Wednesday, August 29, 2007

According to a bloke in the pub who was talking to a mate...

Bulwell has more chip shops per square mile than any other estate in the whole of Britain.

(Special thanks to Joe Leivers)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Strelley Telly Time #4: The Hitman And Her In Ritzeh's

If you’ve ever cocked a sneer at Oceana, or are labouring under the delusion that the 80s were a golden era where everyone looked like robots in pirate costumes, you need to invest half an hour of your time in the following. This is YouTube gold.

A quick history lesson for the yout’ dem; before acting the twat on the X-Factor, and whilst in the middle of his reign as purveyor of synthetic pop-shite in the late ‘80s, Pete Waterman presented The Hitman and Her, a magnificent hunk of tat broadcast live-ish from Zanadu’s in Chesterfield or somesuch that went out on ITV early on Saturday morning, usually when you came back from a proper club and you needed cheering up when you hadn’t pulled or couldn’t get into Rock City.

The great thing about Hitman was that if afforded you the opportunity to rip the piss out of Gary and Sharon as they went about their mating ritual without running the risk of getting your head stoved in, whilst conveniently forgetting that they were happily swinging their chinos in a club while you were at your mate’s house picking at a kebab with the sound down so not to wake his Dad, who was on the post in the morning. The following clips are from the night they came to Ritzy’s – sorry, Ritzeh’s ­– in 1989.

While you're checking these clips - and if you're the same age as me, you'll be scouring them with a magnifying glass to see if you recognise anyone - look out for the following;

1) Pete Waterman relentlessly hyping his latest slab of pop- mank

2) The dance troupe led by Wiggy, a lad who usually wore a blonde wig and some kind of skimpy nappy (fact: my mate was actually approached by Wiggy and offered a slot as YTS Wiggy. He turned it down)

3) Lads wearing ties. Yes, even as late as 1989, looking like you worked in IT on Dress-Down Friday was still a mandatory look at meat markets. If you went past Zhivago’s on a Friday night (it’s now Vision Express in Viccy Centre, kids), you would see blokes going through the bins trying to find a scrap of cloth that they would fashion into a tie

4) Ritzy, although looking like the set of a Albanian version of Dr Who, winning the Discotheque Of The Year (North And Midlands) award. Which must have really fucked The Hacienda off.

5) Oh, and bear in mind that just down the road, The Garage is probably playing Voodoo Ray and Me, Myself And I, Rock City is playing Orange Crush, Love Shack (when it was a new release, and not a club night), and Keep On Moving upstairs and She Bangs The Drums downstairs, and loads of Nottinghamians are in a field somewhere, what with Acid Culture already starting a year ago.

Fact: Pete Waterman believes that the best single Motown ever produced was this.

Forest's Mega-Bog

(I wrote the following for the latest edition of When Saturday Comes. I'm sure they won't mind if I reproduce it here...)

The village of Gotham in Nottinghamshire is famed not only for inspiring an early name for New York (and Batman’s stomping ground), but for being mad. Legend has it that when the locals heard that King John was making a detour through the village (thereby forcing the creation of a Royal Highway that the villagers would have to pay for), they went on an orgy of mentalism – drowning eels in a tub, riding around on horses with sacks of corn on their shoulders to take the burden off their horses, painting green apples red, etc – in order to scare the King away.

900 years later, and the ancestors of the Wise Men of Gotham are in danger of being comprehensively out-madded by Nottingham Forest, who plunged new depths of delusion - and managed to give Notts County fans even more to laugh about this summer – when out of nowhere, they announced that they were to move out of the 30,602-capacity City Ground (their home for 109 years) to a 50,000-seater mega-stadium four and half miles away in Clifton, smack on the doorstep of Gotham.

Bearing in mind that a) Forest are still in League One, b) they’ve only just managed to scrabble their way out of debt, c) although they have the highest average attendance in the division, it’s still 10,000 or so short of capacity, and d) they never managed to pack the ground out even when they were European champions, you may be wondering what the name of God they’re gibbering on about. So am I.

“It would be fantastic for Nottingham. It would say that Nottingham is a forward-looking, dynamic city that has confidence and self-belief,” announced Forest chief executive Mark Arthur, as he waved about artist impressions of something that looked like a massive toilet bowl with a red seat at a press conference in June, pausing every now and then to submerge another eel’s head under the water. “There are many (Arsenal supporters) who didn’t want to leave Highbury, but anyone who has visited the Emirates Stadium will say ‘wow’. What a place to watch football. I would say to any fan that they should visit somewhere like that, see what it looks like, see what it feels like. And perhaps we will go for a slightly scaled-down version of that.” Well, Mark, it’d be nice to visit stadiums like that a couple of times a year, but we can’t. Because we’re in Division Three. Which is a massively scaled-down version of the Premiership.

So what’s wrong with the City Ground? You’d understand reasons for a move if the stadium was a dump, but it’s not. There were plans to expand the stadium to 46,000 in lieu of a return to the Premiership (which have now been swept under the carpet). It’s a short walk from the train station, and a stone’s throw away from the home of the oldest professional club in the world and a world-famous cricket ground, making it one of the most concentrated areas for sport in the country (and it’s conveniently located near to the only Hooters that still exists in the UK, but let’s not talk about that). According to Arthur, that’s not good enough for go-ahead, vibrant, eclectic Nottingham; “If the World Cup were to come to England in 2018 or 2022, then this would be a stadium worthy of staging the tournament’s matches.”

Ah, yes. I totally forgot that the FA – who, as you’ll recall, would be incapable of organising a piss-up in any of the 350 or so pubs in our fair city – were on the verge of claiming the World Cup. And when that absolute 100% cast-iron certainty happens, Nottingham will have a 3-1 chance (with Leicester and, Derby - who announced stadium-expansion plans on the same day) of hosting the East Midlands games. Never mind the fact that Nottingham’s participation in Euro 96 was conducted under a swathe of empty seats. The opportunity of hosting Potatovia v The Peoples Republic of Macaroon and two other less prestigious games is far too glittering a prize for Nottingham to cock its nose up at.

And if the World Cup actually does come to England, and Forest’s new MegaToilet beats out Pride Park and the Crisp Bowl, what then? How are Forest going to double their gate in a decade, when it’s obvious that the football boom is not going to get any bigger and the ladder has been pulled up on all but four clubs in England? More importantly, how can anyone predict with any certainly that Forest are going to be a Premiership club by 2018, when recent form shows that they’re just as capable of local derbies against Hucknall Town in the Conference North next decade?

It’s only when you look past the bluster and the glossy brochures that you realise what’s going on. As mentioned in a previous WSC article, Forest and Nottingham City Council have butted heads over a previous loan (for Euro 96), which the former tried to weasel out of. They appear to be on amazingly good terms now, and the Council are welcoming the move with open arms (the local councillors in Clifton, on the other hand, didn’t even know about the proposed move until it was announced to the press).

The council own the strip of land that backs onto the Trent, and they would love to make use of the City Ground for more of the same. Listen to the words of Ray Valenti of Natrass Giles chartered surveyors without wanting to put this magazine down in order to wipe the drool off your fingers; “750,000 sq ft of floor space with a value exceeding £250m….could attract a medium-sized food store operated by a premium brand such as Waitrose…this could be the location for the five-star hotel Nottingham has so far failed to attract…The demise of soccer (yes, that’s what he said) at the City Ground will be celebrated with a new Trentside landmark that even Ol’ Big ‘Ead would be proud of!” No, mate, he would have smacked you in the teeth.

Nottingham, like every other moderately-sized factory cities in England that doesn’t have factories anymore, is going through an identity crisis and reacting to it by chucking money up the wall on building projects and hoping one or two of them stick. The Forest move displays the depressingly familiar deluded logic that states that, if you build another Top Shop five minutes walk from the old one, you’ve suddenly created a Retail Mecca. And if you’ve spent the last few years building ‘executive apartments’ in the hope that there’ll eventually be industries here that actually have executives, or erecting loads of hotels in the hope that people will come here for more than stag dos, why not build a 50,000-capacity stadium out of the way in the expectation that Forest will eventually become a Big Club and sell it out every other week?

The people of Gotham had a method to their madness. The people who run Nottingham Forest seem to be just mad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sexy, Sexy NottsNews

Jesse Jackson is coming to the Meadows. Unless Isaac Hayes has had a pint in the Poets Corner or The Bar-Kays have mooched around the Bridgeway shopping precinct to get summat for their tea, this will be the first time anyone from WattStax has ever appeared there.

A local businessman vows to raise £1.96 million for Nottingham Rugby Club. God knows how - sponsored shitting-in-pint-glasses, or summat.

The usual Mansfieldness.

Controversial Poster Campaign Hits Nottingham

Friday, August 17, 2007

Skegness - It's So Burning

Weep, people of Nottingham - our spiritual homeland is been dealt a heavy blow. I wrote this for LeftLion #5 a couple of years ago. I throw it up here as my little tribute to the jewel of the Lincolnshire coast.

Twelve Things That Were Skill About Skeggy

1. Your Mam buying you clothes months in advance

…that you can’t wear until you go on holiday, in order to convince other people that you’re not fleabags. How twisted was that? I remember when I was six, and I had to spend three whole months staring at an absolutely mint Kung Fu vest and pants set in the drawer that I was not allowed to wear. It was agonising. Naturally, as soon as you get to Skeg, every youth from Notts is wearing the same clothes, making it look like there’s only one shop in the whole of town.

Honestly, you tell people in the South about things like this and they’re convinced you’re taking the piss.

2. The journey there

…which was a yearly novelty in itself. Remember, in those days Dads never drove you to school, and Mams weren’t allowed to drive. Ever. Sadly, there were no Playstations and tellies attached to the seats, your Dad won’t let you open the window, he hasn’t got one of them things that hang off the back bumper to stop car sickness, you’re wedged up between a suitcase and your sister on the back seat, Dad’s put on his Elvis tape and you’re sitting there knowing he’s going to start roaring when Old Shep comes on (because he always does), and you’re starting to get that familiar catch down the back of your throat that means in about three minutes, you’re going to be puking your ring into a Co-Op bag while your Dad mutters “Fucking kids…you can stay at your bastard Nana’s next year”.

On the upside, there is nothing more cosmopolitan than hearing Radio Trent fade out and Radio Lincolnshire fade in. That’s when you know you’re on your holiday.

3. The caravan

This is how fucked up Nottingham Mams and Dads are; they spend the whole year moaning about ‘gyppos’ diddling them at Goose Fair and parking up on nearby wasteground, and how do they spend their time off work? Exactly – by living like them. I bet proper Romanies don’t decorate their caravans with mank won off the prize bingo, though. And I’m pretty convinced they have better sanitary facilities than a piss-bucket shared by three generations in the middle of the night, an’all.

Still, when you’re a kid, caravans are ace, and miles better than B&Bs, which only posh people from West Bridgford ever stayed in. You wonder why houses don’t have fold-up beds too. And it’s always so dignified, how the people who have just moved out have left enough tea bags in the pot for a proper mash.

4. Childrens rooms in pubs

This must be the best thing about Skeggy by far. Normally, going to the pub with your family meant sitting in the car for two hours with the occasional bag of crisps and a Coke with a straw in it, playing Mastermind with your sister, and seeing if there were any wank mags in your Dad’s toolbox. Not in Skeg, though – you had a whole room to yourself, which usually contained a bust Air Hockey table, some kind of animal ride with an ‘Out Of Order’ sign on it, and a Space Invader cabinet with some other game in it. That was broke.

Still, it was an invaluable introduction to pub etiquette, as you sat on your Dad’s knee while he said “Quick, while landlord’s not looking’ and tipped half a pint of Shippos down the front of your best shirt. Obviously, the spirit of the Children’s Room lives on in all inner-city Nottingham pubs, especially the ones in Bulwell.

5. Meeting people from Sheffield

This was a rather special thrill on its own. Skegness wasn’t only occupied by Nottinghamians during the summer (even though you were bound to see at least two kids from your school while you were there); Mansfield, Derby and Leicester also represented, but it seemed like every steel mill in Sheffield had decamped to the coast. You couldn’t understand a word they were saying, they all had basin cuts, they were built like brick shithouses, and they always wanted to give you bone-crushing handshakes. Even the women. Especially the women.

6. The beach

The innocent time when you were proud to say you got crabs while you were on holiday. Finding the spot where you buried 10p last year, only to find there’s a JCB digger there. Sitting on a manky donkey for a bit. Going in the sea. Once. Never doing it again. Your dog going mental and drinking gallons of seawater, only for him to piss it out his arse while you’re trying to chat some girl up.

7. Eating fish and chips twice a day for a week

I’m sorry, but I’ve been to Blackpool and the chips there were rubbish. Skegness has the best chippies in the world, and I’ll fight anyone who dares say otherwise*. That street in Skeg known as Chip Shop Alley – I could just stand there all day and inhale its delightfully pungent aromas. If you don’t put on at least two stone while you’re there, you’ve had a shit holiday.

*unless they come from Whitby

8. Amusement arcades

Once upon a time, before even the Atari 2600 came out and Nottingham didn’t have dens of iniquity where hard lads from The Meadows nicked your 10p that was on the glass – the kind of place where Zammo first got into scag, you’ll remember – Skeggy was the only place to get your low-tech interactive jollies. The absolute highlight of the week for me was legging it into an arcade and seeing what I was going to spunk the contents of my piggy bank on that year. I bet I still have my name on a Sheriff Nintendo cabinet in the storeroom of a chip shop near the prom. Your Mam would always moan about how you should be getting some fresh air, but seeing as she lived in the Prize Bingo next door ramming in 10p after 10p, she was talking out her arse.

9. Going to Butlins for the day

We went to Skeggy Butlins one year. It was bob. The only thing about it I can remember is being able to stick my hand through the hole in the wall under my bad and shake hands with the lad next door. Much better to go in for the day, have a go on everything (which you could do in a day, in any case), and piss off out again.

10. The Cockle Man

The bloke in the white coat who used to go round the pubs and clubs at night with a big basket of things in Mr Kipling trays, who used to get your grandparents all excited while they were watching someone who came in 4th during an episode of New Faces murdering the oeuvre of Neil Diamond. You look at these things now and think, fucking hell – 20 Chinese lads died for something that looks like a tumour and you have to put loads of vinegar on so you can eat ‘em without retching. Obviously, big respect to the Fish Man of Mansfield Road, who keeps the flame alive in a piscine style and fashion.

11. Finding some suitable tat for your Nana

Now it’s getting near the end of the week, you’ve got to make sure your Nana gets some return on the investment she rammed into your cakey little hand, or she’ll have a face like a smacked arse until Christmas. And what bounty there was! Hunks of rock artfully moulded to look like a full English breakfast! Coasters with photos of people in ‘Frankie Say’ T-Shirts playing crazy golf! Something with the Big Gay Fisherman on it! A tea tray of the clock, which was a bit like the one in Blackpool, but not quite! Postcards that gave you an erection even though you didn’t quite know why!

Sadly, the numerous tack shops in Skeg have moved with the times and the grandparent market has been completely marginalised. Last time I went, one could purchase a set of Rasta garden gnomes sucking on enormous spliffs, an indoor skull fountain, a garden ornament of two fists adorned with sovereign rings, giving the finger, and a dildo on sale for a quid. If I had bought any of those items, I would have been cut out of her will.

12. Going home

A bit like getting there, only with more vomiting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What The Fuck Is This Rammell?

The new football season (which started approximately two minutes after the last one) saw Forest and Notts scraping draws with Bournemouth and Grimsby respectively, but we're not going to talk about that. Oh no. We're going to talk about Nottingham Forest's decision to nob off Sherwood the Bear as their mascot and replace it with that gimp up there. Over to Mark Arthur, who has already appeared in this blog as the bell-end who wants to move Forest to a big toilet in Clifton;
Reds chief executive Mark Arthur said: "When people think of Nottingham they think of Nottingham Forest, they think of Brian Clough, they think of Trent Bridge - and they think of Robin Hood.
...and they also think about guns, and
knifings, and people shoving glasses in each other's faces, Mark. Why not have a big fluffy gun on legs that shot out footballs?
"Sherwood Bear was a popular character, but in all honesty, some children were a little bit scared of him. He was a bear after all."
Eh? Was he going round biting people's faces off and diving on Forest supporters snap tins? Or was he a bear in the NG1 sense of the word? Actually, Sherwood the Terrifying Predatory Homosexual Bear Who Wants To Have Bum-Sex With Your Kids looks like this;

...and the only thing young Forest supporters are scared of is being stuck with following a shit club in Division Three and getting laughed at in the playground by kids with Man United and Chelsea pencil cases.

If you're that arsed about it, there's a campaign to save Sherwood, and you can read about it
here. I wouldn't normally get wound up about things like this, but the idea of Robin Hood being sponsored by Capital One makes me want to puke my ring until my entire digestive system hangs round my neck like a chain.

Friday, August 10, 2007

If Only He'd Come From Nottingham

The death of Tony Wilson has really fucked me off, even though I'm not arsed in the least about Joy Division or the Happy Mondays.

I met him once, at an In The City in Manchester, when I gave a speech about how the smut industry was coining it in on the internet while the music business was scared of it (which shows how long ago it was). I felt absolutely out of my depth, and he could tell - so he went out of his way to thank me for coming and how he'd been waiting for ages for someone to talk about it, and was as proper, charming and intelligent as everyone is saying he was. He was stood at the back right the way through, and I directed the entire speech at him, staggered that someone that influential was actually interested in what I had to say.

Afterwards, and completely out of the blue, he put me on a round table with some scarily influential people. I shat another breeze block, but he calmed me down, talked me up, and sorted me out. Then he absolutely skewered me in an argument onstage, and we had a drink and a laugh about it afterwards. I walked away wishing I had a gaffer as cool as that, and feeling extremely lucky to have met him.

The thing that I admired most about him was that he was fiercely proud of where he came from and didn't give a fuck about what anyone else thought. Back in the day, Manchester was seen as one of the shittiest ratholes in the country. Now it's the true capital city of England, it's the only place in the country that I'd leave Nottingham to work in (fuck Brighton - it's a ponce's Skegness) and they have to come here to shoot a film about how grim it used to be there. Tony Wilson had a lot to do with that.

The problem with Nottingham, you see, is that it's never had someone like Tony Wilson - someone in a position of power who thought "You know what? Fuck everywhere else - this city is great, and we can do great things". Look at the people who run Nottingham at the moment - the professional student-rinsers, carpetbagger politicians, and the shower of bastards who think that having one TK Maxx ten minutes walk from the other one makes your city 'vibrant' and 'eclectic' - and tell me they give a fraction of a toss about our city and its people that he gave about his. Actually, that's a stupid question, seeing as most of them don't even come from round here, but you know what I mean.

Imagine what Nottingham would have been like today if he'd have come from here. And take inspiration.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nottingham: It's NEWSTASTIC

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

LeftLion Pub Quiz - It's Tonight, Duck

The Golden Fleece, Mansfield Road, 9pm. Click this for more details.

News Flange, August 8

  • Eric Irons died at the weekend, and by reading this link, you can see that he was proper. I went to school with one of his lads, but I never met him, which was a shame. One of the great things about Nottingham is that it's not prone to the usual racist rammell that other cities I could mention are bogged down with - and we have people like Eric Irons to thank for that.

  • Looks like the old Cuba Libre venue will be under new management very soon, and I'm looking forward immensely to another bar opening in town that will be either vibrant, or eclectic, or possibly both. Oh, hang on, it'll be around the Square, so it's bound to be wank.

  • Don't you hate it when you realise that somewhere decent in town is actually part of a faceless corporate chain? Turns out that there's loads of Loch Fynes around the country, and they've been bought up by Greene King. You'll be telling me the Fish Man who goes up Mansfield Road has franchises across the world, next.

Strelley Telly Time #3: Nottingham Is Vibrant And Eclectic

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Strelley Telly Time #2: He Wouldn't Do What They Told Him

Drop In The Ocean raised enough money to build an orphanage for tsunami victims in South India and kids who were rescued from sex tourism in Cambodia. Almost as importantly, it gave us this incredible footage.

Coward Of The County

We've not had a footballer-gets pissed-and-acts-like-a-twat story for a while, have we? Say hello to Mick Vinter - who played for Notts in the first Sirrel era - who copped a suspended sentence for knocking a female friend about after his usual 10 pints a night. According to the victim, she suffered 'nasal problems' after the assault. Judging by the picture, it looks like Mick has been suffering those all his life.

In other news;

It appears that Gordon Ramsay is in town to shoot an episode of his TV show, I'm An Aryan-Looking Cunt Who Treats People Like Shit In Order To Hide The Fact That I Do A Ponces Job

Some poor cow from Highbury Vale gets slapped with a £522 fine for dropping a nub-end in the Not As New As It Was A Month Ago Old Market Square. Fucking hell, how big was it? Was it blocking the tramlines or summat?

Oh, and our genitals are getting more scabbier than this time last year.

Monday, August 06, 2007

In other news...

Look at this bell-end

Some nob from Langley Mill thinks he's been caught by a speed camera, so goes home, channels the spirit of Jeremy fucking Clarkson, gets his power saw out, cuts the fucker down and puts it in his back garden. When the coppers do him, it turns out that the camera hadn't even caught him.

Cue loads of whining in the Post from the usual shower of bastards who equate not being allowed to do 80mph past a school with Apartheid. Yawn. Shurrup bleddy moaning and get on the bus, you twats.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Strelley Telly Time #1: Mother Nottingham

Christ on a crisp packet! It's Su Pollard. On Ideal World. Flogging a steamer that looks like a penguin.

I've just jizzed.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Notts What I Call Music #1: Paper Lace

(Part One of a depressingly short series about Nottingham bands who made it)

Obviously, you can't begin to talk about the Trent Tempo without mentioning Paper Lace. Formed in the late 60s, they were quite happy to play in pubs in town for the next four years, until they appeared on Opportunity Knocks, smashed it five weeks running (no mean feat, considering that people actually had to vote by post, in those pre-mobile days), and ended up at No.1 in May 1974. The first time I ever heard the word 'Nottingham' uttered on the telly was when they were the lead story on Midlands Today, cruising past the Broadmarsh Centre in a black open-top limo waving a silver disc about.

Billy, Don't Be A Hero should have been No.1 in America an'all, but some teef bwoy called Bo Donaldson nicked it. Ne'er mind, as follow-up The Night Chicago Died made it. One more Top 20 hit (The Black-Eyed Boys) and they were out - only to return three years later to record We've Got The Whole World In Our Hands with the 1977-78 Forest squad (before they'd even won anything - that team was so lairy).

I interviewed Phil Wright (the drummer and lead singer) for LeftLion a while back. He's now a builder, and seemed amused that we were interested in talking to him. He was dead nice.

(and if you're still confused about the meaning of the word 'dezzeh', check the sucky youth behind Tony Blackburn at the beginning of that video)

Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died (MP3)

Nottingham Education #1: 'Dezzeh'

Dezzeh adj, North Notts, c.1980s. An unfashionable person or item of clothing, inspired by Des O' Connor.
"He refused to wear that coat to school, for it looked well dezzeh"

Putting aside internal conflict over Europe, sleaze allegations and a lack of direction, one of the main causes for the Conservative Party's crushing election defeat in the general election of 1997 was the fact that John Major was irreperably dezzeh"

"Please take that photo of me off your Facebook account. I look right dezzeh"

"Urgh, Paris, you've been to TK Maxx again. That's so dezzeh"

I dunno which is more fucked up...

...the fact that six Bestwood crims applied to join the police force last year, or that the Post have brought out a 32-page Colin Gunn special.

Friday, August 03, 2007

"One of the group shouted offensive language at the waitress when she refused to reveal her chest"

This story raises a lot of questions;

1) How shit must Warwick be if you have to come to Nottingham for your
Xmas works do?

2) How shit must your job be if you have to have your Xmas works do at Jongleurs, listening to some semi-employed gimp who goes round the country saying the same things to a different group of students every other night?

3) Where the fuck is Warwick, anyway?

4) Isn't the Waterfront shit?

Media Finally Catches Up With What Everyone In Nottingham Knew For The Past 10 Years

Naturally, the papers are full of the Colin Gunn story. The Guardian doesn't say anything that anyone doesn't already know, and neither does The Mail. The Mirror and Times, on the other hand, bother to point out that Nottingham's reputation as Gun-Crazy-We-All-Like-Shooting-Each-Other, Us-Assassination-City has faded somewhat since he was banged up, which is nice (although I'm not too sure about the Times' assertion that Bestwood used to be 'posh').

And this piece on the BBC website points out that things might just be looking up for Bestwood. Hopefully they won't go back to shit like this.

LeftLion Presents - This Saturday

LeftLion #18 Hits Town, Town Goes 'Ouch'

Pav and Jesus of the Variety Club, Radford
Duncan Hamilton (author of the new Brian Clough book)
Shaun Ryder
Paul Kaye & Jonathan Glazer
Notts comedians
Not In Nottingham
Mat Rhodes
Scout Niblett
Zoe Johnson
David Blayze
Tim McDonald
Chris Summerlin

Asylum seekers in Notts
Forest & Notts season previews
Canadian In New Basford: Derby-bashing
8 Notts Football Books
Momentum Festival
Beats v Hippies

And all the usual listings, chelp and mither. And it costs you nuppence, guy.

Hello Everyone, I'm A Shit Blogger

No excuses. I didn't realise they were putting a link to this in every issue of LeftLion. Shall we do a quick catch-up and forget this ever happened?

February 1st

Violent pissheaded Australian bit of rough Russell Crowe will play the Sheriff of Nottingham in another film about Robin Hood, it is announced. It’s bound to be cack, so we’ll say no more about it.

February 5th

Heroin addicts in Nottingham shit themselves even more than usual over the appearance of an extra-strong batch of Zammo-powder in the city that kills two of them.

February 7th

According to Home Office figures, violent attacks in Nottingham Prison have increased tenfold over the past ten years. They didn’t say anything about bumming, sorry.

February 8th

Plans for a 100-metre high tower bestraddling Viccy Embankment like a environmentally-friendly Colossus are announced, featuring wind turbines, an energy learning centre and a skate park. Hopefully, someone will work out how to harness the power of middle-class kids falling off skateboards.

February 9th

In order to save time when writing this, all I have to do is press Alt-Shift-Ctrl-F2 at the same time and the phrase ‘There’s been a shooting in St Anns’ pops up.

February 12th

The Police announce that drink-related violent offences have dropped by 20% in the city centre. Latest figures from the Market Square beat reveal that – hang on a minute…MOST OF THAT’S BEEN A BLEDDY BUILDING SITE FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS! In other news, office stationary theft at the World Trade Centre has dropped off considerably since 2001.

February 16th

Two scab-bags in Bulwell rob a local shop after threatening customers and staff with a sword. God knows what’ll happen there when someone discovers gunpowder. The youths were described as wearing ‘sports clothing’, which narrows it down to 50,000 or so people. The static coming off those Lonsdale tracky tops could electrify a Tescos.

February 19th

Teenagers from Notts get sent to Belfast to learn how to resolve violent conflict. So if you start seeing big murals of 50 Cent on the sides of houses in the Meadows and pipe bands up and down Bestwood, you’ll know why.

March 5th

More mithering over the two new tram lines that should have been built ages ago to Clifton, Chilwell and Beeston. Sigh.

March 6th

A Broxtowe woman is found guilty of receiving stolen goods – an entire kitchen nicked from the house across the road, whipped by an ex-boyfriend with a very large holdall and fitted while she was – ahem - bathing her kids. Hey, happens to me all the time – I curled one off this morning only to discover an entire marble bathroom suite that wasn’t there before.

March 7th

The council announces that Princess Anne will open the Market Square on April 3rd, but doesn’t actually say what she’ll be doing. Will she have the inaugural slash in the Square? Will she punch the Lord Mayor in the face in the official first fight by the Lions? There’s also going to be loads of concerts by people like dezzie tramp band The Magic Numbers and some other people I can’t be bothered to look up.

March 8th

Newark MP Patrick Mercer is forced to quit his role as Shadow homeland security spokesman (the chocolate teapot of the political realm) after stating in an interview that he’d met ‘a lot’ of ‘idle and useless’ ethnic minority soldiers who used racism as a ‘cover’, before being defended by the usual shower of racist drippings off a dog’s bell-end.

March 9th

A 17 year-old lad is stabbed to death in Nottingham, but the national media are too busy wringing their shit-encrusted hands over the stabbings in London to notice.

March 12th

The big local derby between Notts County and Mansfield – imagine Barcelona v Real Madrid, but made out of Lego – passes without incident. Or goals.

March 13th

The burglary rate in Nottingham has dropped to its lowest level for seven years. In 40 years time, you’ll be telling your grandchildren about those golden days in 2007 when you could leave your fifth door lock on the snick.

March 14th

Police step up patrols in a crackdown on Bulwell mouth-breathers who throw stones at the trams and leave branches on the line, as if it was a big metal snake that was going to decimate their crops of industrial-strength hydroponic skunk and devour the local virgin.

March 15th

A divvy local solicitor admits attempting to smuggle weed into the local magistrate’s court for a crim on – guess what? - a drugs offence. Thank God she wasn’t defending a TWOCer, if you know what I mean I think you do.

March 16th

After weeks of voting, it is announced that the token Notts band in the opening of the Market Square is Captain Dangerous, because they have more mates than anyone else.

March 17th

Nottingham city centre reeks of Tory, as David Cameron and the other ones no-one put a name to pretend to be a unified party on the cusp of power. See you next time there’s a General Election, chaps – oh, hang on, we won’t, because you never win owt round here unless your name’s Kenneth Clarke.

April 3rd

Princess Anne officially opens Nottingham’s most popular Emo crèche and place for people to fall off skateboards, The Newer Than It Was Before Old Market Square. Presumably by smashing a bottle of washing-up liquid against the side of the fountain and blessing all who vomit in her. It turns out to be a slightly lighter grey.

April 5th

Some bell-end burns down a mosque in Forest Fields. Seeing as it’s a converted church, that’s two deities someone has managed to piss off in one go. Why didn’t they just graffiti ‘BUDDHA SUCKS HIS MAM’ on the wall and go for the hat-trick?

April 6th

Wollaton Hall completes a £9M facelift, but God knows what they’ve spent the money on. There’s no loft extension, double-glazing, or even a nice fascia. Rubbish.

April 10th

Sneinton Market goes up in flames, damaging seven shops. Police estimate that local businesses have lost up to £7.31, and are anxious to trace two youths who were spotted on CCTV rubbing Lonsdale trackie tops together.

April 14th

165 people dressed up as Robin Hood at Nottingham Not-Really-A-Castle-When You-Think-About-It and set a world record for, well, most people dressed up as Robin Hood. Obviously. The Guinness Book of Records adjudicators move on to Mansfield later that day to judge an attempt on the ‘most people dressed like the peasants in Robin Hood films’ record.

April 19th

Six new talking CCTV cameras are unveiled in town, specially modified to tackle anti-social behaviour. In St Anns, Hyson Green and Sneinton, a robot sucks its teet’ and calls you a ‘Dezzeh Waste Man’ when you drop a fag on the floor, while one in Hockley has been programmed to laugh at anyone holding a TK Maxx bag.

April 25th

Some more greedy city-rapists launch another bid to turn Nottingham into the Happy Shopper Las Vegas, with an attempt to build Europe’s largest poker (which, as we all know, is five-card brag for the sort of gibbon who believes everything they read in FHM) club. “We will be making Nottingham one of the world’s largest poker centres” says somebody in a suit, as if that was summat to brag about.

April 27th

According to the Home Office, crime in Nottingham dropped last year by 9%. Well done, everybody. Meanwhile, a security guard gets stabbed in the leg on Clumber Street, which is trumpeted again as Europe’s busiest shopping thoroughfare (translation: “it’s really badly designed, and has loads of trainer shops and a McDonalds”).

April 28th

There’s a massive fight at a wake in a pub in Clifton. At one point, John Wayne and another American actor with a ludicrous Irish accent are seen punching each other in the face and throwing each other in the Trent, before having a good old laugh about it and having a pint.

May 4th

The citizens of Nottingham stop writing whining letters to the Post that blame ‘Nu Labour’ for everything that has gone wrong in their pointless, pointless lives and wreak revenge on the Council in the local elections by, erm, increasing their majority by four seats. Meanwhile, enough people in Broxtowe scared about someone from Poland taking the benefits owed to them for sitting on their fat arses watching Trisha manage to stand upright long enough to vote in a BNP councillor.

May 5th

Notts County end a better-than-last-year-but-still-desperately-cack-season by helping Macclesfield stay up in Division Four.

May 13th

Nottingham’s spoon crime problem rears its ugly head once more as the Phantom Fork-Flinger himself, Chris Tarrant, chucks some cutlery at a bloke in Memsaab and is arrested by four coppers in flak jackets. “But why didn’t he go to 4550 Miles From Delhi?” says the entire population of Nottingham.

May 18th

Notts County and Mansfield supporters behave like that Palestinian woman with the Deirdre glasses on September 11th 2001, as fucking rubbish useless bag-o’-shite Forest let in five goals at home to Fred West’s extended family, because they’re shit. Nottinghamshire football sucks a dog’s arse, doesn’t it?

June 1st

Clumber Street – the Universe’s Busiest Shopping Thoroughfare, remember – is cordoned off for a bit when some bint sprays an unknown substance (probably some perfume she bought off the street for a fiver called ‘Tommy Highflyer’ or summat) in the O2 shop. Two people are treated in the QMC for nausea and vomiting, but then again they could have just caught the stench from McDonalds whilst looking at some rank Nike trainers in the Foot Locker window.

June 5th

Someone in Hollywood lifts his face from a pile of cocaine long enough to announce that the latest Robin Hood film will be called Nottingham. For some reason, my suggestion – Another Shit Movie With Loads Of Ponce Actors Mincing About In Tights With Cockney Accents – seems to have been lost in the post.

June 9th

Aldi in Hucknall is raided by a gang of robbers who make off with bags of cash. If they’d have been really shrewd, they could have nicked loads of welding masks for a fiver each, or 500 tins of squid in tomato sauce.

June 17th

Someone throws a petrol bomb into a kebab shop on Mansfield Road. If they really wanted to shut the business down, they would have been a lot smarter and chucked in one of those scary tramps that always hassle you for fags and bus fare to non-existent homes in Bulwell when you’re on your way to the Fleece.

June 18th

The New Old Market Square gets knackered up already when the water feature starts leaking like a fat bird in the doorway of Debenhams. Incidentally, it’s crap, isn’t it? Back in the day, all you had to do was empty 300ml of Squezy in the fountain. Now you have to stand there for ages, trying to get a dribble of water into a bottle of Head and Shoulders. Rubbish.

June 20th

The heads of Notts County fans finally explode with laughter like that scene in Scanners, when Nottingham Forest put a £50m cart before a Third Division horse by announcing plans to move out of the City Ground to a purpose-built soulless identikit stadium in Clifton that looks like a massive bog with a red toilet seat, in order to win the right to host Potatovia v The People’s Republic of Macaroon and two other games in a 2018 World Cup that England have no chance of winning anyway because the FA couldn’t even organise a fight in the Thurland, the stupid, stupid, stupid bell-ends. It’ll make a great venue for that local derby with Hucknall Town in the Conference North next decade.

June 26th

Bar Humbug finally retains the right to allow skint students to get their tits out to What’s Love Got To Do With It by Tina Turner in front of office boys who are too scared to go to Forest Road. But not before 9pm on weekdays, because that’s when the kids are safely tucked up in a pub round the Square.

July 3rd

The Nottingham Arts Centre – (which gave the world Mother Nottingham herself, Su Pollard) announces it will be shutting down for the want of £65,000. Never mind – before too long, we’ll be getting a new multi-million Arts Centre that local people won’t use either.

July 5th

The Council announce plans to slap a £350 per year price tag on parking in town, which will cost more than most people’s cars. By 2014, it’ll be cheaper to buy a car out of the Post, leave it at work and buy another one the next week.

July 11th

The Warehouse Love Zoo, nee Cuba Libre, gives up its licence after the police come down on it for being the site of a stabbing. And having an incredibly rammell new name that makes it sound like an early 90s Channel 4 Yoof programme hosted by Hufty, or whatever she was called. Meanwhile, Viccy Centre is shut down for a bit when a suspect package is discovered in the car park. Probably something tasteful and not from a chain shop.

July 13th

A spate of skip and wheelie bin fires sweeps through Arnold, which could be construed as evidence of Satanic ritual-killings, if they could find any virgins knocking about there.

July 16th

A kid from the Meadows gets a life sentence for shooting another kid from the Meadows, in the Meadows, while they were playing at drug dealers.

July 17th

A bell-end from Basford who has evidently watched Shogun Assassin far too many times attacks someone on the tram with a meat cleaver secreted in a baby’s pushchair, with the assistance of his minging missus and some other twat. The police are still examining the pushchair for blades hidden in the wheels or samurai swords secreted in the handle.

July 18th

One third of our student population are given a roll of paper and told to piss off and get a job at Capital One. It’s reassuring to think that the last time you ever see people who have blighted The Social for the last three years with their show-off haircuts and braying opinions about fuck all, they’re invariably sitting in the window of the Cornerhouse Pizza Hut with Mummy and Daddy looking like absolute spanners.

July 19th

The (other) Colin Gunn trial begins, with allegations of paying off bent detectives a-plenty. Reassuringly, it is revealed that, when not creating a smokescreen over the Stirland murder hunt, said bent copper is using the police database to check up on the activities of his missus. Just one phone call to Trisha, and none of this palaver would have happened. Meanwhile, Meadows Shitbag 1 and Meadows Shitbag 2 have their appeals over the murder of Danielle Beccan rubber-stamped with the words; “NO, MATE”. Oh, and Notts Police is ranked joint-worst performing in the country along with Manchester.

July 20th

If you’re in town and you want some water, tough shit; a mains pipe bursts in Parliament Street, rendering the City Centre devoid of water. Mind you, you could have left a skip out, because it’s been pissing it down all summer, because even God hates this miserable country nowadays. Sulk.

July 21st

Ilkeston Council announce plans to spend shitloads of money to reopen the local swimming pool. Plans to spend even more money to improve the gene pool remain unannounced.