With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

The Ska-talites – Fibbers, York – Tuesday 22nd August 2017 August 23, 2017


Now this is an opportunity that doesn’t happen too often. The chance to see one of the finest ska bands that ever existed, the Ska-talites. Actually in my adopted home city of York too. Anyway before I talk of the ska giants let me tell you about the support. Opener was the rather excellent ska DJ team Bangarang with some truly superb ska and reggae tunes to set the scene for the evening. The support band was the Magnificent 7, one of York’s finest young bands and purveyors of authentic, skillful and fun ska punk, ska, pop punk and hip hop. Well the latter is largely down to their excellent cover of the Eminem classic “Lose Yourself” which works really well with a ska punk arrangement. Their own compositions are pretty damned good too and oh boy did it look like they were having fun on that stage. On stage dancer of the night award should probably go to the trombone player from the Magnificent 7.

So now it was time for a band that originally formed in the mid 60s. Whilst there are hardly any original members left the spirit lives on and a band that had reggae greats Tommy McCook, Don Drummond and Roland Alphonso in their membership originally clearly has a great heritage. The Ska-talites are mainly an instrumental band and the first part of their set showed just how good an instrumental band they are with tunes like “Confucius” and “Latin Goes Ska”. Later in the set they were joined by reggae and ska goddess Doreen Shaffer on vocals for a few songs. Notably “My Boy Lollipop“, “Sugar Sugar” (not the Archies song), a very classy “Simmer Down” and one of my favourites “Nice Time”. The latter is a wonderful Bob Marley composition that I first heard via the Johnny Nash version in 1974. Doreen Shaffer must be over 70 now and she has aged incredibly well and she still has the vocals of a much younger woman. After she left the stage the band showcased their individual talents and frankly there is not a single weak link in this band. They closed with and amazing extended romp through their 1967 UK top 40 hit cover of the theme from the “Guns Of Navarone”. They closed with “Phoenix City” which was originally recorded by Roland Alphonso back in 1966. We also got to hear the Freedom countdown twice too. So if you didn’t get to Fibbers tonight why not? I expect a signed excuse from your parents or guardians in my pigeon-hole tomorrow. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ……… FREEDOM!

 

“Now my old world is gone for dead” August 22, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 4:12 pm
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220px-Elo_Eldorado

The Electric Light Orchestra’s 4th album “Eldorado – A Symphony” is officially known as simply Eldorado. Did you know that the cover was designed by one Sharon Arden? She is now more widely known as Sharon Osbourne (Ozzie’s wife and reality show star and judge). I can’t believe that it took much effort to design though as the cover picture is simply a still of the ruby slippers from the 1939 cinematic classic ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

fozzy

 

 

“Catch me if you can cos I’m the England man” August 21, 2017


There haven’t been many good football (that’ll be soccer to my American readers) songs in my opinion. But there are a few exceptions; “Back Home” by the England 1970 World Cup Squad, “Three Lions” by Baddiel, Skinner & the Lightning Seeds and the 1990 New Order song “World In Motion”, yes even with that John Barnes rap!

Anyway New Order’s song which was England’s official 1990 World Cup song was originally titled ‘E for England’. At least it was until the FA realised the name might be misconstrued as a reference to drugs and rave culture! Really? was it that obvious?

For me those three songs represent some of the best England performances we have ever had from 1970, 1990 and 1996. Is that coincidence? Maybe you have some favourite football songs, what are they?

 

The Dark Tower film – “I think we need a gunslinger somebody tough to tame this town” August 20, 2017


As many of you know I am a massive fan of Stephen King and as such I have looked forward to the cinematic adaptation of his magnum opus, ‘The Dark Tower’. I was really excited when I learned that Idris Elba had been cast as Roland the Gunslinger and that the Man In Black would be played by Matthew McConaughey. Then there was that ridiculous period when the internet trolls moaned on about how could a black man play Roland. Well Roland’s character transcends colour and Elba is undoubtedly one of the finest actors on the planet. Thankfully that all died down. But then recently I started reading the reviews and almost all of them have been negative. Was the film as bad as those reviews have suggested?

Well I saw it on 18th August, sadly not on the 19th (OK some of you won’t get that point!) and I thought it was a very good opener for what I hope will be a long Dark Tower series. Elba and McConaughey are on superb form. Idris Elba makes a perfect Roland and Matthew McConaughey does evil in the most convincing way. Tom Taylor who plays Jake is pretty much everything I imagined Jake Chambers would be from the books. Taylor is British and this is his big screen break, although he has previously appeared in a number of TV shows.

New York in the movie looks every bit as vibrant, busy and depressing as I hear it can be. While Mid World looks exactly what a world that has moved on  should look like. The odd reference to some of King’s other works are clever, particularly Pennywise from IT. If I were scoring this film I would give it a 4 out of 5 and I excitedly anticipate the following instalments building on that and getting even better. To all those critics who scored it 1 or 2 out of five, were you actually watching it? Have you forgotten the face of your father? But to finish, this is a music blog so I have selected a few songs that in some way relate to the Dark Tower, did you get all the references?

 

“What should we take and how much should we give”

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:25 pm
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I don’t often post about music birthdays on this blog, well certainly not too often anyway. But I will make an exception for one of my favourite singers of all time, Johnny Nash. He turned 77 on 19th August. He has a voice like no other and along with hits that span genres using blues, reggae and soul to name but a few, he was also influential in bringing Bob Marley to the fore. Johnny was the first person to have a hit internationally with a Bob Marley song; “Stir It Up” in 1972. Most people will know Johnny Nash for “I Can See Clearly Now” but he has recorded plenty of other great songs in a career that began back in the 1950s. Enjoy a few of those to celebrate his birthday now!

 

“Me and some guys from school had a band and we tried real hard”

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 7:00 am
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OK so it is clear that Ryan Adams and Bryan Adams have, confusingly for some folk, very similar names. But did you know that they also share the same birthday! Both were born on November 5th. Bryan in 199 (the year of my birth) and Ryan in 1974. Ryan now sends Bryan an email every year on their shared birthday. Ryan has also covered “Summer Of ’69” and “Run To You” at various times.

 

 

“Did she come from a strange world and leave her mind behind” August 19, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:48 pm
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Have you ever wondered about the title of Nick Drake’s ‘Five Leaves Left’, his 1969 début album? Did you think maybe it sounded spiritual or maybe profound? Well it might sound that way, but it was inspired by the fact he’d nearly run out of Rizlas for his, presumably, Wacky Baccy rollups! In fact Rizla packets used to include a note towards the end which said something like “only five leaves left”. Do they still have that?

 

 
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