With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot – O2 Academy, Sheffield Friday 30th October 2015 November 18, 2015


Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at the Shepherds Bush Empire

My oh my have I been tardy on completing my recent reviews! Anyway a few weeks ago I accompanied the beautiful Catwoman (a.k.a. my wonderful wife Catherine) to see Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. As singers they are both extremely talented and Mr Heaton still has a knack for writing some superb and timeless songs. The band was also on top form.

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There were some excellent performances from their new album including “Man Is The Biggest Bitch” and a rousing, foot stomping take on the excellent “Heatongrad”. Their performance of “DIY” from their previous had the whole place bouncing. Obviously there were the obligatory Beautiful South songs, my favourite of these was “Rotterdam”. The Housemartins back catalogue also made a few appearances with “Fun Fun Fun” and “Happy Hour” proving both their longevity and greatness. But perhaps for me the highlight of the night was “Caravan Of Love” absolutely sublime!

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If you have never seen Heaton and Abbott live then I suggest you get yourself a ticket for their next gig near you, even if you have to sell your Grandma’s commode and your Granddad’s stair lift. You will not be disappointed even if your grandparents are disappointed in you!

 

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Camp and Furnace, Liverpool – Tuesday 27th October 2015 November 7, 2015


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On Tuesday 27th October I went to see perhaps Canada’s finest underground band; Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool as part of Liverpool Music Week. More of GY!BY later, but first let me mention the venue. Camp and Furnace is a cavernous yet magnificent place for rock gigs. I am sure that I will return sometime.

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The British support band are called the Dead Rat Orchestra. If I were to say Beardy Folk from the Middle Ages that could describe both the band and the band members. They play old songs, and I am talking circa 17th century here, back-dropped by loud, fuzzy, sonic electronica. It really should not work, but it does and in a great way too. Having listened to them on-line and a couple of their CDs that I purchased on the night I believe that they are a better live band than they are a recording band. However that is not to say that their recorded output doesn’t cut the mustard, because it clearly does. If you get the chance to see them then you really should, I somehow doubt that you’ll be disappointed. The Dead Rat Orchestra are neither dead nor are they rats. But they are a bloody good band.

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As for the headliners Godspeed You! Black Emperor how can you not love that name? In my opinion possibly one of the best named bands of the last twenty or so years. I referred to them earlier as an underground band and I guess you could say perhaps more of a cult band. They have a fiercely loyal following, many of whom were there at Camp and Furnace. A few people who I spoke to on the night had been to see the band on many occasions. They are an instrumental band, so if you’re looking for fun sing-along ditties they’re not for you. But the sound they make is something special. It moves you both physically and emotionally. The film loops that back drop the stage for every tune are incredibly clever and fit the music perfectly. I don’t know if the band have ever produced a film soundtrack but I believe they could create a masterful atmospheric background to a superior horror movie. I will definitely see them again and I recommend that you do too. Unless of course you’re a Justin Bieber fan; in which case how did you end up here at this blog!

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Elvis Costello “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink” – Book reading and signing – Royal Court Theatre Liverpool, Monday 26th October 2015 November 6, 2015


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I have worked in the fantastic city of Liverpool for a few months and I recently had the opportunity to attend a book signing by someone who technically might be described as a newly published author. He is known as Declan McManus by many but as the magnificent Elvis Costello by most! He has recently launched his memoirs; “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink”. The book runs to just shy of 700 pages and when I have read it I will no doubt be posting a review of it in this very blog.

However I wanted to just give you a brief review of what was a fabulous night at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool last month. Elvis was interviewed about the book, his life and his career by author Mark Billingham who is also very clearly a Costello fan. Elvis himself used a tablet linked to a couple of large screens on the stage to show us some wonderful pictures of himself and some great ones from his family history. There was also a brilliant video of his Dad Ross McManus singing “If I Had A Hammer” with the Joe Loss Orchestra in the 1960s.

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It was quite an intimate setting and Elvis came across as a really decent bloke. He is articulate, humorous and polite. He read a few passages from the book and told a number of anecdotes that were a mix of the emotional and the amusing. I think that many of us in what looked like a sell out crowd had our fingers crossed that he might sing a few songs and we were not disappointed. At the end he took up his acoustic guitar and played a great version of “Stranger In The House” and a supremely powerful showing of the timeless classic “Shipbuilding”. The latter was preceded by a story about the evacuation of British children overseas during World War 2. In particular the tale of a ship transporting many of these children to Canada that was sunk. For me it’s a moving song in the first place, this made it even more so.

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I was happy to queue up for forty minutes afterwards to get my copy of the book signed by the great man himself. In fact I sneakily got him to sign the latest copy of Mojo which had a picture of Mr Costello on the cover. Finally let me say a big thank you to Elvis Costello, Mark Billingham and Waterstones for putting on such and excellent night’s entertainment.

 

“Today I don’t feel like doing anything”


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This is just a brief post to say that I have been somewhat lazy about blogging lately and neglectful of all my blogs. So I hope to make up for that over the next few days and at least post the small backlog of reviews and events that I have been to recently. After that there will be an official blog break from mid November to mid December to enable yours truly to recharge in warmer climes. But for now please enjoy a few lazy and lazy related tunes!

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