Shine a light

Scorsese films a Stones concert! And it’s as far away from a concert film as – well, a Scorsese film. Just a few intelligent interludes of 60s and 70s shots showing the band maturing: the rest of it’s just the footage from a single concert in New York.

What sets this film apart is the detail. You can see the sweat on Keef’s guitar, the veins in Mick’s neck. Most of all you can tell how different the personalities of the Stones are – and why they’ve been together so long. They’re just having a great time hanging out.

Jagger: the practiced showman, well-rehearsed and everything calculated. Ronnie Wood: grateful to be there, the uncool one. Charlie Watts: physically looking the youngest, yet seems by far the most tired of it all, huffing and puffing his way through the drum sections. And ‘Keef’: the court jester, just doing his own thing, miming Jagger behind his back, and Widow Twankeying the audience. (Every time he manages a good chord he chortles down at his guitar, thinking “Cor! Did I do that?!!”)

It’s still a movie rather than a film. Scorsese very obviously made sure there were no old or ugly people near the front rows (except Keef, of course.) But the overall impression is much closer to being at a concert than watching a movie. There’s no actual standing in the aisles dancing (not the done thing at Warwick Arts Centre) but there’s a definite vibe and shared understanding among the audience. We’re stoned.

I strongly dislike making toast in the griller

The problem with toasting bread under the griller, rather than in a toaster, is that it takes so long the bread tends to harden rather than warm up. The resulting toast is somewhat suboptimal, not more than a 4/10 as opposed to the 8’s and 9’s you can get with a proper toaster that you know well.

The flat toaster isn’t working, or rather it half-works – two of the four slots toast only one side of the bread and another slot doesn’t work at all. Since I like three slices in the morning, I’m forced to judge timings and turn around two slices, which will never be as well toasted as the lucky slice in the fully-functional slot. Therefore my haul is usually: one slice of decent toast, and two slices of good-enough-for-breakfast-but-far-from-perfect semi-toasted flipped-over slices.

When you make toast in the oven’s griller, the designers appear to have given no thought to late-process butter-asorption issues: butter on a grilled slice tends to float on the top rather than soak in. Thus the grilling-by-oven process contains a major operational error. Toyota would never have let this happen. Do they make toasters?

I’m not sure why the toaster isn’t working. It’s possible it’s got something to do with the wall of flame that erupted from it when I used it on Monday and all the electricity to the kitchen went off – who knows? Some mysteries may never be solved.

I know this isn’t an earth-shattering problem, but toast is a pretty major part of my life pre-9am, and bad toast means bad start to the day. Toast is important.