With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“If I go there will be trouble and if I stay it will be double” June 5, 2016


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Obviously most of you are aware that there is a referendum looming for us folk in the UK. It is a vote on whether we as a country should stay a part of the European Union or whether we should leave and go it alone. Personally I fundamentally disagree with the need for a referendum; if an elected government can’t make big decisions then why are they there? Give the people a referendum on all big decisions from keeping Trident to MPs pay. That would be much fairer and a true reflection of what people want. But no; we are lumbered with making a massive decision on a subject that no one really knows the answer to Just listen to all the drivel spouted by both the Brexit (incidentally I despise that invented word) and Remain camps. If anyone truly understands this decision and all its implications then I have never heard of them. Do I understand it? Of course not, although in some sleepless moments I might think that I do. But I am enjoying the spectacle of the Tory party tearing itself apart over it. Anyway I thought I would put a helpful list together of the reasons to vote Remain and the reasons to vote Brexit on June 23rd. I hope that you like it and feel free to add to it and share your opinion. I have also added a referendum poll if you wish to cast a vote here. Oh and obviously there is some (in)appropriate music too. Feel free to suggest your own referendum stay or leave songs.

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Reasons to vote Remain

Reasons to vote Brexit

1 Brexit is a shit word concoction which shows no imagination 1 We might do better in the Eurovision contest as an outsider
2 Boris Johnson will be upset David Cameron will lose his job
3 Michael Gove will be upset 3 David Cameron will be upset
Nigel Farage will be angry and upset 4 Gideon will lose his job
5 It will annoy the Biffers of Britain First and their ilk immensely 5 Gideon will be upset
6 Donald Trump won’t like it 6 UKIP will have no reason to exist
7 To stop Boris Johnson succeeding in his reality TV interview for the Prime Minister’s job 7 Millions of UK ex pats will be returned to the UK from Europe. (Incidentally why aren’t they called immigrants?)
8 To cling on to a very thin chance to ditch the unelected House of Lords 8 To lose all the lovely foreign folk that clean for us, work in our essential services, pick our food and serve our food. You know those people that do the jobs no native of this country wants to do
9 To cling on to a slim chance of seeing the end of the monarchy in the UK 9 Daily Mail readers will be happy
10 Scotland will remain a part of the UK 10 Scotland will leave the UK
11 More austerity 11 More austerity
12 To maintain a Tory government 12 To maintain a Tory government
13 The England football team will still be shit 13 The England football team will still be shit
14 This whole bloody farce of a referendum will finally be over 14 This whole bloody farce of a referendum will finally be over

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Reading Festival 2014 – The Preview August 18, 2014


leeds-festival-2014

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!

If you squint you can just about spot the Zimmer Twins in that crowd!

 

 

The Tuts – Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Thursday 27th March 2014 March 28, 2014


tuts - wharf chambersThe Tuts are headlining their own exclusive UK tour in some excellent and intimate venues. I had the opportunity to see them play live again last night. The last time I saw them they were supporting Kate Nash at Fibbers in York back in early 2013. Things have gone well for them since then. They have another EP out next month and an album next year. I can hardly wait! On top of that they met the great Billy Bragg at Glasto last year and he has bagged them a slot on the left field stage for this years Glasto. If you’re there in June DO NOT MISS THEM! THAT IS AN ORDER!

jesusandhisjudgementalfatherAnyway more of the Tuts later, because they also had some great support. Unfortunately I only caught the last song from Elopes but they did sound pretty feisty. Sorry folks I’ll blame the train for missing your set. The other support band won me over with their name before they had even played a note. They are called Jesus And His Judgemental Father. How good is that name? Often when seeing a band for the first time, especially if I’ve not heard them before, I look for influences. I did that with Jesus And His Judgemental Father (I just felt like repeating that excellent name! For me there were shades of the Beat, Blink 182, 80s metal, the Pogues and I could probably come up with more. But for every small trace of influences they show they have stacks more originality. Harriet from the Tuts said that they sounded like the type of band that might appear at the High School dance in an 80s or 90s teen horror flick. That works for me. They are a really tight and very together band with a fabulously talented guitarist. The drummer showed support for Pussy Riot with the bright red balaclava. Given the chance I will definitely pay to see this band again and I bought their album last night too. It’s bloody good!

tutsandjenIt was fantastic to see the Tuts headlining at last. They are well worth that top slot. Fun, funky, punky and different they are the Tuts and there is no one quite like them. Their cover of the Clash’sRudie Can’t Fail” would make Joe Strummer proud. They were even joined on stage by Jen Doveton, Harriet’s sister from Colour Me Wednesday for one song. Their own songs top tunes. I was still singing “Tut Tut Tut” in my head when I woke up this morning and “Dump Your Boyfriend” has probably been number one in the charts for weeks in a parallel universe where there is no shit like the X Factor on TV. These girls ooze talent and charisma and if they don’t make it to even bigger stages and audiences soon then there is no justice. Harriet, Bev and Nadia good luck with the rest of the tour, Glastonbury and York in October. I need more details about the latter obviously! If the Tuts are playing in a venue near you just get off your lazy arse and go and see them. You will not regret it!

They might look like angels but they rock like fuck when they're on stage!

They might look like angels but they rock like fuck when they’re on stage!

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“Yesterdays shatter, tomorrows don’t matter” December 30, 2011


I always used to think that it was TV stars whose careers had faded considerably that turned up in pantomime roles each year. Maybe the Milkman from Eastenders or the Lollipop Lady from Coronation Street. That of course is still the case, but now the list includes a few music related stars. One of whom is very talented in my opinion the others are probably the most talentless act to have arisen in the entertainment industry.

Firstly the beautiful Clare Grogan once off of Altered Images has appeared in the Glasgow production of Sleeping Beauty at the Kings Theatre. Meanwhile those talentless pop muppet X Factor rejects Jedward are appearing in a version of Jack and the Beanstalk in Dublin. It is called Jedward and the Beanstalk. To be fair there may be some typecasting there as Jack was a bit thick wasn’t he? One half of Jedward even crowd surfed the young fans at the stage door. Oh what joy it would be for them to appear at Reading and Leeds in 2012. I can almost picture the bottles of piss being loaded as soon as that announcement is made!

Anyway to finish enjoy a couple of excellent songs from the beautiful Clare Grogan in her days with Altered Images and cover your ears for an excruciatingly bad cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” by Jedward.

 

“Good evening this is the Intergalactic Operator, can I help you?” April 27, 2011


I have always been a big fan of space exploration and I remain extremely disappointed that the Apollo programme was ended way to soon. The last time a man set foot on the moon was 38 years ago in 1973. Since the first moon landing in 1969 only 12 men have set foot on any piece of land which isn’t the Earth. The big programmes since Apollo have been the Space Shuttle, which is very close to retirement, the International Space Station, now largely supplied by the Russians and SETI. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence are the words that lend themselves to the SETI acronym.

For me the Shuttle was never a good replacement for the Apollo Programme and whilst it was and remains a brilliant act of international cooperation the International Space Station is hardly a mission to Mars is it? However the principles behind SETI have always meant a lot to me. An organisation and network set up with the aim of being there for any communication from alien civilisations is really exciting, isn’t it? If you’ve seen the Jodie Foster movie ‘Contact‘ then you’ll know how important and difficult it could be. do I believe that there are alien civilisations out there? Yes I do. How about you?

Anyway let me get back to the purpose of todays post; it appears that the SETI Institute has run out of money. Just how sad is that? Still as long as we leave an appropriate answer machine message we’ll be fine won’t we? I feel really let down that we have come to this. Can we not find a few billionaires with some spare cash to keep SETI in operation? read the report here in the Guardian.

So as I have said many times before this is a music blog so here are a few appropriate songs for this sad story, feel free to submit your own;

 

“It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there, it’s hard to believe that I’m all alone” November 1, 2010


Hardly Wodka from Varrington is it?

This post will be made up of just a random selection of stuff, starting with P Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Sean Puffy Combs aka Sean Combs etc. etc. Anyway Mr Diddyman has been the face of Ciroc vodka for some time and as an advertising campaign that has been rather successful. Pre Diddy sales were 60,000 cases per year and Post Diddy sales are 400,000 cases per year. Now that is a result! (Thank you to those nice people over at Popbitch for that information.

Some wonderful X Factor news to report. Joe McElderry‘s new single entered the UK chart at number 6 and then dropped to 20 a couple of weeks back! RESULT!

Now for some rather more amusing X Factor news. Did you watch Diana Vickers perform her new single on the show recently? Did you have any idea what she was singing about? No nor did I. But worry no more for help is at hand, click here to see it translated and watch carefully for the blatant steal from the Red Hot Chilli PeppersUnder The Bridge“.

Then there is some really weird news from the world of X Factor. Jedward have spent £3,000 on a bed sheet that was signed by Michael Jackson and MaCaulay Culkin. Whatever you might have thought of Jacko, that certainly seems a strange thing to do. Sleep innocently with a young ‘friend’ and then sign the sheet with them. But for me paying £3,000 for the sheet is even stranger! Read the story in the Guardian here.

Jedward audition for a part in a remake of the Deadly Bees

Meanwhile a final X Factor related story, Elton John has given his opinion of the show. He describes it as ‘boring, arse-paralysingly brain-crippling’ I have to say that I do agree with him, I just wish it wasn’t so bloody addictive! Read his comments in the Guardian by clicking here.

Here’s a great clip from a 1966 movie ‘The Deadly Bees‘ featuring the Birds proto R & B/ Mod band featuring Mr Ronnie Wood off of the Faces and the Rolling Stones. There has to be a joke about the Birds and the Bees here doesn’t there?

Did you ever wonder what kind of backstage riders your favourite bands have? Well check out a Blink 182 rider here at the Smoking Gun website. I guess there are not many bands who want X Rated lesbian porn and boxer shorts are there?

Finally check out this song from an artist that is very new to me, Lauren Pritchard. It’s called “Not The Drinking”

 

Reading Festival 2010 – Day 3, Sunday 29th August August 30, 2010


Off to the NME/ Radio tent to kick off our third day at the Reading Festival, where we saw the Joy Formidable and they were indeed a formidable joy, if you’ve not heard them you really should check them out. After that it was back to the BBC Introducing Stage to see another band from Wakefield (remember the Penguins from yesterdays post?) These guys were called the Runaround Kids and I felt that they had a bit of the Undertones about them, the vocalist also has a similar style to Luke from Reading band Steal The Smile. Next up it was Local Natives from Los Angeles and this was their first Reading appearance. I am pretty damned sure that it won’t be the last for these purveyors of great summer pop harmonies. We trundled back to the BBC Introducing Stage again after that for another local band; the Peers. Very much a local band done good, they are a really tight band and seemed incredibly well rehearsed.Los Campesinos have as many personnel as Arcade Fire and are not dissimilar in sound, a very good band indeed.

After our earlier experience in the Comedy Tent (aka Alternative Stage) we returned to see two comics in a row. First up was Charlie Baker from Devon and bears a striking resemblance to Jack Black and he uses this as part of his act, genuinely a funny guy. Secondly we saw Robin Ince; a great ‘leftie’ comedian. We actually hit the comedy tent to get out of the rain, but in spite of that Baker and Ince were bloody hilarious.

The Festival Republic Stage was the next to be graced with our presence, we went there because neither Nick or I could be bothered with Limp Bizkit on the Main Stage. At this point let me tell you Nick’s Limp Bizkit joke; “Do you know that you can now put Viagra in your tea to stop your biscuit going limp?” Boom! Boom! Anyway back to the Festival Republic Stage, the band are from Philadelphia and are called Free Energy. Sadly it was a small crowd, but these guys could work a crowd of almost any size I reckon. The lead singer was very Jaggeresque and came across like Bobby Gillespie with more funk than Primal Scream. In a nutshell an archetypal classic rock band, truly fucking amazing.

Back to the Introducing Stage yet again for the Brilliant Things. The singer appeared to have dressed for the prom or was perhaps a fan of Stevie Nicks‘ (off of Fleetwood Mac) sartorial style. Thanks to Mr H for pointing out that latter suggestion. None of that was meant as negative though, the Brilliant Things are clearly a very good band. Kele off of Bloc Party was next in the NME/ Radio 1 Tent. Electro funk and dance styles really suit him, although I’m not sure the pyjamas did though. But nonetheless he played a storming set and worked his audience really well. Exit International were then on the Introducing Stage. They played screaming hard rock with perhaps too much emphasis on the screaming. It makes you wonder though exactly how the fuck three people can make such noise.

Weezer would easily win the best crowd interaction and comedy awards for the festival if such awards exist. The singer wore a cat hat given to him by someone in the crowd for most of their set. His energy was truly phenomenal and he even found time to fall in the mud while dressed as Lady Gaga. That was during their excellent MGMT cover which had a touch of Gaga thrown in. I am looking forward to seeing them again someday too. Paramore were next, they were very good and had a strong fan base in the crowd. Personally I thought they would have fitted better if they had been on before Weezer. Hayley’s voice was a little too low in the mix for the first couple of songs. The crowd really loved them.

Finally it was time for the last headline band of this years festival and most of us in the crowd had been in position since just before Weezer’s set, those at the front had been there even longer. Yes the stage was set for the return of Blink 182. I had never seen them live before, although I had seen Mark Hoppus with +44 (Travis had a broken arm that tour so didn’t appear, I never had the chance to see Tom Delonge’s Angels And Airwaves. But however good these Blink offshoots were they were surely nowhere near as good as the sum of the original parts. Their stage set, including some strange rabbit animations and a brilliant light show was excellent, but it was the power and camaraderie of the band that really shone through. They played a blistering set, just allowing a few moments of quite amusing toilet humour style banter between songs, including a great dig at Jedward. the crowd were really fired up and everyone I spoke to really loved it.

What a great close to a great festival. although when I first saw the line up back in March I thought I’d be disappointed, I even thought this might be my last Reading. Well I wasn’t and it won’t be! Roll on Reading 2011. Who will the headliners be? I don’t know but my guess at the moment is that it could be Linkin Park and maybe Green Day. I’d be happy with either of those. Who would you like to see there next year?

 

Reading Festival 2010 – The Preview August 26, 2010


Tomorrow morning dear readers I will be travelling to the Reading Festival. Now for those of you from outside the UK who think this might have something to do with books, well it doesn’t, it’s all about rock music, with a dash of dance and comedy. I have been in attendance for more years than I care to recall now, many of those with my good friend Nick Horslen and that partnership is maintained this year once again.

I intend to provide you with a review post of the festival, but whether that will need to wait until Monday or Tuesday depends on the connectivity! The headliners this year are a really eclectic selection in my opinion. Friday night is Guns N Roses, who let’s face it aren’t Guns N Roses anymore are they? Saturday night brings Canada’s Arcade Fire, who I think are very good but a somewhat strange choice for headliners, but they are good friends of David Bowie and he has appeared on stage with them before, so my fingers are firmly crossed. Then to close on Sunday night it’s the turn of reformed pop punkers Blink 182. They are my son’s favourite band of all time, so he will certainly have a great festival and maybe in a few years we will get to see him play the hallowed Reading stage with his band Steal The Smile.

OK so here’s the deal, if you can’t make the festival, check the festival website then comment on this post and tell me the bands you’d like me to check out on your behalf and if I can fit them in I will. But if you are there feel free to get in touch via the blog, maybe I’ll even let you provide a guest review 🙂

 

“When you know your heart is light, electric is the love” May 29, 2010


So here we are on another UK Public Holiday weekend and guess what? It’s raining. Someone once said to me that there is an easy way to tell when it’s summer in the UK. Do you know how? Well it’s quite simple really, the rain is warm! So here I am stuck indoors so I thought I’d put together a slightly random post that captures a lot of the stuff I have been meaning to blog about for a while, so here goes.

Steal The Smile contemplate doing a cover of Blinded By The Light

Firstly way back on the 13th May I finally got to see my son Luke play a gig with his band Steal The Smile. They were the second band on that night in the FaceBar at Reading. The band on before them were, and I’m being nice here, in need of an awful lot more practice. Apologies to the bands that followed, but we left for some scoff at TGI Fridays! Steal The Smile played a great six song set which included some of their older and newer stuff along with the obligatory Blink 182 cover. I can tell you that all the boys in the band are looking forward to seeing Blink at the Reading Festival in August. It was a real pity that Steal The Smile were once again badly let down by a promoter in that they had to hang around for three hours for a sound check that never actually materialised and by the time they played there were nowhere near as many people as there could have been. The band wasn’t paid for this gig, but I bet the promoter was! What is it with promoters, and I use the term loosely here, who simply book a venue and some bands and do bugger all else? Is it a stupid assumption that promoters ought to promote? I think not! So if there are any good promoters out there (i.e those with brain cells that at least run into double figures) then get in touch with the boys and book them! You can find them on Facebook and MySpace. Keep visiting too, as there is a revamp being lined up and possibly a lot of new stuff!

Steal The Smile live at the FaceBar in Reading May 13th 2010

There were a couple of quite amusing moments during their set. Firstly the sound guy was trying to speak to them over the sound of the music and clearly couldn’t make himself heard. It did make me wonder how much he actually knew about sound! So finally Luke just gave the instruction “Articulate” like a rock n roll Dalek, needless to say there was still no response from Mr Sound. The other part was just before the final song when Luke said “This is the point in the show where I usually tell the audience how beautiful they are. But with a large part of the audience being my Dad it seemed a bit strange” Johnny then made a point of telling me that he thought I was beautiful, hmmmmm I worry about the drummer! Finally on Steal The Smile for now, it’s not too late to get hold of an exclusive free song from them, just click here for  a previous post of mine to get your mitts on it!

Next up Glastonbury has lost U2 this year thanks to Mr Hewson’s back problems, which were apparently quite serious. Anyway there is a little silver lining in that their replacement will be the Gorillaz. In their current incarnation the Gorillaz contain not one, but two, former members of the best band ever; the Clash! yes Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are both in the touring band and bizarrely wearing sailors hats as part of the new album Plastic Beach’s nautical theme. I think I may have to get a hold of some tickets for their tour later this year. Read the BBC article on the revised Glasto line up here. Below you can watch the video for the first single from Plastic Beach, it’s called “Stylo” and features Damon Albarn, Mos Def and Bobby Womack

On May 24th there was the news of the tragic death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray aged just 38. I have taken some stick from many Slipknot fans in the past for using an incorrect picture of them without masks, but whilst that has been a bit of fun and banter I am sure all fans of the band are pretty upset and hurt by his death. To lose a music hero is not pleasant, I know how I felt on hearing about the death of John Lennon, Bob Marley and Joe Strummer. So my sympathies go to Paul Gray’s friends and family and to all Slipknot fans around the world. In his memory here are the band with the video for “Psychosocial”

Yesterday saw the sad news that Gary Coleman the diminutive star of the US sitcom ‘Diffr’nt Strokes has died. He had kidney problems all his life which meant he never grew above 4 feet 8 inches. His most famous catch phrase from the show was “What you talking about Willis?” Willis being his older brother in the show. Hed was clearly popular in the music fraternity too as the testimonials on the NME report of his death show. Kind words from Blink 182, Janet Jackson and Katy Perry

And finally for this post, have you seen the new Miike Snow video, for his song ‘The Rabbit’? It’s really strange. It has a bearded kid and a re-enactment of a 2 Live Crew album cover. Click here to see it. Let me know what you think of it

 

“Please stop me, here I go again” April 13, 2010


It’s clear to me that there are hundreds or maybe even thousands of bands playing and recording around the UK who remain unsung and unsigned while the industry falls over itself to sign the next X Factor style pop muppet. people this is WRONG! It is up to you to stand up and be counted, it is up to you to make the choice, you need to take action! So put down your tabloid, stop playing on the Wii (or whatever else you use), stop playing with yourself and get out there and support some real music support bands that write and play their own songs. But do it now, otherwise you WILL be blamed for the wall-to-wall shitstorm of Jedward, Joe McElderry and other pop wannabees that poisons the airwaves. 

Not everything in life is black and white but Steal The Smile are in this photograph

 

So where can you start your campaign to get some real music? Let me reintroduce you to a band I have blogged about before; Ladies, Gentlemen and those of you who aren’t quite sure which you are yet I give you the mighty STEAL THE SMILE. These boys are aiming to put the punk back into pop and I for one believe that they can do it! Every generation has something that shakes up their musical world; The 50s had Elvis, the 60s had the Beatles, the 70s had punk, the 80s had Rave, the 90s had Britpop and frankly the noughties had nothing, so we are well overdue something or someone to do the business for the ‘noughteenies’ Will that something be STEAL THE SMILE? I don’t see why not. 

By day they are mild-mannered Supermarket Workers and Marine Engineers amongst other things, but by night these guys ROCK! 

 

Not only that but I have a very, very exclusive giveaway for you courtesy of Luke, Henry, Johnny and Oli. It’s a track that has so far not been heard outside the STS inner circle. It’s called “Two Years On” and you are just a click away from owning it. All I ask is that you support the fuck out of these boys! 

Two Years On – Steal The Smile 

Also check them out here on MySpace and Facebook

The boys are currently preparing some new stuff for their MySpace page which will include new layouts, new tunes and new pictures. So watch this (My)Space people!

 

 
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