Monday, 16 April 2007

Who is the blind beggar

Life On Mars came to an appropriately climactic close last week and the blogosphere was full of plaudits for John Simm's and Philip Glennister's portrayals of Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt. For me though, there was a plaudit missing: every week, Blind Beggar are credited with the role of musical advisers for the series. I cannot imagine the series without their carefully chosen, erudite, witty and pertinent musical selection; yet I can find out remarkably little about this team/business/individual. I have been waiting for a reply to an e-mail I sent to Kudos, the Life On Mars production company, their silence is ominous - if they reply I'll let you know; but my money is that they wont; because they are busy protecting what must be one of the best jobs in the world.

Picture the scene (screen fades to reveal what looks like a comfortable lounge with an Apple Mac in one corner, and a Bang and Olufsen music system filling one wall, with comfortable leather sofas strategically placed to gain the optimum musical experience from it; two
casually dressed guys in their mid forties lounge on the sofas with A4 pads and pens on their laps)

Man 1: So when is this series set?
Man 2: Script says about 1985
Man 1: And they want iconic music...they gotta be kidding...
Man 2: ...wait though, what about Kirsty McCall, New England?
Man 1: Yeah but it's all a bit sparse isn't it?
Man 2: Hmmm I think we need inspiration....
Man 1: You're right dude

(presses a remote control and a giant cupboard slides open to reveal a huge bar containing every conceivable bottled beer. The guys pop open bottles which they clink in the air as if 'high fiving')

Man 2: And now for the sounds man...

(presses another button and a Tom Bakeresque voice says: "your chosen year is 1985, enjoy..." the room erupts in sound and both men leap around as Prince's Let's Go Crazy pumps out of the precision speakers; the party hots up as Simple Minds, Don't You sets their minds racing on their new high earning project),

Man 1: Great move man! We're gonna pull off another Mars coup aren't we?
Man 2: Kerching!

Scene shifts to 90 minutes later, both men now sitting leaning drunkenly together on one sofa surrounded by empty bottles and cans; they both look dejected as the sounds of Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson's I know him so well fade into the background.

Man 1: Three chuffing tracks...
Man 2: We're stuffed dude...
Man 1: Chuffing eighties crap...
Man 2: I'll get our coats...

Perhaps the job isn't that easy after all. Incidentally the BBC website for the series lists the songs used in each episode, but don't, like I did, click on the names expecting to hear the song, you just get more information on the artist - a page advertising Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in the case of Alvin Stardust!

1 comment:

simon said...

the god (or devil) is in the detail. blind beggar lets us know some things about himself. he 'speaks' in the music from a male pov. he is an album man and a completist because some selections are only those you'd know from owning each bands' discography in some depth.
i'd also lean toward his having been passed on some musical tastes, or at least been a keen second-hand buyer. if he's in his mid/late forties like me the chances of finding 'in hearing of' by atomic rooster were slim. i was given an old copy aged 16 and i did become what i am.