With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You’ve got a new horizon it’s ephemeral style” August 9, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 10:56 pm
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tumblr_mra6h1MCrK1r6d0sao1_500Damon Albarn is currently the only man to headline Glastonbury two years in a row. With Blur in 2009 and then with Gorillaz the following year. Now this made me wonder how many people have headlined the festival, or indeed any festival, with more than two acts. I guess it’s possible that Damon could also headline as a solo artist in the future too. I’m looking forward to your contributions here dear readers ūüôā

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“Walks around all day long singing this song” June 30, 2014


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I realise that I’m a couple of days late with this post but I couldn’t let the passing of such a musical giant as Bobby Womack go without saying anything. The first music genre I really got into was soul music. I recall reading about the likes of Bobby Womack in Blues & Soul magazine in the early 70s. My lifelong friend Glen Voisey and me used to frequent an excellent, though long since defunct, record shop at Rayners Lane called The Bop Shop. They had racks and racks of second-hand vinyl and I remember buying Womack’s “Harry Hippie” and “Across 110th Street” on 7 inch vinyl without previously having heard either track. Initially I had just read how great the man was. I was not disappointed; “Across 110th Street” remains one of my favourite songs. How can anyone not love “The Poet II” album?

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Bobby was not only a great singer and guitarist (Jimi Hendrix was a fan of his playing) he was also a great songwriter. Other people recorded some fantastic interpretations of his songs. Notably for me is Millie Jackson’s version of “If You Want My Love, Put Something Down On It”, which he wrote with his brother Cecil. The Rolling Stones clearly valued his talent having a big hit in 1964 with “It’s All Over Now” a song written by Bobby and Shirley Womack and recorded by one of Bobby’s early groups the Valentinos. Womack was also a great interpreter of other people’s songs too, his version of “California Dreamin'” is testament to that. Bobby has recorded and released great music for more than 50 years. he has worked with the likes of Sam Cooke back in the 60s right through to Damon Albarn with the Gorillaz and his last solo album “The Bravest Man In The Universe” released in 2012. Bobby will be sadly missed and my thoughts are with his family, friends and his legions of fans. Bobby Womack RIP

 

“Look for advice, be told more than twice by people all around” June 16, 2014


zap_softDid you know that Keith Albarn; Damon Albarn’s Dad was once the manager of Soft Machine? No? Nor did I until now. perhaps we need to push for a Soft Machine/ Blur collaboration, what do you think?

Gorillaz Visits Fuse TV

 

“Take me away from this big bad world and agree to marry me” January 4, 2014


ArticleImage-51385Blur, who have¬†been a little inactive on the new music front recently launched some new merchandise which you can buy on-line. Is it branded trainers, hoodies, t-shirts, baseball caps and the like? No, it’s a tea set, beer mats and flat caps. Better hurry up if you want a Blur tea set though, apparently only 300 were made. Click here to get yours. Blimey¬†next they’ll be selling whippets named after the band members and maybe branded pipes and slippers. What other random merchandising can we expect? Cup cakes from Ozzy Osbourne, BingoWings.com on-line bingo from Madonna, X-Factor ear plugs made from Matt Cardle’s ear wax,¬†Robbie Williams and One Direction toilet paper, Olly Murs manure? All your suggestions would be very gratefully received.

 

“It’s not my problem, it’s not my problem” – Advent post day 2 December 2, 2013


G7497_thumbpacksIt’s now just over three weeks until the big day when the bearded weirdo arrives at your house and drops down your chimney. Are you excited yet? If not then I hope that the two tunes with numbers in their titles that I have selected for day 2 get you at least a little bit revved up. So behind the colourful little cardboard flap today we have a couple of classics for singing along to when drunk.

Pull the udder one Damon

Pull the udder one Damon

First it’s Blur with an excellent if rather unimaginatively titled song; yes it’s “Song 2” from 1997. It came from an album which also didn’t need much creative juice when it came to choosing a title; it was simply called ‘Blur’. However forget the issue I have with those titles for me it remains one of the band’s finest albums. Sadly it only made it to number 2 in the UK charts, but it did hit the top spot in Canada. It has been covered by a wide range of artists, including; Avril Lavigne, Scooter, Robbie Williams and Vampire Weekend. It was also sampled by Pink on her song “Slut Like You”. “Song 2” has featured in episodes of Torchwood, the Simpsons and South Park. It is said that the US military wanted to use the song at the launch of a new Stealth Bomber, but Damon Albarn refused them permission. Rightly so in my opinion.

5032556118026The second song from day 2 is the wonderful “Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please” from Splodgenessabounds. The song was released in 1980 when it made it to number 7 in the UK charts. The B side was the rather excellently titled song “Michael Booth’s Talking Bum”. In a throwback to the early days of punk many of the band members gave themselves some rather clever stage names; including vocalist Max Splodge, guitarist Pat Thetic Noble and Miles Flat also a guitarist. The band still tours, often with Bad Manners and appeared at the Rebellion Festival for the 19th time earlier this year.

Indeed!

Indeed!

 

The Brit Awards 2013 (February 20th) February 20, 2013


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It’s Brits time again and I will be typing live ready to publish later in the evening. It is opened spectacularly by Muse with an incredibly large orchestra and pyrotechnics. Although they were a long way from being Catwoman’s favourite I thought they were superb. It appears that James Corden is over the worst of the tonsilitis and back to present the Brits for the fourth time.

Damien Hirst has designed this years trophies. The first one presented this evening is for the best British female solo artist. It was given by Taylor Swift to the delightful Scot Emilie Sande. A very gracious speech too. Sadly we then switched to an at table interview of One Direction by Mr Corden. I really don’t like Boy Bands. Then to make matters worse Robbie Williams was the next live act. Regular readers will know how little I like him. Whilst “Candy” is not a bad song I dislike Robbie immensely. But the monochrome set and costumes of the dancers was very effective.

Next up it’s Best British group presented by Simon Pegg and a Bond Girl.The winners unsurprisingly were Mumford and Sons. At least it wasn’t One Direction. Some great British pride from the Mumfords too. It was the Best British Breakthrough prize next presented by Grimmy. I was expecting this to go to Jake Bugg Does anyone agree with me that James Corden is not particularly funny? A world exclusive by none other than Justin Timberlake was next to appear. It’s an ok song and whilst he wasn’t bringing sexy back his jacket was bringing shiny back!

Ed Sheerhan presented the best British male award to Ben Howard. Why no nomination for Jake Bugg when that Muppet Olly Murs was in the nominees? Now it’s time for the critics choice award and it goes to Tom O’Dell. Dermot O’Leary and Sharon Osbourne were introduced as man and wife (what a horrible thought) to give the Best International female statuette to Lana Del Ray. One Direction are on stage, will someone please kill me. How flat were some of those notes? A dreadful performance. Do this lot have any personality and stage presence? On this showing I think not. Bring back Blondie.

Coldplay won the Best British live act, strangely they are a band that I’ve not seen live, well not yet anyway. That is their 8th Brit award since they began. Tom Daley and Jonathan Ross (what a strange combination) gave out the best single prize to Adele for “Skyfall”. Sadly she wasn’t there as she is rehearsing for the Oscars. Thank god James Arthur or Olly Murs didn’t win!

Taylor Swift dressed as a wedding cake to perform between two braziers. Unlike Wand Erection though she can really sing. Losing that dress for the hot pants was a good move. Best International group was presented by a true rock god Dave Grohl. The award went to the fabulous Black Keys who sadly weren’t there, very worthy winners in my opinion. After winning two prizes so far Ben Howard was on stage to perform “It’s Only Love” which let’s be fair is a beautiful if somewhat sleep inducing song.

A brief interview with Mercury Prize winners Alt J by Mr Corden came up next. Now we have the best International male. Frank Ocean won it, what a damned good choice! The War Child charity won a new special recognition award. This is truly a great charity, a well deserved prize. Collected by Ben Knowles from Warchild and Damon Albarn. Mumford took to the stage for “I Will Wait” I saw them at the Reading Festival in 2011. They were bloody good, but I feel they peaked very early and that their second album was nowhere near as good as the first. I’m sure I won’t be the first to say that Mumford have become a bit dull will I?

None other than Byron Ferrari was on hand to present the Best British album gong to Emilie Sande for ‘Our Version Of Events’. Personally I love her voice, but I imagine she is a bit Marmite in that you either love her or hate her. Yet another Global Success Award was presented by Robbie Williams to One Direction; oh joy, two of my least favourite acts ever! What the fuck? Was this award invented just so that Wand Erection didn’t sob all over their school books? I bet that arsehole Simon Cowell was behind that! Emilie Sande closed the show¬† and yes she was good. But that Global Success award to One Direction has left a bad taste in my mouth. In fact it has turned a relatively dull Brits into something quite shit! Can we have some proper rock n roll edgeiness back next year please? Preferably a bit more edgy than Sharon Osbourne mentioning Harry Styles’ willy!

 

“I got a story I want to tell gather round me” December 9, 2012


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The Guardian published an excellent Q & A with Bobby Womack recently. I won’t list the whole article, but if you want to read it just click here.¬†There were a couple of interesting mentions of Wilson Pickett and Sam Cooke. Apparently Mr Cooke liked to wear Estee Lauder.

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There was also a reminder about how recently segregation existed in the USA, certainly and sadly well within my lifetime. But two little things took my interest. One is that Bobby’s favourite word is love and his greatest fear is cats. Surely he has to record a cover of the Cure‘s “Love Cats”. Have you heard his award-winning album ‘Bravest Man In The Universe’ yet? You should have, what’s keeping you? But is it right that the bravest man in the universe is scared of cats?

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Reading Festival 2012 ‚Äď Day 1 ‚Äď Friday 24th August August 27, 2012


After what seemed ages the Reading Festival is here again and as usual I made the annual pilgrimage with my good friend Nick Horslen. The first band that we saw on day 1 was the Cancer Bats. I would describe them as hardcore heavy screamers from Canada and they were bloody good too! Dead to Me were on the Lock Up stage and they were rather good and certainly not dead to anyone! I wasn’t sire about the jaunty angled baseball cap though. Coheed & Cambria were on the main stage I found them a bit Biffy Clyro-like but not as good! I suppose you might describe them as 21st century prog rock.

Friends sounded good but sadly we missed most of their set. Spector came next with the first mobot of the day, spookily just after I said to Nick I wonder when we’ll see one from the stage. I like these guys a lot, they have some really anthemic songs especially “Never Fade Away”. Are the Hives the ultimate festival party band? Definitely! They have it all; top hats and tails, attitude, great songs and even a ninja stage crew! We saw the Blackout next, hmmmm seems to be a Shikari influence in there. But I would send the red-haired bloke back to Wales he adds nothing to them in my opinion!

I love Scroobius Pip but I thought that the sound mix for him was terrible. Wow the BBC Introducing stage has a mosh circle and the Attention Thieves worked it well. Very hard and very heavy. Next we were at the NME tent for Passion Pit from Boston. They do what it says on the tin; but with loads more passion than you can fit in a tin and far from the pits! A truly great band. But even after that things went up a notch or two with the great Graham Coxon, what a truly awesome guitarist he is. A little less stage presence than Damon but tons more than Liam Gallagher. A brilliant set and he even has a drummer that looked like a bewigged Mel Smith. We passed by Paramore on the Main stage to see the rather spiffing Bastille who closed with a great 90s dance cover.

The BBC introduced us to the Proxies; I think they’ll be back. The Courteeners were a bit identikit indie pop. I’m sure that if you’re a big fan of them you were in ecstasy watching them. For me they were pretty good but not the most exciting band I have ever seen. Then it was off to the Main Stage to round the day off with Bob Smith’s combo, the Cure. They last appeared at the festival in 1979 and I had never seen them before so the prospects were good. Whilst they are clearly a very tight band, featuring Reeves Gabrels on guitar I think, I don’t think I’d see them again. I am glad I had the opportunity this time though. I felt that the first hour was somewhat soporific but the second part really livened up. So that was the end of the first day and the rain held off too.

 

“Ripped gloves, raincoat, tried to swim and stay afloat” January 13, 2012


I was really pleased to see that there are hardly any X Factor related nominations for the upcoming Brit Awards. Just one each for Olly Murs, One Direction and JLS. Jessie J and Adele have three nominations each and Ed Sheerhan is nominated in a mighty four categories; British Male Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, British Single (for ‚ÄúThe A Team‚ÄĚ) and British Album of the Year (for ‚Äė+‚Äô)

Aloe Blacc, Bon Iver, Coldplay, Emeli Sande and Florence & The Machine are all nominated in two categories each. There is also a welcome return to the nominees for Kate Bush after her excellent rework album ‚ÄėDirectors Cut‚Äô and the new album ‚Äô50 Words For Snow‚Äô

All the nominees are shown below and I have underlined who I expect to win in each category, not who I would like to win in all cases though! But Blur will definitely pick up their award and it will be great to see them together again.

What do you think of the new Brit Award designed by Peter Blake? Personally I love it

British Male Solo Artist

Ed Sheeran

James Blake

James Morrison

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Professor Green

British Female Solo Artist

Adele

Florence & The Machine

Jessie J

Kate Bush

Laura Marling

British Breakthrough Act

Anna Calvi

Ed Sheeran

Emeli Sande

Jessie J

The Vaccines

British Group

Arctic Monkeys

Chase & Status

Coldplay

Elbow

Kasabian

British Single

Adele – Someone Like You

Ed Sheeran – The A Team

Example – Changed The Way You Kissed Me

Jessie J Ft B.o.B. – Price Tag

JLS Ft Dev – She Makes Me Wanna

Military Wives/Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are

Olly Murs Ft Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat

One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful

Pixie Lott – All About Tonight

The Wanted – Glad You Came

British Album of the Year

Adele – 21

Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

Ed Sheeran – +

Florence & The Machine – Ceremonials

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

International Male Solo Artist

Aloe Blacc

Bon Iver

Bruno Mars

David Guetta

Ryan Adams

International Female Solo Artist

Beyonce

Bjork

Feist

Lady Gaga

Rihanna

International Group

Fleet Foxes

Foo Fighters

Jay Z / Kanye West

Lady Antebellum

Maroon 5

International Breakthrough Act

Aloe Blacc

Bon Iver

Foster The People

Lana Del Rey

Nicki Minaj

British Producer

Paul Epworth

Flood

Ethan Johns

Outstanding Contribution To Music

Blur

Critics’ Choice

Emeli Sande

I will be blogging about the Brits live from my living room on Tuesday 21st February, but feel free to visit my blog in between times as well!

I’ll sign off for now with a clip of a distant previous appearance at the Brits by Blur.

 

“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

 

 
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