Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sorting wheat from the chaff, quizzical riff-raff and warblers and chiff-chaffs

Gloucester 15 – Leeds 33

Naturally I’m very disappointed with this result and the insulting performance that led to it. A part of me still holds with the view that the club’s demise is largely linked with our chairman hitting business difficulties and the city no longer remaining in the market for quality players to enhance the squad. I would argue that the current squad is nowhere near as strong as a top six team should be. Yesterday, only Forrester, Simpson-Daniel and, maybe McRae showed the skill and swagger I would expect from a Gloucester fellow. The rest were certainly not good enough especially Azam at prop (the boy Wood was a vast improvement in the second half), the lumbering Buxton in the back row, the shell-shocked and wan Goodridge and the frankly embarrassing Seti Kiole. Poor Jake Boer looked spent but at least tried. Mefin Davies didn’t do a great deal but surrounded by such chaff I guess it was tough. My main rage is directed at the foolish Eustace whose sin-binning was key. A potential five metre line-out was instead turned into an attacking platform for Leeds after the idiotic lock threw a punch after the home side had been awarded a penalty. My heart sank. His feeble attempt at a tackle in the lead-up to Leeds’ final try was heart-breaking too. Having said all this, I am beginning to have concerns about the effectiveness of Melville’s stewardship of the club and of the quality of Dean Ryan’s coaching. There are a few out of work coaches at the moment who might be able to improve the squad at Gloucester. Sadly though, I don’t think our chairman can afford to compensate Melville and Ryan. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much.

The Greyhound pop quiz was, as predicted, an unmitigated disaster. Contestants needed to identify 25 songs and artists and, naturally, Wire, Gang of Four and Vashti Bunyan didn’t feature too heavily on the rotund quizmeister’s playlist. Instead S and I had to try and recognise stuff by Westlife, The Artful bloody Dodger and other ‘acts’ – mainly uninspiring R ‘n’ B purveyors of pap I can’t remember the names of less than 12 hours later. It was shocking. Early on I remarked bleakly and with a perplexed air of resignation to S, ‘We should never have come here, should we?’ We gave up after a dozen questions, S dramatically ripped up our answer sheet and the pair of us sat making catty comments to each other for the remainder of the event. We were probably fairly pompous for about a quarter of an hour and I’m sure I heard S mutter a cuss bitterly under his breath at one point, scowling in the direction of a middle-aged foursome who should have known better. We both agreed that winning such a competition did not recognise knowledge of music, merely an acknowledgement that one embraced the mediocrity of the mainstream in one’s spare time. We were the true winners of course! Meow. The beer was good though. I have a slight ‘head’ today but nothing too painful.

I am playing ‘Chiff-Chaffs and Willow Warblers’ by Minotaur Shock (another artist not featuring too heavily on The Greyhound’s roster) as I pen this. S provided me with this recording yesterday. It is certainly what I would describe as ‘warm electronica’ and sits nicely alongside the likes of Prefuse 73 and, especially, the beatific Four Tet. It is only my first playing and I anticipate picking up more themes and melodies within the sounds in time. I am sure I am going to love it though.