Wednesday, February 25, 2009

London fashion week is basically kids’ TV with more sunglasses and people who are allergic to sausages

Zippy off Rainbow

Giles Deacon’s “Pac Man” helmet

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The internet is going bacon crazy – rejoice ye lovers of smoked pork products, rejoice!

Alright, when I say, “the internet”, what I actually mean is that I’ve found two or three idiots who take their love of cured rashers of pig a little bit further than is necessarily healthy. First up is Mike Nelson of the Rifftrax blog, whose Bacon Stupidity Month means that for the whole of the February he will eat nothing but… you guessed it, bacon. What a hero!

Can you imagine how brilliant this will be? It’s the sort of thing that my ten-year-old self would not only endorse, but heartily imitate – until my mum got sick of the stench of rendered pig fat coating every surface of the house. He says:

For the entire month of February, 2009, I, Michael J. Nelson will eat nothing but bacon. Nothing, my friends, but bacon.

Why? Because bacon is nature’s finest and most nourishing food. Also, because several doubters on the RiffTrax staff had the unmitigated gall to insult bacon by making the outrageous claim that, as good as it is, no one could eat very much of it and live. I can and will. Therefore I will spend the month proving it.

The fact that he has to eat wimpy American bacon, rather than meaty Gloucestershire Old Spot gear or salty Italian pancetta, just makes his quest even more heroic. I salute him.

Secondly, the Guardian is featuring something called a Bacon Explosion (above). Not, thankfully, a pork-fuelled incendiary device, but a ludicrous – though some (ie me) would say inspired – creation made up of bacon, sausage meat, crispy bacon (vital difference in terms of texture) and barbecue sauce. Looking a bit like a Swiss roll, but a million times better, the Explosion is put on a barbecue and cooked to within an inch of its life – and then devoured. The paper says:

Jason Day, a barbecue fanatic from Kansas City, says that he never intended to set the internet aflame. But when he and fellow barbecuer Aaron Chronister came up with the Bacon Explosion, they did just that. "Apparently we hit on something that people are extremely passionate about," says Day of their creation, which involves 2lb of bacon, 2lb of sausage, and a lavish helping of barbecue sauce. The recipe came about after a challenge from a bacon enthusiast - what could barbecuers do with the pork product? - and soon the pair were weaving raw rashers into a mat, covering this with a layer of sausage meat, piling on crispy fried bacon bits, adding barbecue sauce, and fashioning the lot into the ultimate meat-lover's version of a swiss roll. Then they smoked it. At 5,000 calories and 500g of fat the result is, quite literally, not for the faint-hearted.

And then finally, there’s this, “chicken-fried bacon”. Oh sweet Lord.

I love you bacon, I love you America.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eleven things you need to know about The Damned United

1) Michael Sheen is just like Brian Clough

2) Timothy Spall is just like Timothy Spall

3) Stephen Graham plays Billy Bremner and sounds really like him, but wears a big mad curly wig that makes him look a pirate. He’s still the best thing in it

4) Leeds were the first club to truly brand themselves. They had sock tags, names on the back of their tracksuits and the best badge ever. In the film they’re basically the Bay City Rollers with mud and violence

5) Watching The Damned United, it’s clear that life was better when footballers smoked – it made them run faster, look cooler and appear more attractive to the opposite sex. Stephen Graham’s Billy Bremner is like an iron lung with good eye/foot co-ordination

6) West Yorkshire in the 1970s was uniquely depressing. And it rained a lot. When Sheen-as-Clough turns up at Elland Road he’s like a ray of sunshine, all smiles, handshakes and wisecracks. Needless to say, the team, looking on from the training ground, absolutely hate the flash bastard

7) Colm Meaney’s Don Revie is a brooding, lumbering presence with a head that is roughly five times the size of his body. The scene where he and Clough share a TV interview immediately after Clough’s sacking as Leeds boss is brilliant. This is the actual moment (above)

8) Despite the fact that pitches were basically swamps and fans looked like roadies from a Little Jimmy Osmond concert, football was ace then. Prawn sandwiches and multi-million dollar sponsorship deals or fellas with microphones for heads in jumbo flares hitting each other on rainswept terraces? I know what I prefer.

9) The infamous 1974 Charity Shield was like two hungover jailhouse teams facing each other after learning their parole has been cancelled. The Keegan/Bremner scrap was like something out of Bonanza, though why Tommy Smith didn’t flatten Bremner is a mystery

10) Michael Sheen is really very good at football. The turn-and-volley he does on Clough’s first day of training would put the likes of journeyman no-marks like James Beattie and Harry Kewell to shame. Bet Laurence Olivier couldn’t do that

11) No-one likes Leeds, but The Damned United makes you want them back in the top flight. You cannot argue with this (above)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Boss Day Out

Brilliant short film from Morrovision, fast becoming Liverpool’s most original filmmaker. Music is by the ace Pale Fountains, who later morphed into Shack.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snowing in London and the time is right to take pretentious, slightly sub-standard photographs with my new camera

Piccadilly, W1

St Pancras station looking like the Kremlin in Moscow

A bike looking like a bike. But with snow on it

A statue at St Pancras church

Four statues at St Pancras church. Obviously

Albermale St, W1

Green Park 6pm. And no, I’m not following you

And this is where I stay, eh? Ha ha… I said, this is where… oh alright then