Robert Hampton

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29th July 2009

Mika’s new single
Posted by at 11.26pm | Music | No responses

I like it. I like it a lot.

29th June 2009

Game, Cassette and Match
Posted by at 1.34pm | Music | No responses

Another tale to make me feel old. Teenager compares an ancient Walkman with iPod for BBC News. Among all the oh-wow-this-is-primitive complaining, is this marvellous quote:-

I’m relieved that the majority of technological advancement happened before I was born.

Yes, because technological advancement has STOPPED. You just wait a few years, and you’ll have Spotify beaming tracks directly into your BRAIN.

I had the CD version, the Discman, which at the time was hailed as the most wonderful thing to happen to portable music ever. The adverts didn’t mention that if you ran, walked or moved slightly in any way, the music would skip and jump all over the place. Good times.

26th June 2009

Gone Too Soon
Posted by at 12.19am | In the News, Music | No responses

The tragic tale comes to an end at last.

Hopefully he will be remembered for his music, and not the creepy feelings he aroused in people during the last few years of his life.

23rd May 2009

The Lambert Report
Posted by at 1.54pm | Music, Television | No responses

He didn’t win.

Congratulations to Kris Allen — I feel slightly sorry for him, as he has already been unfairly labelled as the “surprise winner” and accusations are flying round that he only won because of homophobia.

I swore I would never let myself get manipulated into following one of these TV contests, but it happened, and I suffered for it. I woke up at 4.30am on Thursday morning and couldn’t get back to sleep until I had been on the Internet to find out the result. I am never letting myself get this emotionally invested in a TV show ever again.

Now, when is Britain’s Got Talent on? (I will be watching with a sense of ironic detachment, obviously)

18th May 2009

Idol Chatter
Posted by at 9.18pm | Music, Television | No responses

Adam Lambert Entertainment Weekly CoverEurovision may be over for another year, but in the US, another high-profile singing competition is storming towards its finale: namely, American Idol.

I seem to have become addicted to these sorts of shows recently. The Apprentice and (oh, I’m ashamed of this one) Britain’s Got Talent have both sucked me in and got me watching. It’s quite worrying for me: what if I can’t stop it? Will I be grabbing the Daily Star off the newsagent’s shelf during the summer to catch up on Big Bruv? (dear God, no)

Anyway, I have a perfect excuse for plonking myself down in front of ITV2 (aka the Katie and Peter channel) to watch Idol, and that reason is Adam Lambert.

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16th May 2009


Some quick turnaround thoughts on this year’s Eurovision…

  • Well done Norway, a great song which deserved to win;
  • Well done Jade and Andrew Lloyd-Webber for a strong showing (5th place!);
  • Well done BBC for taking the contest moderately seriously (well, as seriously as a ludicrous international music show can be taken) and making the effort to promote the song by putting Jade on various European TV shows over the last few months;
  • Well done Graham Norton, who was much better than I expected and got the tone of the commentary about right, i.e. gentle mockery while avoiding some of the more excessive whinging that Wogan tended to indulge in;
  • Well done EBU for changing the voting system to avoid the Eastern bloc dominance.

Well done everyone!

19th April 2009

I dreamed a dream in time gone by (last Saturday, in fact)
Posted by at 5.33pm | Music, Television | No responses

So what lessons can we take from the Susan Boyle internet phenomenon?

Well, one thing I’ve learned is that ITV still apparently has no clue how to use the Internet. The YouTube video linked to above is rocketing towards 30 million views and has been shown on television all over the place — but it’s a ropey, off-air recording (in the wrong aspect ratio!) of Britain’s Got Talent. Why haven’t ITV capitalised on the worldwide interest by having the pirated clips removed and uploading an “official” version to YouTube, thus entitling them to take a share of the advertising revenue?

More importantly though, it’s a salutary lesson in not judging a book by its cover: the unpleasant mocking laughter from the audience and eye-rolling from the judges soon evaporated once she opened her mouth. But isn’t it a sad reflection on society that much of the worldwide reaction can be summarised as, “ugly woman sings surprisingly well”?

Let’s not pretend that this is going to open the floodgates for those who (ahem) don’t meet usual standards of beauty. If (when?) she wins, it will change things very little: the British music industry will consist of a lot of beautiful women… and Susan Boyle. It stinks that this is the case, but it’s going to take an army of Susan Boyles to overcome it.

Nevertheless, it’s a joy to see this unassuming lady become the subject of so much attention. I’m willing to bet significant money that I will be buying her album for my mum’s birthday this year.

2nd January 2009

2008? More like Two WOW-sand and Eight!

July started with my lovely pet cat doing his bit for vermin control. Liverpool One claimed its latest fashion victim, as yours truly bought a glorified school satchel manbag. Metro horrified public transport users across the country with a picture of a henna tattoo gone wrong. London Transport’s Oyster smartcard suffered a serious glitch, proving that the only proper travelcard system is one where you scratch the date off with a coin before sealing it with a bit of sticky-back plastic.

In the middle of the month I suddenly remembered that I have a Friends Reunited profile, then remembered why I never use Friends Reunited.

Another triumph for Liverpool’s culture year came with the amazing Tall Ships festival. It was well worth braving the long queues to enjoy the variety of sailing ships assembled from all over the world.

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29th December 2008

Mistletoe & Whine

I told people not to buy me chocolate for Christmas, but what was under the tree on December 25th? A Toblerone selection box and Cadbury Heroes as far as the eye could see. Of course, I could just not eat them, but if you think that’s an option for me, you clearly don’t know me very well.

Today was my first visit to the gym in 6 days (it’s been closed since Christmas Eve) and I could feel every miniature Dairy Milk bouncing around as I jogged on the treadmill.

Christmas itself was uneventful, just the way I like it. Excellently, I received the Rail Simulator Official Expansion Pack, giving me access to the Class 08 Shunter. I spent a happy Boxing Day rearranging virtual HST trailers at Old Oak Common depot, only to be told that my performance was terrible and I must do better next time. Well, if they will insist on parking Class 47s where I’m going to crash into them…

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17th December 2008

Things to slow down your web browser
Posted by at 1.05pm | Music | No responses

Christmas cheer, courtesy of the Wombats (featuring Les Dennis) and Geraldine McQueen. In my dreams, one of these will beat the X-Factor woman to Christmas number one.

Honourable mention to The Feeling, whose download-only track Feels Like Christmas can be heard on their MySpace. In a shocking development, people are still using MySpace.