With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Now I have no room for my obsession” November 26, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 1:13 pm
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Supposedly the Horrors always request a surprise on their gig rider. On one occasion that surprise was a girl dressed as a cat hidden inside a crate. Even the band were a little shocked and said that they realised someone was in the crate and were a little scared to open it until after the show.

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“Swimming through sick lullabies, choking on your alibis”


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Like many bands the Killers considered many names before finally settling on the Killers. At one point they apparently considered the Genius Sex Poets. I don’t know about you, but for me that would have been so much better. I can even picture it on a T Shirt. The reason they chose the Killers is thanks to New Order. It was the name of a fictitious band on the drum kit during the video for “Crystal”. Which was released the year Brandon and the gang got together; 2001. You can watch that video at the end of this post.

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While we are speaking of the Killers, did you know that “Mr Brightside” has appeared in the UK charts every year since its release in 2003. This includes 35 consecutive weeks from July 2016 to March 2017. But it has never made it any higher than number 10 to date. Interestingly and rather surprisingly they have never had a UK number, well up to now anyway. But “Human”, “When You Were Young” and “Somebody Told Me” all made the top 3. But to make the band feel better all five of their studio albums hit the top spot over here in dear old Blighty.

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Bull, Crybaby, The Sunset Radio & Glass Traps – City Screen Basement, York – Thursday 23rd November 2017 November 25, 2017

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:58 pm
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Four bands for under a tenner at the City Screen Basement in my adopted city of York. Stuff Black Friday this is indeed a bargain given the calibre of the bands on stage at this gig. First up were the Glass Traps and this lot would have fitted perfectly into the post punk environment of the late 70s/ early 80s. I can sense a bit of Tom Verlaine and Television along with a smattering of 60s style psych garage rawness. This young band is very tight and play like they have put in the time rehearsing. Their versatility is strong given that three of them are able to sing lead vocals. A very talented band from York! Click here to hear their excellent new song “No Tomorrow”

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The next band is not one that I had heard before, but I definitely will again, positive proof that York has a thriving music scene with some truly marvellous bands. The Sunset Radio produce excellent power pop and oh so much more. Personally I heard shades of the Jam and the Levellers at times with a nice slice of the Manic Street Preachers. In fact I reckon their lead vocalist could give James Dean Bradfield a good run for his money. They might not look like punks but they project a great punk style and attitude in their music. Introducing some powered up punk snippets of “La Bamba” and “Twist And Shout” into their final song (which I think was called “Burning Up”) was genius!

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Second on the bill were the the magnificent Crybaby. I saw them over a year ago at the Crescent in York. Click here for my review of that gig.Crybaby are yet another stunning band from York. I suspect that I may be guilty of overusing words like punk and punky in this review. But Crybaby are a punky, hard rocking bunch with a dash of the Killers about them. Some of their songs suggest to me what perhaps Oasis might have become had they taken a more heavy approach after their first two albums. A big shout to their drummer too, he is bloody ace. Has he been injected with some of John Bonham’s DNA?

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Finally it was time for the headliners another of York’s finest bands, the mighty riffmonsters that are Bull. A band that I last saw in 2015, click here for that review. This is a band that everyone needs in their life. At times they appear shambolic, but it is easy to see that they are in fact totally on top of their game. Their gargantuan Godzilla sized sound is built around some stunningly simple yet exquisite songs. Those tunes evoke everyone from the Ramones to Elvis Costello via Nick Lowe and the Pixies. They have moments of quietness that jump to frenzied sonic magnificence. Punk happened back in the 70s to allow the creation and generation of bands like Bull. To summarise, Bull are fucking brilliant!

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Images were ‘borrowed’ from each bands Facebook page and the videoes were found on Youtube.

 

 

Average White Band – Leeds Irish Centre – Wednesday 22nd November 2017 November 23, 2017


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It is now just over 45 years since I went to my first gig (the Jackson 5 if you’re interested) and here I am still going, as are the incredible Average White Band. I saw them once in London back in the 70s and they were great back then. I can honestly say that they still are, in fact they are better than great. The Irish Centre is a magnificent venue, although this is only the second time that I have been here, the last was many years ago for Chumbawamba.

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It always amazed me that a bunch of white Scottish blokes managed to out funk and pour more soul into their songs than some of the finest black soul and funk musicians that the USA could muster. When I first heard that phat slab of funk that is “Pick Up The Pieces” back in 1974 I assumed that it was by someone like the BarKays. I believed that for weeks until I read an article in the UK music press, probably Blues and Soul magazine.

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There may only be two original members of AWB left in Onnie McIntyre (guitar) and Alan Gorrie (bass, keyboards and lead vocals), both of whom can still find the funk, but they have picked some stunning players to join them in the seven piece band that blew the crowd away at the Irish Centre tonight. I think they all deserve a mention; Rob Aries (keyboards and bass guitar), Cliff Lyons (alto and tenor sax), Fred Vigdor (tenor sax and keyboards), Rocky Bryant (drums and percussion) and Brent Carter (Lead Vocals).

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When someone describes a band as ‘tight’ the Average White Band epitomise and define what it is to be a ‘tight’ band. At times they showed that they could have been backing James Brown and would never have been fined by the Godfather of Soul for playing a bum note. All the really big hits were aired tonight; “Pick Up The Pieces”, “Cut The Cake” and a stunning encore, with full crowd participation, of “Let’s Go Round Again”. Yes even I shook my rump to the funk on that one. The occasional deeper cuts were played, with “When Will You be Mine” being a particular highlight. The Average White Band have enjoyed success with some cover versions of songs that they really made their own. Particularly soul standard “Walk On By” and a version of “Work To Do” that in my opinion tops the original by the Isley Brothers. Both of these tunes were given full and funky workouts tonight along with a new take on another Isley Brothers classic “Harvest For The World”. This was a truly exceptional performance from a band that remain at the top of their game. I would also like to thank my gig buddy Audrey for making this such a fun night.

 

“Life is much too beautiful to live it all alone”

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 12:12 am
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I was saddened to hear of the death of David Cassidy aged just 67. He was perhaps the true definition of a teen idol in his heyday during the early 70s. Obviously back then us boys would never be a fan. But all the girls at my school were either fans of David Cassidy or Donny Osmond, with a few more rebellious girls opting for David Essex. Back in the days when the pop charts really meant something these three were top 20 regulars in the UK.

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Cassidy found fame in the American TV series the Partridge Family where he played Keith Partridge. It was a musical show and his first success came with the recordings he did under the Partridge Family name. His mother in the show whose character was called Shirley Partridge was in fact his stepmother Shirley Jones. Before the Partridge Family David had made the odd appearance in shows that included; Bonanza, Marcus Welby MD and Ironside.

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David Cassidy had two number one singles in the UK, “How Can I Be Sure” in 1972 and “Daydreaming/ The Puppy Song” in 1973. On top of that he had a further thirteen UK top 20 hits if you ad in the Partridge family singles. His album ‘Dreams Are Nothin’ More Than Wishes’ made it to the top of the UK album charts in 1973. Whether or not you were a big Cassidy fan there is no denying that he left a significant mark on pop history. David Cassidy RIP.

 

“But I never wave bye bye” November 21, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 7:00 am
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Despite departing this mortal coil nearly two years ago David Bowie is still breaking records. He recently reached his billionth stream on Spotify. That is not the highest by any artist, I know that Drake has had more than ten billion streams of his songs. Ed Sheerhan’s “Shape Of You” has had more than a billion streams in its own right. But nonetheless a billion streams is a great achievement in my opinion. The top ten Bowie songs streamed on Spotify completely bypass anything released after 1983. The sixties has one entry, the eighties has two and the seventies a mighty seven.

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In terms of albums represented by these ten songs, in reverse order it is;

Space Oddity (a.k.a. David Bowie) 1 track, Diamond Dogs (1 track), Heroes (1 track), Let’s Dance (2 tracks), Hunky Dory (2 tracks) and Ziggy Stardust (3 tracks)

The magnificent, late, great Mick Ronson was also a part of the original studio recordings of five of these tracks too.

  1. Heroes
  2. Let’s Dance (One of only two on this list to reach number one in the UK)
  3. Space Oddity (the second of two on this list to reach number one in the UK. But only after it was reissued in 1975)
  4. Life On Mars
  5. Starman
  6. Rebel Rebel
  7. Moonage Daydream (Never released as a single in the UK)
  8. Changes
  9. Ziggy Stardust
  10. Modern Love

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“You sigh, the song begins, you speak and I hear violins”


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Today I heard of the death of American jazz, pop, gospel (and many other genres) singer  and actress Della Reese. She was 86 years old and I have been a fan for many years. The reason I became a Della Reese fan is down to my sadly departed father who as it turns out was born just three months after Della. Anyway during his years in the Royal Navy, a submariner no less, my Dad collected quite a few records mostly Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee and Della Reese. I no longer have any of the original vinyl that he had but in recent years I have managed to get hold of a few rather excellent Della Reese vinyl albums.

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At 13 she became a backing singer for legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and her first tour was with Nat King Cole. She worked with many jazz legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. She made a staggering 17 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, her first was in 1957. She had her own American TV show ‘Della’ which aired from 1969 to 1970. As an actress she starred in US TV series ‘Touched By An Angel’, she also made an appearance in the Eddie Murphy film ‘Harlem Nights’. In the 1980s she became an ordained minister. She will, I am sure be very sadly missed. My thoughts are with Della’s family, friends and fans. Della Reese RIP.

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