Saturday Reject: De Vet Du – Road Trip

“Made me smile from ear to ear.”

Tim: So, you know how last year we had Samir & Victor, and the year before that we had Samir & Victor? Well this year they’re not around.

Tom: That’s a shame, I was actually looking forward to Jedwärd.

Tim: Nicely done. Let me tempt you with an alternative.

Tim: As best I can tell, this lot are vaguely along the lines of Sweden’s answer to The Lonely Island, or possibly Ylvis (them off What The Fox Say), and I had no idea what to think the first time this came around.

Tom: The thing is: both the Lonely Island and Ylvis make really good tracks. You can’t have a successful comedy band without being able to do that. And, to my surprise: De Vet Du have managed it. This is really well done.

Tim: They are Christopher, Tor, Johan and DJ Hunk – you can probably guess which at least one of those is – and they’ve been doing comedy songs and videos for a few years now, culminating in this, possibly the first key change-equipped EDM track I’ve ever heard.

Tom: I did not expect to like this, but the sheer enthusiasm of the SNL headbobbing during the instrumental bit made me smile from ear to ear. I understand almost nothing of the lyrics, but they’ve got enough jokes — and enough competent production — that I still like it.

Tim: It got through to Andra Chansen, and it’s silly and fun and to be honest I’ve come to quite like it after seeing it a few times. Admittedly I’d never want to listen to it, and if I came across it outside of this context I’d bin it straight off. As it is, though, with one of them standing around all muscly and another eating a banana, and with all the expressions of delight on their faces as they sit in the car: I’ll take this.

Saturday Flashback: Paul Holt – Fifty Grand For Christmas

“It works better as a Christmas song than as a novelty song.”

Tim: It’s the X Factor final tonight! So let’s celebrate with this. I’d fill you in on the backstory, but Paul, a contestant on the first series who didn’t get further than his first audition, is happy to fill you in himself.

Tim: Believe it or not, it never actually got to number one, peaking at the disappointing for Paul, but not remotely surprising for anybody else, position of 35.

Tom: Believe it or not, I actually smiled. I didn’t expect that. For the first verse and chorus.

Tim: I’m to glad to hear that, and I reckon I can guess your reasoning: weirdly, it works better as a Christmas song than as the novelty song it was designed to be. Christmas-wise, it sounds exactly right to fit on a compilation between Wizzard and Elton John without causing offence – but as a novelty? It falls into the trap that so many do, which is not knowing when to stop.

Tom: You are exactly right. This is a brilliant one-minute sketch. It’s the sort of thing that should have gone over the end of an episode of TV Burp, or something like that. The retro-Christmas-music pastiche is perfect, his voice is actually pretty reasonable, and even the lingerie-elves are forgivable as taking the mickey out of the past, rather than actually revelling in it.

But then he just keeps going. And it’s the same joke. For more than three minutes.

Tim: Ironically, then, this could have been a mildly decent performing single – they just needed sensible lyrics.

David Hasselhoff – True Survivor

Tim: What is this please.

Tom: We’re about a month late to the party on this one, but since the movie that it’s from was released the other day — and yes, there’s a story behind that but I’m not going into it — let’s talk about this, deliberate VHS-tracking effects and all.

Tom: It’s a parody soundtrack to a parody film, but here’s the thing: I don’t reckon it’s actually any good.

Tim: Hmm. See, my thought was “it’s not actually as entirely terrible as I though it would be.”

Tom: The trouble with overly-complicated film parodies like this is that they seem to rely on references rather than actual jokes. Yep, it’s David Hasselhoff! Yep, it looks like it’s off an 80s video! Oh wow, they made it sound like the 80s too! Now… now can we have some decent gags?

Tim: An excellent point; I don’t think I can bring myself to watch the film to find out if that’s the case, though.

Tom: This track’s the same. Just because you’ve made it sound like the 80s doesn’t make it a good song. Is it trying to be? I don’t know.

Tim: I’ve a feeling it actually is trying to be, because there are moments in there that aren’t bad – the pre-chorus, in particular (though bizarrely removed for the second chorus), actually seems like a lead-in a decent section; it isn’t, as it turns out, but it’s a clear indication that they were trying.

Tom: But if it’s not, then this should be a 20-second joke, not a full and disappointing full record that has, bizarrely, been released through Universal Music and put on David Hassellhoff’s official VEVO account.

Tim: His…his what now?

Tom: No, I didn’t know he had one either.

“Weird Al” Yankovic – Tacky

“The best in the business.”

Tom: I’ve previously opined that any song parody should last no longer than 30 seconds. There is one person that I’ll make a consistent exception that rule for.

Tom: Because every line’s a joke. Because it’s been honed over years. Because, god damn it, the man’s been making song parodies for nearly forty years and he is, undisputably, the best in the business.

Tim: Can’t disagree with any of that of that, I think – it seems to be a long-established fact that if you want a song parody, you go to Weird Al.

Tom: He’s got a new album, is releasing eight videos in eight days, and frankly that’s all I want to say. Musically? Yep, it’s a great song, but it always would be. But Al’s clearly still got it, too.

Anders Nilsen – Salsa Tequila

“Oh I shouldn’t be laughing at this, but I am.”

Tim: Right, thinks this Norwegian. Let’s have the summer’s biggest dance tune, with all the right bits: accordion, saxophone, Spanish, the works. Except I don’t really speak Spanish. Oh well, no-one else really does either, do they?

Tom: Oh I shouldn’t be laughing at this, but I am. Maybe it’s just that it’s late and I’m sleep deprived.

Tim: So, with this just about coming down on the right side of the ‘likely to cause offence’ line, here we have all the Spanish words that everybody knows (though I’m fairly sure that calamari’s Italian, but never mind), which means we can also sing along.

Tom: It’s that Pitbull-style “Dale” that gets me.

Tim: Yes, I think the vocals in that section are my favourite too. Thing is, novelty though it may be, I really like this as a proper track. Because it does have everything the summer’s biggest dance tune would need, really, and while we could extrapolate a whole load of cynicism from that conclusion about commercial music being nothing more than a set formula with a little bit of variation here and there, this is actually done pretty well. And best of all, it’s funny without being annoying.

Tom: It still fails my main criterion for song parodies, which is that the longest they should last is one verse and one chorus — unless you’ve got really, really good jokes. Repeating it into a full song only works if you’ve got an absolutely cracking track. This nearly hits that mark. Nearly.

Tim: See, I think it is an absolutely cracking track. Top marks.

Saturday Flashback: Pirates of the Sea – Wolves of the Sea

Tim: I was having trouble thinking of a song to write about for today. Fortunately, I have a break glass for emergency bag of Eurovision delights to delve into for precisely this situation. Out of it today? This wonder, from Latvia in 2008.

Tom: Oh dear. This was a year or two post-Lordi, wasn’t it?

Tim: There are so many things to love about this, especially if you put the shonky vocals aside and dodgy mixing aside. Not least is the idea there’s the idea that pirates are indomitable as long as Peter Pan isn’t around, and while we’ve probably seen stranger stagings, none spring to mind right now. This is Eurovision novelty at it’s finest, and they didn’t go unrewarded, just finishing in the top half of the table.

Tom: I’m still astonished by that: I assumed they’d crash to the bottom as being a poor novelty act. But no: well done them.

Tim: Musically (if we can be serious about the music) that dodgy mixing really is a shame – you can barely make it out here, but in the studio version there’s a whole load ho-hi-ho-hi-haying going on throughout the middle eight, and a great harmony line after the middle eight, really going out for the hi-hi-ho-o-o-o-o and all we can be-e-e-e-e.

Tom: That’s one of the most ridiculous things you’ve ever written.

Tim: Probably, yes, but I love this, I really do. Even if it’s not exactly something I can point at when I say ‘look, other countries take it seriously!’

DJ MuscleBoy – Louder

“If you are not shaving your balls regularly you’re never gonna reach your full potential.”

Tom: Martin writes in with this one, which he describes as “Eurotrance combined with a bizarre video. Then again, that’s what you expect from Iceland.”

Tim: I won’t dispute that.

Tom: This is number one in Iceland. It’s been number one there for weeks. And I’m reasonably sure that it’s actually a parody — Martin also sent us a Vice interview with DJ MuscleBoy in which he simultaneously says he’s a comedian, and then rather earnestly describes his body-fat percentage.

Tim: “If you are not shaving your balls regularly you’re never gonna reach your full potential.” Clearly, a lifestyle guru to be reckoned with.

Tim: Hmm. He could do with working on his abs a bit.

Tom: I… I’m fairly sure he shouts “let me see your cracks” at 1:28 there. Which given the number of them in the video, seems more reasonable than it otherwise might.

Tim: He does have a very nice bottom, that’s worth pointing out. Musically, erm, I’m not sure – those screams we hear throughout seem very familiar.

Tom: I’m filing this in with Moped as a Scooter-esque parody, particularly with that strangled scream near the end. He just needs to shout “more tea vicar” at one point.

Tim: Yeah – much as with Moped, though, I have no problem listening to it at all, even as proper music. One of my proudest moments at uni was getting our favourite DJ to give Clocks a spin. It’s a good track. Fairly ridiculous, but a decent track nonetheless.

Saturday Flashback: Santa Quest – Santa’s A Scotsman

“Ridiculous? Or brilliant? I think brilliant.”

Tom: There are at least two things in this track that you’ll love, Tim. And I’ve got to say – even as someone who doesn’t like novelty Christmas songs, this still made me smile.

Tom: The first one is, of course, the ridiculous “Scotland The Brave” guitar solo.

Tim: Ridiculous? Or brilliant? I think brilliant.

Tom: The second…

Tim: Really is quite something.

Tom: …it is a brilliant key change, isn’t it? It’s got a Proper Outro as well, which I always appreciate.

Tim: They are good, aren’t they? Also with a Proper Outro is Westlife’s Queen Of My Heart, which also has some lovely festive-sounding chiming bells. I mention this purely because for no apparent reason whatsoever I’ve recently fallen in love with it.

Tom: Bit of a history to this one: Radio 2’s Ken Bruce took it on himself to promote it when it came out five years ago, and has played it once a year ever since. And BBC Scotland briefly banned it for its negative stereotypes of Scotsmen (“loved everywhere he goes?”).

Tim: I’m guessing “too many pies, not enough exercise”.

Tom: Despite all that: it’s got quite a bit of traction Up North, apparently.

Tim: Good. And why shouldn’t it? Aside from the previously mentioned negative stereotypes, I suppose.

Tom: They’ve since tried to create a dodgy sequel. But nothing can really take away from that guitar solo and key change, can it?

Tim: Really not, no. That one also has a weirdly buff-looking Santa, who with his coat open looks more like a Ken doll than your average boyo from the valleys.

The Churned – Forever

“We’re not doing this, it’s not a proper song.”

Tim: Let’s get the inevitable bit out of the way: you’ll say ‘we’re not doing this, it’s not a proper song’, I’ll say ‘yes it is, it got on the iTunes charts and everything’, you’ll say ‘but it’s an advert, it was only written to sell stuff’, I’ll say ‘a cynic might say that that’s all popular music is these days – just there to make money’, you’ll (rightly) point out that it really shouldn’t be that way and that music is around for people to listen to and enjoy, and I shall say ‘yes, exactly,’ and before you can say ‘wait, what?’ we’ll be listening to this and enjoying it.

Tom: No, we won’t. Because today, the part of Tom Scott is being played by Spacey, the Incoherent Badly-Informed Anti-Capitalist Protester Hand Puppet.

Tim: What?


Tim: Oh, Christ.

Tom: We’ll hear more from Spacey in a moment.

Tim: Brilliant.

Tim: So, I’ll admit I have become a bit obsessed with this recently; the full-length version you see above was, in fact, one of the highlights of the first of this year’s X Factor live shows (it’s really not a great year), and I won’t deny the mere possibility of even the thirty second cut makes the myriad advert breaks somewhat bearable. It was made for that show, and it is better than that show.


Tim: No, erm, Spacey, is it? No, it won’t.

The key change is one of those that makes you think ‘I can’t believe they’re trying to get away with that’ and then creates a big smile. I’m not so keen on the heavy disjoint between the ‘A36-‘ and ‘-8’; part of me thinks it might have been better if it was pronounced sixty-eight, with the -ty coming gently underneath the big fantastic moo, but the moo does in fact make up for it.


Tim: Okaaay. Moving on, I also love the image of them feeding milk to the cows; I’m not a farmer so I have no idea if that actually happens, but I think it’s nice. So, in fact, is the whole story in the song about happy farmers (and, indeed, happy Fresians) – it’s just a great cheerful two minutes.


Tim: The one thing that really does annoy me a bit (aside from having to discuss this with a hand puppet) is the chorus dance thing, when they get the N (to go with Naturally) the wrong way round each time, although I suppose it is the right way round from their view, so I’ll let that pass. Finally, though, just to show we’re not actually trying to advertise the product in question, we should note that other ridiculously over the top yogurt adverts are available.


Tim: Ooh. I think this is what here passes for political commentary. It’s also why we generally stick to music.

Tom: If you stick to music, so will I – but this ain’t music.

Tim: LIES. It’s beautiful, heart-warming music, and must be appreciated as such.

William Shatner – Bohemian Rhapsody

I think this is what it sounds like when a man has a breakdown.

Tom: After the trailblazing success of ‘Common People’, what could the legendary, er, “singer” come up with next?

Tom: I… I think this is what it sounds like when a man has a breakdown.

Tim: Oh my…

Tom: It’s off his new album – entirely space-themed covers – and, well, it’s more bonkers than his last one, that’s for sure. Last one had some half-decent tracks on it – and Common People, with its enthusiastic kids choir, was almost better than the original – whereas this, it seems, it back to the classic Shatner lunacy.

Tim: Yes. Um, it’s sort of… well, just… it… um… a bit… oh, never mind.

Tom: But what lunacy it is.