With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Stepping out from a backdrop poster wishing life wouldn’t be so dull” Blog Advent Calendar Day 22 December 22, 2014


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It’s the 22nd December and I reckon some kids can already hear the reindeer pulling hard on the old bearded weird one’s sleigh. That means of course that we are now up to Day 22 of this years advent calendar blog posts. The 22nd letter of the alphabet is ‘V’ so todays entry in the ABC of British bands is Visage.

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Visage were formed in 1978 by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan after the pair had hosted club nights at the Blitz night club in London. They were really keen to find new music to play to their paying punters and finally they opted on producing their own. Egan recruited Midge Ure who he had worked with in the Rich Kids and the three of them recorded a cover of the Zager and Evans one hit wonder from 1969, “In The Year 2525”. The band’s line-up was then enhanced with keyboard player Billy Currie off of Ultravox and three former members of Magazine; John McGeoch, Barry Adamson and Dave Formula.

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Their first album, entitled ‘Visage’ was released in November 1980. It made the top 20 in Austria, France, New Zealand and the UK. It also climbed to the top of the German album charts. The band’s highest charting album in the UK was 1982’s ‘The Anvil’ which reached number 6. “Tar” was their first single and it failed to chart when released in 1979. However the second single was “Fade To Grey” which was a hit across the world. It made the top ten in Austria, France, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK. It hit the number one spot in Germany and Switzerland. None of their other singles have been anywhere near as successful.

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Earlier this month the band released an album called ‘Orchestral’ which has reworkings of their best songs by a symphony orchestra. In 2009 Rusty Egan and Steve Strange appeared in Living TV’s ‘Pop Goes The Band’ where former bands are given a make over and return the favour by undertaking a one-off performance. Strange also appeared in an episode of classic TV series ‘Ashes To ashes’ playing “Fade To Grey” in the Blitz club with Visage II keyboard player Sandrine Gouriou. That episode was set in 1981. Steve can also be seen, along with other Blitz regulars, in the 1980 video for David Bowie’s UK number one, “Ashes To Ashes”. Now it’s time for you to relive those Blitz days and maybe get yourself blitzed with eggnog while listening to Visage.

 

 

“I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voodoo man” Blog Advent Calendar Day 11 December 11, 2014


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December 11th, what a kinky day this is going to be. It is day 11 in this years advent calendar blog post series which regular readers will know is the ABC of British bands. The 11th letter of the alphabet is ‘K’ so todays band is the Kinks and that is why it is a Kinky day!

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Brothers Ray and Dave Davies along with friend Pete Quaife formed the band in Muswell Hill, London in 1963. In spite of the sometimes acrimonious relationship between the Davies brothers the band kept going for more than 30 years before finally calling it a day in 1996. The band had their first UK chart hit in 1964 with “You Really Got Me” which went to number one. This song is often credited with being the first heavy metal riff. (Although the phrase ‘heavy metal’ was allegedly first heard a few years later in the lyrics of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild”). The Kinks had two further UK number one singles; “Tired Of Waiting” in 1965 and “Sunny Afternoon” in 1966. They also climbed to the top of the singles charts in Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium and New Zealand. I can only assume that the band were a little too English for the Americans. Their first US singles chart hit came in 1981.

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Ray and Dave Davies were the 7th and 8th children in their family, the first six were all girls. Their sister Rene died on Ray’s 13th birthday. She had given him his first guitar as a present that day. The band took their name after hearing the word kinky used in British 1960s TV show ‘The Avengers’. Pete Townshend off of the Who once said that Ray Davies was his favourite songwriter of all time. Whilst Marianne Faithfull said that Ray was ‘Very Gothic, creepy and silent. Uptight and fearful of everyone’. Either way I am definitely a fan of the Kinks and I would like you to take some time out to enjoy a selection of their best songs.

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“Viva La Fiesta” October 2, 2011

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 6:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The UK number one single this week is “Loca People” by Spanish DJ Sak Noel. It has already made the top spot in Denmark, Holland and Belgium and top 5 in Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. It seems to be the first holiday hit in ages that has hammered the UK charts after getting played all over Europe. Frankly it’s a lot better than some of the crap that achieved the same in the 70s. Does anyone remember “Y Viva Espana”?

The vocal and indeed the superb ‘what the fuck’ line is delivered by Esthera Sarita. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the track, personally I’m loving it!

 

“Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, this time I’m coming down” August 17, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. I haven’t posted for a while but this week’s furore over the NHS drew me back to the keyboard. Essentially many right wing politicians in the US who clearly don’t understand Obama’s health reforms have been scaremongering by pointing out the terrible state of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Many of the comparisons they have made between US Healthcare and the NHS are at best inaccurate and at worst outright fabrication! The argument was then compounded by a complete twat (copyright Dave Cameron) of a Tory MEP garnering himself an appearance on US TV to criticise the NHS. Before you wade into this debate from an American point of view I would suggest that you complete just a modicum of research. Firstly read this article from the Guardian which answers a number of the points raised by Republican politicians, click here to read it.

You should also watch Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” which offers a brilliant comparison of US versus European Healthcare. But then if you’re a right wing politician in the US you certainly won’t watch anything from Michael Moore will you? Wasn’t the best right wing criticism of Moore a couple of years ago that he was a rich, fat, white man? Hold on a cotton picking minute here, that description could apply to many Republican politicians as well surely.

Also for those of you who fell for the argument that Stephen Hawking would not have survived if he had not been American. He is British, his voice box happens to have an American accent! He himself has said that he would not be here if it wasn’t for the NHS.

In my opinion the NHS does a fantastic job. If I were to fall ill in the UK I know I would be treated regardless of whether I have health insurance. That would not be the case in the US. Millions of people in the US are unable to afford private healthcare. If we consider ourselves part of a caring society we should not even consider leaving these people outside the system!

The doctors and nurses from the NHS that treated my father before he died from Lung Cancer back in 2001 did a fantastic job. I have a friend who is an A & E nurse in the north, you would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated healthcare professional. The NHS like any large organisation is not perfect, however before you jump to conclusions get your facts right!

OK rant over, this is essentially a music blog after all and I thought I’d link to a few medical related songs to tie in. I hope you like them! Oh and as usual there is a tidbit of trivia for each one!

Doctor Doctor” – Thompson Twins. Did you know that no one in the band was called Thompson? In fact they took their name from the two detectives in Herge’s Adventures Of Tin Tin. I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation of that, are you? Is it true that along with Poirot, Tin Tin is the only other famous Belgian ever? If any Belgians are reading this please add a comment to put me right, name some famous Belgians that aren’t fictional characters

Belgian? This looks like two British MPs on holiday to me

Belgian? This looks like two British MPs on holiday to me

The Medicine Song” – Stephanie Mills. Stephanie was married to Jeffrey Daniel off of Shalamar for a short period. Jeffrey is the man who taught Michael Jackson to Moonwalk and Stephanie was also romantically linked to Jacko when they appeared together in the late 70s adaptation of the Wizard of Oz called the Wiz! Now that’s what I call a link!

See Jacko really did used to be just an ordinary black kid (with an extraordinary talent though!)

See Jacko really did used to be just an ordinary black kid (with an extraordinary talent though!)

Night Nurse” – Gregory Isaacs. The Cool Ruler in my opinion had the potential to be a third world superstar along the lines of Bob Marley. However it was the lines that put paid to it, Gregory had a serious cocaine addiction which badly affected his voice at times and also caused the loss of most of his teeth.

Gregory wears a hat like that and looks cool, if I wore a hat like that I'd look like a twat (copyright Dangerous Dave Cameron)

Gregory wears a hat like that and looks cool, if I wore a hat like that I'd look like a twat (copyright Dangerous Dave Cameron)

Knocking On Heaven’s Door” – Bob Dylan. Mr Zimmerman wrote this song for the soundtrack of the 1973 film ‘Pat Garrett an Billy the Kid” and it is one of his most covered songs. Perhaps the best known covers are from Eric Clapton and Guns ‘N’ Roses although let’s not forget that Ruth Lorenzo also covered it on X Factor. On second thoughts let’s forget! 

Bob seems to have taken Johnny Cash's advice and is trying to steal a car one piece at a time

Bob seems to have taken Johnny Cash's advice and is trying to steal a car one piece at a time

Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye. Following my earlier comments about Belgium I should point out that this song was in fact recorded in Ostend in Belgium! It has also been covered by many people from Phish to Kate Bush. Click here to hear Kate’s wonderful version.

Marvin auditions for the Village People with the YMCA dance

Marvin auditions for the Village People with the YMCA dance

The Drugs Don’t Work” – The Verve. This song gave the band their first UK number one single. At various times Richard Ashcroft has said that the song is about his addiction, the death of his father or his love for his wife.

The drugs don't work? Indeed boys, indeed! ;-)

The drugs don't work? Indeed boys, indeed! 😉

Heal The Pain” – George Michael. My favourite George Michael album is ‘Patience’ (I guess that kind of fits with the medical theme too…………. think about it!) One of the tracks from the album caused a great deal of controversy when the video was released. The track was “Shoot The Dog” and it showed Tony Blair as George W Bush’s poodle. Hmmmmmm so what’s wrong with that then, it was true wasn’t it? Click on the song title to check out the video and make up your own mind. Incidentally there might be a prize for the first person to tell me which song George samples on the track

George heals the pain (well I think that's what he's doing) of the other bloke off of Wham

George heals the pain (well I think that's what he's doing) of the other bloke off of Wham

Doctor My Eyes” – Jackson Browne. This song has been covered a few times, most notably by the Jackson 5 in 1973, click here to hear their version. Jackson Browne himself recently won his case against John McCain and the Republican party for using his song “Running On Empty” without his permission.

So no chance of John McCain getting through that door then, thankfully!

So no chance of John McCain getting through that door then, thankfully!

Bad Medicine” – Bon Jovi. Jon BonJovi played in a band called Raze at school and later he went on to play in a covers band called Atlantic City Expressway. Also when he first left school he worked in a women’s shoe shop. Is that a fetish thing maybe?

Jon's hair transplant was a moderate success, he had wanted more on his head really. Oh nad please, no searches for naked Jon BonJovi as a result of this picture ok?

Jon's hair transplant was a moderate success, he had wanted more on his head really. Oh nad please, no searches for naked Jon BonJovi as a result of this picture ok?

Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” – Editors. The video was shot around Prague in the Czech Republic. The band were once named as the second biggest band of the decade by the Mail On Sunday. Actually I’m not sure that’s an accolade I’d want! Incidentally those cheeky chappies from Sheffield, the Arctic Monkeys were first

The band just before they were eaten by Triffids

The band just before they were eaten by Triffids

 

 
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