Tag Archives: Richard Curtis

Rocks In The Attic #708: Rowan Atkinson – ‘Live In Belfast’ (1980)

RITA#708Sometimes the wife comes homes with records for me from the charity shop. Sometimes they’re only so-so, and other times I already have them. Strangely she doesn’t have an exhaustive knowledge of what sits on my shelf, like the useless memory banks I have.

Other times, she brings me home records like this; records I didn’t even know existed. Records that make me so happy, it reminds me why I collect these strange, dusty things in the first place.

Rowan Atkinson is undoubtedly one of the greatest British comedic performers of the twentieth century. There are heaps of his early live material to be found on YouTube, but obviously the physical side of his comedy – or his amazingly expressive face – doesn’t come across on LP. The content, written and performed by both Atkinson and long-time collaborator Richard Curtis, still makes for a great listen.

The record has a lovely dedication on the rear sleeve:

This album was recorded in the week of the re-opening of the Grand Opera House, Belfast, at the end of a four month tour of the United Kingdom squeezed in between the second and third series of that infamous ‘bundle of laffs’ Not The Nine O’Clock News. It is a record of not only a coupla jokes told and a coupla laughs gained, but of a wonderful week spent in a troubled province. The kindness shown to us by people in Northern Ireland was truly beyond compare, and this album is dedicated to them.

Hit: I Hate The French

Hidden Gem: The Father Of The Bride

Rocks In The Attic #326: Transvision Vamp – ‘Velveteen’ (1989)

RITA#326Ugh. I don’t know why I have this in my record collection. Just listening to it makes me feel unwell. That opening “Waaaggggghhhhh” is a foreboding wail of plastic attitude and try-hard anarchy.

Transvision Vamp’s music belongs on the soundtrack of a very bad late ‘80s film. Maybe some sub-Richard Curtis romantic comedy, set in London, starring Richard E. Grant or Hugh Laurie.

I was in a meeting at work once, and somebody’s mobile phone rang out. The ringtone was Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, and it belonged to an odious senior executive at an advertising agency.  She laughed, and said “I’m such a rock chick!” Groan. If Nirvana hadn’t have come along when they did, providing accessible popular rock for people to use to claim some sort of ‘alternative’ness, lame people like her would still regard Transvision Vamp’s style of music as cutting edge.

Still, Wendy James is super hot.

Hit: Baby I Don’t Care

Hidden Gem: Song To The Stars