The title is obviously a parody of U2 album Achtung, Baby.
The phrase "This Machine Kills Wasps" on Nigel's guitar in the inner sleeve photo (below) is inspired by the enscription on Woody Guthrie's guitar - "This Machine Kills Fascists".
Restless Leg Sydrome is a real medical condition (Ekbom's Syndrome).
(ticket to) Morningtown Morningtown Ride was written by Malvina Reynolds, and was first released by The Limeliters in 1962. The Seekers version from 1966 is probably the most famous version.
Sudafed Decongestant medicine for catarrh and sinus congestion.
Ogwen Lake Popular tourist and angler destination in North Wales, on the A5 four miles from the village of Bethesda. Read more about it here.
Jake The Peg Rolf Harris song and character, with a 50% bonus in the leg department.
CORGI Council for Registered Gas Installers, the national watchdog for gas safety in the United Kingdom. You also need to be CORGI registered to be an approved repairer of Agas and oil fired boilers - both usually linked with pre WW2 suburban housing and thus affluence. Oil fired Agas are infamous for turning kitchens into blast furnace stoker rooms in the summer. (Mark Boyle)
"In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." is a quote from the 15th century philosopher Erasmus. Or in other words, if all else around you were ignorant than even a little knowledge would make you significant in that community.
Kitzbühel Skiing (and golfing) location in the Alps.
Lowe Alpine make walking gear.
Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire, between Witney and Carterton.
Del Boy Mr Jason's character from Only Fools And Horses.
Amanda Burton Dr Sam Ryan in Silent Witness these days, but forever Heather Haversham/Huntingdon/Black in Brookside in the mid-eighties to me.
Job Another chap with a Book in the Old Testament (there's a joke here somewhere about the Book of Jobs). Basically, Job loses his family, his wealth, and his health. Job's three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to comfort him and to discuss his crushing series of tragedies. They insist his suffering is punishment for sin in his life. Job, though, remains devoted to God through all of this and contends that his life has not been one of sin. A fourth man, Elihu, tells Job he needs to humble himself and submit to God's use of trials to purify his life. Finally, Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of God and his need to totally trust in the Lord. Job is then restored to health, happiness and prosperity beyond his earlier state. I'd have stayed in the pub meself.
Ann Summers Sex toys and the rest.
Chatteris is in Cambridgeshire, roughly 7 miles from March, and roughly 20 miles from Cambridge.
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square popular British song, tune by Manning Sherwin (1915), lyrics by Eric Maschwitz, first published in 1940, originally performed by Ray Noble, and made famous in the same year by Vera Lynn. Also performed by Nat King Cole, Glenn Miller, Harry Connick Jr. and Sonny Rollins. A famous version by The Manhattan Transfer won a Grammy in 1981 for its arranger, Gene Puerling. I won't mention the movie of the same name from 1979.
Berkeley Square is a town square in the West End of London in the City of Westminster, originally laid out in the mid 18th century by architect William Kent. It is named after the noble Gloucestershire family of the same name whose London home, Berkeley House, had stood nearby until 1733. Infamous in Victorian times for No 50 Berkeley Square. If it wasn't bad enough that it was already haunted by the ghosts of a kilted girl (who had been tortured to death in the house), and the eccentric miser Mr Myers (part of whose life story may have found its way into Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - like Scrooge, Myers too became embittered over a broken engagement), it was left abandoned for several decades thanks to the shapeless ghost of a Mr DuPre - a violent lunatic incarcerated there during his life - who murdered anyone stupid enough to try sleeping in the property overnight. Is now an antique bookshop - does not do late opening hours for some reason...(MB)
Ofsted Office for Standards in Education.
Fens Area of England that fans out from the Wash across Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and West Norfolk. Once an inhospitable swampy wilderness, now a network of waterways for holidaymakers to crash their barges on.
Crick barriers A traffic-calming device of particular abundance in the Fens. I can't speak for Chatteris, but nearby Gamlingay certainly has them, at both ends no less. They're somewhat like a chicane but more Z-shaped than hourglass-shaped (i.e. thre's a crick in the road) and the purpose is to allow traffic through from one direction at a time.
Ely Cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, founded in 673 when Princess Etheldreda, daughter of the Anglo-Saxon King Anna adopted Christianity and formed a Coven/Convent one mile north of the Saxon village of Cratendune, an act that later ensured her elevation to Saint Etheldreda. Far more important, of course, for that famous night in Paris 1973 when Ely made the whole of Britain proud by winning the Grand Final of It's A Knockout / Jeux Sans Frontières.
St. Ives in Cambridgeshire, which is actually the ancient town of Slepe in the old county of Huntingdonshire. This ancient riverside market town is now named after the Persian Bishop, St. Ivo. St. Ives stands on the River Great Ouse and is world famous for the Chapel on the Bridge.
See the front cover of The Libertines' self-titled second album, although not Nigel's inspiration.
...quote from the Book Of Revelations... refers to The Libertines' What A Waster single from 2002 - offending lyrics are "When she wakes up in the morning, she writes down all her dreams, reads like the Book of Revelations, or the Beano or the unabridged Ulysses.". Splendid.
Book Of Revelation Fairly impenetrable. The Revelation is lavish in colourful descriptions of the visions which proclaim for us the Last Days before Christ’s return and the ushering in of the new Heaven and new earth. The Revelation reveals the series of devastations poured out upon the earth; the mark of the beast, “666”; the climatic battle of Armageddon; the binding of Satan; the reign of the Lord; the Great White Throne Judgment; and the nature of the eternal city of God. Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ are fulfilled and a concluding call to His Lordship assures us that He will soon return.
St John The Divine had a Revelation in the above.
Mary Hopkin Welsh warbler who won Opportunity Knocks on ten consecutive occasions, and subsequently knocked the Beatles' Hey Jude off the no.1 spot with Those Were The Days after Paul McCartney had signed her to Apple. I prefer the Wedding Present's version of the Ukrainian/Russian folk song meself.
"you only busk when it's Christmas" based on the football chant "You only sing when you're winning" which in turn is a rewording of the Cuban patriotic song Guantanamera ("The girl from Guantanamo").
Fistral The main surfing beach in Newquay (Cornwall). Too many pikeys these days.
Horse and Hound "The equestrian world's only news weekly".
...stored their magazine in a data-retrieval system It was a common copyright warning on magazines such as "The contents of this magazine, either in whole or part, may not be reproduced, stored in a data retrieval system...blah, blah, blah." In 1984, of course, few people had access to such a system.
Halex 3-star Table-tennis ball - The cream of ping-pong balls.
Upon Westminster Bridge is a poem by William Wordsworth, September 3, 1802.
Hampstead famous for the heath - "The Lungs Of London".
Ken Hom Oriental cook.
Dead Sea the lowest exposed point on the Earth's surface (1369ft below sea level), on the border between the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan on the Jordan Rift Valley. The endorheic body of water is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, 76km long, up to 18km wide and 400m deep at its deepest point.
iPod Apple's 'pocket-sized ultralight hard-drive based device', i.e. MP3 player.
B&Q, Homebase where paintballers go on their weekends off.
"No Need For Nails" Not sure this actually exists - I only know of "No More Nails" and "Hard As Nails". Whatever, a solvent adhesive.
Motley Crue Poodle metal band from the 80's, still going. Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx get the bullets from me.
The guitar solo sounds uncannily like Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land.
The next bit is obviously to the tune of The Twelve Days Of Christmas.
Nick Knowles host of BBC's DIY SOS.
Carphone Warehouse mobile phones.
Matalan low cost clothes and home store.
"...and a pulled-up at Bangor-on-Dee" i.e. a non-finisher at the racecourse, which is situated near Wrexham.
I'm driving backwards at peak hour... inspired by Spike Milligan's ballad I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas, first broadcast on the Goon Show in 1956 in the The Great Tuscan Salami Scandal episode (see where Banzai got their ideas from). Milligan sang this to fill in due a musician's strike at the time.
Edgware Road London street on the Bakerloo line between Paddington and Marylebone stations.
Joy Division Seminal Manchester post-punk band from the late 70's/early 80's.
Quantocks Hills in Somerset, not too far from Bridgwater.
"Nero fiddles while Gordon burns" a recreation of "Nero fiddles while Rome burns". Which is unlikely, since the violin hadn't been invented at the time (AD64).
Nero known as a bit of a bastard at times, but unlikely to be the Rome arsonist, as he wasn't there at the time. Angered the Christians by building himself a huge palace on the ruins.
Gordon Burns presented The Krypton Factor on ITV for years, now the anchorman for the Northwest Tonight news programme.
"talk to the hands" 'cos the face ain't listening...
"dance, dance, dance" from Joy Division's "Transmission".
Quakers The Religious Society of Friends, whose faith springs from the experience that each one of us can have a direct relationship with the Divine.
My Grandfather's Clock is a traditional song, the original starts "My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf, so it stood ninety years on the floor...". The melody is as recited by Nigel. The clock which inspired the song can apparently still be seen at the George Hotel, Piercebridge, County Durham.
Arthur Lee lead singer with Love (Forever Changes etc). Was back playing live again until recently, until his death (late 2006) prevented him.
Arthur Lowe Captain George Mainwaring from "Dad's Army" (1968-77), Leonard Swindley in "Coronation Street" (1960-65).
More O'Ferrall UK billboard company, now rebranded as Clear Channel.
Monsters Of Rock Er, a rock festival held at Donnington.
Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa, surrounded by Guinea and Liberia. The 1991-2002 civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population), many of whom are now refugees in neighbouring countries.
guerilla gig impromptu performance by band (sometimes in unlikely locations, usually pseudonymous).
The title appeared in Chris Morris' "Brasseye" episode on Crime; a Ted Maul interview with the Huffords begins, "Dad unemployed; Mum depressed beyond tablets. You want to help these people, but the truth is, they're got to help themselves..."
Boondock rough, isolated area.
Stern-Faced Neubauten reference to Einsturzende Neubauten, German industrial godfathers.
Belle Epoque cite "Black Is Black"... Belle Epoque were a French 70's female disco group, Black Is Black was their major hit, #2 in 1977. The song itself was a cover of the 1966 #2 for the Spanish quintet Los Bravos.
Clwydian Hills A 20-mile range of undulating hill and moorland; not mountainous, but the views aren't bad. Separating the luscious Vale of Clwyd from the Dee Estuary, this open, expansive ridge is often called the north-eastern rampart of Wales.
"To infernal regions I've been sent to gut Hummingbirds..." Yes, there really is a rational explanation for this line...hummingbirds are a topic that usually results in countless pub car park fights after branch RSPB meetings. The reason for this is the mystery of their metabolic rate, which can be switched from hyper (when hovering) to near-coma status (when not feeding) seemingly at will. The mystery of how exactly they metabolise nectar and water in the gut to have the sort of lifestyle and diet not even Carol Vorderman or Gillian McKeith would be stupid enough to try and pass off as healthy was pursued obsessively by University ornithology specialists in the 1990s, who would send their unfortunate students to the likes of Alaska and Tierra del Fuego, to all sorts of jungles to gather info to answer the great mystery (MB).
dark satanic mills from Blake's Jerusalem.
CSNY (David) Crosby, (Stephen) Stills, (Graham) Nash and (Neil) Young, formed in 1968 from the embers of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies.
Stephen Stills guitarist and vocalist for CSN(Y).
Measures & Weights basically Trading Standards.
Chartist Chartism was a popular movement in Great Britain from 1838 to 1848 for electoral and social reform. These days, there's the magazine 'Chartism: for democratic socialism'.
Peetie Wheatstraw Bluesman from the 1920s-1941. Read about him here.
Stapely Water Gardens Garden centre (and much more) near Nantwich in South Cheshire.
Bird On A Wire Leonard Cohen's anthem of personal redemption.
Len Leonard Cohen.
Twydale Claire, used to be in Evil Gazebo.
sleeping policeman speed bump in the road.
Cotswolds A fairly extensive area of middle England, with plenty of green hillsides and dry stone walls.
Windrush River in the Cotswolds, popular with anglers.
Wyre Forest in Worcestershire, on the edge of the Cotswolds.
Marianne Faithful convent-girl-cum-singer, more notorious for her involvement with the Jagger/Richards drug bust in 1967.
Gouranga originates in the Hare Krishna religious movement, whose founding father, Shri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was also called Gaura. Stickers bearing the word Gouranga or stating “Call out Gouranga and be happy!” have been appearing on bridges over motorways and railways in Scotland and the north of England, purely to annoy drivers as to its meaning.
Title based on Starship's "We Built This City (On Rock And Roll)".
misguided trousers mentioned previously by Morrissey in Get Off The Stage ("You silly old man/In your misguided trousers/With your mascara and your Fender guitar..."), the b-side of Piccadilly Palare. Brenda Blethyn British big- and small-screen actress. The cricket farce in question is "Outside Edge", in which she played Roger Dervish's (Robert Daws) long-suffering wife Miriam. Crap fact: the show was originally a stage play, with Prunella Scales playing Blethyn's part.
Mummers Actors, basically. In mummers’ plays, the central incident is the killing and restoring to life of one of the characters. Often associated with Morris Dancing.
Mamas & Papas Harmony-rich California pop from the 60's.
The Coppers Bob and Ron Copper were a pair of... well, folk singers is perhaps doing them an injustice - say, brothers who sang folk songs. They had wonderful voices. Their stirring rendition of the the final verse of The Banks of the Sweet Primroses can just about reassure you that you are not making a complete fool of yourself over a rag, a bone and a hank of hair -
Come all young men, that go a-courting, Pray pay attention to what I say, There is many a dark and a cloudy morning, Turns out to be a bright sunshine-y day.(even if when you invite her to the cinema on a Friday night she claims she has to stay in to wait for the plumber, for example.) Worth singing while out on your bike and no one is around (tho' considering in the previous verse the woman he was a-courting took herself down 'to some lonesome valley, where no man on earth shall e'er me find', it seems a trifle optimistic.) (Ta to Tom Wootton for this).