Archive for November, 2010

A casual buy no. 28

November 30, 2010

I grew up in Clarks, I think I might have mentioned that on here before. At my first school they were seen as rather goofy, in a ‘teacher-wears-em’ kind of naff way. I especially remember the Clarks ‘Nature Trek’ shoe, with that big Cornish Pasty swoosh of lopsided leather and stitching, atop a lush comfy sole. I was torn between wanting to kick them off into the bin, or giving in to their undoubted comfort (they were scientifically measured to protect my growing feet, not that I cared – schoolyards are hard places for kids with teacher’s shoes on).

Through nostalgic eyes, moistened by the onset of (very) early middle age, I realise they were probably the best shoes my parents could have shod my little pinkies in, and they looked good, even though my pre-teen rebellious nature couldn’t see it at the time.

So, I love Clarks nowadays, and along with the Rambler, these Oberon boots are probably the closest thing to the prehistoric Nature Treks. From the first time I took them out of the box and wore them, they were as comfortable as an old pair of bedroom slippers. And therein is the real reason Clarks are the best shoes around, function with universal style, nothing fussy or pretentious, just great footwear that’s more than fit for purpose.

How we were: Nature Treks on the left

Albion 1 – 1 FC United of Manchester

November 28, 2010

Loud, proud and confused? FCUM put on a good show

It was a strange old day at Withdean yesterday, one of the oddest I’ve spent at our soon-to-be-forgotten home among the posh trees of BN1. First of all there was the unseasonal weather, it was fucking baltic out there, horrible.

I took a mooch up around the pubs near Brighton Station at midday, just to see if the much-heralded FCUM fan takeover of ‘our’ alehouses was indeed happening. There were rumours rife on the internet that some sort of Manc mob would be on show, and I was curious to see them, if indeed some boys had travelled down. They hadn’t, all I got was a heavily swamped Evening Star full of friendly, thirsty and be-scarfed Mancs.

I could hear them as I walked up to Withers, and when I joined my usual seat-dwellers in Block H the away stand was bouncing with 800+ noisy FCUM fans. But what else would you expect? Yes they outsang an undermanned Blocks H & J, yes they sang throughout half-time, and yes they made quite a show with their MUFC inspired flares at full-time. But, when I saw the ‘MUFCUM’ banner with the words “TWO UNITEDS ONE SOUL” it kind of spoiled the spectacle. Either you’ve given up the Grand Old Trafford Whore or you haven’t, if you haven’t then FCUM are your pet team, a vanity project. Try this, “TWO DONS ONE SOUL”, nope? Didn’t think so.  I smell a rather large Mancunian rat.

The game. Lest said the better. Poyet needs to get a grip and treat the FA Cup with respect or play the reserves, end of. FC had two efforts on target, scoring one, we had at least 10. Why is Elliott Bennett still taking penalties? I’ll not dwell on the match, it was shit, and the cold didn’t raise the mood. Man of the match? I’m not giving one, perhaps the confused visitors on the away stand should get that honour, they were better viewing than the football on show.

Southampton 0 – 0 Albion

November 24, 2010

The wobble continues. This was a tense game, I said I’d take a draw before kick-off, and if any Albionites are truly honest, they’d agree we were rather fortunate to come away with shared points against the best team in this division.

Like days of yore a coach was laid on down to scumville, so the boys got a good shant in town then another near St. Mary’s once we got off the bus at the other end of the A/M27. The drink was trouble free, and quite a few Saints scarfers were chatting about the game with us. They fancied our chances, while we fancied theirs, all very matey despite the ranks of police mobbed up along the road.

At the game we joined 3105 other away fans in one half of the Northam Stand, separated from the home support by one of those daft plastic netting sheet jobbies. The banter was good, and the atmosphere electric in the nearly full stadium. It was with beer-injected trepidation that I watched the game kick off.

The scummers battered us in the first half, no contest. They were first to every ball, and did to us what we did to Charlton and Peterborough, everything but the most crucial – find the net. How we got in at half-time 0-0 I’ll never know. Kishishev was the one bright spark, throwing himself in front of shots, tackling and clearing his lines. Before I go on, he was my man of the match by a very large margin.

Second half Southampton tired, and slowly we started tippy-tapping our way back into this one-sided affair. The introduction of Glenn Murray was the catalyst for our best spell in the whole game, and the big laconic genius duly went over – as he does – and won a barely deserved penalty. The gap between the home and away fans narrowed somewhat after we celebrated winning the fucker, and then they celebrated Chris Wood miss the fucker (or Davis saving if you’re of the scum persuasion).

So, while the first half was 95% Southampton, the second was about 55% to them, a fine recovery and, as the cliche goes, a very hard-earned away point was ours. The trip home up the crappiest road in the south – the A27 – took an age and I was glad to see my pit. All in all a great night out at the football, but I wish it had been a Saturday afternoon fixture instead.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  6 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Radostin Kishishev

Attendance : 26237 (3105 Albionites)

Npower League One table

Wednesday, 24 November 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 18 17 36
2 Charlton 18 7 32
3 Bournemouth 18 16 30
4 Sheff Wed 18 14 30
5 Huddersfield 18 9 29
6 Colchester 18 2 29
7 Southampton 18 10 28
8 Oldham 17 6 28
9 Carlisle 18 8 27
10 Peterborough 18 -3 26
11 Exeter 18 -4 26
12 MK Dons 18 -5 26
13 Brentford 18 0 25
14 Hartlepool 17 -4 23
15 Plymouth 18 -6 22
16 Bristol R 18 -7 22
17 Tranmere 18 -7 22
18 Rochdale 17 2 21
19 Leyton Orient 18 0 21
20 Swindon 18 -4 21
21 Notts County 17 -7 19
22 Dag & Red 18 -13 15
23 Yeovil 18 -16 15
24 Walsall 18 -15 14

Fugue for a Monday morning

November 22, 2010

I’ve a bit more time on my hands now that I’m ‘between jobs’, and I’ve got the old iPod plugged in more too. I was watching the excellent Granada series ‘Madchester – The Sound of the North’ on YouTube last night and it showed Clint Boon being filmed for the Inspiral Carpets’ video of ‘This Is How It Feels’. There’s a nice vintage Berghaus Trango on view here too.

I’ve been re-visiting this quintessential Manchester band, stuck away in the nether regions of my iPod collection, after viewing this little gem. They were fantastic, and that arch-bellend Noel Gallagher used to be their roadie – that’s as far as he should have gone in the music business.

1990 – it didn’t get better musically than this year (well maybe 1989 beat it) for me. Memories are made of these.

Albion 2 – 2 Bristol Rovers

November 20, 2010

Withdean gets the 'ToyCam' treatment on my phone camera, like it

A frustrating afternoon today, I expected the team to give me a nice birthday present: three easy points. I think the much heralded ‘wobble’ in our form is definitely here, not the best timing with the scummers, Colchester then Huddersfield away up next.

First half we were crap, and Rovers deserved the lead. Second half saw things improve somewhat, but old (bad) habits are starting to creep back into our play. Casper Ankergren made a couple of top notch saves, but he flapped all afternoon in the box at high balls. Our defence was shaky, and the passing along the back was pretty dire. Rovers’ two goals were from corners – that shouldn’t be happening, and the second was plain fucking awful, how an own goal came from among 3-4 unharried Albion players is beyond me. Two valuable points needlessly dropped against a shit team.

Best players were Calderon and Gary Dicker. New boy Chris Wood did ok, but didn’t get great service, his penalty was excellent, but how we miss LuaLua. I don’t like slagging our players off, but Augustin Battipiedi was awful today, Jamie Smith should get a start before him next time. I’m giving man of the match to Calderon as Dicker made one or two poor passes later on. Not great, but I think we’ll be well up for Tuesday night at St. Mary’s, anything but our best performance there will be severely punished by a rampant Southampton team.

The Hovian’s Team performance :  6 out 10

The Hovian’s Man of the Match : Inigo Calderon

Attendance : 7407 (268 gas bags)

Npower League One table

Saturday, 20 November 2010 17:11 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 17 17 35
2 Charlton 17 7 31
3 Colchester 17 4 29
4 Bournemouth 17 14 27
5 Sheff Wed 17 11 27
6 Southampton 17 10 27
7 Oldham 16 6 27
8 Carlisle 17 8 26
9 Huddersfield 17 6 26
10 MK Dons 17 -2 26
11 Peterborough 17 -3 25
12 Exeter 17 -4 25
13 Brentford 17 -2 22
14 Tranmere 17 -6 22
15 Swindon 17 -3 21
16 Bristol R 17 -7 21
17 Rochdale 16 2 20
18 Leyton Orient 17 0 20
19 Hartlepool 16 -5 20
20 Plymouth 17 -7 19
21 Notts County 16 -8 16
22 Dag & Red 17 -12 15
23 Yeovil 17 -14 15
24 Walsall 17 -12 14

The mean streets of……Hove

November 18, 2010

I downloaded a free app on my HTC Wildfire phone, rabid gadgethead that I am, and tried it out while down on Hove seafront this afternoon. It’s called ‘FxCamera’ and I shot these on the ‘ToyCam’ mode, which is supposed to emulate a toy camera, whatever that is.

The camera on my HTC is shite, much as you’d expect with a camera phone, but I love the look of phots on this app. It gives Hove that otherworldly look, grim and almost menacing (you could argue that’s exactly what the King Alfred area looks like anyway). I’ll be mucking about with this app all the time now.

Woking 2 – 2 Albion (Albion win 3-0 on penalties)

November 16, 2010

Coming to Withdean: Nu-Mancs give it the AFC Wimbledon sketch at Rochdale

What the fuck was that? I had one ear on Radio Sussex and the other, with eyes, on Shaun Ryder eating a crocodile’s cock on I’m a Celebrity. We scrape through against a part-time team who could and should have dispatched us, going by chances anyway.

Comedy moment supreme has to be Mauricio Taricco starting at left back, then getting sent off later on, priceless. Goals by Sparrow and Bennett kept us in it until the part-time legs of Woking let them down after extra-time and penalties.  It will be a tired team facing Bristol Rovers on Saturday, but the good news is that FC United of Manchester will come to Withers the weekend after, and no doubt they’ll fancy their chances after watching this shite on ESPN; I’ve only got freeview, but thank fuck I decided to stay at home and not travel up to Woking tonight.

Hartlepool 3 – 1 Albion

November 13, 2010

Hang in there

I’m not unduly worried about losing this game, we usually get sod all off the Monkey Hangers at their place. More worrying is that LuaLua was stretchered off after being crocked in the build up of the coup de grace Hartlepool third goal. How serious the injury is remains to be seen.

Work pressures (not for much longer in this current job, but that’s another story) ensured that my first visit up to Victoria Park remains elusive. I had to make do with the dour tones of BBC Radio Sussex. Hartlepool did their homework and kicked us where it hurts, and they deserved their win. Liam Bridcutt got a straight red, and he will miss the trip to Southampton, along with possibly LuaLua. Gary Dicker gave a faint flicker of hope with his equaliser, but ultimately the Albion lacked the will to win.

The good news now – Southampton, Huddersfield and Colchester all lost, allowing Charlton to slip into the unlikely position of second place. It could have been worse – but we are still six points clear of the baying pack. A quick glance at the table below shows how congested the division is, this should be a classic title race.

Npower League One table

Saturday, 13 November 2010 17:09 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Npower League One table
1 Brighton 16 17 34
2 Charlton 16 6 28
3 Bournemouth 16 14 26
4 Carlisle 16 9 26
5 Huddersfield 16 7 26
6 Colchester 16 3 26
7 MK Dons 16 1 26
8 Peterborough 16 0 25
9 Sheff Wed 16 8 24
10 Southampton 16 7 24
11 Oldham 15 5 24
12 Exeter 16 -5 22
13 Swindon 16 -3 20
14 Hartlepool 15 -4 20
15 Bristol R 16 -7 20
16 Rochdale 15 2 19
17 Leyton Orient 16 0 19
18 Brentford 16 -3 19
19 Plymouth 16 -6 19
20 Tranmere 16 -7 19
21 Notts County 15 -7 16
22 Dag & Red 16 -11 15
23 Yeovil 16 -13 15
24 Walsall 16 -13 11

Carlo’s Tour: Episode One

November 8, 2010

Carlo Rivetti, chairman of Sportswear Company, which brings together the trademarks C.P. Company and Stone Island. At first glance, it might appear more a chemical company than a traditional fashion house. But design, before artistic creation, concerns materials, not just fabrics of warp and woof, but hybrids born of various laminates, generated by special dying, washing and coating processes. This company, in fact, transforms woven material and presents a model, almost unique in its industry, worthy of analysis, because liberating production from the condition of traditional marketing, permits creative freedom and independent research.

Stone Island have released a video series featuring the Sportswear Company (SPW) head honcho, the very affable Carlo Rivetti. I’ve linked episode one here. It’s an interesting view into the Ravarino nerve centre of a clothing brand that excites and annoys in equal measures. One thing SPW are is durable, just like their fabrics.

The best bit in this episode is a peek into the Stone Island Historical Archive room, all 40,000 pieces of it, that’s an archived example of every single garment they’ve ever produced. I’d hate to be paying their insurance bill.

It all still looks a bit ‘cottage industry’, which was surprising to me, if welcome. Their dye shop looks like a fourth form chemistry class, or as Carlo says himself, “When I have schools visiting I tell the students that this is probably the closest thing to a renaissance painter’s workshop”.

Stay tuned for episodes two and three.

Albion 0 – 0 Woking

November 7, 2010

Woking: Surrey's answer to Worthing

I missed this game (work), but listened in on the wireless. How shit were we? Sounds like Woking were good for the draw and their travelling fans made all the noise in their cup final.

Ah well, I might make the effort to go up to theirs for the replay, I could be witnessing a famous FA Cup giant-killing (us “Giants”? get away).