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I had a sudden, dreadful moment of remembering last night. I realised that last time I saw a band at Wembley I swore never ever to do it again. We had seated tickets for Pearl Jam and a combination of them trying really hard to sell their slightly rubbish new album, combined with some of the worst acoustics ever conceived meant that I’d have been better looking at a really small picture of them, whilst playing a scratched 7″ copy of Ten with a large, damp cushion over the speakers.

“Oh dear” I thought. “Please, please let the sound be better and please let the venue not spoil this gig…”

As we got into the venue, the first thing we noticed was the lack of men’s toilets. Whilst Mr JoLucy was busy investigating that issue, I was discovering that Manchester bar prices are like a little slice of heaven. And then we realised that there was actual live music coming from the stage area. Which was odd, because the doors had only just opened. The only option was to investigate!

I have no idea who the support band were. I considered googling them, but the only reason I would want to know their name is to help me avoid making the mistake of going to see them again. They weren’t exactly dreadful, but, well, the songs went on and on and on and on. And on. I felt like I was stuck in an uneventful scene from a film in the late 80s, early 90s about teenagers and hacking. The teenagers would probably have been smoking to show that they were edgy rebels.

Anyway. I’m waffling. What can I tell you about the band I went to see. Their name? Kings of Leon.

THEY. WERE. BRILLIANT!

I know my last post was all about highs and lows of 2008, and I have to say that in all honesty, this gig was the highlight of my year. And yes, that does include my wedding day. I was (and remain) excited about this band in a way that I haven’t experienced since I discovered Nirvana, The Pixes and The Lemonheads as a teenager.

I had already decided I would blog on this when I went to the gig last night, and had intended to make a note of the set list, but I failed. I think they started with Use Somebody but I couldn’t swear to it. I know they did play Molly’s Chambers, California Waiting, Charmer, Knocked up, Sex on fire, On call, Arizona, Be Somebody, Closer, Cold Desert, Crawl, Notion, Revelry. (LET ME KNOW IF I MISSED ANY?)

Oh, and my favourite; Fans. At which point I went a bit nuts and may have enthused so loudly that a) I deafened the woman in front of me (sorry about that) and b) managed to destroy my voice. I’ve been croaking all day. I don’t know quite what to say to describe the gig. I keep wanting to use words that I would normally run away from as fast as possible, like “wicked” or “awesome” or “fabulous”. gah! I will stick with “it was rather fine indeed.”

I think I’ll avoid talking about the actual performance, because you know when you’re at school and you have to pull books apart, word by word, for English and it ends up ruining the book for you?… I’ll leave you with these slightly blurred photos to tell the story:

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It’s almost the end of the year, and I’m sitting in my friend’s living room in London, wondering what to write about that anyone might find vaguely interesting or amusing.  And then I thought I would follow the example set by so many editors and publishers at this time of year, and think about highs and lows of 2008 and make a few predictions for 2009.

And conveniently, the “I’m a PC” add has just appeared on the TV, so, to start off, my top five best and worst adverts for 08 will be my first area to review:

Top 5 worst adverts

1) As I mentioned in the work blog, I took a dislike to the Citroen C5 adverts, and I would extend that as I can’t think of a single car advert that made me want to go and invest in some form of transport this year.

2) All perfume adverts, which become more frequent and more annoying as we get closer to Christmas. I don’t need to see naked models skip through fields of photographers whilst pulling stars out of the sky and ripping off films they once appeared in [Moulin Rouge, anyone?]. Just tell me what it smells like . I certainly don’t want to smell like Britney, Jordan, Kate Moss or any other crazy celebrity, thank you. Oh, and I preferred it when we still pronounced it “Fraygrunts”. When did it become “fraggrance” for the British consumers?

3) David Beckham in the Sharpie pens adverts. Come on. Who’s going to believe that he can write?

ghome_08a4) The new Mr Muscle ads are EXTREMELY annoying. What happened to the weedy guy in the specs? Why have we got the terrible, badly dubbed CGI thing?

5) Then there’s the “I’m a PC” adverts. A very late reaction to Apple’s “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ads with Mitchell and Webb. My biggest issue with these adverts is that they were so reactionary. There’s nothing new, nothing that actually tells you why PCs are better than Macs.

And a special mention also goes to EDF Energy for the “this advert is 100% recycled”, which has been nominated by my very Wise friend.

Hmm, a bit trickier…. Top 5 Good ads

1) I think the new Barnardos advert showing how a teenage girl gets into drugs and ends up in prison is very powerful. It almost made me set up the direct debit to donate… [note for New Year’s Resolution list]

2) I love the Christmas Tesco adverts wth Des 0’Connor where the price labels keep appearing. I know the concept has been done before with the prices, but Des is very Christmassy.

3) The Ask Frank ad I blogged about last week is still excellent.

4) Oh. The Cadubry’s Gorilla. Nothing to do with chocolate, but BRILLIANT. Got everyone talking about Cadbury’s and as we all know. You talk about chocolate, you want chocolate. [excuse me a second….]

5) I’m struggling. I can’t think of a 5th advert that I’ve liked this year. Give me your suggestions?

If it wasn’t already almost midnight, I’d continue this post. However, I’m sleepy.  So I’ll call it a night, and make a promise to finish my thoughts on this subject before the year is through…

(P.S. A few predictions are; that adverts for any product targeted at women will continue to be patronising and aimed at making us feel crappy, ‘they’ will still be trying to convince people that ordering a “SoCo” in a bar won’t make you sound like a tit, car adverts will never make me want to buy a car, mobile ringtone aderts will remain annoying, Iceland won’t catch on that assosciating with Kerry Catona doesn’t make us aspire to shop there, Cillit Bang will still be do bad it’s good, and the product still won’t actually work)

untitledProctrastination. Pro. Cras. Tin. Ation. To procrastinate. hmm…. “To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.” or “postpone doing what one should be doing”

I have the house to myself this evening and a list of jobs so long that I could turn it into wallpaper and use it to redecorate the living room. Especially as that would help put off doing the jobs that I need to do. I am meant to have finished wrapping the Christmas presents that have been sat on the table for a week, I was meant to do laundry, hoover the floor and rug, wash up, put the ironing board away, and, most of all, I was meant to write a blog. But I’ve been thinking about things to blog on all week and keep coming up blank.

I toyed with the idea of blogging on the Google 2008 Zeitgeist – maybe something about Heath Ledger beating Barack Obama in the most searched for list, or how creepy I find the Jonas Brothers.

Then I considered writing about the plans to hide cigarettes from view in shops – to make them “under the counter” goods so that they would be out of site, out of mind for kids. The comment on that would have been something along the lines of “how @£$^ing stupid. Since when has making something forbidden, mysterious and hidden made it LESS appealing to children and teenagers? If you want to stop people smoking make it illegal for parents to smoke in front of their children, and make sure that only tramps and really ugly people are seen to do it. Then increase the tax on cigarettes 200%. some of those measures might help. Also, you could run an ad campaign to make kids terrified that their mum will die of smoking…. oh, yeah, done that one…”

I love the new “Frank” advert with David Mitchell’s voice over and thought about writing something about that, but could really only come up with “good advert” and “poor dog” and “glad that was never my cup of tea”.

This morning I saw a story about the British postie being asked to walk faster on their rounds to get the Christmas post delivered quicker. It must have been a slow news day I think because the BBC dedicated really far too much time to this non-story. To the point where they managed to create some footage which really lost the posties any sympathy I might have had. The footage was of a postman wheeling a trolly full of letters from door to door. The problem was that the ‘between door’ part was the same bit of street each time. My immediate thought was that, nevermind speeding up their pace, they could get more delivered if they didn’t spend all day walking back and forth along the same 5 metre stretch. stooooopid.

So. Here we are. and I still can’t think of anything to write about. Oh.

Here’s one what I wrote for work today about the ‘invasion’ of Stansted Airport and why transport companies are so bad at communicating. Super!

Wise one, you are my ‘friend on the inside’. ‘Tis like you’re famous! 😀

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