Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Fly away on Venga Airways

Timeslip moment again...

We've been dumped by battlecruiser the Excalibur into a Blairite Britain two decades ago - the year of Harold Shipman, the Admiral Duncan pub bombing, Shakespeare in Love, the murder of Jill Dando, the minimum wage, Tracey Emin, war in Kosovo, The Matrix, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, Ladbroke Grove rail crash, Jonathan Aitken, Columbine High School massacre, the official opening of the Millennium Dome, Steps, Thabo Mbeki and The Naked Chef; the births of Brooklyn Beckham, the Euro, Napster, ExxonMobil, and the terms "texting", "carbon footprint", "dashcam" and "blog"; it was also the year that Dusty Springfield, Quentin Crisp, Madeline Kahn, Ernie Wise, Lena Zavaroni, Anthony Newley, Cardinal Hume, Oliver Reed, John F. Kennedy Jr., Bill Owen, Willie Whitelaw, the Midland Bank, Stanley Kubrick and Screaming Lord Sutch all died.

In the news in September 1999: a furore erupted over the arrest of Norfolk farmer Tony Martin for shooting dead a burglar in his home, the funeral of Jill Dando took place, the Royal Bank of Scotland launched a hostile takeover bid for the NatWest Bank, huge earthquakes hit Athens and Taiwan, and the Police Review Commission recommended widespread reform of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. In the ascendant were Bobby Robson (appointed Newcastle United's new manager) and Jerry Springer (with a brand new British TV chat show), but we waved a fond farewell to singer and dancer Frankie Vaughan. In our cinemas: South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Eyes Wide Shut and Beautiful People. On telly: Diagnosis Murder, Family Guy and Loose Women.

And what of our charts this week in '99? A rather "Latino" feel, methinks. Holding onto the top spot was Lou Bega's timeless Mambo No 5, Mucho Mambo (Sway) by Shaft was at #3, Enrique Iglesias Bailamos was at #4, Geri Halliwell's Mi Chico Latino at #7, and Ricky Martin had just left the Top Ten. Also present and correct were Moloko, TLC, A1, Martine McCutcheon, Alice Deejay and - erm - DJ Jean [nope, me neither.]

Lurking outside the Top 40, however, was a choon that only by a stretch of the imagination could be described as "Latin" [the band is Dutch, and the original song was written and performed by two Welshmen masquerading as being from Barbados], yet was soon to sweep everything before it...

Twenty years ago?!! Heavens.


  1. Today is 9/11

    I'm looking forward to the roaring 20's!


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