Friday 6 March 2015

Week 31 - The Grambler on concert goers filming

Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and will be missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.


His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


First up this week, I want to apologise for the rude, racist joke that ended last week’s edition of the wonderful blog that is  I am not apologising for it being a bit rude, nor am I apologising for its racist content.  No, I am apologising for the fact it was such a dreadful gag.  All gags are contrived, but this was just awful.  It was a poor imitation of another gag…

Stevie Wonder is playing a gig in Japan (See?  Same setting.) and the audience are crying out for him to play a jazz chord.  He gives them a couple of the funkiest tunes in his repertoire – Superstition, Jamming – but still they cry out for him to play a jazz chord.  He gives them Sir Duke and For Once in My Life, but still they cry out for a jazz chord.  He gives them Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing and Happy Birthday, but still they cry out the same thing – ‘Play a jazz chord.’  He finally runs out of ideas and asks what on earth they want of him…and they sing ‘A jazz chord to say I love you…’

Basically a cleaner version of the same gag.  Still racist though.


Right what has been happening that might interest you?  Well, last Sat’dy we had a quiz in memory of Stewart to raise funds for the Bobby Moore Fund (via The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund).  Organised and run by Stewart’s closest friends, the night raised a staggering £2400 for the fund.  Brilliant or what?  Remember, anyone who is reading this, you too can make a contribution.  It doesn’t have to be much.  You can donate as little as 2 quids.  Just go to, click on donate and follow the steps.  Go on.  You know you want to help kick cancer’s backside.

There was a special prize for the best team name.  Obviously the Gramblettes didn’t win, but the team that did was certainly worthy of its award.  It was called ‘664 The Neighbour of The Beast’.  Brilliant, or what?


I told you last week that I had been to a concert.  The Australian Pink Floyd.  Pretty good they were. 

The venue for the concert was the new Hydro in Glasgow.  It is a wonderful place.  It holds 12,000.  12,000 inside a huge auditorium which, from the outside, resembles a gigantic soup pot complete with lid.  No matter what the exterior looks like, the sound generated inside is what matters and I have to say it was rather good.

I was fortunate that my seat was at the front of an elevated section.  I had an excellent view of the stage and really enjoyed both the music and the spectacular light show.  Not so those souls who had paid for the ‘expensive’ seats.  These seats were all at the same low level.  Not the best place to be, in my opinion.  Why?  Because of the current obsession of observing a concert via a mobile phone (See

As I looked down at these groundlings (as they were known in Shakespeare’s day) I could see, what seemed like, 1 in 5 attempting to film the whole concert.  Are you mad?  You have just paid over 40 quid for a ticket and you spend the whole show watching it through a four inch screen!  This show was a visual and audio treat but, rather than savouring it, you numpties were recording it so that you could watch it later and enjoy shaky camerawork accompanied by dodgy sound quality. 

You could have saved yourself a lot of dosh by simply not even bothering to attend the concert and, instead, just going out and buying a dvd by the band.  You know.  Professionally recorded.  Excellent visuals captured perfectly.  Sound quality as good as the real thing.

And do you know something else all you amateur film makers?  You probably ruined the concert for all those around you.  The people who paid as much as you did for their tickets and had to endure the whole thing through a sea of arms because you wanted to hold your cameras above head level.

I have never before thought a great deal about the request that sometimes gets made before concerts asking audience members not to take photographs.  After seeing the multitude of camera phone lights, I can understand and agree with the thinking.  Looking down at the audience seated on the lower level, I was reminded of those old concerts where the audience would wave their cigarette lighters in the air in a swaying motion in time to a ballady type of song.  Well, naked flames aren’t allowed any more.  A switched on camera phone makes a handy substitute.  Only these phones aren’t meant to be moving.  They are though.  Just enough for the resulting footage to be practically unwatchable.


Hey, guess what.  There are more Gramblers in this world.  Yep.  Since 2008 a rather nice singer of some rather nice toons called Nicki Bluhm (That’s the rather nice singer, not the rather nice toons) has performed with her backing band, The Gramblers.  Fancy that.  Would you like a wee sample?  Then click on and enjoy.  Guess what else.  The band’s geetarist and songwriter Deren Ney follows us on Twitter - @Lets Gramble - what an honour.  For him.


Any birthdays to mention?  What famous people were born on the 7th of March?  Maurice Ravel 1875 (model of car), Anthony Armstrong-Jones 1930 (posh bloke with a camera), Ranulph Fiennes 1944 (bloke who thinks he is still in the 19th century), Vivian Richards 1952 (crickety bloke), Bryan Cranston 1956 (raising hell), Rik Mayall 1958 (Lord Flashheart.  Woof!), Ivan Lendl 1960 (tennissy bloke), Jesper Parnevik 1965 (golfy bloke) and Rachel Weisz 1970 (she loves her mummy).  Hmm, nobody in there able to give us a toon for gramblerising, but we have another musical anniversary to celebrate.  Oh yes.  On the 7th of March 30 years ago, the good ol U S of A got into the aid for Africa appeal and We Are The World was released.  Apparently, it was Harry Belafonte who first mooted the idea.  Or was it Bob Geldof.  No matter.  Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie got together and composed this dreadful piece of s*** and got all their rich pals to sing on the recording.  Quite a few big names were in there.  Are you ready for this?  They were (deep breath) – Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rodgers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springstein, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles.  They were just the soloists who each sang a line.  There were others in the chorus.  They were (another deep breath) – Dan Aykroyd (yeah, I wondered why he was there an’ all), Harry Belafonte, Lyndsay Buckingham, Mario Cipollina (a member of  ‘the News’ as in Huey Lewis and…), Johnny Colla (another ‘New’), Sheila E, Bob Geldof, Bill Gibson (News’ drummer.  Huey obviously thought they were all invited.), Chris Hayes (Yep, another one), Sean Hopper (and again), Jackie, La Toya (Barbara), Marlon, Randy and Tito Jackson (Michael brought his whole family with him), Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, Anita, June and Ruth Pointer and, finally, Smokey Robinson.  Some line-up, eh?  And yet the song was awful.  No matter.  It sold by the bucketload.  Over 20 million.  It isn’t just me that thinks the song is dreadful…

American journo Greill Marcus likened it to a jingle for Pepsi…  ‘the constant repetition of 'There's a choice we're making' conflates with Pepsi's trademarked 'The choice of a new generation' in a way that, on the part of Pepsi-contracted song writers Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, is certainly not intentional, and even more certainly beyond the realm of serendipity.  In the realm of contextualization, 'We Are the World' says less about Ethiopia than it does about Pepsi—and the true result will likely be less that certain Ethiopian individuals will live, or anyway live a bit longer than they otherwise would have, than that Pepsi will get the catch phrase of its advertising campaign sung for free by Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and all the rest.’

Author Reebee Garofalo agreed and expressed the opinion that the line ‘We're saving our own lives’ was a ‘distasteful element of self-indulgence.’  He asserted that the artists of USA for Africa were proclaiming ‘their own salvation for singing about an issue they will never experience on behalf of a people most of them will never encounter.’

Despite such negativity, it’s still worth a bit of gramblerising.  Who knows; it might even improve it.

We are the gramblers
We are the ones who make a grambler day
So lets start grambling
There's a choice we're making
We're grambling our own lives
It's true we make a grambler day
Just you and me...

I was never a fan of Only Fools and Horses, the Beeb Beeb Ceeb sitcom from the 80s and beyond but, on one of the few occasions I watched it, I remember a part where Rodney (Dave) was trying to explain who Bob Dylan was.  He nailed it with – ‘He was the bloke who couldn’t sing at the end of We Are The World.’


How did The Grambler’s predictions fare this week?  We won.  Yay!  No, not yay.  We only won 95 pees.  Oh well.  What happened?  Read on…

Bournemouth vs Blackburn – Prediction Home win

Result – Bournemouth 0 Blackburn 0

Ooh!  ‘It the bar!

Bournemouth made it five Championship games without a win as they played out a scrappy goalless draw against a resilient Blackburn Rovers.

Marc Pugh had the chance to give the Cherries an early lead but his effort was tipped over by Jason Steele.

Rovers' Rudy Gestede played Chris Taylor in on goal soon after but the midfielder dragged his shot just wide.

Yann ‘Shag’ Kermorgant could have sealed three points for the hosts late on but he rattled the bar with a headed effort.

Despite the Cherries' dominance, they could not find the target, squandering the chance to close the gap on top two Derby and Middlesbrough, who both lost.

The hosts struggled to assert themselves in a scrappy first half but Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser was unlucky not to hit the target from close range.

Callum Wilson came close to putting Bournemouth ahead just before the break but Matthew Kilgallon defended well to keep the scores level.

Some poor defending from the visitors allowed Pugh to cross to the onrushing Wilson who could not connect.

Wilson and Pugh linked up again as Bournemouth dominated the opening of the second period but the latter fired weakly at Steele.

Kermorgant was unfortunate not to give the hosts the lead in the closing stages but Steele superbly saved his pinpoint header.

Minutes later, Kermorgant latched onto Simon Francis' cross but his powerful header hit the crossbar.

Cardiff vs Wolves – Prediction Home win

Result – Cardiff 0 Wolves 1


Wolverhampton Wanderers won their third match in a row with a 1-0 win at 10-man Cardiff City to move to within two points of the play-off places.

Bakary Sako's low shot finished off a Wolves first-half counter-attack to put the visitors ahead.

Bluebirds midfielder Peter ‘Dick’ Whittingham was sent off in the second-half after two bookable offences.

Defender Richard Stearman cleared the ball off the line in injury-time as Cardiff pressed for an equaliser.

Rotherham vs Millwall – Prediction Home win

Result – Rotherham 2 Millwall 1


Crowd trouble marred Rotherham's crucial victory over relegation rivals Millwall at the New York Stadium.

Police had to push visiting fans back as Rotherham completed a second-half comeback to leave Millwall six points from safety in the Championship.

Martyn Woolford had given Millwall the lead but Danny Ward struck an equaliser just after half-time.

Kari Arnason scored the winner five minutes from time to put the Millers six points above the drop zone.

Millwall supporters chanted for the sacking of manager Ian Holloway and tried to invade the home fans' areas with police forced to intervene.

Rotherham, without a win in their last four league matches, started well and put the Millwall penalty area under considerable pressure, with David Forde palming away Ben ‘Crispy’ Pringle's free-kick.

But the Lions scored against the run of play after 20 minutes when Shaun Williams' cross was headed back across goal by Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Woolford's looping volley beat Adam Collin.

Rotherham responded well and and they had a spell camped in the visitors' half, going close on several occasions.

Millwall had a chance to make to it 2-0 nine minutes before the break as Lee Gregory's shot from close range was kept out by Collin.

Rotherham made a flying start to the second half, levelling inside 90 seconds.

Pringle's deep cross was headed back across goal and Ward's low volley from 12 yards caught a slight deflection and beat Forde.

The hosts pushed for the winner and almost took the lead in the 63rd minute when Hunt burst into the area but his fierce drive hit the post and Ward's effort from the rebound was palmed away by Forde.

Their pressure was rewarded in the 85th minute when Arnason was left unmarked from Pringle's corner and he headed home the winner.

Chesterfield vs Fleetwood – Prediction Home win

Result – Chesterfield 3 Fleetwood 0


Promotion-chasing Chesterfield ended a run of four defeats with a convincing win over a Fleetwood side who had boss Graham Alexander sent off late on.

Caolan Lavery slotted in from 12 yards to open the scoring and Sam Hird bundled in a rebound for the second.

Antoni Sarcevic was then shown two yellow cards for dissent in quick succession, resulting in his dismissal before the interval.

Sam Morsy's low shot made it 3-0 before Alexander was sent to the stands

Coventry vs MK Dons – Prediction Away win

Result – Coventry 2 MK Dons 1


Coventry won under interim managers Neil MacFarlane and Dave Hockaday with a shock success over MK Dons.

Chris Stokes' header and a slick finish from Dominic Samuel in the first 12 minutes gave the hosts early control.

The Dons dominated the second half but broke through only once when Daniel Powell converted Carl Baker's cross.


So only two out of five right for The Grambler.  Can he/she/it do better this week?  Let’s hope so.  As it is cup weekend in both England and Scotland, there are only 46 senior games taking place on Saturday the 7th of March at 3 pm.  What five have been selected by The Grambler?

Game – Result – Odds

QPR vs Tottenham – Prediction Away win – 4/5

Wolves vs Watford – Prediction Home win – 7/5

Peterborough vs Leyton Orient – Prediction Home win – Evens

Shrewsbury vs Cambridge – Prediction Home win – 4/6

Dunfermline vs Ayr – Prediction Home win – 8/11

There we have it my little gramblerinis, The Grambler has (randomly) chosen and the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) are on.  So how much will be winging its way to the Bobby Moore Fund via The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund?


Will it happen?  Will it f… Probably not.

Shall we move on to our teaser?  [Ooh, yes!  Let’s! – Ed.]  Last week I asked you which current Premiershit team has never featured in an FA Cup final.  The answer is Swansea.  Maybe it’s because they are Welsh.

What about one for this week?  What was missing from the English Premiershit for the first time after the 11th of February 2015?  Hmm….

Before we do our ‘and finally’ bit, may I ask all you readers of this wonderful blog that is to tell everyone you know to start reading it.  Maybe they won’t appreciate the tripe that gets written but, hopefully, they will learn something about the horrible disease of bowel cancer.  We are told so often that 95% of cases are in people aged over 50.  This is true, but the other 5% can be any age.  Let people know this.  Let them know that any bowel problems should be investigated immediately, no matter how young they are.  Don’t be fobbed off with the line ‘You’re too young to get bowel cancer’.  You’re never too young.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to ‘In Living Color’ for a version of We are the World that is closer to the truth…

Happy grambling.

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