Saturday 19th November 2005

Got up early this morning (well I have been slipping into a lazy state over the past few weekends) and headed into town. With all the redevelopment taking place (for the uniquely named ‘Eden’ Project) this is not as simple as it once would have been. My usual car park has now become a major work site and it was only today that it became seriously apparent to me. I parked my car to the east of the town centre and walked in. This journey should have taken me five minutes, but with all the work going on, it took over fifteen, having to walk around, as to avoid all the roads that have been closed off areas. Funnily enough I thought to myself that in less than three years, I will be staring at a well known department store. By 2008, I will have hoped that my life itself, like my hometown, has changed beyond recognition.

By the time I got back from town, the rest of the family were awake, so I retired to my room, to watch some Saturday morning television before going back to the living room to watch the match. Captain Scarlet was on, but to be honest, I have never really got into the new CGI animated series, although the use of hand to hand combat (at times quite graphic!) has been refreshing. I switched over to BBC1 to find TOTP Reloaded (weren’t you called TOTP Saturday in a previous life?) but for a change, the majority are positive about the re-branding. I have only seen the show briefly over the past few years. So bear with me here. One of the final segments on the show is a quick fire questioning of one of the guests. This week it was Rhianna. During which, Sam (failed Pop Idol come presenter) sang the chorus to the song by a long forgotten boy band. It struck an instant chord with me and I had to get hold of it. To be honest, I do not remember the short lived band that well. Then again, many bands came and went (much like companies during the dot com boom and bust) in 2000. Some hunting around the internet, has providing only one useful posting, linking images of the band members and what some are up to now. While I would never condone the use of the artist name in the title of a track, ‘Love On The Northern Line’ may be very cheesy, it is somewhat catchy and fun. I am sure the stats over on Last FM tell a similar story. The chances of finding your own true love from Morden to Edgware (or High Barnet) are extremely low, even if no scientific studies have been carried out.

Continuing with the theme of music, I wanted to elaborate on a topic that may have been uncovered in the debate so far. For as long as I can remember, I have rarely liked debut singles by bands. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between. Today, I can bring you two fine examples. We’ve mentioned the young starlet from Barbados already. Rihanna’s first single was the catchy ‘Pon De Replay’ but it did little for me. It didn’t have the melody and lyrical substance. Then I hear her second single, a smooth groove number, called, “If It’s Loving That You Want” with a catchy chorus. Her performance on TOTP this morning was very good, although perhaps does not give the same flavours as the video. Another example is the recent number one by the Pussycat Dolls, which I actually quite quickly grew to hate. Even now, I do not understand the concept of the band, if they are fronted by one person, what is the purpose of the mediocre backing singers? Leaving that to once side, their second single, ‘Stick With You’, a soft gentle ballad to be released on the same day as the Rhianna single (28th November). I have to admit I’m fall for these romantic numbers quite easily but there is a time and place for this genre of music, particularly in my life. Others may feel this is just a big marketing experiment, cooked up by a big label executive. Image is nothing. Music is everything. The songs stay forever, it is the artist and moment that are gone for good.

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