Home > FILLER! FILLER!! FILLER!!! > ZX Spectrum game “The Biz”

ZX Spectrum game “The Biz”

They’ve taken their lumps on IchLugeBullets over the years, but at the end of the day, there’s something to be said for working class northern indie girls. And that thing is “it’s very easy to have sex with them as long as you’re prepared to make the tiniest effort”. For instance, can you take a picture of a dilapidated seaside town shopfront and put a lomo filter on it in Photoshop? Congratulations, you can fuck a WCNIG. Can you pour sparkling wine into a plastic mug while you sit on a swingset eating batter bits? Congratulations, you can fuck a WCNIG. And if you even so much as mention The Freshies, you get full-hole visitation rights for the following 12 months.

I blame the concept of the plastic Manc. If you call someone from Birkenhead or Bootle a Scouser, you’ll likely get a slap. Inhabitants of Croydon care more about decrying their non-Londonness than they do hair scrunchies. And yet, in freshers events up and down the country, teenagers from Preston, Oldham, Bury, Altrincham, Trafford et al are introducing themselves to strangers as being “Mancs”, before proceeding to bang on about the city’s music heritage. Hence why, at a random guess, minor Mancunian acts tend to live longer in the collective subconscious. Even if their biggest hit was a top 60 scraper.

The Freshies, for the uninformed, had their minor hit with “I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk” (renamed “I’m In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk” at the request of that grinning twat Branson). Frontman Chris Sievey later went on to become novelty…. thing Frank Sidebottom (Sidebottom’s was originally supposed to be “The Freshies’ #1 Fan”).

Anyway, the reason we bring all this up isn’t because we’re planning on schtupping some PYT from Droylsden, but because we found out the other day that Chris Sievey, in addition to all of the above, put out a Spectrum game in 1984 called “The Biz”. I know, I’m as excited as you are.

Reviewing retro games… not exactly an ILB speciality but we’ll give it a go. Menu-driven and sharing a lot more in common with Kevin Toms’ “Software Star” than it does the more obviously-referencable “Rock Star Ate My Hamster” (or even “Sex n Drugs n Rock n Roll” if you want to be needlessly obscure). Pick a band name, pick a location, pick a starting year, pick a genre, pick your fiancees name… all manner of useless shit. So setting ourselves up as The Carpentieris, naming our major rivals Hot Butters, and attempting to crack the world of crunkcore in 1999, this is what happened:

That’s the animated screen that welcomes you into the game. I’ve not played Heavy Rain yet but I believe that has a very similar intro?

Month 1: Play The Labour club what seems like a stupid amount of times. Accidentally buy a cassette recorder. Turn down the offer of some free heroin. Smash Hits print an article on us despite the fact that the biggest event we’ve played so far was at a scout hut. Things were different in the Tennant era, obviously.

Month 2: Our lead guitarist is fired due to his “square image”. This is in a game written by a man who wore a giant fibreglass head and sang altered lyric versions of Smiths songs, remember. I believe that since his comeback, he’s started doing altered lyric versions of Arctic Monkeys songs, which is probably as perfect an encapsulation of broken Britain as you’ll ever discover. Record a John Peel session. We’re gonna be the next Miss Black America, I can feel it.

Month 3: Hot Butters steal our cassette player. Beginning to regret ever starting to liveblog this game. Get offered the chance to record a jingle for Mike Read. Can’t help but wonder if The Carpentieries had have recorded a jingle for him irl, maybe he wouldn’t have gone bankrupt. Twice.

Month 4: Decide to put out a single on our own after a rejection letter from Virgin. Call it “Windass 95”, I picture what 3!Oh!3 would sound like without that guy who looks like a caveman. Drummer leaves to join Hot Butters.

Month 5: Play a string of dates in Coventry in order to finance promo for the single. On that fateful day the charts are announced… the game crashes. Go and download some shit off Empornium to wrap my day up instead.


The Freshies – I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk (MP3)

  1. MF
    April 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Hot Butters sure sound like some sneaky ass cunts.

    I sorta know Frank from 90s when he was a mainstay at northern hardcore shows, and a friend of mine had him host a halloween party in Liverpool as Glenn Danzig circa The Misfits a couple of years back :

  2. Toadfish "Toadie" Rebecchi
    April 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Surely you mean chubby working class northern indie girls (CWCNIG), which I’m confident is a thing.

    • Dom Passantino
      April 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Yeah, as opposed to all the thin WCNIG.

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