More recent reading

John Gorman


John Gorman is my late Father’s cousin and has a reputation in football that is considerable.

As I child I was besotted with the rubbed off fame that he bestowed upon me in the playground.  My most vivid memories are of him as captain of Carlisle United.  Top of what is now the premiership.

Football is a fickle mistress though.

Carlisle’s early season winnng streak soon ran out and with that so did John, to Spurs, and injury.

After that Tampa Bay.

Most pros gradually fade away, but not John.  Through his association with Glenn Hoddle he rose increasingly to managerial prominence, culminating in his Assistant managership of England, as a Jock.

So, I was looking forward to this reading with enthusiasm.  There is however, a dreadful back story that permeates the book, the early death, through cancer, of his beloved wife Myra.  This element of the book is truly tragic and it is really quite poignant.

Despite this the book is not something I could recommend to the casual reader I’m sorry to say.  It’s ghost written by journalist Kevin Brennan.  Sadly Kevin Brennan is to literature what Michael Winner is to film making.  It’s not good.

It’s illuminating though and demonstrates ably how thin the line is between success and failure.  John goes through a job or two per chapter and there are 17 of them, so it demonstrates how grim a reality football management is, especially in the lower leagues.

One for the family and the collectors only I have to say.

dunfermline no more


This credit crunch seems to drive people to very strange decisions.

Clearly the Dunfermline has had an annus horribilis but the view on the non-validity of its balance sheet seems a bit kneejerk.

One argument is that it’s trashed to the tune of over a billion.  The other that £50 million or so would fix it.

So.  What’s the story? My view is that it was a fixable problem.


With a government in total freefall;  clueless;  PR stories at farcical levels (the Home Secretary’s porno bill); global meltdown; what chance did The Dunfermline have?

What’s going on man?  It’s bonkers.  This looks like a very fixable problem.  But instead we get the heavy hand of officialdom coming in and messing everything up.

The FSA?

I thought the A in FSA stood for Authority.


Bloody Hell, this is good


I saw Melody Gardot live at The Voodoo Lounge early last year and was instantly a fan.  Buying her debut album from the lady herself I was a touch disappointed on getting home.  In truth it was no more than so so, although the title track sneaked into my best of 2008 b sides compilation.

So you could have knocked me over with a feather on hearing her second outing.


Bugger me, this has come on in so many leaps and bounds as to put Bambi in the shade.  I’ll go as far as to say that this will unquestionably, come Christmas, be in the running for my album of the year.

Smooth, smoky, sexy, coooool, loungey Jazz with a perfect voice and a mood that I haven’t heard in a long time.

OK it’s easy to make comparisons with Norah Jones, but I’d err more towards Camille.  In truth she is her own thing but certainly from the torch singing Jazz classic side of the tracks.

It is  a wonderful record.  Get out there now and buy it.  Then you too can claim to have spotted one of the next superstars in their ascendancy.

Recent reading


You will now presumably be aware of David Peace’s rapidly growing repuation (The Damned Utd, The Red Riding Trilogy).

I am pleased (smug? Ed.) to say I’ve been ahead of the curve on all this as previous posts will testify and one of his books that hasn’t hit the big screen is the subject of my latest bibliographic indulgence.

GB 84 is an epic piece of writing.  Coming in at well over 400 pages it does not set out to make life easy for the reader and it succeeds in holding that to the end.

In parts it’s quite staggeringly brilliant but mostly it’s rather turgid and verging on the contrived.  David Peace is a very clever writer, the trouble is that in this book he seems to want to prove the point and actually ends up just annoying the fuck out of you.

It’s a true life act of fiction set around the 1984 miner’s strike with a cast of real life characters, Scargill – The President – and Thatcher chief of all, but is surrounded by characters that are clearly based on real life people, ‘The Jew’ for instance, is an odious spin doctor.

As an elegy to the strike, the great strike one has to say, it is quite breathtaking.  It is so detailed, so harrowing that at times you have to look away – the scenes of violence involving police versus flying picket, with the dice so clearly laden in the former’s favour, take your breath away at times  But it just goes on and on and.  Like the strike itself I guess.

And it has more sub plots than a year’s worth of Coronation Street and in the end that’s all too much.  Corruption is the key subplot, but you’ve got loyalty (scabbing), deception (infidelity), espionage, murder, brutality and love (sort of) too to deal with.

Frankly it’s all a bit of a mess, and a long winded one at that.

Could I recommend it?

Sadly, no.

Is it well written?

Well, technically, yes.

Am I glad it’s over?

Oh yes.

Has it put me off David Peace?

No way.