Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Floats your boat

Returned last night from a boat jaunt up the majestic Chao Phrya river. The idea was that we would go north-ish from Bangkok on Monday and make a triumpant entrance into the canals of Ayuthaya, the ancient capital of Siam, on Tuesday morning. However, recent flooding in central Thailand (caused by a typhoon in Vietnam, apparently - Thais are always happy to blame the Vietnamese, it's a safe bet) meant that the river level was too high, and we couldn't get under the Rama VIII bridge until about 10.30 on Monday night. For a Londoncentric analogy, that's like spending 12 hours to get from Tower Bridge to Hammersmith.

Still, the converted rice barge itself was very luxurious, and the crew were wonderful, filling us with chow (possibly to keep the boat as low in the water as possible). And it's not as if we were paying. Will link to the article when it comes out, early December.

While I was away, it appears that the UK Music Hall of Fame has had another bout of inductions: George Martin (well overdue); Led Zeppelin; James Brown; Brian Wilson; Bon Jovi; Prince; Rod Stewart; Dusty Springfield. It does raise the question of what these virtual institutions are actually... hang on... Bon Jovi??? I would have thought there were some British cheese-rock bands with ever-smiling singers who could just as well taken BJ's place. Like the Rubettes, maybe. Or Racey.

Still, if you want rock stardom of a more erudite stripe, the mighty Everett True (blah blah, Kurt 'n' Courtney, rhubarb, first Creation single, blah blah Melody Maker, etc etc) is touring the bookshops of Britain from next Monday, talking about his Nirvana tome, and probably other stuff as well. Pungent and fruity, with an undertone of simmering resentment at the corporate lameness of the modern music press, Mr True comes highly recommended. Schedule: Mon 20, 6 pm, Borders, Bristol; Wed 22, 6 pm, Borders, London Charing X Road; Thu 23, 6pm, Borders, Brighton Churchill Sq; Fri 24, 6.30pm, Manchester Library (with John Robb); Sat 25, 5pm, Forest Café, Edinburgh; Sun 26, 11 am (not a very rock 'n' roll hour - Ed.), Hitherto/Tinderbox, Glasgow. More details on the Plan B site.

PS: My CiF spiel on the Dandy reprint non-controversy; and from the always entertaining London Review of Breakfasts, a cogently argued, if ultimately wrong-headed defence of Starbucks. (Go here for my thoughts on the matter.)


St Anthony said...

There's nothing like a full belly for good ballast.
My god, Racey and the Rubettes ... that takes me back to my 70s adolescence.
I wouldn't be suprised if they were all still out there, dragging their aging arses around the nostalgia circuit.

Spinsterella said...

Oh, I remember Everett True well from my obsessive Melody Maker reading days.

I might even pootle along.

I spent a St Patrick's Day many years ago in Ayuthya and had to jump off a moving train the next morning cos I'd got on the wrong one. It's quite nice.

Geoff said...

"Acts including Corinne Bailey Rae and Queen's Roger Taylor performed Beatles tracks at a ceremony in London's Alexandra Palace."

That's what I love about the music business.

Tim Footman said...

Anthony - I think they're both out there, but I don't know how many original members there are. Do you reckon there are Rubettes purists, who complain if the original bassist is missing?

Spin - Yes, Ayuthaya is nice, and we got to see some bits that were a bit off the beaten track. And do go to the ET thing. Give the old curmudgeon a heckle, keep him on his toes.

Geoff - Yeah, it's all so deliciously low-rent, isn't it?

Billy said...

Ah, but Bon Jovi did the greatest Springsteen rip-off ever in Living On A Prayer. Bon Jovi, you will not be surprised to hear, are massive in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Yes, frighteningly, there may well be Rubettes militants out there, consumed with rancour.

Tim Footman said...

Billy: Much as I dislike Springsteen, even he would have steered clear of that Smash-aliens-voice thing in the intro to 'LOAP'.

As for Aussie music taste - just go into a bar and tell them that Cold Chisel are poofs.

Anthony: It's those white caps that make them really scary.