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Shaving with Occam’s razor

Some Dare Call It Conspiracy review

Rating –

Tying in rather nicely, albeit unintentionally (but then that’s the nature of synchronicity isn’t it) with last week’s post I am going a tad more serious with this one. I say a “tad”, because today’s review doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I only discovered this show a few eeks ago when I was scrolling Twitter, and saw a post by host Brent Lee about the structure of the World Trade Centres. So of course, I immediately subscribed, and about 15 minutes into the first episode, this podcast had already jumped to the top of my review list.

So what’s it about?

In each episode, the hosts Brent Lee and Neil Sanders take a deep dive into a subject beloved of conspiracy theorists. From David Icke’s royal reptilians to COVID vaccines, to Jeffrey Epstein to climate change.

In the earlier episodes they are joined by guests and they examine the aforementioned conspiracies. The later episodes are almost solo efforts. There is a huge series by Neil Sanders on Cambridge Analytica that covers the COVID lockdown, the recent elections and data mining. Brent Lee’s episodes on the Grand Conspiracy Myth are also brilliant, and while they are a touch more serious than Neil’s output, they are no less entertaining and infuriating in equal measure.

The early episodes follow the same format each time. The first half of the show, the guests and the host discuss that shows topic from the perspective of the conspiracy. The second half of the show dismantles each point with evidence and critical thinking. The later ones are really just the hosts presenting former blog posts in an audiobook style.

Is it any good?

These are not bitesize episodes by any means. They regularly clock in well past the 90 minute mark, but then I would prefer it that way. These are subjects that should not be glossed over. Whereas conspiracy theories are often reduced to soundbites and memes, the counter arguments have to be watertight.

This fact means that each episode is a weighty undertaking. This isn’t some breezy podcast that you can drop in and out of. It requires a fair amount of concentration to get through, only because the detail requires it. This is quite easy thankfully, due to the fact that both the hosts and the guests are entertaining to listen to. The generous sprinkling of humour throughout also helps stop this just being a stuffy lecture.

These episodes are quite literally lessons in critical thinking. There is a great deal of history, psychology and even virology crammed in to each subject. The interview and subsequent debate featuring “Swaledale Mutton” is an outstanding example of that. The main thing that I think is important to mention, is that at no point to Brent or Neil say “There is no such thing as a conspiracy” . To do that is ridiculous. The point of this podcast is that yes, conspiracies are real, but they are not in the places most people look. Listen to the Cambridge Analytica series for proof of that, just dont blame me for any dental damage from gnashing you teeth.

It’s funny because it’s true

Final thoughts

Due to the uptick in the popularity of conspiracy theories and right wing propaganda on social media in the last 4 or so years, I would say that this podcast is absolutely essential listening. Despite the episode length, I can really see myself going back and listening to some episodes more than once.

This is a review I tried really hard not to get all ranty about. Not because I don’t believe what the guys say, but because I know so many people who despite preaching “do your own research”, do the exact opposite and seem to thrive on the very same confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance that they sneer at “the sheeple” for believing in. There were many times during these episodes I actually got angry, not at them, but the fact that critical thinking and common sense seem to have fallen so far from the norm. Their arguments make sense, and they have the paperwork to back it up. As I type this last section I realise I may sound as fanatical as the most paranoid conspiracy theorist. This is a fact that is causing me some stress.

You can get Some Dare Call It Conspiracy here:

Behind the curtain

True Tales Of The Illuminati review

Rating –

In the last few years, mainly since we were all locked down, people found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Some learned new skills, some started their dream business and found themselves stress free. Others started doing “research” and discovered that the world is not as we’ve been told.

According to various basement dwelling paranoiac energy drink addicts, the world is being run by a shadowy group known as The Illuminati. This all powerful group has the ability to control global government, start wars and runs all the world’s media. Despite doing this, they are unable to make said “researchers” disappear without a trace, thus keeping their nefarious deeds secret.

So what’s it about?

This is a wry comedy tracing the history of the Illuminati, from its beginnings in ancient Egypt through to the modern day.

It follows the adventures of Ishmael, Jackie, Beck and Dal as they build occult libraries in pyramids, plot against Henry VIII, fake moon landings and buy nuclear weapons. You know, all that stuff that changes the course of history.

It’s unclear in the story whether this foursome are really immortal, or if it’s like Blackadder, where there are different members of the same bloodline doing the same things. Not that it really matters, but I didn’t think about that for a while.

Is it any good?

There were more cons than pros when I started this unfortunately. There are many good, funny, podcasts out there, some of which I absolutely love. This is not one of them though. I had made up my mind by the end of the first episode, but I ploughed on through the whole lot, just in case.

The theme song is a vaudevillian piano “chase” style song that lays the groundwork for the zany style comedy. Unfortunately, this tune is the best part of the show. The characters are irritating, especially Dal, who you get the impression is constantly peering out from a hooded cloak and who chews the scenery with gusto. The storylines are inane and yes, I understand that this is the point, but it got on my nerves almost instantly.

I would place this more in the realm of series 2 of Fear, you may remember it as the curveball story entitled “Black Friday”, rather than other mystery based comedies such as Wormwood or

Like a ten year old at a birthday party, this podcast is hyperactive and thinks it’s funnier than it actually is. Like said hyperactive ten year old, it also doesn’t seem to know what to do next and runs around without any real purpose.

Final thoughts

On paper, this should have been my ideal podcast. As I have mentioned in other podcasts though, simply having the ingredients right doesn’t guarantee a good cuppa. After the first episode I realised that I probably wouldn’t like it, and as they ticked on, my fears were proved right. In the interest of fairness though (established by me in my housekeeping post), I have listened to all ten episodes. In fact, seeing as there were only twelve, I listened to the whole thing. See what I do for you lot?

You might like this, if you do then feel free to call me an idiot/grump/philistine and enjoy the series for what it is. A very silly, rather base comedy.

You can get True Tales Of The Illuminati here:

Uncovering the truth

The Estate review

Production company – Tenderfoot TV

Rating –


I know that the capitalised top line with snazzy asterisk accompaniment usually means a release day review, but not this time. Although as you read this, the first two episodes dropped last Wednesday (September 13th). I also have the third episode on pre-release, but I’m not going to talk about that. It’ll be a nice surprise for you all. But back to the review…

So what’s it about?

New year’s Eve, 1973. Emergency services receive a phone call alerting them to a shooting. When ambulance and police crews arrive they find the 34 year old Anthony Virgilio, still alive, but bleeding heavily. Before he dies, he accuses his business partner Calvin Jones. Calvin is arrested, and sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder.

Rosalio Estrada received weekly phone calls from Jones from prison. He never told his family about his involvement in any wrongdoing, so these calls were extremely mysterious. Whenever his son Alex asks about these calls, the conversation gets shut down, and eventually he stops asking.

After Rosalio dies, Alex really wants to discover the truth behind this mystery. He asks his other family members, but it seems that Rosalio never mentioned it to anyone. Therefore, the only solution is to talk to the one other person who knows the truth. Calvin Jones.

Calvin, now released from prison is a quiet, kind old man. The Rosalio that Jones describes is far from the father that Alex knew. Could it be that guilt over the murder changed Rosalio and made him that cold, distant person Alex knew? Calvin still has all the police files from the investigation and gives them to Alex, and so the search for the truth begins. Just who was responsible for the murder of Anthony Virgilio?

Is it any good?

As I said at the beginning, I’ve heard the first three episodes (you may well have already heard the first two). I must say that it is shaping up to be a great series. This is another example of Tenderfoot TV on top form, and they are quickly becoming my favourite source for true crime podcasts.

As well as the murder mystery, this series exposes the duality of one man’s life. The Rosalio Estrada that Calvin describes is almost unrecognisable to Alex. Why is that? Alex suspects that it is due to feelings of guilt after the conviction, but it must cause some kind of cognitive dissonance to discover that the man he grew up fearing wasn’t really like that (at least according to people who knew him).

I suspect that this one will be a complex take full of twists and turns as the investigation develops. By the end of episode two, you are already wondering which path this investigation is going to take, as more possbilities come to light as to who may have been responsible.

Final thoughts

This review is a little bit shorter than usual, only because I have literally 40 minutes of podcast to review. As such I can’t really give it a 5 right off the bat either. I would absolutely recommend it though, just on what I’ve heard so far. If it carries on the way it’s started, it’ll be a solid five brain show all day long.

Thanks to Mackensie from Beckmedia for giving me the heads up about this, and also hooking me up with episode 3.

You can get The Estate here:

Thoroughly modern Yeti

Yeti review

Production company – BBC

Rating –

People have hunted monsters since the days of “here be dragons” appearing on the edges of maps. I can’t say I blame them, the field of cryptozoology is a fascinating one, depending on your worldview. Of all the strange beasties said to lurk around the world, there are two that surely stand head and shoulders over the rest. This is about the other one (I mean, you can see that from the title).

So what’s it about?

Andrew Benfield has been on a mission for decades. After reading a book about the Yeti (should that be capitalised?), he decided that he was going to be the one to discover it. Since then he has travelled all over the Himalayas in search of the elusive cryptid. The term “Yeti” is far from a catch all term. The area is so vast, and the descriptions are so varied, that if you ask the wrong question you could never find what you’re looking for. Most cases don’t involve giant bipeds with shaggy white hair wandering the snowy mountain peaks. A lot of these new sightings are in remote woodland areas, and the creatures themselves are more like brown haired apes, albeit seemingly with greater intelligence.

His latest expedition sees him teaming up with close friend (and sceptic) Richard Horsey, as they head off to the remotest areas of the Himalaya to investigate modern sightings of the Yeti. These aren’t just reports of distant, indistinct shapes though. There are stories of Yeti chasing people, and even attacking them.

Is it any good?

It reminds me a lot of other BBC mystery and paranormal shows, mostly Death In Ice Valley and Danny Robins‘ various spooky shows. In fact, the BBC seems to be on a bit of a run of paranormal shows at the moment, in part no doubt to Danny Robins’ runaway successes in the genre.

Being a BBC show, the production value is high. The music is evocative, and the binaural field recordings really put you in the far flung places that the guys explore. From remote villages clifftop temples and bustling marketplaces to terrifying journeys on narrow mountain passes, you feel as though you are right next to Andrew and Richard.

Final thoughts

The quest to prove the existence of the yeti is many decades old, and what sets this series apart is that it is investigating new sightings. It’s very easy for monster shows to dwell on the classic tales of this strange creature. It would be remiss of them to gloss over these stories, and they do get mentioned, but the main part of the investigation is following up leads on new encounters.

This series is short and sweet. While I don’t consider it being too much of a spoiler to say that you can probably guess how it ends, it’s enjoyable nonetheless. Having said that, I suspect that if this show had been any longer, then there is a real possibility that the actual hunt for the yeti would have taken a back seat to Andrew’s growing obsession with the quest. This is an equally interesting look at how friendships can suffer when one person’s enthusiasm escalates too far.

You can get Yeti here:

Keep to the path

The Dark Is Rising review

Production company – BBC World Service

Rating –

As I was listening to this series, it reminded me of the fantasy stories that were popular when I was growing up (and that I didn’t like). I tended to only learn about them when they got dramatised on Children’s BBC, usually at Christmas. As I was reading up on the original story to research this review, it turns out that it is indeed based on a classic children’s fantasy book series. I’m still not reading them though!

So what’s it about?

The story follows the adventures of Will Stanton. It is the day before his 11th birthday, Midwinter Eve, and strange things are afoot. Mysterious lurkers, nervous animals and cryptic warnings lay the groundwork for a truly bizarre adventure.

Meanwhile, across the world in Jamaica, Will’s brother receives a gift from a stranger. With the instructions that this gift is for Will, the stranger seems to know an awful lot about the family, and Will in particular.

So what is in store for young Will? Well, I’m obviously not going to tell you, am I? I’m not into spoilers as you well know, so you’ll have to subscribe and find out for yourselves.

Is it any good?

The cast, for the most part, is very good. The inclusion of Toby Jones in anything is usually a seal of approval. He is joined by Harriet Walter, Paul Rhys and Thomas Arnold. The actual cast is rather small with many of the actors playing multiple roles. I suspect that this is more to do with the central plot device than something like budget limitations.

Adapted for audio, directed and narrated by the brilliant Simon McBurney, someone who is fresh in my mind after playing the deliciously creepy protagonist in the TV drama Hijack. He has one of those distinctive voices that I immediately recognised.

I suspect this would appeal to the mid 40s folk horror fan. Whilst I would describe myself as that, I was never really into the Alan Garner “Low Fantasy” type stories.

Final thoughts

It is when I have to write reviews like this i realise what a contrarian I am. I can’t explain it. I said I’m not really into these type of stories, but I did really like the TV adaptations of Moondial and The Children Of Green Knowe when I was young, so maybe it’s more that I have come to this story too late. Who knows?

I suspect that it is to my detriment that I avoided stories like these as a child. Honestly, I was reading rather more full on horror than this style of child-centric folk mystery that I think is almost exclusively British. I reckon if I had read those type of stories, I would have loved this.

As I have said in previous reviews, this is just my opinion, and if my synopsis appeals to you, then absolutely check this out. There is, after all, much to enjoy here. It’s just not to my personal taste.

You can get The Dark Is Rising here:

But can you do a handstand?

The Bones Brigade Audio Show

Rating –

Growing up in the 80’s I remember dreaming of owning a skateboard. I never had one, I had nowhere to ride it, but I did buy A LOT of magazines and wish. By the mid 90’s I actually got a skateboard, but I was always drawn to the 80’s style and so (obviously) the legendary videos by Powell Peralta pro team, The Bones Brigade.

One of my all time favourite skaters (Frankie Hill) mentioned on Instagram that he was appearing on a podcast called “The Bones Brigade Audio Show”. I knew I had to check it out at the first opportunity. So with great anticipation I subscribed and pressed play.

So what’s it about?

Starting in 1982, Stacy Peralta and Craig Stecyk released 6 full length Bones Brigade videos, and more that are sadly unknown nowadays. In doing so, they not only defined skate culture and action sports videos, but also inspired millions of kids to go out and skin their knees.

Each episode, hosts and Bones Brigade fanatics Larry and Matt go over each of the videos in order. They are joined by some of the guys who were in the industry at the time, from team riders to graphic designers, event organisers and filmmakers. The discussions cover what went into producing these iconic films, and they share anecdotes about the riders and the spots that became so famous to people who would never actually see them in real life, let alone skate them.

They kick things off with “Skateboarding In The 80’s”. This was ground zero for the bones brigade. Made as an advertising short to be played in skate shops, it laid the blueprint for the videos to follow. I love the anecdote about how Steve Caballero himself copied the VHS that the guys watch. All for the princely sum of $20!

Is it any good?

This show really presses my nostalgia buttons. Even though it’s a nostalgia I experienced vicariously from the end of an unpaved road in rural Wales. I didn’t get to actually watch a Bones Brigade video until the mid 90’s. My affection for them is undeniable though. Even rewatching them now (just to follow along with the podcast discussion), they still get me stoked to want to ride again. The excitement and feeling of just going out and having fun, whether you are amazing or not is contagious. It’s something sadly lacking in modern day skate videos. It’s just a shame that all the nice boards get bought up by people wanting to hang them on their walls.

Despite the epic runtime of each episode (regularly sailing well past the 90mins mark), you never get bored. I say you, I mean me. With most podcasts keeping well below a 60 minute runtime, there can be a danger of losing concentration. Their love of the films is so contagious that the time literally flies by.

 Both Larry and Matt are great hosts. There’s loads of little details they mention. Easter eggs that would have easily been overlooked when the younger version of you was watching and getting psyched to go skating. 

There is also the fact that these videos genuinely chart the development of skating. In the early videos there are no flatground ollies (because they weren’t invented yet). Imagine that! No ollies! Then there are ollies, but no kickflips. These are really important events in the sport.

Final thoughts

Obviously a podcast dissecting the video output of a single skateboard company is the very definition of niche. Therefore it won’t be for everyone. There’s lots of jargon and name dropping that won’t mean anything to a lot if you. If you have a love of vintage skateboarding though, then this podcast should be at the top of your essential listening list.

Last week I reviewed the Metallica podcast and bemoaned the fact that it was sterile and basically an advert for the band’s business interests. This however is fandom done right. There is no hokey product placement here, just a great respect for the subject matter.

I’ve spent the last few days bingeing on this series and I really can’t wait for them to get to my personal favourite, Ban This. I notice that one is a three parter. That will definitely be a days listening well spent!

You can get The Bones Brigade Audio Show here:

Sad but true

The Metallica Report review

Rating –

Metallica’s influence on metalheads of a certain age (read my age) is undeniable. My friends and I listened to the albums non stop, learned the songs (apart from the solos), and doodled the logo in our books. I even used to write endorser thanks lists mentioning Tama drums and Zildjian cymbals etc just like Lars. They were absolutely instrumental in turning me into a proper metaller (alongside Anthrax, Testament and Pantera).

At this point I’d like to give a shout out to Imran at GreatPods for putting this series on my radar. It’s always nice to get told about something that would have potentially slipped by unnoticed!

So what’s it about?

This podcast purports to offer all the insider news from the Metallica camp. From news and interviews with band members and fans, to roadcrew and techs letting you in on all the little secrets of what goes into making the concerts run smoothly. This is a one stop shop for any Metallica superfan.

Presented by self-confessed superfans Steffan Chirazi and Renée Richardson. I recognised Steffan’s name immediately from many years dutifully reading Kerrang! Magazine, but he also runs “So What”, Metallica’s fanclub zine. Renée was a radio presenter, but now oversees Metallica’s charity All Within My Hands. Their love of the band is immediately apparent, and somewhat contagious.

Is it any good?

As I mentioned in the previous section, this podcast offers the inside line on all things Metallica related. Except it doesn’t. Not really. When a band gets to the real top tier (like Metallica), it stops being a band and becomes a business. A corporation. So this podcast is in truth nothing more than an advert for “Metallicorp”. The tone is similar to half time gossip in a basketball match with all the adverts from the sponsors. It lacks the cosiness or the inclusive feeling of a fan based show, and just comes across as one massive marketing strategy.

I haven’t checked to see if this is also on YouTube, but if it is, I will bet that each section is accompanied by slick animated cgi elements and video clips of the interviewees superimposed over swirling, dynamic looking backgrounds.

Final thoughts

I was really hoping for more than this podcast delivers. It’s still relatively new (only 3 episodes so far), so maybe it will change. I really, REALLY hope it does. After all, Metallica are on an epic tour, so there is only really talk about that with some fan interviews thrown in.

This is a band who are no strangers to controversy, from not mixing (then bassist) Jason Newstead’s bass into the …And Justice For All album, to recent concern over the pricing of their VIP ticket packages. Lars’ public outcry against Napster and P2P sharing in general, to the St. Anger snare sound, and his ability as a drummer in general. All this just washes over them, and despite what the public may think about their metal credentials nowadays, their DGAF attitude has remained (something I suppose that is easy to do when you are coining it in no matter what you do).

Truth be told, despite having a huge influence on me back in the mid 90s, they haven’t actually made an album that I liked since 91. Hell, they haven’t released 10 songs I’ve liked in that time. So, four entire albums in 7 years (I didn’t really like Kill Em All), to less than 10 SONGS in 32 years is not a great streak. And yes, the thought that 1991 was 32 years ago does make my brain feel weird and old.

Maybe this show isn’t aimed at me then, as there are many many superfans who will lap up any release by their favourite acts no matter how shonky they may be to other, less die hard fans. I guess the opinion of whether this is a good podcast is “all within your hands” (see what I did there?)

You can get The Metallica Report here:

Being good is not enough?

Dear Alana review

Production company – Tenderfoot TV

Rating –


Another seeming departure for me this week. Yes, I know that Sunday is my usual day for posts. As you can see, it’s another release day exclusive. It seems that nobody releases new shows on a Sunday. I was lucky enough to get contacted by Tenderfoot TV directly to get the first two episodes of this series in advance of the release date. Nearly a month in advance actually, so I’ve been sitting on this one for a while.

I should warn you all before we start that this one is worthy of a trigger warning. It deals with discussion of bullying, suicide, conversion therapy and other subjects that are genuinely upsetting to listen to.

So what’s it about?

Alana Chen was a happy, outgoing, ultimate frisbee fanatic. She was also a devout Catholic, and as she entered her teens, her devotion became more pronounced. Whereas most kids her age were sneaking off to parties, she would sneak off to church. She acquired a spiritual director and decided she wanted to become a nun. However, there were elements to Alana’s life that were in direct conflict with her dream to devote her life to god. A conflict that cost her her life. From a relatively young age, she was attracted to girls. Her spiritual director recommended conversion therapy to help her realise her dream of entering a convent, and from that point Alana started living a double life.

Simon Kent Fung heard about Alana’s death, and realised the importance of this tragic tale. His life mirrored Alana’s closely, so he was inspired to tell her tragic life story. Through speaking to her family, and reading her journals, he uncovers Alana’s secret life. A life full of self doubt, desperation and psychological harm caused by those meant to guide and offer hope.

Is it any good?

In much the same way as Hoaxed, or Hunting Warhead, I’m reluctant to use the term “good”. I tend to think of it in the same manner as “nice”, and that term might almost make light of the situations in both Alana and Simon’s early lives. I would say however, that it’s a brilliantly made show that tells an important story.

There were moments in the first two episodes that nearly did bring me to tears, although strangely it was the events of Simon’s early life that affected me most. Maybe that’s because it was him recounting the events first hand.

One thing that is clear though, is that both Alana and Simon had a very very tough time at the hands of people who were supposed to offer the highest spiritual training. The juxtaposition of who you are, and who you want to be must be an incredible, almost insurmountable barrier to cross. Unfortunately it seems not everyone can make it through.

Final thoughts

Since I got hold of the first two episodes, I have also been sent the next three episodes of the series. While I can’t go into any details about what’s coming up, I can tell you that this is a truly heartbreaking podcast, but one that I would recommend to anyone. Devoting your life to god is abviously one of the biggest commitments anyone can make. The thought of not only being denied that, but having to undergo conversion therapy as well is something my mind simply cannot fathom. I guess being a good person isn’t good enough. Hearing about all the things that both Alana and Simon had to confess and undergo psychologically, I’m really not surprised that people don’t make it through.

Tenderfoot TV really is releasing some amazing shows at the moment, and I’ve been a fan for a long time. To get this opportunity for a release day review from them is something I’m most grateful for, so thanks guys!

You can get Dear Alana here:

Calm down dear

American Hysteria review

Rating –

If there’s one thing the Americans love, it’s a good kerfuffle. I’m not being prejudiced, it just seems that from a UK perspective (which is my perspective), Americans just seem to love getting stirred up about something or other. There could be many reasons for this, it’s not for this British, atheist, lefty, non patriot to possibly comment on.

Thankfully, American Chelsey Weber-Smith is on hand to do just that. So let’s take a deep dive into the numerous things that get those pitchforks raised and those torches burning shall we?

So what’s it about?

The podcast title is rather self explanatory. Very self explanatory in fact. Each episode, Chelsey looks at stories that have caused major outcries over the years. There are many urban myths and controversies dissected here. Some I was aware of, some not.

She lifts the curtain on subjects as diverse as the Satanic Panic, Furbies (yes, Furbies), The Illuminati and even Hipsters. A lot of the exaggeration and downright lies are exposed and countered with in depth research. I guarantee you’ll learn something new in at least one episode. Actually, I mean you’ll learn at least one new thing in every episode.

Is it any good?

This is a great show. Despite its mostly rather dark subject matter, Chelsey keeps things pretty light-hearted. I think this is mainly because most of these stories are rather silly at heart. The problem is that once you convince someone that something is true, then they are incapable of seeing how silly it is. Take your pick of conspiracy theories there.

This is a truly bingeworthy show that is easy to spend many days on. Even if there are subjects you would normally avoid for whatever reason, I would encourage you to listen. The truth behind the stories are often more mundane than you’d imagine, and therefore possibly not as upsetting.

As someone who is a smart-ass pedant, and a sponge of useless information, there is nothing I like more than correcting people (ask my family). This podcast is perfect for that. There are a great many facts now locked away in the 3lb hard drive that sits atop my shoulders, just waiting for someone to worry about the dangers of trick or treating, or “the war on Christmas” (only because we are quickly approaching that time of year).

Final thoughts

I heartily recommend this podcast to everyone. I don’t think that anyone would be worse off from listening to this brilliantly researched show. In a world where social media clickbait has become a major source of “news” and “research”, the danger of ill informed panic and conspiracy spreading is worse now than when we only had a few TV channels and newspapers for information.

It does beg the question though that why do people not look for the truth when these stories break? I don’t mean “DO YOUR RESEARCH SHEEPLE” type research, but there are things here that even I knew, but which seem to get glossed over in light of more salacious, or untrue revelations. I think I’ve probably answered my own question there.

You can get American Hysteria here:

Trip down memory lane

Jools And Jim’s Joyride review

Rating –

As I prepare this post for publication (the actual day of release, as is usual). I have just returned from a family holiday in Spain. Seeing as I have a few posts ready to go, I felt that with the spirit of travel somewhat prominant in my psyche, I would share this particular podcast with you. So buckle up and lets go on a joyride with Jools and Jim.

What with all the true crime and horror shows passing through the doors at podcastgeek central recently, I thought it would be nice to go in a different direction. This one was recommended to me ages ago, and to be honest, I put off listening to it. Once I did though, I was kicking myself for not getting to it sooner.

So what’s it about?

Each week, Jools Holland and Jim Moir (better known to many as Vic Reeves) interview a different celebrity where they discuss their love of motoring and travel in general. The conversation is as winding as a country road, and takes as many tangents as someone who can’t read a roadmap (I’m old school like that ok? You can’t really go wrong with satnavs can you?). That’s enough of the travel metaphors though, because there’s more to this show than that.

Rather than just modes of transport dear to the hearts of the guests, this show delves into everything from art to food. This really is a show of reminiscences. The interior furnishings of their fathers first car is just as likely to be discussed as the cafe in Brighton where they did the best fish and chips.

With Jools and Jim both being musicians (and indeed massive music fans), when musicians are guests, there is an awful lot of talk about related subjects. Whether that be touring in different countries, or the contents of the guests father’s 8-track collection, there is plenty to entertain. This isn’t entirely music and travel based though (despite Jools and Jim’s best attempts). The guests include sportsmen and women, actors, journalists, comedians and more. Bascially anyone the hosts find interesting.

Is it any good?

I’m almost loath to describe this show as “cosy”, but I can’t really think of a better word. Whereas Bob Mortimer has his Gone Fishing TV show with Paul Whitehouse, the other half of Reeves and Mortimer has got this show. They are both similar in feel, despite the vast difference in content (And Bob Mortimer is the first guest on the show).

It’s like Top Gear for people who don’t hold management positions in call centres. There is very little talk about modern cars. This is after all, essentially a show about memories. There is also discussion on boats, trains, buses and literally any other mode of transport you can think of.

Both Jools Holland and Jim Moir have an extensive knowledge of all things transport related and they make a great team. The sponsorship adverts are also genius, and it seems like Jim writes them without telling Jools what he’s got to say beforehand. This leads to some great bursts of laughter at the nonsense.

Final thoughts

This is a thoroughly charming podcast with two stalwarts of British entertainment. You can tell that they both clearly love what they are doing, and there’s always plenty of space for humourous digressions. I think that since Jim dropped the “Vic Reeves” name, he doesn’t seem to feel the need to be outrageously weird. Nowadays he is pleasantly eccentric and only slightly surreal. Not that I wasn’t a fan of Novelty Island, The Man With A Stick, Uncle Peter, Les, or any of the oddball characters that featured on his early TV shows.

Jools on the other hand, does what he always does. He comes across as a slightly socially awkward raconteur, with an enyclopaedic knowledge of almost anything, but particularly music and art.

If you ever feel like the current news cycle is too depressing, or the constant stream of horror, true crime and music based recommendations from this nerd are too much for your sanity, then give this a go. Seriously. You’ll love it.

You can get Jools And Jim’s Joyride here:

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