Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle (Penguin Books 1987)

- We'll ask Jimmy, said Outspan. - Jimmy'll know.

Jimmy Rabbitte knew his music. He knew his stuff alright. You'd never see Jimmy coming home from town without a new album or a 12-inch or at least a 7-inch single. Jimmy ate Melody Maker and the NME every week and Hot Press every two weeks. He listened to Dave Fanning and John Peel. He even read his sisters' Jackie when there was no one looking. So Jimmy knew his stuff.

The last time Outspan had flicked through Jimmy's records he'd seen names like Microdisney, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Otis Redding, The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Scraping Foetus off the Wheel (- Foetus, said Outspan. - That's the little young fella inside the woman, isn't it?

- Yeah, said Jimmy.

- Aah, that's fuckin; horrible, tha' is.); groups Outspan had never heard of, never mind heard. Jimmy even had albums by Frank Sinatra and The Monkees.

So when Outspan and Derek decided, while Ray was out in the jacks, that their group needed a new direction they both thought of Jimmy. Jimmy knew what was what. Jimmy knew what was new, what was new but wouldn't be for long and what was going to be new. Jimmy had Relax before anyone had heard of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and he'd started slagging them months before anyone realized that they were no good. Jimmy knew his music.


mikeovswinton said...

Class. I think its "the little young fella" that rings so true. I'll buy this when I've finished the current tecky I'm on. (One of Lee Goldberg's Monk series, BTW. The latest Dalziel and Pascoe - Midnight Fugue - is well worth a look, but wait til its in pbck.)

Darren said...

You can't go far wrong with the Barrytown Trilogy (if you can pick up a cheap edition). Both The Snapper and The Van are equally good.

I think I'm on a bit of a Roddy Doyle reread 'fest at the moment.

I really enjoyed watching The Commitments again (see below for my discovery that it wasn't as bad as I remember it), and I've always loved the book. I hadn't reread it for years, and I'd forgotten how funny it was.

I'm currently wavering over my long held belief that The Snapper is the best of the Barrytown books. I'm having to reread The Snapper for, what seems like, the tenth time to reach a decision on the matter.

At this rate, I'll be reassessing Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in the coming weeks.

I'll definitely look out for any new Dalziel and Pascoe titles. I'm a longstanding fan. The tv adaption is one of the better tv adaptations of favourite crime books (pisses all over the Rebus tv monstrosities) but the books will always be better.

I always think they wimped out with the tv version of Wieldy.

mikeovswinton said...

When they killed off Ellie Pascoe on the tv (which I agree is pretty good) old Reg Hill goes out and writes "Arms and the Women" in which she was the main character. As Otis said- Respect. You are sort of right about Wieldy, but the guy who played him was fairly fearsome.
Dialogues of the Dead was the best of the books. The heavy duty teccy fans of my acquaintance really couldn't get that. And with the recent A cure for all ills, one reckoned it had 5 endings.