heard on the wire

Where they teach you how to be thick

And I hand my blog over, briefly and incredibly, to Boris Johnson.

If James Blunt seems drippy next to the rock stars of the good old days, he is positively macho by comparison with the Kaiser Chiefs. These are the weeds from Leeds whose hit single was I Predict a Riot, a tale about the bourgeois apprehension of a chap who tries to get a taxi on a Saturday night in the centre of town.

“Watching the people get lairy, it’s not very pretty I tell thee. Walking through town is quite scary, and not very sensible either,” sing these epic softies. Then the chap meets another chap in a tracksuit, who looks as though he might offer violence, but doesn’t, and that’s about it. It’s pathetic!

When I was a nipper it was standard practice for a rock star to start the evening by biting the head off a pigeon and throwing the television out of the window before electrocuting his girlfriend in the bath and almost drowning in a cocktail of whisky, heroin and his own vomit. The self-respecting British punk rockers didn’t get up on stage and start whimpering about how they predicted a riot. They incited riots. “White riot, I want a riot, white riot, a riot of my own,” they sang, if my memory serves me correctly.¹

The Clash :: White Riot
Listen and download [alternative link]

And because this year’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life is from 1977, here’s the b-side.

The Clash :: 1977
Listen and download [alternative link]


¹ Daily Telegraph, 12 January 2006.

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