Thursday 15 September 2011

It say’s something about The Bluetones that this (see picture) wasn’t the highlight of my visit to Liverpool.

How to make a beer pump even better

How fucking boss (in the local vernacular) is that? That’s right, it’s a small HD tv screen on the back of a beer pump. I’d be lying if I said it was strictly necessary; but when did being strictly necessary make something better? Or good even? Death is strictly necessary and it’s fucking rubbish. A small TV screen on the back of a beer pump is definitely better than death.

As much as I love the small tv screen on the back of the beer pump. AND think it is better than death EVEN THOUGH it is not that necessary I do wonder if the technology and money involved in developing it could have been spent in a way that served mankind (I mean like the human race, not the WWE wrestler) to a greater degree. Apart from anything else there were large LCD tvs all other the bar; though there were none behind the bar so you did have to twist your head slightly to keep your eye on the game. And who wants to be turning their head slightly to catch a few extra seconds of PAOK-Spurs?  Not this cat.

I would like to be in there for a big game when all the proper tellys stop working and everyone had to crowd round and watch a game on this slightly-larger-than-rotated-iPhone sized screen. Actually I wouldn’t. It would be right annoying. Fuck it. But thanks Days Inn Hotel, Liverpool. You’ve raised the bar (no pun intended, RAOTFLMAO) on beer pumps. Come on pubs of Manchester – don’t have me thinking of some skanky hotel bar in Liverpool every time I am looking at your tv screenless beer pumps.

The Bluetones Farewell Tour, however, WAS the highlight of my visit. Second place: seeing the Byrnes; Third place: TV screen on a beer pump.

I fucking love The Bluetones. Not as much as Hannah Byrne does but that is no great disgrace, cos she pyar loves them. Ever since Are You Blue or Are You Blind? fell in to my ears 16 years ago I have been a sucker for Mark Morriss’ dulcet tones, even if his surname does have an unnecessary amount of rs [I have also decided I may have been a bit judgemental here – no I haven’t he was definitely out of line – but I have decided to give him the benefit of the doubt]. You know what though? I didn’t buy it, which is odd as I bought most singles back then. I did buy it a few years later – in Preston, paying a hefty £10 from a music stall on the market; to this day it remains the only time I have paid over the odds for a CD. Well you know what I mean from like a record collector type thing; I was certainly short-changed by the last Kings of Leon album. Scathing stuff from yours truly, if Jared and the boys are reading: I meant it, deal with it.

It is sad that The Bluetones are calling it a day. I imagine it is a case of taking things as far as they can creatively and diminishing returns on gigs and CD sales. Lots of their fanbase will be married with children and have less disposable income and probably download their music illegally – the bastards. It can’t be fun having been massive – if only fleetingly – and then a few years later struggling for airplay and media coverage; James said it better than me: “if I hadn’t seen such riches I could live with being poor”.

Amazingly enough I went to see them for the first time with a man called James. What are the odds? That was bag in the crazy days of, what people called at the time, Britpop. They were headlining an NME tour ahead of the release of Expecting to Fly. They were unfortunate in their timing really: they weren’t really Britpop, they were good for starters. In my mind they are somewhere in between The Smiths and The Stone Roses or something. Expecting to Fly remains both one of the best debut albums I have ever heard, and one of my favourite albums. It hasn’t dated at all. I fucking love it.

One of my favourite things about them is well they are quite malicious. I don’t mean they bully people at gigs. I mean a lot of their lyrics are quite harsh and mean. But they kind of get away with it because (a) they are sung other lovely jangly guitars, (b) Morriss uses beautiful words to be mean and (c) he ain’t have got a lovely voice. This was prevalent  in much of Expecting to Fly, which might not be surprising as – if memory serves – it was written by Morriss and co on the back of some relationships falling apart. It did remain throughout though – and bless my days if I don’t love a bit of a cunt (who can write beautiful guitar pop).

Anyway, I will always love the cockney Liverpool supporting cunts. Adios Bluetones.

If there was one thing wrong with the gig – and there was, and it was this – it was that they didn’t play Carnt Be Trusted. So here, for Miss Emma Byrne who was similarly aggrieved at it’s absence (and for Hannah Byrne as well as she might sulk at me if I just dedicate it to Emma) is Carnt Be Trusted live….

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