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Sleuth 11/07/2008

Confidential launches its own boy band – HASBRO, plus City's budget hole, boring professors and middle-class injuries

Published on July 11th 2008.

Sleuth 11/07/2008

ASBRO – no, really
Sleuth thought it was a wind-up, a bit of a laugh. But no it seems that Nigel Martin-Smith is deadly serious in forming a new boy band called ASBRO. The ex-Take That Svengali is quoted in the MEN as saying, “The music is quite different from Take That. They are singing about knife-crime and issues more relevant with the kids today.” Knives? Relevant to kids? In what particular way? What is the man thinking? Nor is Sleuth convinced about the Martin-Smith line: “I searched for those lads in council estates all across the North West.” Is that allowed?

Of course there's nothing new in a man exploiting a bad situation to make a quick killing (or getting kids to sing about a quick killing), but this seems particularly shameless (as in the TV programme). “With this band I'm exploiting the reputation of violent young offenders for terrorising their own neighbourhoods, hence the name,” Martin-Smith didn't say to Sleuth. “Pretending I want to give them a voice seems like a great money making scam to me. As long as I don't have to live on those estates myself, eh?” he didn't add in any way whatsoever. But now Martin-Smith wants the MEN to advertise for a fifth member of ASBRO – as he did with Robbie Williams and Take That. So guess what our local paper who are forever condemning anti-social behaviour did? They snapped his hand off.

Hasbro: Confidential launches boy band
Breaking news. Sleuth and Manchester Confidential are launching their own boy band. This will be called Hasbro. The band was put together after Sleuth 'searched toy shops across the North West'. Sleuth says: “The music is quite different from ASBRO. Our lads are singing about integrating into society, being well-adjusted and finding good careers.” Confidential already has four band members – as pictured below. They are called Ken, Ken, Ken and..er..oh yes, Ken. They all have celebrity girlfriends called, respectively, Barbie, Barbie, Barbie and Barbie - who might even perform with them in Toys-R-Us on Great Ancoats Street for the first gig. Prospective band members have to be polite, know how to treat a girl right, possess clothes for beach, lounge, ski and evening wear and be devoid of genitalia. If you don't have the balls to apply then you might be who we're looking for.

Crisis? What crisis?
Interesting story in the MEN on Thursday regarding Manchester City chairman John Wardle who has broken his connection with the club, ending an 11-year association. The story read: "Only last season he was known to have bailed the Blues out of at least one mid-season cash-flow crisis from his own pocket. " But known by whom? The MEN perhaps, but not by Sleuth's City-supporting mates who found this news a revelation and worrying. One said to Sleuth, “So City had cash-flow problems despite Thaksin's millions? Strange how we were the last to know.” Clearly the sugar daddy foreigner solution to financing football isn't necessarily a smooth road to go down – especially when the man is on trial in his country.

Sleuth's best name of the week
Sleuth was chatting in the Marble Arch last week with one of the Dames-anointed of Manchester letters. She was telling Sleuth about her friend who runs a northern business which is, according to the website, “A lifestyle brand specialising in developing innovative and creative solutions to 21st century sexuality.” She even has her own sex shop across the Pennines and “she's called Julia Gash,” said the Dame. Sleuth couldn't help giggling. “You have a teenage sense of humour,” she continued. Sleuth carried on giggling.

Health Shock
One of Sleuth's female friends proposed a series of articles for Body Confidential – our health and beauty site – this week. She told Sleuth she wants to cover middle-class injuries, or perhaps better – chattering class injuries. As you can see below, she suffered this burn – now much reduced – in her house in the Heatons recently. The cause: she was opening a pita bread she'd toasted and a rush of steam burnt her on the arm. She also has a friend who cut her mouth on the ice in an expensive Cosmopolitan cocktail. Sleuth meanwhile has a friend who was limping for a week after dropping one of the constructional loaves from Unicorn vegan grocery in Chorlton on her foot. These loaves are tougher than bricks, castles can be fortified with them, and bombardments resisted. It's hard in aspirational middle income land.

Multi-million marketing spend
We love Robert Owen-Brown at Confidential and we wish his new pub-restaurant business, The Angel, every success. However Sleuth, after looking at the signboard outside the pub, see below, wonders if Rob and his business partner Mark might want to re-examine the promotional budgets.

Sleuth's crap-talker of the week
The award goes to Professor Luger from Manchester Business School. Of the congestion charging debate he said: “The size of the proposed fund is important because it sends a signal to the world that Manchester is taking its mobility challenge seriously. It is also a quality of life indicator that will be weighed by talented individuals and important employers searching for a place to locate.” Prof Luger is unsurprisingly from the US where business school students are forced to un-learn English. Sleuth reckons he should find the famous gun that bears his name and shoot himself in the diction. Twice. Meanwhile Sleuth will solve his personal 'mobility challenge' this evening, by taking the bus home tonight.

Marmalade jamming local
Marmalade is fine little establishment on Beech Road in Chorlton. Boss John Quilter ensures a fabulous sourcing regime of the best seafood, fish, meats and veg from across the North West and the UK. He’s sort of foaming at the mouth passionate about it: in fact he’s got regional food rabies. Sleuth had a fish pie there recently that reflected this and brought tears of happiness to his eyes. The restaurant and Quilter have been nominated for UKTV's search for Britain’s top local food hero. If you want to lend zest to the Marmalade cause vote for them at localfoodhero@uktvfood.co.uk or uktvfood.co.uk

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16 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 11th 2008.

Nigel Smith (let's get real about the double-barrel) will hopefully bankrupt himself with this ludicrous venture and we can go back to a progressive gayscene

TrickyJuly 11th 2008.

Nice to see that you can draw a woman out of her shell.

shoestringJuly 11th 2008.

Hey ROB , get some better signs , the ones outside the Bridge were both informative and witty , that Angel one looks well dodgy

Richard Hammond - Top GearJuly 11th 2008.

I have no balls what-so-ever may I apply?

Prof.Y ChucklebuttyJuly 11th 2008.

Poor Blue Oyster, but to cut your finger and get "clamydia" once is bad enough but twice in the same circumstances? I too once tried to seduce an oyster but when we got back to her place and she came out of the bathroom, it turned out she had a winkle. Well I stayed anyway, after all, dinner had cost me 7/6d. Very nice, we both had crabs.By the way if boring professors are a problem then my thesis on Beatles day (god help us!) and the Liverpool music scene over on the Liverpool Confidential site may be right up your congested alley.

Ali GJuly 11th 2008.

That Hasbro thing is hilarious, but I bet you're off Martin-Smith's Cristmas Card list

AnonymousJuly 11th 2008.

I once had a lecherous old spinster Aunt very much like Nigel Martin Smith, forever dreaming up utterly deplorable philanthropic ways of saving the criminally minded, much of this was brought on by her addiction to 'Granellis' ice cream and would often be seen loitering round Collyhurst sucking on a shutter, she ended up in a home. Please get some help Nigel before it's too late!.

Blue Oyster CultJuly 11th 2008.

Re middle-class injuries. I once bought some oysters for seduction purposes and cut my finger on the edge of the shell. I got a shag mind you. Then I got clamydia. Do both the cut and the sexually transmitted disease both qualify?

Kev PJuly 11th 2008.

There are so many risks faced by the middle classes, someone really should be highlighting them! Just the other day I was sipping martinis with my fellow socialites when I almost choked on an olive stone! I asked for pitted! Naturally I had the barman fired. You just can't get the help these days.

A Bricklayer from Bellway HomesJuly 11th 2008.

Has anybody got a picture of those loaves from Unicorn, given the credit crunch they might just be what's needed.

JohnJuly 11th 2008.

I obviously misunderstod the Nigel Martin Smith article in the MEN, when the headline said he was looking for a fifth member I thought......

Punc!July 11th 2008.

Asbro Are Not Another Blazin' Squad, They Have Personallity They Just Havent Shown Much Of It Yet, lewis is my cousin but thats not why im saying there good im saying give them a chance!! Jelousy Is Stupid

Karen MJuly 11th 2008.

Hasbro...brilliant. But that Asbro the MEN should be ashamed for giving it the oxygen of publicity

Blue Oyster CultJuly 11th 2008.

Re middle-class injuries. I once bought some oysters for seduction purposes and cut my finger on the edge of the shell. I got a shag mind you. Then I got clamydia. Do both the cut and the sexually transmitted disease both qualify?

ASBROJuly 11th 2008.

I was hanging wi the knife, looking for strife, when Mr Martin-Smith offered a cheque, and yea, innit, I'll go wiv it, and now I need to read some Wittgenstein

TomJuly 11th 2008.

Kev P - you're not funny. Your stereotyping of the middle classes is misguided and only serves to highlight the large chip you have on your shoulder. (If it was funny I wouldn't have minded).

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