World of Chig   

Chig does Cardiff

WARNING: Blatant self-publicity moment coming up.
Stuck for something to read this weekend? Chig can heartily recommend the new issue of gaytimes (below). The fact that Chig has written and photographed the three page report on Cardiff Mardi Gras is, of course, entirely coincidental. Here are two of the pictures which didn't get in. Can't think why...

(L-R) The voice of an angel meets the spawn of the devil, November's cover and the lovely Andy Harvey, Cheltenham's Mr Gay UK contender, succeeds in making himself look even more attractive by standing next to Chig.

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Pop Bollox (3)

More nonsense this week from the Yahoo! Launch chart commentary . It's about Travis and their new entry at number 20 with 'Walking In The Sun'. James says;

"A measure of just how far they had declined came in April when their long awaited new single 'Love Will Come Through' made a miserable Number 28, their smallest hit single since they were relative unknowns back in 1997."

Their smallest hit? Really? I don't think so. You only have to look back to the single before that to see Travis's lowest charting single. 'The Beautiful Occupation' made a measly number 48 last December; their only single since they started having hits to miss the top 40. (Releasing a single in Christmas week which alluded to the war in Iraq was never going to be good for airplay or sales.) When I went to school, number 48 was a lower chart position than 28.

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Just Lose It

That's the election, Mr. Bush. Who would have thought it? Eminem releases a special video track, 'Mosh', just ahead of the Presidential election. Forget the rather lightweight, Michael Jackson-baiting single out next week (Just Lose It), this is dark and brooding Eminem back on biting form. 'Mosh' starts off with a plane crashing into a building while 'Bush' is in front of a classroom full of children. Haven't we seen that somewhere before? It ends with the simple message 'VOTE on November 2'. What's in between is dark and aggressive, and pretty direct; "Fuck Bush, until they bring the troops home," for instance. Never in a million years would I have expected Eminem to issue an anti-Bush tirade like this. My opinion of Eminem has shot up. Could this be the secret weapon that Kerry needs to deliver the youth vote? God, I hope so. And so do seven out of every eight people in Europe, according to the polls. Fingers crossed for Tuesday. Let's hope America doesn't sleepwalk us all into another nightmare 4 years of cowboy control, but votes in Kerry and starts to be respected in the world again. Simplistic? Of course, but the alternative is too horrendous to contemplate.

Source of hope: Republicans For Kerry. Yes, you did read that right.

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John Peel 1939 - 2004. Will be sadly missed around these parts.

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Pop Bollox (2)

Back so soon? 'Fraid so. Listeners to the Radio 1 Top 40 today had to put up with Darius wittering on about Hear'say. He managed two untruths in the space of one breath. First, he declared that 'Pure And Simple' was "the biggest-selling single ever", which I think Elton John might challenge. It's not even the biggest-selling single to emerge from the Popstars/Pop Idol format; that honour belongs to Will Young. What he probably meant was that it's the fastest-selling single (in its first week on sale) by a group, which is true, but slightly more specific. Hear'say's debut is currently the 65th best-selling single of all time in the UK.

Darius then said that Hear'say "never got further than one album". Oh, really? Could have fooled me. Mind you, this BBC review does explain why people have tried to forget.

Hear'say's first album...........and an optical illusion.

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Still 8 to go...

With Eric Prydz hanging on for yet another week today (making 5 weeks in total; the most since Blackeyed Peas a year ago), we are faced with an intriguing possibility. It's exactly 8 weeks today that we'll get to find out the Christmas number one. If we get a new number one every week for the next eight weeks, the Christmas chart-topper (or Band Aid III as I think we can safely call it) will also be the 1,000th number one. Wouldn't that be something? I doubt if it'll happen though - we're probably looking at late January or early February before the 1,000th arrives.

In the meantime, some future battles for the top spot:
This week: Daniel Bedingfield v. The Noise Next Door
November: The Battle of the Mickey Mouse Club cover versions: Britney's 'My Prerogative' v. Christina & Missy's 'Car Wash'.
19 December: Band Aid III v. Ronan & Yusuf's 'Father And Son' v. Joss Stone & Mick Jagger. All bets are off.

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Coming Around Again

On tonight's 'X Factor', Simon Cowell accused Louis Walsh of making his acts look dated.
What an absurd idea.

Peters & Lee, Top Of The Pops, circa 1973 and 2 To Go, The X Factor, today.

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Pop Bollox (1)

The first in an occasional new series where Chig exposes the rubbish, lies and stupid mistakes in the pop media. (It'll mainly be quotes from the script of cd:uk, to be honest, judging from their recent levels of accuracy.)

First up, it's been on the Launch website for five days now and they still haven't corrected it, so it's time to expose the Pop Bollox in this week's chart commentary. It says there, bold as you like, talking about last Sunday's surprise return to the UK's number one spot;

"Eric Prydz's 'Call On Me' [...] has reversed its decline and once again ascends to the top of the charts. It is the first record to do so since Daniel Bedingfield's 'Gotta Get Thru This' sneaked back to Number One in early 2002 having been deposed from the top of the charts a full three weeks earlier. No other singles have managed this since the heady days of 1996-8."

No other singles have climbed back to number one since 1998, huh? Utter rubbish. As any self-respecting Sclubber knows, 'Don't Stop Movin'' also had two spells at number one in May 2001. It was one week each time, with two weeks off in the middle to give Geri Halliwell a go. In my calendar, May 2001 is "since 1998", so the first Pop Bollox award goes to James Masterton and Yahoo! Launch. Congratulations to them. And remember, pop kids, don't believe what you read.

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Random chart

Today's featured chart, in the first of an occasional series.

I'm sure, like me, you've lost count of the number of times you have stopped yourself in your tracks in the middle of a boring day, and thought, "I wonder what the people of Zagreb are downloading onto their mobile phones? What's ringing in Rovinj? What's 'ot in Opatija?" Well, one of the joys of the day job is that we get this information on our intrawebnet thing. So now, I can share with you the top three from...(trumpet):

Croatia's Ringtone Chart for September

1 NEW Dragostea Din Tei
2 NEW Wild Dance
3 (6) Lane Moje

I can't be bothered with the rest of the top ten as I don't recognise any of the other titles. But let's just look at the top three from the bottom up and see if we can spot what's been influencing Croatians' choices of ringtones...

Number 3 is the beautiful song which came 2nd in this year's Eurovision for Croatia's neighbours Serbia & Montenegro (narrowly failing to secure Chig a handsome win at the bookies, but we'll gloss over that). I bet it sounds rubbish as a ringtone.

At number 2 is Ruslana's Eurovision winner from Ukraine - a hit all over Europe but just one measly week in the UK chart in the low 40s. Such a big, epic song must sound absolutely shite as a ringtone.

Top of the download pops in Croatia is the biggest European hit of the Summer from O-Zone (and the other version from Haiducii). It probably sounds perfect as a ringtone. At last, I hear you cry, one that has no connection with Eurovision. But hold it right there. If the rumours are correct, one country making their Eurovision debut in Kyiv next year will be Moldova. And where are O-Zone from? That's right, Moldova. Sorted. Get O-Zone in. Get a song that's a bit like 'Dragostea Din Tei'. Winner. You heard it here first.

(And just in case you thought O-Zone were merely novelty one hit wonders, let me point out that their follow-up single, 'Despre Tine' is currently number one in Norway, which is quite a long way from Moldova. Pan-European appeal, you see. Be very scared.)

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On again

Nothing seems to work out the way it's planned for me at the moment, and my broadband experience is proving to be more than a little frustrating. (My new car has been vandalised twice in the last three weeks too, which is going to cost me about two hundred pounds to fix.) Far from being on all the time, my broadband modem keeps dropping the connection and I have to dial up again. This always needs doing twice, as the first attempt only lasts about ten seconds before dropping again. Worse than this though, it's completely hit and miss whether the broadband modem is ready to go on line at all (ie. with two solid green lights on). Some days, it just doesn't respond. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the broadband software about ten times in the last week, as that's the only thing that gets it going again, but it's completely random whether or not it works. (Three attempts tonight, for example.) I spent some time on the phone last week to a very helpful guy at Wanadoo's customer support centre. He's sending me a new modem, just in case the one I have has a loose connection or something. I'm rather more worried that it's something to do with some vile infection that I keep seeing on my PC; a mischievous program that keeps reinstalling itself and producing a pop-up that says 'Please select your country', with a drop-down menu. I have steadfastly refused to click on it, except for the red cross, which does nothing, and fails to delete it. As I write now, there are eleven versions of this at the bottom of the screen, which won't go away until I reboot. They are linked to an .exe file which keeps reinstalling itself in the C:/ drive, with a numerical name. Even though I've deleted it from there AND from the recycle bin, then rebooted, it keeps coming back. I have anti-virus software AND a firewall AND MS Servicepack 2 AND Ad-Aware, which I've been running almost hourly, so how the f*ck is it still infecting my machine, and how do I get rid of it? Any help gratefully accepted...

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A Question of Lust Time Why?

A quick question for music lovers: Why has Depeche Mode's 1990 hit 'Enjoy The Silence' suddenly appeared this week as a new entry at no.17 in the download chart? If it was 'Personal Jesus', I could understand, as Marilyn Manson's cover version is released on CD tomorrow. But why this track? Have I missed something?

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