Archives for May 2012

Keeping Calm and Carrying On...

Simon Mayo | 09:51 UK time, Thursday, 31 May 2012

Two offspring with exams today. Child 1 at Uni and child 2 doing A level drama. Good grief. And never mind the students, the parents are the ones who suffer. Timetable supervision, never-ending optimism and positive thoughts, cheese biscuit provision, balanced nutritious diets, testing, zen-like control and forgetfulness about your own failings when you were revising. These are all required at all times and in all places. Roll on the summer.

And, jauntily, we now have bunting in the house. We've never been big on flag waving really but now appears to be a good time. In fact if you don't do it this summer, you never will. So small union jack triangles now waft in our kitchen with the promise of more to come. London is looking pretty spectacular all-round really and the flotilla on Sunday followed by the Jubilee gig on Monday will hopefully be the stuff of great memories for children 1,2 and 3 (with varying degrees of enthusiasm). I shall be what is officially called 'The Voice Of God' for proceedings on Monday and will,of course, be on my best behaviour. No blog mentions I'm afraid even if ELO and Level 42 appear together.
But JUBILEE tunes can begin today as tomorrow we ARF-it and then it's special programmes and Liza next week. So your regal and humble suggestions welcome.
Nigel does steak, steak and more steak tonight. Not expecting to see much of Sally for a while.

Have a measured and in-control Thursday. See you after 5

Status update? Only slightly tired

Simon Mayo | 09:40 UK time, Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Well, fun yesterday with the modfather himself. Paul Weller has a definite aura of stardom about him. This is obviously due to his catalogue of hits over 4 decades, his air of 'cool' and the critical response to his current work. But part of it I think is because he is not an easy interview! Yesterday was one of his easier more laid-back chats I thought; his middle age has relaxed him and made him more at ease with himself. Maybe it's being off the booze and fags, or being a dad again at 54 but he looked great and the harmonies on both songs were top-notch. Wish we could put it all on the podcast but we can't so it's iplayer for you if you missed it.

Today I'm off to see Prometheus, the new Ridley Scott movie. For the generation that grew up with Alien, this is an exciting film to anticipate. I shall don the 3d glasses with relish...

Today we Mosh for her Majesty at 6! A Jubilee special, by royal appointment etc. Your red white and blue spandex will be required.

And oldies today please for FACEBOOK. You can do Facebook - the global monster that dominates the social life of billions (and check out our beetle pictures on the Drivetime Facebook page if you are one of them). Or Facebook- the hugely successful stock flotation followed swiftly by Facebook - one of the most calamitous stock flotations ever. Or just Facebook period. Your call!

Have an inherently cheerful and optimistic Wednesday, see you at 5

Sup Up Your Beer And Collect Your Fags

Simon Mayo | 08:54 UK time, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Up too soon. Tired and weary. However, will be tip top and sparkly by the time 'Our next at six" is heard at the end of the news. Whether it is Fran or Fenella, Ricky or Charles - whoever cues us up - we'll be ready. (Now when I say 'we' I mean 'me'. We don't all live together. That would be a stressful state of affairs indeed). There might be a need for an afternoon snooze I'm feeling.

Not that I'll be admitting that to our guest today; Paul Weller rocks up with some live songs after 6. At 54 (!) he's still producing new work and not content ever (ever!) to play his back catalogue. His new album Sonic Kicks came out in March and was, of course, a number 1.

Paul has had a number 1 album in each of the last 4 decades, whether with The Jam, The Style Council or as a solo artist. His wife Hannah appears on it as does his daughter Leah and son Mac. What's more he has a ready supply of future collaborators; he recently became a dad again to twins John Paul and Bowie. I loved The Jam from the star t- I remember John Peel playing 'In The City' and thinking 'I have to record that!'. So I waited by the radio with the cassette on pause, play and record for days! Somewhere, I still have the tape and if I ever own a cassette player again, it'll be on and turned up loud.

And today,we do INVISIBLE oldies. Been meaning to do this for a few days, ever since the Haywood Gallery in London opened their exhibition on 'invisibility and emptiness'. It features invisible ink drawings, an empty plinth that Andy Warhol once stood on and a piece of paper an artist stared at for 5 years. "This is the best exhibition you'll never see" said the director Ralph Rugoff. Well hooray for Ralph and INVISIBILITY it is then.

Have an organised and efficient Tuesday (ha!), see you after 5

Charcoal Love

Simon Mayo | 09:21 UK time, Monday, 28 May 2012

Well that was a hot one. BBQ fuel was all sold out at our local supermarket by the time we got there, as was the decent food. But, nothing daunted, we went ahead anyway. BBQ food is the most over-rated grub ever. I love the occasion but I would never normally serve up the burnt and burst fare that I produced on Saturday. No one cared of course because the evening was warm and the beer was cold. But the next morning as the washing up was attempted and the congealed fat attacked, it did seem a strange way of going about things. And next weekend, we'll do it all again of course. Even if there is talk of frost by next weekend...

Today we have another Radio 2 Bookclub choice for you and it is Snake Ropes by debut novelist Jess Richards. It's a tricky one to describe but the blurb says this:

On an island off the edge of the map, boys are disappearing. The day the tall men come from the mainland to trade, Mary's little brother goes missing. She needs to find him. She needs to know a secret that no-one else can tell her ...

It's set on an island somewhere and the dialect is different enough to keep you concentrating and involved throughout. It's exciting and different; there is quite a buzz about it. Read a chapter while you're here! Then join Jess when she's on just after 6.
And oldies today please for the 100 short-haired bees (Bombus Subterraneus) which have been brought across from Sweden. They've been released at the RSPB's reserve in Dungeness where they used to thrive. Still no sign of the Drivetime Hive but we'll call a meeting and see what happens.

Have a clean and polished Monday, see you after 5

Best days of our lives etc...

Simon Mayo | 09:51 UK time, Friday, 25 May 2012

This clear blue sky thing is quite fun still really. The jumpers from a few days ago seem so heavy and lumpy and unnecessary. We really don't need that kind of thing anymore. We are trim and slimline and perky here. How about you?

No shorts on view at Speech Day, I'm delighted to say. Even as temperatures in the hall rocketed and sweat poured from all pores, standards were maintained. This was in no small part due to the Chairman of Governors being Mr Justice Leveson himself. As he gazed at us all, the feeling that we were under examination was impossible to ignore. If we hadn't switched our phones off already, we certainly did as his Lordship's steely gaze swept the hall. Top man Hugh Dennis gave out the prizes and we all headed for the pub/revision/land of nod.

2 show day starts with 5 Live and movies and Charlize Theron. In 'Snow White and The Huntsman' she plays the wickedy-witchy queen and gets to say the 'Mirror mirror' line quite a few times. She is great in it and possibly one of the most beautiful women I have interviewed. This will not distract me from my task, especially as she is in a lovely hotel and I am in the studio. Which is a shame but maybe just as well.

Then to radio 2 and a wonderful ARF which really needs to start with THE BEST HOT WEATHER TUNE EVER RECORDED (and that Steve won't have played a few minutes before. I realise that makes things tricky). By this time, shorts are de rigueur of course.
Have a nimble and light-footed Friday, see you after 2&5.

Gentlemen. No Knees.

Simon Mayo | 09:20 UK time, Thursday, 24 May 2012

Not much sleep to be had in a hot house. Fans on, windows open. Then at 5am, everything is too cool. Plus the new calculation - what's the maximum you can leave a window open before the foxes realise they can sneak in and spread their nastiness? Three inches tops is my guess. Constant vigilance. No surrender.

Wardrobe issues today. Shorts have been examined and rejected - you can't really get away with it. The statuesque amongst us (declare yourselves now!) will look splendid of course but for the rest of us, we wait for our holidays or the weekend for the great unveiling. Plus it's child 2's speech day today so I must make at least a bit of an effort. You can't applaud the Year 12's carpentry prize with your knees showing. It's just not right.

So. Loved the Hitchhiker's yesterday and I think many others did too. Douglas Adams is much missed and as one of our listeners pointed out, the ipad is pretty much what the Guide was. Predicted by DA in 1978!

Today Nigel performs wonders with an aubergine - a melanzane on the way tonight. And oldies please from the 40th anniversary of the GRAVELLY HILL INTERCHANGE. Yes the always entertaining SPAGHETTI JUNCTION was opened 40 years ago. BBC News says...The sprawling network of carriageways at junction 6 of the M6 connects the A38(M) Aston Expressway into central Birmingham. It was given its more popular name by newspaper reporter Roy Smith, who said that from the sky it looked like spaghetti on a plate. Mystifying some motorists, its numerous carriageways, supported by more than 500 concrete columns, follow the line of the local canal and river network on elevated sections. Probably the most famous set of roads in the UK. Time to serenade Spaghetti J.

Have a cool and well-ventilated Thursday. See you after 5.

42. Inevitably.

Simon Mayo | 09:02 UK time, Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Gosh we are lucky. A real warm one coming. We are experiencing a 'col' apparently. This, according to the TImes is a weather system that sits at the crossroads between two high pressure and two low pressure systems. We are in the slack area in between apparently and slackness (in weather systems if not children) doesn't last long. Anyway, it'll be fun while it lasts and this morning's frantic struggle to find a cap for child 3 to wear was very similar to the scramble for the ice-scraper when the first blast of winter kicks in. We will always be unready and we are ready for that.

So Ken is off to Baku and will perform his normal heroics for Eurovision. Caught some of the 'semi-final' last night on BBC3 - it's like an early warning system. Ken was watching and will now know that, even though it'll be midnight when they start (!) the temperature in the new arena will be hotter than the sun and even though Scott Mills was only wearing a vest, he was a virtual river for most of the show. Ken's dinner jacket will need many perforations I feel.

So today we talk The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy with two of the original radio cast Simon Jones, who played Arthur Dent and Geoff McGivern who played Ford Prefect. They are part of a new stage show called 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show, Live!' And that's a lot of punctuation. I think I missed the first broadcasts of the radio show in 1978 but I remember listening to it in 1980 at University and marvelling at it's originality (not that I spoke like that then). I've loved the series and the work of Douglas Adams ever since and look forward to some Hitchhiker chat from 6. Wear your towel with pride and choose a HITCHHIKING oldie while you're at it.
Have a Vogon poetry free Wednesday, see you after 5.

It's hayfever. Really.

Simon Mayo | 09:25 UK time, Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Morning and greetings, quiet on the blog yesterday, everyone with stuff to do, people to see. Let's crank things up with a buzzy, active hectic blog of wonder. Final school run for child 2 today as A levels beckon. 14 years is a lot of dropping-off but I wouldn't have missed it for anything. The school run gets a bad press, particularly in the cities but it can be a time when you learn stuff and have conversations that would never happen anywhere else . In the radio fights (which I had with my dad too) she gets too inflict her taste in breakfast radio and I get to lecture her on what they're doing wrong. Hours of fun for everyone. Child 3 will need a lift for a year more and then I will be a retired school runner. The words of "Sunrise Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof arrive all too often these days.
So.
Today we welcome Gryff Rhys-Jones to Drivetime, he's back on BBC1 next week in 'Britain's Lost Routes', a 4 part series uncovering lost routes across the UK. These, he says, are the forgotten pathways that shaped Britain. Britain used to be a difficult country to cross. So there's the Welsh pilgrim's route, an Essex hay transporter's route around the Essex coast, a Tudor Royal procession and a Scottish cattle driving route, and all in the company of the witty and urbane Mr Rhys-Jones.
We don't do 'lost' anymore, not when there is sat-nav and GPS to help but let's try LOST oldies please to shape the tunes from 5 (and sorry for the few flower tunes yesterday; needed to get some Ultravox and Robin Gibb tunes in).
Have a generous and uplifting Tuesday. See at 5.

Farewell Robin

Simon Mayo | 09:46 UK time, Monday, 21 May 2012

And a good Monday to you all. Hope the weekend was fabulous, particularly the south western bloggers who have been catching the flame as it comes to a street near you. Family affairs dominated here (and not talking about football thank you very much).
And very sad news overnight about Robin Gibb. It wasn't a surprise given how ill he has been but it is always a shock to hear the obituaries when they roll. The Bee Gees songs have been with us for so long and over so many musical styles that I wonder if their place in pop history is fully appreciated. An astonishing back catalogue. Paul Gambaccini said "Everyone should be aware that the Bee Gees are second only to Lennon and McCartney as the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music.
"What must also be said is Robin had one of the best white soul voices ever. He was singing lead on his first number one when he was 17, that was Massachusetts.Their accomplishments have been monumental. Not only have they written their own number one hits, but they wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Celine Dion, Destiny's Child, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, the list goes on and on."
I met him a few times and enjoyed telling him how I loved "Saved By The Bell' enough to buy the single when I was a kid and we talked about the extremely bizarre b-side 'Mother and Jack'. His 1983 song Juliet which Ken played last week was always a terrific piece of 80s pop (with a terrible video) and Robin was as baffled as anyone that it wasn't a huge hit.
Today we welcome Midge Ure to the show- Ultravox are back! The album and single are both called "Brilliant" and full of moody synth and Midge-ness. Top bloke too so welcome back Midge.
And tunes today for the Queen visiting the Ch***ea FLOWER SHOW please. You know what you have to do.
Have a fragrant and spirited Monday. See you after 5

All welcome

Simon Mayo | 10:06 UK time, Friday, 18 May 2012

Friday! A good word. A positive, optimistic word. And a two hour all-requester at the end of the day. Shall we go for a BIG SIXTIES OPENER? I think we shall. Sixties only please, so get your jaunty Brian Matthew hats on and see what you come up with.
And welcome to all new bloggers. I am imagining that from our new 200,000 listeners (apparently) there may well be some new bloggers too. I see new names popping up and it is good to see you there; pop in regularly for some good conversation, show discussion and the awarding of ceremonial hats. A unique service I believe and offered nowhere else.
Yesterday's media tartery has gone (for the record Sky and Eamonn lovely, most of the Loose Women lovely also. And I got to say 'non-seqitur' on TV. Whats more, I think I used it correctly). Today it is just radio all the way. Some 5 first. Todays movie guest is the director and writer of The Raid a new head-crunching action/martial arts film. It's filmed in Indonesia, it is about Indonesian crooks and cops, so obviously it is directed by a Welshman. He is Gareth Evans and he will explain more today...
Then it is ARF time and that's where you come in...
Have a confident and procrastination-free Friday. See you after 2&5

One we made earlier.

Simon Mayo | 08:06 UK time, Thursday, 17 May 2012

Today's blog written in a car heading, I think to Sky News and then to Loose Women for some general quiz show-based chat. I suppose it could be about the euro zone but I didn't check. Will try to get gratuitous references to Radio 2 and Drivetime in where possible. Onwards and upwards. Meantime the publishers are wanting to know where the second book is and I'm saying 'the summer'. And that seems to be ok for the moment, depending on how you define 'the summer'. All is well.
Today we have Nigel doing a Rum Baba, a desert I have never tasted nor been tempted to taste. All that pastry, cream and, I assume, rum seems way over the top but we'll see how Nige turns it into a mouthwatering slice of loveliness.
And oldies please for BLUE PETER. The record-breaking children's show is being moved away from BBC1 for the first time and moved to CBBC. Children are multi-channel types and won't notice but older viewers might grumble. It does feel like the end of an era so let's do some Blue Peter tunes to mark the moment.
Have a fragrant and glowing Thursday. See you after 5.

Budge up

Simon Mayo | 09:13 UK time, Wednesday, 16 May 2012

That'll be the sun then. Sun glasses are here somewhere...
Morning to bloggers old and new. Another day with your Drivetime friends and a fine show on the way (though you'll be the judge of that). Last night was my first 'sit the family down and watch dad on tv' moment for many years. The consensus: good make-up and nice suit. This is an important step to pass as you all will realise. Also I was very pleased to receive a note from Ros Holness, Bob's daughter saying her father would have wished us well for the series, so she was doing it for him. Class.
Today we have live music for you with songs from Emeli Sande, one of the big new talents around in the UK. She's written for Alexandra Burke, Cher and Alicia Keys and her debut album 'Our Version of Events' has been top 5 since February. She has a fine voice as you'll hear tonight from 6.
And oldies today on being CRAMPED. New houses are too small. There is no room to swing a cat, store a vacuum cleaner or keep food. This is according to RIBA and they should know as the architects design these things. Or maybe they don't. So being SQUEEZED, PENT-UP and HEMMED-IN will do us for today. Over to you, pop-pickers.
Have a sun-kissed and balmy Wednesday. See you after 5

Sounds Good To Me

Simon Mayo | 09:08 UK time, Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Need to check how the new cricket season is progressing; it's the first test match of the season very soon but boy that sounds optimistic. Chris has been talking about how much snow is falling, here we are just finishing off our ark. The Jubilee anoraks and Union Jack thermals will be this year's must have items.
Off to the Sony's yesterday for an evening of toasting the success of radio grandees like Nicholas Parsons, Jools Holland, Chris Evans, Danny Baker and the 5 Live team of Peter Allen and Aasmah Mir (though can't remember when they're on). An absence of success this time for your Drivetime host and Mark Kermode but we renounce trinkets and baubles when we don't win. And like them when we do. Best part of the evening was sitting next to Ronnie Wood! And good company he was too. He won a silver Sony and seemed genuinely thrilled. I would have thought, with all those millions of record sales and awards, that a radio gong wouldn't count for much. Not so, he was chuffed to bits. Would have loved a gold but the silver was appreciated.
And today we welcome the wonderful Felicity Kendal to DT. Millions fell in love with her in The Good Life with Richard Briers she launched her acting career in India where her parents ran a touring theatre company. She has a new documentary Felicity Kendal's Indian Shakespeare Quest on BBC2 this Wednesday and you can hear her tonight after 6, but let's do FELICITY KENDAL oldies all day. You know you want to.
Have an elegant and well-turned out Tuesday, see you after 5

Them next door

Simon Mayo | 08:54 UK time, Monday, 14 May 2012

How lovely to be with you this bright and lovely Monday. Up since 4 and awake till late tonight but a top show on the way (I have no way of knowing if that's true but hey, let's go for it). I hope the weekend was a fine one. We managed to purchase Olympic tickets for the athletics stadium which was a fine (and expensive) thing. Alerted to the sale by the BBC's James Pearce's twitter feed, we sat, credit card in hand, ready for the 11 o'clock moment. When it started we kept getting boxes saying 'you have 2 minutes to complete this section' and then you type like a maniac, making mistakes, changing credit cards and forgetting passwords. And then, hundreds of pounds poorer, you emerge triumphant. This had better be good!
Just taken a few moments to catch up on Mike Ingham's terrific commentary for the final few moments of Manchester City's match with QPR yesterday. I was at the Spurs match but this was a commentator's greatest challenge: a climactic heart-stopping finale and Mike rose to the challenge magnificently. When the final goal was scored he found just the right tone and words for the moment. And he looks like Lyle Lovett. A top man.
Tonight we should do songs about NEIGHBOURS. City have been called the noisy neighbours by United so this would be the perfect time to celebrate/complain about the folk next door.
Today it is the book club with Mark Haddon's "The Red House". He scored a spectacular 2 million seller with "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time" in 2003 and here he is in strictly adult territory but writing brilliantly about a large number of family gathered in a wet house in Hay on Wye. Read an extract on my pages and you'll see what I mean.
And then to the Sony Radio awards and an evening of pretending not to care very much. But failing.
Have a day filled with minor triumphs and the occasional grin. See you after 5

Back to normal...

Simon Mayo | 10:26 UK time, Friday, 11 May 2012

Greetings from a sunny and washed out estate - looking forward to a lovely, normal routine-based day! Everything is back where you knew it should be. Yesterday was a hoot I think with some splendid moments popping up everywhere. My country hour with Alex and the band from Nashville was terrific I thought.

As you might have noticed anyway, I love hearing musicians talking about their instruments. It is always like they are a member of the family with many tales to tell. Each of the band seemed such personalities, I would have happily kept adding members for another hour (Intro and the Outro by The Bonzos anyone?) but those pesky other shows got in the way. And if I'd known my fingernails were under observation and discussion I'd have had a manicure.

Afterwards Sir Terry, Richard A, Tony B, Sir Bob, Lady Claudia and I were all shooting the breeze - something that never, ever happens. Maybe we should all live in a big DJ house with Nigel to look after us all. I might suggest that for the next 2Day...
Today is movies then tunes. To 5Live first to talk movies - Chris Rock is our guest - who stars in a movie called '2 Days in New York' - with its director Julie Delpy. Then to the mighty 2 for some ARF. And a big and wonderful 90'S OPENER please to start the show in an impressive style. Thanks.

Have a structured, reassuring Friday. See you after2&5.

And A Happy 2Day To You Too

Simon Mayo | 09:45 UK time, Thursday, 10 May 2012

Morning to all, and another 2Day is upon us. This is a great thing of course, if somewhat disconcerting. Radio thrives on the familiar; many, maybe most of us tell the time by what's happening on the wireless. So today is like a radio holiday, or radio jet lag. You're listening as normal but you're not getting Popmaster, Lovesongs or The Big Show. You won't be getting Confessions or sport either! But hopefully you will hear stuff that normally doesn't fall within your hours of listening. And you quite like it. That's the theory. Let us all know what you think anyway.

I'm on from 2-3 this afternoon with Alex Lester and we are assembling a great band of country session musicians in Nashville to jam and play some country classics. Alex fills in for Bob sometimes and he LOVES his country. My theory is that in the UK you come late to country music. It is the quintessential American music and isn't (it seems to me) aimed at young people. Its themes are often weary and worn-down and that happens later in life. But there is also great dance music here and unbelievable virtuosity too. All on display today between 2 and 3.
I hope you enjoy!
Have a mildly surprising and occasionally thrilling Thursday. See you at 2.

Cracking a Smile

Simon Mayo | 08:46 UK time, Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ridiculously early in a hotel room in Manchester. Here to talk Blockbusters on 5 Live and then Breakfast TV. On 10 minutes sleep, the make up artist will need to be hard at work, and very soon. One night in a hotel is always a recipe for disaster, whether they provide you with a chocolate on your pillow or not. And they didn't. But I have got a range of hand creams and eye masks to choose from. There's crisps for £8.95, water for £5 and a selection of tv channels which look unhelpful. Time for breakfast I think.
Back to Radio 2 for another lovely Drivetime and because it's 2Day tomorrow, Nigel cooks today. He's offering an asparagus gratin tonight which has got Sally excited but doesn't get my pulse racing. Except that Nige makes everything wonderfully so an education awaits, especially as the asparagus harvest has been a washout this year.
Enjoyed the windy dinosaur oldies yesterday, thanks for all the suggestions! Today, after the Queens speech is supposed to be family friendly,let's go for FAMILY FRIENDLY oldies.
Have a well thought through and logical Wednesday, see you after 5

Bit blowy

Simon Mayo | 08:38 UK time, Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Greetings bloggers of distinction. I hope the long weekend was everything you wished for. Think I managed to tick all the boxes, indeed ticked some I'd ticked before. Had some sun (yes really) pies, tarts and beer. This was shaping up well when on Sunday night at midnight, I heard my first nightingale. I know now that it was a nightingale but at the time was just transfixed by the loudest, most show-offy birdsong I'd ever heard. If I can work out (code for 'if the production team can work out) how to get it on the radio, I'll play it tonight.
This morning I find myself on a train heading to Stourport for some energising conversation with 650 schoolchildren about books, elements and things that can blow your eyebrows off. And then to R2 for some Drivetime and tonight's guest is one of the great science communicators Professor Jim Al-Khalili. He has a book out on the great science puzzles of the age called Paradox and if anyone can explain it all, it's Jim.
And songs today please on the subject of WINDY DINOSAURS. Yesterdays top news was that dinosaurs had contributed enormously to global warming by their, er, digestive system. I know Sally will love this theme, so do your worst!
Have an neat and well turned-out Tuesday. See you at 5.

Looking lovely

Simon Mayo | 07:55 UK time, Friday, 4 May 2012

A 4.30am start is never welcome really but increasingly the way the pillow crumbles. Don't get me wrong, I love early mornings if you're choosing to get up, but if you can stay in bed till 7 then it's annoying to say the least. And lying in bed is waste of time so I might as well get up and pester the foxes. Or write a blog. A lie-in would be anything beyond 6.30 but I can't remember when that last happened...
Two-show Friday again with movies from 2 on 5 Live with our guest Eddie Marsan who was last on discuss The Disappearance of Alice Creed but is just usually brilliant in everything. He's managed to carve a role for himself in Hollywood as well keeping his credibility with the Mike Leigh's of this world. He's about to be in Snow White and the Huntsman and he'll also be in another fairytale adaptation: Brian Singer's 'Jack the Giant Killer' in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened!
Thence to R2 for an ARF for the long weekend and following on from last week's 70's opener, it would logically seem time for an 80's opener please. Big bold and brassy wins the day (with or without the brass). Let the battle of the hair bands and shoulder pads begin!
Have a neat and ordered Friday, see you after 2&5.

Let it all out

Simon Mayo | 08:08 UK time, Thursday, 3 May 2012

This morning my early morning song of choice is Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. It was recommended by Martin Simpson and it really is a stunning song with guitar work to match. I love the shuffle feature on the mp3 players (that ok for impartiality? What could I mean?) throws up songs you've forgotten about and wouldn't necessarily have put on. But then it throws up a little gem and you're instantly transported back to somewhere and/or someone else and, as Sister Sledge would say, "lost in music". Hooray for modern technology, even when it throws up a Christmas song in May. Now that does sounds strange.
2 Day plans are all systems go. Next week will see us all swap shows with the 2-3 slot heading my way. The plan is for Alex Lester and me to introduce an hour of country from Nashville. Somewhere along the way, the idea of Alex and I actually being in Nashville got dropped and the band being in Nashville stuck. Which is probably the best way round. We'll have a top band of Country musicians talking about their instruments, their town and their music and should be rather fine. More details next week.
Food! It's Nigel time of course and a north-east Indian lamb shank is on the cards. Papadums and pickles too hopefully.
And tunes please on the subject of SCREAMING HOLLERING AND SHOUTING! You might have noticed that Munch's The Scream has been sold at auction for a record price, £119.9million. BBC Online says;
"The 1895 pastel was bought by an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's in New York. Bidding lasted just 12 minutes.The Scream has become one of the famous works of art in popular culture."Together with the Mona Lisa, it's the most famous and recognised image in art history," Michael Frahm, an art adviser with Frahm Ltd, told the Associated Press news agency.He added that it has been "used by everyone from Warhol to Hollywood to cartoons to teacups and T-shirts".
So The Scream it is.
Have well manicured and upholstered Thursday, see you after 5.

Sole Music

Simon Mayo | 08:45 UK time, Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Still here. Morning bloggers. Just checked the weather maps and it's not getting better is it? The irrational part of me thinks well if it's this bad now, it is bound to get better for the summer. Which of course is nonsense. There appears to be little relation between what happens in the spring and what happens in the summer, so we'll have to keep right on with hope. May day prancing and that 'keep calm and carry on' attitude.
Strangely empty house here with child 3 on a school trip for a few days and only child 2 to keep the empty nest thought encroaching. Blimey. I should be making a packed lunch about now or hassling for school bags to be checked or uniform to be at least the right size. But just twitter and blogging to check and fiddle with instead.

It's the Mayday Mosh today and a chance to rock and tremble on the way home and headbang over the washing up.

Oldies today please on the subject of SHOES. There's a big fancy exhibition on in London with dozens of far-out designs with glitter, ruffles and feathers everywhere (a standard day for Ken Bruce I know but he's always been a trend setter). So SHOES, TRAINERS, SNEAKERS, BOOTS, FLIP-FLOPS, SANDALS. STILETTOS and even SOCKS if you fancy.

Have a well-considered and thought-through Wednesday. See you after 5

In the beginning

Simon Mayo | 08:00 UK time, Tuesday, 1 May 2012

And a happy May Day to you. Howling gales and thunder storms woke the estate dwellers in the small hours and rivers of drought are currently cascading down the road outside. A duvet day would deem a good idea but hardly what the country needs at this difficult time. Yesterday as the sun came out in London, you could see everyone leaping in gratitude into spring/summer clothes as they had actually seen some blue sky. Only then to shiver as they remembered it was still April and still a bit rubbish. And looks as though that's the way it might be for a while yet.
Once children have been sent on their way with a spring in their step and some salt and vinegar crisps in their bag, the serious work of Drivetime takes over and some Tony Banks music to listen to (I know this hardly counts as work but it's all I can do). The Genesis man has composed a work called 'Six Pieces of Orchestra' and is his second classical album and his ninth studio album. I read a review in The Independent which called the piece 'A Vivaldian flight of supersonic fantasy', and if we all-as Nigel kennedy says- like a bit of Viv, Tony could be onto a winner.
And MAYDAY oldies please. So this could br maypoles, fertility rites and festivities or the labour day holiday, whichever version of May Day you would rather commemorate.
Have a fertile and festive Tuesday, see you after 5.

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