000' or '1111' ? - so it's not exactly a difficult thing to do - but neither is robbing small children or elderly people - and they're pretty disgusting crimes.

Looks like Murdoch is cynically throwing the NOTW staff to the wolves, while keeping on then-editor Rebekah Wade, who should, along with Andy Coulson be carrying the can - all to keep the bid for full control of Sky alive.

I guess it may not be too bad for some of the staff - if they can take the redundancy and then sign on straight away to work for "Sun-day"(© Laban Tall 2011).

The Guardian and BBC are loving it - loving it. I've had to forget about Radios Four and Five on my current three-hours-plus daily commute - because all I hear is Coulson/Cameron/Coulson/Cameron.

But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the Guardian and BBC are right for all the wrong reasons. The Dirty Digger may be a great newspaperman. But he's an enemy of Britain who's done great damage to this country's culture (damage, to be fair, only made possible because of the 'creative destruction' of predecessors like BBC boss Hugh Greene) even while his papers have produced some great journalism - including great investigative journalism.

God willing the Sky bid will fail - although I wouldn't put money on it. And ideally a Biblical plague - frogs, boils, blood, whatever - should afflict the UK executives of News International, until all UK operations close and only blue plaques at Wapping and Bouverie Street mark its passing.

Only one cloud no bigger than a man's hand. What if Murdoch's difficulty is Desmond's opportunity?

UPDATE - surely time to impound all the servers and get the IT forensics boys out ?

Police are examining claims that a News International executive may have expunged millions of emails from an archive believed to date back to 2005. The Guardian reported that ‘massive quantities’ of the archive appear to have been deleted on two separate occasions, the most recent in January of this year.

A handy hint for Mr Plod - News International will, like all large organisations dependent on IT, have a DR (disaster recovery) site somewhere - probably run by a third party, usually not directly accessible to most of their IT staff, and where regular backup copies of server data are stored. It may have been overwritten when the copies were refreshed, but one never knows. On the other hand the operative charged with the (at this stage purely theoretical) task may have done a thorough job. But if an executive really did do it, the data may still be recoverable quite easily. There's more to deleting data than hitting 'Delete'.

New Club For Bradford

Bradford is to be home to a new high-profile club promoting positive pride among British Pakistanis.

Tonight sees the launch of the Pakistan Club, which already has the backing of big names including cricketing legend Imran Khan, politician Lord Nazir Ahmed, business tycoon Nighat Awan OBE and Bradford’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Naveeda Ikram.

This afternoon, international racing driver Adam Khan will be in Centenary Square signing autographs before the official launch event at City Hall which will be attended by about 130 people from across the UK.

When I looked at the T&A website earlier, the item had 92 comments, but they've all gone now. I wonder what they could have been about ?

Anyone from across the UK can join although it will be based in Bradford and be built in phases which include a restaurant, a private cinema, lounge, separate gyms for men and women – eventually there will also be a banqueting hall and library. The club’s founders are actively looking for a suitable site in the city to either build the club premises from scratch or to re-develop.

Membership is open to all Pakistanis or people of Pakistani origin, says Mr Ahmed - as long as they are aged over 18.

Alas, no one from Bradford English Club was available for comment.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Imaginative Judge

David Wood, sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, on the conviction of two men for selling the stolen Sunderland war memorial plaque, which commemorates Sunderland’s Second World War victims who died when the city was bombed, to a scrap merchant.

"I imagine you both are thoroughly ashamed of what you have done."

He's wasted as a judge. With a vivid imagination like that, he should be a sci-fi writer - or a defence solicitor.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Globalisation In One Country

"In a blow to the government's plans for Britain to manufacture its way out of recession, Bombardier has placed its UK operations under review after the Department for Transport awarded a contract to make carriages on London's Thameslink rail route to Siemens of Germany, bypassing Britain's last remaining train factory. The company has called an 8am press briefing on Tuesday morning at its Derby headquarters. Senior shop stewards will be briefed on job losses in time for the end of the night shift at 6am."

I have not done the digging, but I would be amazed if the vast majority of French rolling stock was not manufactured in France, and the vast majority of German stock in Germany. (Strangely enough, railway nerdism doesn't translate into Web nerdism very well, although there are sites like this.) Only this morning someone on the Today prog was explaining how European governments can take 'other factors' into account, industrial strategy etc, when State enterprises hand out contracts. Not here.

Labour will doubtless be bashing the Tories over this, but this is just the continuation of existing policy. No government's put the British people first since 1992 (if that) - why expect Cameron to buck the trend ?