No, it’s not the latest fashion trend (‘get that poverty-stricken slum look for just £500!’). But it’s just as jaw-droppingly cynical: a trendy east London bar, the kind of place where raucous people gather to spend their super-size wages on buckets of Beaujolais and gruyere flavour crisps, themed around the Brazilian shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro.
Curiosity drove us one Sunday afternoon to see for ourselves this latest offering in self-conscious east London irony. But to our confusion we found the doors open, the lights on and nobody home.
Except a couple of equally confused young women who seemed hopeful that we might be the people running the show. The pub showed all the evidence of a busy Saturday night: glasses on tables, overflowing ashtrays, discarded and forgotten coats and scarves. But not a person in sight – or so it appeared, until I made the slightly disturbing discovery of a person asleep on a sofa in the corner.
Was this a homeless person? Or perhaps the pub manager? Surely this was taking the whole slum thing a bit too far? Had this place really pursued its own joke with such slavish zeal that it had forgotten it was actually meant to be a London pub?
So anyway, we had a good look around, admired the artfully placed ‘shantytown’ bric-a-brac and the décor, helped ourselves to a bottle of wine from behind the bar, and left.
If you’re taking your Rio Shantytown conceit to such levels, I’m not paying London prices for a bottle of your cheap red. PB
"Hey! You! Mr. Producer- here' some remakes for ya (seeing as your too busy tooting dust to make something original ya bastard!)."
Kill Roy - A daytime chat show descends into bloody violence. (Contains Chop Sockky).
Yo! Seventh Seal - a modern remake spoken entirely in 'Jive'.
Sleeping With The Bellamy - a steamy sex thriller set in the world of environmentalism.
Lorraine Kelly's Heroes - GMTV presenters and Nazis.
W.H.Smith Goes To Washington - life-affirming political intrigue in the stationery business.
Ice Cold In Alex - life-affirming screwball nercophiliac rom-com.
Dr. Dre-vargo - hip-hop version of the Russian epic.
The Dead Pool - with Michael Barrymore.
Yeast is Yeast - microbrewery capers.
Laurence of Arabica -Technicolor homoerotica set in the coffee business.
Jumble Fever - the W.I. get down in the 'hood'.
Three Colours: Brown - very dull remake.
Heavens, Gates! - being the comedy mishaps of the Microsoft CEO.
The T'ing - West Indian remake of the horror classic.
Shit Cargo! - glossy depression-era set musical in which dazzling cinematography is burdened with the task of carrying the films three woefully untalented co-stars.
The Patient English - a cine-verite treatment of queuing
Tuck your napkin in, your about to feast - Jason 'Voodoo Rea.
Quite simply a delight, one of the best films I've seen, ever, I challenge anyone to watch this and not feel moved. This film is chocked full of brilliant quotes and wonderful understanding of life. "Luck is like the Tour de France, you wait and it flashes past you, you have to catch it while you can" The French do this and we do 4 weddings......erm. magnifique! A film so wonderful it will make you feel a better person afterwards, not many films do that. PB
The Italian Job (2003)
I finally succumbed to watching this as I had feared that it was yet another mindless remake, butchering yet another great film. Well I'm pleased to say that it isn't. Not quite. Why they called it 'The Italian Job' is beyond me as it bears very little resemblance to the original.
The story is completely different. It has minis (new ones not the originals, how apt), characters called Charlie Croker, Bridger, and a gridlock caused by changing the traffic lights but that's about it. Even the bits in Italy are set in Venice not Turin.
For these reasons I quite enjoyed it, it's not bad. Ed Norton wanders around looking like he's been forced to play a stereotypical baddie, (he was, contractually by the studio, so he subsequently refused to promote it), and I have to question whether Marky Mark has the star quality to play a stand alone lead. Michael Caine he ain't - and I think that that about sums it up. It's not the Italian job, it's a rather pail imitation, not quite a homage, not quite good enough. Nice idea, but watch the original. Now that is brilliant. PB
Bad Boys 2 (2003)
'Woah, cool stuff blows up, woah'. Does exactly what it says on the tin. Bruckheimer comes ever closer in his ultimate goal to make a film a 2 hour trailer of itself. All the stereotypes are here: buddy cops - check, angry boss - check, disregard for rules - check, great scenery - check, beautiful women - check, ruthless criminals - check, fast cars - check, drugs are bad - check, in particular ecstasy, how 1988, Americans hey?
Whilst on the topic of Americans it's the nasty anti-Cuban sentiments that spoil this film. It bobs along nicely asking nothing of you but clap at the explosions then it comes down with all the lack of subtlety of say, a Bruckheimer film for example of aren't Cubans evil. This culminates in a final scene at Guantanamo Bay, yes that's the place in Cuba that America takes people without a trial and locks them up with no reason and keeps them there indefinitely contradicting all human rights.
But you see that's Ok as it's done by Americans and they're the heroes and they Police the world and they're only looking after our best interests. If they want to show real heroes then maybe they should do a film about people that are trying to campaign to get people out of these prisons and back to there loved ones.
We here at Pitch and Putt are big fans of El Presidente and say don't, I say, don't - don't - don't - believe - the- hype, in fact don't bother with this nasty piece of mindless brain candy that turns into more filthy untrue propaganda. You can do better; watch paint dry. PB
A Pitch and Putt 'I watched 10 minutes of this and went and did something more interesting instead' review.
The plot: in the future we are bored in to submission, I acquiesced.
To prepare. You will need 1 rugged Sheffield actor. One son of Dr Who And one American Psycho.
Take a Fahrenheit 451, mix in a slice of Logan's Run, add to a large 1984.
Bring to the boil, then add a portion of Brave New World, sprinkle heavily with The Matrix. Serve lukewarm.
War of the Worlds (2005)
Spring is the same for everyone and famous directors are no exception to the rule of cleaning. As such Mr. Spielberg is on an enforced clean of the house by 'her in doors' stumbles across a piece of paper he thought long lost.
His 'how to make a successful film' sheet, scribbled on the back of a beer mat.
" Show breakdown of the nuclear family that is resolved in the face of overwhelming odds. "
Aliens - cute or dangerous - alternate for effect!
" Set it in 50's America, or something resembling that, to re address the core family values. "
Show innocence in face of terror - through the eyes of a small child, girl, blonde ideally, signifying most innocence per square inch. Get to scream a lot, like audience!
" Main character finds inner strength to be hero through massive adversity, overcoming through struggle. "
Blow stuff up.
With found sheet safely in grasp Mr. S sets off to follow old pattern and make great Spielberg film. Overall - Spielberg does Spielberg better than anyone, and he doesn't even have to feel the need to explain the plot to the audience every 5 minutes for once, which is a blessing. Although I think there may be a few people who didn't follow the ending.
For those people the tiny things they show that defeats the aliens, that's tiny particles of Tom Cruises sweat. Look out for DVD extras- They include shots of the Aliens trying to take over Britain and failing miserably after being taunted mercilessly as 'soft' and 'yer green Bastards' and made to drink strong continental lager. PB
If you where to set up two TV’s and watch ‘Animal House’ on one and Rodney Dangerfield’s ‘Back To School’ on the other at the same time you’d be watching ‘Old School’ – it’s actually genuinely funny. Look out for the ‘Fight Club’ references. Jocks. JC
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
Utterly brilliant from start to finish, I urge every single one of you to watch this masterpiece. Look, its by Charlie Kaufman, (he wrote Being John Malkovich), so you KNOW its going to be great. “But it’s got Jim ‘The Grinch’ Carrey in it” I hear you bleat - yes but he redeems himself in this and can no longer be called the ‘new Robin Williams’. Look just watch it, now. Spotless. JC
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
After one too many ‘Scary Movies’ and even a ‘Date Movie’ it’s only a matter of time before we’ll get a ‘DVD Movie’ - which will consist of 90 minutes of fart noises and Carmen Electra’s Jigglin’Titties. Thank frig then for Miranda July’s debut feature “Me and You and Everyone We Know”, a refreshing lung full of pure originality amongst the cloying froust of banality currently on offer. Pitching up somewhere between a Wes Anderson film and, say ‘Punch Drunk Love’, ‘Me You…” is a story about relationships and people of all ages trying to make connections in a modern world and took some flack on its release for daring to suggest that its not just people between 16-45 that think about sex, whilst at the same time having a bit of a dig at the world of CONceptual ‘art’. Brilliantly funny and touching, leave Big Mommas House on the shelf and go rent this. JC
Good Night and Good Luck (2005)
Yeah and you'll need it, whilst GN&GL is well made, it's well shot, it's nicely put together it's, it's well, it's BORING!!!!! The film is set within the working environment of a TV station and there is no external factors taken into account, as such there is no real back story to the film, it jumps into the plot straightaway without there being any explanation of the rationale for what is taking place. Whilst I understand and know the basics of the Communist witch hunts of the 50's and it makes a welcome change for a Hollywood film not to be spoon feeding me the story every 5 minutes, the problems is that what is this really saying? That the current political climate in America is as oppressive as the one when this film is set? For this reason GN&GL is a well made and important film to highlight the failings within American society but at the end of the day I'm afraid the bottom line seems to be that America is run in a self generated state of fear now with the 'threat' being from the middle east and not from Communists but at the end of the day whilst this is very true and very important and brave to highlight this it's also just a bit dull. To the extent that by the time the reason that we are told why two of the characters are hiding the fact of their marriage I didn't care. I can't say much more from that point on as I'd had enough and said good night to this very slow moving beast, the good luck is to anyone tackling it. Important but dull, like a dictionary. PB
Bubba Ho-Tep (2004)
Directed by Don Coscarelli, (‘Beastmaster’), and starring Bruce Campbell, (‘Evil Dead’), Bubba Ho- Tep is the ‘true’ story of what happened to Elvis after he ‘died’ – he ended up in an old people’s home with JFK (who was ‘dyed’ black to disguise his appearance), fighting 3000 year old Egyptian Mummies. Sounds great doesn’t it? Thing is, this film is an adaptation of a Joe R. Lansdale short story and in the hands of a schlock meister like Coscarelli all you get is, well schlock. Ok, Campbell is great as The King but the film is slow, slow slow, and cheap? For a film released in 2004 it’s incredibly badly made- oh, what’s that? Its ‘ironic’? Hmmmm. Unfunny, dull and comes across like a ‘student’ film. Avoid JC
All These Bands Sound The Bloody Same – DJ Chill Collinz 2006
- Northside – Shall We Take A Trip?
- Being 747 – DIY Prescriptions
- Belle And Sebastian – Another Sunny Day
- The Black Spots - Take A Sound
- Blue Cheer- Summer Time Blues
- Captain Beefheart –
- Dizzy Rascal – Fix Up Look Sharp
- Francoise Hardy – Comment Te Dire Adieu
- Gal Costa – Tuareg
- Hoyt Axton- Della And The Dealer
- Django Reinhardt- Minor Swing
Queen Mountain- Mississippi
- Nancy Sinatra -
- Easy E - Put It In Your Mouth
- Petula Clarke - Have Another Dream On Me
- Rita Lee - Amor Branco E Preto
- Rita Lee – Frique Comingo
- Rogerio Duprat – Judy In Disguise
- The Divine Comedy –No One Knows
- The White Stripes – Blue Orchid
- Tom Ze- Jimmy Renda-Se
- Two Gallants – Steady Rollin
- Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
- Ulysses 31 –Theme Tune
Or is this just another example of Bastard Britain?
On the subject of Bastard Britain when I was out on Saturday night the main topic of conversation seemed to be about the recent smoking ban and the conclusions are:
- It’s ruined the country.
- The pubs may now be froust free but this just means you can now smell everything else, from sweaty punters, greasy kitchens to pissy toilets.
- Standing out in the street you’re more likely to get tapped up for a fag by some scavvy, sponging beggar-man cunt.
On the plus side you do get to chat to people you probably wouldn’t normally speak to, mostly in order to whinge about the smoking ban.
Be warned - it’ll be alcohol next in Browns Bastard Britain.
Penguin and Fox by The Magistrates
Achtung! 80’s Electronica! Look out Barney The Dinosaur’s on Crystal Meth and he’s coming round to play-ayyy so hide the Casio’s and the vodka. This is great- Beta Band, Eels type vocals with a hint of early O.M.D. and J-Pop synths and the sound of Manic Miner loading from cassette to your ZX-Spectrum at the end. All round super happy mentalism for crack babies. Love it!
Damn by Marshall Marshall
Its 4 a.m. and you’ve just finished the last drop of drink and smoked your last cig. You’re staring at the clock thinking of ‘what could have been’ … you play this song and realise ‘things can never be that bad, there’s always something good on the horizon’….
I REALLY liked this one, very moving and very uplifting despite its' haunting air of melancholy. If you write songs, this is one of those that you wish you’d written yourself. Brilliant lyrics and great piano and fantastic arranging.
streaks by warren steele stylee w/ the strung-out orchestra
Out in the Peyote Nightmare Desert, where only the bad souls roam, the air is filled with strange noises. Tibetan Throat Singers serenade the spirits of the damned to whiskey bottle percussion. Tom Waits is there, and so is Can. They’re sharing cigarettes and waiting for the sun to rise, but deep down they know, it never will.
were ive been by mrliverfist
A giddy post-apocalyptic industrial nursery rhyme of a song, some great ideas, but could do with some more, great effects but can’t quite make out the lyrics, although it sounds so unsettling I’m not sure I want to know what's being sung about. Loved the vibrato guitar and the backing vocals that sound like some one falling off a cliff. One minute fifty five of sheer demented joy. Disturbing!
Chapter 2... by The Butcher Bill
Frantic Jazz Fingers
Some excellent playing here- frantic Jazz bass and great drumming but unfortunately I found this a tiny bit dull after seven and a half minutes. If you like King Crimson then this would be right up your boulevard - definitely a band for musicians who can marvel at the proficiency of the playing, but not much else to hold your interest – if you like this sort of thing, you’ll love it.
Mosquito by Tapwater
Pienso que beben a las audiencias?
It’s party time at the Back Packers Hostel (hey, it’s ALWAYS party time at the Back Packers Hostel), you’ve been out in the sun all day, your skin’s lobster red and your head feels like a boil in the bag vindaloo. You’ve been drinking since dawn and you’ve only been sick twice. You return to the strains of a live band and the sound of a hundred or so fellow travellers having the time of their lives. ‘I Think The Mosquito’s Are Drunk…’ sings the band, and everyone else is too. After the gig you and your mates stumble back to your bunks singing this song as loud as you can and for years to come when ever you get together to reminisce about your travelling days one of you will start to sing ‘I Think The Mosquito’s Are Drunk…’ and it all comes flooding back….
This Mid tempo pogues-esque ska shanty has all the makings of a great party song, memorable lyrics with a simple catchy melody and a good use of the brass section. Probably more of a ‘live’ tune rather than something you’d sit and listen too at home -it would be hard to sit still to it anyway. Excelente!
Vendetta by Chicken Poodle Soup
There comes a time in every young music fans life when they first hear a tune that just sends them into a frenzy. Usually it’s after they’ve had far to much homebrew cider and amphetamines. The song grabs them by the loins, pulls them to their feet and sends them bouncing round their bedroom smashing everything in sight in an orgy of adolescent destruction. This is one of them songs. I challenge anyone to hear this and not, at the very least, tap their foot, bob their head or pogo through the ceiling.
There sounds like two singers here, sharing lines (musical ones), and that’s a nice touch you don’t hear very often, the vocals and lyrics aren’t super strong but I don’t think that matters as its all about energy and there’s bin bags full of it here. The drumming is excellent with good use of tempo changes and some great horns too, I bet these are a great band to see live, especially in a small venue. The productions a little muddy and I would have liked the chorus to be repeated to the end, but apart from that it’s a great track. Who fancies some homebrew?
Movin' In by Growing Old Disgracefully
Ha Ha Ha. I Don't Get It.
The genius of the blues lies in its 4 bar simplicity. Like Punk, it offers the opportunity for just about anybody to be able to make music and express themselves. The downside to this is that it OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR JUST ABOUT ANYBODY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE MUSIC AND EXPRESS THEMSELVES. As this song clearly indicates. If five drunk business men got their hands on some instruments and started trying to play ‘The Blues’- it would sound like this, awful awful generic Blues Schlock you’ve heard a zillion times before, except the lyrics- the singer sounds like he’s making the lyrics up as he goes along, randomly spouting any old guff in a cod ‘southern drawl’. Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe this is a comedy song? It’s like something from South Park. Ok the playing isn’t bad, everything’s in tune and in time but its just horrible. Unless it’s a joke. In which case its genius.
Why by The Traveler
Perched atop a rugged mountain somewhere near the Grand Canyon is a band. We sweep past them in our helicopter (we’re filming the video and no expense has been spared, oh and its sometime in the mid to late 80’s), the band are all in their mid 40’s; long hair greying a bit, their still toned arms looking a little leathery under the ripped white vests, they’re all wearing cowboy boots and jeans (except the bass player who still insists on spandex), the drummer twirls his sticks in the air -behind him is a gong (he’ll set this on fire later). The singer grips an American flag in his fist and looks earnest and the video will feature shots of Eagles, scorpions and rattle snakes…..
Good intro, got a early seventies Rolling Stones feel to it… but then the vocals kick in, ‘gravely’s’ not quite the word, more ‘pebble dashed’. The lead guitar is ok, and I liked the solo – (think Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd), but its just not long enough, just as it gets good the song drops down and those vocals (eeek) start again. About 20 years out of date.
oasis in space by visiongenre
Early Morning Music?
Fast forward 40 years to the ‘Dunsniffin’ rest home for retired Punks and sat on the stoop you’ll find some wrinkly old timers who used to be Greenday. They’ve still got it, even if it’s a little creaky….. I liked this tune; there’s a laid back toe tappin county fried jug band feel to it, but that’s not to say it’s old fashioned, as it’s as fresh as tomorrow, not ultra catchy but still uplifting and positive- it would make a great end credits song to movie about a bank robbery that goes all wrong but ‘they get away with it in the end’ (think ‘Kelly’s Hero’s’ or ’The Italian Job’). The production is nice and clean and the arrangements good and sparse so you can hear what’s going on, I really liked the subtle organ parts ( very much like Bob Dylan’s ‘Rolling Stone’), and the acoustic guitar was great. The singing’s good, though a tad ‘Crash Test Dummies’ in parts and my only gripe is there’s too many words and not enough hooks –I kept waiting for the song to soar off into the stratosphere with a key change or a big chorus, but all in all a good strong piece of work.
Lets face it- TV nowadays if for Idiots. Even if you already possess a modicum of sentience even the slightest exposure to Ant and Dec’s smug leering visages would be enough turn you into a drooling incontinent whelk-like blob. Once challenging programmes like Horizon now have dramatic background music intended to highlight the REALLY IMPORTANT BITS probably because true facts, no matter how amazing, are deemed ‘boring’. And why do all historical documentaries now have to be bloody ‘dramatised’ – I don’t want to see an ‘interpretation’ of what happened- I want to see cool old photo’s, wood carving’s and shit. And don’t get me started on those Walking With Imaginary Computer Generated Dinosaurs etc. that where everywhere a couple of years ago. They should have been broadcast with a disclaimer telling the viewers that. “ We Are Making This Up- There’s No Way We Could Possibly Know What A Diplodocus Smelt Like. Think About It! How Could We?” Or better still constantly have the words ‘Not Fact’ flash on the screen at increasingly shorter intervals until it becomes a shimmering seizure educing blur.
With this in mind why not actually broadcast programmes that dare to be informative. Call it IntelligentTV. Get all those old Open University programmes that have been gathering dust and just re-run them. That’s Infotainment*.
* Having just typed the word “infotainment” in Word I’ve just noticed the lack of a red line underneath it telling me to ‘stop pissing about using made-up words’. So ‘infotainment’ is actually a word these days? And I was being facetious.