Thursday, 24 July 2008


About a month ago Popwatch attempted to thrust a rusty dipstick into the thick black oil of public opinion by asking what Whitby Now should concern itself with in the future. 41 Popwatchers responded, and there was a clear winner. We were going to show the results on a pie graph, but Mark Liddell ate it.

Obviously this vote is not going to change anything. Its meant to offer food for thought and present a snapshot of peoples' ideas regarding the course Whitby Now should steer in the future. Its far easier to vote by right-clicking a mouse than it is to raise money, find a venue, arrange security, get insurance, hire a PA and all the other 1001 things Whitby Now have to do before the first band even plays a chord. We should be grateful they do it so we don't have to, and support them all the way.

Luckily last weekend Jeremy Paxman was staying at Saltwick Bay Caravan site, and he generously offered to help me out here.

Hello. I'm Jeremy Paxman off the telly. I do mainly right serious programmes like Newsnight and University Challenge, but I am also a huge fan of the Whitby music scene. I have a signed copy of the Sludge Ghaut LP Spunkmonkey on which Heath has drawn a small penis, and I own the largest collection of Jimmy Lupton memorabilia in existence.


As for the voting, 19% (8 votes) of people thought Whitby Now should promote small gigs all year, but I think this might lead to a lack of focus. Its nice to have something to aim for and build up to each year, however the fundraisers have been exceptional lately, and I can see where they're coming from.

I went to the last one at The Res with Trevor Macdonald. We disguised ourselves as tramps and sat at the back mouthing obscenities. Trevor particularly liked Panda Lasagne. He's still a surf punk at heart, bless him.


4% thought one gig a year was the way to go, and another 4% thought two gigs would be the bee's knees (that's just one vote each, mind). This year I believe two concerts over one weekend will be the order of the day, but this can lead to unforseen problems.

Last year my colleague Kate Adie was arranging a Metal festival in Margate. She was going to hold it over one weekend, with Death Metal bands scheduled for the Saturday, and Black Metal on the Sunday. Sadly no one could decide whether Goatblood Death Massacre were Death or Black Metal. An argument ensued culminating in the band flouncing off in their Range Rover, and the event fell into disarray. So you see, its not always that easy.


A whacking 70% of Popwatchers (that's 29 votes) wanted an outdoor festival type thing. Presumably this would be a one day event in a big field with the bands playing all afternoon and into the night.

Imagine sitting on the grass with the sun beating down, drinking tepid lager from a flimsy plastic glass, whilst Yabbadabbadoo play a punk version of Mull Of Kintyre as a bee crawls up your chino leg. What could be sweeter?

But what if there's a sea fret? What if it rains? I remember when my friend Michael Fish booked Babyshambles to play at the annual Weathermens' Summer Fete. It started to rain, and the band had to shelter temporarily in Michael's house, so their guitars didn't get wet.

When it cleared up, Michael went in to see if they were ready to do their set. But the band had vanished through an open window taking 150 Woodbines and the medicine cabinet from his bathroom wall. So its not always plain sailing when you've the British weather to contend with.

Anyway, I've got to go and be nasty to some students on telly shortly, so whatever you voted, have a great Whitby Now, and support them in any way you can.

So its bye from me, Jezzer Paxman. Bye!

If anybody has an idea for another Popwatch vote, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. If your topic is chosen you will win a Boeing 747 full of diamonds!*

*This prize may be changed to a bag of monster munch without notice at the discretion of Popwatch


The Invisible Mice said...

I think Mr Paxman should loan his collection of Jimmy Lupton memorabilia to the Pannet Park musueum where it can be an inspiration to the good people of Whitby.

stomper said...

Paxman is often nicknamed "Paxo", which is both a contraction of his surname and a popular brand of British stuffing mix.