Very, very late indeed, but here comes the sixth monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart, this time for August 2022, and it remains as eclectic as most of our previous charts. There are some weird and wonderful strange bedfellows in this list, just like those charts of my youth. The number one for August is the rather splendid Newcastle act, Cat Ryan with their incredible single “Rex Mundi”. They are followed closely by four acts who have not appeared in the song chart before, Trunky Juno, Thrillhouse, Matt James, and Lynx Deluxe. The latter made it into the artist chart for August. Check out Matt James’ new album, ‘Breaking The Fall’, a set of fine songs from a former member of one of my favourite bands, Gene! Politics and passionate, powerful opinions are represented by Captain Ska with “Blood On Your Hands” at number 6, Muse with “Will Of The People” at number 19, and the magnificent current single full of monumental power, passion, and anger from Delilah Bon, “Dead Men Don’t Rape” at number 10. Vaquelin, one of York’s finest bands have appeared in the song chart four months in a row now, their latest single “Broken Window” is at number 20. Classic soul and reggae are represented by Holland and Dozier and Junior Byles. The Streets, Arctic Monkeys, Just Jack, Yungblud, and Pale Waves are all here. Early Italian House Disco music is at number 17 with Silvetti’s “Spring Rain”. Tom Waits is at ten, while classical music gets a look in with the beautiful and haunting piano piece “Metamorphosis No. 4” composed by Philip Glass at number 16. Hannah Robinson has featured in the Mayhem charts a few times and she returns as the voice of J.A.G. on “Fools Lie”. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart. Check out the complete list below and click here to access a Spotify playlist of the whole top 20!
1 Rex Mundi – Cat Ryan 2 Oxford English Dictionary – Trunky Juno 3 Cruel Twist Of Fate – Thrillhouse 4 Champione – Matt James 5 Jane Goodall – Lynx Deluxe 6 Blood On Your Hands – Captain Ska 7 Why Can’t We Be Lovers – Holland and Dozier 8 Brexit At Tiffany’s – The Streets 9 Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In Copenhagen) – Tom Waits 10 Dead Men Don’t Rape – Delilah Bon 11 Curly Locks – Junior Byles 12 Starz In Their Eyes – Just Jack 13 Fools Lie – J.A.G 14 Star Treatment – Arctic Monkeys 15 Tissues – Yungblud 16 Metamorphosis No. 4 – Philip Glass/ Jenny Lin 17 Spring Rain – Silvetti 18 Lies – Pale Waves 19 Will Of The People – Muse 20 Broken Window – Vaquelin
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I know that right now there is a lot of negativity towards the 1975 after they became last-minute replacements for Rage Against The Machine who have sadly cancelled all their remaining European date, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals. I am not a huge 1975 fan, but give them a break. If you only bought a day ticket to see Rage Against The Machine, go along anyway and check out some of the other great acts that will be taking to the numerous stages. As usual, there are a number of acts that I don’t want to miss and as per usual I am sure some of them will clash meaning that I will have to take the hard decision as to who to choose.
My must-see acts for Friday at Leeds (Sunday at Reading) are Pale Waves on Main Stage East (I am still not sure about that split main stage idea, it doesn’t work for me). Ashnikko and Dylan look good on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. Dylan was exceptionally good at Latitude a few weeks ago. But my headline choice for Friday is easy, Beabadoobee on the Festival Republic Stage.
On Saturday at Leeds (Friday at Reading), I will definitely not be missing Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes on the Main Stage East, the same place I will probably catch Dave’s headline set. I am still not sure about Megan Thee Stallion, but I might be tempted. Meg Ward will be banging on the Radio 1 Dance Stage and I don’t want to miss Cleopatrick, Kid Kapichi, and Fever 333 on the Festival Republic stage.
The Leeds Festival Sunday (Saturday at Reading) lineup looks fantastic. Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice, and Fontaines D.C. on the Main Stage East coupled with Bring Me The Horizon, Enter: Shikari and Poppy on Main Stage West. OK, I confess the twin main stages look like they will work on Sunday! On the Radio 1 Dance Stage, Police Car Collective will be very special. As will the Skinner Brothers on the Festival Republic Stage. Obviously across all three days, I will check out the BBC Introducing Stage regularly. I want to get a huge festival music fix once again. Who are you looking forward to most?
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On the last Mayhem Top 20 post, I mentioned that I was changing how it would be published. Instead of waiting for Obscurify to tot up listens on a seemingly random date, I will now take a snapshot at the end of each month. So the Top 20 for February is the first of those. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of 100% more obscure than other users in the UK. 100%, is that even possible? Either way, I am proud of it! Anyway, regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (the top two of which have been there since I began doing these posts) which currently are;
Woke Up Dead (One of the two bands that have been ever-present in my obscure list and an excellent band to boot!)
Promethium (This metal bunch continue to fly the flag for great British rock and like Woke Up Dead have been ever-present in this obscure team)
Black Acacias -(I have no idea how I found this lot. Their album came out in 2008 and they have 4 monthly listeners on Spotify. There seems to be no information about them online, apart from the music on Spotify. If you were in Black Acacias or know anything about them please contact me. They appear at number 13 in this week’s chart)
Folk The System – (folky protest and frankly great songs, this lot make their second appearance in the obscure list. They appear at number 27 in the extended chart)
As for the February Top 20, only Dame David and Kate Bush remain from the last chart. Other classic artists include Suede, Arctic Monkeys, Glen Campbell, Alison Moyet, Culture Club, Bob Dylan Dionne Warwick, and Frank Turner. Bruno Skibbild makes his second appearance and there will be another post about him very soon. Nine Inch Nails crash in at number one, I have just read a great book about their album ‘The Downward Spiral’, lookout for a review of that on these pages sometime soon. The rest of the top five is The Skinner Brothers, Hawksley Workman, Heartsink, and the aforementioned Kate Bush. Four of the artists who feature in the February Top 20 are current contenders for my album of the year for 2022, can you guess who they are? Who knew that there was a band called Diamond Dogs? I didn’t until now. Gonora Sounds from Africa produce some of the most uplifting music that I have heard in a long while! Here is that all-important top 20. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Laura checks out an excellent, if somewhat expensive, Toots & the Maytals LP at the Vinyl Cafe.
I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing York singer, songwriter and ace musician Laura Kindelan earlier this week in 45 The Vinyl Cafe on Micklegate. Laura was eloquent, effervescent and spoke about her major influences, where she might take her sound next, her musical guilty pleasures and her favourite chocolate among many other things. Check out that conversation below.
Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
Well there isn’t just one person, for me it’s the sound and the performance. For the sound, it has to be Lianne La Havas; I love her jazz guitar, melodic vocals and song writing. I particularly love her lyrical patterns and use of unusual words. My history teacher introduced me to her.
As for performance, I would have to name two people; Amy Winehouse and Damien Rice. I believe that both of them show the beauty of imperfections. Damien Rice’s mix of his first album “O” massively fluctuates in volume within songs, which could be considered wrong but I believe it’s emotive.
What is next for you, where do you go from here?
I am very happy to be a slow burner. I am not focussed at all on becoming a product or a brand. I want to be a well-respected musician, singer and song writer. That has to include maintaining respect for myself and my craft. I want my music to speak for me, not the image. I would also love to work with a really tight rhythm section in the future.
Musically do you have any of what you might consider guilty pleasures, if so what are they?
That is a tough one, the first one that I can think of is Abba. However, I don’t feel too guilty about it as they wrote, produced and released such great songs. But perhaps my real guilty pleasure is my ‘go to’ party song; “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rihanna.
Photo by Michael Parr
How do you prepare for a gig?
First, I always do some vocal warm ups. I like to make myself feel nice, to feel good. I don’t often wear much make-up, but for a show, I choose to get dressed up with make-up and nice clothes. Everything I do to prepare for a gig contributes to making me feel comfortable and confident on stage. I really believe that a performer should invest the audience in what they do by personally connecting with them, and to do that, you need to be happy and comfortable with yourself. Confidence is key to any good performance.
Name one thing in your musical career that you are most proud of and feel free to tell us why?
My headline show last year at the National Centre for Early Music in York. It felt like such a magical night and I am so proud that I did it. I can’t quite believe that it happened. There were around 180 people there, really listening and enjoying the night – It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.
Click here to check out my review of that show on this blog last year
What drives you to write songs?
Sometimes it is all about getting something off my mind; a feeling or a relationship perhaps. Currently I really love to experiment with harmonies, shapes and different tunings on my guitar. I think I draw influence in this experimentation from Jeff Buckley and Tom Misch, particularly with pretty harmony and rhythm from the latter. I see my sound as evolving into something similar to Tom Misch, only much grottier!
Photograph by Tomorrow’s Photos
How does your song writing process work?
I have lots of lyrics stored on my phone that I’ve written as they come to me and I sometimes go there for inspiration. Although, as I said before, I love to experiment with harmony and chord progressions so I often begin here.
Name a song that you believe you could cover and make it better than the original?
At the moment I am playing around with a very different arrangement of “Do I Wanna Know” by the Arctic Monkeys. I am trying out a very slowed down version which is more ‘head bobby’, with more dissonance and harmonics. I think this new vibe adds more meaning to the lyrics.
Which of your songs would you like to see covered by someone else and who would be your top choice to do it?
I would like it to be someone completely different from me, how about Hello Operator? That could actually be amazing, we should make it happen!
Photo by Tim Downie
Tell me something that you have never told an interviewer before (and this does not need to be music related)?
My signature dish, that I make incredibly well (if I do say so myself), is Carbonara with mushrooms, bacon and cream. Bon appétit.
Name three things that you simply cannot live without?
My family, good food and Doctor Martens. I’m hoping to build a collection of Docs – I currently have four pairs, including one with a snake-skin pattern.
Now check out some of Laura’s rather excellent tunes.
All photographs were provided to me by Laura and are credited to the photographer in the caption. The first picture was a rare good one taken on my phone. Video links were specially selected by Laura herself.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing (or throwing questions at) Pete, John, Adam and Rusty of one of York’s finest rock bands Lost Trends. Pete and Rusty over a few pints at the Duke of York pub and John and Adam outside Fibbers after the boys played a storming set in support of Billy Bibby and the Wry Smiles. Click here for that review. If you have never heard Lost Trends or seen them play live yet then you really need to rectify that soon. But in the meantime find out a bit more about the band with questions about their musical influences, favourite chocolate bar, rejected band names and which of them reckon they could take Justin Bieber in a fight.
Rusty – A previous band had an Arctic Monkey’s style song called “Lost To The Trend”
Rusty & Pete – Mentioned that they had considered Swedish Jesus and the Dyslexics. But the latter would be spelt wrong!
What brought you together as a band?
Rusty & Pete – They were at York College and become mates after a friend of a friend introduced them. John’s brother was the original drummer and they found Adam via GumTree
Adam – Was looking for a band on Gum Tree (so it worked then!)
John – He took his brother’s place in the band
Are there any Lost Trends side projects?
A resounding NO from both Pete and Rusty
John – A cryptic who knows!
Adam – Maybe some acoustic stuff one day
Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?
Rusty – Radiohead’s “Let Down” but perhaps the greatest impact is from Lindisfarne’s 70s classic “Lady Eleanor”
Pete – Thought about this for a while before deciding on a song that always makes him happy and upbeat, another 70s classic “September” from Earth, Wind & Fire. At a recent wedding they made sure the DJ played it.
Adam – Chose “Stay The Same” by a band that you may know, they are called Lost Trends. He is very proud of his bass on that track. He is also really keen on some good bass sounds in a Motown, Soul environment.
John – His choice would depend on his level of intoxication
What would be your first big purchase when music makes you rich and famous?
Rusty – A recording studio
Pete – A Ferrari
John – Loads of kick pedals – he has a habit of losing them
Adam – A barrel of coconut rum
Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?
Pete – Kurt Cobain
Rusty – Was lucky enough to walk past David Bowie at Glastonbury in 2000, he didn’t know what to do (Rusty not Bowie that is) so he nodded hello and got a nod in return
Adam – Don Broco, he would love to tour with them
John – Jimi Hendrix
Which instruments do you play?
Pete – Guitar, piano and backing vocals
Rusty – Guitar, piano, drums and vocals obviously!
Adam – Power chords on a guitar
John – Didgeridoo
When and why did you start playing?
Pete – Grandad was in a York band called the Modernaires. They were once played on Radio 2 after being introduced by no less than Patrick Moore. It was his Grandad who bought Pete his first guitar.
Rusty – His Dad was obsessed with music and he had a Beatles book with chords for every one of their songs. Rusty learnt to play by borrowing his Dad’s guitar and the book.
John – Started playing at school
Adam – Started playing bass at High School as there were no other bass players there
John – Can’t remember but probably something simple
What are the best and worst things about the music industry today?
Both Pete and Rusty agreed that they really don’t like pay to play.
Pete – He said that nowadays reality TV has made the industry very hard to get into. There is more of a need to win a competition or to have a back story, particularly one that would tug the audience’s heart strings
Rusty doesn’t like the favouritism that many promoters and industry people show. Also the apparent lack of daring, no one wants to take a chance any more.
Adam – Worst thing is dodgy promoters who insist that you sell 30 tickets or more
John – A good thing is that there are often more opportunities at the moment
(Incidentally one thing that at least two of the band mentioned is that Simon Pattison of York is an excellent promoter!)
What tunes are you currently grooving to?
Rusty – Anderson Paak and the Free Laterals – “Come Down”. He also loves the new Jamiroquai album ‘’Automaton’, and is a big fan of the creative genius of Jay Kay.
Pete – A big fan of the new Bonobo album
John – Chase and Status
Adam – Sofi Tukker – “Drinkee”
Best Saturday night record?
Rusty – King Curtis – “Memphis Soul Stew” or “Milk and Black Spiders” – Foals
Pete – “Move On Up” – Curtis Mayfield
John – “Upside Down” – Diana Ross
Adam – “This Girl” by the Kungs
Best Sunday morning record?
Rusty – “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. This was a particular favourite with an old housemate and would often get them properly woken up on a Sunday. Rusty is also partial to a little Ralph McTell on a Sunday morning.
Rusty – What is the difference between a large blue whale and a small white whale? Size and colour. J
Adam – An English man, an Irish man and a Scots man walk into a bar. The barman says is this some kind of joke?
John – (You need to read this one out loud) An English cat called One two Three and a French cat called Une Deux Trois decide to have a swimming race across the English Channel. One Two Three won because Une Deux Trois Quatre Cinq …. Cat sank……geddit?
It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to attend another Northern Radar show put on by good friend, the very talented Mr Simon Pattinson. I have attended many gigs that Simon has either put on or recommended and he has not let me down so far. At four quid for four bands did he let me down for the first time tonight? Well dear reader you will have to read on to find out.
The first band on were Kram with a Grunge-like take on Royal Blood. The singer/ guitarist, knowingly or unknowingly, gave a nod to the late, great Kurt Cobain by taking to the stage in a dressing gown. A bit like Cobain did at the Reading Festival back in 1992 when he came on stage wearing a hospital gown. I was actually there for that too. But enough trivia and comparison, Kram are an excellent band. A versatile and skilled guitarist who possesses a great rock voice more than ably backed up by a drummer who really knows his way around a drum kit.
Next up were Lost Trends from my adopted home city of York. How the hell have I not seen these blokes before? This mob sound really well rehearsed and watching them play I felt that they really knew rock history. Chatting to them afterwards about everything from the Beatles to Bowie and the Shadows to Radiohead it is very clear that they do. Lost Trends are very difficult to slot into a specific genre. They have a bit of indie, a touch of classic rock and are most definitely a band that you can dance to. They have the potential to become one of my and I hope your favourite bands. If I had left after their set I would have gone home happy. Oh and their excellent single “DJ” has been featured on racing ads on Channel 4, check it out at the end of this post.
The penultimate band of the evening were the Naked Six. If you like classic rock with a twist of 21st Century then this is definitely a band that you must see. Riffs reminiscent of Jimmy Page and vocals could grace many classic bands. Their songs were all incredibly powerful and the playing was stupendous. Given the right breaks the Naked Six have the potential to surpass the success of two of their famous fathers. Thank you for letting your boys get into a band Biff off of Saxon and Finley Quaye. If I had left home after the Naked Six I would have gone home bloody ecstatic. A mega monster of a band and one that I will definitely pay to see again.
I didn’t envy Cry Baby having to follow three very talented and stunning bands. But they did it incredibly well and with great aplomb. The great thing about all of tonights bands is that they are all very different. Cry Baby perform classy indie rock n roll with influences from many sources; the Killers, Razorlight and the Arctic Monkeys. They have some well crafted songs and know how to put on a show. I am sure that I will see this lot again. I suggest that you, dear reader, should check out all the bands that I saw at this gig you will not be disappointed. Talking of disappointment, did Simon let me down tonight? What do you think? Of course he bloody didn’t this was yet another awesome Northern Radar show!
The usual public service announcement, all the pictures were taken using my shitty little Nokia phone and the video is courtesy of YouTube.
Sadly I missed the first Apollo Festival back in 2013 and then last year I had to leave early so I missed the headliner. However this year I was there for the day and what a bloody good day it was! With something like 50 acts across 5 stages I was never going to be able to see everyone but I did see a fair few acts. I was there with my wonderful wife Catherine ak.a. Catwoman and our great friends John and Caron who brought their daughter and our Odd Daughter (that’s another story) Amelia with them. Amelia proved beyond doubt that she is indeed a 5-year-old dancing dynamo of perpetual motion. Anyway enough of us, who did I see?
First up it was 4 Pint Milk in the Rick Witter tent. They are from Huntington School and seemed all of 16 (apologies if you’re older than that lads!). But they rock like they’re much older. The part of their set that John and I saw was cover versions, but damned good cover versions. Jake Bugg’s “Green Man”, the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”, Stone Roses “I Am The Resurrection” and my particular favourite, “Brianstorm” originally done by the Arctic Monkeys. I hope these boys succeed, they play really well and they have an excellent dour and dry northern wit.
Back at the main stage I only caught Fat Spatula’s last song. On the evidence of that I thought they sounded pretty good and I wished I could have heard more of them. I should add that Catwoman didn’t like them at all. Next on the main stage was the winner of this years Ainsty’s Got Talent contest, Beth Bryers. She undoubtedly has a great operatic style voice which she used over a number of dancey beats including Bastille. I get the appeal to some, however for me Beth is an acquired taste that I unfortunately didn’t acquire.
Rime Suspex though were something else, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. A relatively simple set up of a guitarist, singer and rapper. They were also accompanied by a number of samples I think. Imagine if South Africa’s Die Antwoord came from Blackburn and had better rhymes, well that is Rime Suspex in my view.My particular favourites from their set were “Money” and “Sick And Tired”. Given the lyrical content I almost certainly support their sentiments and politics. They didn’t hit the spot for my friend John, but he has never been a fan of white rappers. But I’ll work on him! Anyway I would definitely pay to see Rime Suspex again.
Our first visit to the Access Music stage brought us Matt Philpot. For me he was a pretty average singer songwriter singing 70s with a mostly laid back 70s vibe. The highlight of his set was a reggaefied arrangement of Aha’s “Take On Me” which I enjoyed. Next we saw the Rusty Pegs who are a bit alt. country and come across like a slightly more Nashville version of Fairground Attraction. I quite liked them.
On our return to the main stage the Happy Daggers were on. I missed the first part of their set but what I did see showed me that these fellows are funkin’ good and I want more! Rupert Stroud was on next, he and his band were very tight and well rehearsed. He is a rock influenced singer songwriter and he is bloody good. Imagine James Blunt with bigger balls, well that is Rupert Stroud.
After that it was a quick hop across to the Access Music stage for the magnificent Barcode Zebra. I saw them play at last year’s Apollo Festival and they were very good then. This year they were even better. Soul, funk, rock, jazz all in a musical blender supported by a really skilful band and an immensely powerful vocalist. I certainly hope to see more of them.
Now it was time for the wonderful Crybabycry on the main stage. They had been caught in traffic on their way, but believe me it was worth the wait. I saw them earlier this year in a tiny venue during Live In Leeds. On their performance then and at the Apollo Festival I will stick my neck out and say that I believe that they are one of the finest bands in the UK at the moment. Along with my other favourite UK bands; Avalanche Party, Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts. Powerful three-piece Crybabycry deserve to be on bigger stages and if you don’t like them then I suggest that you pop out and get your hearing examined. Can we have them at Reading and Leeds please?
Awesome covers band the Mothers followed Crybabycry onto the main stage and they rocked their socks off. I danced near the stage for their whole set which included storming versions of songs by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, songs from the Stax back catalogue among many others. They were fucking brilliant and I might try to book them for my 60th birthday party, although that isn’t until January 2019. After that I paid a final visit to the Access Music Stage where Catwoman and I saw Armonia. They played some really chilled and laid back acoustic songs including a wonderful cover of Lordes’ “Royals”
Classic 90s scouse indie pop band Space were next on the main stage and they were blooming amazing. I had forgotten how many great songs they have recorded. Favourites like “Neighbourhood” and “Female Of The Species” were there along with some new songs and stuff that I have never heard before. There wasn’t a duff song in their set. My favourite is one that I hadn’t heard before, the rather fabulous “Boy In A Body Bag” which is a bloody fantastic tune.
Finally it was time for the head-liners the supremely talented Inspiral Carpets. I had seen them many years ago and they were always a band whose new release I would always check out. No other band of their generation rocks the Farsifa like these blokes do. The have some excellent songs in their canon including “Dragging Me Down”, “This Is How It Feels”, “Spitfire” and one of my all time favourite songs from any band or singer “Saturn Five”. Quite an appropriate song for the Apollo Festival don’t you think? The Inspiral Carpets used to refer to themselves as ‘cool as fuck’ and in my opinion they remain so. If you get a chance to see them you would be foolish not to.
Finally let me say a big, big thank you to the organisers of the Apollo Festival especially Mr Apollo himself Stuart Kelly. Also a big shout out to my good friend Simon Pattinson who is on the organising team. Everything was brilliant folks, including the weather. If you change anything for next year then I suggest that you increase the food outlets and vary them a bit. Can I also offer to volunteer to help with organising Apollo 2016?
This really is the final finally! If you haven’t done so already please click here to vote for the Apollo Festival in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grass Roots Awards. I have!
Well given the weather it seemed somewhat appropriate 🙂
Public service announcement – none of the media contained in this post was filmed or photographed by me.
Usually you get three review posts from me for each day of the festival. But this year I am taking the lazy route. I will just be doing a single review of the whole shebang. Also it will be somewhat different from usual, this is born out of necessity as I just immersed myself in the music and the vibe and didn’t really bother to take notes. What follows is a departure from the norm for me and a bit of fun too. There is a list of the acts I saw and next to each there will be marks out of ten and one word to reflect my memory of that set. Some of these words may be obvious and others will be cryptic, if you want to know more about them please feel free to ask in the comments.
Day 1 – Friday 22nd August Crossfaith 7/10 pretty Red Fang 7/10 dervish
Rufus 8/10 nuts
Shambles In A Husk 6/10 shouty Phil Nichol (comedian) 9/10 Eskimo
Deaf Havana 6/10 hair
Fat White Family 7/10 hype Jimmy Eat World 8/10 veterans Enter Shikari 9/10 banging
Vampire Weekend 9/10 headliners?
Jamie T 9/10 surprise
Bipolar Sunshine 7/10 happy
Metronomy 9/10 synchronised Queens Of The Stone Age 9/10 party
To sign off I have a message for the festival organisers. It’s great that you switched the screens on the Main Stage to portrait view from their original landscape setting. However you need to fix the tech so that we can actually see interesting stuff on them. There were far too many shots of a singers ear, a guitarists arse or just a drum kit with no drummer in the picture. Also please move the fun fair back out of the main arena, it really doesn’t need to be there. All that aside this was one of the most enjoyable Reading Festivals that myself and my good friend Nick Horslen have been to. We have been attending them together for around 13 years and I went to my first in 1975. I’d love to hear what you folks thought of Reading and Leeds this year. Who do you think will headline next year? How about Iron Maiden or AC/ DC? I reckon Muse will headline. I’d like to see PIL on the bill too.
Here we are again, time for my annual pilgrimage to the Reading Festival with my good friend Nick Horslen. Collectively we are the Zimmer Twins a.k.a Bald Guy and Silver Dude. So what is on the agenda for us this year? well there are plenty of bands that we have seen many times before, particularly on the Main Stage. Friday on that stage looks very appealing, particularly Deaf Havana, Jimmy Eat World, Enter Shikari and Vampire Weekend all of whom we have seen before but entertaining none the less. There is a joint headline thing going on that day with Paramore and Queens Of The Stone Age. I’m not too sure about the joint headline thing but both are very good bands who I have seen quite a few times. Friday on the NME/ Radio 1 Stage has a couple of acts that I’d like to see. Notably Warpaint, Metronomy and Gerard Way.I really don’t want to miss Aluna George on the Radio 1 Dance Stage either. I can see some big clashes cropping up for us that afternoon! As for the Lock Up Stage I really want to see Brody Dalle. I am never going to be able to see everyone I want to on that day. Some tough choices need to be faced clearly. I haven’t even considered any of the other stages yet either! As usual I would appreciate any recommendations from you folks reading this, especially if it makes our hard choices a bit easier.
Saturday’s Main Stage line up also looks good and once again it features many acts that I have seen before; including Pulled Apart By Horses, The Hives, Foster The People, Imagine Dragons, Jake Bugg and the Arctic Monkeys. But I have to see DZ Deathrays on the Radio 1 Stage first thing on Saturday. I saw them at the Woolpack in York a couple of weeks back and they were awesome. Also on that stage on my to see list are Royal Blood, Cage The Elephant, Die Antwoord, Chvrches and Bombay Bicycle Club. Then maybe Architects on the Pit stage. Band Of Skulls and We Are Scientists on the Festival Republic Stage. I also want to pay a visit to the Alternative Stage for some comedy. Does anyone have the ability to clone me so that I can attend every stage? Please send me the details, what do you need? A DNA sample, blood, sweat, tears, a stool sample? just let me know because as you are all well aware; you’re never alone with a clone!
Sunday’s closing night on the Main stage is good, but at the moment I prefer the other days. Although missing Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Blink 182 would be disappointing. However Disclosure headline the NME/ Radio 1 Stage that night and I don’t want to miss them either. On that same stage on Sunday I also fancy Clean Bandit, the Horrors and the 1975. Blimey this doesn’t get any easier does it? Then of course there is the Klaxons on the Radio 1 Dance Stage. The Lock Up stage is headlined by the magnificent Gogol Bordello with support from the Frankly (Turner) un-missable Mongol Horde.
OK clearly I will enjoy loads of acts but I will also be disappointed at having to miss so many. I await your recommendations dear reader, along with your plans for cloning me. The Zimmer Twins will see you there!
If you squint you can just about spot the Zimmer Twins in that crowd!
The Brits has kicked off well with a storming “R U Mine” from those Sheffield scallywags the Arctic Monkeys. Will it all go downhill from here? Let’s find out shall we? Well at least James Corden was finally on fire for the first time hosting this show. Well the sleeve of his jacket was to set up a lame joke about the Arctic Monkey‘s pyrotechnics. Thankfully this will be his last Brits. The British Female Brit award was presented the shortest man in music Prince Rogers Nelson accompanied by his new band. Corden interrupted for a selfie with the purple one. Ellie Goulding won it and given the nominees deservedly so in my opinion. She was somewhat awed by meeting Prince too.
Katy Perry was next on stage and she went a bit Stargate Cleopatra on us. She sang “Dark Horse” from her new album ‘Prism’. I presume it’s not a George Harrison tribute. Kylie and Pharrell Williams presented the International Male solo Artist award after more inane and unfunny shite from Corden. It was won by Bruno Mars; personally I expected it to go to Justin Timberlake although I would have voted for Eminem.
Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton rocked up to present the British Breakthrough Act Award. It was well won by the rather excellent Bastille. I love the ‘Bad Blood’ album. Sadly Corden was back after that with a dreadful interview with One Direction which included some pathetic jokes about Justin Bieber in prison. Then we were subjected to Bruno Mars with “Treasure”. But to be fair I judged him too soon, that was a good performance. Really classy modern R & B.
Next up a welcome return from Lily Allen to present the award for Best British Group. Thank fuck it wasn’t won by Wand Erection. It went to a proper band instead. The marvellous Arctic Monkeys. The previously known winner of the newcomer award was the understated but talented Sam Smith.
Now we have the Global Success Award presented by Rosie double-barreled surname. Who the fuck is she? Was this Award manufactured for the ultimate manufactured band One Direction? Can’t we just sell them to the USA? Is Harry Styles having a wee the most controversial act of this years show? Sadly it probably is. The revolution doesn’t start here!
Beyonce live, now that was bloody good in my opinion. But was she lip syncing “XO”? The nest award was for best British single, presented by Katy Perry. Was she trying an English accent? Won by the fabulous Rudimental which thankfully beat Olly Murs and Wand Erection.
The first collaboration of this years show was Disclosure and Lorde with a really cool and funky take on Lorde’s “Royals”. Followed by a brilliant live rendition of “White Noise” with Aluna. The International Group award was presented by Cesc Fabregas (WTF?) and Nicole Scherzinger. The winners were Daft Punk. Could it really have been anyone else? The legend that is Nile Rodgers collected the award on their behalf.
Ellie Goulding was next to perform. She did “I Need Your Love” and “Burn”. I loved the massed percussion during “Burn”. I have really grown to like Ellie’s music. Noel Gallagher was there to present the best male solo artist award. Let’s hope he has a new album out soon. Fuck me Bowie’s only gone and won it! Kate Moss accepted it on Bowie’s behalf at his personal behest. A brilliant speech written by the Dame too. This has made my night!
Nick Grimshaw that bloke from Radio One who is moderately more talented than Chris Moyles stepped up to present the International Female solo artist award. Lorde was the winner and a bloody good choice too. Bowie is a Lorde fan. Then we had yet another shite interview by Corden with Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams. The British Video award was voted for live on Twitter during the show and was presented by Jimmy Carr. Sadly it was won by Wand Erection with “Best Song Ever”, but it isn’t is it?
Rudimental and Bastille combined on stage to become Bastimental for the night. It certainly made up for a second 1D award for the night. Blimey just how sexy is Ella Eyre? Now we are onto the final award of the night, it’s the one that everyone wants. It’s best album and it was presented by Emilie Sande. It went to the Arctic Monkeys. It is a great album, but I was hoping for a second Brit of the night for David Robert Jones. But well done to Alex and the boys, although their acceptance speech was largely bollocks wasn’t it?
The show was closed by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. What a barnstorming performance from two music masters. “Get Lucky”, “Good Times”, “Happy” the hits just kept coming. Overall I think this years show was an improvement on last year. Some marks out of ten from me; James Corden 1/10, Bowie winning a Brit 10/10 and for the overall show 5/10 could do better.