Record Duggie Chop's into, right this moment:

Record Duggie Chop's into, right at this moment: Muswell Hillbillies - The Kinks (1971)

Duggie Chop recommends:

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug (2009)

(Let's scroll back a little, find out some more about Me and Duggie...)

[He's sitting by the edge of a canal. The canal is through a little gate at the end of Duggie's garden. It's 1974, Duggie's managed to sneak through the little gate at the end of the garden, and he's kneeling on the gravel path that runs alongside the canal, the sharp stones pressing into his knees as he's wearing short trousers. "Duggie! Hey, Duggie, I can see it!" It's Duggie's best mate sitting by his side, cross-legged. He's also managed to sneak out of his 'little gate', next door. "Don't shout, man," says Duggie, "you'll scare him off! He's biting." A teenage couple is approaching. The boy is wearing a fur coat, purple jeans with huge bell-bottoms and really bulbous green, red and purple patent leather shoes. The girl isn't really wearing much at all. Duggie remembers seeing shoes like that in Clark's, on the 'big boy' shelf when he and his mum went to get a pair of school shoes. "Hey Duggie," his mate says, "you see that band on Top of the Pops? I was dancing about, me sister was getting annoyed, she was watching it with her mates."
"What band?" says Duggie? "The song goes: 'Only you can, oh oh, oh oh, oh only you...' and the singer looks like that teacher at school, the hippy one." "That's your sister's mate Angie, isn't it," says Duggie, pointing at the teenage couple, "walking about with that bloke." "Yeah, I'm gonna hide, she'll tell me mum about me getting through the gate!" Duggie's mate gets up and turns to run back to his garden. His leg gets twisted in the fishing line and he splashes into the filthy canal water. Duggie's almost frozen to the spot. At least he would be if he hadn't kept hold of the fishing line and been pulled in after his friend. Angie's fella throws off his fur coat and jumps straight in as Me and Duggie thrash about in the water. It's like a live enactment of the 'Charlie Says...' public information films. And, just like those films, the boyfriend can't swim, either. So Angie kneels down and leans over the canal side, "Greg, hold on to my hand! Hold on to my hand!. Oh no! Duggie and Lorna's brother! Grab hold of Greg." She over balances and they're all in the water. None of them can swim. Now they're all thinking about the Rolf Harris public information film about learning to swim. It feels like they've been in the water for hours and hours. It's been less than a minute. Duggie's swallowed loads of water. He's coughing and it makes the whole thing sound so much worse.]

Duggie coughs and places the needle on the brand spanking new piece of vinyl that he's just bought: Arctic Monkeys, Humbug. Their latest album. Memories, man, thinks Duggie. That canal. Phew.

Funny buying the Arctic Monkeys. It's the only time Duggie ever feels the generation gap. Ok, it's standard pop-rock with modern cultural references, like every other piece of rock-pop, pop-rock ever recorded. But now he, Duggie, is a different generation. Is this for me? Why am I still listening to this kind of thing. Do these guys really want to speak to me? A forty-something year-old man?

It's a good record. They're trying to get somewhere, do something different. The Arctic Monkeys. Great name and they look cool. The cover of this LP is just a random picture, kind of anti-design. [Note: why did I use 'random' in that way? It's the word usage of a younger generation, man.]

I like the way they don't conform, the Arctic Monkeys. They're turning into rockers, long hair and all. And that's out, isn't it? Or is it in, now? Dunno.

[After the thrashing around, Duggie gets a nudge in the back and looks round. His friend is hanging onto him and Angie and Greg are holding each other to keep afloat. The nudge is from a blue and orange inflatable dinghy. There's a copper on board, helmet and all. "Grab hold of the rope," says the PC, "and haul yourselves aboard." In fact, it's not him speaking, it's a man, standing on the gravel path, holding a loud hailer. They all try to do what they are told. As they scramble aboard, the weight of five people and waterlogged bell-bottom trousers has forced the dinghy down into the water, which laps over the side. The boat capsizes and they all end up in the canal. The thing that always sticks in Duggie's mind is the final image he had before falling in. Michael Crawford's face. He didn't imagine it, he was the man shouting though the loud hailer. He was wearing his Frank Spencer tank top and everything. Turns out they'd been filming some location shots for the sit-com 'Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em' when the director heard the commotion. Michael eventually held out a boom mic as a kind of life-line.]

Sort of passed me by, 'Humbug', on the first listen. I kept getting flashbacks to the canal thing and being 'saved' by Michael Crawford. It was great, really. He invited us all to a studio recording of 'Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em', the one where Frank falls through the ceiling. He really did do his own stunts.

But, got into the record, by listening to it constantly on me iPod. How did I get an LP on the iPod? Simple, they gave away free Mp3 downloads on a card inside. Great idea.

Right. off now, Kojak's on ITV3.


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