With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

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


AVERAGE_WHITE_BAND_web

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).

AWB-chalkboard-1

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.

 

“With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom” Blog Advent Calendar Day 17 December 17, 2014


Q_tips_christmas

Is it really December 17th? It is? Oh well Christmas will soon be over. But in the meantime we’re at day 17 of this years advent calendar blog posts. this means that we are now at the 17th letter of the alphabet, which as you know is ‘Q’. Can you guess which band will feature under the letter ‘Q’ in my ABC of British bands? Really? Are you sure? I’m thinking that most of you guessed Queen, in which case you’d be wrong. Todays band proudly representing the letter ‘Q’ are the Q-Tips. (Any free advertising here for Q Magazine is purely coincidental and accidental; unless the publishers of that great magazine would like to ply me with money and gifts!).

QTips1

The band was formed in 1979 by the remnants of one hit wonders Streetband who hit the charts with “Toast”. Three members of that band stayed together and they were John Gifford (guitar), Mick Pearl (Bass) and Paul Young on vocals. Yes that Paul Young the one with the spiky hair and who layed his hat anywhere he damned well wanted to. They brought in  another guitarist, Dave Laswell and Baz Watts on drums. They then added a brass section consisting of Oscar Stuart Blandamer, Tony Hughes, Richard Blanchchard and Steve Farr. The band was further augmented by keyboard player Ian Kewley. Later in their career Gifford and Blandamer were replaced by Garth Watt Roy and Nick Payne.

Q TIPS

The band was quite short-lived, breaking up in 1982 when  Paul Young signed a solo contract. During their time they were a highly praised live act. They also supported some massive names including the Who, Average White Band, J Geils Band, Bob Marley, The Knack and Thin Lizzy. They began by playing lots of soul music covers but in the end they had a substantial amount of self-penned material as well. The band briefly reformed for some live dates in 1993. In case you were wondering they took their name from a well-known brand of cotton swabs. Now enjoy some rather spiffing tunes from the Q-Tips.

 

 

Iron Man 2 May 3, 2010


He's behind you!

We went out to catch the latest Marvel movie today; Iron Man 2. I felt it was a pretty good movie but perhaps not quite as good as the first instalment, although Robert Downey Jr plays the Tony Stark/ Iron Man role supremely well. Samuel L Jackson is also brilliant as Nick Fury. 

The action scenes are excellent and there is a great teaser at the end that points to a forthcoming Avengers movie. So at last the whole Marvel Universe is hitting the screens! I was disappointed that I didn’t see the usual cameo from Stan Lee, but maybe I missed it. 

Iron Man seems to be doing a number two!

The soundtrack is unusually not a mixed compilation, but more like a best of AC/DC, although there are a couple of other noticable songs used during the film; “Magnificent Seven” from the Clash and “Pick Up The Pieces” from the Average White Band. The end credits are soundtracked by one of my favourite AC/ DC songs, “Highway To Hell” 

If you like Marvel movies you will love this, I will definitely get the DVD when it comes out too. Now roll on the next Fantastic Four instalment, the Thor movie and then the Avengers! 

None of the other kids wanted to get on the slide while Tony Stark was on it

 

“These are the days when you wish your bed was already made” March 15, 2009


Well this is it folks the Ides of March, are you scared? Do you even know what the hell they are? Well the term Ides was thought to have meant the day of the Full Moon. The Ides of March (15th March) was made famous in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ as the day on which Caesar was assassinated. If you want more information about those nasty ides click here.

So without further ‘ides do’ and before the usual birthdays and stuff I have another contribution from one more regular reader. This time it’s Karen McP who would like me to mention her mate Martin’s band. They’re called ‘No Drinks On The Dance Floor’ I’ve had a listen to them on MySpace and I think they’re pretty damned good. Click here to go to their MySpace page and let me know what you think of them.

The other day I mentioned Bobby McFerrin and his excellent song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” well I just heard it again in an environment that I hadn’t noticed before. Have you ever watched George A Romero’s ‘Dawn Of The Dead’ Zombie movie? I was watching the DVD last night and there is a great scene where the survivors decide to break into the shopping mall for protection. As they enter the building there is the usual awful electronic muzak playing and the tune is the wonderfully ironic (in this setting anyway) “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. How cool is that? Also I received this picture from Ellen at the Dead Zone group today, how appropriate?

Don't Worry, Be Hippy

Don't Worry, Be Hippy

So onto todays birthdays. Firstly today would have been Arif Mardin’s 77th birthday. He was born in Istanbul and died in New York in 2006. Arif produced some of the greatest acts to appear on the Atlantic label, where he spent 30 years. During his career he produced hits for many artists, these included; Carly Simon, Petula Clark, Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross, Bee Gees, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Lulu, Anita Baker, Judy Collins, Phil Collins (no relation), Culture Club, Scritti Politti, Roberta Flack, Hall & Oates, Norah Jones, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Ringo Starr, Dusty Springfield, Average White Band and none other than David Bowie (I bet you never thought I’d get a Bowie reference in that list did you?). After meeting Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillespie at a concert in Istanbul in 1956 Arif submitted a couple of compositions to Quincy. This changed his life as shortly after he became the first person to receive the Quincy Jones Scholarship at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston. He moved to the US with his wife Latife in 1958. He also won 12 Grammys during his career. So what song should we choose to celebrate what would have been Arif’s birthday? It has to be “Cut The Cake” by the Average White Band. OK fact fans, how many of you know that the Average White Band are in fact from Scotland?

This picture says two things to me 1) Caption Competition - come on readers do your worst and 2) I can't be bothered to think of anything amusing myself!

This picture says two things to me 1) Caption Competition - come on readers do your worst and 2) I can't be bothered to think of anything amusing myself!

The second and final of todays birthdays is that of Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 and +44. He is 37 today. Blink 182 is my son’s all time favourite band, so rest assured there will be yet another plug for his band later in this post! Hoppus plays bass and provides vocals for both Blink and +44. In addition to these talents he has also produced other bands such as New Found Glory and Motion City Soundtrack. These are exciting days for Blink fans with the band now back together following their reconciliation after Travis Barker’ horrific air crash earlier this year. They must be playing the UK surely, how about Reading and Leeds in August, any ideas? Mark was apparently conned out of half a million dollars last year by two people who offered him a deal in the development of automated checkouts for McDonalds. They were right cheating burgers weren’t they? Anyway here is Mark with the other Blink boys in the video for “What’s My Age Again?

Mark knew that the rest of the band were incredibly jealous of his invisible stool

Mark knew that the rest of the band were incredibly jealous of his invisible stool

So onto that shameless plug for my son’s band. They’re called ‘Steal The Smile’ and you just need to click here to go to their MySpace page. Let me know what you think of them too. My son Luke is the guitarist and singer. And remaining with Blink 182 for a moment, Luke met Tom DeLonge after his Angels and Airwaves set at the Reading Festival in August 2007!

On this day in 1986 the Bangles were at number 2 in the UK singles chart with “Manic Monday” The song was actually written by Prince using the pseudonym Christopher Nevermind. In a bizarre twist of fate the song was stalled at number two in the US chart, it was held off the top spot by none other than Prince himself with the classic song “Kiss”. I must confess I really dislike the Tom Jones cover of “Kiss” that he did with the Art Of Noise. What do you think of it? Here are the Bangles with “Manic Monday

This was probably the smallest stage the girls had ever played on, particularly as there was only room for three of them

This was probably the smallest stage the girls had ever played on, particularly as there was only room for three of them

And finally for today on this day in 1992 the Beastie Boys appeared at the Marquee Club in London. The Beasties started life in 1979 as a hardcore punk band called the Young Aborigines. They became a fully fledged rap crew after Rick Rubin signed them to the Def Jam label in the early 80s. They released the classic album ‘Licensed To Ill in 1986′ It became the first rap album to top the Billboard album charts in the US and went on to be the biggest selling rap album of the 80s. Arguably the band are the best white rappers there have ever been. Eminem and his fans may disagree but surely Vanilla Ice and his fan won’t? There is expected to be a new album from the boys later this year, tentatively titled “Tadlock’s Glasses’ To finish todays post here are the Beastie Boys with the rather good “Ch-Check It Out

Surprisingly the Beasties play the game for men with small balls

Surprisingly the Beasties play the game for men with small balls

 

 
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