The Secret World Of Sam King

Universal Records, Social networking site Bebo and production company Monkey Kingdom are joining forces to make an online soap series.

The soap will feature Amy Winehouse, Bloc Party and Razorlight, along with guest appearances from Duffy, Girls Aloud and The Feeling.

The Daily Star reports that the soap will be set in the offices of Universal Records and will follow the fortunes of teenager Sam King, who works in the post room and sets up his own office in the back of a stationary cupboard.

The soap will only be available to users of the Bebo network.

Shaun Ryder Lands Cameo In Shameless

Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder has landed a cameo role in the latest series of Channel 4 series Shameless, says a report in the Sun.

Ryder is allegedly a huge fan of the TV show and thinks it is really funny says an insider, ‘His scenes in it are particularly hilarious, He has a very dry sense of humour.’

The singers role coincides with a plot line that sees Micky and Shane McGuire open a tourist business called Madchester, taking tourists around the Manchester music landmarks. Shane dresses up as Morrisey  and ‘Looks brilliant’ says the insider ‘More convincing than Shaun as Shaun, who sent himself up a treat.’

Can’t wait, Shameless is possibly the most under rated series on UK TV.


Isle Of Wight Festival TV Coverage Disappointing

Following RockNess in Scotland at the beginning of June, the Isle Of Wight music festival was the first major music festival in England this summer, so it was with some excitement that I filled the fridge with beer and got myself ready to watch the festival highlights from the comfort of my living room.

In April ITV2 beat Channel 4 to the television rights to show this year’s Isle Of Wight musical festival. Channel 4 had previously shown the festival in the past four of its seven years, since the famous festival’s reincarnation.

But how disappointed I was to know ITV2 were only dedicating one hour per night! It would have been bad enough if they only showed one complete hour of performances, but it was much worse than that!

Take away the annoying Lauren Laverne’s rambling introductions and pointless interviews, the boring on-site adventures of the young festival-virgin presenter and a heaped spoonful of commercials and I was left with about six songs from a few bands.

On Friday and Saturday that included just the first two songs from headliners Kaiser Chiefs and The Sex Pistols. On Saturday night, No Fun was the only track shown by Iggy & The Stooges.

I was so pissed off with the coverage that I skipped Sunday night altogether.

It’s not as if ITV2 is crammed full of great programmes. If ITV2 want to show the festival then why not show the highlights for a two or three hours per night, at least?

Fortuntately, they have not wrestled the rights to show Glastonbury from the BBC, who I hope will this year once again show hours of live and recorded highlights over the whole weekend, across different BBC channels.

Jools Holland Later celebrates 200 shows

Probably the best music show currently on UK tv is Jools Holland Later …

Yes, I know it is annoying when Jools Holland has to play piano with as many of the artists as possible, and as my good friend (name dropping) and exceptionally talented hammond organ player James Taylor once said he’s only famous for playing boogie woogie.  But who likes boogie woogie?

Later… celebrates its 200th show tonight at 11.35pm on BBC2.  The show has a great line up that includes the beautiful Cat Power, the gorgeous Feist, the wonderfully talented Soft Boy himself, Robyn Hitchcock and the awesome Radiohead.

There was me thinking it was actually live.  Obviously not, as there is an after show special performance of House of Cards by Radiohead on the BBC website.

Pop Music – What is it good for?

Paul Morley - BBC4 tv programme - Pop! What is it good for?Last night I watched an excellent programme on BBC4 – Pop! What is it good for? produced & presented by Paul Morley. In the hour long programme, Morley nominated six of his favourite  pop songs & then visited places associated with the song & met with various people to deconstruct lyrics, discuss the song’s personal and social importance, and to understand the process of creating the perfect pop song.

Paul Morley (50) and pop music are moreorless the same age and in true Morley fashion he attempts to explain how in the post-empire era, pop music has helped give the world a sense of Britain and Britain a sense of itself.

I assumed the six candidates to be in no order of preference  and more a selection offering the spectrum of Morley’s love & fascination with pop, more than his favourite songs of all time. The songs were:

Kylie Minogue – Can’t get you out of my head
T.Rex – Ride a white swan
The Kinks – Lola
The Smiths – This Charming Man
Adam Faith – What do you want?
Sugababes – Freak like me

The sign of a perfect pop song is to imagine Elvis singing it, Morley explained.  The programme offered renditions of each and for me, Elvis sang Kylie best.

What do you want? by Adam Faith was the first pop song that Morley could remember hearing, and was indicative of the time in the 1950’s when Britain sort after an answer to Elvis. whereas Ride a white swan was a pop song from his teenage years and included magical lyrics as pop turned from hippy to glam. And The Kinks Lola lyrics were dark and interesting to a young boy.

As Morley said in the programme, everyone is introduceed to pop music at a different time, and therefore we all have our own opinions as to what makes the perfect pop song.  I could be wrong but, Adam Faith aside, the shortlist of pop songs have a dark or twisted nature, the use of wonderfully poetic lyrics, and tunes that never escape your head.

The last selection, Freak like me was an odd choice, and though I don’t agree with it, when Morley deconstructed the essence of the song with the producer, I understood why it was there.  The song relies heavily on Tubeway Army’s Are friends electric and marries it with the original Freak like me version, the first single from r ‘n’ b artist Adina Howard in 1995.  What was explained was the idea of mashing up two completely different tracks from two separate eras and making onbe song sound as if it was meant to be.

The show was interesting and entertaining, though I was left wanting a debate on what makes the perfect pop song. The programme is well worth watching.  As Morley says we all arrive and look for different things.  Without too much thought here is my six suggestions for Elvis to sing:

Slade – Cum on feel the noize
Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
Tubeway Army – Are Friends Electric?
The LA’s – There she goes
Doves – Black & white town
Joy Division – Love will tear us apart

What does that say about me? What are yours?