The Freshies – I’m In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk (1980)

Sorry to hear about the death of Chris Sievey yesterday. I was never a Frank Sidebottom fan, but 54 is no age to die and I was a big fan of his first band The Freshies. They were the archetypal new wave band, apart from the fact that their songs had very funny LOL lyrics. The nearest they got to a hit was this – I’m In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk – from 1980. But I Can’t get Bouncing Babies by The Teardrop Explodes is another corker.

Possibly my fave – and alas not on YT – is Wrap up the Rockets. The lyrics ‘so dear old England, wrap up the rockets and dish out the money’ is as relevant today as it was then. How much was that Trident replacement again?

At University later in the decade the song was a big part of my thesis on ‘nuclear disarmament in alternative music.’ Yep this was the 80s, I was doing a unit in Peace Studies and sadly I was that pretentious.

Still RIP Chris, you really were a one off.

How to make a success of a branded YouTube channel


Shiny is still one of the most watched YouTube channels in the UK. The last time I looked we had clocked up around 26 million views of our gagdety stuff and were one of the top ten British media channels on there – along with the BBC, ITV and X-Factor.

Setting up a branded YouTube channel and attracting lots of views, even if you have some big names on the videos, is a lot trickier. There are an awful lot of branded YouTube channels that have only ever pulled in a few thousand viewers.

So I wrote this story for the APA website on how brands should approach YT channels

The Sun takes the piss out of bloggers (and fails to deliver on traffic promises)


As part of its World Cup coverage, and to promote its sweepstake iPhone app, The Sun newspaper has been running a World Cup bloggers sweepstake. If you look at the sweepstake you’ll probably be impressed to find out how many high profile footy blog have agreed to be part of it.

Except they haven’t. Whoateallthepies, who are Uruguay in the sweepstake, received an email which we subsequently ignored. Not because we hate The Sun or anything (from a journalistic perspective both the website and the paper are incredible IMO and I have several friends who work there), but we felt it was back to the bad old days when old media used to patronise blogs and use them for their own promotional activities.

So it was a great surprise to find Pies on the chart. There are apparently a lot of other blogs who haven’t given The Sun the go ahead either and you can read a lively debate about it here…

Personally I think it is pretty low of The Sun really to do this and would like Pies removed from the chart asap. Also The Sun ought to know better. There are several bloggers on the list whose instant word association with The Sun is Hillsborough, followed by Apology. It isn’t a clever thing to do to annoy those guys.

If they don’t remove us then we will be setting up our own World Cup sweepstake and The Sun will get the plum team of Slovakia (by far the weakest team so far) or maybe it should be France (because like The Sun they are not adverse to bending a rule or two).

From my perspective the most interesting part is that The Sun promised to drive shed loads of traffic to the site. So far I am pleased to say that of the 60,000 people on whoateallthepies. tv in the last 24 hours only two have come from The Sun. Cheers guys.

The charts is here…