Monday, 1 February 2010

2010, I shit it..

ITV FA Cup football coverage/tooled-up scouse
* cod - barrel - AK47 - aims - shoots *
An item that was possibly missing off that excellent rant from a QPR lad that’s being doing the e-rounds. Just when you thought televised football coverage couldn’t get any worse than Steve Claridge theorising at quarter to one on a Sunday morning about Macclesfield Town’s failure to successfully deploy cattenacio at Dagenham, ITV’s shower of clueless twats somehow manage to plunge it to previously-uncharted depths. I honestly don’t know who or what I hate most. Matt “dropped the Durden- hoping people can’t then work out how wooden planks get jobs as a TV presenters” Smith. Andy “Tactics Truck Fucked” Townsend – sample ill-researched comment on their Europa League coverage: “… Moyes took a full strength side out to Benfica – don’t know what happened there, Matt …”. Robbie Earle – the poor man’s token Uncle Garth Crooks without a bad word to say about anyone. Or whoever commissioned those woeful opening cartoon titles. It’s painfully clear that someone at the agency involved decided to look through a load of old football annuals or Scorcher and Scores for “inspiration” for the “concept” (I’ll be “pushing envelopes” and “thinking outside the box” by the next paragraph …). So you get “black man in green top holding football under arm = goalkeeper” in the titles looking suspiciously like Eusebio in Portugal’s green away kit circa 1966-1970 (I’ve seen the original photo they copied it from in an old International Football Yearbook. Not quite up there with that McDonalds advert trying to get down with the old school working class (“… a pound – also known as a quid or a bob …” really?) for total inaccuracy but for televisual annoyance value it has to be at least on a par with the Sunday morning electrical torture that is Something for the Weekend . Yes, it’s Tim Lovejoy versus the scouse ex-goth-turned-scally chef, counterbalancing what Lovejoy imagines to be chirpy Cockney wideboy. They both love the “footie” so naturally it’s all Chelsea/Liverpool banter - “… remember when Rangers used to come down and team up with the Headhunters at Anfield and Goodison in the eighties Tim? It before one of those games that I learned how to use a meat cleaver outside the Yankee and decided to go to catering school …”. Meanwhile new signing Louise Redknapp (on a Bosman from Thomas Cook) woefully struggles to read from the autocue ….

Bitter Swede Symphony

One that did not make the Guardian’s fifty was the magnificent Wallander. And I’m not on about the recently-broadcast, piss-poor version that the BBC threw thousands of rips-worth of tv licence fees in Kenneth Branagh's direction to make in between jollying it up in Sweden. Quietly tucked away on BBC4 over the last twelve months was the original Swedish series based on Henning Mankell’s fictional detective. Thirteen 90-minute episodes of absolute quality television from Swedish production company Yellow Bird that pissed all over everything else broadcast last year and was watched by next to no-one. Great plots, boss acting, the amazing Skane scenery around the town of Ystad where it was filmed, even a tidy-looking-female copper Barboured-up. Krister Henriksson in the title role, looking like Louis van Gaal after a five-year stint on the ale while managing East Stirling, is magnificently dour. You see quality television like this and you then totally understand why the BBC is looking to eventually get rid of BBC3 and BBC4 because they only cater to minorities who want to watch something informative or interesting rather than Strictly Come Sexual Assault on Ice Academy . It’s because the BBC is run by halfwits …..

“… Dear Mr Kenneth Noye … Thank you for supplying your gold to us for valuation in the bag(s) supplied. Our assessors have advised that your gold is worth £27,000,000:00. Please confirm if you would like to proceed with sale and we will send you a cheque for the above sum within 24 hours …. Kind regards, Dale Winton …”

What’s Eating Carlos Tevez and Gary Neville?

Gary - Kidnap the Redknapps

If it isn’t good ole Harry finally getting summonsed for his dodgy tax dealings, it’s Jamie and Louise taking over the TV on various shite ‘lifestyle’ shows and commercials. They plan ‘it!’ They have fun on ‘it!’ they eat, breathe and shit ‘it!’ ‘It!’ is cocaine!

The Redknapp Family Brand is modern Britain in a nutshell; desperate to be considered sophisticated and glamorous but underneath it all, basically flimsy and flashy, corrupt and ugly.

Carlos – Brits Bitches

The nominations for most annoying contrived female singer songwriter at this year’s Brits are as follows :

Pixie Allen

Pixie Boots

Little Lilly

Lilly Lott

Lady Florence

Lilly Gaga

Pixie & The Machine

Lady Lilly

Lolly Lady

Lolly & The Pops

The Mammas and The Pappas

Pappa Doc Duvalier

Poppa Pixie

Dixie Dean

Pixie n’ Dixie

Dick Van Dyke

Gary – Little Joe and Curly Josh

We entered a new decade with an 18 year old protest song against the first Iraq war topping the charts, which was itself a protest against the dominance of the X-Factorisation of popular music, particularly at Christmas. That ‘all important Christmas Number One’ is of course just another marketing myth, another phoney attempt to bolster the One Nation notion that ‘we’re all in it together.’ One big, happy UK family; The ‘Great British Public’ ™.

So when BBC 6digital presenters pretend to be representing the dissenters and the malcontents, put it into context. They are inside the tent pissing out not outside the tent pissing in. They are part and parcel of the self same system that promotes and glamorises warfare to benefit the vested interests of the wealthy, whether it’s dressed up as a crusade for human rights or democracy.

‘Killing In The Name Of’ is a song that addresses these hypocrisies and lies. If the best that this generation of ‘indie’ refuseniks can do is subscribe to a global internet corporation and download the track as a protest, not against this war or any war but to stop a young Geordie crooner from getting to number one, then perhaps T-Mobile’s repulsive ‘Join Josh’ Facebook campaign has its demographic far more sussed than anyone would care to admit. That’s ‘Indie’ right there. Josh fucking Ward and his ‘why can’t we all live together’ crusade to get the whole wide world a noddin and a tappin’ to his posh cunt karaoke indie skiffle.beat.

That’s how the once ‘alternative’ to the mainstream has become absorbed into the mainstream. Just Buy It! The revolution will not have a Facebook page brothers and sisters!

Carlos – Have You Got An Ap for This?

Hey Steve fucking so-called Jobs go and stick your fucking i-Pad up your Kyber i-pass y’specky cunt. Standing there like fucking Moses with his ten commandments. Y’know what lad, I don’t want a fuckin Ap for that or for this or for any of your i-shite lid! Why don’t you and Bill Gates do us all a favour and spend all that dough on something useful like bailing out the third world or fixing the credit crunch. I don’t want a fucking phone that lets me download every fucking book or record ever made, I don’t want a computer that’ll link me to every fucking atom in the universe, I just want to watch Emmerdale and go to sleep OK?

Gary – TV Satire Go Home

Charlie Brooker’s ‘TV Go Home’ website used to satirise the kind of telly programmes that even Alan Partridge couldn’t dream up. Yet, in these days of celebrity driven advertising vehicles (or telly shows) surely Extreme Fishing With Robson Green and Danny Dyer ;I Believe In UFOs has gone beyond a joke. How can you satirise that? Whatever next Ghost Hunting with The Happy Mondays? Exorcism Made Easy With Northern Uproar? Derek Acorra’s Psychic Fistfucking Marathon For Haiti? Infact, that sounds good, I’d watch that!

Wetherspoons Defence League v Islam4UK

The English Defence League – Birmingham meet, plot up in Wetherspoons. Leeds meet, plot up in Wetherspoons. Hanley meet, plot up in Wetherspoons …. I see a pattern emerging. Just wait till they decide to put a Halal breakfast on the menu for £2:99 and Islam4UK decide to take over a Wetherspoons in Wootton Bassett. That’ll be the mother of all jihads that could just as easily be sorted out over a cricket match, a few pints and a curry. According to one Millwall ted on a forum (without a hint of irony) “…Hanley was great - just like an England game but without the football …” – fantastic. Badly-dressed emptyheads sieg-heiling, waving flags and singing and Walsall’s firm of beauts kicking off. Sounds a boss day out - if you have the mental capacity of Jason McAteer’s toenail clippings. Meanwhile, confusion reigns in East Lancashire. As the rest of the country’s practising smalltown hooligans come together in racial disharmony, 27 are charged following incidents after last October’s Blackburn Rovers/Burnley Incestclassico, all stemming from someone spilling chicken tikka masala on the old “Blackburn NF” Union Jack …………..

Friday, 15 January 2010

Shamone you dumb mother fucker's...

Michael Jackson or more importantly his name is the comedy gift that just keeps giving. Following his death my phone received that many joke texts I almost got vibration white finger. Then we had the superb reporting in LA, where celebrities from lists A to Z where paraded in front of the camera, leading up to the memorial service, which was very well documented by Finton, containing loads more cringe worthy moments of fake grief, false platitudes and hyperbole.

In contrast, the recent coverage about his new film and exhibit at the O2 Arena was relatively tame and almost just resembled news reporting. I thought it was all over until I received a text last night from MHM’s very own Charlie Catchpole, telling me that he was trying to persuade the missus to watch Acorah. ‘Fuck that shit’ I replied, I have no time whatsoever for mediums, psychics, clairvoyance or any of that nonsense, but when the reply came back that he was doing Jacko’s séance how could I ignore this.

I tuned in at 9.00 on Sky 1 HD (hoping for definition so good I could see fishing wire ready to move items on a Ouija board. To be greeted by the black Janet Street Porter for the E4 generation, June Sarpong setting the scene for us accompanied by walking freak-show David Gest, who had apparently discussed the séance with the family and whilst as Jehovah’s Witnesses they wouldn’t get involved with such things they wished it well. At this point, I got the usual Friday night response from Mrs Frank typically reserved for BBC4’s musical offerings of “what’s this shit?” She rolled her eyes and stuck her nose back into her book that was until we met the people that would be attending Acorah’s party.

At the séance, from some house in Cork where Wacko had apparently stayed once, we had teen angst personified by some gullible yellow toothed lass with back combed hair, she fell for everything hook line and sinker, scrykin and saying “I love you more” when Acorah trotted out whatever guff came to mind. However, something smelled Sylvia Young about the trollop because grief stricken as she was, she was desperate to be the centre of the camera’s attention.

There was some kid called Michael Jackson who was her male counterpart, getting sucked in by every fishing line thrown out by Acorah, he looked like he was close to the point of pulling out a 9mm before announcing “I’m on my way Michael, I love you” before adding a gloss coat of claret to the walls. Then onto the impersonators, one of whom actually looked the part. Acorah asked some vague and confusing question about Michael’s favourite performance, which could be taken as which performance Michael thought was the impersonator’s best or vice-versa. Well fuck me sideways, they thought that when Michael mentioned a racecourse, it really rang true. Course it fucking did you spastic cunt, Jacko’s arguably biggest UK gig was at Aintree and the fact you are one of the country’s best impersonators and live in Berkshire, surrounded by 3 Racecourses hosting events 300 days a year where you’ve no doubt plied your trade makes it a shoe-in.

The whole thing was superb, from the act of Acorah which still doesn’t better that of Phoenix Night’s Clinton Baptiste. (Pys-cic)

He managed to commune with a global megastar on demand, while respecting the sanctity of the commercial break before wrapping it up neatly by 9:56pm, to the the séance guests, to Sarpong and Gest themselves. If you take all of that and add in the supplementary commentary from Finton, the whole thing was a winner.
If you weren’t lucky enough to witness this televisual feast then you missed out on sheer tv gold.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

It's tribal innit..

I passed a pair of teddy boys last week. Not aul fellars, yer usual ted vets or the revivalist rockabilly mob from the early 80s. These were young lads, decked out in cartoon ted outfits, drapes, brothel creepers, big DA Swedes; the works. At first I felt a guffaw raising in my throat but then I kind of felt a glow of warmth towards them. At least they were trying, at least they were DIFFERENT. Walk down around any city centre and everyone looks the same. Apart from Manchester and Liverpool’s ninja scal community, each city and town has its own standard variation on the scally and then there is the ever increasing tribe of Goths/emos/alternatives who are of course every bit as conventional and identical as the ’chavs’ they ridicule for all looking the same.

Then there’s the Topshop mob; that inbetween middle ground of gel headed whoppers in Chinese dragon stitched kecks and the equally preposterous mob of neo-student bohemians in comedy charity shop outfits. Magazines devoted to ’street style’ often feature photoshoots in cities across the world and with the exception of Tokyo, all the people featured dress similarly, atleast the ones who the photographers select. There’s a uniformity of fashion that is truly global, an accepted aesthetic of ’cool,’ a homogenous uniform that reduces all notions of style to an easily marketed range of seasonal ’looks’ which don’t really change for years, decades even.

In Liverpool, idiosyncratic styles still occur now and then, particularly with the girls. That big hair with big flower look of the summer was peculiar to junior scallettes and as far as I know didn’t happen anywhere else in Britain, Likewise the big fuck off rollers and jim jams tucked into Uggs of the daytime Blag Wag brigade seems to be a scouse phenomenon. These things may seem ludicrous but still prove that Liverpool’s youth is self-confident enough to go their own way, do their own thing no matter what the self-elected ’style gurus’ dictate is ’hip.’ Just as in the 80s, when the style press ignored ‘casual’ for years until it reached Oxford Street, so these parochial fashion phases are either ignored altogether or ridiculed by pompous fashionistas who won’t or can’t accept that organic trends can happen without either their input or approval.

So, even though I don’t like that Showaddywaddy ted style but loved the original neo-Edwardian look of the 50s, I still smiled also at seeing those teds as I did spotting a young skinhead outside the local cinema. In amongst the usual gangs of ninjas, emos and skaters, he stuck out like a sore thumb in his green MA1, braces, half mast Levis and oxblood DMs. Maybe ’This Is England’ has brought back that Oi Skin look of the late 70s, itself a mutated, uglier version of the original skin/suede head look, to a new generation. In a nondescript world where everything is up for sale, every style and culture chopped up and shipped out for mass consumption, let’s hear it for the dolly birds with the beehives and the pyjamas eh?

1, 2, 3 fuck the BBC...

BBC Footy Presenters – look it was bad enough when that cunt Lineker replaced Lynam but atleast the obesity encouraging twat had played the fuckin’ game. Now we’ve got fucking kids tv presenters, radio one cast offs and fuckin weathergirls on the screen. Fuckin’ Chappers! He makes a few cracks about being a ‘Man U’ fan (no self-respecting Man United fan EVER calls em Man You you fuckin phoney cunt) on that cunt Moyles’s radio show and next minute he’s doing a fucking Jeff Stelling. They’ll have that plazzy fuckin Liverpool supporting whopper, Spoony presenting MOTD 2 next or Colin fuckin Murray anchoring Five’s fuckin entire output. Maybe they think they’re reaching a whole new audience here, the kind of cunt who thinks lager adverts are funny, the kind of cunt who watches Sky games in the alehouse wearing an old skool replica kit and screams ‘get in my son’ when his pet team scores. And maybe they’re right!

BBC footy pundits – either they’re ex-Liverpool or Arsenal defenders all arse licking each other with their chummy old pals act or they’re eager young pups looking to replace the chummy vets brigade. Either way, they’re all a bunch of say nothing fence sitting boring cunts who look as if they’ve all been asked to dig into the BBC Footy Clobber Box and pull out a shite shirt and kecks combo in no particular order; grey, white, beige, black, just no big colours OK, nothing denoting individualism or personality, just stick to safe neutrals, don’t want to frighten the viewers, the Points Of View crew, just stick on one of those shirts, remember your poppy, don’t want the fucking Daily Mail brigade on our backs do we and please, please please don’t ever try to say anything controversial eh?

BBC6 continuity announcers – it’s either the same fuckin’ bird who does the voice-over for fuckin’ Masterfuckinchef and used to do those fuckin annoying Woolies adverts before they laid off that stupid fuckin sheep or else they’ve genetically engineered an entire generation of continuity announcers to all sound the fucking same with that fucking appalling last syllable dipping down at the end of each and every fucking word……you know her:

‘At breakfast it’s (drops an octave) Moyles at supper it’s Mao Tse (drops an octave) Tung’

‘At three it’s the Freak (drops an octave) Zone with Stuart Mac(drops an octave) onie, at five it’s Fish (drops an octave) fucking with Fearne (drops an octave) Cotton’

She’s on CityTalk too, she’s on every shite radio programme across the land, she’s talking on the tv, on the radio, she’s reading the autocues, the security announcements at railway stations, the telephone numbers on 118, she’s everywhere, the girl who talks like (drops an octave) that even when she comes…’you’re the best (drops an octave) ever!’ radiating insincerity and smug middle English contentment. Continuity Announcing Has Never Been (drop an octave) Shitter!

BBC Industrial Dispute Reporters. OK, for all their hysterical talk of the BBC being a hotbed of lefty liberal values, the Tories really know that they can rely on the BBC to uphold the establishment when it comes to the crunch. Especially when it comes to strikes. All this bullshit about the BBC being ‘unbiased’ ‘balanced’ and ‘fair to both sides’ flies out of the window when there’s a strike. It always comes out against striking workers whether they’re miners, dockers or posties, allowing reporters to voice their own opinions instead of simply reporting facts (hence the word ‘reporter’ not ‘commentator’), interviewing several people with the same opinion usually government ministers, bosses, outraged members of the Great British Public (posh people!) then giving union bosses a hard time whilst allowing bosses an easy ride. That half-arsed Alcibiades, Peter Mandelson has set a trap for posties, an obvious trap but one he’ll no doubt reap the rewards off once the mail is totally privatised and he ends up with some fancy consultancy or directorship with TNT following the Thatcher model of privatise then profiteer. Ofcourse the ‘balanced’ BBC will help him do his bidding because they can’t afford to rock the boat, they’re tied into the system, they ARE the system. Cunts!

BBC iplayer. It’s fucking boss! I love the BBC me, imagine a world without it, adverts all the fucking time, lowest common denominator, Celebrity Whelk Stall programmes for grinning halfwits and senile racists. iPlayer makes the unmissable unwatchable, atleast it does on my fucking iphone! 70 trillion quid’s worth of tax payers dough and what do we get Jonathan Ross arse licking Roland Rivron on Jools Holland and Strictly Come Dancing with Dale fucking Winton. That’s what we pay our licence fee for, top quality family entertainment with no homos, wogs or poor people to spoil our viewing pleasure. Cunts!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

friends of ours..

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

"Get ye coat you've pulled"...

When I was about 17 I ended up with this calamity in the Rubber Duck by the docks. She looked like Dawn French.

"I'm going to lose weight, I promise" she kept saying.

I kissed her and it felt like I was doing duck-apple in a bowl of custard. Horrendous stuff.

So I bummed her in the field by Seaforth station.

Then I went home to do some serious soul searching.

More Hideous truths...

This really did not happen to me, but to a close friend of mine.

He pulled some meffy looking sort about fifteen years his junior (always been a bit of a lothario my mate) and did the business in the back of his car on the way home.

Two weeks later there is a picture of the same bird on the front page of the Runcorn World underneath the headline "Girl Sues Nightclub After Toilet Horror".

Turns out the following week she'd sat on a bog in a popular Runcorn nightspot and her weight had been sufficient to crack the bowl in two, causing her to fall into it and sustain a 10 inch gash in one of her arse cheeks......there was even a picture of her baring the injured arse-cheek to show the stitches to the reader.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Carry on casual...

Carry on Casual: Anachronisms in the UK

I have to be honest. I’ve enjoyed some of Nick Love’s previous films. Maybe that’s akin to admitting to a bad Greggs chicken pasty addiction or tells you I’m a clueless pleb with no taste but both The Football Factory and The Business, while hardly being Ken Loach or Pedro Almodovar get-your-thinking-head on efforts, gave me the odd grin. And his vastly-underrated debut effort Goodbye Charlie Bright is worth ninety minutes of anyone’s time in my opinion. But the release of Love’s big screen re-make of eighties football hooligan drama The Firm does beg one question of a director who claims to be fastidious in his attention to detail. Namely – how the fuck did they manage to get so much wrong?

I had more than a sneaking suspicion where this all might be heading the day the film was released. Love was interviewed on a Guardian blog and the accompanying picture showed him wearing what looked to these eyes like one bad striped linen blazer that might well have had Anna Wintour going weak at the knees if Roger Federer was accepting the Wimbledon mens singles trophy in it. Love (or more likely some twat of a stylist) had bastardised the jacket with a Fila BJ badge on the left tit, thus making the wearer look like a right tit. You couldn’t make it up …..

Perhaps I’m not really qualified enough to comment on this. After all, I’m not a Cockney and, unlike Love, I’m not on drinking pal terms with pricks like Guy Ritchie. But I did own at least three of the tracksuits and a version of one of the coats ported by members of the cast back in the day, whichever day it’s supposed to be. Which is the crux of the problem with The Firm. The chronology is all over the shop. Love seems to have been so determined to show the “casual” era in all its technicoloured Fila and Tacchini glory, that he’s forgotten one of the most important parts of the supposed casual ethos – getting it right. It reminds me of a great scene in an episode of Cheers where Norm Peterson and Cliff the postman have just sat through an all-day screening of sword-and-sandal epics, holding a loser-buys-the beers competition to see who could spot the most anachronisms. Norm claims victory but Cliff is not happy and, after buying the drinks, ponders out loud at the bar to no-one in particular about the crucial winner “… six? You spotted six? I’m not having that. No way was Caesar Augustus wearing a pair of Reebok …”

And neither would Caesar Augustus, Gus Caesar or any character in The Firm have been wearing blue adidas Munchen at £38 a pair, not unless he was, I believe the phrase is, Nicholas old chap, a “fackin’ toby”. Even this northern monkey, between a bout of bubonic plague and grooming the family whippet in the winter of 1989, managed to buy a pair of Munchen for what was an extortionate £25. By January, pissed off with the thick soles in comparison to the design perfection that were royal blue Gazelles (£14:99), they’d been relegated to the cubyhole. My beloved Gazelles were re-stored to playing out prominence alongside a pair of Diadora Borg Elite purchased the previous summer for £35 (over half a week’s wages at the time, or so my arl man used to say) and a year-old pair of adidas Korsika

The original television version of The Firm was set in the 1987-88 season, in the lead up to the 1988 European Championships in West Germany. The weakest part of a piss-weak plot being Gary Oldman’s character Bexy looking to lead a “national firm” that appeared to comprise of Eastenders, Only Fools and Horses and Grange Hill free transfers against the might of Hamburg and Feyenoord’s naughtiest that summer. An easy solution for Love and his writing loveys would have been to simply remove any reference to this, thus helping transport the film back to the 1982-1984 period the wardrobe is clearly meant to encapsulate. Except that the soundtrack would have then plotted up and conspired to commit more disorder. We get lead character Dominic and his mate buzzing about Yarbrough and Peoples Don’t Stop the Music, in the manner that you did when you first heard a song that really made your spine tingle, and then they are shown getting down to the same “just-breaking” classic in some East End barn of a club. No argument on that one. It’s one top tune. That had charted over here in December 1980. I’ll hazard a guess as to why it has been included. Footage available on You Tube shows Cavin Yarbrough performing the same tune stood at his keyboard while wearing a navy/cream Fila BJ Settanta tracksuit top (with a pair of impossibly tight white kecks).Which raises the possibility that Dallas Cowboys had a well-dressed mob before Chelsea (… why do I feel a dozen-page thread on this very topic on some “casuals” forum naturally beckoning …). Just to totally confuse the issue, the soundtrack then also throws up the 1977 Giorgio Moroder disco opulence of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love and – god knows why – Soft Cell’s Tainted Love in the opening and closing titles. Given that the soundtrack album contains the near-forgotten 1985 gem that is Rene and Angela’s I’ll Be Good, the latter’s prominence in the film in preference to it is nothing short of criminal to this pair of ears. But I listen to stuff like the Bunnymen, Jeff Mills and David Bowie so what do I know?

If you loved this mode of dress as much as most of those involved did, then it could be argued for the defence that The Firm might be viewed as the 1980s casual generation’s Quadrophenia. Except the seaside fight scene here is on the front at Southsea rather than Brighton and involves the Pompey 6:57 v ICF. And Lesley Ash doesn’t get nailed up a back passage. Or run past a cinema advertising a film not made for another fifteen years (Heaven Can Wait). At least that’s one thing the two films have in common. Shite chronology. The one thing though, with the exception of the tracksuit overkill and Pompey not sitting down to the a la carte menu with Bexy afterwards, that Love has got more or less spot on is the fracas at Southsea. Two large mobs squaring up, loads of posturing and gesturing, things getting thrown and broken and when it does finally go off, the actual boxing being reduced to six-a-side at the front. Sorry, did I say 6:57 v ICF? That would mean Portsmouth v West Ham and we’re back to 1987-88 again. Why? Because the period 1980-1987 saw Pompey literally fighting their way up through the bottom three tiers of English professional football, while West Ham were in the First Division and the two clubs consequently never played each other until that season. And contrary to what those clowns at Boys Own seemed to think, a 1987 tear-up involving the 6:57 and any other well-dressed mob would have seen a sea of Italian denim, leather, knitwear, sweatshirts and running shoes rather than tennis wear. Tennis wear which would not have been bought or stolen from a branch of JD Sports in London as shown in the film. Because JD didn’t open a branch in London until 1989. And if they had have done so seven years earlier, it’s highly unlikely that they would have permitted young oiks to shoplift their best stock in Head bags as easily as portrayed in the film. Because if it was anything like MC Sports or Hurleys, it would have all been hung up about fifteen feet above you next to the roof. And despite the obvious help of adidas marketing, who must have wet themselves when asked to get involved in this project after Awaydays, West Ham’s top lad would not have been wearing 1999 version reissue Forest Hills. And unless it was a London thing I somehow missed in my drunken, matchday stupour, I somehow don’t think you would have seen as many full tracksuits being worn as Love would like to have everyone believe. Unless Boro were involved of course. As in “Boro have just got off the ordinary lads – load in full turkeys” (trans: young men from town in north-eastern England not normally associated with cutting edge fashion have arrived on the train, many wearing full Sergio Tacchini tracksuits). Another tracksuit big issue is the preponderance of emerald green/cream Fila BJ Settantas on show in the film. These were like the holy grail and I only saw a grand total of two in the flesh during this period. One on an Everton lad who I only knew by sight at that time but got on first-name terms with a few years after and the other on possibly a DLF head standing on the platform at Derby. The only other sighting that I can dredge up from the back of a mind full of nonsense is on the last Match of the Day of the 1987/88 season and Birmingham City winning at Southampton to stay up. Loads of young Zulus piled on the pitch from the home seats under the cameras to celebrate and one lad in the iconic green ran over to shake hands with Mick Harford

No doubt The Firm will put unslashed arses on unslashed cinema seats. Football hooliganism/football casual culture is big bucks these days. Across from the cinema I watched it in, Borders were holding a hooligan book signing, with a journalist signing copies of a book co-written with lads with an eye for a quid. And aimed at a market demograph fast becoming more familiar with the nuances of cs gas than CS Lewis’s Ordinary to Narnia. There are people who will watch The Firm, enjoy it and believe it is a true reflection of what watching football in the nasty 1980s was all about. Bluffers like a work colleague who spent that whole era playing local league football on Saturdays, discovered labels and England away games five years ago and now tells anyone who will listen what it was like being a hooligan. They will definitely see Love’s version of events as the real deal. Whether those that really were there also do so is another story. One probably already signed up by Warner Brothers and to be directed by Nick Love for release in 2012, telling how Gary Bushell and the Cockney Rejects brought acid house to East London in 1980 after witnessing Clyde Best and Mike Marsh in dayglo Fila BJ Terrindas playing six-hour Balearic sets at a Canvey Island soul weekender.