With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“And I know what you’re thinking, you still think I am crap” July 4, 2011


So it appears that I now live in the place that everyone else in the country would like to live, according to a recent survey. I live in York, an obvious jewel in North Yorkshire’s and indeed the UK’s crown. I’m not sure it was the most popular place when I moved here in 2007 so I suppose I could assume that it has become so popular because I live here. What do you think? Anyway I really enjoy living in the north, in my opinion it is a million times better than London. But in fact that could be said of most other places in the UK. So what do I think are the best reasons to live in York, apart from the obvious one for me which would be my fiancée Catherine aka to regular readers as Catwoman. I will try to complete this as a top ten, but in no particular order.

The history – walking the wall is always a wonderful experience when you consider the thousands of years of history below your feet. Vikings, Romans and the Scots have all occupied York at some time or another

The Maltings – in my opinion the best pub with the best beer in York

Dusk – in the daytime a rather excellent coffee bar and at night a rather unique club (This is definitely not a view shared by Catwoman)

The Mediterranean Barbers – The only place in town you can get a full wet head shave (Just the thing for those of us, like me, that are follically challenged)

The Minster – I am not a religious person at all but the magnificence of this building transcends religion. Obviously I ought to mention Archbishop John Sentamu here, a truly wonderful character

Guy Fawkes – in my opinion probably the last person to enter parliament with honourable intentions and he was born in York

Rafi’s Spice Box – all the ingredients (apart from the meat or veg) and instructions that you need to make an excellent curry

Castle Museum – always something new and with a brilliant recreation of a Victorian Street (the National Railway Museum and the Yorkshire Museum are worth a visit too)

Travelling Man – it may be the only comic shop in York, but even if it wasn’t it would still be the best. Staffed by a great team who keep me supplied with the best Marvel has to offer!

Cedar Court Grand Hotel – this building used to be the railway offices which is where I worked when I first met Catwoman. It has been a hotel for just over a year and last October we went for a meal in the restaurant there, where I did the traditional popping the question on one knee. To complete the circle we will be getting married there in September. Does that mean I will become Mr Catwoman?

Apologies to the places and things I have missed. I could easily have come up with ten more. (Notable omissions which make up that additional 10 are; York City FC, Rowntree Park, Fibbers, The Duchess, Oak Street, Little Betties, The Blue Bicycle, City Screen, York Library, the Vinyl Record stall outside M & S) I would love to hear what your favourite things about York are whether you live here or not. If you’ve never visited this wonderful city yet then pull your finger out and get yourself along here. I may even meet you in the Maltings for a swift one! But I am half Scots so don’t expect me to buy you one! I have said on many occasions before that this is a music blog so let me finish with a few songs that are about city life.

Obviously there is a real dearth of songs about York itself, although there are thousands about it’s young offspring from across the pond. You know the place, so good they named it twice? Well my city is so good it only needs one name and that is York!

“Big City” – Dandy Livingstone

“In The City” – Eagles

Paradise City” – Guns n Roses

“In The City” – Jam

“Dancing In The City” – Marshall Hain

 

“Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline, someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime” June 5, 2009


Hello once again dear readers, like I’ve said before it is my aim to get back to more regular posting so here comes the second one for the Jumping month of June. I thought doing this post after a serious spillage incident on the train last week. There I was crammed into my tiny space (otherwise known as a seat) on the 7pm Kings Cross to York train with my nose in a good book (1983 by David Peace for those of you who asked!) Then lo and behold the coffee angel arrived in the aisle with the drinks trolley, now obviously I can’t resist a good coffee so obviously (a repeat word…… obviously) I had to order one, which I did, along with a Kit Kat. At the moment the Coffee Angel was about to place my drink on the pathetic excuse for a fold down table the train rocked (and not in a heavy musical way either) and faster than you can say Caffe Americano with a double shot I was the subject of a minor caffeine downpour. I thought it was rather amusing, my suit needed a dry clean anyway, but coffee angel was worried I was going to complain, but I didn’t and my reward was…….. a free Kit Kat and a fresh cup of coffee. Actually now Ive read that back it sounds dull enough to be condensed to 140 characters and posted on Twitter. But enough of that drivel during the rest of the journey I was moved to come up with a list of coffee related songs for this post. So without further adieu here they are and each one contains a frothy topping and a sprinkle of trivia.

The coffee was better in those days but clearly the coffee angels weren't!

The coffee was better in those days but clearly the coffee angels weren’t!

First cup, er sorry first up is “Starfish And Coffee” which is obviously a favourite breakfast menu of ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, Then Known As Roger Or Symbol And Now Known As Prince Again’ or TAFKAPTKAROSANKAPA for short. Prince’s sister is called Tyka, I wonder if her nickname was Chicken at school? Staying with Prince and a loosely related coffee theme, the diminutive one once wrote a song for Sheena Easton called “Sugar Walls” probably not the type of sugar you’d put in your coffee though. But there’s a prize to the first person to tell me what that song is about without the use of explicit language!

Prince had clearly overdone the froth on his Cappucino

Prince had clearly overdone the froth on his Cappucino

Second dose of caffeine is “Black Coffee In Bed” by Squeeze and written by the Lennon-McCartney of their generation; Difford-Tilbrook. They were joined by the rather talented Paul Carrack who in addition to Squeeze and as a solo artist has also had hits with Ace and Mike & The Mechanics. He has also played on sessions by many other bands including Roxy Music, The Smiths and the Pretenders. In a strange coincidence he also sang vocals and played keyboards on a relatively minor Mike & The Mechanics hit called “Another Cup Of Coffee”

You won't like him when he gets angry and Mr Carrack gets very angry if he has no caffeine

You won’t like him when he gets angry and Mr Carrack gets very angry if he has no caffeine

The next one of our Barista favourites is “One More Cup Of Coffee” from the wonderful Mr Zimmerman or Bob Dylan to his friends. The song is taken from Dylan’s ‘Desire’ album and is a duet with Emmylou Harris. The song was covered extremely well by Jack and Meg on the first White Stripes album and is occasionally covered live by Calexico. Also none other than Robert ‘Percy’ Plant off of Led Zep recorded the song for his ‘Dreamland’ album in 2002. The song was written at a corner table in the ‘Other End’ nightclub in Greenwich Village New York. I was kind of hoping it had been written in a coffee bar!

Bob tries to find inspiration over a coffee..... come on Bob, Noel Gallagher sat at the same table and wrote "Roll With It"

Bob tries to find inspiration over a coffee….. come on Bob, Noel Gallagher sat at the same table and wrote “Roll With It”

The next one of our old beans in this post is the excellent Canadian band the Crash Test Dummies. Their biggest hit in the UK was “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” but they also released a song called “Afternoons And Coffee Spoons” Both songs were taken from their excellent album ‘God Shuffled His Feet’ In 1995 they recorded a splendid cover of XTC’s “The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead” for the Jim Carrey movie ‘Dumb And Dumber’

In the early days the band even dressed as Crash test Dummies and it certainly didn't harm their pulling power judging from this picture

In the early days the band even dressed as Crash test Dummies and it certainly didn’t harm their pulling power judging from this picture

The next act to bring us a cuppa is Holly Johnson off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood with his solo single “Americanos” It was Holly’s second solo hit and reached number 4 in the UK charts. It also features on the soundtrack to the 1989 movie ‘Cookie’ which starred Emily Lloyd, Peter Falk and Jerry Lewis. I know that strictly speaking the song is not about coffee, well not even strictly speaking, it’s actually got nothing to do with coffee. But Caffe Americano is undoubtedly my favourite coffee so I had to include it here. I always drink it black (often with an extra shot) with no sugar and many coffee houses (in this case Costa Coffee) give this an acronym of BAM (as in Black Americano). This lead to me gaining the nickname BAM BAM Bill for a while. Maybe not a great nickname but at least it wasn’t Pebbles! Over the years I have also noticed that black coffee seems to be the drink of choice for the majority of Project and Programme Managers. Does anyone agree?

"Relax" said Holly as he ordered coffees for him and his 'flat' mate Ronnie

“Relax” said Holly as he ordered coffees for him and his ‘flat’ mate Ronnie

I like a cup of coffee when I am deeply engrossed in a good book but Blur clearly prefer theirs in front of the telly! Well judging from their song “Coffee And TV” Vocals on the verses were from Graham Coxon and  Damon Albarn sang the chorus. the lyrics were all Graham’s and apparently deal with his attempt to give up alcohol. The video for the song features a milk carton called Milky which was created by ‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop’ Blur were originally called Seymour, I’m not sure that works as well as Blur though. I have seen them live twice at festivals, once with Graham and once without. I certainly prefer them with Graham in the band. So it’s great news that they are reunited for a few gigs this year and possibly some new recording too.

Now either he's really excited or they're both seriously injured

Now either he’s really excited or they’re both seriously injured

The final coffee song in this post is one of my favourites, it’s by the minimally named ‘A’ from Leeds and it’s called “Starbucks“. The original members of the band included three brothers; Jason, Giles and Adam Perry. Since the band took a hiatus (is that code for breaking up?) Jason has worked with Matt Willis off of Busted and has also produced for McFly! Jason do us all a favour and get ‘A’ back together and stop working with these pop muppets! But to be fair Charlie off of Busted’s current band Fightstar are quite good! (Did I really just say that?)

With the proceeds of the single the band bought the worlds first Starbucks Jet Pack

With the proceeds of the single the band bought the worlds first Starbucks Jet Pack

So do you have any favourite coffee songs or indeed favourite coffees? Let me know by adding your choices in the comments

No it was just the earth moving for Milky in the Blur video

No it was just the earth moving for Milky in the Blur video

I will end this post by saying a big thank you to those wonderful people at ‘Dusk’ in York where I did many of my early posts in this blog. Excellent coffee, good food, free wifi (are you reading this Starbucks?) and great company. Check them out and if you know their web address please let me know

Dusk in York

Dusk in York

 

 
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