CD Review: Alabama 3 ~ Exit on Coldharbour Lane (1997)

People of a certain age tend to have fixed musical tastes. And I’m no exception. Therefore when I heard this cd it came as a surprise. How did this Acid House cd end up on my deck? (Quaint word heh!) But the shock of the new (1997 is new for me) didn’t collapse my brain.

Their lead singer and writer Jake Black died and was given a major obituary in the Guardian. Back in 1997 their song Woke up this morning was the theme tune of The Sopranos. As this is one of my favourite series and the music was compelling I turned to my (non-premium) Spotify account and played it. And was blown away.

Acid House turns out to be a mix of folk-rock with elements of gospel and some very challenging lyrics. More-or-less impossible to disaggregate without destroying the magnificence of it all. The amazing U Don’t Dans 2 Tekno Anymore is shocking. A wonderful sing-a-long tune telling of drug deaths. The dysfunctional tune with challenging lyrics jars producing cognitive dissonance. Other songs worth paying attention to include Bourgeoisie Blues and Mao Tse Tung Said. By ‘paying attention’ I mean listen as opposed to letting it drive you into ecstasy – unless you can do both simultaneously of course.

Ditch your prejudices and give it a try. My commitment went so far as to get the cd.


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A publicity seeking judge in Hancock’s Half Hour

Lord Chief Justice Fleming: Well now, you wish to build a road through Mr Hancock’s garden?
Sid James: That’s it.
Lord Chief Justice Fleming: And he won’t let you because he’s got a marrow growing there.
Sid James: That’s right.
Lord Chief Justice Fleming: Yes. Hmm. Yes. What is a marrow?
Sid James: Eh?
Lord Chief Justice Fleming: I always ask that. It gets me in the newspapers.
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Film Review: Rocketman (Taron Egerton and Jamie Bell)

Unlike the review cited below1 I consider this biopic in terms of what we’re missing today.

Obviously Rocketman is trite depending on a sing-a-long narrative. The recurring thread is Elton in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting coupled with flash backs. This is an authorised film with Elton’s husband being an executive producer. Elton’s promoted as a hugely talented working-class hero like Billy Elliot. This is well done. Eventually it shades into lachrymose sentimentality without actually being nauseating. All of which doesn’t give you a reason to see it.

So why see it? The sheer exuberance of Elton’s life adds zest to the inner man. Our gruesome risk averse nanny state has sucked the lifeblood out of the country. The spate of biopics about 1960s/70s superstar icons isn’t just about money, though that’s important. It’s also about the contrast that era had with our zeitgeist. That period saw overwhelming confidence even by the ‘have nots’ unlike today where fear is rampant. I enjoyed Elton’s reckless life and stupendous creativity along with his partner Bernie Taupin. The Elton shows were Shows! Great stuff and at the very least you too can sing-a-long.

1 For a very different and professional review go to

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Donald Trump meets British public opinion June 2019

..he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

Nate White

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Basic humour

Simple humour



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A failed pricing system

A ruined adventure

This photograph illustrates a failed pricing system for a scarce resource. Nepal currently charges $9,000 for a licence, which is clearly too little. Nepal is desperately poor and all the people (apart from the Sherpas) in this photograph are rich. But these people are not getting what they paid for, which is a thrilling experience and a sense of triumph. Instead they are being put at enormous risk for a mind numbingly awful experience. If Nepal tripled the price they’d probably get more revenue and the customers would get a better experience. To ration  by price is the only sensible way forward in these circumstances.


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The professor and the young female student

A student comes to a young professor’s office hours. She glances down the hall, closes his door and kneels pleadingly.

“I would do anything to pass this exam.” She leans closer to him, flips back her hair, gazes meaningfully into his eyes. “I mean…” she whispers, ” I would do…anything.”

He returns her gaze. “Anything?”


His voice softens. “Anything?”

“Absolutely anything.”

His voice turns to a whisper, “Would you…study?”


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