Express & Star

Pete Cashmore: Britain rules the world when it comes to bland music

Pete Cashmore on Britain leading the way for bland music, a terrible waste of olive oil and more West Midlands Film Club.

It was revealed this week that one in every six albums sold worldwide last year was by a British artist. Adele is at number one, Ed Sheeran at two, Sam Smith at five, One Direction at six and Coldplay at eight. Truly, when it comes to bland and unmemorable, vaguely miserablist music, we really do rule the world.

So a couple of days ago, in celebration of the fact that a sequel to the action hit Kinsgman is being filmed in Birmingham, I asked you for film titles with a West Midlands twist, and you did not disappoint. Take a bow Tony Stamp, who clearly has some kind of Seisdon obsession, suggesting two winners in A Man For All Seisdons and The PoSeisdon Adventure. What I like most about this is that, depending on how you pronounce 'Seisdon', only one of them works, but Tony doesn't let that stop him.

Another thing that was revealed last week was that some things just aren't for revealing in daily newspapers, specifically the romantic misadventures of a famous couple who apparently like to get up to naughty things in a paddling pool full of olive oil with a third party present. Despite the absolute absurdity of this scenario, a High Court judge ruled that newspapers have no right to report on it. Am I alone in not caring in the least who the couple are, but thinking what a terrible waste of olive oil this is? An entire paddling pool full of it is not cheap.

West Midlands Film Club part two: The Tettenhalls Of Montezuma. The Brom-Wich Project. WednesField Of Dreams. Tony Levy of Wednesfield, I congratulate you.

I've only been sitting in on this column for a few days but you may have already worked out that if there's one thing that gets my back up, it's pettiness and taking offence at things that aren't actually remotely offensive. Okay, that's two things. It seems like coastal resorts are particularly susceptible to knee-jerk offence-taking because, mere days after a Barry Island funfair decided to ban a Punch and Judy show because it 'trivialised violence', we find Devon and Cornwall Police being browbeaten into an apology because of a sandcastle. To explain: The aforementioned police force took first prize in a sand sculpture competition in Cornwall, but provoked significant gnashing of teeth because their sculpture depicted a crime scene, complete with tape and murder victim, the latter made out of sand. Obviously, the force got it well and truly in the neck for what was ostensibly a slightly ill-judged bit of fun, but what seems to have got people even angrier was that the murdered party was female. Hopefully the police will have learned from this trivialised violence, and next year enter the competition with a gender-neutral person fiddling their income tax.

West Midlands Film Club part three: From Rushall With Love. JE Timmins, you may well be the overall winner with that one.

Actor Tom Conti has caused outcry by suggesting that calling an actor type a 'luvvie' is as bad as using a racial slur. The cruel irony here is that he couldn't have said something more luvvie-ish if he'd tried.

West Midlands Film Club part four (current and past employees of the Express & Star department): I can't very well declare the editor the winner as there will be cries of 'FIX!' but his Moulin Rugeley was very good. And former political editor Dan Wainwright deserves a mention for Harry Potter And The Half Blood Princes End, if only for upping my word count.

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