Kaboom! goes my Visa card

It must be a spending spree week. I’ll use the excuse of giving myself a birthday treat. At lunchtime I went and bought a new work jacket to finally retire the last of my old scruffy horrible ones. Wool and cashmere and something else. Lovely. Probably a disgustingly opulent waste of money while people are starving on the planet, but it was on sale, so not as pricey as it could have been. Damn this penchant for expensive clothing I seem to have developed.

Why are these called sports jackets even though they’re worn to work, not sport? Whatever. I don’t wear suits. Never really liked them for some reason. Maybe it’s because the only suit I’ve owned was cheap and nasty.

Now, if only my weekend clothes were up to such a high standard.

CD review: Ocean Colour Scene "North Atlantic Drift"

When I was out on Saturday trying to hunt down aCorduroy CD (any Corduroy CD, please – I crave listening to their frantic fast paced acid jazz without the piracy stigma and quality loss of MP3) I happened upon OCS’s latest. I’d seen it the day before in the city, but in one of those horrible cardboard CD cover things I dislike so much. Don’t they know the conventional CD case is more convenient and longer-lasting?

So when I saw a copy of it in a conventional case, I snapped it up. Not so much Britpop as Britrock, it starts off fast and loud and romps along through eleven tracks – some soft almost-acoustic numbers, and some like the opening track which would definitely benefit from an amp which went up to eleven.

Track 3, the title track sounded strangely familiar, like I’d heard it on the radio or something. Surely not, these guys are almost unheard of here aren’t they? Apart from their track on the Lock Stock movie soundtrack. Or maybe Triple J had found them.

But no, it was because I’d heard an acoustic version from their excellent (and very obscure) "Live on the Riverboat" CD – which came in a very cool but totally impractical plastic cover with simulated blue river water inside it. Like some of their previous songs, it seems to have a subtle political message – something easily lost through simply enjoying the music. This one appears to reference something very topical the relationship of Britain to the USA, both in political and cultural terms. Some of the other lyrics on the album appear somewhat deeper and will require more investigation.

No doubt it’s not to everyone’s tastes, but I found it a most enjoyable CD – so did some of the party people apparently. And the first one in ages I’ve played repeatedly since buying it. [Thumbs up]

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.