With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo Festival – York – Saturday 25th June 2016 June 30, 2016


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I wonder how long it will be before folk start referring to the last weekend in June as Apollo weekend and not Glasto weekend. Well many people in York already do, and rightly so this relatively new festival is still very vibrant, friendly and fun even in its fourth year. I have now been three times and I enjoyed each visit immensely. If you like good music and a good day out for the family in Yorkshire then look no further than York’s Apollo Festival.

Anyway this year I was a bit of a lazy stage hopper in that I only visited one other stage apart from the Main Stage. I arrived at about 11.15 along with my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman our good friend Caron and our amazing Odd Daughter Amelia. The first act we saw was the Ainsty’s Got Talent winner B Boy Swirl, aged just nine years old he is just three years older than Amelia. He proved himself to be a talented whirlwind of beatbox noise and break dance frenzy. What a brilliant start to the day.

Next up on the Main Stage was someone with a vocal talent that could easily compare and compete with Adele. The magnificent and truly soulful Kymberley Kennedy. Definitely check this lady out, she has a gorgeous voice. After that it was a quick dash to the Rick Witter Premier Stage for me to catch the final part of a stunning set from those magnificent scamps, the Mallrats. Just like the last time I saw them they were awesome!

I made my way back to the Main Stage for the second half of the Jackobins set. These scousers owe a debt to Brit Pop, but only a small one. Their talent goes much deeper than that. Ace mod covers band the outstanding 5:15’s were up next. What a party band these boys are, covers of the Jam, solo Weller, the Specials, the Yardbirds and so much more. They were followed by Chris Helme the former front man of the Seahorses. He is clearly a very talented and very chilled kind of bloke. But I’m afraid his music just doesn’t do it for me. But to each their own right?

I was disappointed that I had to miss the Supermodels this year. But I did have good reason,  I had earlier bumped into the fabulous Rachel Brown of Northern Exposure who has recommended the Velcro Teddy Bears for ages. So clearly I was not going to miss them. Rachel and her fella Ash were also in the audience in the Rick Witter Premier Stage for the Velcro Teddy Bears Apollo début. So what were this highly rated Sheffield four piece band like? The were bloody stupendous. They rocked the place hard. If you love Led Zep, the softer side of Sabbath and hard but soulful rock then you will become a fan of the Velcro Teddy Bears. An incredibly tight band with a vocalist who could probably make any song his own. Their songs have the hallmarks of future classics. For me they were the band of the day. Thank you Rachel! I was also pleased to see my mate Kevin Forth in attendance too.

Dave McCabe and the Ramifications were next to entertain us from the Main Stage. Dave in case you wondered is a former Zuton. The band was excellent from start to finish in my opinion although I really would have liked to have seen them close with “Valerie” but Dave was having none of that.

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Dodgy were the penultimate Main Stage band and it is fair to say that they were far more than just “Good Enough”. A stonking version of “Staying Out For The Summer” even managed to keep the rain at bay for a while. Sadly the rain really kicked in after Cast’s arrival, what a “Fine Time” for a downpour? So I must apologise to the marvellous Cast as we left about halfway through their set as we were soaked. But they are clearly still a great festival band. I saw them back in the 90s and if anything they have got even better.

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So once again I have had the pleasure of attending another wonderful Apollo festival. This is one small wacky step for Dad dancing but one giant leap for festival kind. If you’re not already thinking about getting your tickets for next year, well frankly you’re not well!

Public Service Announcement – None of the pictures or videos were taken or filmed by me. I ‘borrowed’ them all from t’interweb.

 

“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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“Where is that moonlight trail that leads to your side?” March 12, 2013


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Following the Oscar win for the Bond theme “Skyfall” Adele is being tipped to record the theme from the next James Bond movie as well. She wrote the song with Paul Epworth and she will need to record another two Bond themes to catch up with the current record holder for recording the most theme songs to this iconic film franchise. Dame Shirley Bassey has sung three Bond songs;

“Goldfinger” (1964) – written by Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley and John Barry.

“Diamonds Are Forever” – (1971) – written by John Barry and Don Black.

“Moonraker” – (1979) – written by John Barry and Hal David.

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All three were produced by John Barry. “Goldfinger” was the best chart performer of the three reaching number 21 in the UK and number 8 in the USA. Shirley was initially earmarked to record the opening credits song for the Thunderball film from 1965. The song was called “Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” but Cubby Broccoli the film’s producer decided that the song had to have the same title as the film. This resulted in  a new song called, unsurprisingly, “Thunderball” being written. It was recorded my another Welsh singing star, Tom Jones. A version of “Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” was recorded by Dionne Warwick and this version is included on the film’s soundtrack album. Incidentally Adele’s “Skyfall” is only the second Bond theme song not to appear on the accompanying soundtrack album. The first was “You Know My Name” sung by Chris Cornell for Casino Royale from 2006.

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“Sure, she’s got it all but baby is that really what you want?” December 30, 2012


2011 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

After continuing to pile on the sales throughout 2012 Adele’s ’21’ album, which was already the biggest selling long player of the new century, has now moved above Oasis’ ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?‘ to reach number 4 in the best-selling UK albums of all time. It is also the second best-selling album in 2012  after Emeli Sande‘s ‘Our Version Of Events’. If it continues to sell at the same rate it is likely to become the 2nd best-selling UK album ever by this time next year. Not bad for an album that was only released in 2011 is it? Incidentally the best-selling UK album currently is Queen‘s ‘Greatest Hits‘.

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At the same time as this excellent news, it has also been revealed that Adele’s ’21’ is the most returned and exchanged Christmas gift this year. Presumably because almost everyone in the country already has it. This is based on figures provided by the Music Magpie site. Emeli Sande was in second place with One Direction‘s (or Wand Erection as I like to call them) ‘Up All Night’ in third place. What album’s have you exchanged and why?

 

“You can take my name but you’ll never take my heart” October 6, 2012


It is now 50 years since the first James bond filmDr No‘ hit the screens and the new one, ‘Skyfall‘ is due out very soon. This means that there is all the usual interest in the new Bond theme. This time it is the turn of Adele. As is the case with most Bond movie themes the title is the film title; “Skyfall”. I think that this song is a grower. It’s probably never going to be my favourite Bond theme, but it is a long way from being the worst. My least favourite is “View To A Kill” from Duran Duran and my favourite is Carly Simon with “Nobody Does It Better“. What do you think of Adele’s “Skyfall” and what is your favourite and least favourite Bond theme?

 

“You made me feel alive, but something died I fear” October 1, 2012


Curses! Tin foiled again!

The Official Charts Company have released details of the biggest selling CDs in the UK since the format was included in album sales. The list probably holds no real surprises, but clearly has a few disappointing entries in my opinion. The fact that James Blunt, Dido, Leona Lewis and David Gray are in the top 10 shows how bland the UK’s music tastes have become in my opinion. Is this a result of many people buying their CDs from large supermarkets these days? Who knows, but surely that plays a part. Anyway here is the top 10;

1- Gold Greatest Hits – Abba: 4m

2 – 21 – Adele: 3.5m

3 – What’s the Story Morning Glory – Oasis: 3.4m

4 – Back to Black – Amy Winehouse: 3.225m

5 – Back to Bedlam – James Blunt: 3.209m

6 – No Angel – Dido: 3.031m

7 – Come on Over – Shania Twain: 3.02m

8 – Spirit – Leona Lewis:2.95m

9 – Urban Hymns – The Verve: 2.9m

10 – White Ladder – David Gray 2.8m

There are clearly some classic albums in the list from Oasis, the Verve and Amy Winehouse. But the current top-selling UK CD is Abba Gold, probably soon to be overtaken by Adele’s ’21’. One thing that surprised me was that Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’ , the first million selling CD was not in the top 10 or even the top 30. Dido has one more album in the list at number 11. Robbie Williams and Coldplay have three albums each in the top 30. The Beatles’ compilation ‘1’ is at number 12 and there is no entry for Queen in the top 30 either.

 

“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)

 

“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

 

“I’m gonna paint you by numbers and colour you in” aka The Brit Awards 2012 (February 21st) February 22, 2012


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!

 

 
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