Friday Has Five Aces

There is a betting shop under the house next door who once offered us something like seven or eight grand, or something like that, to build a fire exit out of their place into our back garden.  Quite apart from whether or not that compensation would actually match the resulting devaluation of the house, which it probably wouldn’t have, the idea of having Ladbrokes employees peering into our garden while we were sitting out there with a cup of tea didn’t really sound appealing.

Also, they claimed that the door would be alarmed, but we didn’t really have a lot of faith in that, and rather feared the employees finding a way around this and spending a lot of time smoking fags in our back garden.  In the words of Han Solo: “No reward is worth this!”

Anyway, betting shops have always kinda fascinated me.  They always look so desperate, like the people inside are clutching to the last tiny strand of courage they have left and vesting it all in some ropey old nag in the 4.30 at Doncaster.  It’s that haunted, defeated kind of look and the 1980s cross-channel ferry decor that just makes them look like the most appalling joy-sinks imaginable.

In any case, gambling is something I have never been drawn to in the slightest, primarily because games of chance are governed by mathematics and in the long run you will lose, and when it comes to placing bets based on close inside knowledge, I always seem to be surprised no matter how much I know about the topic in hand.

I mean, I know football inside out, particularly the English Premiership and I seem to have absolutely no ability whatsoever to predict the results.  I know the Scottish music scene pretty well these days, but would I honestly have faith in my ability to pick the Next Big Thing Out of Scotland?  No, probably not, not to the extent that I’d bet on it anyway.

Now you may say that in starting a record label that this is exactly what I’m doing, but I’m not, I’m making a different kind of bet altogether.  I have noticed over time that for all I like alternative stuff, my taste still conforms to a certain part of the mainstream, and I am betting that if I just stick to releasing stuff I really like, rather than trying to second-guess a band’s potential for making it big, then my natural overlap with the mainstream will mean that we release enough music people like to make the whole venture financially sensible.

That’s the theory anyway.

So, there are some good gigs this week, so please attend them and take the opportunity to take photos of hipsters looking hip and enter them into our competition to win a copy of the wonderful Communion Compilation.  Just email your pictures (old or new) to me at songbytoad -*-, and we’ll pick a winner in a week or so.

Oh, and please do de-lurk, that’s what this thread is for, y’know.  You’ve read the comments before, you know the kind of clowns I’ll be stuck with if you don’t!

1. Ever bet on anything and won?
2. Which kind of gambling might you be tempted by?
3. Kind of gambling you’ll never understand.
4. What are your odds of scoring on Valentine’s Day?
5. Name your favourite underdog of all time (doesn’t matter what field).

The Pogues – Bottle of Smoke

The Clash – The Card Cheat

Bob Dylan – Rambling Gambling Willie

Bruce Springsteen – Meeting Across the River

Hem – Betting on Trains

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