The Real Thing

This was going to be a post about the cricket, but even though England are spanking the Aussies (or maybe because of it), that would only entertain a small percentage of my viewing public.
Then it was going to be a Youtube music video quota post. But the song in question (which I saw on MTV earlier this evening) was horribly cheesy and was only saved by the (impressive) totty quotient in the video.
Unfortunately, that particular version of the video is not available on Youtube. Which is a good thing actually, because the song really was VERY cheesy and now I know to steer clear. You can guess, but you’ll never get it. And I’ll never tell.

But that did leave me with a bit of a quandry. Because I have to post something here.
So step forward, ex-Buckinghamshire bathroom fitting business owner, Antonio Carmine Di Bartolomeo.
That’s where I’ve always found my inspiration for blog posts previously, anyway (not to mention for those tough-to-tile areas).

Yes, you and I know him as Toni di Bart and this is his magnificent number one single The Real Thing from 1994, conjuring up memories of Madison’s nightclub in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on a Monday evening and a stinking hangover for 9 o’clock Biochemistry lectures on Tuesday morning. Which might explain why I hate Biochemistry so much. Or it could be that it’s a pointless, dull and irritating branch science which requires no skill whatsoever. Who knows?

The video above, as far as I remember, won the 1994 award for Best video with a floppy haired bloke wearing a suit made from some curtains filmed near the coast in a Mediterranean landscape. And remember that this was 1994, so the competition was probably tougher than you might initially imagine. I could listen to this song all night, interspersed with a bit of What Is Love? by Haddaway, UR The Best Thing by D:ream and Carry Me Home by Gloworm.

The Awesome One Hit Wonders of throwaway dance music. Happy Days.

Are The Killers coming?

I had a whole heap of people in a very brief frenzy with this post:


But – whatever the comments said and however dysfunctional the Computicket link was, that post was based on at least some small degree of truth, as iAfrica states here:

It all started with an entry on the Computicket website listing The Killers performing at a Cape Town wine farm during December.
The event, discovered on the ticket booking website on Tuesday 11 August, revealed that the ‘Human’ hitmakers were playing at the Val De Vie Wine and Polo Estate on 6 December, with bookings set to open on 14 August.
A source at the venue confirmed she had also heard news of the forthcoming show and we are currently awaiting confirmation of the event details.
However the event was removed from the Computicket website later on Tuesday.

We live in hope. It would be a stunning venue for a stunning band.

Patience is all that is required. And of course, the RSS feed for this blog – because we’ll keep you posted.

Muse & Arctic Monkeys to support The Killers in South Africa

Actually… not really. I just made that up.

But it’s nice to dream, isn’t it?
(this page is a little dodgy on availability as Computicket decide on whether or not the gig is actually happening)

Sweet Peeps and Muse News

After the summery sunshine of the weekend, the public holiday turned out to be a wet and windy disappointment, reminiscent of public holidays UK-wide. Out came the Monsters Inc. DVD, which is kept on standby for such emergencies, and a HUGE bowl of popcorn, which is kept on standby for such emergencies. And thus we were sorted.

Yesterday, as I have already mentioned, was a completely different story as we made the best of the stunning weather and headed down to Maynardville – the local park – which the city council have recently furnished with a rather large jungle gym.
We got a call from Dan Plato, the executive mayor, who asked us if we could take the boy down to give it a thorough test. Apparently, if it can survive him, it can survive anything. Much like Cape Town with Dan Plato, I guess.
All of which gives me renewed confidence in my own invincibility. Anyway, he (the boy, not Dan Plato) thoroughly tested it and it passed with flying colours.
And while he was thoroughly testing it, his sister used the opportunity to be thoroughly cute through a hole in the climbing wall.

Come now, even the anti-child brigade (led by Goblin* together with all her little Goblin minions) can’t deny that she is a complete sweetie.
Even if she is apparently a little lopsided. More pics of the sunnier bits of the weekend on flickr.

In other news, Muse announced that you can pre-order their forthcoming album The Resistance and get it posted over to SA so that the workers at SAPO can have early Christmas presents for their Muse-loving family and friends.
Apart from the safe yet boring downloadable version at £7.99, you can order the standard CD for £9.99, the CD/DVD version for £13.99 or go the whole hog and provide the OR Tambo Post Office staff with enough goodies to last them until Easter with the super-duper, dogs-bits deluxe version for a mere £59.99:


Multi format box set containing the following:
– CD + DVD in foldout softpak including The Making Of The Resistance DVD (43 minutes 53 seconds)
– 180g Double heavyweight vinyl
– Muse USB pre-loaded with WAV, Apple Lossless and MP3 320 files plus bespoke audio player
– 12″ Art Print
– **Exclusive to** 5.1 surround sound Audio DVD (full bitrate DTS & Dolby)


Sadly, as I suggested, the free worldwide delivery so subtly advertised in upper-case will probably only get it to the first sorting office in Mzansi. And I’m not sure I can chuck R800 out (plus the inevitable 14% VAT bill from SARS) when there’s such a limited possibility of anything actually getting to my front door. Especially when the stuff we’ve heard so far sounds worrying like Queen. Dear lord…

* who, in a moment of weakness, has previously admitted that she thinks K-pu is cute.

a-ha: Foot of the Mountain

2010 marks the 25th anniversary of a-ha‘s first big hit, Take on Me, and the band are planning a world tour to mark the occasion. It seems unlikely that Cape Town will be on their venue list, but if you’re reading, Morten (and I know you’re a big fan of 6000 miles…) then you’re welcome to stop by our place on your way through. Please try to avoid June and July though, I have a World Cup happening and I will be busy doing World Cup stuff.

What a lot of people don’t realise is that a-ha are still together and still releasing albums. Their latest offering, Foot of the Mountain, is their 9th album and was released just last month. And with it, they have unashamedly returned to their 80’s synthy-pop roots, Morten’s distinctive and ageless voice soaring above wonderfully over-produced keyboards from the very first song, like an unusually cheerful Dave Gahan. And that’s something that’s been missing in their work for a while (the over-produced keyboards, not an unusually cheerful Dave Gahan).
Stand out tracks include What There Is, Shadowside and Foot of the Mountain, the latter probably being the most reminiscent of their early stuff, thanks to the repeating keyboard riff. And then there’s the rather Snow Patrol-esque sound of Nothing is Keeping You Here, which even now I can imagine was penned by Gary Lightbody. Although it wasn’t. 
So yes, it’s a surefire hit, but with whom, exactly?


I’ve enjoyed a-ha’s music since the beginning. Yes, I’m a fan and yes, I have all their stuff – even when they lost their direction a bit around 1993. I’ve seen them countless times. I have Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s leather wristband at home, gained after he threw it into the crowd at Sheffield City Hall in 1988. I have their solo work, even Morten’s Poetenes Evangelium, which is wholly in Norwegian and which I therefore don’t understand, but I still enjoy listening to. Last night, I even held on until the end of the pisspoor Coneheads on SET so that I could hear his version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. OK – I’ll accept that that was a bit sad.

Of course, when the whole a-ha thing started in the UK, it was cutting edge, new age and trendy. Not quite so now it seems, as they are BBC Radio 2’s album of the month and being interviewed by Dale Winton. Terrifyingly middle-aged, you might argue. And I’d agree. 
But I guess that as the band and their music has got older, so have their fans (I know I have, despite my best efforts to resist). And somehow, the 1980’s style of Foot of the Mountain has got me reliving those days and made me feel all young again.

That’s why I think it’s going to be a popular album with their fans – they still have a huge following in South America, Germany and, of course, Scandinavia. I don’t think they’ll win huge numbers of new followers with FotM, despite the critical acclaim that it has received: there just isn’t a big new market for this sort of music these days. But I doubt that the band are expecting a plethora of teenies bopping along to their stuff anyway.

Suffice to say that this latest offering will keep their fans very happy and eagerly awaiting the upcoming tour and – beyond that – the next album. Let’s just hope that we don’t have to wait another four years for that.