Saturday, May 06, 2006


Trying to find alliances through music at my age is like trying to wear a new t-shirt and thinking you're cool.
It just doesn't work anymore. There are more important things in life.
So I hope that even regular readers of this blog won't mind if I say that I think Keane are a bunch of cunts.
I met the lead singer, about six months before the launch of their first album, in a bar in the Kings Road, Chelsea, through a girl that was, at the time, thinking of working with them.
I wouldn't include that meeting in a "you wouldn't think I've met them but I have" piece, because, well, I hate them too much to include it, and the meeting was brief, unlike the rest of those posts which have been fairly genuine extended one-on-ones, even if I haven't given away too much in this blog.
I'd heard a four-track demo of Keane's debut album, and to be honest knew it was commercial enough to be a hit. I thought it was a bit the same as everything else, on one hearing, but none the less my advice to the girl was that they would be more than just another band, and that if she liked them, she should go with it.
As it was, she didn't get the choice, as the band decided that her work wasn't for them.
Fair enough. She was a bit common like me, after all.
But when I did meet him, I felt slightly sick at the thought that people like this were making semi-indie music these days.
A posh, cynical public schoolboy. The David Cameron of Indie Music.
Not that that should exclude him from the possibility of being a nice guy (even I'm not that shallow) or that their music might not be any good (though there was something moany, twee and ultimately stuck up that I hated about it from the one listen I had had).
So, we fast forward some three years or so, and Keane have sold 7 million albums worldwide. A journalist I know and love dearly, called Michael, coined the phrase in a review that Keane had "countryside faces", and indeed they do.
I think he mis-spelt it though.
If I could add to that description, it would be this:
As unfit as a butchers dog that's eaten too many pork chops.
Better suited to milking a cow than to the record buying public.
Like it's been hit by a tractor.
Like their fathers and mothers already had a bloodline.
You get the idea.
So anyway, very very recently, I hear gossip of a session that Keane are doing to promote their much anticipated 2nd album.
By all accounts, it's a bit more of a "difficult" album than the first. Meaning it's either shite, or shite, or shite, or just possibly, given a chance and several listens to, shite.
But anyway, that's not the story.
I didn't like the first one, and I am pretty sure I would hate the second.
Piano playing bunch of upper class cunts in my book. But then no one bought my book, and 7 million bought their album. So like I said, it doesn't matter whether I like the music or not.
So at the very recent session we have this series of events:
* Keane send in their security guard to check out their dressing room in which they shall be sitting before the session. The security guard walks into the room, which is, a room. "Where will they be sitting?" asks the security guard. "In the... er, chairs," says my friend, slightly confused. The security guard tries out the chairs. "Yeah," he says slightly hesitantly, "I guess these will be ok."
* Then at the soundcheck, their public schoolboy cuntryside-faced manager, insists that everyone, all crew, leave. This is, remember, a soundcheck for the people recording the session that the sound is ok. Not just the band. What they sound like doesnt matter if the recording stuff isn't levelled out properly. No band ever makes the crew leave. It's pointless. It suddenly becomes not a soundcheck.
* Anyway, after realising that the knobbish snobbishness of the band members extends to their assistant who says, in a very posh voice "the boys aren't gonna like this," a lot, the final straw comes with the filming of the session itself.
Fairly typical of this kind of recording, there are three cameras, one at the front, and one at either side.
The manager, barely out of riding jodphurs, looks sternly at the director and producer. "Are you going to film him from this angle?"
"Er, you mean from the front and from the side?"
"Yes," he says, still looking concerned at the camera placing.
"Er, yes. It's the way we usually do it."
After some frowning, and shaking of head...
"It's not his best angle you know."
Despite not offering a solution to how you could film someone from a better angle than either front or side, the manager walks off, shaking his head.
While most chubby performers of little note (Robbie Williams, George Michael, etc) find a gym and or a personal trainer when fame and a few million quid with six months off hit them, it appears the same is not true of the lead singer of Keane.
"The cameraman had to step back a few paces," says E.R.'s source, "when he moved to the side to play the piano. We suddenly realised about what he meant by not his best angle when he bent over to play the keyboard."
* And the final straw? "They want shower gel," says the unassisting assistant.
Now don't get me wrong, if you want shower gel, you want shower gel. Especially if you're a sweaty posh bastard that's gonna let Chris Martin sniff your crotch later on that evening while he cooks tofu sausages and pours champagne for you and the rest of your gang.
But like, if you are a multi millionaire with a security guard and an alleged "assistant" who both will run around all day sorting out everything including shifting the craggy shit that left between your bumcheeks when you do a crap, do you not think that they might, like the rest of us, have a fucking washbag between the bunch of useless shit-music making cunts that they are?
Of course not.
Send for the shower gel.
Let's hope for the love of God they are just another Travis.
And we can all wash the stench of Keane from our lives with a shit second album that will see them disappear into over-produced posh-music hell.
I'm just not Keane.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Is Periwinkle:

a) another term for a winkle, a small blackish-shelled marbled-coloured sea creature you can eat by scooping out its body from the shell with a pin?
b) a beautiful purple-flowering green-leaved plant with a medicinal use?
c) a word used to describe the colour of seats in a restaurant by some cunt of a food critic that thinks it's clever to use a word like periwinkle because his head is stuck so far stuck up his arse that the last time he opened his eyes he saw his tonsils?
d) all of the above.

The correct answer is d.


Since E.R. began, those pesky people at the phone/gas/satellite tv company have been ringing up to see whether we want to change (ie spend more money on) the phone/gas/satellite tv deal we already have.
Since E.R. finds the concept of money and bills rather vulgar, these are dealt with off-site by the landlady of E.R. offices, who works elsewhere.
As ever, aware that ordinary people are given the jobs they have to do and not necessarily want to do, I have always been courteous on the phone to those that call up.
But after two or three times, it became a little bit of a chore, so I asked them to not ring again. I asked, that since the account holder was at work, I would never make any decision about finances on a phone to a stranger reading a script, but if they sent details or told me the web page, I would promise to look.
And asked them not to call again.
That was approximately 8 months ago, and they still call.
And call.
And call.
And call.
I've asked them if there is a mark on their computer they can put against this telephone number to ensure that they do not call.
They say there is and they will do it.
But still they call.
And call.
And call.
I lost my temper with one yesterday, and finally cracked. It went something like this:

Phone rings.
"E.R.: Good morning, you're through to the offices of E.R.
CC: Hello is Ms XXX XXX there please?
E.R.: No, they aren't.
CC: Could you tell me when they will be in please?
E.R.: Why?
CC: It's Sky TV here
E.R.: Is there a problem with the bill?
CC: No.
E.R.: I've asked 20 times before to stop calling here if there isn't a problem. Why are you calling? I've asked you to take this number off the list.
CC: We'd like to offer you...
E.R.: So there isn't a problem with the bill?
CC: No, can you tell me when the bill payer will be in please?
E.R.: Where do you live?
CC: I'm not allowed to give out that information.
E.R.: Where do you live?
CC: Why?
E.R.: Can you tell me who you live with?
CC: I have a husband. Why?
E.R.: What time does your husband get home from work?
CC: Why?
E.R.: Because we are customers of yours, you know my address don't you?
CC: Yes. I can't tell you when my husband gets home sir.
E.R.: And you want me to tell you when we are here and when we are not, don't you?
CC: I just want to talk to Ms XXX about some new extra...
E.R.: I want to know where you live, and what time your husband gets home. Then I will tell you when we're home, it's only fair.
CC: I'm not going to tell you that sir.
E.R.: You want me to tell you what time the bill payer gets home to this address - and you know my address. Why can't I have the same details from you?
CC: I just wanted to tell you about the extra channels that you can now get on...
E.R.: If you do tell me your address, do you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to wait outside your house for your husband. When he arrives home I'm going to cut his head off with an axe and shit down his throat. If you have kids I'm going to break their arms and legs and fit them in the smallest boxes I can find and then Fed-Ex them to Gary Glitter's prison cell in Vietnam. Then I'm going to find out where your parents are buried, dig up the remains, and film myself urinating in the eyes of their skulls, and then send you the video on a Christmas day far off into future when you've stopped grieving about your kids and dead decapitated husband.
Please understand I am a very sick and violent man.
Please don't call here again.
Bye. "

Anyway, so far, so good. No calls today, and Fridays are usually busy.
Hopefully I have been put on a register of nutters to never call.
And be left in peace.


In a bid to compete with the popularity of celebrity magazines, in a new series exclusive to English Ranter, we go inside the homes of some of the world's most famous sweets.
Today: Bertie Bassett enjoys the sunshine.
Because it doesn't happen every day, a sunny day in Britain is all the more welcome, even if you are a sweet. Sweetie king Bertie slaps on a little bit of SPF 15 and heads for his deck chair, which strangely matches his carpet. These sweet millionaires eh? Very eccentric.
Tomorrow: No more dumb-ass sweet stories.
No sweets were harmed in the making of con-fictionery. And no, I didn't spend ages making these freaky little scenes either. All photographs were taken in a sweet shop window in Rye, Kent, where the owners obviously know how to sugar rush.


Tony Blair will not stand down as Prime Minister, despite presiding over his party's worst local election defeat in modern times.
The anyone-but-Blair vote of yesterday's local elections has seen Conservative gains, a shift to the Greens, and an increase in the number of fascist British National Party councillors.
It has been the worst two weeks of news for the Government most can remember. While health service reforms are producing a better service, the balls-up in funding has meant nursing jobs in the national health service are being cut.
While Blair professes to be hard on immigration and crime, the balls-up in releasing foreign nationals from UK prisons and then, rather than deporting them, giving them UK passports, is a disgrace. No matter which party brought this system in, it is Blair that took up Bush's war on terror, and for those that believe this involves a tough stance on foreign nationals in UK prisons, then it looks shit.
And finally there's John Prescott, the deputy Prime Minister, caught with his pants down. If there's one thing that gets the housewive's goat, it's a party that looks like it's not only fucking up the country, but shagging their secretaries as well.
All in all, by virtually matching their performance two years ago, Labour hasn't actually done that bad. The Liberal Democrats have been hardest hit by the rise in Conservative popularity.
Minge Campbell was a faceless politician before he got the job as Lib Dem leader, as reported in E.R. back in March (see E.R. archives March 2nd) and to be honest, things have only got worse.
The one thing Blair can point to is that he's been here before. His share of the vote is barely down on the same elections two years ago, although the prices of key London boroughs will make the Mayor's job even harder to keep this city on the right track as we head for the Olympics. Tory leaders are one thing. Tory local councillors are complete and utter knobheads.
Sifting through local election results you can find results that confound everyone - Tory Richmond council going to the Lib Dems, for example. They just aren't the real deal, they are a protest vote. But the protest against Blair is getting bigger.
I can't see a reshuffle being enough to get Blair through this year, and come the Labour party conference at the end of the year, I think the dissenters within his party will finally have the ammo to topple him.
Whether he wants to go or not, everyone else has had enough of Blair.
E.R. certainly has.


But for the idiots in charge of English football, we could have had World Cup winning manager Scolari, a man that developed the skills of the world's greatest soccer stars - Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.
Instead we have a man who looks like he should be working for Ronald McDonald.
For the full English Ranter reaction to the appointment of Steve McClaren as the new England soccer boss, see
I'm not happy. In fact, I'm fucking livid.
Still, it's only a game, eh?

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Actually I'm skint.
Still, a big "thank-you" for the new piece of merchandise which arrived in the post this morning from a fan of E.R.
Apparently E-bay is reporting a rising trend in royalty memorabillia following the creation of E.R. - but only pieces actually with E.R. on them.
Not the ones with that fucking shithole of a family some idiots call royalty on them.
Viva la revolution! Viva E.R.!
Or something.
Is the kettle boiled?
It's local election night, it's gonna be a long one...

LONDON LOOKS NICE SHOCKER (or is E.R. just wasted again?)

On a hot sunny day like today, even London can look pretty, if you know where to sit.
The view from the E.R. garden looks even better when accompanied by a bottle of Belgium's finest export.
Belgium gets a bit of a hard time, with most people forgetting that a country that gave us the saxophone, posh chocolate and about 3000 different types of beer - and yet is the size of a shoebox - should always be commended.
I also once went out with a girl from Belgium. She was top.
Can't even remember why I left her.
I was probably wasted.

Why Zacarias Moussaoui was wrong. For once, America did win.

While E.R. strongly doubts that Zacarias Moussaoui could have influenced the events of 9/11, his words "America you lost, I won" when hearing the sentence of life imprisonment rather than the death penalty were totally wrong.
Despite the American government's attempt to have him executed by having the trial held in Virginia, the jury, and America, got it right.
Anyone who heard the testimony of those relatives of victims killed in 9/11 that stood for his defence (some 23 people) saw a dignity and attitude that not only elevates them above the bombers, but also above the American government itself.
Executions not only make martyrs, they continue the circle of violence.
An eye for an eye is the justice of the Old Testament. A part of the bible which is virtually endorsed by the bombers themselves, and a rule that Americans should be wary of as their soldiers kill tens of thousands of civilians across Iraq.
If America is to stand morally above people like Moussaoui, then it needs to find the strength not necessarily to forgive, but to at least understand that another unneccesary death in this unholy war will drag it not into victory, but into the gutter.
Zacarias Moussaoui was a schizophrenic, driven into hate by racism against him in France, educated in fundamentalism just a few miles from the E.R. offices in London, and then suckered into believing that Jihad was his war in the training camps of Afghanistan.
He then finally learnt how to fly in America.
He was a stupid rebel without a cause. Even al-Qaida dismissed him as a nuisance, and his only friend seems to be that equally inept misfit terrorist - the would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid.
While it's understandable that America wanted Zacarias Moussaoui to pay a price for his evil stupidity, the right price wasn't another life.
This time, for once, America won.


In a bid to compete with the popularity of celebrity magazines, in a new series exclusive to English Ranter, we go inside the homes of some of the world's most famous sweets.
Today: When jelly babies have twins
Twin babies are a handful for anybody. But when you're a jelly baby, you don't have any hands, which makes things even more difficult.
However, both of the little fellas are doing very well, and though they do keep their parents up at night, a gentle rock of the cradle sends them safely back to sleep.
Tomorrow: Bertie Bassett takes time out to enjoy the sunshine

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


"Yes we are, since you ask," say the Japanese government, who this week banned UK poultry exports from entering their country, in the same week British beef was finally let back in after a 10-years because of Mad Cow Disease.
While Britain's poultry farms have so far avoided the H5N1 strain of the virus, tens of thousands of chickens have been killed following an outbreak of the H7 strain, which at present has only caused minor illnesses such as conjunctivitis in humans. One British farm worker has already caught this, and is being treated.
However, the H7 strain is not as safe as people might think, and while the World Health Organisation seems keen to point this out, the British government and food industry do not.
Unlike H5N1, it doesn't necessarily kill the chicken that carries it.
This means that it can go undetected in flocks, but still cause illnesses through poorly cooked chicken meat or runny eggs.
This is the statement from the World Health Organisation about H7, so far unreported in the media and, of course, by the Government, but not, unsurprisingly, this blog:
"Not all H5 or H7 strains are severe, but their presence is a cause for great concern because of their ability to mutate."
Meanwhile Britain's efforts to stamp out the virus may be in vain.
Over 100 farms in Burma, Asia, have today reported the H5N1 virus, which will mean it will be virtually impossible to stop the spread to a greater number of countries who believed they already had it under control.
More than 100 people have died from bird flu since the new strain of the virus was detected in 2003.


Apparently they wanted to make the appointments in secret themselves.


I don't blame them.
E.R. makes up stuff all the time.
That jelly baby interview below wasn't an exclusive for a start. There was another blogger there at the time...


Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea... I can't believe anyone thinks the Government offer news fairly, in any country.
It's not in their best interests to.
It's a toughy though...


In a bid to compete with the popularity of celebrity magazines, in a new series exclusive to English Ranter, we go inside the homes of some of the world's most famous sweets.
Today: A jelly baby goes horse riding
Whoa there boy! Is that rider old enough to be aboard such a feisty steed? Indeed he is. For this is no ordinary rider.
And that's no ordinary horse.
It belongs to yellow jelly baby (try calling him yellow in the flesh, and he'll smack you), one of the famous jelly baby clan.
Jelly babies are taught from an early age - indeed while they are still babies, to do stuff like ride horses, shoot guns, and make a warming fire from just two coloured crayons and glue.
These key survival techniques have preserved them as a species, despite barely being two inches tall and made of, well, jelly.
Tomorrow: When a jelly baby has twins.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Believe it or not, and let's face it, why would you lie about something like this, I was at the photo shoot at which was this pic was taken, for a magazine at the start of Take That's career back in 1990/91.
I also believed, after meeting "the lads", that they might be just "a bit gay".
This was something to do with the fact their manager was gay, some of them danced in gay clubs before becoming pop stars, and that they kind of cuddled each other and danced around smothering themselves in jelly while wearing leather outfits.
Silly me.
The three on the left now either have wives or kids. The two on the right, don't.
Still it's nice to see in a recent TV documentary they are all friends again after all this time, and that the four "members" of Take That, without Robbie Williams, are selling out venues across the UK once more on their current tour.
You wouldn't believe the time it took to get this picture right. It was HAKE TATT! for ages.


Oi Oi Beaky!
Blimey, the side effects of that bird flu are worse than E.R. thought.
We didn't know you'd end up looking like one.

CON-FACTIONERY - (more "sweet" news)

More than one in four children in America and UK clinically obese.
More than one in four children under-5 in developing world suffering malnutrition.
Number of deaths from malnutrition of under-5's every year: 5.6 million.
Bertie Bassett was unavailable for comment.


We all live in places like this in England, apart from poor people, who live in unused badger burrows and fox holes. It needs a bit of work but we've got the Polish builders coming in so it should be sorted by the end of the week.


In a bid to compete with the popularity of celebrity magazines, in a new series exclusive to English Ranter, we go inside the homes of some of the world's most famous sweets.
This week: At home with the Bassetts.
Behind every great man there is a great woman, and it's no different for Bertie Bassett, king of the liquorice confectionery empire.
Here we see Barbara Bassett looking after the newest arrival to the Bassett family, Barry. His birth coincided with the arrival of three kittens for their cat Tiddles, also pictured.
Tomorrow: A jelly baby goes horse riding.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Part of Europe's master plan to compete in the global world was to create a European economic union, breaking down borders and opening up markets.
This plan was hatched by the two biggest markets in Europe, Germany and France.
Many countries, such as the UK, have had to drag their populations kicking and screaming into this unification.
In 2004, Britain was one of a number of countries that opened working opportunities to the eight poorest member states of the E.U. such as Poland and former Eastern-bloc members like Slovakia.
As a result, the UK has indeed become more competitive in certain areas.
A recent UK report showed Polish tradesmen have capitalised on the lack of fix-it skills in our country, and consequently many people know that the best-priced (and sometimes best quality) available are Polish builders and decorators now operating in the UK under the new EU laws.
Today, other countries including Spain and Greece joined the UK in offering these opportunities.
OK, two years later than the UK, but fair enough, they've joined in.
So who, would you think, has yet to offer these rights to European workers?
Germany, France and that bastion of Nazi sensibilities Austria.
Because while these countries love the fact that they find it easier to sell their cars, their cheese, their wine, and their spicy fucking sausages to the rest of us, they just can't face a bunch of not-quite-whites entering their borders and possibly taking their jobs.
This historical hypocrisy is ultimately either racist or uncompetitive, the two very things that both the French and the Germans have accused the UK of in the past. These countries are acting like fucking cunts banning these workers for another three years, showing that their spirit of competitiveness ends at their borders.
It's time the European Union became just that - or better still, that we pull out of trade with the wankers until they play ball. It was their fucking idea, they should live with it.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


* An ugly civil servant gets paid £100,000 to talk about sex with your ugly married deputy prime minister.
* Probably something about foreign people being really scary murderers
* Some neo-conservative reactionary with a fucking big house and a £1 million a year contract writes a column pretending he's just like you.
I'd wait til after you've eaten breakfast.
Or buy a different paper, you loser.

Rooney out, Owen doubtful...

England fucked.
If you like your football played with a round ball and without crash helmets and shoulder pads, try
Actually, try it even if you don't. There's a silly house you can look at.

Progress: A virtual education for Saudi women

That fucked-up fascist state without democracy, elections or rights for women - the one America and the West defends with its bombs - Saudi Arabia - is even more fucked up than E.R. had believed.
Reforms are gently easing the way in the country for some women to get senior jobs and a good education.
So much, in fact, that the numbers of women in University is greater than men.
One small problem, the law dictates female students can only speak to male tutors via videolink.
What did they do before video?
Send a fucking carrier pigeon?


-------MY COPY IS YOUR RIGHT E.R. 2006------- 

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