The Briefing > December 27, 2010

Let’s have a rummage around in a branch of HMV.

A few Christmasses ago we went off to a branch of Zavvi (formerly a Virgin Megastore) to see what they had on their shelves.

Well, that branch of Zavvi has since closed along with the rest of them and is now an HMV. God only knows who’ll own the shop this time next year (JD Sports probably), so on Christmas Eve we decided another trip to the store was in order.

Here’s what we saw.

Well, this is the outside of the shop. As it’s Christmas there are festive baubles hanging from the ceiling – one is Lady Gaga, the other is Mickey Mouse. Take That are in the middle. Mind you, Take That are in the middle of everything this year. You can’t move for Take That. Tear open any Christmas cracker in the United Kingdom and you’ll probably find Howard & Pals doing ‘that’ performance of The Flood among the paper hats and novelty keyrings.
Chart offers. Note aforementioned much-loved manband Take That IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS yet again.
Until recently we thought there was little to doubt regarding Harry Hill’s perfectly pitched, non-condescending grasp on popular entertainment, but this ‘sideways glance’ at the celeb autobiography market (‘dream’ is spelt wrong because of thickness hahahaetc) and the horribly misjudged ‘I Wanna Baby’ track from his album make us wonder if he’s quite so much the man of the people. Mind you, we have not read this book so in a very real sense we do not really know what we are talking about.
There’s handwriting on the cover so that means it’s authentic although, much like Matt’s authentic debut single Biffy Clyro’s ‘Many Of Horror’ With A Different Name, this was not actually written by Matt. Still, as long as there is the veneer of it having been written by Matt, that is what is important. Things that seem authentic are credible, right? That’s how it works, yes? Yes? Brilliant.
Our trip to HMV took place before Christmas so some of the festive stuff is a few days out of date but this particular CD will be PERFECT for your New Year’s Eve parties. And only £4.99! That’s the same as a month’s subscription to Spotify and with that you only get access to almost everything in the world ever so this is deffo the best option. Let’s see what’s on offer.
Well most of these songs are, on their own terms, quite brilliant. One after each other on a party playlist? Utterly awful. Seriously, if you’re having a party get Spotify.
Brilliant. Well done everyone.
Brilliant. Well done everyone.
Who’s this ugly mug? We joke of course, Marvin Humes of hit boyband JLS is universally acknowledged to be handsome.
Are you reading this Matt Cardle? THIS is how you do authenticity. In many ways, Matt, you got it right: man wearing hat, black and white photography. But U2 got their authenticity even more spot on because you could not see the face of the Proper Musician. AuthentiGOLD! Clearly the total authenticity of the whole Rattle And Hum ‘thing’ is perfectly suited to a novelty mug.
Of course, if the arse has fallen out of the recorded music market and coffee mugs are deemed a bit too ‘muggy’, there’s always the £2.50 magnet market. Again, it falls to U2 and JLS to lead the way here.
If you happen to be one of those people sent slightly mental by pop-related magnetism, HMV and JLS have good news. They offer a ‘poster’ – it’s like a fridge magnet, but bigger, and without the magnet. The ‘poster’ is a versatile format. Put it on the wall, put it on the floor, use it as the tablecloth on a small table. And if you’re really in luck you might be able to find one that doesn’t have a small crumple at one end of the tube leading an identical crumple repeated all the way down one side of the unrolled poster.
Poster too big? Poster too flexible? Fans of slightly higher paper density will be pleased to hear that JLS and HMV cater to their needs too, with this imaginatively designed greetings card. Greetings cards are useful for all sorts of occasions, and if you feel that the JLS logo is not appropriate for the event you’re attending, you’ll notice that there’s also a card with a photo of the band on.Events suitable for JLS Logo card:
WeddingEvents suitable for JLS Photo card:
Sorry you’re leaving
Can’t be doing with envelopes, but still hoping to send paper goods of a reasonably high paper density through the post? The answer is a postcard. You’ll notice that the design here is the combination of a multicoloured JLS logo and  a photograph of the band. A third way, if you will; a postable JLS card ‘coalition’ of sorts. The problem, of course, is that a postcard only offers a small amount of space in which to write your message. What if you’ve got a lot to say?
Well, if you’ve got lots to say and the ability to post your thoughts to a friend or acquaintance is not a high priority, you might be in luck. This ‘JLS Diary’ will give you space to write a different thought every day. For example:Day One
Bought various JLS items from HMV.

Day Two
Bought more JLS items from HMV.

Day Three
The same as Day Two.Day Four
Think I might prefer The Wanted to be honest.

Here’s a display full of X Factor stuff. Fear not, JLSbians – there are copies of the new JLS album (in those individual slipsleeves so you buy four copies ‘LOL’) in the bottom right hand corner.
Ah, the humble t-shirt. Amid all these magnets and diaries and postcards it’s easy to forget that the t-shirt is the king of all merchandise.
And look what’s nestling below the t-shirt, as if it has been sort of ‘pooed out’ of the bottom – more JLS merch. A calendar, a book, and an annual. Lovely stuff.
This is not an official JLS annual.
This is not an official JLS annual.
This is an official JLS book.
This is an official JLS book in an official cardboard box whose value we calculate to be £6.
And finally, looking down over the whole scene like four little Christmas angels, who else but JLS. And Take That, obviously. But mainly JLS.

1. Life’s easy if you’re trying to buy a present for someone who likes JLS.
2. Er…
3. That’s it.