Posted by: Splosher | 25/11/2009

Join Josh’s band? Pass me a gun instead…

Our pain and suffering returns with a vengeance as T-Mobile rolls out not one, not two but three new televisual, 20 second feasts of purest sh*t for us all to enjoy. Each is being shown in virtually every continuity link across all available channels, which just goes to prove they must have more money than sense if they can afford to bankroll yet another assault against our common sense, so no matter which side you flick to you’ll always find a Solo advert waiting to absorb you sanity.

This time around we get to see the manufacturer’s new public face: Josh Ward or joshward84 as he’s known on Facebook and My Space. He’s a typical fluff-bonneted, smiling spoilt brat who hasn’t got a care in the world other than meeting up with a collection of like-minded, musically-talentless clones during his lethargic days, who’re all probably just as guilty as him for leeching off their parents’ life-forces and thus inheriting the family home quicker than they could have expected to otherwise. I’m sure you know the types: tinny loud speakers turned up on their iPods in public regardless of who’s around, talking and laughing incessantly without any show of social decorum and fingers’ a blur as they tweet a text on their Twitter’s tweep list for all other tw*ts to read.


The first advert in which we’re introduced to Josh shows him walking along the street actually stringing together words to form cohesive sentences and thus prove there may be some intelligence beneath that 1960’s West-Coast haircut. However, what dribbles from his lips can’t be deciphered by the viewers’ brains due to the juxtaposing of gigantic words telling all that Solo gives us free texts for life so who really cares what this cretin has to say? Behind the writing, we notice Josh playing along with a drummer friend, attempting to write and construct songs that’ll knock The Beatles off the all-time top spot and consign them to the history books by his newly formed two-piece band, ‘Josh and his Drummer’s Toss’. We stare at them both, full of confidence and self-belief and as they valiantly jumble around with their respective instruments, we’re reminded of the futility of life via something akin to a Samuel Beckett play: just these two people left in a colourless limbo, thrashing tunelessly away in an endless loop, infinitely. It is safe to say if a play involved these morons as the actual actors, then I’d be booking the tickets in advance just in the hope of seeing them snuff it live on stage via audience participation.

Also, Josh appears to have done himself a disservice by allowing the cameraman to capture a long shot of him walking from behind. Not only do we see that his jeans are worn to the degree of sackcloth with patches of fraying weave attempting to contain his dignity – although looking like a tramp may be deemed as “fashionable” for all I know – we’re blatantly aware that he seems to be carrying a pound of potatoes in the arse of his denims as the stretched gusset is now level with the back of his knees. I may be wrong in this assessment but I’m pretty sure it’s not a good look for a young lad to be shuffling around with the appearance of having emptied his bowels into his pants, whether he believes he’s cool or not.

Josh finally meets up with a flame-haired girl at a park bench and we see him clutching and strumming his acoustic guitar in what must be a painfully excruciating rendition of an adolescent love-sonnet, presumably making her actually physically self-harm as he warbles his aural nonsense her way. If his My Space moniker is anything to go by and the number 84 is an indication to his birth year, that would make Josh around 25 years old: if so, where are his interpersonal skills that should allow him to just walk up to the girl, get chatting and ask her out for a drink instead of hiding behind a poetic three-chord dirge which has the potential of inducing projectile vomiting? Or even worse, virtually poking her on Facebook through his Solo-enhanced mobile whilst hiding in his bedroom, all giddied up and foaming at the tip in excitement?

Well, T-Mobile must have their reasons for believing in this banality – and these are reasons beyond my understanding – as Josh returns in the second Solo advert gracing our TV screens at the minute and lo and behold, he’s managed to pull the ginger girl from the previous advert! She’s now part and parcel of his massive, tuneless love-feast, a get-together that appears to be taking place in a loft conversion apartment, obviously paid for by someone’s Mummy & Daddy who foot the bill for every extravagance each month; even Josh’s drummer makes an appearance again, right down to wearing the same shirt and an expressionless gaze due to being deafened through too much snare drum. We now have a room full of pretty-young-things, all clutching their separate instruments and presumably, all their mobile ‘phones are loaded with their own personalised T-Mobile Solo SIM card. This creates the cohesive sense of belonging with the help of false smiles, an unerring belief in social networking’s accumulation of fake friends and plenty of faux graciousness to enable these immense egos to co-exist in the same space until the camera stops rolling.

We now experience a scene that can only be described as complete and utter sh*t from whichever angle you approach it: the ginger girl now uses her T-Mobile Solo activated mobile as a microphone for an audio conference call by addressing a non-entity on the other side of the airwaves with a high-spirited, “Listen to this!” Then, as the ‘phone’s put down, all hell breaks loose with what sounds like more members than there are in Chumba Wumba beginning to flex their (non)musical talents via a multitude of differing and clashing instruments, accompanied by the ginger girl’s ‘nails-down-the-blackboard’ voice of unreason. The resulting racket genuinely comes across as if each piece of equipment has been thrown into a Chimpanzee enclosure at a zoo and then someone has recorded the Apes’ over-excited skirmish: the ginger girl starts yodelling as if she’s just swallowed bleach and every instrument regardless of whether they complement each other or not is being soundly thrashed, pounded and twanged to within an inch of its life in the hope of out-sounding any of the others in a quest of one-upmanship and potential fleeting stardom.

This malaise comes to a gradual end by Josh’s clapping, his guitar slung across his mid-riff in a stance that resembles he’s just walked off-stage at Woodstock circa 1969, bellowing congratulations to all and sundry. The ginger girl picks up her mobile ’phone and asks, “How does it sound?” and then starts giggling as palatable relief breaks across her features: either it’s the head of a vast music corporation on the other end of the line and this was an audition or it’s just her latest f**k buddy being forced to listen to her garble on and having to appease her for his next session. Whichever of these two scenarios it turns out to be, I’m pretty sure that she’ll never see either of them again as long as she draws a breath in this world after delivering a performance like that.

I wonder where all this “Big Band” mentality is going to end, with members of the public all turning up with their specific instruments and everyone jamming in social harmony, regardless of race, religion or class, and all credit to them for this cultural cohesion. However, any fawning over this achieved accord would mean you miss out on a golden opportunity: here’s the perfect chance to anonymously call in an Armed Response Unit to the loft conversion by stating the now-enlarged ‘Josh and his Drummer’s Toss’ is really a sleeper cell of Terrorists. Watching from a concealed position, we see the Police smash down the doors to the luxury apartments and rush inside with the safety catches of their Heckler and Koch G10s off, the racket of the band drowning out their approach. Then, with sprayed bursts of automatic fire we hear the instruments fall silent one by one, until all that is left is the confused and distorted whine of the ginger girl’s vocal. Suddenly, a single shot rings out and once more, silence reigns supreme…    


At the time of writing, there appears to be third advert revolving around free internet for life with Josh and his collection of complete tw*ts bravely (or stupidly) showcasing their utter lack of talent to the public by taking to the road. This is played out on the open-top of a Double Decker bus and they’re trying to tempt the masses to conform to their bewitching spell with “Join Josh’s band” banners draped across its red exterior, whilst all the time infecting everybody in the vicinity through their tuneless osmosis. This time, the drummer appears with his hood pulled up, trying to hide his obvious shame and  he’s even attempted to grow a pencil-thin, bum fluff ‘tache in order to disguise himself from the inevitable hordes of rage-induced public trying to disembowel them all when the bus stops.

Josh yet again wears a toothy grin and all credence must be given to this young man for his exuberant self-promotion and unswerving happiness in the face of a public upheaval not seen on these shores since the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, the Miners’ Strike of 1984 or David Blaine’s ‘Above the Below’ suspended glass box stunt from 2003. He seems like a harmless little poppet though, still with a youthful belief that there’s good to be found in everyone and decency will be returned in kind: well Josh, life has a way of taking the shine off the apple and showing you it’s really riddled with filth and disease, just waiting for a chance to bugger you senseless when you least expect it…

As for how the third one ends, I have no idea due to developing narcolepsy from the pure, undiluted T-Mobile Solo harmony, but I’m willing to give it a guess along these lines: as all 157 members of ‘Josh and his Drummer’s Toss’ are reaching a crescendo of musical infusion, their combined tinnitus reverberations then create a black-hole split in the space-time continuum and they’re all sucked along its event horizon for an eternity, their individual atoms perpetually splitting and imploding in a cycle of incomprehensible suffering to be endured infinitely without any hope of salvation. I mean, who really needs to know the actual ending when you can use your imagination like this, eh?  

So, there we have the proof with three more examples of T-Mobile adverts that what is shown over their individual 20 seconds of airtime can influence you subliminally into thinking you’d be better off with a Solo SIM in your ‘phone: free texts for life, 300 free minutes talk-time a month and free internet for life plus loads of young, cool and musically creative people to connect with to make you feel wanted in a continually vacuous culture, although I don’t think Josh and the crew are really part of the bargain.  Basically, this is another example of why the ad-agency responsible (or specifically the bright sparks who came up with these stoic ideas), should be put in public stocks and then defecated upon by a queue of people with varying stages of Salmonella, Norovirus and E-Coli. This communal emptying of the innards – their hot, watery, stinking squits continually being splashed upon the faces of these rapacious individuals, whose main crime is the decline across our society due to their insistence that if we haven’t as many friends as Josh we’re not popular – would go some way to rebuilding a sense of community for all of us as we stood watching this spectacle of rectal cleansing hand in hand, side by side and facing our futures without diarrhoea-drenched idealists.

It’s just an idea I’m toying with at the moment but the whole “effluence in the face” business sure has a ring to it and shows promise, but I’m sure there’ll be another advert along soon enough that’ll make me reassess whether this punishment goes far enough, so expect an update in the future.

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