Like a feature-length episode of The Bill, with even worse dialogue.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Is Justin Bieber about to record his first novelty single for charity? Reports are pointing towards the idea that the Canadian megastar will soon be entering the studio once again, this time to create a tribute to the beloved gameshow involving darts and spelling.
Mr Bieber, 14, came across an old episode of the Jim Bowen hosted program whilst in a London hotel room, and was reportedly ‘hooked’ from there on in.
The upbeat theme tune was of particular interest, and will now be redone using the finest modern studio trickery. Pianos will be provided by David Guetta, with lyrics written solely by Beiber himself. Whilst still in the early stages of planning, Bieber’s label is also keen to bring animated mascot Bully to a new audience and are exploring ways to display him in 3D in the upcoming video.
There were a number of reasons why Bieber was won over by Bullseye, which ran for over 3’000 episodes during the 80s and 90s on British television.
His publicist Richard Wilkes said: ‘Where do I start? Jim Bowen, the contestants, the prizes, the hairstyles, the moustaches and of course, the high-octane rollercoaster ride that is a game of darts!’
‘Bowen would always introduce his guests as a couple of characters, then enter into the most awkward banter as the contestants would display no emotion or personality, even after having their size and weight mocked on occasions. They’d have the worst jobs and hobbies, but bless him, Jim would always try and act excited.’
‘The prizes were stunning. Who wouldn’t make good use of a new cutlery set or fur coat? For the kids, there were electric cars and for the big wins, often speedboats and new wardrobes.’
‘The losers would not go home empty handed either. Cash, counted out live by Jim Bowen as if the studio was a highstreet betting shop, stuffed into beer glasses, along with a toy Bully, would be awarded to those bowing out early. Everyone was a winner.’
And what of further speculation that a full concept album may follow, based on the final and most exciting round of Bullseye?
Mr Wilkes continues: ‘I’m afraid the idea of having a track for each one of Bully’s prizes was knocked on the head a few weeks ago. There simply wouldn’t have been enough there to fill an album of fourteen songs, which the studio demands.’
It is thought that the charity of Mr Bieber’s choice is the RSPCF – The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Foreheads. In keeping with Bullseye’s tradition, a miniscule amount of money will be donated, somewhere in the region of £130.00.
Bieber’s management is now apparently in talks with Jim Bowen’s ‘people’ to get the pair to team up for the youngster’s forthcoming world tour. Perhaps we will finally see Bowen performing his blue working man’s club humour where it rightfully belongs – in a stadium full of teenage girls.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
The late 1990s were great times. I was doing my GCSEs, didn’t have to work yet and still had aspirations.
The mornings of these years, specifically in 1997, were started with a dose of the Big Breakfast television show in which the superb Kelly Brook who every day seemed to fend off the unwanted sexual attention of her co-host Johnny Vaughan, a man a few years away from joining the bald community, struggling with the weight of his own chin. She had the teets and pins that would make her a future global superstar for doing nothing of worth whatsoever, and at the time, Hanson were launched on the UK like three mini Christs, taking the charts by storm with their splendid hit single ‘MmmBop’.
Hanson really were a big deal, so much so that Canada even spawned a rip-off group with the terrible Moffats. Suddenly pubescent white males that sang and played their own instruments were ‘in’, and ‘MmmBop’ turned out to be one of the finest songs of the decade to break big. Joyful, incomprehensible, rocking, it featured on the 1997 album ‘Middle of Nowhere’ which sadly wasn’t great. Also, in asking the listener to tell them who is still gay, it was quite edgy, lyrics-wise. I wonder if the phrase mmmbop itself was some kind of allusion to anal sex, but I digress slightly.
To capitalise on their instant fame, ‘Snowed In’ was hastily recorded in London and released in the same year. Featuring fourty minutes of terrible music, it was a novelty Christmas album, arguably the lowest of the low in the pop industry that few artists or bands have ever stooped low enough to put out.
‘Snowed In’ is one of the worst albums ever made, whatever the time of year. Featuring a mixture of awful cover versions and original material, it exists solely to suck the life out of any festivities that may be happening in December in the western world.
‘Merry Christmas Baby’ kicks things off, plagarising Deep Purple’s majestic ‘Maybe I’m A Leo’ along the way, a fatal error from the off. The only other notable riff is in the bog standard ‘Everybody Knows The Clause’ which is ok, at least by Hanson’s generally low standards.
Pretty much as soon as this record starts, all hell breaks loose, and not in a ‘Reign in Blood’ by Slayer kind of way. Ironic really for a band with a militant Christian upbringing.
‘Snowed In’ is a mixture of Hanson’s own inept compositions and woefully ill-judged cover versions of famous yuletide hits such as ‘Rockin Around The Christmas Tree’. The former are so wet and miserable it’s a wonder they weren’t featured on an episode of Eastenders, and the latter so over the top and overly serious that there is no enjoyment to be had from them whatsoever.
Christmas, for most of us, is really about kicking back, watching some crap TV shows, getting some nice swag or cash and eating life-threatening amounts of food. When the classic Christmas songs start coming on the radio, those off us that got an education and don’t have to do shift work know that the countdown to the cash and calories has begun. Everyone including the original artists sort of know their December hits are a bit crap, but it’s part of a nice tradition now. The point is, they do not take themselves or their seasonal music seriously.
Hanson made this mistake, which leaves ‘Snowed In’ with no redeeming features whatsoever. Listening to it from beginning to end, as I’ve had to to write this article, was one of the most gruelling musical experiences I can remember. The music itself is terrible, but perhaps even worse, tonally wrong for the subject matter. It’s three young longhairs playing music more suited to men three times their ages. It’s crap.
The world of mainstream pop music in the noughties remained Hanson-free; I blame ‘Snowed In’. Maybe if they had waited at least another year or so after releasing the poor but cherished ‘Middle of Nowhere’, and followed up with a better album that was at least still cool from the perspective of teen girls, Hanson would have enjoyed a more substantial, longer-lasting career.
By Slick Nick | @Poppeelings
Likable TV personality Paddy McGuinness came very close to being arrested last week after an anonymous call was made to the police claiming that he was in fact a pimp.
The northerner’s show, Take Me Out, allows men to take their pick from a range of thirty potential sex partners after their mothers have humiliated them on national television.
Now in its eleventh series, the show narrowly lost out to TOWIE in the ‘most pointless use of a production team’s time’ category at the national television awards.
Rickard Wilkes, head of police arrests, was quick to explain the situation to the press.
He said: ‘We got a call that a local pimp was working out of an address in London, so naturally I gathered all available police resources to make the arrest.’
‘However when we got to the address, which was a television studio, all we found was a very entertaining episode of Take Me Out being filmed live.’
‘The disappointment of not making an arrest soon passed as we were gripped by a wild-haired rock ‘n’ roll cliche from Brighton who very nearly did not acquire a date.’
ITV plans to issue a statement to discourage other such calls to the police and to reassure the general public that no money changes hands between males and females at any point during the making of Take Me Out.
By Slick Nick
Modern women that don’t have time to hit the gym between working, voting and shoe shopping may still be able to achieve healthy weight-loss thanks to a new exercise DVD presented by Newcastle princess Cheryl Cole. The forthcoming release, set go on sale on 25th December this year, will reveal the pop star’s preferred methods for staying in shape and looking fabulous at all times.
‘Throat Fingers’, as it will be titled, features over six hours of tuition from Mrs Cole in how to cause the vomitting needed to ensure calories are not absorbed into the bloodstream and deposited as fat after a meal.
Disc one will cover the basics, such as how to remove fake finger nails before they make contact with the back of the pharynx, as well as the ideal angle to tilt the back of the head to when inserting the digits into the throat.
Advanced theory is covered on disc two, which suggests the most efficient methods of capturing and desposing of the half-digested food and stomach bile after an exercise/puke session. The third disc features a full making-of documentary, as well as a three-minute featurette looking at Mrs Cole’s achievements in music.
– Stocking filler –
Richard Wilkes, Head of Everything at video publishing giant B.T. Maxx, is excited for the December release date.
He said: ‘We couldn’t be happier to be working with Cheryl on this product, which will make a real difference to so many people’s lives.’
‘The added bonus is that it has kept her out of the recording studios for several months.’
The project has not been completed without its fair share of controversy, however. Directors at the Miss Bloater retail chain, which sells clothes for the larger lady, is predicting a blow to its profits in 2012 which could result in major redundancies.
None the less, ‘Throat Fingers’ promises to be a truly unique exercise product which will go a long way in fighting Britain’s bulging obesity epidemic.
The delux 3-disc edition of ‘Throat Fingers’ will be available on DVD and blu-ray from all good Argos stores.
By Slick Nick
Controversy gripped the X Factor boot camp in London last night as it was suspected that one or more conestants were found to be in the possession of A-levels. The 10-storey dance studio and gym in Oxford Street was in lock-down whilst Syco executives investigated.
Insiders report that all budding singers were lined up against a wall and strip-searched to see if they had on them the A-level ‘certificates’. These items tend to be awarded to UK students for achieving a certain level of academic excellence.
The rumours of A-level possession surfaced when one contestant, a caucasian female in her early twenties, appeared to be well-spoken and polite, but had not used a gimick or sob story to get past the audition stage. X Factor researchers then made the shocking discovery that the girl in question had enjoyed a relatively stable upbringing underpinned by a happy home life.
He said: ‘We at Syco Records will not tolerate the use or awarding of A-levels amongst our artists or contestants. It is strictly against Syco policy.’
‘Through years of painstaking market research, we have determined that what the pop consumer demands is not educated youngsters who have had stable lives in a loving, supportive family environment.’
‘If someone with A-levels were able to slip through the X Factor process and get a record deal, it could have a detrimental impact on sales. I might only be able to afford three holidays a year.’
Syco CEO Simon Cowell has stood by the policy for a number of years, stating that he doesn’t want to end up managing ‘another Blur or Radiohead’ who would likely make outlandish demands like time away from dance rehearsals to write music together.
Middle manager Louis Walsh is said to be ‘enthusiastic’ over the idea of further hourly strip searches just incase the previous ones could not unearth hidden A-Level certificates.
‘My reading is not just limited to fictional books‘
Fucking brilliant. I’d love to know how one goes about reading a book that doesn’t exist.
It’s a shame one of the books in your extensive library isn’t the Oxford English Dictionary – that way you’d learn the difference between the word ‘fictional’ and ‘fiction’.
When you’ve been working at managerial level for a few years, it’s expected that in an interview you’d be able to discuss a wide variety of examples to meet many different competencies.
So when you’re asked about a time where you had to give a difficult message to someone, and your response is ‘telling someone you love them‘, it will only serve to disappoint the interviewer.
By Slick Nick
X Factor judge Tulisa Something-Greek-Sounding has issued a statement containing her profound views on the rioting that swept the UK earlier in August this year.
The 32 year old has gone on record to declare the shocking scenes of arson and looting as ‘not very nice’.
She said: ‘I felt ashamed when I saw the news on those nights, particularly as I noticed a fair few of my ex boyfriends amongst the crowds.’
‘But what disappointed me most was the proceeding coverage from the right-leaning British press which seemed to use the tragedy to further its cause against the lower social classes and ethnic minority groups.’
Miss Something-Greek-Sounding is no stranger to political commentary, making a career out of fronting the socially conscious contemporary disco troup N Dubz. The Camden natives will be setting sail for a tour of the ex-Balkan nations this winter to perform for fans whose parents likely suffered crimes against humanity in the 1990s at the hands of Serbian troops. The victims of genocide, torture and ethnic cleansing are looking forward to enjoying rapper Dappy’s funny hats.
Miss Something-Greek-Sounding is hoping her group’s unique brand of uplifting, urban compositions will inspire teens around the world not to destroy every Carphone Warehouse shop window in sight.
Her campaign has the full support and backing of Pop Peelings.
By Slick Nick
The pressures of fame can sometimes be too much for some, particularly when you’re one quarter of Britain’s premier male dance group Joyful Little Strippers (JLS). Having been through the ups and downs of life on the road, which culminated in a debilitating addiction to cheese & onion McCoy’s crisps, young Aston Merrygold has saught the help of The Priory.
The London clinic is no stranger to celebrity clients, and helps individuals curb their addictions to everything from drink and drugs to anal sex. Mr Merrygold, 17, will spend two months there in order to receive the professional help required to battle uncontrollable cravings for the well known bagged snack.
The group first became aware of Mr Merrygold’s behaviour one night in February this year. During the middle of the night, the caravan at the end of manager Louis Walsh’s garden which the group use for living accomodation, became alive with a sound. The sound was not music, as one of their hit singles alludes to, but of a primal, unrestrained crunching and groaning; the sound of Aston wrist deep in McCoy’s crisps.
Louis Walsh, 83, said: ‘It’s a huge blow to have one of my strippers addicted to high-calorie snacks. If this had continued, his chissled, oiled abs may have become less defined.’
‘I wish Aston the quickest possible recovery so he can return to eight hours of exercise a day fuelled only by a single protein shake and three litres of tap water.’
The estimated cost of Merrygold’s stay at the clinic will be around £3million per week. Insiders say this will be money well spent.
By Slick Nick
Last year, a teenage girl hit the headlines after willingly buying the Scouting For Girls album ‘Everybody Wants To Be On TV’ , one of the worst albums ever made. In a Pop Peelings exclusive, the girl, who we’ll call ‘Stacey’, and her mother, speak for the first time about the ordeal and how the family are coming to terms with those events.
We’re in Ruislip, Middlesex, a quintessentially British suburb on the outskirts of West London.
The home is a 4-bedroom traditional residence, with ample garden space. Family photos adorn ornament cabinets. One shows a young Stacey in a school uniform. She is a pretty girl, alive with the hopes and dreams of any middle class, spoilt 14 year old.
‘That was taken only a few weeks before…’ her mother begins, before stiffling the tears. Stacey’s father was still too distraught to take part in our meeting.
The distress that this record has brought upon an innocent family is painfully obvious.
When we finally meet Stacey, she is almost unrecognisable from that photo. Youth barely penetrates the gaunt, haggered features in front of us. This is a girl that clearly hasn’t slept properly for the best part of a year.
She is clutching a wrinkled piece of paper. A red, blue and white picture adorns it. The colours fall way outside the lines.
‘That’s the front cover of the album she’s drawn,’ explains mum. ‘She’s done one of those every day for the last three months.’
Stacey suffers from what leading psychologists now refer to as SFG (Scouting For Girls) Withdrawal Syndrome. In layman’s terms, it is a severe psychological reaction to the sheer mundanity of the music as written and performed by Scouting For Girls. The few known cases have seen affected individuals withdraw almost totally from reality. The illustrating of the band’s album covers tends to happen in only the most severe cases.
‘I’m a good girl, mister,’ she begins. ‘Wanna hear the angels sing?’
She doesn’t make eye contact.
I politely decline. For research purposes, I am already well aware of how bad ‘Everybody Wants To Be On TV’ is. It is categorised as a pop record, which makes the distinct lack of melody in the ten songs all the more staggering. The production is deeply flawed, with instruments so heavily mixed together that decifering a guitar from a keyboard becomes an almost impossible task. In addition, the singing is worthless. Monotone and generic, the only emotion it evokes in the listener is that of seething, intense boredom.
The album wears its influences on its sleeve, evoking the music of U2, The Jam, Kaiser Chiefs and contemporary Green Day – all terrible bands in their own right, but certainly preferrable to Scouting For Girls. It’s hard to imagine a worse guitar pop group active in modern times [ unless Bon Jovi are still going? – ed. ].
Until science can find a cure for her condition, Stacey must continue to live each day immersed in her own world in which nothing but Scouting For Girls exists. Until then, she will never know the simple joy of taking a dip in Highgrove swimming pool during the summer months, or the pleasure of getting fingered in the park behind the high street after a few refreshing cans of cider with friends. She will never know what it is to be normal.
So how does a mother cope with the actions of a daughter led astray by mainstream radio and a government that doesn’t care?
‘My daughter is not a bad person,’ she says. ‘She just has the worst taste in music you can possibly imagine.’
‘Now the whole family are paying the price.’
‘We take each day as it comes. We’re trying to rebuild our lives but it’s not easy when you have to listen to ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ twenty times a day.’
I can only offer my sympathies to this once wholesome middle class family. Now the lilac walls of their safe, comfortable abode will be forever spoilt with the echos of Scouting For Girls.
By Slick Nick
There is an Olly Murs in every school, every university and every office in the UK; a tiresome, annoying self-centered twat who you dare not get on the wrong side of for fear of being socially ostracised. By no means evil or unpleasant, they can never the less make life hell in so many other ways.
Despite being average-looking, having nothing of interest to say and wearing unremarkable highstreet clothing, they somehow draw people to them like moths to light. Resisting the light will prove controversial, since every conversation or gathering will revolve around this individual, effectively a conversational blackhole, sucking all matter into it that may be even slightly interesting in favour of what the Murs figure may be doing or not doing.
Thanks to Simon Cowell, one of these cheeky chappies was given a record deal, which meant even escaping into a car and puting the radio on presented a confrontation with the mundanity of their existence. The result is ‘Olly Murs’, an album featuring the best part of an hour’s worth of crap music.
Murs came second to Joe McElderry in 2009’s X Factor, arguably the shittest winner in the show’s history, and that’s saying something. This album is described as his ‘debut’, but that suggests a long discography is to follow. I really think, and hope, that this album alone will span Murs’ entire recording history, for the sake of pop music.
Upon first listen, the one thing that stands out alongside the staggering mediocrity is how tonally uneven the material is. It lurches from anthemy pop, to raggae, to sappy ballads. It’s like if a Leona Lewis song suddenly dropped in a thrashy guitar solo.
Looking at the chart positions of the four singles from this illustrates perfectly how fickle the British single-buying public are, and also what a missfire it was on Cowell’s part for launching Murs as a recording artist. Single one was a UK number one. Single four didn’t even make the top 40.
Hit single ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’ begins with an old radio effect, which is quite creative for a SYCO release, before stumbling into very dated-sounding raggae pop. I remember Murs being described by Cowell as ‘unbeleivably current’ at his first audition. True – nothing says 2011 like aping the chart music of 1993. It’s not quite as forgettable as the rest of the album but is no Aswad.
Follow-up ‘Thinking Of Me’ is more of the same, but worse.
Murs has a stab at warbling during the closing moments of ‘Heart On My Sleeve’, where things get a bit more serious. It reminds me of the modern Take That. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the army of song-writers and producers that worked on Murs’ atrocity had also spent time in the studio with Robbie and Gary et al. Speaking of the legendary boyband, there was also some serious bro love going down between Murs and Robbie Williams at the time of the X Factor live finals, which saw the two irritants perform an extremely mediocre duet together. This probably carefully spun PR between the managers of Murs and Williams stopped just short of the two sucking each other off on stage, but I digress.
Lyrically, the album sinks to a new low with ‘Busy’. Reminiscent of Bruno Mars, it uses the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ chord progression, as does ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’. Considering the album had 20-30 people contributing to the music, it’s unacceptable to use this riff on two songs from the same album. It really bugs me how often these chords are used, in pop and rock, and is just illustrative of unoriginal, lazy song-writing. Unsurprisingly, both of the efforts on this album are terrible.
Surrounding the four singles, which never get better than way below mediocre, is a lot of filler fluff that barely registers. It’s certainly not worth writing about, apart from noting that Murs as a singer leaves a hell of a lot to be desired.
Finally, the whole Murs persona on television and in the media really winds me up. There is an air of undeserved smugness about him, as if he has always been fully aware that he has fuck all to offer the world of popular music and is completely talentless. I hope everyone involved with his album, from Cowell to the song-writers, to the producers, even down to the intern that did the photocopying for marketing, are thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
By Slick Nick
This is the moment ITV2 legend Peter Andre emerged after a week in isolation following a particularly humiliating defeat at the hands of a pub quiz machine.
The device, which has the option of twelve different gaming franchises, was used in a Croydon branch of Yate’s on a Thursday night in June.
The unnamed Swede, who did not wish to be named, advised Andre against choosing the ‘Deal O No Deal’ game in particular due to its reputation for having a particularly unforgiving difficulty level. However, the star, whose ‘Next Chapter’ TV series regularly pulls in dozens of viewers each week, remained defiant, apparently smirking as he touched Noel Edmonds’ pixelated image before him to select the game.
What followed next was a three minute ordeal, as Andre struggled to answer several questions correctly in order to make the most of the 50p price of the game itself.
Witness accounts differ in how the game came to its tragic conclusion. One source claimed the question that finished Andre off was on King Henry VIII, whilst another suggested that the singer had given up by this point, hanging his head in shame and not even looking at the screen itself. He then ran towards the pub exit screaming ‘why is my life falling apart before my eyes’ and disappeared into the night, stunning onlookers.
Emerging after a week from a mystery location, Andre looked dishevelled and withdrawn, but otherwise normal, as he made his way to ITV2 HQ to enter talks on making a four part mini series dramatising the night’s events in their entirity.
Through a spokesperson, Andre has declared that he will never again enter the pub or any other in the Yate’s chain for fear of encountering similar gaming devices again. He intends to put the incident behind him and move on with his life.