Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Puff The Magic Dragon: an expose

'Puff The Magic Dragon' is perhaps the most upsetting song every placed in front of a happy child's trusting face. The antics of the mythical creature and his friend, Jackie Paper bring joy to their hearts before the terrible truth descends.

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more 
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar. 

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain, 
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane. 
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave, 
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. 

Truly, this is just heartbreaking

But something just didn't ring true.

If I had a friend who was a dragon (and don't think this is the first time I've thought that) I wouldn't just discard him so readily when I grew up. Even when you started dating - 'Hey sweetheart, shall we go to the movies tonight or go and see this dragon I know. yeah that's right, a fucking dragon. Oh yeah!". 

Once you've convinced her that 'the dragon' is not a nickname for your penis - showing her a creature from fairytales would be worth at least inside upstairs,. Its a done deal.

Plus once kids hit double figures they are so keen to make money out of their friends any way they can. We used to put on magic shows and charge people, sell the cakes we made in home economics, flog foreign stamps to the nerdy collectors, auction football stickers. If there was a way to make some pocket money we'd do it. 

Now imagine if you had access to a dragon. You would pimp that bitch to your pals for big bucks. Charging for rides, roars and scales. You'd be selling fuzzy black n white snaps to the tabloids. There would be tours, a gift shop, it would be a whole dragon industry that you would eventually sell for squillions to Disney.

However there is darker theory that is mentioned in the pubs on Honalee that Jackie Paper did not grow up but died in unexplained circumstances when he got lost in the mist. That is the true tragedy at the heart of the tale - Jackie Paper is dead. Puffs disappearance - is it grief or guilt that sends him into his cave, never to emerge again? Exactly where was he on that grey night? 

Regardless of the conspiracy and tragedy, there Puff stays, alone and heartbroken in his cave - dreaming of the days of wine and plenty. The songwriter Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy adapted the story in his song 'A Lady Of A Certain Age' recasting Puff as a faded rich lady who 'chased the sun around the Cote d'Azur/ Until the light of youth became obscured / And left you all alone and in the shade / An English lady of a certain age'

But gentle reader, wipe those tears away. For recently unearthed documents have revealed a possible missing last verse that was written but never recorded by Peter, Paul & Mary. *

Many summers later as Puff walked along the strand 
He looked down and saw some small footprints in the sand.
A voice said, "Mr. Dragon, please don't be so sad.
My name is Jenny Paper and I was sent here by my dad."

Although this sets up the possibility of Puff getting his heart broken all over again when Jenny gets up the duff by one of the boys on Honalee - it softens the blow a bit and perhaps generations of Paper children won't be alone in keeping Puff company as this other alternate ending found written on parchment suggests

Young ones love adventure, games for bold and brave
Soon Daniel Drum and Johnny Plum had found Puff's magic cave
With coloured flags a waving, they dance upon the shore
And children come from miles around to hear Puff's mighty roar 

And before all you Generation X-ers start saying that its all about drugs - it isn't. You really shouldn't read too much into these things

*sadly untrue but - print the legend

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

From strange acorns , musical obsessions are born

My parents record collection was weird.

  • 2 Beatles album (With The..../ 'The Red Album') 
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • an Acker Bilk
  • two Five Penny Piece albums (Lancashire Folk Music with some comedy songs. Actually less comedic \ more whimsical or wry)
  • A Spinners collection (not Detroit but the Scouse folky vocal combo)
  • 10th Anniversary Bond Collection
  • 2 Gilbert O'Sullivan albums - a 'best of' and 'Southpaw' 
  • Burt Weedon's Golden Guitar Greats
  • K-Tel's 'Disco Fever' compilation
  • A 60's comp called 'Carnaby Street' - plenty of 1963-4 Brit beat bands
  • Bird Song In Close-up (yes, field recordings of birds chirruping)
And there was one other. A Beach Boys compilation called 'Good Vibrations'

For starters, what the hell is that cover?

Do they even know where the photographer is or do they not care. I'm guessing that shot is from around 1972 or 73 - Brian is, as yet, not back although fawned over in the sleeve notes. Mike Love is already in full 'disguising the fact he is so damn bald' mode. Its an approach that The Edge adopted many years later

But it's such a strange compilation. its like it was compiled in a wind tunnel with songs shooting past the compilers head and they just grab whatever they can. Yet somehow it makes perfect sense

Starts with the 'best single ever made' (tm) in the title track - imagine the effect of that on a 6 year olds mind. My first exposure to this motley crew of beardies is this extraordinary music - sounds that I couldn't imagine WHAT would be making them. I think I thought the theremin sound was someone singing because it was so strange. I never knew at the time that this was the product of a man at the height of his majestic powers. That this early experience may well be the zenith of popular music - it simply rarely got any better. 

It's followed by the cowboy on the cover's attempt to drag the band back to simpler times when they made an single in an afternoon rather than a year - and let's face it, he's been doing that ever since. 'Do It Again' is a great song, that chugging rhythm, the melancholy middle eight, the euphoric coda. 

But then it gets strange '- 'Farmer's Daughter' from their 2nd LP. Brian's falsetto is just awesome - the backing vocals having that slightly bored edge of their early harmonies. It's a basic song but that lead vocal raises it up to a flawed gem.

Bobby Picket & The Crypt Kickers 'Monster Mash follows, live in concert from  Sacramento in the summer of 1963. Mike Love is the full ham with extra mustard, driving those girls wild with his Dracula impression and wolfman snarling. The 'In Concert' album was overdubbed to feck. Brian even used original studio tapes and sped them up for a couple of songs, dropping out notes and sounds so it wouldn't show. 

This knockabout piece of fun leads to a gear crunching change of pace in 'I Just Wasn't Made For These Times' which is up there with 'Til I Die' in the most raw. naked and confessional lyrics that brian ever produced. The rest of the 'Boys' must have picked up on "No one wants to help me look for places where new things might be found" as a direct challenge to their inability or unwillingness to follow him into new directions. His disappointment and frustration that no-one was able to share and interpret the sounds he had in his head is clear. 

And like Mike Love's unseen hand grabbing us we are ripped back to less reflective 'don't fuck with the formula' period with Berry riffin' 'Surfin USA' \ Salt Lake City and the silly novelty hit 'Papa Ooh Mow Mow' from the doctored concert tapes. 


Nah sorry guv, that gearbox is well and truly knackered. See if you will insist on going from dopey hammy surf pop to subtle mature genius melodies this will keep on happening. It just wasn't built for these tunes, see?


'With Me Tonight' crawled from the wreckage on the Smile project, a lost part of the 'Heroes And Villains' saga, probably somewhere between the Cantina and Gee sections. Yet it resurfaced on the 'Smiley Smile' (brilliant) compromise album. A delicate little thing, pretty much accapella with minimal hammond organ backing.  Those honey dripping lows and falsetto highs. I'm guessing unlike the Smile Sessions this wasn't born out of 60 throat shredding takes but I'd wager perfection doesn't come easy. On 'Smiley Smile' some of the vocals were recorded with the band lying at the bottom of Brian's empty pool - I like to have that picture in my head when I listen to the track. 

*Bang*    I did warn you, chief.
Back to the basic surf music - the daft 'Finders Keepers' with a Frankie Valli type chorus. The real hidden gem on the album is 'When A Man Needs A Woman' Brian's simple little ditty about impending fatherhood from the underrated 'Friends' LP. Strangely he is crooning to an unborn son but he ended up with two girls. Its childlike without being too saccharine, great nifty bass part, an organ medley adapted from 'I'm Into Something Good' and as he was with the Beatles in India - free from Mike Love's cynicism. 

(You may detect a slight antipathy towards Mr Love thus far. I admire how he enhanced the vocal harmonies, his collaborative songwriting but the man, despite being absent for 'Friends' doing transcendental meditation and his spirituality, is an absolute bell-end.)

The album ends with a perfect example of what the early Beach Boys must have been to non US residents of the time. 'Amusement Park USA' the sound of the movie scenes - the track is overdubbed with the noise of a fairground, the rattle of the big dipper, the scream of the car's occupants as it swoops, the carnival barkers yelling to attract suckers to try and win a teddy bear for their sweetheart in a game of pitch and toss. It's the essence of teenage life in America to the last scream fades away. Such a bright and exciting world of fun, fun, fun that most of those listening could only dream of.

So that was my first introduction to 'America's Band'. These days I have so much - maybe too much - of their music. From the 50 odd CDs of their Capitol Years sessions to tapes of Brian Wilson's 80's & 90's rarities to the mammoth Smile Sessions box set - starts off like fascination, ends up like a trance. 

These days you don't need ropey old vinyl pressings to hear what I heard when I was 6. You can just make a Spotify playlist

You may not be swept away like I was way back when but it won't be a dull ride

Friday, 18 January 2013

James Tiberius Kirk hears of the demise of Blockbusters

Another day and another firm goes under - Blockbuster Video to much gnashing of teeth and tales of woe. I don't recall this type of fuss when Tandy and Rumblelows bit the dust. Wither Radio Rentals? etc

I drove past a Blockbusters last week that I used to hire from on a weekly basis and though "Christ,l how are they still going?" Well now they aren't. In the days of Netflix, Lovefilm and Piratebay its hardly surprising. I don't think I ever hired a DVD from them.

I've done it from the council library and surprised they didn't have those diagrams of the disc like they used to for vinyl. The scratches on the record were marked on the diagrams so if you returned the album and there were new scratches, you was in trouble from The Man, Totally foolproof of course - its not like you could add scratches yourself with a biro. No, these were more honest times. I imagine most of BB staff's time recently was taken up with people bringing back DVDs covered in ash and coffee stains, saying they didn't play and asking for a refund

Anyway, the first time I ever rented a video was when my Dad took us down to the 'Video One' shop in town. We didn't have a video player but my Uncle Bob did and we were getting something to watch over at his.  I remember it clearly, small shop, Betamax on the left, VHS on the right (already slightly more choice and range - the writing literally on the wall)

Despite the 1st Star Trek film being one of the most rotten sci fi films ever made - dull, dull, dull. I chose Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Kahn. I remember being an annoying little shit and asking how we would have time to get over to my Uncles and back and watch the film before bedtime *. When we got home we found a brand new Ferguson Video-star player under the TV. The future had arrived!

Dodgy copies of ET, the Star Wars trilogy and video nasties and Electric Blue, Mum;s tape, finding end of a murder mystery had been taped over by the a thrilling 0-0 draw of Arsenal vs Oldham - such things is Peter Kay's career made.So I look upon the closure of Blockbusters in the same way I view the closure of HMV. Its sad for the people involved but a changing world and their inability to change with it is key.

(* 28 years old I was - ahhhh)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Know HMV , Know Music

 Somewhere in London, Queen have always been towering over us all (Oxford Street 1986)

Living out in the commuter belt as I did (and continue to do) we had a few record shops. The standard Our Price \ WH Smiths\ Woolies \ Boots and a couple of indie stores. One of them, I worked in for a couple of years before the owner ran off with another woman leaving debts and tax bills a-plenty. That little shop was important when I couldn't find XTC's 'Senses Working Overtime' in the big outlets as it wasn't a hit yet but good old Opus One (which was hardly bigger than an average 4x4 posh mum mobile) took my 79p for that little slice of heaven.

However when I was at school, any money that wasn't spent in Opus One or Revolution Records in Windsor was saved up for the trips up to London on the train with my mates to the golden mile of Oxford Street with the twin towers of HMV 'Europe's Biggest Music Store' and the Virgin Megastore down by Tottenham Court Road. In 1987 my parents finally allowed me to go to the smoke on my own and our first port of call was always there.

The evil twins & "Ken" (a man who knows when he's being edged out) in Oxford Street, 1988

What with it being the late 80's and all that dance music in the charts being a fad (prove me wrong, people!) I was a little metaller - Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Def Leppard Poison, Motley Crue etc. Men with too much makeup, hair and denim. Loud guitars, stoopid lyrics and girls, girls, girls. Yet, most importantly, for some reason your parents hated them. This would carry on for a good five years until grunge killed it stone dead. Talk about the Roses? Not unless they're dancin' with Mr Brownstone. The La's? Do you mean Cinderella, la? Def Jam? Do you mean ver Leps?

This period also meant that I learnt about older (and often better) bands that these bands cited as influences - Zep, Sabs, Purps, Mott, Dame, Stones etc. I can't say I play much of that stuff these days (much=any) but then it was a sewn on patch of honour. 

Anyway, enough justification for lapses in musical taste as a 12-13 year old for tribal reasons. Whenever school broke up for any reason we used to raid our piggy banks and head to HMV - cos, like, it was the BIGGEST record shop you had ever, ever seen. Whole walls full of cassettes, rows of those new fangled CDs. and lots of singles. 

Oooh, this one has an import sticker on it. Yes its £2 quid more and the same sleeve but the middle of the label is missing, you wally! I'll have to use that strange adaptor on my record player to play it. It's special.
No, shut up, you're jealous. No, I saw it first, get off. No, I don't want that Guns N Roses interview picture disc instead......

As only music nerds can we used to spend literally hours in HMV Oxford Street. The Virgin Megastore was an alternative but it didn't measure up. It's crappy wax works of Prince and Michael Jackson around the walls were weird and if it wasn't for the comic Department and the D&D games we wouldn't bother. At the end of the day we'd slump into our seats at Paddington with HMV carrier bags of CDs, singles, tapes, new posters and officially sanctioned T-shirts sure to annoy.

 "Whats wrong Mum, its just a T-shirt?!" (soon to be accidentally ruined clothing from 1989)

 Later I discovered the smaller and more desirable record shops of London but when you're a tweenie, its all about the big stuff. HMV was the shop where those weird blokes used to hang about outside with their shaved heads and strange literature, asking for money to help fund their charity. They knew that unknowing and slightly frightened kids from out of town would be good for a couple of quid.

Today's news that HMV are probably a thing of the past on the high street is sad but not unexpected. We can all list the reasons - changes in the music industry, technology, uncompetitive prices, decrease in knowledgeable staff,  less eclectic etc etc etc.

I can't remember the last time I bought something in an HMV shop as their sales stopped being attractive, their back catalogue more ridiculous expensive and the emphasis shifted from music to games and Ipods. Of course I occassionally use Fopp for retail therapy which will also disappear. The last time I actually bought something from HMV was online. I pre-ordered the 2nd Grinderman LP on vinyl and was entered into a prize draw. Maybe few other people did so, perhaps there was a section of tickets set aside for vinyl pre-orders  but I won the opportunity to see Nick Cave's combo up close at Highbury Garage.  It was deafening and fabulous.

Maybe we shouldn't weep too much as the HMV that died today isn't the one that we like to remember and it was their success that hit the indie record shops and drove them from the high street. The demise of HMV may be of some comfort to those still afloat.

Picture this - a new band may never be able to walk into a high street music shop and see their bands name written on a grey divider in the CD racks between those of their heroes. Music has become less of a physical entity and somehow seeing you bands name on Spotify just won't feel the same.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Wuzza wuzza wuzza worth the wait? Part II

So THE DAME has returned among us. Ten years gone. So what we thinking here?

Further 'Outside'?. Very Heathenly? Bigger Buddah?

Its a classic Bowie subject of the later stages of his career- his own past. The video makes clear some of the themes of the song so that Bowie doesn't have to (NO live appearances, NO interviews NO public appearances apparently. He's wise enough not to bound out into the public all of a sudden. Keep people guessing like he always has.

He's looking back, literally,  at Berlin in the late 1970's - mentioning some old haunts and recounting a bit of the city's history.

Bose Brucke and Glienicker Brücke as mentioned in the song was famously the bridge where spies were swapped during the Cold War from East to West and vice versa. Think of the scenes in The Tinker Tailor novels\TV series and Michael Caine in 'Funeral In Berlin' (See, reading all those books on German history paid off!)

But its a song about the present in that when all is said and done all that matters is that you & me are together, sweetie. 

Nice vocal from Bowie, made even more wistful and melancholy by the video but rising to a understated climax. There is something a little reserved about his singing with little variation in tone or key. This may be a little dull over a complete album, I just hope he still has the chops to soar over mountains etc

So a nice surprise gift from Mr Bowie to us on his 66th birthday. I still say he will 'do a Leonard Cohen' in his seventies and tour with immaculate backing band, pretty girl singers to flirt with, decked out in suit, hat and cane.

Wuzza Wuzza Wuzz

Thursday, 3 January 2013

It's not the side effects of the cocaine

 The return of the Thin White Duke \ throwing darts in lovers' eyes


Yes Ziggy, yes Major Tom, yes Aladdin Sane but you know it - Bowie's coolest of the fuckest period was when he was The Thin White Duke.His most glorious statement was the album and the title song 'Station To Station'. The album itself is an embarrassment of riches

If there some way to distill pure Bowie, to remove all the impurities, characters and disguises and get closest to the man, 'Wild Is The Wind' is it. Here he uses none of his vocal tricks and accents and just sings from his heart., Its breathtaking stuff. If Bowie ever returns to the live stage he should do it this way - Mike Garson on keys, the Leonard Cohen suit and hat combo, maybe a couple of attractive backing singers. That's it. Lady Grinning Soul. Rock N Roll With Me, Life On Mars, WITW, Ashes To Ashes, Changes, Time - all just with piano accompaniment.

TVC-15 is a pop masterpiece - nonsense lyrics, infectious simple groove. 'Stay' is transformed from a dull rocker by the twin guitars of Carlos Alomar  & Earl Slick's toying with that simple guitar riff and Bowie improvising and pushing his voice.

Here are we \ one magical moment \ such is the stuff from where dreams are woven \ bending sound \ dredging the ocean \ lost in my circle


Golden Years, my God, Golden Years. Not just the theme tune to an unloved Stephen King TV mini series of the Benjamin Button variety. Not just a skeletal Bowie on 'Soul Train' in front of its audience of groovin' black people whispering 'that Limey honky need some home cookin'!' but an astonishing recording - the falsetto, the finger-popping, knuckle cracking hook made of plastic soul.


There are you / You drive like a demon from station to station

Infamously, Bowie cannot recall much about recording the album. He describes that it was like working in a cocaine blizzard. Coming off the back of four of the most intense years of stardom that anyone has put themselves through alone (at least there were three other Beatles) he was coming undone. No wonder he used filming 'The Man Who Fell To Earth' as an escape and to create another cocooning character to protect him from the world and himself.   The album is a cry for help, an admittance that the joke has gone too far and he seeks normality. Well as normal as world famous pop pin-up can be. The man from the future is looking back, yearning for what was.

Once there were mountains on mountains \ and once there were sunbirds to soar with and once I could never be down \ Got to keep searching and searching

Oh what will I be believing and who will connect me with love?

'Word On A Wing' is so painful to listen to. The man is clearly completely lost mentally, physically and spirituality. Like 'Wild Is The Wind' there is little of the emotional barrier that Bowie often put up, his guard is down, he hasn't the energy to pretend anymore. The echoing pain  at the heart of the song in that 'Lord, Oh Lord I offer you...." line is almost unbearable.

But back to the beginning and the title track

Ten minutes of glory, three and a half til our hero announces his arrival by quiveringly crooning the lines at the top of the page  The band have been churning the repetitive bastard offspring of the chant of the ever circling skeletal family and it rolls forward til the suggestive 'making sure white stains' (Alistair Crowley reference ahoy!) and the drums with Alomar's guitar jumps and kicks the band into a funkier gear. From doom the song bursts into optimistic light, you can almost picture Bowie doing his foot to foot sideways dance and outstretching his arms pointing at an imaginary multitude.

No, not saluting. Definitely not saluting

It's not the side-effects of the cocaine\ I'm thinking that it must be love

With only six tracks it hard for there to be an filler but this, despite everything that was going on in his life, IS the best Bowie album.  Its even David's favourite as he can't remember recording it he sees it as someone else's work. Following this Bowie would get some of the normality he craved, moved to Berlin, hooked up with Iggy and Eno to make some more groundbreaking music. Yet would never open up to his deepest fears and feeling like this again. The final line of this album's opening track would point to his future

The European cannon is here, yes it's here!

Is it worth the wait?

As history relays - The Rutles recorded their first album in 20 minutes (their second took even longer). Their parodists The Beatles recorded 'Please Please Me' in a trio of three hour sessions on Monday, 11th February 1963.

Beginning with the rather sedate 'There's A  Place'

and ending with Lennon, stripped to the waist, gargling milk, popping cough drops and ripping lumps out of his vocal chords to produce a single take of 'Twist & Shout'

585 minutes to alter the consciousness of a generation. Of course the songs took longer to be written and so on but in essence, an album in a day.

This occurs to me because I have been listening to a lot of Portishead over the last few days.

Well I say a lot. There are only 4 albums of which the last 'Third' came out in 2008. That's already over 5 years ago. Their last album of original material before 'Third' was their self titled second album in 1997. That's an 11 year gap in which admittedly Beth Gibbons managed one solo album (and very good it is too). Whole band careers, the Fabs for instance,  rise and fall in that period.whilst producing a dozen albums that are the foundations of musical culture.

So alongside terminal procrastinations like My Bloody Valentine and Kate Bush (CBE) I wonder what the reason for such glacial songwriting speed is., In Kate Bush's case it is certainly a creative freedom she has developed over the years to do as she darn well pleases. She owns her master-tapes, has her own studio and EMI, her label since she was 16 have even given her an imprint , 'Fish People' to keep her on side after the departure from the company of trusted staff.  Since 'Ariel' broke a 12 year hiatus in 2005 she has released two more albums (although only one of new material) which is like lightning in comparison. Also, of course, she is a perfectionist.

Perfectionism - the old "get out of jail free" card of the genius songwriter. That's why it takes so long, cos they are a perfectionist about what they do. All artists are. Very few go into a studio to record and then deliberately put out a slapdash effort. Some unintentionally do that but I digress. Perfectionism is another term for madness.

There is an old hairy dog story that Brian Wilson still regularly goes into the studio to mix the master-tapes to Pet Sounds, still trying to get it to sound like it does in his head. Wilson spent seventeen sessions with 90 hours of tape making the sub 4 minute single mix of 'Good Vibrations' over a 6 month period.

Have you heard 'Good Vibrations'? It may be the best single ever made.

Although as Peter Townshend said in the NME at the time - "'Good Vibrations' was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about" before saying he feared this could lead to over produced complex records. Not on his watch, sunshine.

Or that might be the follow up, the equally time consuming 'Heroes & Villains'. It could be argued that Wilson didn't get that the way he wanted until his version of 'Smile' was released in 2002. Or when the Smile sessions finally emerged in 2011. In his case there were periods of clinical obesity, depression, chemical dependency (legal and illegal), schizophrenia and appointments with lawyers of his brothers & cousins to contend with.

So with My Bloody Valentine supposedly having just put the finishing touches to their first album in 22 years - the last one having taken 2 years to record and bankrupting their label, Creation, are these things ever worth the wait?

Naturally these bands have the sort of audience that are prepared to put up with periods of silence. If they were an up and coming pop act then they would be dead in the water. In Popville, a week without new product, scandal, appearance puking into a bin or fingering someone from Hollyoaks in the back of a cab is unheard of. Add to that the fact that most people aren't checking the internet daily for news of new albums from musicians - well, Kate Bush fans are but they'll settle for a new pic of her looking lovely instead.

So 11 years for 'Portishead' 'Third' - was it worth it? I'd say so.

I think the truly great albums create a self sufficient musical ecosystem allowing the songs to exist (if Paul Morley didn't write that already, he will, Oscar, he will). Third is incredibly claustrophobic as it clatters, bangs and crashes like a devilish machine gone wrong

Take Machine Gun for example

As Pete Townshend might say, who knows what Beth is singing about but her pleading has to fight against the regimented sounds of her world. Its oppressive stuff - "too scared to sacrifice a choice chosen for me" and the world is unyielding - it continues without end. The stunning opening track 'Silence' (does anyone know what the hell that bit of dialogue at the beginning is?) sets the mood - we're lost, confused and adrift.
Radiohead covered 'The Rip' within weeks of release in a move akin to Jimi Hendrix covering 'Sgt Pepper'.

Although the album ended up in a lot of "Best Of The Year" I still don't feel it really got the full acclaim it deserves. Just as astounding and enveloping as the omnipresent 'Dummy' was in 1994. As Hitler said, Time will prove me right. Why am I praising an album that is five years old? Well if they can take their time so can I.

But for every 'Third' there is a 'Second Coming',  a 'Phantom Menace', an 'Ariel' (not for me but some REALLY hated La Bush's return) or a 'Free As A Bird'.

So is it worth the wait? Sometimes

What have we learnt. Nuffink

As you were.....