With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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!

 

 
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