Well, here’s something we never thought we’d be doing. We’re going to review a news article about… us!
So, first of all we noticed that they made a poll out of it. God damn! Poll: Is this the best (or worst) political campaign song ever? So now they’ve given people an opportunity to tell us that we’re rubbish. And they’ve only given two options. It’s either going to be the ‘best’ campaign song in the world ever, or the ‘worst’ campaign song ever written. There’s no possibility that people might think it’s okay. It’s got to be either perfect or a disaster. At the moment it stands that 88% like it while 12% don’t, so that’s shockingly good.
Gordon Grimely left us a comment saying: “I’ve heard worse.At least you can hear clearly what they are saying.Let’s face it anything is better than rap.”
This from a man who doesn’t know you have to put a space after a full stop.
Anyway, moving on. The article refers to the song twice as a ‘guitar-pop ditty’. That’s their first big mistake, and one Ben is furious about. “It’s not a guitar!” pleads Ben. It is indeed a baritone ukulele. Note the 4 strings. The fact that they use the same (incorrect) term twice seems like they have a very limited vocabulary.
The guitar-pop ditty ‘Vote Gary’ was written by duo Ben and Mike as an affectionate tribute to Kingstanding by-election hopeful Gary Sambrook.
Neither of us can recall why we wrote the song, so we’re pleasantly surprised to learn it was written as an ‘affectionate tribute’.
“The singer-songwriters, based on the Perry Common estate, were impressed by one of the Tory’s election leaflets and turned it into a catchy song.”
This is wrong. Only Ben is from Perry Common, Mike lives in Ward End which is miles away. And we’d never ever describe ourselves as ‘singer-songwriters’. We weren’t impressed by it either, we actually spent a good ten minutes laughing about it.
“The duo, Ben Coleman and Mike Mason generally write light-hearted pop songs and blog about the world on their website: benandmike.co.uk”
Do we now? We don’t generally write any songs. Ben usually writes songs, it’s quite rare that Mike writes songs, especially not ‘light-hearted pop songs’. If you’ve ever heard any of Ben’s songs, they’re rarely ‘light-hearted pop songs’ either. They’re usually about stalkers or plane crashes. We don’t really ‘blog about the world’ either, it’s more kids TV and new CDs. Still, at least we got a back-link off them.
“Ben, a graphic designer, said they were struggling for lyrics for a song when one of Gary’s latest leaflets dropped through the door.”
Did he now? Because half of us is Ben, and therefore we know that he used the newsletter (not a leaflet!) for lyrics on a whim, he wasn’t ‘struggling’ at all.
“Neither of us have ever really had any interest in politics, but we were intrigued enough by the newsletter to find out what he was doing,” he said
That bit’s true. Makes a nice change doesn’t it, telling the truth.
Gary has adopted the tune as his by-election anthem – and even uses it as his mobile phone ringtone.
We learnt this to be true when his phone went off during the photoshoot. Ben was very embarrassed, saying “I’ve never been a ringtone before.”
The Tory activist, who will make a fifth attempt to win the Kingstanding seat on February 13, said: “I got a message about the song and was worried at first it might be abusive.
Thank god we didn’t send him the abusive one then! Only joking, we don’t write abusive songs… mostly.
And then we’ve got the lovely photo that hasn’t been touched up or colour corrected. The pose was in fact Ben’s idea, so he’s particularly pleased that they chose to use that one.
The article also contained an exclusive performance of Vote Gary! – which now has an exclamation mark in the title thanks to the Birmingham Mail – with the man himself outside Kingstanding Leisure Centre. The video is especially funny for Gary’s bemused/embarrassed look and Mike’s brilliant dancing. Unfortunately the video is really bad quality because it was recorded on a mobile phone by a professional photographer. Why he didn’t think to use his DSLR we will never know. Then again, he is taking photos for the Mail.
So all in all, they got some of the information correct and got us a bit of unexpected publicity. The Birmingham Mail also tweeted the article to David Cameron, which was jolly nice of them. Now he knows who we are. God help us all!
It was also published in the paper itself today. Ben ran up to the post office and got 3 copies. We were on page 3 (and we kept our clothes on!) and it was a full page spread, which is great. He was also delighted to see that there was also an article on Sherlock in the same paper, but that had only made page 11. For one day only, in one paper, we are more popular than Sherlock Holmes. The newspaper article is pretty much the same, except they didn’t include the poll or a link to our website! Still, we made the news.
And not only did we get in the paper, we also featured on Radio WM. Gary was on Adrian Goldberg’s show talking about the song and it was played twice over the course of the morning.
Ben said of this: “It’s amazing. We’ve been writing for years, then we do this one song and within days we’re in the newspaper and on the radio! If I’d have known it was going to be on the radio I’d have done better vocals.”
Right, now we’d better get back to what we usually do: writing another guitar-pop ditty. Maybe we could write a song for Labour candidate Lorraine Owen. We could do a cover of Bad Manners’ Lorraine. Only kidding. We’re not traitors.
(By the way, we’re not ungrateful for the publicity, we just like to analyse and make jokes about things like this.)