With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

2023 a trilogy by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu October 4, 2017


Ever since the hey days of those magnificent art terrorists Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond when they went under the various guises of the KLF, the Jamms, the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and the Timelords to name but a few I have been a fan. When they made the statement that the KLF had left the building in the early 90s they pretty much stood by it. Apart from the odd release “Fuck the Millennium” was one we never really heard from them. I can’t say that I loved everything Cauty and Drummond did, with the exception of everything released by the KLF of course. But burning a million quid? Seriously what did that achieve?

Anyway the boys are back with a novel which was launched with a three day ‘happening’ in Liverpool back in August. The book is ‘2023 – A Trilogy by the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu’. The blurb on the back cover describes the tale as “a utopian costume drama , set in the near future, written in the recent past”. It is clearly fiction and includes appearances from many people that you know, although not necessarily in the way they are portrayed in the story; John and Yoko, Banksy, Jonathan King, Extreme Noise Terror, Vladimir Putin, Michelle Obama, David Hockney, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Alan Moore, Aloysius Parker (off of Thunderbirds), Lady Gaga (or M’Lady Gaga), Azealia Banks, Will Gompertz, George Orwell, Lord Saatchi, Sam & Dave and of course Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond.

It is probably one of the weirdest books that I have ever read and I have read some weird stuff! There are some thought provoking moments and some proper laugh out loud elements. But it works and for me it works bloody well. Is it set in a parallel universe, an alternative future? Well yes and possibly. Was it worth the wait? Damned right it was. If I say much more about this book I will probably have to add some massive spoiler alerts. Is it the last we will here of Cauty and Drummond for another 23 years? I bloody hope not. Now go out and buy the book and listen to some classic KLF tracks.

 

“You wanted the best and you got the best” Blog Advent Calendar Day 21 December 21, 2014


utah saints

The 21st December you say? really? Blimey where did the time go? Anyway I just knew that something good was going to happen now that it is Day 21 in this years Advent calendar blog post series. regular readers will know that the theme this festive period is the ABC of British bands. Some of you may already have guessed who todays band is as I incorporated a clue earlier in this paragraph. Today is the turn of the Utah Saints who despite their name actually come from Leeds.

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The band played live often between 1991 and 2001 although their appearances since then are largely as DJs. Although they are still writing and recording and are supposedly working on their next album at the moment. Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt are the Utah Saints core and they really pioneered the use of sampling in pop music. they met when they were both music promoters and DJs for the Mix nightclub in Harrogate. In his inimitable style Bill Drummond off of the KLF described the Utah Saints as  “the first true stadium house band”. I’m not entirely sure what that means but it sounds good doesn’t it? They also built their own recording studio on the outskirts of Leeds which opened in 2008.

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The band’s first three singles all made the UK top ten from 1991 to 1993. Those releases were; “What Can You Do For Me” (1991), “Something Good” (1992) and “Believe In Me” (1993). Willis and Garbutt described these songs as their vocal sample trilogy. The songs sampled Gwen Guthrie, Eurythmics (“What Can You Do For Me”), Kate Bush (“Something Good”) and the Human League, Crown Heights Affair, Sylvester (“Believe In Me”). Despite persistent press stories these samples were all legally cleared. Kate Bush also let the band use clips from her video for “Cloudbusting” which is where the sample for “Something Good” comes from.

utahsaints

“Something Good” is their biggest hit to date. It peaked at number 4 in the UK singles chart and made the top 10 in Australia and Ireland. Interestingly it also made it to number seven in both the US Dance Charts and the US Modern Rock charts. does this make them truly genre-defying? I’d like to think so. They have released two albums so far (not including a mix album). The first was ‘Utah Saints’ which reached number 10 in the UK album charts in 1992. The follow-up was rather unimaginatively called ‘Two’. Sadly that one failed to chart when it came out in 2000. Now you can enjoy some of the Utah Saints finest beats and I hope that you enjoy them.

 

 

“If you criticize them I’ll know that you can see” Blog Advent Calendar Day 20 December 20, 2014


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Here we are in December’s 20’s already, it’s December 20th and Day 20 of this years advent calendar blog posts. Regular readers will know that this years theme is the ABC of British bands. The 20th letter of the alphabet as I hope all of you know is ‘T’. As a big fan of a certain fellow called Julian I have chosen the Teardrop Explodes for this post.

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Wikipedia describes the Teardrop Explodes as post-punk/ neo-psychedelic; what the fuck does that mean when it’s at home? Can a band not just be a good band or great band? I am guilty of slotting music into genres on occasions, but post-punk/ neo-psychedelic? That is more pretentious than a thousand Nigel Farage clones.

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Head Teardrop was Julian Cope, an artist who I really love. Dave Balfe was in the band, he went on to set up Food Records. Troy Tate who later produced the Smiths was also a Teardrop. The band formed in the rather incestuous music scene in Liverpool in 1978. The band signed to Zoo Records which was run by Dave Balfe and future KLF man Bill Drummond. Part of the appeal of the Teardrop Explodes for me was the eccentricity and fragility of Julian Cope. He once said “”I was goaded into becoming a rock star by Bill Drummond and the pseudo-intellectual side of me thought it would be quite charming.”

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They were always more of a cult band given their limited chart success. Although their single “Reward” is a mainstay of many 80s compilation albums. It was also the bands highest charting single, reaching number 6 in the UK charts in 1981. Their first album, released in 1980 was ‘Kilimanjaro’ from which they eventually released five singles. Aside from compilations they released another two albums; ‘Wilder’ in 1981 and after the band came together again briefly in the late 80s ‘Everybody Wants To Shag The Teardrop Explodes’ in 1990.

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The band took their name from a frame in a Marvel comic. Daredevil # 77 to be precise. Will the band ever get back together? Probably not, when Julian Cope was asked that question some years ago he replied; “Would you ever return to having your mother wipe your asshole?”. The Freshies featuring Chris Sievey who went on to become Frank Sidebottom released a single in 1981 called “I Can’t Get ‘Bouncing Babies’ By The Teardrop Explodes”.

 

 

“Move to the flow of the pyramid blaster” – Advent post day 3 December 3, 2013


8162440-number-3--christmas-tree-decoration--part-of-a-full-set

Are you ready to open the next box on the advent calendar? What delightful chocolate awaits us? well none actually because this is the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent Calendar blog post for 3rd December so instead of chocolate you’ll get two songs. Incidentally what advent calendar do you have at home? Does it contain sweets or chocolate? Mine is a Spiderman one and Catwoman, my lovely wife, has a Maltesers calendar.

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

The first of todays number themed songs is the Commodores smash hit from 1978, “Three Times A Lady”. The song which was written by Lionel Richie was a number one in the UK and the US. It comes from their album ‘Natural High’. Personally I preferred their more funky efforts and this song for me saw the band and indeed Mr Richie plunge into some bland identikit ballad territory. Songs such as “Still” and “Hello” just didn’t do it for me. I do love a good ballad though and the Commodores have some that are far better than “Three Times A Lady”. In particular “Just To Be Close To You”. “Three Times A Lady” has been covered by artists as diverse as Cobra Starship, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty and Bill Bailey. Bill included a German translation of the song in his Part Troll live show. I first saw the Commodores when they supported the Jackson 5 in 1972. Yes I really am that old!

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The second song on todays posts comes from one of my favourite acts of all time; the Kopyright Liberation Front, better known as the KLF and sometimes the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu or the JAMMs. This sadly short-lived band was the brainchild of Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty. Drummond co-founded Zoo Records and was also manager of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. In addition to the music the KLF were also infamous for acts of art terrorism which included burning a million pounds on a remote Scottish island. The song I have chosen is the bands only UK number one as the KLF “3 a.m. Eternal (Live At The S.S.L)” from 1990. They also hit the UK number one spot in 1988 as the Timelords with “Doctorin’ The Tardis“. This was apparently achieved by following the rules set out in their book; ‘The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way)’. Remaining true to their words Cauty and Drummond by withdrawing their back catalogue from sale. This remains the case for most of the world, although some copies of their output are produced via Arista in the USA.

Pyramid_Blaster

 

“What else is in the teaches of peaches?” August 2, 2013


This is a public service announcement; if you are easily offended by the word FUCK then please read no further. You have been fucking warned ok!

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I usually listen to my iPod in shuffle mode when I walk from the car to the office every morning. It gives me a good ten minute blast of tunes before I start the day. This morning up popped Eamon with his UK number one from 2004 “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)” I believe that is the first UK number one to feature the F Word in its title. It even generated an answer song in response from Frankee. That was called “FURB (Fuck You Right Back)”. It got me thinking a few things first that FUCK is a rather good word when used in the right context isn’t it?

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The word has featured in plenty of songs; “Working Class Hero” from John Lennon and the MC5 introduced their storming live version of “Kick Out The Jams” with the line ‘kick out the jams motherfuckers!’ The word has perhaps been a little overused by rappers too. But secondly it got me thinking what are my favourite songs with the word fuck in the title. Here are my top choices (plus Eamon and Frankee’s efforts) what are yours?

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fuck-you-i-am-cat

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“Bless my cotton socks I’m in the news” October 17, 2010


Earlier this week I finished reading the two volumes of Julian Cope‘s autobiography; ‘Head-On‘ and ‘Reposessed’ and I enjoyed them both immensely. I was no more than a casual fan of the Teardrop Explodes, although the fact that their name originated from a Marvel comic certainly sparked some interest in me. I always felt they were far better than some of the over-produced cack that the early 80s pumped out (Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran etc)

 

Julian cope struggles to find his guitar which opted for the hide in plain sight option

 

I got into Julian’s solo output in the early 90s, which is after the period that the two books cover. ‘Head-On’ runs up to 1982 and ‘Repossessed’ from 1983 to 1989. Both books are incredibly open and honest and Julian bares both his soul and his feelings regularly. I think he comes across as a great bloke, who stays loyal to his friends, know’s his enemies and is very, very much in love with his wife Dorian. Incidentally a friend of mine (thank you Mr Hayhurst) once met Dorian at a Black Crowes gig, he said she was lovely.

 

Clearly too much acid can leave your eyes fried!

 

I got a real sense from his writing that he really knows who he is, although perhaps he didn’t in the early days, and where he wants to go. I was also very pleasantly surprised to read about his interest in toy collecting, in particular toy cars. They say that all of us men revert to childhood as we get older and perhaps that’s why my comic collection appears to be growing at the same rate as Julian’s toy collection did!

The book includes some great pieces on many of the people involved in the Liverpool scene of the late 70s/ early 80s; Echo and the Bunnymen‘s Ian McCulloch and Pete DeFrietas, Pete Burns (eventually off of Dead Or Alive), Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford (eventually off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Pete Wylie (off of various incarnations of Wah) and Bill Drummond (eventually off of one of my favourite 90s acts; the KLF)

 

When times were hard Julian would play anywhere with anyone!

 

The stories of touring America are on a par with Ian Hunter’s fabulous ‘Diary Of A Rock N Roll Star’ which is probably my favourite biographical rock book ever! As for the stories of Mr Cope’s solo tours in Japan, well they are just bloody hilarious. So if you like a good rock music book check these out! I am an even bigger fan after reading these books and finally in the words of Julian himself ‘Awlright!’

So before you take a look at the videos and sounds below check out Julian’s excellent Head Heritage site.

 

“Exterminate! Bosh bosh bosh loads of money” April 21, 2010


I thought I’d better post and tell you of the somewhat bizarre experience I had on my journey to work this morning. But I should warn you that it registers very high on the Boreometer (according to Catwoman anyway!) I was travelling to Sheffield for an all day meeting (how dull is that?). But the all day meeting wasn’t the bizarre part, that happened when I arrived at Sheffield Railway Station. I headed towards the taxi rank and saw a crowd of people outside. Obviously curiosity got the better of me (but that comes from living with Catwoman) and I had to investigate. 

When I saw what all the fuss was about I was quite excited, but many of you would have wanted to hide behind the sofa at this point. I could hardly believe my eyes, there were three Daleks on the station concourse. Apparently they were on their way back to Skaro when they were obviously grounded by the volcanic ash cloud, but one of them did say that they were expecting to be picked up by the Royal Navy at any time soon. Sadly the Doctor was nowhere to be seen. But you can see the story on the BBC site by clicking here 

How do the Daleks know who's who? Well obviously they have names; Meet Derek, Dennis, Deano and Dave

 

In reality they were there to promote a new Dr Who game that will be available free from the BBC in June. I tried to get an autograph, but let’s face it how would a Dalek hold the pen. I did come away with a poster, a postcard and a pen though. You can see more of the New Daleks on the BBC site, just click here. I also had a behind the curtain Wizard of Oz type experience when I saw the man who provides the Dalek voice, Nick Briggs, standing behind a curtain speaking on their behalf. So I guess they’re not real after all, or maybe I’m just back in Kansas! 

So as I have said before this is a music blog so I’ll finish with a few related songs; 

Doctor Who Theme” – Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The original theme from the 60s and the best in my opinion. Also includes some great Tardis sound effects. 

“Doctorin’ The Tardis” – The Timelords. This was in fact the KLF also known as the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu also known as Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty. They recorded this song based on their book ‘The Manual’ which was basically a set of instructions to make a number one record. Guess what? This did indeed reach the top of the charts in the UK 

Tom Baker” – Human League. This is a B Side from relatively early in their career 

And to finish let’s pay a visit to the Gay Daleks! 

And those regular readers may have noticed that this blog now contains embedded videos, yep I upgraded 🙂

 

 
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