With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Ev’rybodys talking about John and Yoko” April 30, 2013

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 7:35 pm
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The European Union recently voted to ban the chemical compound Neonicotinoid from pesticides. This came after a number of scientists reported that it was extremely harmful to bees and may have played a part in the decline in the worldwide Bee population.

I assume they get a buzz out of doing that!

I assume they get a buzz out of doing that!

Before the decision a number of protests were held including one in Brussels a few days ago. So why I am posting about this in my music blog? well mostly because the protesters adapted a John Lennon song to meet their needs; The were singing the line ‘all we are saying, is give bees a chance’. I love it and I suspect Lennon would have approved too. Click here to read the story on the BBC website.

It soon became clear that the chemicals were having a really strange effect on the Bee population!

It soon became clear that the chemicals were having a really strange effect on the Bee population!

 

” When everyone has lost their heads around us” April 29, 2013


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Scottish songstress Emili Sande has broken a UK chart record previously held by the Beatles. Her album, ‘Our Version Of Events‘ has spent 63 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the album chart. This is now a week longer than the Beatles album ‘Please Please Me‘ which charted in the top 10 for 62 consecutive weeks between 1963 and 1964.

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Emeli’s album has now sold more than 1.82 million copies and has achieved weekly sales of more than 100,000 on three separate occasions. The album has spawned three UK number one singles: “Read All About It” with Professor Green, “Beneath Your Beautiful“, with Labrinth, and “Next to Me“. The latter was also the third most played pop song of 2012.

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The Beatles album contains no UK number one singles. Unless of course your refer to the NME charts from 1963 where the “Please Please Me” single made it to the top spot. It only reached number two in all the other UK charts at the time.

 

“Stand up beside the fireplace”


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Apparently Paolo Di Canio the manager of Sunderland Football Club says he has improved his command of English by using a karaoke machine and listening to Oasis. So is his English better than it was? That is probably a definite maybe. Whilst his club may survive for another season in the Premiership I suspect that it is unlikely that they will live forever unless he really keeps his beady eye on the opposition; d’you know what I mean? The owners of the club have told Paolo to don’t look back in anger and to just roll with it!

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There was another piece of premiership news in the UK press this week as well. Chris Martin off of Coldplay was spotted with his friend Jay Z at the Arsenal versus Manchester United match this weekend. I guess they had 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one!

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Noel

 

Counting Crows – O2 Apollo Manchester – Thursday 25th April 2013 April 27, 2013


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Once in a while you are presented with the opportunity to see a band that you have listened to a lot but have never really made the effort to see play live. I had a lucky break as my friend Andy Golborne’s partner Rachel was unable to attend a gig by the truly splendid Counting Crows. So I became the lucky owner of her ticket and went along to the O2 Apollo in Manchester last to see the band. This was the first time I have seen them but Andy has seen them on many occasions.

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The support was provided by Lucy Rose a 23-year-old singer songwriter from Surrey. She has previously provided some vocals when recording with the Bombay Bicycle Club. She strikes me very much of a young Joni Mitchel but with even more jazz sensibilities. Her band is tight and very talented. To me there is almost an undercurrent of some of the better aspects of prog Rock in their delivery. The exposure of touring with Counting Crows can only enhance her profile and I would definitely see her again. In fact I would like to apologise for missing her at last years Reading Festival.

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The Counting Crows. What can I say? Probably that they are even better live than they are on record and I do believe that their recorded output is bloody good! I can’t believe that this is the first time I have seen them in concert. Adam Duritz mentioned that he had woken up in the morning with a sore throat but that did not seem to mar his vocal performance which was brilliant. it did mean that we missed out on some of the story telling introductions that he often does when playing live. But that was a very small price to pay. The crowd was made up of mostly hard-core Crows fans. The bloke in front of me went nuts for almost every song and it looked like he had his kids with him, they also seemed to love it.

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The band seems to really love what they are doing as well and this made for a stupendous all round performance which they enjoyed as much as the audience. I was really pleased that they raided their back catalogue excellently and didn’t stick with just the big hits; there was no “Mr Jones” for example. The band took to the stage to the sound of Bill Withers’ classic “Lean On Me” and left at the end of the evening to “California dreamin'” from the Mamas and Papas, to which Mr Duritz led us in a sing along. But obviously it’s what was sandwiched between those classic records that was most important. If I mentioned every highlight I would simply type in the set list! The first part of the show had excellent versions of “Omaha” and “I Wish I Was A Girl”.countingcrows

The acoustic set in the middle of the show was beautiful, especially the arrangement of “Mercury”. acoustically this was accompanied by a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” and another Counting Crows classic, “When I Dream Of Michelangelo“. After that excellent trio the set kicked back into electric gear, starting with a rousing “Round Here”. The cover of Gillian Welch‘s “Look At Miss Ohio” was truly stunning and new arrangement (to me at least) of “Rain King” was a truly emotional experience. The encore included “Washington Square” and a gorgeous rendition of “Holiday In Spain”. are the Counting Crows the best live band I have ever seen? Not quite but they are definitely in my top 5 and I will certainly see them again. In fact next time I shall take the wonderful Catwoman (a.k.a. my beautiful wife Catherine) with me.

Please note that apart from the picture at the top of this post none of the images or films were taken by me.

 

“Oh I just wanna show you off to all of my friends”


One Direction

One Direction were recently given the honour of having their wax sculpted likenesses made and put on show in Madame Tussauds in London. personally I am really struggling to tell the real Wand Erection from the wax version. I hope that no one makes that mistake when it comes time to melt them down in a couple of years. But hopefully their careers will be on the wane by then so some wax activity will provide the chance to flog some 1D candles made from either the real 1D or their wax counterparts will bring in some much-needed cash for the band and for Dr Evil a.k.a Simon Cowell.

 

“You could be the DJ I could be the dance floor” April 24, 2013


JLSasaurus now extinct....... WOOOO HOOO!

JLSasaurus now extinct……. WOOOO HOOO!

It is with obvious regret and sadness that I have to announce the appalling news that JLS will be breaking up. I would also like to ask is that first sentence true? Well technically the bit about JLS breaking up was, but the obvious regret and sadness was in fact complete bollocks. My only sadness is that this didn’t happen so much sooner. How did we manage to give these useless pop muppets the oxygen of publicity for nearly five years! They arrived via a TV show which is less tasteful than the sulphur discharge from Satan‘s hemorrhoids; that’ll be the X Factor. They didn’t even finish first, that was the equally short on talent Alexandra Burke.

Someone stole all the toilets and toilet doors so JLS were left squatting and unable to go.....is that why they are full of shit?

Someone stole all the toilets and toilet doors so JLS were left squatting and unable to go…..is that why they are full of shit?

In five years they have clearly wrung their teenage audience dry (well technically they have drained the coffers of the parents of their teenage audience); four albums and five UK number one singles? What has the world come to? As if Westlife were not bad enough these boys have taken the worst of them and added a dance beat and more stage dancing. so goodbye to Oritse Williams, Marvin Humes, J.B. Gill and Aston Merrygold. I would love to say I’ll miss you, but that would be a lie. But I guess the ensuing solo albums might be so bad that they’ll be good for a laugh. One will do an album of German oompah style covers of the Dead Kennedy’s back catalogue, another will spit out a concept album about how My Little Pony‘s are made and the other two will collaborate on a re-recording of everything JLS have ever recorded using only flatulence and water! But obviously being the superstars that they are they couldn’t just break up and go away, they have to do the obligatory farewell tour, which has been very imaginatively titled ‘Goodbye; The Greatest Hits Tour’ which as you have probably guessed will be in support of the album ‘Goodbye: The Greatest Hits’. So clearly not a cynical cash in is it? Then there will be the reunion tour in 2023 to look forward to.

By the end of next year our fan base will be about as big as this!

By the end of next year our fan base will be about as big as this!

Finally and just to add a degree of balance I have included a video of one of their UK number ones just in case any of their obviously distraught fans has arrived here by mistake!

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“Baby I could never steal you from another” April 21, 2013


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Last year I published a post about Bruce Springsteen having written the song “Hungry Heart” for the Ramones. Click here to read that post. I read recently of some other songs that were supposedly written with other artists in mind.

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First there are two from the Eurythmics. Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox wrote “There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)” for Stevie Wonder. Stevie never recorded it although he did supply the harmonica break on the song. The band originally had Tina Turner in mind to join them on “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” but she allegedly felt it was too feminist and the gig became Aretha Franklin’s. Seriously? Tina thought it was too feminist?

WTF? Miss Stevie turned me down????

WTF? Miss Stevie turned me down????

Finally, and this one surprises me assuming it’s true; Prince wrote “Purple Rain” hoping to get Stevie Nicks to record it. Maybe it’s not too late. If you’re reading this Stevie Nicks (highly unlikely I know) then let’s hear it! I would love to hear of any ‘written for others’ stories that you might have.

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Kate Nash (plus the Tuts) – Fibbers, York Wednesday 17th April 2013 April 20, 2013

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 8:26 am
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For only the second time in my life I had the honour of being on the guest list for a gig. This came about after the advent of social networking let me get back in touch with an old school friend from Ryefield Primary School in Hillingdon. That friend is Chris Doveton and we left Ryefield School back in 1970 many years before Kate Nash or the Tuts were even a twinkle in anyones eye. But Chris’s daughter Harriet is one of the Tuts. It was thanks to those three wonderful punky minstrels that make up the Tuts that I was able to test my mettle as a roadie and manning a merchandise stand. I also got to watch Kate Nash and her band and the Tuts run through their sound checks. It was the most fun I have had at a gig in years! All that and Chris and I had our own mini school reunion after more than 30 years.

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Anyway enough of me, this is a gig review after all. So first we had a blistering set from Harriet, Nadia and Bev, collectively known as the Tuts. They were only on stage for 30 minutes but boy did they use that time well. Shades of the Clash, the Libertines, the Runaways, the Donnas and the very best of pop punk. But while there were shades of these other influences there is so much originality and energy from these ladies that I would say the rest is 95% pure Tutness. They have some great self penned songs; “Dump Your Boyfriend” and “Tut Tut Tut” are particular favourites of mine and they also do an electrifying cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail“. The acid test for any band is of course would I go and see them again and the answer for the Tuts is of course I bloody would and so should you if you get the chance!

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Kate Nash has been in the business for years now and she is still only 25. Her first big UK chart success came with the wonderful “Foundations” in 2007; it reached number 2. I had the opportunity to chat briefly to Kate before her show and at the end when Chris and I were loading the Tuts equipment into the car. Unlike many other people who have been in the business for so long she is bright, smart, friendly, articulate and really caring and decent toward her fans. She signed my copy of her current album ‘Girl Talk’  too. I think it’s incredible that she has developed her music so much in just 6 years and three albums.

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Kate is a superb perform and had the largely female audience rocking for most of the night. Old favourites were there in the shape of “Foundations” and a personal favourite of mine, “Mariella”. She also a played a song that is available on the deluxe edition of her current album “I’m A Feminist And You’re Still A Whore” which I thought was a great addition to the set. Apparently a dickhead on Twitter was giving her some grief over that song earlier in the day. Kate responding by tweeting Patti Smith‘s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger” which went down even worse with the poor deluded twat! Kate is a very vocal supporter of women’s rights and played her song “Free My Pussy” in support of the Russian band Pussy Riot who were shamelessly jailed by the Putin Empire. It’s not my favourite song, but it works and the cause is spot on. There are nowhere near enough people speaking up for Pussy Riot in my opinion, so top marks to Kate!

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I really don’t get how she was dropped by her label last year this girl is a supreme talent and her new album is testament to that. She is passionate about adjusting the balance of women in rock given that the majority of songs are still written by blokes. She encouraged her audience to pick up an instrument, write, play and make music. I hope that many people take that lead and do it. She was also very, very supportive of the Tuts too. We need more artists like Kate Nash. I was a kind of ‘I quite like Kate Nash’ fan before this gig, but now I am very big fan of Kate Nash. If you are going to see her elsewhere on this tour I guarantee that you will enjoy the show, you’ll love the Tuts as well. If you can’t make it to see her this time around you’d better make sure you get tickets for her next tour. I expect you to do your duty and if you don’t………………. I know where you live!

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I was unable to get much video footage of any great quality so here are a trio of songs from Kate’s show at the Sebright Arms earlier in the year.

And finally this is me with Kate at the end of the evening.

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Apart from the above picture and the one of the Tuts in action all were sourced on line.

 

“I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited” April 14, 2013


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A few days ago the one billionth song was downloaded in the UK only ten years after the legal download was first launched. Now that is quite a phenomenal performance isn’t it? The top 10 most downloaded songs in the UK are;

1. Adele – Someone Like You

2. Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger

3. Gotye ft Kimbra – Somebody I Used To Know

4. Black Eyed PeasI Gotta Feeling

5. Rihanna ft Calvin Harris – We Found Love

6. Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire

7. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

8. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

9. Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are (Amazing)

10. Jessie J – Price Tag

No real surprises there really, all artists of the modern age. Of course there have been the campaigns to get old songs in the chart via downloads. Some of these have been successful and many haven’t. We now have the annual let’s stop X Factor getting to the top at Christmas. That probably peaked with the success of Rage Against The Machine‘s “Killing In The Name”. There have also been the slightly more ridiculous campaigns which probably culminated in the arrival of Judy Garland’s “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” from the Wizard Of Oz at number two in the charts this week aimed at ‘celebrating’ the death of Margaret Thatcher. I was in two minds about this plan, but frankly right now I don’t think it feels right. The whole idea of celebrating anyones death is odd. Why not just get out on the streets to protest against what the current government is doing to the country. That makes more sense doesn’t it?

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“Who takes all the glory and none of the shame” April 8, 2013


I won’t say much about the death of the grocer‘s daughter, I will just let the music speak for itself!

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