On Football...

The 31st of May marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the 1970 World Cup, which culminated 3 weeks later with what many people consider to be the zenith of footballing excellence, Brazil's 4-1 victory over Italy.
To British TV viewers, though, the anniversary has another significance, for it is also the birthday of 'the panel' of pundits.
Like so many innovations in football in the second half of the twentieth century, the introduction of pundits was the brainchild of Jimmy Hill. Hill was the man that ITV turned to to give their football presentation that extra something that would give them the edge over the BBC.
Now at half time it was a case of back to the studio- and the 90 minute football match was expanded into a TV epic of predictions, analysis and post mortems.
Let's meet the panel:

Jimmy Hill- former Fulham and Brentford player, head of the PFA during their campaign to abolish the maximum wage. Hill manged Coventry City and in 1967 became Head of Sport at London Weekend Television.
I wanted men conceited enough to think that their opinion was the right one. I needed them to be articulate, knowledgeable and opinionated, but also to have personality. That's not the easiest combination to find- Hill interviewed by Brian Viner.

Malcolm Allison-Big Mal- former Charlton Athletic and West Ham centre half. In 1970 he was assistant manager of Manchester City. Big Mal was the outspoken member of the panel in glorious pre political correctness fashion.

Wolverhampton Wanderers centre forward and Northern Ireland international, The Doog was the eloquent, balanced member of the panel.

Patrick 'Paddy' Crerand of Manchester United and Scotland- the voice of the people.

Bob McNab.The 26 year old Arsenal defender's international career was already over (he made 4 appearances). Bob had to ring a bell in order that the other panellists would allow him to have his say.

The 1970 World Cup remains the only sporting event for which ITV's ratings have been higher than the BBC's in head-to-head competition. The panel inspired imitators- a televised football match today without punditry would be as unthinkable as an England triumph in a penalty shoot out.

For the next twenty years, though, punditry was pretty much limited to the TV studio, as England enjoyed a period of European club dominance, a World Cup drought (absent in 1974 and 1978), and the Golden Age of Hooliganism.

And then came the gentrification of football- the advent of The Premiership, the Fanzine boom, When Saturday Comes, England's heroic/ romantic endeavours at the 1990 World Cup. The early 90's seventies nostalgia boom. Suddenly everybody (politicians, actors, writers, artists, rock stars, academics- the very people who we knew in the 1970's and 80's had frowned on football and the culture associated with it; the sort of people who you just knew would never have dirtied their knees at playtime) claimed to have always been into football, everybody (see previous list) purported to support a team . And now, to prove their credentials, they began to talk like football pundits.
The media added to this via the emerging Lad Culture , creating an image of a regressive trainspotterish football obsessed male and an alternative sort of punditry emerged- not footballers talking about football but 'lads' talking about football. Danny Baker, Baddiel and Skinner, Simon O'Brien on Standing Room Only...
A special mention must be made of Paul Gascoigne's stint at ITV during the 2002 World Cup. The person who came up with the idea of using Gascoigne might have believed that being included on the panel would reveal some special and previously hidden qualities in a man (much loved) tormented by alcoholism and an affective disorder- or maybe they just thought Paul's good for a laugh. Gascoigne's main failing as a pundit was his inability to speak on camera, and it made cringeworthy viewing. At least Paul was in the studio - in 1986 the BBC hired George Best in a similar capacity- he never turned up.


Don Dixon-Most of the Girls Like to Dance But Only Some of the Boys Like To (1985)

Generally speaking the music I post on here is chosen because I like it and I want to share this pleasure with others.
I don't really like this record, though.
I came across it when I was going through some CDs looking for stuff to post.
The back story is I saw Dixon on Andy Kershaw's Whistle Test Comboland feature in 1985. As well as producing R.E.M (the first 2 LPs with Mitch Easter), The Smithereens and The Connells Dixon had been in Arrogance- a cult band from North Carolina who were seen as a sort of proto-indie phenomenon for their use of the jangle pop sound from 1970 onwards.
I wasn't that taken with his track on 1986's Welcome to Comboland LP , but The song I heard on the Kershaw programme, Most of the Girls Like to Dance But Only Some of the Boys Like To stuck in my head for years, about 15 years in fact. But when I finally got my hands on this I was disappointed.


We have received a DMCA complaint for your blog, Bvrning Aqvarivm...

Well- this might be the first of many.
I've taken down the link to Richard Hell and the Voidoids Blank Generation in response to a complaint made under the DMCA.


Welcome to Comboland- A collection of 12 artists from North Carolina (1986)

What it says on the cover.
The Othermothers - Rodeo
The Connells - Brighter Worlds
Right Profile - Cosmopolitan Lovesick Blues
The Graphic - I Flew Like a Bird
Rod Dash - Jimmy's Out of Touch
Southern Culture on the Skids - Love in 4D
The Woods - Battleships Chains
Fetchin Bones - Plus 7
The Spongetones - Torn Apart
The Accelerators - Leave My Heart
Scott Davison - Velvet Elvis
Don Dixon - When a Man Loves a Woman
More Don Dixon coming soon...

Jack Kerouac...

Here's another plug for one of my favourite blogs- find downloadable audio files of Jack Kerouac- readings on the Beat Generation over at Kartoshka 167- The Past is a Foreign Country.

Lots of football as well...


Small Nations Festival Gig- 05.06.10

Anyone who's down Carmarthenshire way on June 5th might want to check out The Small Nations Gig at Llandovery.
Two of the acts on the bill have recently been featured on Burning Aquarium; Danni Berry and Conductors .
This is a 'satellite gig' - The Small Nations Festival itself is in July- check the link for details.


Hugh Cornwell

I'm a bit late with this one, but it should be of interest to anyone who uses sites like Burning Aquarium. Hugh Cornwell approves of net fans who download music: http://www.pampelmoose.com/2010/03/stranglers-hugh-cornwell-approves-of-music-downloading-offers-free-album.

Here's a link to Hugh's latest release, free to download: www.hooverdamdownload.com/

And here's an interesting screencap:

That's right- available for just £7.90 on i-Tunes, the album that Hugh is, er, giving away for free. Anyway, on his latest tours Hugh has been playing Rattus Norvegicus, The Stranglers debut LP from 1977- here's a recording of it.



In March 1987 Pixies recorded an 18 track demo which became known as The Purple Tape. Eight of the tracks from these sessions were released in 1987 as the band's debut, Come On Pilgrim , one (a cover of Larry Norman's Watch What You're Doing) remained unused, but the remaining nine were put together for this 2002 release. Some of the tracks had been re recorded and used in the interim.


The Clash- Black Market Clash 10" (1980)

I've been listening to this record for two thirds of my life now- and a fair number of low grade stylii have ploughed their way around it. This is a vinyl rip of the Epic Nudisk USA 10" import.



Conductors are a bi lingual band based in Carmarthen and Cardiff.
Just got a disc of rough demos from these lads courtesy of my old pal Aled Thomas...
literally found it on the doormat when I got home. Very promising- have a listen over on Myspace. Looking forward to hearing more of this stuff ...

Aled of course was formerly the frontman of Supergene - who I'm happy to report are now releasing new material with a different line up.


Links in comments...

Regular readers will be pleased to know that Dave Sez is back with us. Dave's comments contain excellent links so it's worth checking out his contributions in the comments column...


135 Grand Street, New York, 1979 (?)

Punk Rock and non- musicianship fight it out with art world attitude.
This is the soundtrack from Ericka Beckman's documentary on the New York No Wave scene. Dodgy sound quality, as you would expect. File includes booklet.

1. Theoretical Girls — Glazened Eyes
2. Ut — Sharp's Loose
3. A Band — Sand and Sea
4. A Band — Mirror, Mirror
5. Rhys Chatham — Guitar Trio
6. Chinese Puzzle — Great Wall Of Prague
7. The Static — Spectacular Commodity
8. Morales — Gay Girl In a Gay Bar
9. Youth in Asia — Talking Heads pt.1
10. Youth in Asia — Amnesia
11. Steve Piccolo — Superior Genes
12. Chinese Puzzle - Chinese Funk
13. Jill Kroesen — Fay Shism Blues
14. Steve Piccolo — It's Hard to Be in Love in Times Like These
15. The Static — My Relationship
16. Theoretical Girls — Contrary Motion


Servan said...

Joseph Servan said: A fool of a despot may force his slaves with iron chains. But the true politician binds them much faster by the chains of their own conceptions. He fastens the shackles to the solid ground of reason, an anchor which is securer the less we know of its nature, and the more we believe ourselves to be its originators.

Right- now I'm off to spoil my vote!
In the 2005 election more people didn't vote at all than voted for Labour (38.6 % over 35.2% of the electorate). It is estimated that more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds are not registered to vote...




If you drop a guitar down a flight of stairs, it'll play 'Gloria' on its way to the bottom- Dave Barry.
This is for all you people who are starting groups- Woody (The 101ers)

Curmudgeonly Belfast bluesman Van Morrison penned this song in 1964 and it appeared as the B side to his band Them's single Baby Please Don't Go.
It's eminently playable simple 3 chord structure made it a staple of the booming garage scene on both sides of the Atlantic. There are versions here by US garage bands The Gants (the first recorded cover), The Squires, and Robb London and Soul Unlimited. In 1965 Chicago's The Shadows of Knight released a slightly bowdlerized version that made the Billboard top ten.
Garage rock had a global appeal and we have here two Latin American interpretations of the song, from Columbia's Los Ampex and Mexico's Miguel Angel and Los Sharps.
Meanwhile down in Adelaide notorious hedonists The Masters Apprentices were giving Gloria their own treatment.
As the beat music of the era gained a more acid tinged, psychedelic feel, bands such as The 13th Floor Elevators emerged from the garage scene . The song's simple structure and sexual overtones made it an ideal backdrop for the meandering poetic improvisations of Jim Morrison of The Doors and a backbone for the inspired guitar noodlings of Jimi Hendrix.
Patti Smith opened her 1975 LP Horses (one of the most influential records in the history of popular music) with her take on Gloria, featuring a trademark poetic ramble.
This outing propelled Gloria into the proto punk garage scene that spawned pub rock , two versions here- The 101ers and Eddie and the Hot Rods. In that other great populist music boom of the 70's, Disco, Santa Esmeralda funked up the track for a spin under the glitterballs (to be honest it isn't as funky as you'd expect).
The first time that Melbourne's The Boys Next Door were recorded was a live set featuring Gloria in 1977 .
Van Morrison teamed up with John Lee Hooker to take the song back into the charts in 1993.
The appeal of the three chord bash that typified garage music is enduring as well as far reaching- contemporary Magnitude 3 from Japan come up with by far the most primitive take of the song here, and The Crushers from Moscow give us a massive 21 st century version .

Bear in mind:
Variable bitrate.
Some of original recordings rudimentary.
Van Morrison is known to employ 10,000 monitors in five continents working 24 hours a day to ensure that his work is not circulated via the internet.


Billy Childish- 25 years of being childish (2002)

Billy says it all in his own words there. Can't add to that.
Here is a 42 track retrospective of the first 25 years of Billy Childish's recording career, featuring The Pop Rivits, The Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Ceasars, The Delmonas, Sexton Ming, Jack Ketch + crowmen, Thee Headcoats, Thee Headcoatees, Armitage Shanks, The Blackhands, and The Buff Medways.


Latest from the EDL talent show...

This is some cunt called 'Arry' with a rather amateurish attempt to impersonate Al Jolson.
Interestingly enough I'm sure 'Arry' (left) is strongly opposed to the wearing of burkas (right) - no doubt because of his radical feminist leanings.

May 1st

A happy International Workers' Day to all.

Let’s not change bosses, let’s change life.
Paris graffiti, May 1968