Well what a lovely birthday treat it was being the RR TempGuru! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s all I can do to resist immediately bugging Adam for a chance to do it again.
So how did I work my shift?
First of all, I wanted to be really hands-on. I honestly did cross Friday and Monday out of my work diary so that I could spend as much time online as possible. I hope that was noticeable, particularly as I was busy domestically on the two weekend days. Then, I got lucky. I’d suggested RRSA Scotland for the week before, so that the results column would go online just in time for St. Andrew’s Day. But when it didn’t appear, I suspected I’d get it for my birthday prezzie from the Graun. That was a little problematic, as I was absolutely determined The Silencers were going to get A-listed, either for this or this.
I could have cheated, of course, and let someone realise there was an A-listing for the taking. But I’m quite proud of myself for resisting that. Talking of which, would my good friend Gordon please stand up so we can applaud him? DsMam accidentally told him – against his explicit wishes – what the topic was going to be when he called at ours earlier on the Thursday to scrounge a coffee and exchange Christmas cards. But did he prep his Proclaimers asafaerae noms in a comment box, to simply cut’n'paste it in ready-typed so he could get in first? No, he did not. He waited until he could see the topic live, then typed and posted … just AFTER bish beat him to it. Respec’, wee man!
Anyhoo, up it came, and away you all went. On Friday, I tried to keep up to the links being posted directly into RR. (I also tried to do the Excel spreadsheet bit, but soon got VERY bored of that and abandoned it. So far, no-one is accusing me of having missed anything, so I feel justified in cutting that particular task OUT of my machinations.) On Saturday I knew I’d be away from everything but my iPhone, which is not the medium for keeping up to anything more than comments when you’re out and about. So I came to the Spotty playlist on Saturday evening, which I became so engrossed in I even missed LFC on MotD! The last thing I did on Saturday was copy everything in the ‘Box onto a memory card, which I put in the car stereo for our family day out on Sunday. I have to say we were all heartily sick of the trad. folk nominations by the end of several hours in the car, but some gems did emerge – see the B-list comments below.
On Monday, I got down to some shuffling songs around a playlist template … literally pushing slips of paper up and down a sheet of A4 coloured card. By this time I knew I had at least seven glued-in tunes (it turned out to be ten), and one by one, the songs that were discarded were [again, literally] thrown in the bin next to my desk. I mentioned on-blog that I had four possible scenarios for the write-up. Two of those were stillborn really, but for anyone that’s interested, the other one was a credulity-stretching football analogy involving one rich Premier League club (probably Chelsea) and the entire SPL.
I soon decided the chosen songs suited the scenario you saw me lay out. I got my list of 12 songs, and proceeded to write the column around them. I finished the first draft when I’d told Adam I would, but something made me hold back from emailing it to him. I’m glad of that, because I eventually twigged I was forcing too many changes of written tack to suit just one song-to-song musical segue. Once I’d re-jigged one of the two songs much further up the order, relegated the other song from A- to B-list, and rescued one slip of paper out of the bin, a re-write fell very easily into place, and there we were: done.
I didn’t suffer much red-pencilling from the Graun’s sub-eds at all. They changed two sentences: one they were right to do (mine was clumsy), one they weren’t IMNSHO. [Chris?! Tinny!? DOWN BOYS, it's over, OK?] The link back to ScienceNotFashion’s comment was my suggestion; the sub-eds added one and subtracted one other links off their own bat.
So there was my A-list.
I actually like The Fall song * adopts mock horror look *, I really don’t like Mull Of Kintyre any more now than I did way back then (though I hope you notice I didn’t hypocritically big it up myself in the column). I’m overjoyed I got to A-list George Square Thatcher Death Party. I love the newtome Idlewild and Martyn Bennett. I’m delighted some of you think it’s a varied list – I feared it was a bit one-taste bland: cf the soft rock arrangements of Freedom All Come Ye and Canan Nan Gaidheal. ScienceNotFashion notwithstanding, I don’t appear to be getting slagged off much, so all in all, I think I’ll give myself a Rafa-Benitez-referencing seven out of ten for that performance.
And so to the B-list. I haven’t bothered with a playlist running order for the list Marco posted for me. But here’s my brief comments about them.
Overseer – Heligoland
OH THIS IS MY SONG OF THE WEEK!! I BLOODY LOVE THIS, STARDUST. ALREADY ON MY WALKMAN. PLEASE FOLKS, IF YOU DIDN’T CATCH IT ON THE BLOG, LISTEN NOW TO THE YOUTUBE LINK AT TOP OF PAGE. A WHOLE RELATIONSHIP OF EMOTIONS IS VERY CLEVERLY WEAVED INTO THE DEADPAN DELIVERY OF A RADIO 4 SHIPPING FORECAST, OVER A BACKING TRACK LEMON JELLY WOULD KILL FOR. JUST ACE. COMPLETELY OFF-TOPIC, BUT ACE.
King Missile – Scotland
“Bizarre” was all I wrote on my notepad, and that was good enough.
Kama Aina – Glasgow Sky
Lovely, really lovely, but I just didn’t get “essence of Glasgow” out of the sound.
Peter Maxwell Davis – A Farewell To Stromness
The Dakota Suite and Goldmund fan in me loved this. Very relaxing.
Hamish Imlach – A History Of Football
Would have been in the First XI if I’d gone with my football analogy column.
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
An instant DsD fave in 1984, despite being released right at the height of my metalhead days.
Judas Priest – Loch Ness
So far over the top, it’s almost camp. A grin-inducer for me, but amongst other things, its length counted against it.
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – John Taylor’s Month Away
Barney’s “Trying to play the ball and not the guru, honest…” comment made me laugh out loud.
El Pali – Pepe, El Escocés
Darcey’s favourite of the week. She kept asking me to replay it in the car, and shouting “¡Olé!” whenever it finished.
The Proclaimers – Sunshine On Leith
DsMam’s favourite of the week. Twice in the car, it finished, and she said “That was good; I liked that. Who is it?”
Richard Thompson – Mingulay Boat Song
Sorry, TFD, but I have to break it to you that this was the last-minute A-list dropout, replaced by The Waterboys.
Frightened Rabbit – Floating In The Forth
Very simply, I picked it for Blimpy, because we don’t hear from him anything like enough.
Finally, a word about my journey home from work on Thursday, whilst the Results thread was being commented on. I was driving home from Preston to Queensbury, via Burnley. At 2pm I got a text message from Julie telling me to get my arse into gear: heavy snow was on its way. I got from the training in Preston to my meeting in Burnley without so much as a snowflake, just plenty of rain. Dallied longer than I should (posted my comment to stardust from there), so it was after 6pm and belting it down with snow by the time I set off over the moors from Laneshawbridge, through Scartop, Stanbury and Oxenhope. Crawled and slithered up hill and down dale, giving the car’s ABS & ASR systems rigorous workouts, until a combination of steep upslope, narrow cutting, drifting snow and lack of 4WD put me in the car park of a pub I’ve passed hundreds of times, but never called in. Well it won’t be long before I’m back there. Coffee was good; food was very good; beer was … sadly untried! Big thanks to the staff at the Dog & Gun, for being welcoming, informative, helpful, considerate and generous. They kept me up to date with the weather and traffic reports (via locals, friends & family; NOT the radio or internet), and gave me alternate directions that got me out of there on a relatively flat road when the snow had briefly turned to slush.
Cheers, people. Now I must get to bed; I’ve got to do another snowy, hilly commute in 5 hours time . . . .