14 January 2008
the tungsten and the tears
just finished watching the final of the bdo world championships between mark webster and simon whitlock. a great final. and nice to see the trophy return to wales for the first time in twenty three years.
i love the darts. both organisations, the pdc and the bdo. i know the pdc has probably got all the best darts players in the world now, but if i had to choose between them i think i'd still have to go with the bdo. it always feels less showbiz than the pdc. the pdc has got proper stadium rock lights and a proper pa system, and a walkway through the crowd and glamour models walking with the players to the oche. and it feels like a proper sport. which is okay, but when i watch the bdo world championships on tv it never feels like i'm watching a spectacle, more as if i'm just watching a live feed from a local pub or village hall. it feels more personal. as if i'm watching old friends.
my favourite darts player of all time is richie burnett, 'the prince of wales'. he was the last welsh darts player to be the bdo world champion until mark webster won tonight. richie became world champion after he beat raymond van barneveld in nineteen ninety five. it was the first time i'd ever really got excited about darts. unfortunately i can't find anything from that final on youtube, but i found some footage from the last leg of the final he was in the following year when he lost to steve beaton, 'the bronze adonis'. there are two special moments for me in this clip. first, is when the commentator mentions steve beaton's wife, nanette. it's always something i like about the darts, that they pick out the players' wives and girlfriends, and then the cameras return to them throughout the match to show how much they're suffering. and the second special moment is when richie checks his scoring just before his twelfth dart. that moment pretty much sums up what richie was like as a player. he always seemed quite humble and often looked slightly overawed by the occasion, a little bit beaten and kind of sad, even when he was winning. in fact, the last time i saw him play darts was in the epic final that he lost against raymond van barneveld a few years later, and i remember an interview he did some time afterwards, and him being really upset about some of the things people had been saying about him, it was one of the saddest sporting moments ever. and i guess he went over to the pdc shortly after that. i haven't seen him play since.
glenn moody was a new folk hero who emerged from this year's championships. he has the quality of being able to play darts well while not seeming to take it at all seriously and he looks like he could be the lead singer of a post punk band. he also still uses the catchphrase "whasssuuuup" six or seven years after everyone else in the developed world has stopped. and i admire him for that. i hope to see him next year.
one thing that did annoy me about the darts this year at lakeside was that the ladies final was only the best of three sets, when the mens was the best of thirteen. i was really looking forward to it cos i'd seen anastasia dobromyslova playing earlier in the tournament against dee bateman, and i thought it'd be a good match against world champion trina gulliver, but then it was all over in two sets. it doesn't seem like long enough to get any sort of excitement into it. there's not enough time for the twists and the turns that make darts so exciting. might as well just play nearest the bull wins.
apart from watching darts, i've been busy finishing off the record with peter and doing some artwork with my brother. it's all starting to come together, although there's still a lot to do. hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll have some sort of definite plan and an idea of when things are happening. i'm so happy with the new album. it didn't end up being at all how i thought it would when we started making it, but i think that’s why i'm so happy with it. i just hope other people like it now too.
current listening: even as we speak - bizarre love triangle