Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Prawn Cufflinks Review Of 2009



It's nearly Christmas, which can only mean one thing; it's time for the fourth annual Prawn Cufflinks Review Of The Year!

Yes, it's the event that's greeted with huge anticipation from literally tens of people around the world. A chance for us to categorically prove that we do not have our finger on the pulse of our generation, choosing instead to list a load of stuff that nobody else particularly cared about between last December and now. There are no guilty pleasures here, or so-bad-it's-good ironic affection. We love all of our winners, and they've genuinely made our year.

In previous years, ROTY (as we like to call it) has brought us to the attention of some of the world's rich and famous; the writer of an obscure Welsh-language comedy-drama series, a female snooker referee and the record label of a little known Country music artist. This year, who knows what could happen? All we can say is that we're keeping our fingers crossed for the man they call Pecker!

Before we begin, we simply must give an honorary mention to Robson Green. A man who has been nominated around half a dozen times in this year's ROTY, yet - and we're sure you won't mind a little spoiler here - has failed to win a single award. It's like Craig David at the 2001 BRIT Awards all over again. However, we're sure he won't be bitter and his career will not decline from this moment on. As long as there are new-born babies crying, leaves to be touched and fish to be caught, Robson will be there, believing. So, for services to Christmas, extreme fishing, wild swimming and superb middle names; we salute you, Robson Green!

And with that being said, all that's left is for us to bid you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - see you in 2010!

Gareth & Louise

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Sporting Event Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Winter Olympics - Torino 2006

2007: World Athletics Championships

2008: Olympic Games - Beijing 2008

Nominations:

Australian Open Tennis

Dutch Open Darts

French Open Tennis

Lakeside 2009 Darts

Wimbledon Tennis

And The Winner Is...

Lakeside 2009 Darts



Television Show Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Cowbois Ac Injans

2007: I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here Now!

2008: The Bill

Nominations:

Above Suspicion

Accidentally On Purpose

A Child's Christmases In Wales

Big Brother US Season 11

Breaking The Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed

Carrie Underwood's All-Star Holiday Special

Casualty

Clash of the Santas

Coach Trip

Compulsion

Coronation Street

Coronation Street Uncut

Cougar Town

Da Dick & Dom Diaries

Dancing With The Stars Season 9

Dateline - On Tour With Taylor Swift

Delia's Classic Christmas

Desperate Housewives

Extreme Fishing II With Robson Green

Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special

Glastonbury - Status Quo

Gossip Girl

Heartbeat

Home & Away

Joanna Lumley Catwoman

Kirstie's Homemade Christmas

Miranda

Mistresses

My Family

Neighbours

Not Going Out

Out Of The Blue

Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure

The Hairy Bikers: Twelve Days Of Christmas

Unforgiven

Wild At Heart

And The Winner Is...

Out Of The Blue



Television Moment Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Cowbois Ac Injans - JoJo Gets Bent Over The Desk

2007: Matt Willis - I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here Now! - "What Are You Going To Eat?"

2008: Children In Need - The Bill Do The Blues Brothers

Nominations:

Above Suspicion - "Sweet Pussy"

Big Brother US - Jordan wins

Big Brother US - Jeff kicks out Jessie

Big Brother US - Jessie's constant posing

Big Brother US - "Technotronics"

Coronation Street - Peter and Michelle getting it on

Coronation Street - Cardboard Eddie Windasses

Coronation Street - Becky in pink and black dress

Coronation Street - Michelle disturbed in the bath

Coronation Street - "It's my mummy!"

Coronation Street - Tyrone does Alan Partridge impression - "I don't like it!"

Coronation Street - Eddie Windass in his proposing top

Coronation Street - Rosie in cheerleader outfit

Coronation Street Uncut - "Very roomy baby!"

Da Dick & Dom Diaries - "Nice action"

Dancing With The Stars - Donny & Kym's show dance

Dancing With The Stars - Kelly & Louis' charleston

Dancing With The Stars - Louie & Chelsie's Argentine tango

Dutch Open Darts - Tony O'Shea, Willy van de Wiel and Brian "Pecker" Woods do the Nutty Boys dance with Daryll Fitton after he wins

Eastenders - Janine in stockings

Extreme Fishing With Robson Green II - X-treme Fishing in sign language

Gavin & Stacy - Do They Know It's Christmas

Hollyoaks - Gemma Bissix bouncing cleavage

Home & Away - Charlie & Joey kiss

Lakeside Darts - "High Teas With The Referees"

Not Going Out - Melanie Gutteridge guest stars

Sarah Connor Chronicles - Summer Glau in underwear

The Bill - PC Millie Brown waves her hand in front of dazed druggie

The Bill - PC Millie Brown copnapped

And The Winner Is...

Coronation Street Uncut - "Very roomy baby!"



Album Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Fergie - The Dutchess

2007: Britney Spears - Blackout

2008: Hyori - It's Hyorish

Nominations:

Carrie Underwood - Play On

Colbie Caillat - Breakthrough

Donny & Marie - Donny & Marie

Katherine Jenkins - Believe

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted

La Roux - La Roux

Little Boots - Hands

Taylor Swift - Fearless

The North - The North

And The Winner Is...

Taylor Swift - Fearless



Compilation Or Re-issue Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2008: Michael Jackson - King Of Pop

Nominations:

Erasure - Total Pop

Fleetwood Mac - The Very Best Of

Floorfillers: 80s Club Classics

Infernal - Electric Cabaret Deluxe Editiion with DVD

Katherine Jenkins - The Ultimate Collection

Ska Mania: Return Of The Rude Boy

The Bee Gees - Ultimate

Various Artists - 80s Niteclub

Various Artists - My Country

And The Winner Is...

Infernal - Electric Cabaret Deluxe Edition with DVD



Single Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Chamillionaire - Ridin'

2007: Britney Spears - Gimme More

2008: Hyori - U-Go-Girl

Nominations:

Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow

Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling

Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova

Carrie Underwood - Temporary Home

Cascada - Evacuate The Dancefloor

Infernal - Electric Light

Infernal - Redefinition

Katherine Jenkins - Bring Me To Life

Kellie Pickler - Best Days Of Your Life

Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You

Kelly Clarkson - I Do Not Hook Up

La Roux - Bulletproof

La Roux - In For The Kill

La Roux - Quicksand

Little Boots - New In Town

Little Boots - Remedy

Rolf Harris & Rick Parfitt - Christmas In The Sun

Taylor Swift - Fifteen

Taylor Swift - Love Story

Taylor Swift - Teardrops On My Guitar

Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me

And The Winner Is...

Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova



Music Video Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Pussycat Dolls - Buttons

2007: Britney Spears - Gimme More

2008: Hyori - U-Go-Girl

Nominations:

Britney Spears - If U Seek Amy

Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow

Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling

Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova

Infernal - Electric Light

Infernal - Redefinition

Kellie Pickler - Best Days Of Your Life

Kelly Clarkson - I Do Not Hook Up

Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You

La Roux - Bulletproof

La Roux - In For The Kill

La Roux - Quicksand

Little Boots - New In Town

Little Boots - Remedy

Rolf Harris & Rick Parfitt - Christmas In The Sun

Taylor Swift - Love Story

Taylor Swift - Teardrops On My Guitar

Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me

The North - All That I Am

The Saturdays - Just Can't Get Enough

And The Winner Is...

Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova



Game Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Tomb Raider Legend

2007: Tomb Raider Anniversary 2008: Beijing 2008

And The Winner Is...

Wheelman



DVD Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2008: CHiPS - Season Two

Nominations:

Coronation Street - Romanian Holiday

Infernal - Electric Cabaret Live

Status Quo - Pictures! Live At Montreux Deluxe Edition

And The Winner Is...

Status Quo - Pictures! Live At Montreux Deluxe Edition



Live Performance Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2008: Amy Winehouse - Glastonbury

And The Winner Is...

Status Quo - Cardiff International Arena - 4th December 2009



Film Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Casino Royale

2007: High School Musical 2

2008: Wanted

And The Winner Is...

17 Again



Celebrity Picture Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2007: Hayden Panettiere - Scorpion Club - Knee High Boots

2008: Hyori - It's Hyorish Promo - Knee High Socks & Pink Shoes

Nominations:

Blake Lively - Marie Claire

Blake Lively - Vogue

Blake Lively & Leighton Meester - Rolling Stone

Britney Spears - Candies

Charlize Theron - Nino Via stockings shoot

Chloe Sevigny - Nicolas Moore Shoot

Daniela Hantuchova - Sports Illustrated

Gemma Merna - Nuts

Helen Flanagan - Black and Red Shoot

Hilary Duff - Maxim Germany

Jennifer Love Hewitt - Women Rock

Jordana Brewster - Fast & Furious Shoot

Kate Hudson - Instyle

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted Shoot

Maria Sharapova - Women's Health

Megan Fox - Esquire

Megan Fox - Jack Magazine

Michelle Trachtenberg - Mean Magazine

Roxanne Pallett - Loaded

Vin Diesel & Paul Walker - Fast & Furious Shoot

And The Winner Is...

Helen Flanagan - Black and Red Shoot





Outstanding Achievement

The Award For The Person Who Brought Most Visitors To Prawn Cufflinks In 2009

Previous Winners:


2006: Eghosa "Jose Muffy" Aimufha

2007: Siwan Morris

2008: Michaela Tabb

Nominations:

Lina Rafn

Michaela Tabb

Clare Foster

Natalie Horler

And The Winner Is...

Lina Rafn



Men Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Ronnie O'Sullivan

2007: Zac Efron

2008: Rafael Nadal

And The Winners Are...

Status Quo

Francis Rossi - Rick Parfitt - John "Rhino" Edwards - Andrew Bown - Matthew Letley



Woman Of The Year

Previous Winners:

2006: Sienna Miller

2007: Hayden Panettiere

2008: Hyori

And The Winner Is...

Taylor Swift



Other People & Things We Have Enjoyed This Year But Were Ineligible For Nomination...

Bette Davis, Bonnie Tyler, Bread - Series One To Three, Carry On Films, Catherine Bach, Celine Dion, Classic Michael Jackson Pictures, Country Music, Dukes Of Hazzard, Ghost Whisperer - Season One, Goodnight Sweetheart, Grand Theft Auto - Vice City, Grand Theft Auto - Vice City Stories, John Schneider, Kelly Brook, Kym Marsh - Standing Tall, Laura Branigan, London's Burning, Madonna films, Natalie Wood, Reckless, The Bill - Classic Episodes, The Bombers, The Party Boys, Wire In The Blood.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

"I Cannae Believe It, I'm Gonna See The Quo!"

Status Quo - Cardiff International Arena - Friday, December 4th 2009

As the lights dimmed and a drone began to fill the packed hall, I suddenly felt very at home. For the first time in a decade, I was about to see Status Quo live on stage once again. I hadn't felt such excitement since the first time I saw them at Cardiff Ice Rink in 1992, at the age of twelve. This was powerful stuff.

Even back then, I felt honoured to be able to see a band that meant so much to me, that had been there all of my life (not to mention fifteen years before I was born). To think that I was still able to see them seventeen years later, weeks before my 30th birthday, was an overwhelming thought. And they hadn't even taken to the stage yet.

Last time I saw the band at Cardiff's International Arena, it was 1996 and the Can't Stop tour. I was sixteen, had front row seats, Maddy Prior from Steeleye Span jumped down to the audience and danced with M, we inadvertently started a rumour that Alan Lancaster was going to abseil through the roof while playing the bassline from You Don't Own Me, and a busty twenty-something asked if I wanted to see her tits ("I'll just go and get my friend," I replied).

Fast forward thirteen years and it's the Pictures Exposed tour. Now I'm twenty-nine, right in the middle of the arena in line with Francis Rossi's microphone stand, Roy Wood has just powered through a greatest hits set including Fire Brigade and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (accompanied by a sexy blonde backing singer with some adorable dance moves), Alan Lancaster is only mentioned in hushed tones, and I'm married to a busty twenty-something who doesn't tend to wait for an answer before whacking 'em out.

So why did it take so long to get here? A variety of reasons, mostly to do with my health. Whilst my love of Quo has never decreased, some years ago it simply became too impractical to see the band every Christmas. But this year, that all changed.

For starters, L finally made the move from moderate to die-hard Quo fan. As a result, I re-discovered all the albums, videos and books as if I was hearing and seeing them for the first time. Repeated daily doses of Quo will do that to you. They should make it available on prescription. Then came the televised Glastonbury performance, where the band were on top form and played some old favourites. "We'll definitely have to go and see them", I thought aloud. L agreed heartily.

Then in October, fate struck. We were visiting my mother one afternoon when Marguerita Time came on the radio. So surprised to hear Quo, any Quo, our faces lit up as if they had just walked into the room. My mother obviously had a light bulb moment, and two weeks later we were presented with two tickets as an early Christmas/birthday present. A perfect way to end the year and to celebrate the vast improvements to my health.

So, back to that drone. After what felt like an eternity of clapping and cheering, a figure walked onto the stage. Despite the shadows and darkness, it was impossible not to recognise the man's impressive blonde mop of hair and the white Telecaster around his neck. Rick Parfitt entered into a lunge and began bashing out the first bars of Caroline. Then the rest of the band got into position, the drums kicked in and the power and volume didn't stop for nearly two hours.

After a couple of songs, Francis Rossi spoke to the crowd and was clearly in a brilliant mood. Bursting into a quick blast of Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, he showed off his freshly-rested voice (two weeks of shows had been cancelled due to illness prior to the Cardiff gig, leading to a degree of uncertainty in the days beforehand which no doubt helped to create such an electric atmosphere of anticipation in the arena). At one point, Rossi accepted a cigarette from an audience member, dangled it from his mouth for a moment and then spat it out over his shoulder during the introduction to Don't Drive My Car. He was clearly loving it.

Charisma is a much-overused word these days, so much so that it's easy to forget that some people genuinely do posess and exude it in bucketloads. Rossi is a perect example. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand and had more energy and enthusiasm than a lot of performers half his age. The same applied to the rest of the band. Later in the set, during Rockin' All Over The World, Rick did the same thrust of the hips movement as he did in the original promo video. It was impossible to see him as a sixty-one-year-old man, the years fell off him and it could have been 1977 again (except there was no inflatable Alan on stage this time).

The set-list was familiar to us thanks to the recent Pictures: Live At Montreux DVD, but we didn't care. It was an all-new experience for L, so she wouldn't have minded if they had just come on stage and played the same song over and over again. But even I hadn't seen songs such as Pictures Of Matchstick Men, Ice In The Sun, Mean Girl and post-2000 material such as Beginning Of The End live before, and there were a few differences on this tour, including the addition of Hold You Back, Something 'Bout You Baby I Like and Paper Plane.

Three quarters of the way through the set, Rossi announced a slower section of the show. As Rick sang Living On An Island, many of the people in front of us sat down in their seats. We remained standing and were treated to an uninterrupted view of the band for at least three songs. It was like watching a DVD on the world's biggest screen, only much, much louder and with the added bonus of Rhino looking in my direction and matching my nodding head in time with the music. Then it was back down to rockin' business with the greatest hits that got everybody standing again.

Perhaps the best tribute to the band came from the person next to me. He was a disabled man in his sixties who had come to the show on his own to see Roy Wood, but stayed for the main attraction. For the majority of both sets, he stood with the help of his walking stick. But as Quo powered through Roll Over Lay Down, he put his stick on the floor and stood freely, before clapping and singing for all he was worth. It was like the John The Revelator scene from Blues Brothers 2000. That's the power of rock. The power of Quo.

All too soon, we were singing Bye Bye Johnny to a very appreciative Rossi and then it was all over. As we walked out onto the rain-soaked streets of Cardiff, our ears ringing from the sheer volume of it all, there was only one thing left to say; "we'll definitely have to go and see them again next year."

The set-list in full:

Caroline
Something 'Bout You Baby I Like
Rain
Don't Drive My Car
Mean Girl / Softer Ride
Beginning Of The End
Hold You Back
What You're Proposing / Down The Dustpipe / Little Lady / Red Sky / Dear John / Big Fat Mama
Pictures Of Matchstick Men / Ice In The Sun
The Oriental
Creepin' Up On You
Living On An Island
In The Army Now / Drum Solo
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World


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Paper Plane
Junior's Wailing
Rock N Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny

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