Jack Vettriano is no Hopper. But then again he'd be the first to tell you that. And his work may well be panned by serious art critics (whoever the hell they are); indeed his portrayal of women has been portrayed as crass soft porn. Come on, really?
But when I was looking for an image that summed up just how bloody hot it was today, I didn't have to look further than Vettriano's Heatwave.
And a big thank you to the young lady who joined me for a couple of dust-cutters this evening. Here's to a long hot summer; cue the Style Council.
After watching this five minute video earlier this evening I made a proclamation - 'I'm going to join a choir'; like the one in the film. Just how much fun are they having? If you too watch the video (and I hope you will) then I suspect you'll be thinking along the same lines. In fact I know you will.
I listened to an old Desert Island Discs the other day - Kirsty Young was talking to Johnny Vegas back in 2010. He'll be the first to tell you he's been through the wringer - not for nothing does he talk about Johnny in the third person; the character he invented for himself after realising he couldn't earn a living mending teapots turned on him and, very nearly, destroyed him.
He chose this beautifully tragic Colin Hay song as one of his treasured eight discs. And who hasn't experienced the same sentiment at some point in their life?
Paramedic and part-time street photographer Chris Porsz has been training his lens on the good folk of Peterborough for nearly forty years. With the help of his local newspaper Chris recently set about recreating some of the images he took in the early 1980s; and in so doing ended up with the source material for a fantastic new book bringing together this stunning and socially historic collection of photographs.
I've deliberately not captioned these as the book tells the stories behind them (buy it!); just to say that the couple below snapped on the platform at Peterborough station weren't even from Peterborough, but are still together, and, unfortunately, the lad standing in the doorway in the penultimate photo (reminiscent of the Who's Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy) is sadly no longer with us.
Speaking as someone who a. has openly nicked the chords to If I Had A Gun (Chip Off The Old Block) and b. sometimes closes his eyes while singing certain lines in songs, I was interested to read some of the constructive criticism aimed at Gallagher senior in the comments below this Youtube live acoustic session. I may have touched upon this before, but the knuckle draggers who normally frequent this remote outpost of planet Internet are not known for their quick wit and repartee; you need a strong stomach to follow the diatribe.
If I Had A Gun, though, does contain some beautiful lines* - some of his best - which I may also have to borrow at some point in the future. Come on Noel, chase me through the courts.
*Excuse me if I spoke too soon My eyes have always followed you around the room 'Cause you're the only god that I will ever need I'm holding on and waiting for the moment to find me