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September 2007

The Ladies' Bras

You see that song over there? The one with the briefly-unsafe-for-work fan-made video attached? The one that's about 37 seconds long? The one that will never, ever leave your head after you've heard it once?

Well, there's a fair to middling chance that it might be number one in the UK singles chart in a fortnight, and I thought you might appreciate some sort of explanation as to why that could happen.

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REPOST: Edinburgh Festival 2006: How Does The Monkey Know?

Originally posted here on 29/08/2006, but reposted to put it in chronological order after the 1998-2005 Festival reports. Coverage of the 2007 Edinburgh Festival will follow shortly. Stay tuned.

From my original introduction: "Regular readers will have noticed that I haven't been doing my Edinburgh Festival coverage this year. Very regular readers won't be surprised by that, as they'll know that I take time off from attending the Festival once every three years to do other things (more about that soon). Spank's Pal Nick, however, feels no need to take such a break, so this summer he was up there with Charmian, Eve and Diane. Here's his report."

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That'll Be The Day/Stardust

David Essex and Adam Faith in Stardust. Not pictured: a couple of birds with big tits that they're looking at.Even at the age of ten - when I was spending Tuesday lunchtimes with one ear clamped to a transistor radio, scribbling down the newly-announced singles chart so I could be first with the news back at school - even then, I could tell there was something odd about David Essex. He was, obviously, mere teenage girl fodder: you could tell from all the coverage he was getting in Popswop. But his records didn't sound like anyone else's. Take another listen to Rock On, a song with so much space in it that the TV show this clip came from had to blank out the screen to represent some of it. Part of this was down to Jeff Wayne's uniquely minimalist production, of course, but it was still obvious that Essex himself was willing to take bigger risks than most of his contemporaries.

One of those risks was appearing in two grown-up films at the height of his career - That'll Be The Day in 1973, and its sequel Stardust in 1974. Their original AA certificates would have stopped a lot of his younger fans seeing them: they certainly stopped me, as I only got to see them on telly years later, and finally at the cinema in a recent BFI Southbank revival. (The rest of you can buy the DVD from the link at the bottom of the page, of course.)

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Simian Substitute Site for August 2007: Burning Safari

Burning Safari It's August, and if you add one to the year and divide it by three the result isn't a whole number, which can only mean one thing: a bunch of us will soon be heading off to the Edinburgh Festival. Regular visitors will have noticed that our previous reports from 1998 onwards have been reposted one by one on the site, so obviously you can expect 2004 and 2005 to join those reposts in the next week or two. (Followed by a quick rejig of last year's post from Nick to get them all into chronological order in the category.)

And then once all that's out of the way (along with one or two other bits of new stuff tbc), we'll be all set for a week's worth of the usual daily shenanegans. As ever, the plan is for the Pals and I to spend our days and nights seeking out the new and unusual, and then spend our mornings after trying to write it all up through an alcoholic haze. It all starts soon: you've been warned.

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