Tag Archives: x factor

How to win X Factor

X Factor CakePhil: Last week m’collegue wrote “I really I need to go on the X Factor but I can’t really sing and hate ballads !” on the basis that it’s a lot easier to get published if you are famous already. I had this explained to me by the prolific and succesful author Gervase Phinn a couple of years ago. He’s a really nice bloke and makes huge amounts of time for his fans but is quite realistic about the challenges for new authors.

However, I don’t see this as a problem. All we need is for one of us to become famous and the world is our oyster. That means Nolan just has to win X-Factor. Nothing could be simpler.

You are probably thinking I underestimate the size of the task but I have a secret plan. Ten years of spinning the disks of death on the wheels of steel at our local hospital radio station have given me a pretty good understanding of the music industry. Add to that the fact I’ve played with Pete Waterman’s train set a couple of times and that the first person to pay me money for something I wrote now runs the country’s top mobile disco then my contacts in the biz are all I need.

First up, the “can’t really sing” problem. The solution is Autotune. For the civilians out there, this is computer software that takes in a voice at one end and spit out a tuneful voice at the other. It has been suggested, by cruel and jealous people, that some of the soap starlets who go on to have a recording career, owe a lot to this sort of assistance.

Next, we need a suitable ditty to warble. Ballads are out it appears. Never mind, although we’ve never swapped iPods to check out each other musical tastes, I know Ms Nolan tends towards the rockier end of the spectrum. Having seen her other halfs CD collection, I can understand this. After all, if you know you all three original Spice Girls albums are hidden in the loft and reducing the value of your property, then you need something to drown out any attempts to retrieve and play them.

My suspicion is that the iPod contains lots of Swedish Death Metal tracks. Before you head to Wikipedia to work out what I mean, perhaps I can help with some lyrics, reproduced here in the original Swedish so you don’t miss the delicate nuisances:


These will be accompanied by half a dozen guitarists sawing away on their “Axe” like crazed lumberjacks and a drummer making sounds like the very bowels of Hell are being torn asunder. All amps will be turned up to 11.

This is probably a bit esoteric for primetime ITV but I think we can still work on it. Maybe we kick off with some Kaiser Chiefs.

Retirement would do:

I want to retire
No longer required
I want to get by without the man on my back
A tear in my eye
With a heart full of pride I must go out on a high
And tell nobody why

That sums up our dreams – not lazing around on a yacht, but the freedom to create and do something interesting to be remembered by. You can see what I mean about not requiring great singing skills from the YouTube clip, budget cuts at the commercial channel will soon mean everything is recorded on mobile phones.

Perhaps I’m not being radical enough though. How about some thing from American band Monster Magic ?

Powertrip would probably do the job:

I’m never gonna work another day in my life
The gods told me to relax
They said I’m gonna be fixed up right I’m never gonna work another day in my life

“You’re just being silly”, I hear you cry. Well, no I’m not. Those of us old enough to remember the Top 40 in the days before X Factor, when music was music and not the stuff we get now, will recall that the week after Christmas often saw some METAL at the number 1 spot. Why ?

Simple, all the METAL fans knew this was their chance. They would wait until the Crimbo number 1 chart, and then head down to Woolworths and buy something newly released by a suitable METAL band. Because the post festive chart was compiled on the smallest number of sales of the year, there being no internet and the shops being shut for several days, the single would rocket to the top slot and then vanish the following week.

So, the plan is simple. Lots of noise, plenty of head banging (I’ll need longer hair to help with this so we’ll have to wait a while), get the METAL fans onside. Add in all those who hate Simon Cowell and we can’t lose.


Filed under Phil

What keeps you writing ?

Candice: After one of Phil and my customary catch ups this week he posed a question that has made me think a lot.
Now it’s back to paid work times post Xmas break Phil and I return to a weekly chin wag in the most bizarre of venues: an airfield cafe. Why there, you cry, rather than the usual costa coffee type venue ? Well it’s about equidistant from Phil’s place and my current work venue. We tried the pub nearer work but found out that by not being related to the locals we were frowned up. Abit further up the road was a garden centre but the range of options was poor, so the airfield cafe it is.
What they think of us there has always made me wonder. We come once a week without fail. I’ve got my work clothes on, Phil his famous sensible shoes. And we talk intently for 3/4 hr before I look at the big clock on the wall and say, “Must dash.”
Anyway, the question was posed just as we were standing in the car park, about to whizz back to work.
“Why are we so passionate about this?”
Phil had been surprised by my post as he had not realised I was finding our feedback so personal. However, he also began to realise how passionate I am about the whole writing concept.
Why? Well, I have this drive to want more out of life than just going to work, coming home, watching TV, you know, the usual day to day. I’ve always had it, and its probably one of the reasons I struggle to settle into a job, because its exactly that, settling into a job. I don’t want to resign myself to being a cog in a very big wheel, I want to make a mark.
So, I see the book as my way of leaving something behind. I’m also proud of the achievement of putting 80,000 words down in print, whether or not they are any good. When people find out I’ve written a book then they are always surprised and impressed.
So, really I need to go on the X Factor but I can’t really sing and hate ballads!
2012 is all about honing our craft and then really being able to make that mark. I just read in the paper about a GP from Hall Green who’s managed it – so why not us.

Ps this is written on my iPad using the word press ap. It’s not great, the ap that is, but it does mean I can keep things up to date from my sick bed, where I am currently lying full of cold!


Filed under Candice