Music

The Last Shadow Puppets: ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ Track Review

A rascal and a monkey find themselves stranded on a far away island. Contrary to adapting; planning an escape from the trap they’ve set themselves, they linger aimlessly. Simply, the pair struggle through – searching for vice, making love to anything that suggests a viable orifice. Ever wrapped up in their bad habits: It’s the new track from The Last Shadow Puppets.

When news leaked of the new album from indie’s favourite scallywag duo, excitement was understandably high. Unfortunately the nausea kicked in before we’d even had the chance to feast on the proverbial school dinner. Their promo shoot suggests two Miami pimps trying to lure you into a mid-80s den of iniquity. Picture their sales technique: ‘come on in to the puppet’s den, ladies and gentlemen…’ Immediately you’re greeted by the owner; cutting up lines of cocaine atop a Betamax, chewing tobacco with a Stanley knife in his back pocket. The leopard print sofas are tearing, the neon pink wallpaper drips to the floor; adding to the fluid already sticking to the heel of your shoes. You don’t want to know what it is. This whole experience would still be a damn sight more pleasurable than the duo’s latest release: Everything You’ve Come To Expect. And therein lies the problem.

‘March of the Mods diamond geezer’ turned offender register suspect, Miles Kane, has been a cheeky – yet rather heavyweight and burdensome – monkey on Alex Turner’s back since the pair became friends during his days with The Rascals (google them if you need to). Winging his way into the limelight with his ‘I’m in their gang’ approach to guest appearances at Glasto headline sets and third wheeling at awards tables, Kane’s solo efforts aren’t bad (largely due to the fact most of them were penned by Turner himself). The first Last Shadow Puppets album arrived back in 2008 when anything Turner touched seemingly turned into gold – and it stood up rightfully to all the other great albums he’s worked on in the last ten years. The pair looked sharp, sounded sharper and the lyrics were fantastic.

Wind the clock forward and Turner appears to have developed a coke-inspired ambition to paint himself as the waxwork lovechild of Josh Homme and Elvis Presley. He likes to remind us, in case of lingering doubt and often through horrendously lax lyrics these days, that the multi-millionaire frontman of one of the world’s biggest and most successful bands is quite good at getting his end away. Gentleman Jack Turner used to be able to mask his desires with quite an eloquent, almost veiled, wit. However, on current efforts, he’d have been as well scribbling ‘a pair of charmers who like sex’ on the album sleeve and saved themselves the hassle of recording. The propositional sleaze poetry-cum-Yewtree warning lights of ‘little girls’ and ‘baby’ is wearing ever so tiresome.

If you’re still adamant that The Last Shadow Puppets give your Twitter a bit of extra cred points, some tickets are still available for their upcoming UK tour.

1.9/10.

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Uncategorized

Unemployability

On the cusp of a year-round new found creative burst
Things have drastically taken their turn for the worst
I’ve spent days in a daze of amazement at the simplest act of procrastination
God, give me some sight of a feasible destination

Give me speedbumps on my career path, spare me a life of tears
Show me a world I never knew existed, ask where I’ll be in five years
Drag me out my slumber screaming, I can’t do it alone
Tinpot wordsmithery’s never gonna heat a home

I’ll drag my gob through the gutter, open shutters, softly mutter in a Customer Service mumble
I’ll be a bell boy, shit-scraping, shelf-stacking superhero, let’s get ready to rumble
I’ll be the Jack of all trades, the master of none, light years ahead of my time
If you’re looking for a fall guy, you’ve found one, let’s cut me down in my prime

I’ll work a day for self-importance, I’m what they call a minimalist
Too nihilistically bliss to pursue a hit-and-miss
But like every young soul I need a pot to piss
Fullfill my pocket’s plea, a guy like me could use some zero-hour hard labour to set my blagger mind free

Tell me ‘that’s life’ again
Tell me ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’
Tell me dreams can be dreamt, but dreams they shall be
Show me the harsher side to reality, teach me to be hateful
Bend me over backwards for a pittance and plea I’d be so grateful

I’m an eligible bachelor of the world of work
A freelance headspace enthusiast, creatively stifled and unaccountably doss
My transferable skills remain null and void
Chain me up, Scotty, maybe one day I’ll be a boss…

I’ll ditch the Poundland Vegas lounge act complex
I’ll trade in my spark
I’ll be more Joe Bloggs one day and less John Cooper Clarke
I’ll sell my literature at auction, it never got me far
I’ll pour myself a cup of ambition and begin to raise the bar
I’ll make my mother proud eventually, she won’t have to ask why
I sold my soul to the DWP, Arbeit Macht Frei

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Cultural Satire, Poetry, Uncategorized

When The Stars Come Out Tonight

Where the Snapchat paparazzi capture filtered shots of scattered glamour
And the cobwebs in my wallet in the morning will paint a vivid sight
Where Z-list post-teens pull up on the scene in a Ford Fiesta motorcade
Tell me it’ll be alright when the stars come out tonight

The kerbside catwalk strollers strut their struggle to the entrance door
And the bouncers like the look of the types they’ve seen a million times before
Where a quick glance ’round the queue’s enough to send you to a taxi home
It’s too fucking bright and the music’s shite as the stars come out tonight

Where the Poundland Topman models don their best to test this filthy water
And Rugby Union’s reprobates all congragate beneath the lights
You’re getting thicker, shame the penny never dropped before your knickers
Let the Instagram malitia unite when the stars come out tonight

Kick your heels off, kick my head in, forgive my need to quibble
I bet you look good on the dance floor to the same old drivel
Numb my brain time and again when the DJ drops the beat
Will you spare my blushes as my spirit crushes? I was never the most discreet…

Where the late night Jackanory storytellers still remain
Where the cigarette buskers chance their arm in the piss-soaked darkened lanes
Where neon cocktails set you back two weeks of heat and petrol
Was it worth it not to put up a fight when the stars came out tonight?

Where the memories museum cracked their screens and caused an ugly scene
Where photogenic Mandy bandits performed their evening set
Where shapes were cut by chancing dancers, blagging every move
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget…

Where leopard print met the neck tie, and Cosmo met the champers
Where 22 met 45 and got their toenails pampered
Where VIP met a few home truths and slung itself to rubble
Uncharacteristically uncouth and obliged to burst a bubble
Where ‘ooh ahh Malia’ went global and Geordie Shore took flight
Where the man bun met the quiff, as if the stars came out tonight!

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Cultural Satire, Poetry

The Other End of Town

I recently moved to the other end of town…

You know the one?

Where devil spawn scream down the walls of independent coffee shops
As passive bohemian homeopath parents slurp in oblivion, and nibble on treats
Always quick to talk of how busy we are on your Tuesday 11am Macchiato meet and greets…

Where your nostrils are stung by the overwhelming whiff of Molton Brown
Have you ever paid a visit to the other end of town?

A little dab of the Home Counties, a little north of the border
Where the living dead continue to live for Church of Scotland Christmas services
Every shop’s a charity foundation, but no fucker ever chucks a coin in a down-and-out’s pot
Funny that…

Bemoan the tragedy of your Comic Relief and your Children In Need
While maintaining all you really need is a good brain and hard work to succeed
Otherwise you wouldn’t be perched in a tower block, primed for knocking down
No, you’d be sleeping easy in slumberland, the other end of town

Enlighten me to the point of patio heaters?
And why everyone takes out a second mortgage for the parking meters
And everybody graduated from the University of open-mindedness
And travelled the world and broadened their horizons with a start-up loan from daddy’s bank
Every single party, there’s that one fucking wank…
You know the one…

Take your dog for a walk and no one will smile
Naming kids after dogs is more the style
Oscar and Leyla and surnames for first names and blazers for ball games
And the fires have real flames
No fan heater nonsense…

Thankfully blessed by centuries of high-class alienation
The other end of town needn’t speak of gentrification
The other end of town desire their own fucking nation
And if you’re out on your arse on your own, the train station never doubles up as a starter home…
P-lease!

Where the teenagers don’t sit on the Playstation, drinking Stella, smoking dope and longing for somewhere naughty to pop their fingers
Where more than just hope in the home lingers
Where a strong gene pool makes beauty queens out of your everyday mingers
On the other end of town

You can but try to align yourself to this game
Try as you might, a Honda Civic and a foot on the property ladder isn’t quite the same
You give yourself away by the lipstick on your lips
And Amaretto biscotti dunked in PG Tips

And here’s an interesting side to the story
No cunt in this blue-ribbon heartland ever owns up to voting Tory
They’ve more class than to show themselves to be bold and brash, now kneel to the crown
Of the tarted up trash on the other end of town

Nothing left to sniff up to
So their noses point down
Rob a bank for a taxi out the other end of town…

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Poetry

The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

Peel back the curtains, squint on the view
as the rain pisses down on the fortunate few
wandering the streets, with a tale not to tell
of The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

Breakfast is served in a fungal trail
the coffee’s piss and the milk’s gone stale
and there’s an unidentifiable smell
in The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

Soiled doilies, pubes in the shower
rescue me from this crumbling tower
stains on the sheets and drips from the ceiling
a honeymoon suite with divorce proceedings

An avacado bathroom, tartan drapes
circa 1978
the tely singal’s fucked as well
in The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

My charger’s sparking in the mains
there’s a Gideon bible to keep me sane
rub coins for heat in a wishing well
in The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

I’ve caught myself a deadly infection
resulting from the previous health inspection
patiently awaiting the Dignitas bell
in The Budget-bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

Without the chance to vent my rage
as they’ve closed their fucking comments page
there’s preferential treatment in a prison cell
from The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

Where are the good times to be had
in this geriatric slumber pad
in this divorcee’s retreat of sorrow
I’d dare to say there’s no tomorrow

And there’s just one lesson left to teach
in this Pound Stretcher pleasure beach
if you haven’t got the money or a soul to sell
book The Budget-Bunker Scrimp ‘n’ Saver Heartbreak Hotel

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Poetry

The Hobby

In this zone of glitz and glamour
sit the thrones of the deadbeat clutter and clamour,
spend all but two minutes, you’ll be left enamoured
once you’ve found yourself a hobby.

No concierge will dry you off,
no Hugo Boss samples and fresh warm cloths
and you can’t hear the tely for the spluttering coughs
once you’ve found yourself a hobby.

A sight to offend each of the senses,
no Champagne greeting upon your entry,
welcome back to the 20th Century,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

And over the course of the next few hours
you’ll be treated to the sweetest and the bitter and the sour
and may every penny soon be ours,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

And soon you’ll vow to never leave,
you’ll beg, you’ll borrow, steal and grieve
over cartoon casinos and imaginary lobbies,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

Adamant the bandit can be beaten by the mind
that bestows the wisdom of a particular kind
to chase a loss ’til closing time,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

And despite the interest conflict, marital friction,
occasional bouts of rage and stereotypical depictions
that accompany every stereotypical addiction,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

Some will strive and some will dream
and some will leather perspex screens
while others spit on spin machines,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

Immerse yourself in a wide array
of a cosmopolitan display
of cultured clientele who come to play,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

Ignore the stale aroma of beer
and piss and fags and something unclear
and prepare to arrange a loan for the year,
you’ve found yourself a hobby.

The holiday’s as good as dead,
you’re permanently in the red,
perhaps you should be painting instead,
you found yourself a hobby.

Recreation, night and day,
can’t bring yourself to walk away,
‘IT’S JUST AN INTEREST, IN’T IT EH?’
Find another hobby.

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Uncategorized

Honestly… Fuck The SNP

So, it’s the eve of a general election. The day we all wait for. A surge of party-political adrenaline pumps through our collective veins as we march gallantly to our local polling booth, with a glint for the future in each of our eyes.

As someone who not only advocates mass party-political upheaval; but also the dismantling of the state, the abolition of capitalism and the liberation of the masses through worker self-organisation – I have felt like my views haven’t really been identified with by any of the political parties who claim to represent me. Nevertheless, I have come to understand this may be a problem I’ll have to live with long-term.

I don’t shy away from my outlooks, and I have conjured up many rants and ramblings on the usual suspects in recent years. Tories, UKIP, Daily Mail, the Royal Family, the BBC, corporations. It rolls off the tongue very easily, and is rarely met with a challenging retort.

But then I remind myself that I’m Scottish, and that whatever imminent crumbling of life around us as we know it from Westminster could flutter away almost instantaneously if only we get up and vote for the SNP. The SNP are like the torch in a power cut, the flower in the debris, the chocolate in the dog food. They are a different party, echoing the voice of a country where we’d pick you up if you were falling down. A socialist country full of kind comrades who’ll buy pints for strangers and let prison inmates on day release have their bed for the night.

The SNP are just that.

The SNP are the lesser of some gargantuan evils. They vow to give Scotland a voice in Westminster and ‘shake up’ an austerity agenda. I know it’s true, because they said so. Ergo, I think we can all agree that they’re pretty much perfect and exempt from any of the rational cynicism normally directed at ANY political party. Right fellas?! A vote for the SNP is a vote for Scotland, whatever the fuck that actually means.

I choose to view the SNP’s middle-class ‘welfarism’ as progressive socialism – ignoring their rather limp and ambiguous plans to begin to eradicate poverty and class inequality and failing to realise the only thing that sets them apart is liberal reformism so lightweight, you’d have to be a raving right-wing lunatic to object to most of it. Reminiscent of the Greens, but stopping short of discussing existence as a fictitious construct in a Kensington coffee outlet with my friends from my trust-funded gap year in Tanzania with whom I built bridges – both physically and spiritually. But enough about the Greens…

Sure, the SNP are responsible for the routine use of Armed Response Units and a stop-and-search rate that quadruples that of anywhere else in the UK – but that’s somewhat insignificant when you’re focusing so hard on building a democracy to be proud of! The same applies to their gagging rule that obliges MPs to accept that no MP can publicly criticise group decision or policy. Democracy, schmemocracy!

And I’m sick to death of politicians only being in the game to enhance their own fortunes and sick up to the powerful elite. Therefore, my selective memory comes in to play when I am reminded of the SNP’s ‘business friendly’ suck-ups to the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump. Gotta do what you gotta do, eh? And their Blair-esque pledge to slash corporation tax to attract lucrative business to Scotland? Well… Self-serving business interests are different if they take place in Scotland, stupid!

The SNP is like a religion to me. Subordinates and disbelievers be banished! Remember it like this, Scottish capitalism is braw!

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