Local man and self proclaimed idiot, Martin Shuttlecock, appears to have been enjoying his Saturday stint as a critic of the arts. Having already explored the inner workings of Marilyn Manson (But not in a gay way) Shuttlecock was quick to jump to the defence of Aretha Franklin, the Detroit diva, and universally acclaimed 'Queen Of Soul' after hearing his grandkids say that Lady Gaga, and Girls Aloud, and Katy Perry are way better.
"Bollocks!" snorted the grumpy self-appointed art critic.
It transpires that Shuttlecock has been a fan of Aretha since early childhood, and to that end he has championed the cause of Aretha Franklin with a similar zeal which has been previously reserved for pork pie hats, socks, and goldfish.
"I remember hearing 'Say A Little Prayer' as a nipper," Shuttlecock told reporters. "That was years ago and it still sends a shiver down me spine. She was and always will be the undisputed Queen, in my book. Whitney Houston was pretty damned good - but she wasn't fit to lick the toe jam off Aretha's feet. That voice - it soars, it hits heaven amd then bounces back again. It's so epic that it rebounds off planets and zooms off into the universe. Lest we forget - this is a woman with a voice so powerful and emotive that she can hold her own with, and even surpass the creme de la creme. Soaring duets with Pavarotti, George Michael, Annie Lennox... but the grandkids tell me Lady Gaga is better. And Katy Perry. I can't imagine Aretha lowering her standards to a level where she has to 'Fight For This Love' with a shit footballer, or wear a dress made out of corned beef slices, or be a bastard firework. Even the wife has nothing but R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Aretha. And that's something she's never had for me."
Adding her thoughts on the issue, long suffering wife, Anne, stated:
"Aretha is brilliant. The true Queen Of Soul. I was a bit of a diva meself back in the day, and I could do her songs in tune, but I don't know if I could match that raw power. Plus I used to sing in a Worcester accent - which proved to be a bit of a hindrance. But for once, I actually agree with my twat of a husband. Aretha was, and always will be the dog's bollocks. That Gaga has to fall off pianos to make an impression, Britney Spears has to dress like a paedo's dream, and don't even get me started on the others. Aretha just sings. And nobody does it better. Apart from possibly Ella Fitzgerald. For once I agree with my pillock of a husband, but don't tell him. He's in the doghouse again."
When SEN approached Shuttlecock for comment, he was pitching a tent in the back garden.
"I'm not fucking brave enough to argue with the wife," he said.
More as we get it.