diamond geezer

 Monday, March 31, 2003

The best of March

TV programme of the month: BBC News 24's continuous coverage of the recent international situation has been nothing less than thrilling. With so much happening in the Gulf, the channel's editors have never had to fill time with repeated interviews, uninformed speculation, overbearing graphics or endless footage of trucks driving through the desert. I've been hooked to my TV set over the last ten days, eagerly awaiting the latest developments happening live before my very eyes. I don't mind the fact that they never show any home news any more, because there isn't any, and I don't miss the regular weather forecasts either because the weather in the UK's been so predictable recently. OK, sorry, I'm lying.

Football result of the month: Chelsea 1, Arsenal 3. Still on course for the double, if not for the treble. And thank goodness we won that one, because I was starting to wonder if March would actually have a "Football result of the month".

Film of the month: I've not made even one visit to the cinema this month, which I blame on two things. Firstly a lack of decent films coming out of Hollywood at the moment, and secondly the arrival in my household of one DVD player. Yes, I know I said I'd never buy one, and I haven't, honest. I'm just babysitting it for someone who's no longer living in region 2, OK? The DVD player came complete with a set of 25 films to watch, although I've only felt motivated to watch two of them so far. I don't even own The Matrix for heavens sake. I really am, as I suspected, a DV-ant.

KieranAlbum of the month: The Picture Show by the Buffseeds. It's not been off my mp3 player for the last four weeks. Twelve guitar gems sung by the voice of an angel. If you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe BBC 6Music: "This is an album that immediately hooks you and is a natural for the repeat button on your CD player." Or The Fly magazine: "Kieran's finely-tuned shrill injects a passion into his lyrics that is unmatchable. Compellingly perfect, It's why this album's so peerless. Albums of this calibre are rare enough to warrant a protection order. So buy it, love it and do something with the feeling it gives you." Available now in all good record stores for under a tenner. Beats Coldplay anyway.

NeilGig of the month: Ah, that would be the Buffseeds again, this time at the Metro Club in Oxford Street. Let's head to BBCi for a review this time: "The rhythm-driven numbers were mixed into a set of real heartbreakers like Strawberry and Sunlight, and within the slower tracks lay the secret to Buffseeds' magic. Their song writing is pure gold. Endlessly melodic, lead singer and guitarist Kieran Scragg holds within his vertically challenged frame a voice of such maturity and subtlety that it's difficult to imagine Buffseeds songs ever being attempted at Karaoke nights. This is a good thing. When you have songs like Sparkle Me in your repertoire - a poignant and full-bodied tune that includes the masterstroke lyric "pass the tear gas, I've forgotten how to cry" - then you could be forgiven for being a little smug. But Buffseeds are anything but. The spherical sound of keyboard player Neil Reed's organ gains him quite a fan club, though some may have mistaken him for a young Daniel Day-Lewis. Easily done. Meanwhile, Joel Scragg seems interested in nothing other than playing his bass, content to let drummer Ella Lewis supply the infectious energy." One day, when they're famous, I'll be able to tell you 'I was there'.

Single of the month: Er, is it just me, or have there been no good singles out this month. Please tell me it's the latter.

Unexpected band website of the month: Remember 2wo Third3, easily the greatest band of 1994? Thought not. The three blokes in the band only had four singles, and only two of those were hits, but they were synthesised excellence. Hear me calling is a masterpiece, and you might agree if only you'd ever heard it. Admittedly the band were managed by fat Svengali Tom Watkins, and they were probably over-hyped, and the name was a bit silly, but they disappeared from the pop firmament far far too quickly. The band had a fourth member, a cartoon character known as Biff, the alter ego of producer Richard Stannard who went on to much greater things. Anyway, I had thought that nobody else out there remembered 2wo Third3 until I discovered another fan in Popjustice, and a proper website. Now it turns out they recorded a lost album that was never released, and I want a copy. I want the world, and I want it right now. 2wo Third3 - gone, but not forgotten.

Revived radio show of the month: Remember Fist of Fun? Good old Radio 7, the latest digital jewel from the BBC, is replaying the original radio series of the Lee and Herring Radio Show and it's nostalgic brilliance. It's great to hear Rich and Stew's classic dialogue again, all best washed down with a flask of weak lemon drink. If you were ever a fan, clicking on the links in this paragraph will keep you busy for hours. The rest of you, you just want the moon on a stick you do.


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