Sunday 3 December 2023

Albums no self-respecting gentlemen should own #5 – Coldplay - Parachutes

Heralded as this generation’s Echo & the Bunnymen. Coldplay, featuring: Pianist Chris ‘Call me Mr Minor-key’Martin, guitarist Ronny Cosmos, bassist Jive Turkey and hapless drummer Bill Chump. Released a really very average album, wackily entitled ‘Parachutes’ in 2000. It has sold over a billion copies and has made them all as rich as Croesus – except poor old Bill, who gets barely tuppence a financial quarter. 


They have stolen the hearts (and minds) of a whole generation of rather soppy individuals who think watching a bloke who writes on his own hand has raided the big boys dressing up box is somehow cool. 


According to a made-up source, they are responsible for decimating the whole of the Amazon and melting the polar ice-caps. Nobody at “The Things I Miss…” can verify this outrageous claim and as such we are inclined to dismiss it as merely the rantings of a lazy journalist who is desperate to fill the required word count. 


Coldplay are to music what Michael McIntyre is to comedy. 


Jack Nash

Saturday 2 December 2023

Albums no self-respecting gentlemen should own #4 – Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon

Little is known about this record and certainly nobody at “The Things I Miss…” will admit to having heard it all the way through. Made by the remnants of Syd Barrett’s band, apparently it goes on quite a bit. 


File under, crap albums you’ve never actually heard.


Johnny Langney

Friday 17 November 2023

The Last Sunbathers Beach Club LP

The Last Sunbathers Beach Club*

Have released their debut album 'Albion Hotel' on Soul Bay Records. 

The 'Things I miss about England' blog wholeheartedly endorses this release! 

(click pic for link) 

*AKA - The Last Sunbathers Beach Club for Gentlemen of a certain age who should know better... 

Thursday 16 November 2023

Year v Year

And so, as the year stumbles to conclusion, will 2023 manage to catch those ahead or will it languish in middle-table mediocrity? 


Wednesday 15 November 2023

Oooh, Look! There’s a Magpie

I’d like to think that I have often been ahead of the curve when it comes to many things, clothes, music, books, films & assorted general trends. However, it turns out I’ve been seriously lagging.  

It transpires that I have been diagnosed with Adult ADHD, much, much later than all the trendy kids… Whilst it accounts for my rather exhausting daily mental gymnastics, it is quite a blessing at being diagnosed as one of the 5.4% of males with the condition, or is it? Or am I? 

Ooh look there’s a Magpie…

To give you an example of what happens in my head. FILTER OFF - I am going to write things in a complete straight line and not edit all the other conversations that pop into my – do you remember On the Buses with Reg Varney or was it Jamie Vardy. Imagine Reg Varney upfront for the Filberts or foxes (Urban foxes are well cool – can’t remember the name of the TV naturalist who likes foxes and has just been diagnosed with Asperger’s, he wears nice knitted t-shirts and likes Punk – Packham that’s his name. Chris Packham. A big fan of Penetration (Lead singer Pauline Murray)).


FILTER BACK ON - Ok. I’ll take a break there and press on with my journalistic filter switched well and truly on. I am going to explain just how ADHD manifests in my world. It should be noted, without a hint of irony that I thought about starting this article when I was diagnosed in June 2022.


Anyway, I often find myself, drifting off at tangents especially when the subject matter doesn’t interest or when I know what people are going to say before they’ve actually said it. That is often the situation I dislike the most as my behaviour can seem rather rude or dismissive. Yes, yes get on with it etc.


FILTER OFF - I’m trying to write this piece and the editor to my right is speaking loudly over her shoulder to no-one in particular. The computer beeps sound like a Kraftwerk outtake and I really must let the radio show know I’m going to be away for two week. Chelsea’s result against City was encouraging. I wish I could type quicker to keep up with my… The Peppermint Liquorice are quite a good band. I’m really looking forward to seeing A Certain Ratio in Reading on Thursday. God, my scalp is itchy, do I think I’ve got COVID (is that a sign). Itchy eyebrows. FILTER BACK ON…

 It is very strange when I can tell exactly how a conversation will proceed. The urge to tell people to cut to the chase can be almost overwhelming. But hopefully, I have established a wide enough array of coping mechanisms to help me in most situations. 


Anyway, the purpose for me sharing this information is twofold: 

One - I’ve been looking back at a number of previous posts and I can’t help but wonder what on earth people make of my meanderings. Perhaps this revelation might help.

Two - The fact that my particular lens is tinted by this diagnosis should equally not detract from the point(s) I'm trying to make. 

By the way, the Magpie is still looking in through the window. And having ADHD is like having a meteor storm whizzing across my mind's sky...

Monday 13 November 2023

The Wit & Wisdom of Andrew Weatherall

But if that time comes when London doesn't hold that (allure) it'll be the seaside. The peeling paint of what was once a thriving place. 

There's nothing better than the faded glory of British seaside town in the winter time.

- Andrew Weatherall

Friday 3 November 2023

Big Bad Dom - Covid enquiry

Human existence throws up millions of remarkable things daily including; how funny it is that a picture, a song or a scent can transport me back to a specific time and place in a heartbeat. Whilst I’m certainly not comparing the vision of the sunken, haunted scowl of Dominic Cummings at the COVID inquiry to the feelings invoked when seeing Turner’s “The Fighting Temeraire’. Or the image of my then ex-girlfriend standing by the record player with her new boyfriend every time I hear ‘This Old Heart of Mine’ by The Isley Brothers or even the giddy response I get when a well-dressed businesswoman glides past leaving the most subtle trail of Eau Dynamisante in her wake.

But certainly, the preoccupied hollow look of the Conservatives (unelected) Covid Commissar shot me straight back to 2020, sitting at my home office desk during the height of the pandemic. 


Now, I must confess to being somewhat morbidly interested in old Dom. The fact that he moved to Russia after graduating from Oxford is often overlooked (maybe it isn’t true, another Wiki-lie?). His determination to eviscerate and evaporate obstacles (or taking up wilful and contrarian positions) is something to be examined in more detail at another time. 


It also reminds me yet again that the right often seems to have the reputation for more radical thinking and “big brain” ideas than the left, a sort of the devil has all the best tunes motif that strikes me as being very tired and overplayed. When surely there are enough dynamic leftist thinkers proposing new and vibrant ways of creating a more equitable society – surely? (Note to self: like whom? more work to be done!).


Anyway, back to the matter in hand. Cummings at the COVID post-mortem has dredged up all sorts of memories of a) my own personal experience of lockdown and b) the complete and utter shit show that the Buffoon and his puppeteer oversaw. A reminder to all concerned never ever leave a complete narcissist in control of a country in a crisis (UK/USA you have been warned).  To be honest, the lived experience in Australia seems to have been considerably better than that of GB & NI, despite having our own clown at the helm.


The horror of Dr Stewart Pearson (aka the Dominator) thinking he knew better than Westminster mandarins might be technically true but at no single stage did old Dommy two brains comprehend that his reprehensible and neolithic approach to man/woman management might be adding to the carnage. The upside/downside of deluded self-styled thought leaders is that their interpersonal skills are so appalling they can never see things through. 


Anyway, those lockdown memories keep flooding back. 




Not having to speak to anyone

Diminishing savings

Time to play the guitar

Bad food decisions

Grow a daft beard


Listen to John Lee Hooker all day

That’s it… except for

Quiet streets

When lockdown was lifted

No need for excuses for not working

When lockdown was lifted

Not having to speak to anyone…

When lockdown was lifted



Sunday 8 October 2023

The Language of Pop #6

The Magnificent Seven - The Clash

Ring! Ring! It's 7:00 A.M.!Move y'self to go againCold water in the faceBrings you back to this awful placeKnuckle merchants and you bankers, tooMust get up an' learn those rulesWeather man and the crazy chiefOne says sun and one says sleetA.M., the F.M. the P.M. tooChurning out that boogalooGets you up and gets you outBut how long can you keep it up?Gimme Honda, Gimme SonySo cheap and real phonyHong Kong dollars and Indian centsEnglish pounds and Eskimo pence
You lot! What?Don't stop! Give it all you got!You lot! What?Don't stop! Yeah!
Working for a rise, better my stationTake my baby to sophisticationShe's seen the ads, she thinks it's niceBetter work hard - I seen the priceNever mind that it's time for the busWe got to work - an' you're one of usClocks go slow in a place of workMinutes drag and the hours jerk
"When can I tell 'em wot I do?In a second, maaan...oright Chuck!"
Wave bub-bub-bub-bye to the bossIt's our profit, it's his lossBut anyway lunch bells ringTake one hour and do your thanng!Cheeesboiger!
What do we have for entertainment?Cops kickin' Gypsies on the pavementNow the news - snap to attention!The lunar landing of the dentist conventionItalian mobster shoots a lobsterSeafood restaurant gets out of handA car in the fridgeOr a fridge in the car?Like cowboys do - in T.V. land
You lot! What? Don't stop. Huh?
So get back to work an' sweat some moreThe sun will sink an' we'll get out the doorIt's no good for man to work in cagesHits the town, he drinks his wagesYou're frettin', you're sweatin'But did you notice you ain't gettin'?Don't you ever stop long enough to start?To take your car outta that gearDon't you ever stop long enough to start?To get your car outta that gearKarlo Marx and Fredrich EngelsCame to the checkout at the 7-11Marx was skint - but he had senseEngels lent him the necessary pence
What have we got? Yeh-o, magnificence!!
Luther King and Mahatma GandhiWent to the park to check on the gameBut they was murdered by the other teamWho went on to win fifty-nilYou can be true, you can be falseYou be given the same rewardSocrates and Milhaus NixonBoth went the same way - through the kitchenPlato the Greek or Rin Tin TinWho's more famous to the billion millions?News Flash: Vacuum Cleaner Sucks Up BudgieOooohh...bub-bye
Songwriters: Joe Strummer / Mick Jones / Topper Headon
The Magnificent Seven lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Saturday 7 October 2023

The Language of Pop #5

Trans-Global Express - The Jam

Ordinary people don't get time to thinkNot that it's their fault'cause you have to hustle and bustle about your workJust to make sure the food gets boughtGoverments threaten you with recessionThen they threaten you with warHow the other side wants to take awayAll the things you ain't got no moreKeep us divided with their greed and hateKeep you struggling to put the food on your plate.Imagine if tomorrow the workers went on strikeNot just British Leyland but the whole worldWho would earn their profits?Who would make their bombs?You'd see the hands of oppression fumbleAnd their systems crash to the groundAnd you men in uniform will have to learn the lesson tooNot to turn against your own kindWhenever governments tell you to.
Get the trans-global express movingAnd see our marvelous leaders quiverThey know that if it happensTheir lazy days are overThe day the working people join togetherWe'll all rest much more easyThe responsibility you must bearWhen it's your own future in your handsMaybe a hard one to face up toBut at least you will own yourself!

Paul Weller
Trans‐Global Express lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Friday 6 October 2023

The Language of Pop #4

Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground

Sometimes I feel so happySometimes I feel so sadSometimes I feel so happyBut mostly you just make me madBaby, you justMake me mad
Linger onYour pale blue eyesLinger onYour pale blue eyes
Thought of you as my mountain topThought of you as my peakThought of you as everythingI've had but couldn't keepI've had but couldn't keep
Linger onYour pale blue eyesLinger onYour pale blue eyes
If I could make the world as pureAnd strange as what I seeI'd put you in the mirrorI put in front of meI put in front of me
Linger onYour pale blue eyesLinger onYour pale blue eyes
Skip a life completelyStuff it in a cupShe said, "Money is like us in timeIt lies, but can't stand upDown for you is up"
Linger onYour pale blue eyesLinger onYour pale blue eyes
It was good what we did yesterdayAnd I'd do it once againThe fact that you are marriedOnly proves, you're my best friendBut it's truly, truly a sin
Linger onYour pale blue eyesLinger onYour pale blue eyes
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lou Reed
Pale Blue Eyes lyrics © Oakfield Avenue Music Ltd