Friday 29 March 2013

Guest Top 5 - Things that as a kid I thought were fantastic but looking back were not so great! by Al Westoll

A bumper Easter special. You may remember by pal Alun Westoll from his previous Guest top five double header "Top 5 Bands that only ever made one album" and "Top 5 Bands that SHOULD only have ever made one album". Well he's back with not one, not two but THREE top fives and I'm gonna give them all to you over the next few days.

(Editor's note: I particularly like how Al has attempted to recreate Bruce Campbell's pose in the swimming picture)

Things that as a kid I thought were fantastic but looking back were not so great

1. Live Aid, Concert (1985)

Kicking off with the inspiration behind this top 5. Fellow band member, Mark Gibson, recently lent me his DVD box set of Live Aid which I slowly worked my way through over a number of evenings. This is a prime example of something everyone (including myself until now) rave about saying what an amazing gig it was. But having now watched it all over again it’s definitely not as good as we remember! Yes, the odd bit still holds up (Quo, Queen) but mainly it’s terrible! From the Wembley gig, the performances of The Style Council, Adam Ant & Paul Young have not aged well. And as for the Philadelphia gig, it’s all quite painful, with the Thompson Twins a particular low point! See for yourself! 27 years later I’ve now taken off my rose tinted specs regarding Live Aid and well and truly stomped on them!

2. The Evil Dead, Movie (1981)

I can vividly remember being scared witless watching this film one Halloween at about the age of 12. A bunch of us got together round a friends house and scared ourselves silly watching it on VHS. Then sometime in my mid 20’s I can recall going to see a late night re-run of it at the cinema & this time laughing all the way through! The time lapse plasticine special effects & ‘raping tree’ were certainly not as terrifying the 2nd time around! I have to admit that I still love this film and rushed out to buy it when it was released on DVD. OK, so as a horror film it no longer cuts the mustard, but it’s a great watch with loads of top memories attached!

3. Swimming!

Kids love nothing better than splashing around in the pool & would stay in there for hours if it wasn’t for your parents having to drag you out. I know I used to love nothing better than a trip to Staines swimming pool. But somewhere along the line the fun seems to go out of it and as an adult it just seems like exercise. And there’s no fun in that!

4. 80s Fashion!

Growing up as a kid in the 80’s it was all about having the in-look! All the girls wanted to look like Madonna. All the boys were busy nicking VW badges to look like the Beastie Boys! For me it was a mullet haircut (which I still had when I started work in 1988!), a Gallini jumper (a hideous 3 coloured horizontal striped sweatshirt with a huge logo in the middle), dark blue jeans with a thin red (or white) pin stripe down the leg and white socks! All bought from Feltham Market (where Tesco’s is now)! For my Sister it was massive hair, leg warmers & Ra Ra skirts. Good grief, what were we thinking! Although the Parka Jacket was good! Now when I see young white kids walking around today with baseball caps on sideways (like the chavy comedian Lee Nelson) I’m amused to think that they will probably regret it too in 30 years time!

5. Madness, Pop Band, 1976 to now (unfortunately!)

I used to love this band when I was a kid. I can still remember Baggy Trousers being the ultimate anthem as a 10 year old at the Echelford School disco! I spent many hours on a Sunday night up in my bedroom listening to Simon Bates presenting the top 40 on Radio 1 & taping the Madness hits (desperately hoping no-one would make any noise whilst I hit the Play & Record buttons on my cassette player)! I used to listen to them all the time. Which was probably as annoying for my family as I found my Sisters constant rotation of Tight Fit’s ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’! Some people still love the Ska sound but now with adult ears it’s just too close to Reggae for my liking! One step beyond! BTW, why do these pop dinosaurs keep getting wheeled out every time there’s some kind of high profile gig recently? It was bad enough having to see them ponsing around on the roof of Buck House at the Jubilee gig. And just as I thought they had gone they were back again (singing exactly the same bloody song!) at the Olympics closing ceremony! Please make it stop!


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