Clean Up Your Messes

Since the invention of the camera phone (how quaint that sounds) everyone is now a photographer and that’s obviously good news which results in some great pictures and the sharing of them. But being a photographer, a professional one, is a special skill that comes down to a bit more than just pointing your iPhone at something funny/beautiful/brilliant and clicking the shutter. Paul Husband is a Mancunian photographer I’m in touch with via social media and very good he is too. On Saturday night he went to a big gig at Victoria Warehouse headlined by Primal Scream with support from Black Grape, Badly Drawn Boy and a whole host of smaller, local bands. I was at my brother’s wedding on Saturday night but Paul went and asked me if I wanted to share some of his photos. I’m more than happy to oblige- this one above of Kermit caught my eye. And so did these…

Reviews of the performance have been good, Black Grape reportedly upstaging Bobby Gillespie’s group. Here, have a song from their debut album with characteristically great Shaun Ryder lyrics.

In The Name Of The Father

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19 Julio

Sleep deprivation on a bus traveling backwards through Europe (me travelling backwards, almost everyone else claimed they had to face forwards or they would be sick). It causes strange things to happen. I dozed off briefly and was woken with Shaun Ryder intoning ¬†two lines from Black Grape’s Reverend Black Grape…

‘You do ¬†nothing but socialise and become a menace
Put on your Reeboks man, go and play fucking tennis’

This rang around my head for a good while. Then, at about two thirty a.m. we stopped at a service station somewhere in The Netherlands. One of the kids emerged from the top deck, rubbing her eyes, and disappeared into the toilet. When she came out she said ‘Sir, are we in Argentina?’

I have no idea.

Reverend Black Grape

Fat Neck

Out on penalties. Again.

I’m not sure I liked Black Grape that much, although the first album had its moments. 1996 single Fat Neck was a tribute to Karl Power, who specialised in sneaking into major sporting events- he walked up to the crease padded up for England at cricket, got onto court at Wimbledon and lined up for United away in a Champions League tie (see above, far left. See also Roy Keane, far right, who has spotted him. Run, Karl, run). Did he play last night? Fat Neck also has Johnny Marr on guitar.

Fat Neck

England’s Irie

Tonight England play Italy in the quarter finals of Euro 2012. The team has already surpassed expectations by not being total shite. At 7.45 tonight they will either be outclassed or turn this into one of English football’s great adventures. And then lose on penalties.

At Euro ’96, the last time they made a semi-final, Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape provided an unofficial anthem- England’s Irie. It is notable for three things; one, it’s pretty good; two, Shaun performs a verse which goes ‘I’m spectating, my wife’s lactating, it’s a football thing’; three, this was Joe Strummer’s only Top Of The Pops performance.

E For England.

With His Centre Parted Sun Tan


More big, stupid fun with Black Grape. I wasn’t that fussed about Black Grape but the first album had it’s moments, this being the best- Kelly’s Heroes. It’s got that mid 90s rhythm, a naggingly good funky guitar riff and some veru funny Shaun Ryder lyrics, mainly about Jesus, ‘handing out the fish, man, with his centre parted sun tan, then cured the lame’. The chorus is made-up-on-the-spot brilliance- ‘Jesus was a black man, no Jesus was Batman, no, no, no, no, no, that was Bruce Wayne.’