With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Ian Hunter and the Rant Band – Sheffield City Hall Ballroom – Thursday 2nd October 2014 October 5, 2014


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On Thursday I went to see the magnificent Ian Hunter and the superb Rant Band play in Sheffield. This was my second Hunter show in two years, I previously saw him in Harrogate in 2012. The support band was the stunning blues rock outfit Federal Charm from Manchester. They are a very tight unit musically and their lead singer Nick Bowden has shades of a young Paul Rodgers in his singing. I bought their album at the gig and it is a great set for listening to when driving or probably many other activities too. You should check them out. Click here for their Facebook page.

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On to the main man though. Mr Hunter was on top form as expected and the Rant Band are just bloody good as always. It looked like Ian and the band were really enjoying themselves on stage too. It was an excellent set with the highlights for me being the old Mott songs “All The Way From Memphis” and “All The Young Dudes” both of which probably had everyone in the crowd singing along. I certainly was. But my favourite two songs of the evening were “When I’m President” which works better live than it does in it’s recorded form, probably because it is such a great song. The other was the poignant “Michael Picasso” which was originally released as a part of Hunter’s ‘Artful Dodger’ album in 1996. It is a heartfelt tribute to the late, great Mick Ronson. I must admit that the lyrics often bring tears to my eyes, as they did on Thursday.

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Sadly the UK part of the tour is over now, but I urge you to go and see Ian and the band the next time they tour. You will not be disappointed. There are still plenty of dates left rolling into January. These are in Scandinavia, Japan and the USA. His merchandise stand was selling a ‘Live In The UK 2010′ CD which showcases just how good the band are in live performance. So while you’re waiting for that next tour get your hands on a copy of that CD. I have one final question how can Mr Hunter look so fit and young into his 70s? I need that secret! For another great review of Ian Hunter on this tour go to the backseatmafia blog who was at the Holmfirth show. I should add that none of the videos or pictures or videos on this post were taken by me and in fact none are from the Sheffield gig.

 

“The Beatles new record’s a gas” February 17, 2013


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With all the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first album, ‘Please Please Me’ back in 1963 it got me thinking again about the impact the fab four had on popular culture. I know much has been written about the Beatles from a social history point of view so I won’t be getting deep and heavy about that. But my thoughts are more around mentions of the mop tops in popular music.

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There have been some great songs that mention John, Paul, George and Ringo and to celebrate 50 years since the recording and release of ‘Please Please Me’ I thought I would mention some of those songs. Apologies in advance to Dora Bryan though as I won’t be including her ode to the band; “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle”. The chosen songs are;

All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – for the line ‘My brother’s back at home with his Beatles and Stones, I never got it off on that revolution stuff’ I believe that this is probably the best song Bowie ever wrote.

Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)” – Temptations – this was released when the band were just about still around and features them in the line ‘the Beatles new record’s a gas’

“1977” – The Clash – a summation of life in the UK in 1977. The line ‘No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977′ sums up the punk new boys.

“London Calling” – The Clash – a brilliant song that includes the line ‘Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust”

“(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” – Oasis – whilst this song doesn’t mention the Beatles it does mention a Beatles song from the ‘Revolver’ album; ‘Walking to the sound of my favorite tune tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon’. It’s no surprise that the Burnage Boys songs contain many references to their musical heroes from Liverpool.

There are plenty more songs that reference the Beatles, including solo Beatle songs that mention or reference the band. I’d love to hear what your favourites are too.

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Ian Hunter – Harrogate Theatre Thursday 25th October 2012 October 25, 2012


I had the good fortune to accompany my good buddy John Williams to a gig in Harrogate on Thursday. Not just any gig, but an Ian Hunter gig. Someone who I have always liked but up until now had never seen play live. So I was anticipating great things. Did we get great things? Well let me talk about the support act first and then I will tell you!

Otis Gibbs all the way from Wanamaker, Missouri provided a very entertaining support set. He has some great songs, many of them well written story songs. He also engages really well with the audience between songs. Otis Gibbs; talented, humorous, good bloke and frankly bloody good at what he does!

As I said earlier I was expecting great things from Mr Hunter and I can say that categorically he didn’t let us down. He was, and I use this word sparingly these days, awesome. He started the show with two great rockers “Comfortable” from his new album and the classic “Once Bitten Twice Shy“. He played a lot of songs from the new album including the superb title track “When I’m President”, the wonderful “Black Tears” and a song that grows on me every time I hear it “Ta Shunka Witco (Crazy Horse)”

Obviously he played some classic Mott The Hoople tracks including “All The Way From Memphis” and “Roll Away The Stone“. Then there was the obligatory (well Mott played it often) cover of the Velvet Underground‘s “Sweet Jane“. But that wasn’t the end of the Mott songs. During the encore they played my two favourite Mott The Hoople songs; the sublime “Saturday Gigs” and the best song Bowie wrote and never released himself “All The Young Dudes“. A stupendous end to a great set from a brilliant artist and indeed an excellent band; the Rant Band. Ian is 73 now but he rocks better than many younger rock stars.

Mr Hunter thank you for an excellent night and keep on rockin’ dude! Let me finish with a short clip of “Saturday Gigs” from tonight which was filmed on my positively ancient Nokia as were the photographs in this post.

 

“Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know he’s in the best selling show” January 8, 2012


It’s January 8th 2012 which means that David Robert Jones is now a pensioner; yes, Mr Bowie is officially an old bloke aged 65. I have made many posts about David Bowie since I started this blog and indeed I have posted on his birthday before as well. So what can I say that I haven’t said before about the Dame? Well how about some trivia about him that you may or may not have heard?

He left school with just one GCE O Level, which means that I left school with twice as many O Levels as he did. The lack of even minor academic qualifications hasn’t held him back though has it?

It is widely known that he shares a birthday with Elvis Presley who was born 12 years before Bowie in 1935. But did you know that he shares that birthday with a number of other music stars as well?

On top of that it is also the same date that the new North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was born in either 1983 or 1984 and Stephen Hawking in 1942.

I am in the middle of reading Peter Doggett’s book ‘The Man Who Sold The World – David Bowie And The 1970s’ which is a journey through the 70s song by song of everything Mr Bowie recorded. Parts of it are a little too muso for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent book. I have learnt some new things about Bowie, which is really something for a moderately obsessive fan! Did you know that Bowie had wanted Phil Spector to produce the ‘Aladdin Sane‘ album? I certainly didn’t, but it would have been a fascinating mix of styles. That album sold less than half of the nearly 11 million sales achieved by the ‘Lets Dance’ album in 1983.

It would be fair to say that “Rebel Rebel” from the ‘Diamond Dogs’ album is a brilliant pastiche of the Rolling Stones. Did you know that Bowie also provided backing vocals and hand-claps on the Stones hit “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” from 1974? Live Aid in 1985 prompted Bowie and Mick Jagger to record together again with a cover of Martha and the Vandellas “Dancing In The Street”. Not the best cover version in the world in my opinion. In a survey by the PRS last year it was voted as the song that most people would play at street parties to celebrate last years Will and Kate Royal nuptials.

As well as being a musician David has always been a music fan as well and has often championed some of his favourite acts. Back in the early 70s he heard that Mott The Hoople were about to break up so he got in touch and offered them a song to persuade them to stay together. The band went on to have a massive hit with Bowie’s “All The Young Dudes” but did you know that the first song he offered them was “Suffragette City”? They turned it down saying that it didn’t really suit them. Bowie went on to produce Mott’s ‘All The Young Dudes’ album with Mick Ronson. In 1975 Ronson became a member of the band for a short while and recorded what became their farewell single “Saturday Gigs” with them.

So that’s enough of my drivel and it just remains for me to wish David Bowie a fantastic 65th birthday and to share with you the most played Bowie tracks on Spotify in descending order;

 

“We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead” November 30, 2011


Katy does the garden........ shearly not?

I’m sure that you’ve heard Katy Perry’s new single “The One That Got Away” which is clearly yet another slice of perfect perry pop and a great radio song. But what intrigues me about it is the line about making out in the lyrics. It reads ‘We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead’. Firstly we get Katy Perry mentioning Radiohead, which I feel makes for quite strange bedfellows. Secondly, does anyone actually make out to Radiohead? I love the band but they wouldn’t be my choice for a sultry, seductive night in with Catwoman! I would prefer a bit of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ album.

Having listened to the song again though it got me thinking about some of my favourite songs that mention bands or singers. You can enjoy five of them below. Let me know what your favourite songs that mention other artists are;

“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – Vampire Weekend – mentions Peter Gabriel

“Destroy Rock n Roll” – Mylo – mentions a cast of thousands including Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Van Halen, Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Cars, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Men at Work, ZZ Top, Paul McCartney, Weird Al Yankovic, Cyndi Lauper, Pink Floyd, Pretenders, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Elton John, Neil Young, Sheena Easton, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Fashion, Big Country, Morris Day and The Time, John Lennon, Apollonia 6, REO Speedwagon, David Gilmour, Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Wham!, Rebbie Jackson, Adam Ant, Bananarama, Christine McVie, Queen, John Cougar Mellencamp, U2, Fleetwood Mac, The Alan Parsons Project, Rick Springfield, Thompson Twins, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, Police, Eurythmics, Culture Club, Boy George, Band Aid, Stevie Wonder and Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

“White Man In The Hammersmith Palais” – The Clash – mentions Dillinger, Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe and the Four Tops.

“God” – John Lennon – mentions Elvis and the Beatles

“Punky Reggae Party” – Bob Marley and the Wailers – mentions the Wailers, Maytals, Damned, Jam, Dr Feelgood and the Clash

“All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – mentions T Rex and is easily my favourite song that mentions other bands or artists.

 

 
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