Sunday, May 03, 2009

"Don't ever call me English again..."

Peter Capaldi is scary enough in The Thick of It ("that's your bollocking face") but in In The Loop he reaches new heights of scatalogical abuse as virulent spinmeister Malcolm Tucker. It is a wonderful, vicious, gleefully nasty film which I fear will poison the body politic for some time: so many amateur politico half-wit wonks are going to try "doing a Tucker". Peter (whom I remember from occasional meetings post-Local Hero as a charmingly polite chap) clashes with James Gandolfini as a would-be peacenik General in quite the best actorly confrontation since De Niro and Pacino in Heat."Don't ever call me English again."

Meanwhile, a pint in the Doublet proved once again it's one of the great underrated West End bars. It was a beautiful spring evening, warm and bright, so Mag and I walked towards Cineworld, stopping off at the new Shish Mahal Cafe for tea, or tiffin. It was pretty good. The curries (tapas style; Mother India's Cafe has a lot to answer for) were really excellent, though the nan bread bits were microwaved and the poppadum pieces more like crisps. Mag used to work in the place when it was a weird combination of photo lab and capuccino bar, so we got a friendly welcome. I'd go back.

It's been a pretty full-on day, what with picking up the old Triumph Trophy I'm using for June's Great Whisky Trip in Glenrothes, Scotland's newtown Brigadoon after a reasonable but somewhat turbulent ferry trip (via Orkney.No problems getting to Glasgow, though, which is looking at its best. The Dear Green Place, with a vengeance.

A column in tomorrow's Sunday Post about laundrettes and some restrained (!) quotes in The Sunday Times about ludicrous proposals for 'voluntary quotas' of Scottish music on the radio. I may have used the phrase 'rockin' vicar syndrome'. What I really meant was 'creeping cultural fascism.'

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