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Professional northerners
June 23, 2007 1:10 AM   Subscribe

Northerners aren't overly represented on t'internet. Our kid reckoned the late Bernard Manning would make a comeback using MySpace, but that didn't 'appen. But hold onto t'whippet because The Lancashire Hotpots are filling the entertainment vacuum (I recommend Chippy Tea from the playlist). 30% Peter Kay, 30% George Formby, 39% Mike Harding (circa his Rochdale Cowboy phase), and 1% the UOGB, they're postmodern northerners for the 21st century (comparisons to Chas & Dave are inevitable and will be ignored).
posted by humblepigeon (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Post-post notes: Couldn't find any clips of Mike Harding, which is a shame because he used to make me cry with laughter as a kid (particularly the Fourteen and a Half Pound Budgie). Oh well.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:12 AM on June 23, 2007


Incidentally, the first north American MeFite to post "WTF!?!!?" wins an award!

Britain: We invented the web and now we want it back.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:19 AM on June 23, 2007


Bloody Tykes...

[pssst: I think you need to link to Phoenix Nights]
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:39 AM on June 23, 2007


Also, just because I want to name and shame... my stepfatherinlaw drives around in his 350Z sports car listening to his George Formby box set. I originally thought he was doing this just to upset my motherinlaw, but no. He really, really wants to turn everyone to Formby. "Listen to this bit," he says, turning it up until you soil yourself from the sheer sound pressure. Formby's banjelele technique alone is enough to loosen anyone's bowels.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:44 AM on June 23, 2007


I am seriously loving The Lancashire Hotpots.
posted by chrismear at 1:44 AM on June 23, 2007


Cracking. Mike Harding had quite a good folk show on Radio 2 as well, didn't he? John Cooper Clarke might be worth a look-in here, Salford whine n'all.
posted by Abiezer at 1:49 AM on June 23, 2007


Also, annoy any Burnley friend by getting them to repeat "oil in't ruurd" ("hole in the road") for a guaranteed chuckle.
posted by Abiezer at 1:54 AM on June 23, 2007


my stepfatherinlaw drives around in his 350Z sports car listening to his George Formby box set. I originally thought he was doing this just to upset my motherinlaw, but no. He really, really wants to turn everyone to Formby.

Some of George Formby's lyrics are practically obscene. Our generation like to think we invented explicit innuendo but Formby was way ahead of the curve. He could make your Graham Norton/Little Britain types blush.

He was also a pretty cool guy, giving performances to blacks in South Africa during the birth of apartheid, and refusing requests not to. I think they might even have kicked him out of SA for that.
posted by humblepigeon at 2:12 AM on June 23, 2007


John Cooper Clarke might be worth a look-in here, Salford whine n'all.

Another typically bizarre northerner. We might know him best as the Honey Monster's sidekick but it transpired he spent a few years living with Nico, of the Velvet Underground fame (although, apparently, he didn't actually shag her). Yeah, they lived in Salford.
posted by humblepigeon at 2:15 AM on June 23, 2007


Northerners aren't overly represented on t'internet.

Which is weird, because communication technology is a huge industry in the north. I mean, you've all heard of T'Mobile, right?

(95% of this joke is made from recycled material)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:18 AM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


We might know him best as the Honey Monster's sidekick

Am I missing some sort of arcane reference, or are you saying that John Cooper Clarke actually appeared in a Sugar Puffs advert?!
posted by jack_mo at 4:34 AM on June 23, 2007


I once got a hitch from a man who claimed to have sold smack to the Honey Monster. And his mother, riding shotgun, corroborated it. Or a woman who claimed to be his mother, and convincingly so. /derail
posted by imperium at 4:40 AM on June 23, 2007


I mean, you've all heard of T'Mobile, right?

Aye. That were the new name for One t'One, wont it?
posted by humblepigeon at 5:08 AM on June 23, 2007


Except for our Aussie mates and a few tip-of-South-Americans, aren't we ALL northerners?
posted by DU at 5:59 AM on June 23, 2007


jack_mo writes 'Am I missing some sort of arcane reference, or are you saying that John Cooper Clarke actually appeared in a Sugar Puffs advert?!'

Those Honey Monster residuals supported John Cooper Clarke's heroin habit for many a long year.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:12 AM on June 23, 2007


Cooper Clarke and the Honey Monster
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:14 AM on June 23, 2007


I always thought Formby was pretty racist (all that Chinese laundry stuff, for instance) so I'm surprised to read of his early performances for South African black audiences, humblepigeon. Interesting.

And yes, those lyrics could be pretty blue.

Here's a couple of fun Yorkshire links.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:53 AM on June 23, 2007


Mike Harding has a pretty good folk show on radio 2
posted by Helga-woo at 8:14 AM on June 23, 2007


Anarchy in Timperley
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:19 AM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I always thought Formby was pretty racist (all that Chinese laundry stuff, for instance)

I took an instant dislike to George Formby for pretty much the same reason, and that continued until very recently. But I couldn't find much to back it up once I looked into it. The Chinese Laundry Blues song doesn't seem racist, in that it doesn't rely on a stereotype. It's just about a Chinese laundry guy who's fallen in love and is neglecting his work. More character comedy, than racism.

Somebody once said that comedy that celebrates something is OK, while comedy that denigrates it is bad. It's debatable, but it seems to me that the Chinese Laundry Blues song celebrates Mr Woo.
posted by humblepigeon at 9:21 AM on June 23, 2007


Yeah, when you look at the actual lyrics, I'd have to say I agree.

"When I'm Cleaning Windows" is a fave of mine, and the lyrics to that one are just awesome. It's fantastically pervy stuff - both songs feature guys who are getting their jollies while on the job, from women who are presumably unaware of what's going on (hence, lack of consent). In one you've got a sort of fetishism, in the other, voyeurism. It all makes Benny Hill look rather simple.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:50 AM on June 23, 2007


JCC also has it in for Burnley.
posted by Abiezer at 10:12 AM on June 23, 2007


humblepigeon: He was also a pretty cool guy, giving performances to blacks in South Africa during the birth of apartheid, and refusing requests not to. I think they might even have kicked him out of SA for that.

Oh yes. From the Wikipedia article on Formby, specifically referring to his wife, Beryl:
In 1946 Beryl Ingham was with George on a tour of South Africa, where he played to black audiences despite threats from the National Party leader Daniel François Malan. Beryl embraced a three year old black girl who had presented her with a box of chocolates. When Malan started shouting at the Formbys, threatening to throw the couple out of the country, Beryl, with a typical northern response, replied "Why don't you piss off you horrible little man"
posted by hangashore at 10:34 AM on June 23, 2007


No mention of Hovis Presley or John Shuttleworth?

Shame on you.
posted by popkinson at 12:49 PM on June 23, 2007


Whale oil beef hooked.
posted by stavrogin at 12:50 PM on June 23, 2007


A bit more Frank Sidebottom. That's possibly the surrealist thing I've seen. Good to see him back.
posted by vbfg at 12:57 PM on June 23, 2007


Phoenix Nights is running on cable here in New Zealand. I just discovered on Friday. We were awestruck. In fact, we aven't been so excited since they put t'paedophile's address in t'paper.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:47 PM on June 23, 2007


No mention of Hovis Presley or John Shuttleworth?

Never heard of Hovis Presley, petal.

Shuttleworth is from Yorkshire.

Frank Sidebottom is Mancunian, so outside Lancs, but his home town of Timperley is in Cheshire.

Nobody's mentioned Phil Cool yet.
posted by humblepigeon at 1:50 PM on June 23, 2007


As a Lancastrian youth (no'but a lad) I was always strangely fond of Chorlton and the Wheelies. And of course who can forget the ancient martial art of Ecky Thump (about 4 minutes in).

Well, I was young at the time...
posted by itsjustanalias at 2:12 PM on June 23, 2007


humblepigeon writes 'Frank Sidebottom is Mancunian, so outside Lancs'

Administratively, perhaps, but Greater Manchester has only existed as an administrative entity since the 1970's, and it didn't actually do away with the old geographical boundaries. Historically, Manchester has been a part of Lancashire since the 12th century. Today, Timperley is part of Greater Manchester rather than Cheshire -- but the locals don't like it, and keep insisting that they belong in Cheshire, in much the same way as people from Southport hate to admit that they now live in Merseyside rather than West Lancashire.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:29 PM on June 23, 2007


Also, nobody's mentioned Phil Cool because he isn't.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:30 PM on June 23, 2007


humblepigeon: "Incidentally, the first north American MeFite to post "WTF!?!!?" wins an award!"

Well thirty-one comments later, here's an American saying, "WTF"? I don't think that I understood a single thing that yinz was saying in this thread. It's all something about some obscure part of the UK, right?
posted by octothorpe at 3:54 PM on June 23, 2007


Administratively, perhaps, but Greater Manchester has only existed as an administrative entity since the 1970's etc

I was born in what is now Greater Manchester, but was at the time Lancashire. My parents still send post stating "Lancs", rather than "Greater Manchester". It's a form of low-key rebellion that's still going strong after 30+ years.

As for Timperley, I didn't realise it was in Trafford. That must have seriously irked the locals during the boundary change. Ha!
posted by humblepigeon at 1:13 AM on June 24, 2007


Not northern, but I noticed it via the Hotpots link and it's quite depressing; The Three Tuns, Coventry, never a regular haunt but not appalling has now become the New York Bar and Grill. Pitiful. I'm sure i_cola will sure my concerns.
posted by biffa at 5:18 AM on June 25, 2007


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