With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I think I’ve made up my mind, now I understand who I am” February 10, 2013


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I have been a lazy blogger over the past few weeks for various reasons, so for that I would like to apologise to my regular readers. Although to be fair many of you may have enjoyed the respite. Anyway I hope to be taking plenty of servings of Blogger Bran to make me a more regular poster. Todays post is essentially an open letter/ job application to Jim Henson.

Dear Jim,

I have loved the Muppets ever since the Muppet Show first appeared on UK TV back in the late 70s. My favourite characters initially were Kermit, Robin, Beaker and Animal. More recently, perhaps with age and wisdom it has become Waldorf & Stadtler and Sam the American Bald Eagle. When I started losing my hair a number of my friends likened me to Sam. Which to me has become a badge of honour.

Anyway let me explain why I am writing to you about employment. I started work in 1975 and since 1997 I have been a Programme/ Project Manager. I won’t outline the intricate detail of what I do for a living as I am sure you would be asleep after the first sentence. I feel that I have much of the right experience to work within your organisation. Mostly as I have worked with some real Muppets, particularly over the past 16 years. People with a complete lack of common sense (or any sense in some cases) and people who seem to be operated by a Muppeteer or at the very least must be controlled by having someone’s hand up their rear end.

I would be happy to offer my cv/ resume on request but I would also be keen to discuss opportunities with you. I would love to start at the bottom of the ladder, perhaps with a small part in the next Muppet movie. Just for the record I prefer to work without someone’s clenched hand inserted anywhere on my person.

I look forward to speaking to you and in the meantime I will be returning to the corporate world of Muppets tomorrow

Kind Regards

Bill – A Man not a Muppet

NOTE – not everyone I have worked with is a Muppet, those of you who are not Muppets will know that. Those of you that are Muppets probably won’t know!

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Jim+Henson

 

Little Comets – Fibbers, York 17th March 2009 March 18, 2009


OK it’s nearly a month since my last gig review so I thought I’d better get back out there again. Gigs at Fibbers are usually well worth it and tonight was no exception, four bands for £5 that’s a real bargain especially as they were all pretty good or better. Fibbers is a good venue but when will they move into this century and start accepting plastic over the bar? OK rant over and let’s move on to those all important bands, in order of appearance of course!

The Waking Hours

As usual and like many before me I often see a band and try and work out their influences and sometimes just what or who they might sound like. For me these guys have elements of 60’s Garage Rock, some early Van Morrison in his Them days, indie (although I admit that is such a wide description nowadays) and one of their songs seemed to have a very U2ish sound with it’s ‘edge-like’ guitars. Overall a great sound from an excellent band. I would also like to give a special mention to their drummer, one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while. Shades of John Bonham (although perhaps not quite as loud) and Animal from the Muppets (and I do mean that in a nice way). remember that Animals licks were provided by a very experienced drummer. Anyway click here to check out the band on their MySpace page

Swimwear Juniors

Tonight’s bands were all nicely different which is always a good thing I think. The Juniors (am I allowed to refer to them like that? After all everyone knows the Grateful Dead as the Dead!). They seem to be a real fun almost party band, like the Pigeon Detectives if they weren’t so automated and actually had a personality. Unlike the PDs the Juniors have oodles of personality and come across like a band cloned from the best bits of the Arctic Monkeys and the Housemartins with a special extra added secret ingredient (and before you ask I don’t know what that ingredient is ok). They also had the wit and personality to pull off something that many of their peers wouldn’t dream of, a few bars of the Wurzels “Combine Harvester” between songs. Thankfully not the whole of that ‘classic’ song though! Overall an excellent set from Swimwear Juniors (I thought I’d be polite and use their full name for the final sentence!). OK so click here to check these guys out now and I mean RIGHT now on MySpace!

Soft Toy Emergency

This is the second time I’ve seen Soft Toy Emergency and oh boy what a great band, absolutely awesome, no I’ll correct that they were truly fucking awesome! If these guys are not playing mega gigs by 2010 then it will only be because the sun has gone supernova and turned into a black hole (ok my science is poor but who cares?). They are a genre defying band, you can’t label this excellent combination of fun, danceability, punk spirit and pop sensibility. They would blow most of the dull indie kids away at festivals like the Carling at Reading and Leeds. If this band appears near you and you do not go and see them I will personally ensure that you are forced to listen to nothing but Westlife for the rest of your days! So if you really aren’t keen on that kind of punishment check out this superb Liverpool band on MySpace by clicking here……… well, what are you waiting for….. DO IT NOW

Little Comets

Personally I would not have fancied taking the stage after a band like Soft Toy Emergency, it would take an excellent band to make a good job of it. These boys from Newcastle made more than just a good job of it, they were bloody good. In fact don’t let the name fool you these guys are bloody great big bright comets. They have some excellent songs and know how to work their audience. For me the nearest comparison I could come up with would be a bit like Vampire Weekend with extra added funk and English sensibility. I will definitely go and see them again! You MUST check them out on MySpace and also their excellent band site too. When I say MUST I bloody mean MUST ok!

OK that’s the review over and so far I haven’t reviewed a shit band, although I’m sure that day will come! I’d also like to give a special mention to two special ladies; Catwoman and Charlie who did the most amusing drunken dancing during the Little Comets set. Another special mention goes to Simon P who managed to get me a Soft Toy Emergency CD which I missed out on last month. And finally a special thank you to the doorman for asking me if I had any ID, you made this old bloke very happy ta very much!

 

“Cold fire, you’ve got everything but cold fire” February 22, 2009


Welcome to Sunday everyone, I hope you’re having a good weekend. I am, in fact I am slightly hungover today, but hey that’ll pass soon enough….. well I hope so anyway!

So on with the show then, today, 22nd February 2009 is the 36th birthday of Scott Phillips, drummer with Creed who had a US number one single with “With Arms Wide Open” in 2001. It also reached number 13 in the UK charts. It won a Grammy for best rock song too. He also played keyboards on Creed’s album “Weathered”. He is currently a member of Alter Bridge along with two other former members of Creed, Mark Tremonti and Brian Marshall. Creed were often dismissed by critics as a Christian rock band, however they were never signed to a Christian label, nor indeed did they play Christian venues. A number of their songs certainly suggest a strong interest in religion, but for me whatever their beliefs they were a damned good band. The rumour mill suggests that Creed may be getting back together this year. What are your thoughts on band reunions? I think some are great and some are dire, for example in my opinion the reunion of both the Specials and Blink 182 this year is excellent, however the reunion of Limp Bizkit………….. WHY?????

Creed had now moved wholesale into the decorating business

Creed had now moved wholesale into the decorating business

The last of todays birthdays is that of James Blunt, who is 35 today (although some sources suggest 32. Someone once remarked that it was no coincidence that his name rhymed with another but much more derogatory word than blunt. I’m not sure I’ve figured out what that word is so for now let’s just say he’s a bit of a runt. Although strangely enough his real name is in fact Blount, James Hillier Blount to be precise. I’m sure that you all know him much too well. For me the first time I heard “You’re Beautiful” I thought this is an ok kind of song, but then it was absolutely played to death by radio and in pretty much every clothes store in the land too. Personally I prefer the Weird Al Yankovic version entitled “You’re Pitiful” (click the title to hear it) and just to show that I am completely unbiased, after all this is James ‘The Runt” Blunt and not Robbie Williams, here is James with his song “1973” You may be aware that James served in the British army for six years, notably as part of the peacekeeping force in Kosovo in the late 90s. But did you know that he was also one of the Guards for the lying in state of the Queen Mother after her death in 2002, he was also a part of her funeral procession. I know that last point will interest my Mum, but I’m really not a fan of the Royal Family at all!

In spite of his apparent wealth James still couldn't afford a full set of clothes for his lady

In spite of his apparent wealth James still couldn't afford a full set of clothes for his lady

On this day in 1960 the Percy Faith Orchestra began a nine week stint at number one in the US chart with “Theme From A Summer Place” which also reached number two in the UK chart. This piece of music is very much a guilty pleasure of mine, I remember hearing it on the radio quite a few times when I was young and it is indeed on iTunes on my laptop, it hasn’t quite been promoted to my iPod just yet and it’s not in the 50 songs that make up my all time top 10 either. The music was written as the theme for a 1959 movie called, can you guess, “A Summer Place” The film starred Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue, Sandra went on to be immortalised in the song “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee” in the Grease movie. Percy was a renowned band leader and often branded as a leading light among producers of ‘easy listening’ music. He was Canadian and died aged 67 in 1976

After months of practice Percy still couldn't get the "YMCA" dance right

After months of practice Percy still couldn't get the "YMCA" dance right

On this day in 1969 Tyrannosaurus Rex (soon to become T Rex) featuring the late great (those l and g’s have been quite busy this week haven’t they?) Marc Bolan were headlining at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in the UK. The support act was one Mister David Bowie who performed a one man mime act. But perhaps the less said about Mr Bowie’s acting the better! Anyway Bolan and Bowie were good friends for quite a few years before either of them found fame. In fact at one point in the sixties they shared the job of painting Ken Pitt’s apartment, he was their manager. Bolan had success before Bowie and helped out his old friend by playing guitar on Bowies single “The Prettiest Star“. This single is still a sought after collectors piece. It’s a good song too, in fact Bowie rerecorded it for the Aladdin Sane album in 1973

Bolan and Bowie together for what became Marc's last ever TV appearance before his untimely death in September 1977. Look closely and you'll notice that is was also before any work on Bowie's teeth too

Bolan and Bowie together for what became Marc's last ever TV appearance before his untimely death in September 1977. Look closely and you'll notice that is was also before any work on Bowie's teeth too

On this day in 1975 Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel achieved their only UK number one single with the excellent “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)“. I just had another idea for a special edition blog, how about songs with parentheses (that’ll be brackets to the less well read amongst you, to anyone else they’re the little curly things at each end of this sentence). “Make Me Smile” has been used for two UK national TV advertising campaigns; Carlsberg Lager in 1995 and more recently for Marks and Spencer in 2005. It remains one of the most played songs on UK radio. I finally got to see Mr Harley in concert in 2005 at the Royal Opera House in York, he was very good, I would certainly see him again given the chance.

Steve wondered why all the other boys dressed in blue

Steve wondered why all the other boys dressed in blue

And finally on this day in 2002 the drummer Ronnie Verrell died aged 77. He worked with many different people including Tom Jones, the Strawbs and Phil Everly. But most people have probably heard him without even knowing it, for Ronnie is the man who provided all the drum licks for the Muppet Shows in-house drummer, Animal! Here is Animal himself drumming for Rita Moreno on “Fever“, an excellent clip from the Muppet Show

Animal drummer for the Muppet Show House Band

Animal drummer for the Muppet Show House Band

The late great Ronnie Verrell stunt double drummer for Animal from the Muppets

The late great Ronnie Verrell stunt double drummer for Animal from the Muppets

Has anyone ever said that you resembled one of the Muppets or perhaps a cartoon character? Well a number of people have said that I look something like Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppet Show. I don’t have blue skin, so is it cos I is bald? This link goes back to my youth and more recently even Catwoman made the same remark. Anyway here is Sam the most handsome and intelligent Muppet!

Sam The Bald Eagle or perhaps it really is William? Answers on a postcard, or maybe in the blog comments

Sam The Bald Eagle or perhaps it really is William? Answers on a postcard, or maybe in the blog comments

I hope you enjoyed yet another day of full on trivia bombardment and until we meet again tomorrow I bid you farewell good trivia fans 🙂

 

 
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