(review by Johnny ‘R’ ”underwater netball league.. In search of cool-kitsch”)
barbados

”R-bennig need concepts right? I mean any plonker can loop two break beats add a ropey acid line and claim its Welsh dance.

70’s kitsch sports are in, retro as hell..remember those naff sports Dickie Davies introduced?..nope?,well last years Synchro Swimming is so passe..Netball’s got it..for sure..table tennis too..R-bennig need to lead the way,sponsor a team, drop a Netball inspired 7″ record.

I’d had ideas of knocking a ghetto team into shape like the guy (GUS) behind South Korea’s footie stars, claim they are from an obscure Pacific Island..whip every one in sight..win the lot..the team would look like Maes-G and Rhyl Karaoke Bar ‘ladies’..very urban..lots of chewing gum..orange adidas day-glo..maybe.

On the research tip, Manchester 2/8/2002, 11.A.M…it’s raining..big time..might as well be underwater netball..that’ll do as a concept, we’ll start a league..maybe.

Piccadilly railway station’s a bit slick these days..will Neil Crud print this?..my mind was racing..a ‘parent’ with sprogs in tow smiles..”Its Netball day”..

A quick burger at Mac Murder burgers..suss out the entry chic..a few stragglers..some wrinkled sports teachers give me the once over..must be the Starsky and Hutch jacket I guess..they’d kill for this in Camden I mused.

Netball..something lanky girls did in school..I’d armed myself with Heather Crouch’s Netball Coaching Manual, though to be honest I got bored after reading the intro and just looked at the black and white retro stills, but better still had aquired some rare Australian enamel badges of Netball clubs, any aggro in the Netball bluff and I’ll drop this fact..Australia are the tops..that’ll shut anyone up if I come unstuck.

The security at MEN ARENA was pretty crap..no search, I could have been carrying..usually are..but hey it’s Netball..no one blows up a Netball play-off right? I could have brought the porta DAT or mini disc to record some samples..too easy..I needed to be ‘inspired’ to create a track..feel the Netball scene. As the heavy doors of the MEN arena block 103 slammed shut I flashed back to the doors of Wigan Casino when I was 15, as then I had entered the dark Northern Soul world here was I in full on Netball utopia, and I was not disappointed. Barbados vs Canada..top flight Netball.

The Barbados team were hammering Canada in every department, they looked like a cross between girls on an Ebony porn site and The Harlem Globetrotters, as for the clothes..golden shiny ra ra skirts..obvious designer gear, braids, cute eyes..definately not Maes-G or Rhyl.

Canada knew it..pasty faced girls outclassed, long way to come to get slaughtered.

Netballs polite..they clap everything..its very ‘stop start’…very squeeky..trainers on rubber sort of squeeky..the ‘chit chat’ is almost ”jolly hockey sticks”..must be a lot of P.E. Teachers in here I thought..BARBADOS had about 50 points..CANADA about 20..theres a sort of ‘time-out’ when a fallen babe hurts herself..for about two minutes..its well surreal, this game. Theres an MC over the P/A too..she explains who’s down..more clapping..BARBADOS are walking this..its dead skilfull in a girly way..not too violent..almost gasps when theres a foul. Its all over..the MC reads out CANADA’s obituary..then its even more surreal..one of the Barbados gals has her birthday today..everyone sings ‘happy birthday to you’..bloody hell..maybe I should have brought the mini-disc after all..more clapping..team hugs..not a bead of sweat dropping off BARBADOS after an hour of Netball..I’m impressed..I’ll lurk.

Two ‘homecounties’ pony-tailed clones man (?) the ALL ENGLAND NETBALL ASSOCIATION stall, these girls are 100% Netball..no booze/fags/shags..just Netball..I ruffle thru some flyers..Clone 2 pounces:

”Have you come far?”

”Anglesey, doing a write up for Link2Wales web site”, I reply trying not to pick too many flyers in a ‘I’m obviously out of my netball League’ sort of way.

”Oh you want this one then” grins Clone 2 (Clone 1 nods in agreement)

Flicking thru the AENA coach education leaflet I’m persuaded by parting with £250 i can become a Netball Coach! Cripes good investment, to hell with bragging about unknown electronica from Latvia, a Netball Coach, the ultimate, I’m sorely tempted, perhaps an S4C mini fly-on the wall on digital TV of ‘how Johnny R became a netball coach’..I sign up for a years subscription to Netball magazine, smile coyly at Clones 1 and 2 then hit the MetroLink and amble down Oldhan Street..strangely the girls in CYBERDOG www.cyberdog.net seem a bit normal, futuristics?..hah..i’ve moved on from neon neoprene ..I pick up a second hand 70’s nylon sports top from POP BOUTIQUE, take note of the value of the ROLLERBALL Soundtrack LP..and hit the train home..

Those saddoes in the Synchro Swimming Pool are so last season I tell myself, I mean R-bennig have to move on up, off the wall..

A CARMEL record is on the deck..ironically a jazzy Manchester lady..I’ll loop her..stick some Metal Detector over it..a cutesey chorus..call it DISCARDED THEREMIN ORCHESTRA ‘UNDERWATER NETBALL LEAGUE’..maybe a wax 7″ gig record to go with our KLINKER CLUB LONDON gig in Autumn.

Netball..it’s out there, where were you?.

Johnny R