World of Chig   

Chig's gigs

It's been quite a week for seeing live (and mimed) music. I'm off to see The Human League in a few minutes with Boisvert, rounding off nine days in which I've seen a whole panoply of the great, the good and the downright desperate. Namely....Nadia, Pop! (on their farewell tour, even if no one's told them yet) and new act Baby Vader at the Nightingale last Saturday, PJ Harvey (superb) and Morrissey (astoundingly good) at the NIA on Tuesday, Kym Mazelle, Rozalla, Rachel McFarlane and Kelly Llorenna all at the Nightingale last night and 'Ver League ((c) Smash Hits c.1981) tonight.

I'm very excited about seeing Phil and the girls again, but I wish I could shake off the headache which comes from stumbling in at 6am today. (No artificial stimulants involved, just alcohol.) The latter part of last night/this morning is almost a complete blank, but I do remember turning down some quite attractive bloke, on the grounds that I was holding out for his friend. This morning, I reviewed my tactics and decided I got it wrong, but it's too late now. Regrets? I've had a few....

POP QUIZ! How many of the acts listed above have featured on a UK Number One single?

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Isn't it nice when these silly little 'which ..... are you?' quizzes actually come up with an answer that you'd like to think is true?

You are Parsley the Lion
You are Parsley the Lion - you are calm, dependable
and loveable. Others may look to you for a
guiding hand and a friendly growl.

Which Herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Here comes the science bit...

22.30: Do excuse me. I'm watching a 'science' programme (link now removed by five), which is explaining how physically unattractive men are able to get attractive sexual partners. I'm busy taking notes...

Later: Well, whaddayaknow? The answer, it seems, is to be famous. Mick Hucknall, Dean Gaffney, Peter Stringfellow. I think they may have a point. Bugger. Of course, in Ron Jeremy's case, I think the huge penis had something to do with it.

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4.20am post-club report

4.20am Just got in. I normally bar myself from making these drunken, early morning posts when I've been out clubbing, but for once I'm not that drunk. I chatted to Nadia tonight, and had my photo taken with her, so I can die happy. Yes, I am that shallow.
I also had a 'Queer As Folk' moment and witnessed Brian Dowling shaking his tush on the Nightingale dancefloor, but more of that later! Goodnight.

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"And the Christmas bells that's ringing, are the clanging shouts of doom" (sic)

Shirley Clamp is a well-known name amongst Eurovision fans. She’s a serial tryer. Many people thought she should have won Sweden’s Melodifestivalen earlier this year with ‘Min Ka:rlek’, which would have seen her representing Sweden in Istanbul. It is indeed a fine pop song, with shades of (surprise!) Abba in the ‘aha’ chorus response. Not to be outdone, our Shirl is entering again for 2005.

Despite this, as readers of Popjustice this week (7th Dec) will know, she has found the time to cover the Christmas classic that’s currently topping our UK charts (and seemingly obsessing this here blogger). She brings a whole new, er, interpretation to the famine fave as she turns it into a Eurodisco anthem. Indeed, she brings a whole new lyric to it as well – see above for an example. (“Just sing it as you hear it Shirl - we won’t bother writing the words down for you…”) It has to be heard to be believed. So do it now, before this disappears like seasonal snow (which there won’t be in Africa this Christmas time, don’t forget).

It is unclear whether or not la Clamp or the Band Aid Trust are making any money from this, as it comes from a compilation album called 'Absolute Christmas Hitmania’. Other trashy Christmas compilations are available.

Two friends of mine who have heard this have described it, contrastingly, as “an abomination…one of the most awful records I’ve heard for a long time” and “Fab! The best version I’ve heard of it so far.” Obviously, it would have to go some way to beat blogsisters Anna and Meg’s version , but, if nothing else, Shirley has given us the opportunity to be on the dancefloor with arms aloft, while at the same time feeling good about rescuing the starving millions. You can’t ask for more than that at Christmas, can you?

More Band Aid links:
Mike compares Band Aids 1984 and 2004, ‘with surprising results’.
Destroy your copy of the Band Aid 20 single. (With photos.)

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Technical help

Dear reader, a couple of technical problems which you probably know more about than I do. Any help gratefully received. Thank you kindly.

1) I've tried to upload an MP3 to this here blog, in the same way as I upload a picture, but I get an error message every time (a really long one). What am I doing wrong?

2) When saving photos to my PC from the internet, why has my PC suddenly decided that everything is a bitmap file? It defaults to bitmap, so I have to type '.jpg' at the end each time. How do I stop it happening? (Windows XP Pro.)

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Death metal

Next time we're at a disappointing gig, perhaps we should spare a thought for the people who were at this one, and thank our lucky stars that we, and the band, survived it. I'm seeing Morrissey and PJ Harvey next week - both of them likely to attract their fair share of nutters, but hopefully not that extreme. Oh... shit!

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Even with a fairly effective spam filter on my e-mail, there are still some messages that get through. Some of them are revolting, some are bewildering, most of them are just plain pointless. (No, I will not click your link to 'my bank account' to update my details, particularly because you're pretending to be a bank I've never heard of anyway, which makes it unlikely that I am a customer. And you can't write English properly. Get back to school.) 99% of the spam can just be deleted and dismissed. Today though, it seems to have moved on to another level. Is it just me, or is this particularly creepy?

Hello, I have been emailing men from around my neighbourhood. First of
all my "name" is Andrea Boudreaux. This isn't my real name but I use it when my husband is out of town. I have seen you around and would like you to take me out on a date.

My husband will be out of town until Dec 24th, 2004

I must keep my information confidental so I am using a website to do so.


(Link removed to protect the gullible.)

Even though I know this came from a spambot and not really from a lovely lady who is barking up the wrong tree by offering me her wares, I find this disturbing. Be off with you, madam!

While we're on the subject of frightening e-mails, a more legitimate one is offering this for sale. May I just say: Yeeeeeeeuuch! (Not office-friendly, unless you work in a sex shop.)

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Today, I will mostly be... Clotheshow Live! Yes, it's time for Chig's annual wardrobe update at the NEC. See ya!

UPDATE: Wed 08/12/04: A very successful day at Clotheshow yesterday. Shopping mission completed, fit models photographed = result! This year, thankfully, I remembered my severe debt problem and held back from some of the more irrational purchases I've made in the past. (You may not think that if you see the shirt I bought, but hey, I like it, so there!)

Pair of black shoes: £30
Jeans (with chain): £30
Black shirt with stripe detail: £25
Grey jumper: £20
Black jacket: £20

In other words, a whole new outfit for £125. That'll do nicely.

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Band Aid 20: How many number ones have they all had?

My seeming obsession with Band Aid 20 has just about ended now, you'll be glad to know. (Like most people, I'm not that enamoured with the record anyway, just the event itself. Tonight's BBC One documentary on the recording session was very good though.) Before we let it lie, here's a list I've compiled, showing how Band Aid 20 has added to the tally of number ones for all the artists involved. With a list this long, there will probably be mistakes, so please add a comment if you spot any. Thanks.

1st number 1 single for;
Ash, Chris Martin/Coldplay, Justin Hawkins/The Darkness, Neil Hannon/The Divine Comedy, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Grant Nicholas/Feeder, Danny Goffey (Supergrass, drums), Jamelia, Tom Chaplin/Keane, Beverley Knight, Lemar, Katie Melua, Roisin Murphy/Moloko, Skye/Morcheeba, Thom Yorke/Radiohead, Joss Stone, The Thrills, Fran Healy/Travis, Turin Brakes, Snow Patrol.

Also the first credited number one for Dido, although she was on Eminem’s chart-topper, ‘Stan’, scandalously uncredited.

2nd number 1 for: Natasha Bedingfield.

4th: Daniel Bedingfield.
4th: Bob Geldof; 2 with The Boomtown Rats, 1 with Band Aid.
4th: Sugababes.
4th: Midge Ure; 1 solo, 1 with Slik, 1 with Band Aid.

5th: Busted.
5th: Rachel Stevens; 4 with S Club 7.
5th: Will Young; 3 solo, 1 with Gareth Gates.

6th: Shaznay Lewis; 5 with All Saints.

8th: Bono; 5 with U2, 1 with Band Aid, 1 with LMC vs U2.

14th: Robbie Williams; 6 with Take That, 1 with Take That featuring Lulu, 1 with Nicole Kidman, 5 solo.

24th: Sir Paul McCartney (bass guitar); 17 with The Beatles, 1 with Wings, 1 with Stevie Wonder, 1 with The Christians, Holly Johnson, Gerry Marsden and Stock Aitken Waterman, 1 with Ferry Aid, 1 solo and 1 with Band Aid (technically on the 12” only).

If Damon Albarn (serving tea) had sung, it would have been his third after 2 with Blur (Country House and Beetlebum). UPDATE: In tonight's TV documentary, there was a brief shot of Damon playing the guitar, so is he on the single after all?

PS. If you were wondering what happened to Band Aids 3 to 19, wonder no more!

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Band Aid 20 facts

1) Band Aid 20’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ becomes the UK’s number 1 single today, having sold around 292,000 copies on CD.
2) By the end of its first official day on sale (last Monday), the single had sold more than the rest of the next 28 best-selling singles added together; just over 72,000 in chart return shops (and not quite the 100,000 which Radio1 and Tuesday’s newspapers eagerly reported).
3) Twenty years ago, the first Band Aid single sold 750,000 in its first week.
4) To make a more recent comparison, Hear’say’s debut, ‘Pure And Simple’ sold 550,000 in its first week on sale.
5) Band Aid 20 actually charted last week – it was number 144 in last week’s chart, presumably due to some naughty retailers selling it before Monday’s official release.
6) The single features not just the new version but the 1984 original version, which must be the first time it’s been on a CD single. Perhaps if more people realised this, it would be selling even better.
7) The single also features the 1985 Live Aid version, which is a shambolic mess (for which Bob Geldof apologises in advance over the intro).
8) The original Band Aid was the fastest-selling single of all time and held the record for nearly 13 years, until Elton John beat it in 1997. (Fastest-selling means sales in the first week.)
9) Official sales figures for the 1984 version are 3.55 million, second only to Elton John in the all time list.
10) Band Aid was the 543rd UK number one single.
11) Band Aid II was the 638th UK number one single.
12) Band Aid 20 is the 997th UK number one single.
13) The catalogue number for 1984’s Band Aid, on Mercury, was FEED1.
14) The catalogue number for 1989’s Band Aid II, on PWL/Polydor, was FEED2.
15) The catalogue number for Band Aid 20, on Mercury again, is 9869413. No sense of tradition, these modern record company folk.
16) Both halves of the duet who had a hit with ‘Kids’ have now been on a Band Aid single; Kylie in 1989, Robbie in 2004.
17) No artist features on all three versions; Bananarama were on the first two, Bono and Geldof himself are on the first and third, but that’s it.
18) The 1984 Band Aid made number 13 in the USA, quite some time after Christmas, but Band Aid 20 will not get an American release, not even on the US version of iTunes.
19) The single entered the download chart at #5. Last Wednesday it fell to #8. Despite this, in an attempt to be featured in Chig’s Pop Bollox, Scott Mills announced it TWICE as a new entry at number 8. Doh!
20) Big Fun sound really, really gay on that 1989 version.

Bonus fact: 21) A New Zealand radio station has banned any plays of Band Aid 20, branding it ‘rubbish’.

Oh, and that strange coincidence which links Band Aid and Band Aid II? Deep breath, here goes…. Back in October 1963, eleven years into the singles chart’s existence, Gerry and The Pacemakers became the first act to reach number one with their first three releases. That record stood until 1984, when Frankie Goes To Hollywood became only the second act to do the same. The single which completed their hat-trick, ‘The Power Of Love’ was knocked off the top by the Band Aid single. It took another five years for a third act to make number one with their first three singles, namely Jive Bunny and The Mastermixers. Their third chart-topper, in December 1989, was ‘Let’s Party’. And guess which record deposed it from the top spot? Yep, Band Aid II. Spooky.

The coincidence runs even deeper than that, because The Beatles deposed Gerry And The Pacemakers back in 1963, so Paul McCartney replaced both the first and the second acts to debut with three number ones, as he was technically on the first Band Aid (12” only).

Of course, earlier in 1989, Holly Johnson, Gerry Marsden (without The Pacemakers) and Paul McCartney had all teamed up with The Christians on another charity number one; ‘Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey’. And…one more entanglement; Frankie Goes To Hollywood had already recorded the aforementioned Gerry and The Pacemakers hit back in 1984, when it appeared as the B-side of ‘Relax’. It’s a tangled web of pop trivia…

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The 1,000th Number One: Game Over?

It'll be a damn shame if it happens, but I have a horrible feeling that the 1,000th UK number one single will be by someone who isn't even alive to see it. That’ll cause a problem for the press conferences. The reason? From the start of January, each of Elvis Presley's 18 number ones will be released as CD and 10" singles, one hit per week, over seventeen consecutive weeks. (There appear to be two released in the first week, for reasons unknown. There are also lots of mistakes on that HMV web page.) If the marketing people get it right, in terms of extra tracks etc. (and the original cover artwork looks great), these will be snapped up by collectors and new fans alike. As it can take as few as 24,000 sales to top the charts these days, it's not hard to imagine strings of consecutive Elvis number ones from January through to April.

Elvis's total of 18 already puts him top of the pile for UK number ones, one ahead of the Beatles (17), but if he scores a few more, then Cliff Richard (14), Westlife (12, including one with Mariah Carey) and Madonna (10) will surely be weeping buckets, as their realistic chances of overtaking him one day will probably be gone for ever.

I think World Of Chig may start a campaign called 'Let Someone Alive Have The 1,000th Number One Single'. More on this when we get closer. (Probably mid-January if Band Aid 20 holds on as the 997th for a few weeks.)

2005 release dates / Title(s) / Original entry - chart dated... / UK No.1 number:
3rd Jan: All Shook Up (and the box for all 18 releases) (14Jun 1957) 62nd
Also 3rd Jan: Jailhouse Rock (24 Jan 1958) 67th
10 Jan: One Night / I Got Stung (23 Jan 1959) 80th
17 Jan: A Fool Such As I / I Need Your Love Tonight (24 Apr 1959) 85th
24 Jan: It's Now Or Never (03 Nov 1960) 109th
31 Jan: Are You Lonesome Tonight? (19 Jan 1961) 112th
07 Feb: Wooden Heart (09 Mar 1961) 115th
14 Feb: Surrender (Torna Surriento) (25 May 1961) 119th
21 Feb: (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame / Little Sister (02 Nov 1961) 129th
28 Feb: Rock-A-Hula Baby / Can't Help Falling In Love (01 Feb 1962) 133rd
07 Mar: Good Luck Charm (10 May 1962) 136th
14 Mar: She's Not You (30 Aug 1962) 140th
21 Mar: Return To Sender (29 Nov 1962) 143rd
28 Mar: (You're The) Devil In Disguise (04 Jul 1963) 154th
04 Apr: Crying In The Chapel (27 May 1965) 197th
11 Apr: The Wonder Of You (11 July 1970) 289th
18 Apr: Way Down (13 Aug 1977) 412th
25 Apr: A Little Less Conversation (Elvis vs JXL) (22 Jun 2002) 930th

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It was twenty fifteen years ago today...

Unlike the memorable day of 25th November 1984, I haven't a clue what I was doing on Sunday 3rd December 1989, but that's the day that various luminaries of the late 80s music scene and a few hangers-on converged on Pete Waterman's studio to re-record 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' for the SAW generation (and Cliff Richard fans). Contrary to popular belief, it was all Geldof's idea again. He suggested it to Pete Waterman, who dutifully postponed his own wedding in favour of the recording day. Band Aid II were leaving it even later than the 1984 lot, but they still managed to get the 1989 Christmas Number One (for three weeks this time, not the five that the original managed). This time around, Glen Goldsmith reprised the Jody Watley role from 1984; the one who the next generation would look at and say 'who the feck is that?' (The tradition continued this year with Dizzee Rascal on Band Aid 20.)

Coming this weekend to mark Band Aid 20’s number one on Sunday:
20 facts on Band Aid, the really strange coincidence which links Band Aid and Band Aid II (and I don’t mean Bananarama) and a whole lot more related trivia.

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Quote of the day

"I have not seen him since August."

(David Blunkett on the child he claims is his son.)

Now, excuse me, but...(Oh stop it Chig, it's just too obvious...)

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Life begins…

Today sees another of those ‘life markers’ that they never told us about when we were younger. My first boyfriend turns – gulp! – 40 today. It hardly seems possible, given that he was the older man of 20 and I was a mere whippersnapper of 18 when we went out with each other for the Spring and Summer of 1985. That included an impromptu visit to our first ever London Pride, when we jumped out of bed in Oxford, where he lived, caught the train to London and trundled along to Jubilee Gardens. We were just a bit too late to see Divine sailing down the Thames in a barge, but full of awe and wonder at the whole thing. Ah, happy days. Happy birthday Andy!

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Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam spam.

As long-term readers (both of you) may remember, my sister's ex-partner is an actor and voiceover artist. He has appeared in Heartbeat, played two different speaking roles in Coronation Street, and was seen about a year ago as 'man who pulls down mini TV screen' in some TV ad for kitchen cabinets. He is now on our TVs again, although I confess I hadn't realised it was him until my sister told me this week. He is...the voice at the end of the new Spam advert!

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More photos from Sunday's Mr Gay UK final

(Chig is feeling a bit under the weather today, so service is a little restricted.)
All photos (c)World Of Chig 2004.

(L-R)"Laurence, it says here that you've handcuffed your arms together - is that right?"
View from the G-A-Y balcony.
Nadia gives us 'A Little Bit Of Action'.

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