World of Chig   


I'm A Non-Entity - Get Me A Career!

Now look, I pride myself on being so shallow that I am completely au fait with trivial celebrity gossip and non-happenings. I mean, I subscribe to heat magazine, fer gawd's sake. But I have to confess, I have no idea who this Catalina bird is, who ITV have just thrust into the Australian outback in the hope that she'll shag John Fashanu and/or Phil Tufnell at some point in the next fortnight. Is it a heterosexual thing? I mean, I'm well aware who Catalina Video are...

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EXCLUSIVE Eurovision news!

First they were Tricity, then Jemini, and then, it was reported in the Daily Star, they were threatened with legal action by an American act called Jemini. (There has already been a US R'n'B act who had minor success under that name in the late 90s, but it's unclear if it was them.) The Star invited readers (can they be called readers when they're just looking at the pictures?) to choose their preferred option from three: Sunrize, Jemani (note subtle difference) and Sapphire. The latter was actually the name of one of the UK's Song For Europe acts in 1998, so that was probably a non-starter anyway. I've just had confirmation from "sources very close to the UK's entry" that Chris and Gemma will now be performing in Riga under the name of....JEMINI. Yes, after all that, we're back there. Not Jemani, not anything else, just Jemini. You heard it here first.

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Too Drunk To F*** Sing

If you've ever been disappointed by a gig (and I know I have), you'll be interested in the news that fans of Creed are suing them for performing poorly at a recent concert. They're saying that the lead singer was so 'intoxicated' that he couldn't remember the words to any of the songs. Funnily enough, no mention of this on their official website. Imagine if the fans win, and the legislation is applied retrospectively...Many of the rich rock stars of yesteryear will be paupers. Lou Reed and Marc Almond must be quaking in their pixie boots. Meanwhile, Mike is now imagining the fortune he could earn from lawsuits.

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Cough, splutter....

[15:00] Ooh, this should be interesting. Not only is Steve Wright currently playing King's 'Love And Pride' (unheard by me on the radio for years and years), but he's about to have Charles and Diana Ingram on! I expect them to talk about how they have been the victims of a terrible miscarriage of justice. Then they may discuss other related topics; why the Earth is flat, how Saddam Hussein is a really nice guy and how Madonna's new album is well worth buying.
UPDATE: Couldn't hear the radio properly in the office, except for him saying there was no plan to defraud and her saying that her friends have been shocked at the way she's been portrayed in the papers. Why don't they just come clean?

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Chig's Choon

Loneliness - Tomcraft
Okay, so it's the not-so-distant cousin of Zombie Nation's 'Kernkraft 400', but what a stormer of a choooooooon. This had me cranking up the car stereo when I first heard Pete Tong play it about a month ago. A cracker and no mistake, from the German DJ with a barcode tattooed on his head (when he was 18 years old and bladdered). But why isn't it called 'Happiness'? Perhaps they thought people would assume it was a Ken Dodd cover.
Pointless chart prediction: #5
UPDATE - WED: Oooh, it looks likely to go top 3 - superb! Look out Craig David and Sting! And people, stop buying the Ronan single - it's dreary. Just because he looks absolutely bloody gorgeous on the cover - those eyes! (lenses, surely?) - it's no excuse.

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Culture Clash

Bee-ow-tee-ful Brummagem at night loike!

Tonight's the night! Birmingham will stake its claim tonight to be European Capital of Culture in 2008 in tonight's BBC One programme. (How inevitable was it that UB40 would be featured on the Brum page?!) I've voted already. I even have the badge! Fingers crossed. It will be interesting to see if the government takes any notice whatsoever of the BBC vote. I have a feeling that winning the poll could actually blight the winning city's chances, but I don't expect Brum to win the vote anyway, so it may benefit us in the end. My money's on Liverpool to get the final nod. Clearly Jemani (this year's Scouse Eurovision entrant for the UK) are at the forefront of Liverpool culture.

Manchester has made a late bid to be included by installing priceless paintings near to a disused public toilet. Rolled up. In the rain. Haven't quite got the hang of this public art thing, have they?

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Does anyone know where I can download an MP3 of 'Begin To Spin Me Round'?
(It's a mix of Dannii Minogue and Dead Or Alive.) I can't find it, but I have a clinical need to hear it! Ta.

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There are men in our office who don't wash their hands after going to the loo. I've seen it with my own eyes. I'm disgusted.

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Chig's choon

When I See You - Macy Gray

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(Not) George's Day

It's a good day today for the one who's dead and England's patron saint. Not such a good day (again) for the one who's alive and a Scottish MP.

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Birmingham becoming Iraq?

Vigilantes murdering suspected criminals? We got that three days ago.
Iraqi casualties being treated in our hospitals? We're doing that.
Works of art being ruined? We got that too, this morning.

This is the sculpture that is now "damaged beyond repair", thanks to teenage boys playing with matches this morning. Birmingham, City of Culture? City of arsonists, more like.


Maybe I'll cycle up there this weekend to take the 'After' picture. Melted fibreglass as art, anybody?

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Chig's Choon

Three-way chart battle between Robbie, Madge and Blur? Who cares? We're going with this...

Train - Goldfrapp

Long after everyone's forgotten about electroclash, could this be the most electroclashy successful single yet?
Pointless prediction: #15.
Actual chart entry position: ?

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Too much of an eye for detail?

Maybe it's because I've photographed him, or maybe I'm just tragically obsessed, but last night, watching the Salon on C4, I recognised one of their customers by their tattoo. He was having a facial on the massage table, and they didn't show his face properly at all. They didn't mention his name, or say where he was from, or anything at all about him. And yet, I am 99% sure it was Rob Conn, the current Mr Gay UK. That tattoo is quite distinctive:

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Brighten up your weekend with In Da Pub by 50 Pence; the future of British working class hip-hop. Or something. Interviewed here. It's brilliant (and intriguing if you like The Streets).

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Eurovision - the songs

So, where's that review of the Eurovision songs that Chig promised? Apologies - I had trouble finding an MP3 of Belgium, so only heard it on Monday. That night though, myself and twelve other poufs dedicated Eurovision fans watched the preview videos 'live' on Turkish TV, so I'm adjusting the reviews slightly to take those into account, and will reveal all in a few days. In the meantime though, I've made a list this evening of my 26 songs in rough order of preference. See below.

The official website is now a positive galaxy of useful stuff. Every song available as MP3 downloads, all videos available for download, photos of every artist and the lyric to every song. Go to Participants and pick your country from there.

The website also reveals in passing that there's a nightclub in Riga called the Pupu Lounge. Lovely.

Chig's list so far...
Love 'em!:
Latvia (Loved it the moment I heard it, and 25 more songs later, it's still my favourite - and then I saw the video. Swoon!)

Russia (Shouty brilliance, with 'scandal' attached.)
Ukraine (Totally original - love it. Unlike the Norwegian media.)
Turkey (Excellent modern pop.)

Very good:
Romania (Moving up after seeing the fantastic video - a self-fulfilling
prophecy if it wins?)
B&H (Rocketed up the list after seeing the homoerotic video. Oddly enough,
it won the combined vote of 13 poufs on Monday night too.)
France (Sliding down my list slightly.)

Germany (Cute video)
Slovenia (Slumped after hearing how crap the English lyric is - should have
been left in Slovenian.)
Poland (Thought this was awful at first, now being sucked in by it and the
new romantic video!)

Estonia (See what the singer thinks about Tallinn being 'a paradise for gays')
Malta (Interview here.)

Not so good:
Cyprus (but better than it was)
UK (It hurts me to say it.)

Austria (Saved from bottom place by at least being original.)
Israel (No redeeming qualities whatsoever)
Portugal (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

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Chig's Choon

It's Tricky 2003 - Run DMC feat Jacknife Lee
Pointless prediction: #10
Actual chart entry position: ?

UPDATE: Looks like the old skool revival revival hasn't taken off this time, as this flounders in the midweek chart at around #21=25.

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Also in The Sun today....t.A.T.u, as Eurovision gets an early mention. (It was mentioned on (cd):uk on Saturday too, over a preview of the 'Not Gonna Get Us' video. 'We'll be bored of them by 24 May.) It says they have been warned not to snog or do anything on stage in Riga which brings the contest into disrepute. The Sun's columnist has evidently been reading my comments boxes.

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Compare and contrast...

...if you have the UK tabloids handy (or are likely to see them in a shop). Take a look at The Mirror's front page and The Sun's back page. Two pictures of Wayne Rooney, both seemingly identical, taken at the same millisecond, from the same angle. And yet, credited to different photographers. Very strange.

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Pop quiz and geography test

As promised, a challenge, brought to you in celebration of Chig's Choon this week, El Salvador by Athlete.
This hit joins a very small number of UK chart hits whose title is the name of a country, no more, no less. I've come up with eleven (and one of those is a bit cheeky!) Can you add to the list? My list is in the comments, so you can test your brains first without reading my suggestions, if you like.

But first, the ones that nearly made it, but not quite:
Greece: Grease - Frankie Valli
Oman: Oooh, so close, with 'wOMAN’ by John Lennon.
Turkey: No hit of that name, but we’ve had ‘The Chicken Song’. Ha, ha.

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...and now, a completely unrelated pop trivia question:
What do the following three singles have in common with each other, and no others?
It's OK - Atomic Kitten
Make Luv - Room 5 feat. Oliver Cheatham
Without Me - Eminem

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Lesbians out!

...or at least t.A.T.u's Eurovision song is! Download Ne ver', ne bojsia here. I have, but can't listen to it yet. How frustrating...

UPDATE: I've heard it now! Just to put this in context, a friend copied the t.A.T.u album for me this week, so I only heard it for the first time on Tuesday night, and instantly fell in love with it. Played it again last night and in the office today, and now love it even more.
Have just played the Eurovision entry, and it sounds perfectly in keeping with the album. It's most similar to 'Not Gonna Get Us'; the next single. Musically, it's a shot in the arm for Eurovision. I can't remember anything sounding so much like a contemporary pop entry apart from Alsou in 2000 (Russia again - they sure do have their finger on the pulse!) This is much harder edged though - will it frighten the grannies? It has an almost techno instrumental section which will allow them to get up to all sorts of shenanigans - like snogging each other. Oh I can't wait! Latvia here I come!

Of course, I do have a personal reason for being pleased about this t.A.T.u hullaballo, as they have now given legitimacy to my media accreditation for Riga. For those who don't know, I write occasionally for a certain lesbian and gay news magazine, which is my raison d'etre for being accredited, but now at last there is a legitimate story to cover. (Even if the lesbianism is just a marketing ploy, it's a very successful one.) Who knows, foreign TV crews may even be after my opinion in Eurovision week, something which hasn't happened since Dana International won in 1998.

Incidentally, the Eurovision rules have now been changed, alllowing entries to be released anywhere prior to the contest, not just in their own country. So, theoretically, there is nothing to stop t.A.T.u releasing their Eurovision entry next month instead. Can you imagine if the song they performed in Riga on 24 May was actually number one all over Europe already? Is that fair? But would it actually help them win anyway, or will all the hype prove counter-productive? We shall see...

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Of all the tragic ironies....

At a time when THAT song of his has regained its currency once again, Edwin Starr has died. A great shame. His three top ten hits made #3, #6 and #9; a pattern which makes it easy to remember, if nothing else, but he never did have a UK number one, as such. And yet, in a way, he did, twice. That's because although Edwin himself remains the only person to have had a hit with War (quite surprising, for such a well-known song), it was on the back of two #1s within two years; The Jam's Beat Surrender (in a double pack) in 1982 and Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes in 1984 (and also on Frankie's #1 album).

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Cliché alert! Cliché alert!

Turkey stuffed

Miss World? Sure, have it!
Eurovision? Yep, with any luck.
Football? Nope.

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I 'heart' Eurovision

For reasons best known to BBC Midlands, they have allowed my friend Dean a page of their website to explain why he loves Eurovision. Like it needs explaining?!? That'll be the same Dean who was with me and ten other people on Friday night watching videos of this year's Austrian and Swedish finals, wine in one hand, pens in the other, and scoresheets on our laps....

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Chig's Choon

Nothing of any interest at all released this week, so I'm changing the rules. Only Avril Lavigne and Atomic Kitten are likely to be sniffing around the top ten as new entries, and I doubt if either of them will get anywhere near troubling Room 5 at the top. So, this week's Chig's Choon is one of last week's new releases:

El Salvador - Athlete
Catchy as the lurgy that's going around our office, and they seem like such a nice bunch of lads too. I fell in love with Athlete at first hearing last Summer, when they very ably supported Mull Historical Society at Shepherd's Bush Empire. They have a bunch of songs which I find impossible to categorise, so we'll just stick with 'catchy' for this one. It's their third single, and appearances on T4 and RI:SE should see this go a bit higher than the other two (#37 and #41).

Pointless prediction: I'll take a wild stab at a career best position of #31.
Actual chart entry position: Well, what do you know? It's straight in at #31. Mystic Chig strikes again!

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Coming later this week.... a small pop trivia challenge! Well, it's been a while since the daily pop quiz ended with the 50 Number Ones Countdown - I need to test your brains again!

American Shite

Is it my imagination, or is the new Madonna single absolutely crap? I think it's an embarrassment, quite frankly. Bleepy nonsense with a crap rap, and now she makes more capital out of the 'controversial' video by announcing today that it's being withdrawn? So why release it in the first place? It's not like there wasn't a war on last week, and then there is today. We are not impressed, or fooled by your desparate publicity stunts.

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Glasto tragedy

Oh bugger! Radio 1 has just confirmed the news I didn't quite believe on Liquid News last night - Glastonbury has sold out. Shit, shit, shit! It never normally sells out on the first day - in previous years, we've bought tickets much nearer the event. Is it the appeal of REM that's caused it? (Or the rumoured appearance of Dolly Parton?!) Whatever, several of us now have a spare weekend in June. Damn and blast. Bristolcream and I are gutted that we forgot.

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