World of Chig   


Oh well, as the UK's not going to win Eurovision, better start looking elsewhere. I now know who I want to win the Bosnia & Herzegovina final. Wahey! Who cares what his song's like?!
If you've ever wondered what Brett from Suede and Ricardo from The Salon would look like merged, you'll probably prefer this Bosnian contender. 'Fey' would be an understatement here...

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(Logo courtesy BBC)

And the Song For Europe winners are...

Ever Since That Night
Wait For The Moment
Cry Baby
Help Me

Hmm, that's just two of my predicted four, and the same two of my 'hoped for' four. I was more successful with my predictions last year, but it probably has something to do with not hearing the songs properly this time around.

The UK is now left with two ballads in the last four - they both made it, which is unusual. I think that tells us just how poor the up-tempo songs are/were. At this moment, I'd like to see Help Me go through, but I reserve the right to change my mind. A Song For Europe is on BBC One on (I think) Sunday 2 March. This year Chig will not be in Australia when it's happening. With any luck I'll be very, very close indeed. Like in the studio!

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I haven't been able to hear the UK's eight Song For Europe until today, but I'm thrilled that some of you have been reviewing them already in the comment box - thank you! So here is Chig's first impression, as heard just now on the radio, in a very busy office where I can't hear them properly!

1) Do Anything For Your Love - Fenix
Intro doesn't grab you, but it launches quickly into the chorus. Sparse verses, but a bit more fleshed out in the chorus. Lyrically okay. Certainly not an ESC winner though.

2) Ever Since That Night - Mimi
Made no impression.

3) First Night - SK
Okay, in a Precious kinda way, but R'n'B lite ain't my kinda thing.

4) Wait For The Moment - Esther Hart
Dreary. No thank you.

5) Cry Baby - Tricity
Sounds perky enough on the radio, but I'm not that excited.

6) Help Me - Emily thingy
Yes, I can appreciate that this is a fine song, waiting to grow on me after a few hearings. Yikes! I never thought I'd be going for the big ballad as my fave at this stage of the competition.

7) Smile
Oh dear, yes, I was involuntarily singing 'Do you believe in life after love?' over the intro.
Someone in the office, who doesn't even know this is a potential Eurovision song, has just starting dancing to it and said "It's that kind of really trashy Europop style, isn't it?" Actually, I would say it's not trashy enough: it's not DJ Romeo (from last year). It IS very repetitive, but it doesn't grab me at all.

8) Rainy Day In Summer
Oh God, what crap. Embarrassing. No way this will get through to the last four.

Okay, I believe everybody else now. What a disappointing selection. Hard to believe there were hundreds of songs worse than this. Where was the song that made me go, "Yes! I love this!" Okay, I've only heard them once, but Help Me is the only one that has impressed at all. I'm normally very excited by all this, but at the moment I couldn't really care what gets through. What a shame.

Chig's choice:
Help Me
Cry Baby
Do Anything For Your Love

Pointless prediction:
Help Me
Cry Baby
Do Anything For Your Love
First Night

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Top Tips For Terrorists
Dear al-Qu'aeda,
(And I know you're all reading this). I have a top money-saving tip for you. If you want to bring the UK to its knees, economically and physically, don't waste your money on bombs and ricin, just pray to Allah for an inch of snow. The plan seems to be working so far.

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Unfit for a queen
This stuff about the Simpsons (no, not those Simpsons) is absolutely fascinating. I recommend clicking on the link to the abdication papers too. It seems that, in the 1930s, being "very good looking...and an excellent dancer" didn't necessarily mean that you were a homosexual. Amazing. And could there be a worse name for someone trying to sell cars than Mr Trundle?

While we're on the subject of old documents, I was given something amazing last night, in my role as our family archivist and historian. We're going through the horrible, emotional process of clearing out my Gran's house so that it can be sold. Last night I was up in the dusty loft, where my Grandad used to have his workshop for making toys. We also used to shoot targets on the beams with Grandad's air rifle. (Bet you didn't realise I was a juvenile sharpshooter, did you?) Anyway, despite finding two old suitcases up there, my high hopes of finding some old family secrets were dashed as they both turned out to be empty. However, my Mum gave me something she'd found in a drawer. It's a printed certificate from the Archdiocese of Worcester for passing some prayer exams, given to my Gran's own Grandfather (my great-great-grandfather). It has his name, Samuel Harbourne, and school written on it by hand, as well as the date; 1870. It feels amazing to have found something that actually belonged to someone from whom I'm directly descended, that's so old. Even though I have copies of Samuel's death and marriage certificates, at 133 years old, this certificate is by far the oldest family heirloom that we have and it just feels amazing to think that my great-great-grandfather actually owned and touched it. I'll scan it one day and show it here.

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Chig's Choon

It's the Russian lesbians of course! Closely followed by Soft Cell, who look set to succeed with The Night where comeback single Monoculture failed, and actually crack the Top 40. Hurrah!

Pointless prediction (for Tatu, not Soft Cell!): #1

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It’s tomorrow… / C’est demain…

It’s that time again! Tomorrow morning sees the proper start of the UK’s 2003 Eurovision build-up. The first four songs of our eight contenders are revealed on BBC Radio 2 on Monday morning, building up to the televote on Friday, when eight become four, going forward for the TV show in March.

We know the eight song titles and the writers, but the BBC website hasn’t revealed the artists yet. So we don’t know whether the rumoured appearance of The Cheeky Girls is true or not. All may become clear from 08:00 tomorrow, when the eight songs are available to listen to in full on the BBC website. None of the usual suspects are there in the list of writers, the most (only?) familiar name being Simon May, who wrote the EastEnders theme (and subsequent hit for Anita Dobson), plus Nick Berry’s #1, ‘Every Loser Wins’.

However, we do know from some of the artists’ own websites, the odd local press article and postings to the Yahoo! Eurovision list about three of the acts.

‘Do Anything For Your Love’ is sung by Fenix, an English/Scottish female duo.
‘Cry Baby’ is by Tricity; another duo. The song is apparently “up-tempo with a 21st century groove”, written by a professor at LIPA (AKA Paul McCartney’s ‘Fame’ School.)

Most worrying of all so far is this lot. Lord save us from a group who seem to think they are Charlie’s Angels. Their website screams ‘tacky’, and I don’t care if ‘First Night’ is the best song in the world; I don’t want us to be represented by pop’s equivalent of the Daily Star. Call me a snob…

If you hover over ‘Please Enter’, you will see the girls are ‘Britains sic Harmony & Rythm sic Sensation’. Three mistakes in one sentence: not bad going girls. Leaving aside the missing apostrophe and the spelling of ‘rhythm’, they don’t seem to realise they’re hoping to represent the UK, not just Britain. People of Northern Ireland, exact your revenge for being ignored! Don’t vote for them!

My challenge is: will we be able to keep Radio 2 on at work before someone turns it over, and without me appearing to be TOO interested when they play the songs?

Chig’s own Eurovision season kicks off this afternoon, when I’ll be round at B&K’s, watching the video of last night’s Polish final. Such dedication. Poland isn’t the first country to choose its song though – that honour went to Israel last week. Their song apparently sounds like something from the 60s, and not in a good way.

Only 113 days until Chig flies to Riga. 120 days until Eurovision itself.

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Must stop now, Justin Timberlake's on (cd):uk. Mmmmmmm...... And where IS this Crimea River anyway? Is it near to where the Crimean War took place? ;-)

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Chig’s Choon (this week)

Nice Weather For Ducks – Lemon Jelly
Also winning the prize for best cover artwork this week is this slice of pure madness from Lemon Jelly. (I keep imagining that Lemon Jelly is an early 90s indie supergroup fusion of The Lemonheads and Jellyfish, but no.) ‘Nice Weather For Ducks’ is just bonkers. The cover notes say that the second track, ‘Soft’, “unsurprisingly, contains elements from the Chicago recording ‘If You Leave Me Now”, written by Peter Cetera”. They’re not bloody kidding. It’s more a cut-up remix of the Chicago #1 than a brand new track. Has to be heard to be believed. Chig has discovered that this two track single is the best so far this year for falling asleep to in his brand new bedside CD/radio/alarm combo type thingy. So now you know what Chig gets up to late at night.

Pointless prediction: #20
Actual chart entry position: #16

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Chig’s Choon (last week)

Year 3000 – Busted
Oh yes, we do perky, proto-punky pop too on World Of Chig. We’re not proud. And besides, the video’s fab. It was a tough choice this week, with several good singles, but no absolutely brilliant ones. Sorry David, you’ll be number one, but ‘Stop Living The Lie’, although undoubtedly catchy, sounds like schoolboy poetry set to music. Which it is. And no record which rhymes ‘believe’ with ‘sleeve’ can be Chig’s Choon, I’m afraid. You’ll release better singles than this. Feeder: good, but not brilliant. Layo & Bushwacka: a nice idea, doing a ‘Toca’s Miracle’ to your own tune by adding another dance hit (Kings Of Tomorrow’s ‘ Finally’) over the top, but I bought you last year – I’m not falling for it again.

Which leaves us with Charlie and chums. Busted are public school pop, and very nice boys, attempting to depose the ‘sink estate’, club-fighting trash that is Girls Aloud. It’s class war! We tried to resist the charms of ‘That’s What I Go To School For’, but failed, and it’s the same with this one. Just a few comments about this one though boys. I’m quite prepared to accept that, in a thousand years, we’ll live underwater – surely just a logical brand extension for Center Parcs. I’m even prepared to believe that women will have three breasts, as in the video. Marky Mark already has three nipples, and who knows where evolution will take us in the next 997 years. However, I’m not quite prepared to believe that only five generations have passed between now and the year 3000, unless life expectancy shoots up at an incredible rate in the coming years. Even assuming women gave birth at an average age of 25, you’d be meeting the ‘great-great-great-granddaughter’ in just over 100 years’ time, not 1,000. We know what you went to your posh school for, and it wasn’t maths lessons, was it boys?

Still, you were right about one thing. You won’t even have to wait for your seventh album to outsell Michael Jackson. It looks like your first one will do it anyway, as ‘Busted’ pogoes its way up from #20 to #5 this week. It’s already spent more weeks in the Top 75 than Jacko’s last effort did.

Pointless prediction: #3
Actual chart entry position: #2 (one place higher than their debut single, as the council chicks slide a little quicker than expected).

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Not Staying Alive

Spirits Having Flown

Ever since our little Number Ones project finished, World Of Chig has been noticing whenever a number one hitmaker has died. Since the project started, both Lonnie Donegan and Jam Master Jay (of Run DMC) have passed away, and then Joe Strummer just before Christmas. (‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ became The Clash’s only #1 and only top ten hit a mere 14 years after they’d started having hits, due to the Levi’s ad.) This weekend though, the grim reaper has claimed a triumvirate of chart-toppers:

Maurice Gibb had five number ones across a twenty year span from 1967-1987 with his Bee Gee brothers. The Gibbs wrote several songs which were number ones for other people too, including ‘Chain Reaction’ for Diana Ross, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ by Take That, boyzone’s ‘Words’ and ‘Tragedy’ by Steps. They would have had last month’s UK Christmas Number One too, with Sacred Trust, if it hadn’t been for those Girls Aloud yobbos. Maurice was also married to a #1 hitmaker, although he had divorced Lulu long before she hit the top for the only time with ‘Relight My Fire’. Which brings us back to Take That again…

I'm sure that at some point, the Bee Gees may well have been nice people, who I may have respected. Unfortunately though, my lasting memory of them now is their appearance (and disappearance) on Clive Anderson Talks Back, when they revealed themselves to be a bunch of humourless, arrogant tossers. A reputation destroyed in a flash. Such a shame.

Robin Gibb was just about to release a solo single too. I wonder what will happen to that now.

Bee Gees Triv 1: Despite everyone thinking the Gibbs were Mancunian, they were actually born in Douglas, on the Isle Of Man.
Bee Gees Triv 2: Although they wrote their first UK #1 about going back to Massachusetts (or Massive Tooth Sets as Angus Deayton’s Hee Bee Gee Bees would parody it in the 80s), they had never been there. They just liked the sound of the word.

The two other chart-toppers who died at the weekend were Micky Finn and General Galtieri. Finn was described on Ceefax last night as ‘bongo player’ with T.Rex (four number ones). I’d like to think he contributed a little more than that, for his sake. It’s not much of an epitaph, is it? General Galtieri was most famous for his 1977 chart-topper ‘ Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’. Oh shit, no, that was Julie Covington.

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Oh, the irony! The message from Mike is perfectly true, after I asked him only last night to put it here - thank you Mike. Today though, I find myself off work with my first sickie in the six months since starting my current job. Blogger only ever works for me in the morning, while America sleeps, and even that is unpredictable with my aged PC, but I'm back! Briefly. Any other postings on here will now have to appear early in the mornings, if I can get up.

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Chiggy Boys and Chiggy Girls: this is Mike from Troubled Diva, with an important message from Mister Chig.

Chig regrets to inform you that he will not be able to update this site for the forseeable future. This is firstly because his steam-driven home PC steadfastly refuses to let him use Blogger, and secondly because he no longer has Internet access at work. If/when either of these situations changes, then he will most assuredly be back. Until then, there will regrettably be no further updates on this site.

Over and out (sniff).

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It's back! The return of....

Chig's Choon

AKA Single Of The Week
(Let's see how long we can keep this up.)

Danger! High Voltage! - Electric Six
It may well be the only single of any note released this week (sorry erasure, nobody cares about your limp Peter Gabriel cover), but this will surely be showing up in a few end-of-year faves lists in 12 months' time anyway. Mad tune, mad video. As refreshingly mad as the recent John Otway single. Compulsive.

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Finney peculiar
Did anyone else notice that three FOUR! different TV channels unwittingly had a theme night last night?
Let's look at the schedule:
21.00 BBC ONE drama The Gathering Storm, starring Albert Finney as Churchill.
23.00 C4: Frasier, guest starring Albert Finney as Mr. Moon, Daphne's father.
00.15 BBC TWO: Saturday Night And Sunday Morning - classic film from 1960, starring....oh you know by now.

Quite a tribute night, considering he's not even dead.

UPDATE: 07/01/03. On further perusal of the TV guide last night, I discovered (as Simon has pointed out in the comments too) that he was ALSO in some ITV1 'comedy' on Sunday night called My Uncle Silas. That's almost a clean sweep of the channels! As far as I know, he wasn't in anything on five, unless you know better...

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It was bloomin' good fun, New Year's Eve. And there is photographic evidence! See the night degenerate (in the best possible way) as we trekked around our four venues. First Kat's flat, with gorgeous home-made nibbles and champers. Second, Crystaltipps' place for vodka shots en route to venue three, the Prince Of Wales. We went outside just to prove to ourselves that it really is exceptionally warm for the time of year. After ten minutes in the beer garden, we decided we were better off in the corridor by the loos(!). Lastly, Kate and Russ's flat, were vodka jellies, vodka, veggie chilli and jacket spuds were consumed. Much dancing ensued, which looks like auditions for the replacement Steps in the photos. Now ideally I would ask Crystaltipps (for it is she) to remove one of these pictures on the grounds that it is ABSOLUTELY HIDEOUS. But I'm too impatient and not (quite) that vain. Enjoy!

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