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  1. dr desperate on PrestonGo »

    Checking my diary, I find I am back home this Wednesday in Preston, 2 miles from Deepdale. I may stroll down and see if I can get in to watch them hammer the Reds 5 – 0.

    24 October 2021

  2. EXXO on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    Your ex could perhaps be caught out while watching a race featuring this year’s sensation in Japanese racing, Sodashi. With only one eye on the telly she might say ‘it’s a grey.’

    Sodashi is enough of a rarity in being a pure white thoroughbred racehorse. Even more of a rarity in being one that wins most of her races. Those who like that sort of thing hope she will go to Dubai/Oz/USA in the coming months to be tested against the world’s best milers. I never saw the point of flying horses around the world personally least of all in this day and age. That was a laugh at the Olympics when they got random Japanese horses in the showjumping and ended up in tears.
    Anyway watching Sodashi she doesn’t quite look “world class.”

    24 October 2021

  3. dr desperate on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    Fair enough. In my post, for “horsey people” read “my ex-wife”.

    24 October 2021

  4. EXXO on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    @Dr. D. It could be argued that it’s the opposite – something designed to help the non-horsey people – an early bit of consumer protection if you like, although inevitably it would be consumer protection for the extremely powerful and wealthy.

    For much of recent human history, the horse was one your most important possessions and status symbols. For various reasons pure white horses – those born white, with skin a similar colour to most of those who valued them most highly – became prized and even revered. There is much evidence to associate them with religion, royalty and aristocratic women. They were possibly a symbol of “purity.”

    From a distance, a dark-skinned horse which has become white might be confused with such a horse, and therefore the term ‘grey’ had to be used, and refers to the skin colour not the hair colour. Looking at the skin of the nose and around the eyes is the way to distinguish them. A true white horse looks like it could get a sunburnt nose – and it can.

    24 October 2021

  5. Pirx The Purist on StranraerGo »

    Lost at home in the Scottish FA Cup today to Darvel, a club two levels below them. Darvel’s winner was scored by a former Stranraer player Jordan Allan.

    23 October 2021

  6. EXXO on Dukla PragueGo »

    Another home defeat this morning and 16 points from the first 6 games has turned into 20 points from the first 12 🙁

    23 October 2021

  7. FerencváROS FAN on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    Have resisted the temptation to launch into a lengthy spiel about what for me at any rate is the fascinating subject of the different methods employed by horseracing punters in placing a bet, but your grandad is not alone, Keith, in taking the colour of the nag into account. I once overheard the priceless comment ‘I never trust a chestnut filly with white fetlocks’ at Warwick. Another time I spoke to a fellow racegoer at Galway who was bemoaning the fact that the promised rain hadn’t arrived. He explained that he had backed a grey ante post, adding ‘greys love the rain of course.’ The grey Neptune Collonges won the 2012 Grand National in decent weather. I’m still bitter, as I was on Sunnyhillboy, who he caught on the line to beat by a nose, the shortest winning margin ever in the GN…

    22 October 2021

  8. transit full of keith on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    *know* nothing about horses

    22 October 2021

  9. transit full of keith on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    Every day an education on here!
    I’m not a betting man and nothing about horses, but my granddad (who used to put about 20p on an accumulator every Saturday) would never ever bet on a grey – said they couldn’t be trusted. Just wondering if that is a normal thing, or an eccentricity of his.

    22 October 2021

  10. professor Abelazar woozle on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    Speaking as a nag owner and breeder, equine coat colour is not straightforward. In the case of greys, their coat colour changes over time. They’re born black – the newborn foal shown in the Lloyds bank advert will actually grow up to be a grey, much to the amusement of me and the wife. Over time, the white hairs start to appear and the coat colour shifts but the speed and density of this varies – some go almost white pretty quick while others stay in a “rocking-horse dapple” state for most of their lives. Calling them greys is I think a compromise given then great variability, then there’s the true whites – without dragging out the learned tome on equine coat genetics I couldn’t tell you what the difference is. Let’s not get into blue roans either…

    21 October 2021

  11. Borough sURveyor on The high-pitched lamentations of an unbalanced Lincoln womanGo »

    I do believe Get Kramer was the song that hooked me into the HMHB habit. Appeared on the PeelSesh recording of Goodnight Irene pointed out on a Bristol Rovers fan forum where a few of us took pleasure in all things Ledbelly. Although Mars Ultras (drill) was the intravenous that finally dragged me in. Happy innocent days, and the Gas are still shit.

    21 October 2021

  12. Beltane Beard on The high-pitched lamentations of an unbalanced Lincoln womanGo »

    Haven’t commented for many years now, but have just discovered “And Some Fell On Stony Ground” and realised what I was missing.

    This is such a great song, tapping into that rich vein of clueless indie band snobbery. The whirling guitar line here is very reminiscent of Dogbowl, which fits perfectly with it being (Mark) Kramer in the title.

    There’s some absolute lyrical gems in here; the Lincoln woman, Crowley playing the fruit machines and the burly farmhand chasing off private land some ropey shoegazers who have mixed up their Kramers. That last one makes me smile every time.

    21 October 2021

  13. FerencvÁros fan on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    As a horsey person I never quite got why very much whiter shade of pale horses are referred to as greys. If it were a blanket thing I would understand, but then you had the now-retired Russe Blanc who was officially white. Shrugs. Needs someone more horsey than me to work this one out.

    21 October 2021

  14. FErencvároS fan on Llewelyn-Bowen, two Carols…Go »

    Agree that brickbats and bouquets came out of America. I read that in 1918 J.Edgar Hoover (thank the Lord I did not live in the States when he was pulling the strings) was criticised by the Washington Post because the drive that he was working on to register all German women in the States was going slowly. Not one to ever forget a grudge, he later claimed that the paper distorted and slanted the news, saying ‘when they throw brickbats at the FBI I am happy – brickbats from some people are like bouquets.’

    21 October 2021

  15. dr desperate on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    “Grey” (or “gray”) horses are indeed white. One of the irritating things that horsey people do to catch out the non-horsey.

    21 October 2021

  16. FEATURELESS STEVE on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    I suppose Birkenhead Town Hall is the one referenced in “It Makes The Room Look Bigger”.
    It’s got a balcony.

    21 October 2021

  17. FEATURELESS STEVE on A dot com sitcom about a hip hop chip shopGo »

    I haven’t seen it mentioned yet, but re: “milk-white steed”, the first paragraph of Hardy’s Tess includes the following line:

    Presently he was met by an elderly parson astride on a gray mare, who, as he rode, hummed a wandering tune.

    (I know milk-white isn’t grey. Or gray.)

    21 October 2021

  18. PAUL F on Richard and JudyGo »

    There is much amusement to be had online looking at Madeley’s many bizarre utterances (as well as the “Partridge or Madeley?” quizzes). Showed heroic composure/lack of comprehension when taking in his stride a genocidal ancestor on Who Do You Think You Are?

    21 October 2021

  19. transit full of keith on Llewelyn-Bowen, two Carols…Go »

    Turns out a “brickbat” is literally just a lump of brick thrown at someone – for some reason, I had pictured it as an actual bat with a brick fastened to it. I think this is because I watched The Young Ones at a formative age:

    21 October 2021

  20. dr desperate on Llewelyn-Bowen, two Carols…Go »

    Today marks the centenary of the first appearance of the expression ‘bouquets and brickbats’ in print, in The New York Times:
    “As to the police department; over a million voters want not bouquets and brickbats, but facts. Before voting the public has a right to know whether police statistics are honest or dishonest.”

    21 October 2021

  21. PETER MCORNITOLOGIST on Richard and JudyGo »

    I suffered 45 seconds of the gobshite this morning . Informed us that God is very important to the Queen .

    21 October 2021


    Being an American puts me at a huge disadvantage in these quizzes, but being a fan of the “The Sopranos” means I know the answer to question 10! Yay, mobsters!

    Very curious to hear the answers/explanations to questions 7 and 8.

    21 October 2021

  23. BRUmbiscuit on Llewelyn-Bowen, two Carols…Go »

    Just watching Enslaved on BBC4 with Samuel L Jackson and Wade in the Water is featured prominently as a song that, in the context of slaves fleeing to find freedom, specifically called upon them to head for water to escape the inevitable, pursuing hounds that would be hunting them down and thereby lose the trail.

    20 October 2021

  24. EXXO on The HMHB Friday QuizGo »

    Bing-bong again. Will passengers travelling in the rear half of #16 please note that “venue” will be the word replacement service for “event.” The latter word has been cancelled. London Underground apologises for the inconvenience, which is due to inconvenience in the specified area.

    20 October 2021

  25. EXXO on The HMHB Friday QuizGo »

    Bing-bong. Will passengers at #14 please please read “metropolitan rail” instead of “underground.” Exxo Quizzes apologise for this error which is due to a mechanical failure in the reading area.

    20 October 2021

  26. EXXO on The HMHB Friday QuizGo »

    Great Railways Journeys of HMHB Quiz

    I hear the train a-comin’; it’s rollin’ ’round the bend,
    And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when,
    I’m stuck in and it’s rainin’ and time keeps draggin’ on,
    But I’m busy Thursday/Friday so I’d better post this one
    On Wednesday. Please don’t paste any answers before next Monday p.m.
    Feel free to google, especially for 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 and 20.

    1. What is the earliest time of train arrival specified in an HMHB lyric?
    2. Which is the latest time of train departure specified in an HMHB lyric?
    3. What’s the most regular rolling stock destruction in HMHB lyrics?
    4. What’s the longest anyone spends on the railway in HMHB lyrics?
    5. What is the busiest and most dangerous train route mentioned by HMHB?
    6. Which railway personage mentioned by HMHB is widely believed to have given his name to about three quarters of a million people and to the way they speak?
    7. Which railway journey mentioned by HMHB must have happened before 1967?
    8. Which railway journey mentioned by HMHB could not have occurred after 1968, even if we didn’t already know that it could not have occurred after 1967?
    9. Which railway journey mentioned by HMHB must have occurred after 2007?
    10. Rod Stewart is one of the best known celebrity builders of impressively realistic model railways, but he’s not HMHB-referenced. Which music & TV star famed in a HMHB reference has built an even more spectacular 30-metre long model railway?
    11. In HMHB’s most foible-themed song, a railway-themed foible is mentioned. But do academic studies and railway company data indicate that the foible mentioned is (a) the most common foible of this type on the railways, or (b) not the most common? And if the answer is (b), which other quite similar foible is in fact more common?
    12. National shite – which is the nearby HMHB-referenced city to the line which claims the longest-running bus replacement service in the UK (at 18 years and counting)?
    13. International shite – which country calls its rail replacement buses “bustitutes?”
    14. More international shite- which major city actually began its underground system with replacement buses from day one?
    15. In an HMHB song, what is rather illogical about the protagonist’s behaviour on platform three?
    16. Think of a HMHB-referenced tube station. Name at least 6 other HMHB-referenced places which can be accessed from there directly, without changing. The place-name mentioned by HMHB must be the first word(s) of the name of the Underground Station. Name two other HMHB-referenced venues (one of which closed down a couple of years back) which could be reached directly from the same point. For these last two, this must be the closest underground station to the event, and only the event is mentioned by HMHB, not the station.
    17. Name the song referenced in a HMHB track which is about an old railway named after a transport hub on a major river?

    Finally, trams and cable cars …
    18. Which HMHB- referenced tourist destination offers a choice between a tram line that’s about 120 years old or cable car over 50 years old?
    19. Which HMHB-referenced holiday town offers a cable car just 37 years old, close to the railway station?
    20. Which HMHB referenced resort has a cablecar going up to about 7,000 feet?

    20 October 2021

  27. Port Said Red on Dick QuaxGo »

    Korpse’s comment (1) regarding Lasse Viren is inaccurate and unfair. Lasse Viren was never banned for doping. He was accused of “blood doping” which at the time wasn’t illegal and very common among stamina related sports, and was only subsequently banned for health reasons.
    It’s not like he was on the ‘roids as I think the original comment makes it sound.

    19 October 2021

  28. EXXO on Garth CrooksGo »

    Yes – Pullis in!
    (see comment 3)

    18 October 2021

  29. EXXO on Spending their life in William Hill’sGo »

    I’m actually dreading going to sleep tonight because the last couple of nights Brendan Rodgers has started playing cameo roles in my dreams. Last night I was introduced to him at some point during a festive trek, and offered to buy him a pint but was humiliated to discover that I had left my wallet up a mountain. So I offered him one of the four pack in my bag and then I realised I’d left those cans at a party somewhere else up a mountain. And that was just the sub-plot. Meanwhile Mrs Exford was probably going to prison but every time someone tried to whisper why, I realised I was rapidly getting deafer.

    Rodgers out!

    18 October 2021

  30. Lord leominster on NeilGo »

    NIGEL Planer played NEIL the hippy in The Young Ones, 1982. Coincidence? Probably.

    18 October 2021

  31. Lord leominster on NigelGo »

    NIGEL Planer played NEIL the hippy in The Young Ones, 1982. Coincidence? I think not.

    18 October 2021

  32. EXXO on NigelGo »

    Dunno what happened with that unfinished sentence there after “Nigel,” I just avoided the rest of the sentence as I will avoid that particular fishing vessel.

    18 October 2021

  33. EXXO on NigelGo »

    The ONS doesn’t tell us when there are 0, 1 or 2 in any given year, just less than 3. But we do have an article from 2017 telling us that the reports of 0 were false that year.

    1963 5529
    1970 2469
    1980 413
    1990 125
    2000 25
    2010 18
    2015 9
    2016 Officially less than 3 – reported in some papers as 0
    2017 1 or 2 – falsely reported in some papers as 0
    2018 Officially less than 3 – reported in some papers as 0
    2019 9 [NINE]
    2020 Officially less than 3 – reported as 0

    When you look at the shape of that curve you can’t really pin anything on Farage, but the chances are he was partly responsible somehow for the 2019 mini-surge.

    I was looking yesterday, as one does, for prices of fishing boat trips out of Littlehampton, and noticed that one boat’s website had Farage pictured proudly holding his catches on trips with them, just captioned as “Nigel,” no

    I did once explain to a friend why I expectorate needlessly when I pass the Scott memorial in Edinburgh (might not do this again though what with Covid, etc). For it is ultimately his fault. But then again, without him I could have been another one of those 1963 accountancy names (I won’t specify the others in case any of you are named Jer*my, R*ger, etc).

    18 October 2021

  34. Chris The Siteowner on NigelGo »

    That was after a brief resurgence, with a whole 9 Nigels last year.

    18 October 2021

  35. transit full of keith on NigelGo »

    Not enough Keiths to fill a Transit, either.

    18 October 2021

  36. GOK WAN ACOLYTE on NigelGo »

    Nigel appears to be on its way out as a name

    (personally I blame F*r*ge for its decline)

    18 October 2021

  37. John Anderson on Your (latest) PBRs…Go »

    It seems quite a lot of people really do have plans for their sons to spend their lives in William Hill’s waiting for them to weigh in at Newton Abbot.

    18 October 2021

  38. brumbiscuit on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Not with you on all your points, EXXO. I use such shared facilities on a regular basis as both a cyclist and a walker. There are twatty cyclists who expect their way to clear; just as there are entitled, twatty walkers who are reluctant to walk in single file when another walker heads their way, let alone a cyclist. There’s the question of logistics on towpaths; it’s far easier for a walker to move aside – and therefore have the safe side of the towpath to their advantage – than a cyclist whose bars would probably stick out anyway. It’s a question of mutual respect, of course. My pet hate in both modes of transport is dog walkers with extendable leads who fail to see the necessity of reeling in their mutt as anyone else approaches and who fail to comprehend that not everyone finds their creature to be the best thing since sliced bread. No thank you, I don’t want your dog sniffing or drooling over me, piss off! Rant over.

    Now, in the spirit of pedantry, shouldn’t it be ‘reining’?

    17 October 2021

  39. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    My parents, in their mid-eighties, were talking just now about the ever-increasing annoyance and danger of cyclists on The Wirral Way. This was one of the earliest of the Beeching Axe railways to become footpaths and cycleways, and increasingly of course many cyclists think these are mainly theirs, along with towpaths, because they are promoted as such by the likes of Sustrans. If they ring the bell they think you will just step to one side, and many pedestrians do, Personally I hate it when walkers totally stop, reigning in the dog, sometimes reigning in the whole family, just because one cyclist is approaching behind them (when I prefer to assume walking pace behind them until the moment comes to overtake). But there are definitely some cyclists who expect that as their right.

    Yes, ignore the bit above when I said the lyric is not necessarily meant to evoke bike bells. Surely it is at least partly bike bells and the attitude behind the ding-ding, when Mr. B is out for a walk, rather than a ride.

    17 October 2021

  40. Matthew on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    They’re ‘forever underground’

    16 October 2021

  41. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    I certainly wouldn’t argue that the state of the nation doesn’t frame the song. But I wouldn’t kid yourself that that’s what you’re joining in with when you join the singalong of the chorus…

    15 October 2021

  42. transit full of keith on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    What if that couplet frames the whole world of the song, though? Austerity, closure of community facilities, misguided privatised replacements for gentrifiers, fuel for resentment and division. Even their hedge is at it, colonising the public space of the pavement.

    15 October 2021

  43. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    I kind of feel your struggle a bit, Keith, in that you would really like this misanthropic angry rant to be more state-of-the-nation than it really is. The only real state-of-the-nation line is “who needs the library or the pub?” (both either closed down or threatened). A Country Practice was maybe 30% state-of-the-nation 50% angry rant about other crap on telly and in language and 20% random scenes like Duff Leg Bryn. This song is 5% state-of-the-nation, maybe 70% anger about middle class/hipster pretensions, especially when it comes to cycling-related stuff, and 25% sheer misanthropy in reaction to the sicklier aspects of feeling forced to be positive by the likes of It’s a Wonderful Life. The spirit of this song is basically identical to that of the album’s opener.

    There’s not necessarily specific reference to doorbells or bike bells or computer pings for me – though I think it’s a nice possibility and great that the song can evoke that for you. To me it just works best as a misanthropic eff-off to the worst line in It’s a Wonderful Life.

    One day someone somewhere will probably posit that because the album title is chalked on the songwriter’s own back gate, the whole thing might be a self-parody of his own misanthropy. He himself might be the Man of Constant Sorrow, and that was indeed the state of the nation.

    15 October 2021

  44. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    15 October 2021

  45. EXXO on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    Click on ‘overview’ then ‘read more.’ And that, from 15 years ago, all there is about them anywhere on t’webs.

    15 October 2021

  46. EXXO on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    Apologies. Bit got chopped off the end of the first link.

    15 October 2021

  47. transit full of keith on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    The other thing I think about when I hear the line “every time a bell rings, I hate you some more” is the little bell icons on social media apps for notifications and how those apps are implicated in fuelling social division and hate, etc.

    Maybe that is far-fetched but this song definitely has more going on in it than just whinging about the neighbours Does anyone else think its their most “state-of-the-nation” song since ‘A Country Practice’?

    15 October 2021

  48. EXXO on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    Hmm. Turns out they are three Merseyside-based lads who put up a couple of boring tracks online under the name of ‘Pig’ in the mid noughties.
    They didn’t seem to be gigging even then, but say on that page they were writing for other people. Then suddenly they release albums on the download and streaming platforms in 2020 and 2021 as ‘Frequent Electric Trains,’ at least one track clearly inspired by B’head, but with no internet or local presence and zero social media so that even Birko’s self-appointed musical hub at Future Yard obviously have never heard of them. An article written by someone about Future Yard last spring under the title ‘Frequent Electric Trains,’ referring to the sign (but pre-dating the launch of the Future Yard Soundtrack project), does not mention that there is a band of that name,
    … and as we have seen Future Yard are keen to promote any and all local bands, so it does just seem that this outfit are unknown.
    My guess is that they’ve had busy careers, families, done the music as a hobby and had time on their hands ‘cos of lockdown, furlough, etc and thought let’s get this music down, self-release it and see if anyone notices. The 2020 album begins and ends with a track called ‘Lockdown’. This year’s album ends with a Beatles tribute that could surely never be properly released.

    15 October 2021

  49. EXXO on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    Interesting stuff. Very Boo Radleysesque, in style as well as the title Hamilton Square. Their second album closes with a song called ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ which is basically a take on the Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’

    I don’t think that Nigel’s song will be released commercially.

    14 October 2021

  50. Chris The Siteowner on You were the only one who heard my constant sobbingGo »

    Good spot. It’s looks like it’s the title track from what appears to be the band’s first album, released last year. Don’t know anything about them (and curiously, they have zero online presence), but it seems to be decent stuff at first listen.

    14 October 2021