With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“And when I finally fall asleep you find your way into my dreams” February 29, 2012


I have watched the ticker of the NME Radar Awards on the NME website this evening and I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the TV this weekend. But just to bring you the news of the winners this is a quick post with all those who got themselves some solid recognition from the NME.

Best British Band – Kasabian
Best International Band – Foo Fighters
Best New Band – The Vaccines
Best Solo Artist – Florence and the Machine
Best Live Band – Arctic Monkeys
Best Album – ‘Skying’ – Horrors
Best Track – Florence And The Machine – “Shake It Out”
Best Video – “Sunday” – Hurts
Best Festival – Glastonbury
Dancefloor Anthem – “Broken Record” – Katy B
Best TV Show – Fresh Meat
Best Film – Submarine
Hero Of The Year – Matt Bellamy
Villain Of The Year – Justin Bieber
Worst Album – ‘ Under The Mistletoe’ – Justin Bieber
Worst Band – One Direction
Hottest Male – Jared Leto off of 30 Seconds To Mars
Hottest Female – Hayley Williams off of Paramore
Best Album Artwork – ‘Pala’ – Friendly Fires
Best Band Blog or Twitter – Lady Gaga, @ladygaga
Best Book – Noel Fielding, The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton
Best Small Festival – Rockness
Most Dedicated Fans – Muse
Best Music Film – Foo Fighters, Back and Forth
Greatest Music Moment – Stone Roses re-unite
Best Re-issue – The Smiths, Complete re-issues
Philip Hall Radar Award – Azealia Banks

And finally Noel Gallagher picked up the Godlike Genius Award and ended his short set with some Oasis classics; “Half The World Away” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger

So for the statisticians among you the biggest winners, each with two awards were; Foo Fighters, Muse, Florence And The Machine and Justin Bieber. What the fuck is Bieber doing there I can here you ask; well don’t panic, he won ‘Worst Album’ and ‘Villain Of The Year’. Both thoroughly deserved in my opinion! I was very pleased to see that One Direction picked up the ‘Worst Band award’ too.

Quite surprising too for being the first award ceremony for ages that Adele didn’t win anything!

 

“As hard as you try no I will never be knocked down”

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 11:24 pm
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It would seem that the talented Miss Adkins aka Adele continues to break records. This time it’s a sales record, her album ’21’ has now sold more in the UK than Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ making her album the 8th best-selling UK album ever in the UK, according to the Official UK Chart Company. At the current rate ’21’ is being shipped I reckon she’ll soon overtake Dire Straits‘ ‘Brothers In Arms’ and Pink Floyd’s classic ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. I wonder if anyone will try to claim that ’21’ is in fact an alternative soundtrack to ‘The Wizard Of Oz’? Somehow I doubt it. Anyway big congratulations go to Adele for yet another chart feat! Check out the top ten best selling UK albums below.

01 GREATEST HITS – QUEEN (5,863,000 sales)
02 SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND – THE BEATLES (5,044,000)
03 GOLD: GREATEST HITS – ABBA (4,989,000)
04 WHAT’S THE STORY MORNING GLORY – OASIS (4,517,000)
05 THRILLER – MICHAEL JACKSON (4,248,000)
06 BROTHERS IN ARMS – DIRE STRAITS (4,152,000)
07 THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – PINK FLOYD (4,114,000)
08 21 – ADELE (4,020,000)
09 BAD – MICHAEL JACKSON (3,959,000)
10 GREATEST HITS II – QUEEN (3,887,000)

 

“You once thought of me as a white knight on a steed”


Davy Jones of the Monkees died in Florida earlier today of a heart attack. He was aged just 66. Before he became a Monkee in 1965 he had appeared on stage in successful shows like Lionel Bart‘s ‘Oliver’. He even had an appearance on long running British soap opera Coronation Street under his belt, where he played the grandson of Ena Sharples. At one point he even trained as a jockey. This was something he came back to later and won his first race in 1996.

His vocals and backing vocals graced many of the Monkees songs, including the Neil Diamond penned “I’m A Believer“. He was also British (he was born in Manchester) and the only non-American member of the band. Jones and two other former Monkees; Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork reunited last year to play a few gigs.

I am a big fan of David Bowie and if it hadn’t been for Davy Jones then Mr Bowie as we know him may not have existed, well at least he would have probably not been called Bowie anyway. The former David Robert Jones (sometimes known as Davey Jones) changed his name to David Bowie in the mid 60s to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees.

Davy Jones is survived by his wife and four daughters. My thoughts go to all of his family, friends and fans. RIP Davy Jones.

 

Stomp – The Musical – Alhambra Theatre Bradford Saturday 25th February 2012 February 28, 2012


Last Saturday I had the pleasure of a great night out at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford with my beautiful wife Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John. We went to see a show that has now been around for more than 20 years. It is a musical with no dialogue or lyrics. It is ‘Stomp‘ and it is an amazing show. We probably benefited from the fact that it was the fifth and final show in Bradford. If you have never seen it you really should go.

It is a performance that is all about percussion, but it’s not played with drums or any other traditional percussive instruments. The entire show is played on household and everyday items; dustbins, dustbin lids, brooms, newspapers, chairs, dustpans, metal signs, buckets, lighters and plenty of clapping. That is most definitely not an exhaustive list either. the scene with the lighters may not be the loudest part of the show, but the coordination is incredible, they effectively recreate a multi function string of Christmas/ fairy lights with various sequence options. When you are watching it is hard to believe that it is being done with just lighters!

If you’re thinking when reading this that it shouldn’t work then maybe you’re right. I agree that it shouldn’t work, but believe me it really does. I am also very pleased to say that it is a British creation too. It began life in Brighton in the UK in 1991 created by Steve McNicholas and Luke Creswell. They met while working with the theatre group Cliff Hanger and the street band Pookiesnackenburger back in the 80s.  One of Cresswell’s early successes was an advert for Heineken beer in the mid 80s. This piece is often called the Bins Commercial. You can see it for yourself below along with some clips from earlier productions.

I wondered whether the cast are predominantly percussionists first and dancers second or whether they are a combination. Either way this show will blow you away if you get the opportunity to see it and I recommend that you stomp along to a theatre that is hosting it very soon!

 

“Jamming good with weird and gilly” February 27, 2012


According to a recent report in the UK tabloid the Daily Mail (so only a small chance it’s true) Ziggy Stardust is about to be honoured with a plaque in London. In the year that marks the 40th anniversary of the release of what many consider Bowie‘s finest moment it seems that the powers that be may be ready to give Ziggy a commemorative plaque.

Note that this would be very special as they are not awarded to living people. But it’s not a Bowie plaque it is most definitely to honour the Ziggy character. It will be placed in Heddon Street where the cover pictures for ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars‘ album were shot.

Can you think of any other fictitious characters from the rock world that should be honoured in the same way? The Kinks ‘Terry and Julie’ on Waterloo Bridge perhaps?

 

“Arrivederci it’s one on one”


As always there will probably be a glut football songs to go with England‘s likely embarrassment in the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and the Ukraine this summer. But whilst this bunch of millionaire losers fail on the fields of eastern Europe there will at least be a, possibly, credible anthem to listen to while you mock them. According to the NME New Order (without Hooky I assume) may be re-recording 1990’s “World In Motion” with Tinie Tempah and Dizzee Rascal.

Finally Lampard felt comfortable in the midfield hole

Nothing is certain yet, other than perhaps England falling flat on their rich pathetic faces. Unless of course they bring in ‘Arry. But I have always liked the song. As footie tunes go it’s top class. I presume that Tinie or Dizzee will fill the slot where the original John Barnes rap was. The alternative would be to get one of the players, many of whom can barely string a conversation together, to do it. John Terry for example ‘I’m over the moon cos I’m on football tune. I’m a racialist and I like to get pissed. I’ve shagged Wayne Bridge‘s bird and I like dirty words. That disabled space is mine and I won’t pay the fine. I’ve played real crap and I really can’t rap. I’m Captain of Engerland and I’m………. errr no I’m not anymore am I? Oh bollocks!’

In the meantime enjoy the original version and click here if you want to read the story on the NME.

John Terry tries to tell the world he's a right tit, but he can't get that right either!

 

“Everyone else in the room can see it everyone else but you” February 23, 2012


One Direction have just had the highest début entry by a UK act in the US chart for 14 years. Their former UK number oneWhat Makes You Beautiful” entered the US chart at number 28 this week. The last UK act to do better with their début US hit was Jimmy Ray with “Are You Jimmy Ray ?” back in 1998. They went on to be a one hit wonder as far as the US is concerned. Hopefully that’ll be the case with X Factor pop muppets One Direction as well.

I feel embarrassed that the Americans believe that acts like One Direction are at the cutting edge of our cultural output. If you’re listening across the pond they’re not that good really ok? That will probably fall on deaf ears, after all this is a country that elected a born again Christian, reformed alcoholic, rich hillbilly, village idiot for a second term as President!

The Spice Girls established their worldwide phenomenon credentials with their début US hit “Wannabe” in 1997. That single entered the US chart at number 11 and powered its way to the top where it stayed for four weeks. Let’s hope that One Direction’s trajectory is down. Of all the great bands and singers we have in the UK I find it quite depressing that manufactured crap like One Direction is so successful in the USA.

On a more talented note Adele continues to own the US album chart with her second album ’21’ now having spent an appropriate 21 weeks on the top spot. She even managed to keep Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits off the top, now that really is some feat! Adele’s album has now sold more than 18 million copies worldwide and holds the record for the most weeks at number one in the US by a female artist. By strange coincidence it replaced Whitney Houston’s soundtrack to ‘The Bodyguard

 

“Hidden violence revealed, darkness that seems real look at the pages that cause all this evil” February 22, 2012


I am half Scottish so I feel I am at least partly qualified to make a comment about bagpipes. That comment being that I really can’t stand the bloody things. In a traditional music and dance sense there is only one thing that I dislike more and that is Morris Dancing. I think I would generally find nailing my head to the floor a more pleasurable pursuit than watching Morris Dancing.

So based on my view of the Bagpipes just how shocked and horrified do you think I was when I realised that you are able to purchase the game ‘Bagpipe Star’ on DVD. What the hell is that all about then? I was hoping it was a spoof but it doesn’t look like it. Click here to check the site yourself.

I got me thinking about are there any rock songs that actually use the bagpipes in a reasonably good way. Thankfully I think there are and here is my bagpipes in rock choice just for you! Remember it is really a musical instrument and not an instrument of torture!

Did you enjoy that? How many other places will you find Wizzard, Korn, Rod Stewart, the White Stripes and the KLF grouped together?

Feel free to let me know if you have any favourite rock and pop songs that feature bagpipes and whether you love the instrument or hate it.

 

“I’m gonna paint you by numbers and colour you in” aka The Brit Awards 2012 (February 21st)


It’s that time of year again, the annual celebration and all round back slap of the UK music industry that is the Brits. There are 46 nominees this year including Adele who comes to the party already the proud owner of six Grammys. In a slight departure from my live typing last year I am doing this from the recording of the show. This meant I was able to spend a great night with Catwoman and some of our best friends and their lovely daughter Amelia. (Incidentally if you’d like to read the blog I write monthly for Amelia just click here)

So on with the show. A great and bombastic opener, “Charlie” from Coldplay. As with last year the event is presented by James Corden. The little clips introducing the best album nominees began with Adele’s ’21’ which is appropriately enough the best-selling album in the UK so far this century. As expected there was a film montage in memory of Whitney Houston which preceded the live appearance of Florence and the Machine. I am always blown away by that girl’s voice and tonight was no exception with a superb performance of “No Light No Light”. She seemed encased in a white light prison at one point. A prism prison if you will!

The first award was for Best British Female, presented by the beautifully proportioned Kylie Minogue. Whilst I would have liked to have seen Kate Bush win it there was really no surprise to see Adele be announced as a very worthy winner. She gave a really amusing acceptance speech including suggesting that she felt like a drag queen next to Kylie. The Best International Male award was presented by Jessie J and Jack Whitehall (who the fuck is he?) The winner was Bruno Mars with a bouffant hair do that seemed to add about a foot to his stature. His thank you speech was probably the blandest and least controversial there has ever been at the Brits.

The next live act was Olly Murs with the Rizzle Kicks. This is a real dilemma for me, I love the Rizzle Kicks but Olly Murs voice makes me want to eat my cats vomit with a side order of fresh road kill. It was a big dance production of Olly’s “My Heart Skips A Beat” including an attempt at Murs robotic dancing. At least his Mum and Simon Cowell would be proud of him.

The Critics Choice award went to Emeli Sande and was known in advance, this was given to the wonderful Jessie J last year. Mr Ed Sheerhan was the next turn to take to the stage with a wonderfully sparse version of his superb song “Lego House”. Just how good was that? The next award was for Best British Single presented by the immensely talented Tinie Tempah. Sadly the winner was the rather insipid attempt at anthemic; “What Makes You Beautiful” from X Factor Pop Muppets One Direction. Did they get dressed in a James Bond costume shop?

Jenson Button was chosen to present the award for International Female, not for his musical talents presumably. Still he’d make a better James Bond than One Direction, probably a better singer too. The award went to Rihanna, possibly one of the sexiest women on the planet in my opinion. To make up spectacularly for Olly Murs Noel Gallagher appeared with his High Flying Birds with the stupendous “AKA What A Life” with Chris Martin off of Coldplay on keyboards. I think it’s now very clear that Noel was and is the more talented Gallagher brother.

Next was a tribute to Amy Winehouse. Quite fittingly interspersing some of her brilliant songs with some great interview clips all shown in black and white. Losing Whitney was very sad but losing Amy was a tragedy. Best British Male was the next gong and it was presented by the sharp dressed and edgy Plan B. The award went to Ed Sheerhan who has now ditched the green T Shirt for a suit and tie.

Huey Morgan and Jo Whiley presented the Best British Group award. This one has been taken home by Coldplay twice before (in 2001 and 2003) and this year they make it a third. It was voted for by BBC Radio Two listeners. A really sincere acceptance speech though. James Corden then interviewed, very briefly, Kylie Minogue. He really should stick to his day job! The stage was owned by Adele for the next live performance, a storming “Rolling In The Deep”. She looked stunning, I wonder if that pretentious twat Karl Lagerfeld was watching.

The International Group award was presented by two of the remaining members of Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor. The Foo Fighters were very worthy winners and were the first recipients of the evening not able to be there to collect their award. They did supply a great little video clip though. Nicole Scherzinger was joined by none other than musical superstar, sorry I meant football superstar Cesc Fabregas to present the Best Breakthrough act award. It was the second of the night for Ed Sheerhan. An interesting acceptance speech, apparently his manager could do with a new sofa.

Bruno Mars performed “Just The Way You Are” dressed like a tuxedoed James Bond lookalike. Except that the hair is probably an explosive secret weapon presented to this pint-sized warbler by Bond Boffin Q. Then we had another awkward Corden interview, this time with the prepubescent One Direction. A bizarre pairing of Rob Brydon and Will.i.Am presented the Best International Breakthrough act which unsurprisingly went to the talented and somewhat astral Lana Del Ray. She also won the award for blubbiest acceptance speech of the night, but I do love her album.

“We Found Love” from Rihanna was a live performance to be reckoned with. Only she could make a kind of painters smock sexy whilst performing in front of a gang of dancing painter decorators. Her hair had grown immeasurably from her earlier appearance. Has she taken the same follicle elixir as Bruno Mars or was it just a really classy syrup?

Finally it came to Ray Winstone to present the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award to Blur aka Graham, Dave , Alex and Damon. Next was the MasterCard British Album of the year award, presented by the man with talent oozing out of his pockets, George Michael. This had Adele’s name on it months ago didn’t it? That girl will need a bigger shelf for all these awards. How the fuck did they end up curtailing her acceptance speech in such an abrupt way.

Blur were on stage to close the show kicking off their set with “Girls And Boys” and then appropriately “Song 2”. They were then joined on stage by Phil Daniels for a great rendition of “Parklife” Sadly that is where the TV coverage ended, I would love to have seen the whole set from Blur. I hear that they finished off with “Tender” and “This Is A Low”, but somehow I imagine this was quite a high for them!

 

“Maybe she’ll find an island with a shaded tree just like the one in our backyard” February 19, 2012


I was travelling back to York with Catwoman earlier today after a great weekend with family and friends down south. The drive back is a great opportunity to take in Johnnie Walker‘s excellent ‘Sounds Of The 70s‘ show on BBC Radio 2. The music choice as usual was excellent and as occasionally happens for me Johnnie played one track that I don’t think I’ve heard since the 1970s. It was “Shannon” by Henry Gross. I used to really love this when it had just a small amount of radio play in the UK back in ’76.

The song was written after Henry read about the death of Carl Wilson‘s (off of the Beach Boys) Irish Setter Shannon. I think you can definitely pick up a Beach Boys vibe and influence in the performance and production. The song was a number 6 hit in the US Billboard chart in 1976 and a number one in Canada. It only made number 32 in the UK. Another claim to fame the Henry Gross has is that he was the youngest artist to appear on the main stage at Woodstock in 1969. He was a founding member of Sha Na Na with whom he took to the stage immediately before Jimi Hendrix at Max Yasgur‘s farm some 43 years ago this year.

Henry is still recording and performing. Enjoy “Shannon” below along with a great performance from Sha Na Na;

How cool is that? Henry Gross gets a namecheck in an issue of Spiderman!

 

 
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