Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This one goes to eleven

Talking of musical genius, get a load of Spinal Tap's approach to raising the roof with higher powered equipment - inspired!

Liam Clancy RIP

Not long before we went to Manchester, Ireland lost a literary and musical genius as Liam Clancy, the last remaining member of the famous family, passed away. Not only had Clancy one of the sweetest voices in contemporary folk music (described by Bob Dylan as the greatest folk singer of all time) but he was also a marvellous orator and he mingled these skills to tremendous effect on stage.

Shortly after his passing, the last case was heard in the Green Street Law Courts in Dublin (the lawyers can correct me with the precise details) - this was the scene of many historical cases in our chequered history and was the location of Robert Emmet's speech from the dock on the eve of his execution.

The following clip brings these two events together - Liam Clancy delivering extracts from the famous speech in 1965.

This second clip has unfortunately been cut short but nevertheless clearly illustrates Liam Clancy's brilliance as a balladeer - the words and music poignantly deliver as clear a message of love as you will ever hear.

Did Mike start the big scarf trend at City?

To my greatest fans .....

Mrs McKenzie would like to meet you.

Dear Pongo, I may not look like a Premiership star but once upon a time in the seventies, I could leap over a mini before the game and then go on and score two goals before half time .........

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Half way through the season - assessment

Spurs - on their day, more impressive than at any time for a long number of years but still susceptible to the (too frequent) off day. Inability to break down resolute defences (Stoke and Wolves at the Lane), coupled with continuing difficulties against the top three mean that capturing a Champions League spot remains a challenge. High points have been Aaron Lennon, the free flowing football when we're up for it and the emergence of Michael Dawson as a defender of real quality. At last, a new Mike England. Prediction - 4th by a whisker.

Everton - dangerously close to the drop zone and alarmingly content to be stealing home points against teams they would have beaten comfortably a few years ago. Two home wins certainly dispels the concept of fortress Goodison. Should improve with return of key players from injury but doubt remains that Moyes has taken them as far as he can and is burnt out. Sadly little money there to improve the quality of the squad or change the manager. Kenwright's beleaguered position also worrying. Club badly needs an injection of enthusiasm a la Big Dunc - a talisman is needed. Prediction - 14th.

Chelsea - surprisingly, the Russians have been stuttering badly and one begins to wonder whether the new manager is up to the job. Key players have gone flat (Lampard and Terry) and a new goalkeeper is an absolute priority. Should have enough in the tank to get over the finishing line first but it will be close. Likely to be stretched during African Cup of Nations but so will most teams, United aside. Prediction - 1st.

Leeds - look unstoppable in Division 1 and will be a welcome addition to the Championship. Doing what they have promised for the last couple of years and winning all around them. Bates will need to get the chequebook out if they want to impress at a higher level, but in the meantime Snodgrass and Beckford will see them through. Prediction - 1st Div 1.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Blue Moon"

Blue moon, you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.

Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for someone I really could care for.

And suddenly there appeared before me the only one my arms could ever hold,
I heard someone whisper, "Please, adore me"
And when I looked my moon had turned to gold.

Blue moon, now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own
Without a love of my own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Defining moment

Bloody hell - wouldn't the guy on the left scare the shit out of you?

And the guy on the right - see the size of his conk.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Niall Quinn's Disco Pants are the best

Plenty of good stuff from a great weekend but we're gonna start with what's top of every City fan's Christmas list this year, and every other year since 1974.

Dear Santa can I have the Denis Law video..... and if you think I've been good this year, a pair of disco pants worn by Niall Quinn, the ones that go up from his arse to his chest.

Thanks a million,

Paul Power (aged 7).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Derek Mountfield joins our five-a-side team

Man City v Everton 1967

Great footage well ahead of its time - Brian wil love the Z cars (not Webcars) music towards the end.

Observe the City players for next weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We knew him when he was nothing

Ok he may be Managing Director of the highest profile consultancy practice in Ireland but there was a time when we were afraid to put him up in front of strangers. In dem days you'd be seriously afraid he might vomit all over the boardroom table.

This sad picture was taken in Donegal one Easter weekend when the management consultant's cousin was too busy passing around the collection box to help the drunken one into the car. Gerry and myself helped out, thereby gathering valuable brownie points to buy the Ryan family's silence one particular evening many years later. More to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I want you to go back, back in time .........

I won't begin to comment. Photo taken in October (?) 1976.

All I want for Christmas is the Dukla Prague away kit

As Christmas approaches my mind always drifts to festive cheer, snow-covered landscapes, laughing children and of course UK satirical and slightly anarchic band, Half Man Half Biscuit. This Tranmere Rovers loving quintet grew to prominence in the mid 80's and penned a number of little known classics detailing the minutiae of everyday life on Merseyside.

An undisputed classic is their tribute to early boyhood adolescence "All I want for Christmas is the Dukla Prague away kit" - a not unreasonable if slightly unexpected request from a kid of 13. Not only does the song define what the lad wants for Christmas but it also perfectly flags two of the abject but certain disappointments of childhood - the Scalextric set that didn't work and the headless centre-forward in Subbuteo.

I just love the concept of him wrecking the place when four down - all of them hotly disputed penalties of course.

This is a picture of the boys at Prenton Park, Birkenhead. At least they didn't support Everton or Liverpool.

Choices that shaped our lives

......... nothing to do with marriage.

All I need is Jeff Astle for the set

Do you remember the carefree days of football cards? "Getting the set" was an important challenge to us devotees and there always seemed to be a few cards that were impossible to get your hands on. It's funny how the gaping hole in the album seemed to mock you every time you opened the West Bromwich Albion page, and Jeff was missing.
Could it have been that the manufacturers were crassly commercial even in those days in that they always held back a few cards to keep the kids spending their hard earned loot on another pack at 6d? The choice between your fourth pack this week or a trip to the Ormonde to watch John Wayne knock the living shit out of the injuns in Bandolero.
Sadly I always went for the cards and recently this addiction has resurfaced as a major problem for me. Guys in their fifties reverting to their youth - tell me all about it. The attic is now out of bounds for the wife and kids in case they disturb the neat piles of Spurs programmes and Charles Buchan's annuals and hell - maybe in there somewhere is the elusive Jeff Astle card. I'm convinced I swopped Ron Harris and Ronnie Boyce for him late on in the season. I wonder.
As the title of the book says - Iano my boy, we need to talk about Kevin Keegan.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

If I had money I'd go out, buy you pearls, dress you like a queen....

This post is a tribute post to Mike, who led the Stylistics so beautifully all those years ago on the deserted stage in the hall in Donegal 1975. If by any chance, Louis Walsh was passing on that morning, our lives would have been oh so different and we would have had to grapple with the worldwide fame that would surely have ensued.
Sadly only Manus the busman heard the harmonious rendition as he drove the Express on its daily path to Letterkenny; and we packed up the glitter and sound machines and trudged down to the pub for the next challenge in life - draughts against Donegan (with flutes at the ready).
The road not taken.
And this is what it could have been like.

Question - What's the difference between these two pictures?

Answer: There's none - they're both pictures of lying, dishonest, incompetent, irresponsible and ugly fat-arsed despot fuckers.
The saddest part about both of these pictures is the low level of the flood waters - ideally six feet higher would be better (with apologies to all those local people who might also suffer in the process - please watch the rats drown from upstairs and remember, no life rings please).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Poetry - Base Details by Siegfried Sassoon

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath
I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You'd see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
Reading the Roll of Honour.
"Poor young chap," I'd say -- "I used to know his father well;
Yes, we've lost heavily in this last scrap."
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I'd toddle safely home and die -- in bed.

FIFA grant replay of last seventeen minutes

Ireland will be playing from right to left as we look at it.

The boy's a fucking genius

In one short year. And who cares about the brown paper bags - our country is full of them - still.

I waited 32 years for this.

Ok the need to move on after the Irish result leads us to White Hart Lane yesterday afternoon, a late flight, arrive 30 mins in, and shit, only see the last nine goals.
Jermaine Defoe, he's a yiddo and we want ten.

Worst part of the afternoon was watching Scharner handle the ball blatantly in the 57th minute before rifling the ball past Gomes. Shades of Paris and chants of "are you Henry in disguise?"

Does this make us serious Top 4 contenders?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sadly, one was not enough.

This boy certainly knows how to do it for Ireland.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thierry Henry = Prick

There's very little more than can be said about the cheating that took place on Wednesday and the unacceptable attitude of the French and their supposed "role model" Thierry Henry. But so what, worth another little rant. The manner of their victory sums up their approach to life - they are arguably the most arrogant, pompous and hateful nation in Europe with few if any redeeming features. Their persistent denial of the need to embrace the English language, their misguided belief that they in some way contributed to the development of liberty, equality and fraternity, and their singular love of the croissant (tossers) show them for what they are - a nation of self-centred, egotistical wankers most at home when playing with themselves.

Practice what you preach, you bunch of hateful tossers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Forecasts for Saturday

Brusselsblue 1-0 (Duffer)
Yiddo 1-1 (Keano)
Chelski 1-1 (Cookie Monster)
Mise le Meas 2-0

Could this man end the recession?

A couple more goals like this over the next five days and the recession is all over. Dancing in the streets, t-shirts in Dunnes Stores and cardboard cut-outs of the Boys in Green. Davy Keogh says hello.
Go for it Robbie - let's see the bow and arrow.

School Reunion

Brian has confirmed that the next school reunion will be held next April and Art at Webcars will be in attendance.

Please mark your calendars accordingly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.....

11am on the 11 November 1918.

I searched for pictures or artwork showing the opposing sides playing football on Christmas Day 1914 but nothing jumped out at me. I also searched in vain for a report on the match which the Germans won on penalties, despite having gone a goal down to a hotly disputed goal (in off the butt of a rifle), awarded by a Russian Kaiser who was miles off the play in downtown Volvograd.

Football - the global game. Choose football. Choose life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back row Dixie Dean

Sixties classic (but a dodgy video)

Cards on the table

Not for us the lights and wretched fumblings of the dance floor, the lines on the cistern in the toilets, the dancing on the barstools as we lurched uneasily from adolescence to marriage (from one carer to another) - no we had cards. cards, cards and more fucking cards.

Ok I did it for the money (a nice little earner) and for a small number it killed a few hours between study shifts but what did it say about the perennial losers? Why did they keep coming back for more? Only Bob Hudson (RIP) had an excuse - like Cinderella he did it to get away from the ugly sisters, and Nuala's endless stories of Fenit - but for the rest it bordered on masochism.

Still we needed Garret's money badly and Art's contribution for the first hour or so was always welcome. After losing all his money, he repeatedly lapsed into incredulous adoration at the way Gerry pushed the cards up and down the table. Simple, simple pleasures from simple, simple people.

Hard Man my arse

You think he'd have learned from 1965 but no, oh no.......

You know I would just love it if I could slap Billy Bremner once in the snot.......
......... put it away Bremner, Clough was right, you were only a shitstirring little nuisance.

Toirleac O'Brien eat your heart out

Anyone can throw together an old musical, rejigging the words of Abba songs (can you see their bums Fernando), but few have the balls to stand up in front of a packed audience; to face the glare of the arc lights; to stand at the mercy of angry critics; and to grapple with self-doubt as you cast it all aside and for that brief moment live it as though it was real. This is not theatre, this is life.
And as you step back into the crowds and forget about it all again, remember that super trouper lights are gonna find you.....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mise le Meas le Missus

This was taken that eventful evening in Mark Ryan's, before Senator Eoin arrived to break up the party.

Another legend of a ballboy

How to treat an ex-Arsenal goalkeeper. Pick that up, Lehmann you arrogant prick.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Come back Brian Moore all is forgiven

How the hell would Eoin Ryan deal with this guy?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't ever tempt fate

There we were forecasting the Carling Cup results and Brusselsblue castigates Gerry for knee-jerkingly suggesting that the Spurs would beat the Toffees 2-0. And what happens - Huddlestone scores the first and Robbie gets out the bow and arrow and celebrates the second -2-0 to the yids.

I repeat what I have said for months - Gerry Coll = football genius. Made the last six in the Last Man Standing.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen,
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men,
Feared by the bad, loved by the good,
Robin Hood, Robing Hood.
(to the tune of Robin Hood, Robin Hood).

Monday, October 19, 2009

The bard awoken by a beach ball

Ode to a Beach Ball

I used to see you as the epitome of ridicule
good for nothing
extractor of valuable air from my overworked lungs
uncertain flight path
and always getting lost at sea
I did not know you were biding your time
for your afternoon in the sun
when you sprang to life
on the Roker turf
You were coloured red
And may now lie deflated in the corner of notoriety
But you will live long in the hearts
Of all those who enjoy the clean blue air

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hard to decide which lounge to go to, eh?

And by the way, in case you can't decide, one of these is nearly 70 now.