... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

434: George Formby (or 'I'm fed up coming up with blog titles again')

George Formby and Frank Skinner, what a wonderful combination; makes me want to learn to play the ukulele. I'm too lazy to actually learn, and if I want to vigorously exercise my wrist and fingers there's something I'm already well practiced at. I'm talking of course of writing. I (claim/aim to) do it every day, apparently. Anyway. I always enjoy Frank Skinner, and can even forgive him his mad anti-atheist statements and creepy adherence to a clandestine global evil. I don't even need to forgive his obsession with football, as he is so obviously genuinely in love with it, and uses it as a means of expressing laughter and humour (as opposed to anger and bigotry), that it makes me wish I could love football too. The most football fun I have ever had was back in the good ol' days of Fantasy Football League. I used to watch Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned with my cat (sad revelation of the week).

Music is good. So is Blackpool rock. So is the cheeky bawdiness of your classic old timer Lancashire comedians, and Lancashire, Where Women Die of Love. Where Women Die of Love, that's a book I've got, and have yet to read, but had entirely forgotten about until now. I wonder where I've left it. A while back I had a bit of a moan about the redecorated Blackpool Tower top (the Eye as it's now calling itself), but when I went there the Comedy Carpet art installation was still unfinished. It is a huge installation flat on the ground of Blackpool promenade at the foot of the Tower. Letters of varying size and colour spell out catchphrases and one-liners made famous by great comedians, with a weight leaning towards Morecambe & Wise, Frankie Howerd, Les Dawson, Ken Dodd and Tommy Cooper, all classic geniuses of British comedy. They are not the only ones on there, but it sounds like they must have been the artists favourites; there are 850 comedians and writers represented. I wonder if it's turned out nice again is on there; I suspect it might be, but somehow I doubt Frank Skinner's cunnilingus and toilet paper routine has made the final cut.

To me currently, all George Formby's songs (except With Me Little Stick of Blackpool Rock, When I'm Cleaning Windows, and Leaning on a Lamp Post) sound almost exactly the same, played with that frantically flailing right hand picking and strumming simultaneously, a cheeky smile, a surprised eye in reaction to his own double entendre, and a voice that barely classifies as singing. He really doesn't have a nice voice, in any sense that makes sense to me (Frank Sinatra or Captain Beefheart, Dani Filth or Malvina Reynolds), the appeal is just his I'm your granddad in a good mood demeanour. Plus there is of course the fact that he is sometimes hilarious, fantastically good at the ukulele and took a strong stand against the racism he saw when touring South Africa. A local lad to be proud of.

On another note, but in keeping with the old fashioned theme, I can hear distant voice of a rag-and-bone man. He calls out through a megaphone and is after washing machine, dish washers and televisions, not old clothes and food scraps, and when he finally moves past the flat it will be in a Transit, not a cart pulled by a horse called Hercules.

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