The Life Of A Referee

It’s 4:53 pm on a Saturday afternoon.  I’m walking the long stretch out of Purtell Park to the bus stop when a car flashes by.  Then, the call comes from inside the passenger window.  “Hey ref! You’re fucking useless!”

The game today was a sloppy one sided affair between Carina and Normanby in the Premier Grade. Lots of dropped ball.  Plenty of handling errors.  Too many wrong decisions made by the  play makers in both sides but of course, it’s the referees fault that the game was a dire affair.  Blaming other people for your mistakes is part of our society as to is abusing the referee’s on a Saturday afternoon.  It’s become part of rugby league’s culture.  It’s soul destroying for some.  Demoralising for others yet, for match officials each and every weekend, it’s the life of a referee.

I often wonder when I see grown adults cornering young referees after junior matches with threats and abuse, how would they react should a customer come into their child’s place of work and grab them by the collar, abuse them, spit on them or hit them?  Would you stand by and allow it to happen?  If you answered correctly, then why would you simply stand by and let your family and friends intimidate sporting officials?  So why do you do it then? If you do know it all, why not sign up and have a go yourself next season?

IMG_1010.JPG

My first encounter as a referee came in May 1994.  I was approaching the age of 17 and very much green behind the ears.  Looking back, my efforts at becoming a referee that cold winters night were pretty average.  So much so that a middle aged man full of rum tried to punch me after the full time whistle because his sons team lost.  Does anyone remember who won the Brisbane junior rugby league under 13 division 4 south side competition in 1994?  Thought so.  Yet still, in 2017 we see parents acting like sheep stations are at stake in kids footy.  Personally, I would prefer to see all parents and the consumption of alcohol banned from all junior sporting events across Australia.  But that’s another story all together.

As the years rolled on, I grew older and made my way up through the grades.  Today was my 340th senior grade match.  I have refereed and touch judged over 1,000 games since that cold May night in 1994 and I still enjoy it today as much as I did then. This season has been great! A number of young referees have made their debuts in senior footy and, by all accounts gone very well which is always good to hear regardless of the sport you officiate in.  My fingers are crossed that some of them make it all the way to NRL level.  There are indeed a couple who should.  They have time on their side and, if they learn some patience, they have bright futures in the game.

One myth that perpetuates sport is that referees favour some teams over others.  It’s a load of tosh.  We don’t care too much who wins and somebody has to lose.  I’ve made many near and dear friends from refereeing.  Some will last a lifetime.  In all the years I have run around fields, not once have I heard a referee say he wants a particular team to win.  If you put 500 people in a room and showed them a replay of a contentious decision, 250 would go one way and, you guessed it, the other 250 would think differently.  And this is after seeing multiple replays.  In the middle, a referee has a split second to make that same decision, often at pace and, if later in the game, under fatigue.

The time now edges towards 5:30 pm.  I’ll be on a train soon and home in around 40 minutes.  I left home at 12:45 pm so all up, I’ll have invested 5 hours and 30 minutes of my day for the princely match fee of $75.  That equates to $13 an hour for giving up half my Saturday.  Lucky for me, I enjoy refereeing and love the game, not the money.  In years gone by I’d surrender my Friday night, Saturday and Sunday to the game as well as Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights for video review and training sessions.  That was back in the day when I held ambition to go places as a referee.  Now days, it’s just a hobby.  For many now, successful match officiating involves a lot of hard work.  I guess what I am getting at is that referees at grassroots level in particular deserve more respect than they get.  They give up personal and family time to make sure you have a game.  Abusing and threatening referees only drives them away from the game.  Without them, you won’t have a game.  Think about that next time you want to corner a young boy or girl for abuse simply because they are trying to find their feet as a referee.

My Crazy Predictions!

Well, it’s finally back on our doorstep!  Wives and girlfriends all over the world will, once more, begin to find themselves being ignored by their fellas because the footy is back!  Hmmm, that sounds a bit harsh.  I’ll rephrase myself here.  PLENTY of wives and girlfriends will be ignored.  Better?

arsenal_wenger_mobile_top.jpg

My first big prediction of 2017/18 is to keep your eyes peeled on Arsenal fan TV.  Last season, it was comedy gold with Robbie Lyle leading the way as he interviews even more deluded Gooners in the coming months.  As Arsene Wenger lost the plot last season, Arsenal fan TV “pundits” lost their shit like never before!  I kid you not, this shit entertained me for minutes whilst riding trains and buses as the months rolled on.  The highlight was seeing Troopz blow up after the West Brom loss!  21st Century entertainment at its best!  When Arsenal begin to fall apart like clockwork in February, expect the foul language and “Arsene Out” banners to be in full swing.  Oh, Arsenal are no chance of finishing TOP 4 this season either.

troopz2

And so we move on…..

The club we all love to hate, Manchester United have, once more spent more money on players than a middle aged fat businessman does on high end escorts and cars to make himself feel young again.  The question is, will United be able to sustain an erection for the entire season without blowing early like they have done in past seasons.  I know, I know, they won a mickey mouse treble last season but will they finish TOP 4? No chance!  Will they win the Champions League?  Well, Spurs have got a better chance of doing the domestic double over Arsenal than United winning a serious piece of silver.  Hold on a minute!  I’m predicting no TOP 4 finish, no silver and Jose to be punted at seasons end.  Not so special anymore are you now Jose?

If you take into account the obscene money PSG forked out for that overrated Brazilian fella, Manchester United have spent a hell of a lot of money for about the fifth season running.  Lukaku will start strong, scoring plenty of goals early on before the pressure gets to him and he disappears into the abyss of Castle Greyskull.  Long term, Big Rom will be a flop for them and the blue shite will be laughing all the way to 7th spot!

BvZth5zIUAAEITe.png

I have a soft spot for three time champions of England, Huddersfield Town.  My English parents live there.  My English sister lives near by in Leeds (shame they didn’t get promoted last season) and Aussie boy done good, Aaron Mooy plays for the Terriers as well.  Everyone so far is predicting them to return to the Championship at the first hurdle but I say bollocks to that.  Along with Brighton, another side I quite enjoy going to watch, both sides will start the season well before tapering off only to find safety in a late season surge that will see both sides finish mid table.  I can see Brighton holding Manchester City on the opening weekend as Pep tried to get his overpaid ego merchants to gel.  For the record, I’d like to see the end of Swansea, Crystal Palace and Stoke.  But this can only mean Newcastle will join the other two promoted sides in staying up.  A rare feat yet one that I can see happening this year.

Aaron-Mooy-615851.jpg

Manager sackings in football are now as common as Police shooting innocent civilians in America.  The only question to be asked is who will be the first manager shot?  For me, it’s a no brainer.  “Sparky” will be gone from the Potters before Santa has a chance to unload his sack in December.  It will be the beginning of the end for Stoke City in England’s top flight.  Hughes will follow his old mate, “Fat Head” into the managerial wilderness of shit clubs like Hull City, Brum, Wigan and that basket case of a club otherwise known as Sunderland.  The other manager in the mix for an early sacking is Marco Silva at Watford.  Once Liverpool completely batter them on the opening day, it will be all downhill until Silva gets punted by Watford’s daft owners who actually think European football is a distinct possibility in the years to come. A bit like Elton John in the 80’s when he was the “daddy” for the Hornets.

317317b37630134680afc86928746685--watford-fc-brick-road

So what of England’s most decorated and prestigious club, Liverpool then?  You all know my thoughts on the money ball Yanks who currently milk the club for all its worth.  And Barcelona don’t seem to know what fuck off means when it comes to our beautiful number 10 and I reckon he is the difference between a big season and a season playing catch up.  That Dutch fella from our feeder club will arrive before the end of August to strengthen up the defensive problems of recent years and in the goal scorers can stay fit and hit the ground running there is not a single reason why Liverpool can’t challenge for the title.  The big test will come in a couple of weeks when Crystal Palace visit Anfield.  Those cockney pricks have come away with all three points from their last three visits.  If it becomes four from four then you will have proof in the pudding the club is incapable of learning from past mistakes.  Worse case scenario is falling to the Krauts in the Champions League qualifiers, losing to the blue shite in both derby encounters, getting 6 put past us at Castle Greyskull and finishing 7th after being knocked out of the FA and League Cups at the first hurdle.  On the plus side, we may also be crowned, dare I say it, champions of England in May!

Liverpools-Philippe-Coutinho-celebrates-scoring-their-first-goal.jpg

I could cover a lot more but essentially, you have got the most important bits out of the impending season that awaits.  Oh, Spurs may just go that one step further this year and become the title winners.  So here is my predicted table at season’s end.  Good luck and enjoy the ride!

  1. Tottenham
  2. Liverpool
  3. Manchester City
  4. Chelsea
  5. Arsenal
  6. Everton
  7. Newcastle United
  8. Leicester City
  9. West Ham
  10. Burnley
  11. West Bromwich Albion
  12. Huddersfield Town
  13. Brighton
  14. Southampton
  15. Manchester United
  16. AFC Bournemouth
  17. Watford
  18. Swansea
  19. Crystal Palace
  20. Stoke City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 months of internet dating….

So there I was, January 2016.  It had been a couple of months since my marriage broke down and, being one to always keep looking forward in life, I stepped into the cross fire world of internet dating.  18 months on, where did it get me?

Initially, some of my friends advised me to stay away from the mine field that is finding love online.  However, being the optimist, I ignored their warnings and dived head first into the ocean of like minded woman looking for that someone special.  One dear friend had advised me that my lack of financial security, lack of mortgage and refusal to drive would put most girls off from the outset.  Another friend kindly suggested that I was a little too weird for Australian woman to comprehend on any reasonable level whilst a handful said I would need to drop 10 kg’s and get some six pack action going on to be successful on Tinder, Plenty of Fish and the other sites I tried my luck at.

o-ONLINE-DATING-PROFILE-facebook

Illustrative of couple representing online dating

The uncharted waters were intriguing at first.  So many interesting people out there in the online world.  Many seemed keen to chat and swap stories on life and lost loves.  As the days began to role into weeks and months, I found more and more woman were only interested in chatting through the mercurial screens of their smart phones.  OK, i’m not a total bell end here.  Of course there are guys who pull the same attention seeking tricks and yes, there are nice people out there but a great majority of the people I stumbled over were, it seemed addicted to being told how “amazing”, “stunning” and “beautiful” they were by men they had never met.  So much attention coming their way on a daily basis!  How could a girl refuse?  The downside to this ego boosting exercises were that men, for the best part are all the same.  We tell woman what they want to hear to reel them in, chew them up and then spit them out.  Many will try to argue against this theory but I even fell into the trap myself because it became incredibly easy to throw enough compliments towards a girl and entice her out from behind the safety of a smart phone screen.  It’s an art form really.  And it takes little to no time to master.

20141014d0Internet_Pe.d1965

Fast forward a few months and I had met my fair share of interesting woman.  Many it seemed, had come from abusive relationships and were quite rightly somewhat wary of men.  Having worked in domestic violence wards, i’d seen first hand the damage that can be done.  It’s not pretty.  Now, I found myself meeting what seemed a stream of damaged woman who had been either emotionally, mentally or worse still, physically abused by their previous partners.  Some had a track record of attracting these kinds of guys.  Almost all of the girls I met who sailed in this boat appeared to still be in need of time on their own to rediscover themselves.  It’s a sad indicative of this nation that we still have so many woman who are affected by domestic violence.

time-top-10-online-dating-stories-2014-cuddlr-02

There was a lot of sex on tap as I was to find out.  Sometimes, you would begin chatting to someone at 9 pm and by 11 pm you were in their bed or vice versa exchanging bodily fluids at an alarming rate.  Some even seemed happy to go bare back and not use protection.  A few even wanted to phone up some friends and have some group activities on the same night.  I’d go on to meet so many different shades of woman.  At the other end of the scale were the girls who needed what seemed like weeks or months to pluck up the dutch courage to meet up just for a cup or tea and cake.  “I need to get to know you more” many would suggest.  Meanwhile, six weeks later after a subsequent barrage of “Hi, how was your day?” messages, i’d often cut the prospective date free.  Harsh?  Perhaps?  But why let the world pass you by?  Get out there and get into life is my motto.  Too many people play it safe in life, sitting back and waiting for things to happen instead of making the most of every opportunity.

I’ve come to the conclusion that internet dating just isn’t my cup of tea.  It’s a world of shallow, narsassitic time wasters who always seem to be wondering how green the grass is on the other side.  Sadly, they forget that the grass is green where you water it the most. Instead of giving 5 or 10% of your time to the wrong people, give 100% of your time to the right person.  After all, there are only so many times a complete stranger can call you “beautiful” before it starts to wear thin? Or does it?

Either way, each to their own and in the meantime, I am going to wait for that chance encounter with a random stranger that leads to something more……

Falling Out Of Love…..

There are few things that have captured my imagination since childhood like football has.  In recent years however, my faith in the world game has been diluted by greed.  If reports are true, it appears Barcelona’s Neymar will be sold to PSG for a whopping 220 million Euro’s in the coming days.  Last year, Manchester United spent around 90 million quid on Paul Pogba and only recently shelled out 75 million for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.  Already this summer, Premier League Clubs have spent over 900 million pounds with the expectations that the summer spending will top 2 billion by the end of the transfer window.  So who pays for all this?

neymar

“Show me the money!”

In early 2015, the Premier League signed off on a broadcasting deal worth around 5.2 billion pounds.  In 1992, the original TV was worth 191 million pounds.  as the new century dawned, the dame deal jumped to over a billion pounds for the first time and there  were a further four increases leading up to the 2015 deal.  With so much extra money flowing through, it was inevitable that the cost of buying players and and paying their wages was going to increase dramatically in due course.

hi-res-3834518a081f0940aaf8dce3e8f8c591_crop_north

Liverpool’s Phileppe Coutinho reaps in a whopping 200,000 pounds a week before endorsements come into play.  The boy earns more in one week that most of us would earn over a seven or eight year period.  Even more in other cases.  Just stop and think about that for a moment.  It will take you at least 7 long years to earn what one footballer will earn in just a solitary week.  I know this is where some of you will have counter arguments to this logic but you need to think of the supporters who attend matches every week, sometimes three times in a week.  The rising cost of player fees and wages has seen ticket prices gradually creep up.  A great many of my old match going mates have been priced out of the game and these days attend maybe three or four matches a year.  You know what it’s like yeah?  Getting married, kids, mortgage and all that lark.  Holding down a job, family holidays and bills.  It all adds up.

PK9.jpg

Patrick Kluivert’s nine year old son, Shane recently put pen to paper with Nike for a business deal.  It is expected that the young lad, yet to even reach puberty will follow in his fathers footsteps and earn millions in the process.  Shane Kluivert is already on the books at PSG.  I’m sure it won’t be long before players are being signed up before the get out of nappies!  Nike and PSG aren’t interested in the footballing aspect of this deal.  To them, it’s all about business opportunities and the rest of the football world is following suit.  More on PSG later.

Whilst a holiday maker or bucket list completest will happily shell out for overpriced match tickets, it’s the regular match goers who are being priced out of the game.  As can be seen by the recent fiasco with ticket sales for the first half of the season, many Liverpool fans were left without a hope in hell of getting a match ticket let alone one next to their mates or kids.  The club doesn’t give a stuff.  Either way, they will sell the tickets and they seem to be not at all bothered who the tickets go to as can be seen by their lack of action and increasing ticket prices.  Sadly, it’s not just at Liverpool where this is happening.  Season tickets in London are through the roof with no end in sight to the price increases.  What makes it hard for supporters is seeing players refusing to sign contracts because they want 150 grand a week instead of 135.  You start to contemplate why they play the game?  Money or love?  It appears money is the only motivating factor for too many players yet we, as a society continue to make excuses for this greed.

DFmRSjQW0AEppDy.jpg

Greedy bastard much?

Earlier today, Neymar put pen to paper for a deal that will see him earn 45 million Euro’s a year.  Breaking it down, he will earn 123,000 Euro’s each and every day!  So who’s going to pay for this greed in the long run? You and me.  The humble football supporters who just want to watch our team play.  I’m slowly falling out of love with football.  With every passing year, come tighter financial restrictions faced with going the match.  The players are losing touch with reality and there appears no end in sight.

Missing Your Target Is Actually A Success!

Think about it.  All through life, we are faced with targets and goals, almost on a daily basis.  Some of us find targets a bit daunting but what if I told you how you can be successful by not even reaching your target?  OK, I might be sounding like a pyramid scam artist here but in reality, I’m going to give you an example of why failing to reach your goals can be and should be considered a roaring success.

In 2013, I ran a hearty 4 marathons, 7 half marathons and clocked up a PB of 17.4 on the beep test.  Fitness wise, it was one of my most enjoyable years on record.  I’d been told some two years before that my fitness levels were not good enough by my Queensland Referee’s Academy Director, Eddie Ward.  My initial reaction left me fuming.  There were older and less fit guys running in the squad and I know deep down Eddie just wanted me gone for whatever reason he had and hid behind the “your beep test results in pre season were not good enough” excuse.  Fuck you I thought to myself.  I’ll show the bastard wrong!  And so I did.

maxresdefault.jpg

Over the coming weeks and months, I took my anger and frustrations out on the pavements of Brisbane.  My goal was to run a half marathon.  Four weeks later, I did.  I finished it in a respectable 1 hour 48 minutes and felt OK.  Next step, I decided, was to have a crack at the Gold Coast full marathon.  Come early July, i’d knocked that one over as well.  The following year, 2013, I went crazy for road running.  In the summer of 2012/13, I was doing spin classes, body pump, road runs, walking and a full gym program.  As we came back to pre season training, I found myself sitting out near the front of all the fitness tests put before us and was enjoying myself.  Through hard work and graft, I found my way back into the squad but was barely used all season in games.  That didn’t bother me too much.  I took a far great slice of satisfaction proving that Eddie Ward was so far off the mark it just wasn’t funny.  Personally, I would have had more respect for the man had he just come out and told me that he didn’t like my personality or whatever it was that he took issue with.  I like honesty in people rather than bullshit.

This past month, I honed into some of that energy from 2012/13 to try and crack 400 km’s of walking and running through the 31 days.  As it stands, I’m set to finish the month off with around 330 km’s.  It’s 70 clicks off the target but it is still a success for me because I have covered the largest distance in one calendar month than I ever had before.  Whilst the 400 mark would have been a fabulous achievement, 330 is still nothing to be scoffed at and a PB for me so what more could I ask for?

maxresdefault (1).jpg

The moral of the story is that you should never see the missing of your target as a failure.  No matter what that target or goal is, always do your best to get there but take away the positives even if you don’t get the final result you were looking for.  Fitness can make every single day of your life an amazing adventure.  Setting attainable targets is one thing and achieving them is another all together but remember to always see the positives in every step along the way to either reaching or getting close to your target.  Sometimes getting near your target is just as big a success as achieving it.

Be Yourself, Everybody Else Is Taken

If there is one thing that forty years on planet earth has taught me, it’s so very important to just be yourself!  The other night, Sunday evening to be precise, I opened a can of worms with my personal thoughts on feminism and American sailors.  Long story short, it upset a number of people and led to me being sent multiple messages wishing me a slow and painful death by cancer, mental illness, plane crashes, ill health towards my family and finally, just general wishes that I would die.

Rottenecards_84299968_9xpsrjzd7g_zpsdf4ea510

Would I dare retract my original views?  Never!  Why?  Because they are part of my belief system and what I am about.  Of course it’s not expected that we will always agree with what everyone else thinks, feels or believes but in 2017, we are faced more than ever before with the classic mob mentality.  People have been driven so far into the realms of stupidity by way of television, bling and the mainstream news that they are forgetting to not only think for themselves but, respect other views and opinions without resorting to wishing cancer and death upon those people who come from differing views and feelings.  We should however, be encouraging multiple points of view and warming to the idea of discussing topics without things going sour.

DON39T-LIKE-WHAT-I-POST-UNFOLLOW-ME-meme-32914

The sad part of Sunday nights discussion, debate or whatever it turned into, is that it was reduced to some people pointing out the number of “likes” particular points of view were obtaining.  That alone reinforces the mob mentality attitudes of so many people in society today.  Social media users feel vindicated when their comments are “liked” or “loved”.  For some, it can be the difference between a good day and a bad day.  Personally, I find this approach incredibly narcissistic and vein.  It should never matter how many “likes” you garner through the screen of a smart phone.  What should matter is that you hold firm to your beliefs and stop trying to be liked by everyone for the sake of being liked.  Our modern world is full of people who are easily offended.  They enshrine themselves within the confines of smart phones and tablets for their experiences.  More than ever before, benign TV shows (if you can call them that) attract the majority of our spare time, we live in an ever increasing society of obese people yet we have record numbers of health facilities opening up, our levels of credit card debt sit at all time highs (banks now earn more off credit card debt than home loan repayments) and we now judge a prospective partner by their looks ahead of everything else because we obsess far too much over what people will think of us.

We now have television shows where young woman and men attempt to become famous for sweet fuck all.  No talent.  No ability.  Just an urge to be famous for nothing.  How did it get to this?  Any why do so many people get sucked in?  Is it because they want to be like those they see on the idiot box?  Take the new season of Channel Ten’s reality show, The Bachelor.  In 2017 we have woman trying to outdo one another by wearing less and less and sabotaging any remaining shreds of intelligence they may have possessed because The Bachelor is a vehicle for fame.  Even if it only lasts a short while.  Worse still, are the docile men who actually think the plethora of woman they are courting actually want a long lasting relationship with them.  So where did it go wrong again?

cd82077513cc941a5fb615b714454229

I’ve got news for you.  Things started going wrong for many of us when we started thinking too much about what other people thought of us.  People today are always looking for acceptance.  A recent study in the U.K found that almost half of the population feel depressed when their social media posts fail to garner the expected number of likes they were initially hoping for.  Why give a fuck about how many people like your mirror selfie?  It doesn’t matter what other people think.  What matters is who you are as a person.

My flat mate holds the firm opinion that I enjoy stirring the pot on social media because I get kicks out of it.  I’ll never be able to convince her otherwise because that is how she feels and, whilst she could not be further from the truth, I respect her beliefs 100%.  In reality, I like to encourage people to think outside the square.  I enjoy seeing people look at things other than the perspective they are fed through the mainstream media.  Most of all, I enjoy seeing people think for themselves and not going with the mob mentality opinions because the mob is more often than not, way off the mark.  Of course, I could post photos of my coffee (difficult because I don’t actually drink the stuff), cat videos or selfies in the mirror at the gym (I have never had a gym body) but that’s not me.  So please, stop judging your success by the number of “likes” on social media.  Judge yourself by your ability to step outside the square to be yourself and nobody else.  It’s the only way to be!

 

31 NEW Albums in 31 Days

So, we move onto batch number three and what a mixed bag it was.  This collection of albums covered the absolute dire (Katy Perry) to the sublime in experimental (Sonic Youth) with a little bit of everything in between as well for good measure.  I’m at the halfway mark of this experiment and it is turning into a really cool one which is opening me up to so much wonderful music.  You really can never stop allowing your mind to explore new things.  Enjoy!

R-4851115-1377462714-3426.jpeg

TITLE: Astrid Gilberto  – Gilberto with Turrentine

RELEASED: 1971

HIGHEST CHART POSITION: N/A

Astrid Gilberto is one of my favorite samba and bossa nova singers.  In 1971, she teamed up with American saxophonist, Stanley Turrentine to record a delicately cute record of cover versions of then well known numbers.  Gilberto has a plethora of albums to explore from a career that has spanned over fifty long years!  If you ever get a spare Sunday morning then, may I suggest you put some Astrid Gilberto on your Spotify and allow yourself to be swept up by one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear!

Chansons-ou-Versions

TITLE: Jacques Brel – Chansons ou Versions Inédites de Jeunesse

RELEASED: September 23 2003

HIGHEST CHART POSITION: N/A

Chansons ou Versions Inédites de Jeunesse is a collection of early recording from 1953/54 that captures a raw and edgy Jacques Brel before he hit his straps.  There is a distinct energy on this release, disc number 16 of a massive retrospective box set that came out in 2003 to celebrate the life and music of Brel, born in Belgium yet famous for his French compositions and cover versions. Brel passed away in 1978 at the tender age of 48.  One can only imagine what other wonders he would have released had he lived another thrity years or so.  Brel is a most splendid singer and his husky vocals are unlike anything else I have ever heard.  

katy-perry-witness-cover-1497018481.png

TITLE: Katy Perry – Witness

RELEASED: 9 June 2017

HIGHEST CHART POSITION: Number 1

If there is an album that qualifies for “worst album of all time” then this is it!  I have absolutely nothing kind to say about this over produced, grim 80’s rip off of an album.  Naturally, it charted all over the world because, let’s face it, too many people listen to horse shit music and “Witness” is worse than horse shit music.  I can’t even begin to describe just how bad it is.  I guess, if you are a mentally challenged teenager incapable of thinking for yourself then “Witness” is the record for you.  Otherwise, consider the listening experience to be a painful one at best.  Perry tries to rip off the 80’s look with a rather poor album cover and the music inside the album is best left for elevator music.  Yes, it is that dire!

R-673595-1406795520-6808.jpeg

TITLE: Sonic Youth – Washing Machine

RELEASED: 26 September 1995

HIGHEST CHART POSITION: 39

Yet another “classic” album that I should have listened to by now.  As far as records go, “Washing Machine” is one of the most adventurous, creative and challenging records produced in the 90’s.  Actually, make that the past 40 years.  It oozes class and dignity from the opening bars of “Becuz” all the way through to “The Diamond Sea”.  The record was made at Easley Studios in Memphis during the early months of 1995 and has gone on to become an album everyone needs to hear at some point in their life.  Thankfully, that moment has arrived now for me.

Queens_of_the_Stone_Age_-_…Like_Clockwork

TITLE: Queens of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

RELEASED: 3 June 2013

HIGHEST CHART POSITION: 1

Queens Of The Stone Age are a band whom I have always admired but failed to fully explore their back catalogue of albums on offer.  I know they are all good because the right friends have made the right noises about them over the years so listening to “…Like Clockwork” was a lot of fun from beginning to end.  The record was a long time coming and at one point, Trent Reznor was going to assume the producing role.  Sadly, he didn’t.  Still, this didn’t stop QOTSA from producing one of the best albums I have heard in many years.  Off the back of this alone, I will now look to explore the remainder of an extraordinary legacy.

512M2AT5Z8L.jpg

TITLE: The The – Soul Mining

RELEASED: 21 October 1983

HIGHEST CHART PLACING: 27

Over the years, I had heard a lot of hype about this album and to be honest, I felt disappointed by the time it finished last Sunday morning.  It’s even listed in the book, “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”  and garnered treasured positions in the many best albums of the 1980’s lists.  Perhaps, I just couldn’t “get” the songs contained within?  Either way, it’s a record I may try and revisit but i’m not sure if that will change my original point of view?