With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘How To Be A Thousandaire’ – Catherine Adamson November 20, 2019


I am so very proud of my very talented wife Catherine, her book ‘How To Be A Thousandaire’ was published on 20th September this year and she is leading a book launch event for it tomorrow in York. It is the perfect book for you if you are a micro-business owner, are planning to become a micro-business owner or if you know a micro-business owner. The book details Catherine’s business journey and how she overcame adversity to build an incredibly resilient business. The book is available now from Amazon across the world. At only £14.99 in the UK, it is a great investment. Click here and order your copy now, and feel free to share this!

Yes this is a music blog so please enjoy a few book-related tunes while you place your order for ‘How To Be A Thousandaire’

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“The trial was a pig circus, he never had a chance” February 3, 2016


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The other day I decided to take a quick count of all the artists in my album collection where I have at least 10 albums by a single artist. I included CDs, LPs and cassettes (although the only non compilation cassettes that I have are David Bowie bootlegs). Oh and while I’m on bootleg recordings obviously I have included them whether they are live, studio outtakes or simply unreleased stuff. I have not included digital recordings. I was surprised to find that there are 4o artists where I have at least ten releases by them. The list is below, (artist followed by the number of albums) there are no real surprises for me, are you surprised at any on this list? Have you ever done anything similar? I have also added a song from each of the top ten artists 🙂

David Bowie 141
Bob Dylan 30
Johnny Nash 26
Bruce Springsteen 26
Beatles 25
Neil Young 25
Elton John 19
Bob Marley 19
U2 19
Rod Stewart 18
Pink Floyd 17
REM 17
Elvis Costello 15
The Eels 15
Prince 15
Paul Weller 15
Ryan Adams 14
Led Zeppelin 14
Madonna 14
The Clash 13
Elvis Presley 13
Radiohead 13
Kate Bush 12
Oasis 12
Lou Reed 12
Stevie Wonder 12
Morrissey 11
Tom Waits 11
ZZ Top 11
Jeff Buckley 10
Julian Cope 10
Johnny Cash 10
Michael Jackson 10
John Lennon 10
Manic Street Preachers 10
Kylie Minogue 10
Iggy Pop 10
Rolling Stones 10
Frank Turner 10
The Who 10

 

Elvis Costello “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink” – Book reading and signing – Royal Court Theatre Liverpool, Monday 26th October 2015 November 6, 2015


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I have worked in the fantastic city of Liverpool for a few months and I recently had the opportunity to attend a book signing by someone who technically might be described as a newly published author. He is known as Declan McManus by many but as the magnificent Elvis Costello by most! He has recently launched his memoirs; “Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink”. The book runs to just shy of 700 pages and when I have read it I will no doubt be posting a review of it in this very blog.

However I wanted to just give you a brief review of what was a fabulous night at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool last month. Elvis was interviewed about the book, his life and his career by author Mark Billingham who is also very clearly a Costello fan. Elvis himself used a tablet linked to a couple of large screens on the stage to show us some wonderful pictures of himself and some great ones from his family history. There was also a brilliant video of his Dad Ross McManus singing “If I Had A Hammer” with the Joe Loss Orchestra in the 1960s.

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It was quite an intimate setting and Elvis came across as a really decent bloke. He is articulate, humorous and polite. He read a few passages from the book and told a number of anecdotes that were a mix of the emotional and the amusing. I think that many of us in what looked like a sell out crowd had our fingers crossed that he might sing a few songs and we were not disappointed. At the end he took up his acoustic guitar and played a great version of “Stranger In The House” and a supremely powerful showing of the timeless classic “Shipbuilding”. The latter was preceded by a story about the evacuation of British children overseas during World War 2. In particular the tale of a ship transporting many of these children to Canada that was sunk. For me it’s a moving song in the first place, this made it even more so.

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I was happy to queue up for forty minutes afterwards to get my copy of the book signed by the great man himself. In fact I sneakily got him to sign the latest copy of Mojo which had a picture of Mr Costello on the cover. Finally let me say a big thank you to Elvis Costello, Mark Billingham and Waterstones for putting on such and excellent night’s entertainment.

 

“I’ve been breaking up Dirty dishes and throwing them away” July 4, 2015

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 9:08 am
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Former mop top and wings man Sir Paul McCartney was given a special gift when he played in Amsterdam recently. A Tulip that has been developed and grown in his honour. It took twenty years to create the red and white bloom. It’s botanical name is Tulipa Paul McCartney. I wonder if they tried to grow one in ebony and ivory colours?

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“And on the jukebox Johnny sang about a thing called love” December 18, 2013


The+Pogues+-+Rum+Sodomy+&+The+Lash+-+CD+ALBUM-421027Did you know that the title of the Pogues second album ‘Rum, Sodomy And The Lash‘ released in 1985 supposedly took its title from a Winston Churchill quote. Apparently when asked about seafaring traditions Churchill said “Naval tradition? Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash. The band’s drummer Andrew Ranken found the quote and suggested it for the album title. The album was produced by Elvis Costello who married band member Cait O’Riordan the following year. The LP reached number 13 in the UK album charts.

 

“When the ink starts to itch, then the black will turn to red” – Advent day 13 December 13, 2013


13-StarWarsFriday 13th December, one step closer to Christmas and a fabulous day unless you are triskaidekaphobic. So on with the show and today that show comes to you courtesy of two iconic music legends. One from the US and one from the UK. One is sadly no longer with us and the other is very much alive.

johnny-cash-022112-doubleFirst up it’s the now departed Man In Black, Johnny Cash. The track I have chosen comes from the first of the albums that Cash recorded with Rick Rubin; ‘American Recordings‘ released in 1994. The song was written for Johnny by Glenn Danzig and it is called “Thirteen”. It took Danzig just twenty minutes to write the song. The album won a Best Contemporary Folk Album award at the 1994 Grammys. Cash joined the US Air Force in 1950 and for a time his role was to intercept morse code messages made by the Russian military. Apparently he was the first US radio operator to learn of the death of Joseph Stalin. The Cash family line could be traced back to 11th century Scotland.

Oct-Mir 33The second song for today comes from that spikey, scouse minstrel Declan McManus who most of you know as Elvis Costello. The title of that song is “Thirteen Steps Lead Down” it is taken from 1994′ s ‘Brutal Youth‘ album. This was the first album that Elvis had recorded with the Attractions for eight years. The song was released as the lead track of an EP; the “Thirteen Steps Lead Down EP” which included three other tracks. Those were, “We Despise You”, “Basement Kiss” and “Puppet Girl”. Did you know that the backing band on Costello’s first album ‘My Aim Is True’ were called Clover and that they went on to form the nucleus of Huey Lewis and the News? Well you do now. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr Costello play live in June this year and he was brilliant.

 

“Lately I’ve been thinking if you wanna get tough, then let’s play rough” September 5, 2013


Disclosure_faces_2_RESIZED_credit_edwige_hambenBritish dance duo Disclosure chose their name by selecting a random word on a car insurance form. The band is made up of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence who were born in 1991 and 1994 respectively. They come from a musical family. Their dad was in a covers band and their Mum sang on cruise ships and provided the vocal for a number of TV advert jingles. Most notably for ‘Shake ‘n’ Vac‘. So there is a tenuous link with Elvis Costello was the writer and voice for the R White’s Lemonade Secret Lemonade Drinker campaign.

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The band’s debut album ‘Settle’ was released earlier this year and has so far spawned four UK top 20 singles, the biggest of which was “White Noise” a collaboration with the magnificent Alunageorge whiched reached number 2 earlier this year. The other singles from the album were “Latch” which features Sam Smith, “You And Me” which features Eliza Doolittle and “F For You” Sadly I missed Disclosure at the Reading Festival last month, but I did get to see Alunageorge perform “White Noise” live. If you haven’t done it already I reckon you ought to check out Disclosure’s album ‘Settle’ along with Alunageorge’s ‘Body Music’.

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Elvis Costello and the Imposters – York Barbican, Monday 17th June 2013 June 17, 2013


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Tonight I saw Elvis Costello for the first time since I saw him in London in 1977. I was struck by the sheer volume of classic songs he has recorded in a career spanning close to 40 years. I love that he often strays from the path trodden by many contemporaries by recording a country album, recording with the Brodsky Quartet and producing the Specials. He arrived at York as part of his 13 Revolver Tour with a show featuring the Spectacular Spinning Song Wheel.

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He opened the set with a blast of four or five loud and powerful power pop songs culminating in the magnificent “Radio Radio“. The principle of the wheel is that members of the audience are picked to spin the wheel and the band play the song that is randomly selected. Tracey and Carol were given a storming version of “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”.

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Later a Catherine and Alex took to the stage and when asked her favourite song Catherine replied “She” the Charles Aznavour song. Now that is a song I really dislike so I was very pleased when Mr Costello said “I fucking hate that song”. However Alex and Catherine spun the Joker and were allowed to choose their favourite. After Costello had sung “She” for them they danced in the cage podium for a while. As they were about to leave the stage Costello’s assistant, the Mysterious Josephine whispered to Elvis and young Alex and Catherine took the microphone for Alex to propose to his beau live in front of thousands of people. He did a great job. Catwoman, who accompanied me to the gig, was in tears! Oh and Alex had a yes from Catherine. If they are reading this I would like to wish them all the best.

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My favourite song of the evening was a stupendous “Watching The Detectives” which included Costello walking through the crowd singing with a radio mic. He is clearly a great showman and he is gifted in stage craft. The band are very tight and are made up of Drummer Pete Thomas and keyboard maestro Steve Nieve formerly of the Attractions and Davey Faragher on bass. I was very pleased that they played two classic anti Thatcher songs; “Shipbuilding” and “Tramp The Dirt Down”. The latter received a massive cheer I am pleased to say. He showcased his true and pure vocal talent by stepping away from the mic at the end of “Jimmie Standing In The Rain” for a few lines of “Brother Can You Spare A Dime

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The show kicked off at 8 o’clock and it was nearly 10.30 before the house lights came back on. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better the band returned after a minute or two off stage for an astounding encore. Kicking off with “Alison” and closing with “Pump It Up” and “(What’s So Funny About) Peace Love And Understanding” whilst finding time for “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” and “High Fidelity”. The encore provided a fabulous climax for the excellent go-go dancer too.

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This show sits easily in the top 5 gigs I have ever seen in my nearly 40 years of gig going. I will definitely go to see Elvis again and you should too. Trust me you will not regret it! Oh and by the way, none of the pics or videos in this post were taken by me. I can’t be arsed to keep getting my camera out at gigs, I’d rather enjoy the show!

 

“Who takes all the glory and none of the shame” April 8, 2013


I won’t say much about the death of the grocer‘s daughter, I will just let the music speak for itself!

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“Tory Boy You Can’t Solve Anything” a.k.a an interview with Colour Me Wednesday February 3, 2012


Recently I had a rather excellent band recommended to me by the name of Colour Me Wednesday and not only have I been enjoying their damned fine tunes I have also had the pleasure of interviewing them earlier this week. They hail from Hillingdon and have some educational links to Peckham.

They see themselves as a punk band and I have to agree with that. I always felt that the first wave of UK punk in 1976/77 was more about attitude, outlook and enjoying yourself. This bunch of talented guys and girls has all of that in abundance. They prove that punk is about so much more than just image; they don’t have a tattoo between them!

The band members are Jen on vocals, Hat on guitar and backing vocals, Sam on drums and backing vocals and Danny on bass. They all have a hand in the song writing and frankly it’s hard to believe they are children of the late 80s given the meaning and maturity in their lyrics. They have great principles too, so do not expect to see them in a bigoted, racist pub near you anytime soon.

Every year when I plan my trip to the Reading Festival with my good friend Nick we always select a band that we have never heard of but have an interesting name as a must see act for the weekend. Whilst Colour Me Wednesday (CMW) is a pretty cool name (and more on that later) I may have to choose my must see bands by interesting song titles in future. CMW have some fantastic songs in their repertoire including my current favourite “Purge Your Inner Tory” and “Unicorn In Uniform” Just how good are those titles? But it goes beyond that because the songs have real class both musically and lyrically. Regular readers will know that “Purge Your Inner Tory” plays well to my own political leanings and I just had to use a lyric from it as the title to this post!

“Carefree” is one of Sam’s songs and I particularly love the lyrics which the band say are about the feeling of not being able to stay ‘punk’ But the closing lines for me could be even more universal than that. Just how good is the following? ‘Seems we could go on forever, without another care about the world beyond our own doorstep. But I don’t think that’s for the best and I hope I’m not alone. Yeah I hope I’m not alone’

“Lost On The High Street” is reminiscent of one of my favourite Clash songs “Lost In The Supermarket” I reckon CMW could make a great cover of the Clash’s “Julie’s Been working For The Drug Squad” (Folks that is a request from me!). A remix of their “Lost On The High Street” features on their wonderful Sampler 2011 CD along with demos of the aforementioned “Purge Your Inner Tory” and “Unicorn In Uniform” along with the beautiful and fragile “Holiday From Your Life”. You can click here to buy the EP for the almost criminally low price of £1.79 including postage (if you’re in the UK). Not only are the songs superb but the packaging is wonderfully hand crafted just like the early days of punk.

As it was an interview I had to ask a few questions so I did. I started with who is the best band or singer on the planet and agreed that they could include those sadly departed artists and defunct bands if they wished. They all love the Beatles and Jen and Hat particularly love Juliana Hatfield. (Formerly of the Blake Babies and Some Girls). Danny loves REM and Elvis Costello; the band has covered Costello’s “I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea” at some point too.

My next question was on a ‘what if’ trip. If there was a Colour Me Wednesday chat show who would be the guests on the first episode. Hat went for Russell Brand and Jen would invite Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill. Sam suggested that he would invite a selection of those cute YouTube cats. I’d be happy to send my two cats Benny the Ball and Mrs Betty Slocombe to audition for that! Incidentally I reckon that would make a good chat show especially if they invited Mr Costello as well.

A recent survey claims that the biggest tear-jerker of a song is “Everybody Hurts” so that was my lead in to ask if any of the band could think of a particular song that made them cry. Jen offered one of my own favourites from the late, great Jeff Buckley with “Lover You Should Have Come Over”. Ben Folds Five’s “Brick” was Hat’s choice. Sam went for “My Baby…” from band favourite Juliana Hatfield while Danny opted for Weezer’s “Pardon Me”. Some interesting choices I reckon; what do you think dear readers?

I then asked the rather shameful question of what is the most embarrassing song in your collection. The band rightly pointed out that music shouldn’t be embarrassing and if you enjoy it what’s the problem. It’s difficult to disagree with their argument (but if “Macarena” comes up on my iPod shuffle facility any time soon I will not be able to avoid that embarrassing feeling; sorry gang!). Jen and Hat did offer a song and a band that they felt they shouldn’t really like. In my view I would say these were pretty cool choices. It was “Kiss Me” from Sixpence None The Richer a song that sisters Jen and Hat used to practice their harmonies on. They also felt that Paramore fitted the bill here as well given their heavily teenage fan base and image.

My next interrogative line was is there a song that sums up your life so far and obviously I had to extend that to albums as well. When I think about it could I answer that question myself? Only with great difficulty! Any way they did come up with Belly’s debut album from 1993, ‘Star’. Along with Juliana Hatfield’s “Become What You Are”. The band have been to see Juliana on one occasion and it was made even more interesting and exciting by the appearance of one time Blake baby Freda Love.

Jen went on to speak about how it felt singing other people’s lyrics. She said that very, very occasionally she might want to edit a line. In particular she feels that the end of a line should be very evocative. She also admitted that she felt almost possessed when singing a cover version.

When travelling up to Sheffield for a recent gig they amused themselves by swapping jokes about cheese, especially vegan cheese as all the band are vegetarians. Are there many cheese jokes? I can only think of two and they are cheesy indeed. Which cheese would you use to entice a grizzly down from a mountain? Camembert. (It’s all in the pronunciation) and what do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.

I promised you more on the name later and here it is. How did the name come about? Well it was back in the days before Jen was in the band and Hat wanted to find a name that didn’t evoke Goth or death metal. So she used a bag of fridge magnet poetry and pulled out random words until she found a combination that worked. That combination was obviously the pretty cool Colour Me Wednesday.

If you get a chance to see them live then I urge you to take it. I haven’t had that opportunity yet but I will certainly take it when I can. If you want to book them for a gig then get in touch I am pretty damned sure you will not be disappointed. I would like to offer some big thanks to the band for letting me interview them and for becoming the very first act ever to be interviewed for the With Just A Hint Of mayhem blog in nearly three years!

Check them out on the web here;

Colour Me Wednesday on MySpace

Colour Me Wednesday on Facebook

Colour Me Wednesday on their own website

Now enjoy a few of the band’s songs and make sure you order the sampler 2011 EP. If I find that you haven’t bought it, remember……. I know where you live! If you missed the link earlier click here to order the CD.

 

 
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