Posted Aug 27 2016
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Song Of The Week - James Corden & Coldplay - Nothing Compares 2 U

Now, you have to picture the scene – it’s a dreary autumnal day in late 1996 and one of us here at Last Word Towers is – reluctantly – on an early morning train on our way to a dreary corner of the dreary sounding Macclesfield. To make our appointment we’ve had to leave at the crack of dawn – often also known as Sparrow’s fart – which is a great phrase, no matter what time of day it is. Although we’re not really appreciating it right now.

With only one of the worst bacon sandwiches in living memory and a cup of tea that tastes like it was first brewed a week ago for company, we’re also failing to make the most of the lack of scenery. Rain falls against the train windows as the grimness of oop North looms into view.

The reason for said journey is the BBC Radio show we’re currently working for has heard of this bright young thing by the name of Shane Meadows. More significantly, he’s shooting his first film on location and he has Bob Hoskins involved. Meadows has yet to prove himself so really we’re only here for Hoskins. On the way up we read the movie’s script – TwentyFourSeven, something about a bunch of kids and a local run down boxing club. It doesn’t really jump off the page – at least at this time of the morning.

When the train pulls in, the rain has succeeded, but the damp and general sense of gloom haven’t. The impossibly peppy for this time of the day PR finds us and we drive to the equally gloomy location that will be our home for the day. Introductions are quickly made – basically Meadows and a whole gang of young lads who all seem friendly and obliging. No sign of Bob – he’s got what appears to be the one and only (small) trailer, which may well be somebody’s dad’s caravan. 

Of all the lads, one of them, the slightly overweight one, seems very interested. He wants to know what show it’s for, what time it’s on, claims to know it. Says he sometimes listens. It’s a good show he assures us. We “reward” him with a short interview that will probably not get used – he’s so far down the cast list, and this is, after all the Bob and Shane show.

But the kid – let’s call him the “fat kid” - keeps hanging around. He asks us if we need anything, wants to make sure we’re getting everything we need, offers a cup of tea, always shows an interest. If it wasn’t so early – and we weren’t in Macclesfield – we’d probably be more responsive. He’s a nice guy – but come on mate, you’re trying too hard. When he asks the date of broadcast, we just know he’s going to be sitting around the radio waiting for his voice to come out. And it won’t. This may be as good as it gets mate – you’re a bit part player in a micro budget Brit indie. Just enjoy what you got. 

The morning wears on and we break for lunch. Bob is ready to talk over the break. But, as we quickly eat, the fat kid comes and joins us, wants to make sure we’ve got enough chips (looks like he fancies another plate himself.)

A post-lunch Bob in the can, the fat kid appears with a cup of tea for us. Nice cuppa – two sugars - he asks us how Bob was, talks about how brilliant he is with all the young lads. But we have our eye on the taxi back to a) Macclesfield station, and b) London and c) civilisation.

As we’re about to get into said cab, the fat kid runs over one last time, noticeably out of breath. He just wanted to say goodbye, to thank us for being bothered to cover such a small production, and to tell us he’ll be listening. We shake hands and wish each other luck, even though I’m thinking that’s the last I’ll ever see of the fat kid. The nice guy.

That fat kid now hosts The Late, Late Show and last weekend joined his “old band” Coldplay on stage at the Rosebowl to play a really rather beautiful tribute to Prince.

Happy Birthday for yesterday James Corden. You and that old band of yours did Prince proud.

Hit “Play” already. Damn!

 

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