With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“They joined together and decided not to fight” Blog Advent Calendar Day 6 December 6, 2014


TheFarmNot long to go now until the bearded weirdy drops down your chimney is it? Today is 6th December and that means it’s day six in this years Advent blog post series. In case you are new to this site let me remind you that this years theme is the ABC of British bands and today we are at the letter ‘F’. I have chosen Liverpool’s the Farm to appear behind the little cardboard door on todays advent calendar. Let’s face it, they’re better than chocolate aren’t they?

616e5b539694f09ffa5b400cc46ec280The band formed in 1983 although they didn’t score their first chart hit until 1990 when they had two UK top ten hits with “Groovy Train” and “All Together Now” both from their album ‘Spartacus’. That album was produced by Stan Cullimore and Paul Heaton off of the Housemartins and Suggs off of Madness.

3l“All Together Now” is about the unauthorised spontaneous truce between German and British soldiers on Christmas Day 1914. This was the first Christmas of the first world war and the soldiers stepped out of their trenches for a game of football. Sadly the powers that be made sure that it never happened again. The song has been rereleased for football reasons twice as well. For Everton’s 1995 FA Cup Final appearance and for the England team in their 2004 European Championships campaign. There is charity recording of the song scheduled for release on 15th December in aid of the Shorncliffe Trust and the British Red Cross. Shara Nelson, Clean Bandit, Gabrielle, Alexandra Burke, David Gray, Guy Chambers, Amelle Berrabah, Mick Jones (off of the Clash), Jermain Jackman and Gorgon City are among a number of artists who took part in the recording. Buy it, you know it makes sense!

 

“When they joined together and decided not to fight” November 9, 2011


Apologies up front but this is another rant from me. What is it with FIFA? The latest pathetic activity from them is to ban the England players from having a Poppy on their shirts for the friendly match with Spain on Saturday. Apparently it would be in breach of their rule that players’ equipment (which includes the shirt) should not carry any religious, political, commercial or personal slogans. I’d like to know which one of these the wearing of a Poppy would break. It is a symbol to commemorate and remember those who died not only in the First and Second World wars but all of those who have died in active service in the armed forces.

Not listening, not listening, not listening....

The Poppy is worn in up to 120 countries, although in some of those mostly by expatriates. But other countries have a symbol to commemorate their war dead in a similar way. In France for example it is the Blue Cornflower. England will have Poppies on their training and warm up kit which will then be auctioned for charity, they will also wear black armbands for the match. Additionally FIFA have allowed a minute’s silence before the game. Forgive me but what the fuck has a minute’s silence before a football game got to do with FIFA?

FIFA are in fact a charity. A very rich and most likely (the proof is out there I’m sure!) very corrupt organisation. Sepp Blatter’s promise to make the organisation more transparent after recent scandals seems to have made everything even more opaque. Including awarding business contracts to companies owned or partly owned by his nephew. Personally I think Blatter makes Berlusconi look like an angel. Even forgetting the World Cup hosting bid from England how the hell did they manage to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar? It’s too hot, has an atrocious human rights record and frankly is hardly a hot bed of world football.

Here’s an interesting recent fact about the charity that is FIFA. One of its less well off members, Mauritius, had a cash shortfall of some £42,000 which meant that they were unable to travel to or organise their World Cup qualification games. How did the caring, sharing charity that is FIFA respond to this? They disqualified them from the competition, probably completely within the letter of the regulations. But wouldn’t the charitable thing to do be to bail them out? After all FIFA are sitting on cash assets in the region of £800 million. But I guess they need that for their next all expenses paid junket or their Christmas party. Thinking of Christmas like to recycle my Festive Fir Tree every year and I think next time I’d like to recycle it by shoving it right up Blatters backside!

It's about time he got a red card!

Having just finished writing this post I have now heard that FIFA have offered a compromise solution; England will be allowed to show a Poppy on their black armbands. What’s the difference between a Poppy on the shirt and one on the armband? Not a lot in my opinion and this another example of FIFAs inept style of management. Should you ever have a piss up in a brewery do not let FIFA anywhere near the organising committee!

Anyway let me wind down the rant just a bit and what better way to finish this post than with a song about the famous football match between British and German soldiers one Christmas during the First World War.

 

“The five years we have had have been such good times, I still love you” December 6, 2010


Well aren’t those December days just rushing past, this is the sixth day of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar and therefore it must be (a bit of an easy one this) December 6th. So go ahead put your fingernail in the frame of the little cardboard door and pull it open carefully. Todays song takes us back to Christmas 1981. It’s those good Sheffield folk, the Human League with a little ditty called “Don’t You Want Me”. It was number one for five weeks in total and became the 30th different UK Christmas number one.

The hair and make-up artist left the country after this job

It was the band’s only UK number one and also reached the top in the US charts as well. They went on to have a further number one in the US with the excellent “Human” in 1986. “Don’t You Want Me” has become a bit af a party staple, I certainly play it at pretty much every mobile DJ gig I ever do. Yet another 80s song that I like, what’s up with me? The 80s was generally crap, wasn’t it?

In the early days Phil could only afford half a haircut

The band released their first single, “Being Boiled” in June 1978. The NME review was quite positive, although guest reviewer John Lydon dismissed the band as trendy hippies. Apparently David Bowie saw them play live at the end of 1978 and allegedly claimed that he had ‘seen the future of Pop Music’. They were even name checked in the Undertones song “My Perfect Cousin” with the line; ‘His mother bought him a synthesiser/Got the Human League in to advise her/Now he’s making lots of noise/Playing along with the art school boys’ An obvious dig at arty music too.

Nowadays Phil (like me) doesn't have any hair to cut

The band originally included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh who both left in 1980 following a big bust up with Phil Oakey. They went on to form Heaven 17 and thanks to the Human League’s Virgin contract Marsh and Ware also received 1% of royalties from the next League album, which was ‘Dare’ home of “Don’t You Want Me”

The song has been covered a few times, including versions by Alcazar, Mandy Smith and the Farm. Click on the artist names to see and hear those versions.

Enjoy the original Human league video for the song below.

And finally here they are performing the song on Top Of The Pops

 

“I am beautiful and clean and so very very young” March 26, 2009


Hello peeps!

Todays very brief post (well by my usual standards anyway) is a small collection of recent music news, just in case you missed it.

A number of Liverpool musicians and former players have recorded a charity single in memory of the 96 people who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The 20th anniversary of that tragic event is next month, it remains the UKs biggest sporting disaster. The song is a terrace anthem of the Kop at Liverpool FC, called “The Fields Of Anfield Road”. Peter Hooton of the Farm has written a new verse for the song. he is joined by John Power, formerly of the La’s and Cast on the song which was produced by Ken Nelson who has also produced Coldplay. A number of former Liverpool players, including Bruce Grobbelar and John Aldridge also provide a vocal contribution. Click here to see the BBC news piece on the song.

Puerto Rican Merengue singer Elvis Crespo (now that is one superb name if you ask me!) has been accused of exposing himself during a flight in the US. Maybe it was a Ryanair flight and he didn’t have enough change for the toilet! As it was in US airspace the incident was reported to the FBI. He was questioned by airport authorities in Miami but has not been arrested. Check out his Myspace page here

Elvis tries to cover up his in flight...........errrr.......'wardrobe malfunction' (thank you Janet J) with some colourful letters.......which are not from France!

Elvis tries to cover up his in flight...........errrr.......'wardrobe malfunction' (thank you Janet J) with some colourful letters.......which are not from France!

And a final piece of news for today, Spandau Ballet are reforming. I can’t imagine there is any other reason than money. The Sex Pistols were quite honest about reforming for money in 1996 even going so far as naming the tour “The Filthy Lucre Tour”. Where do you stand on bands reforming? Overall I am really not keen on it, it leads to all kinds of crap bands getting back together. I mean even Shed Seven reformed a year or two back……..wtf? There was a fabulous quote from Morrissey once when questioned yet again about a Smiths reunion. His response was something like “I would rather eat my own testicles than see the Smiths reform” Now I can honestly say he was talking bollocks! Anyway take the Spandau Ballet reformation poll below!

The Spandau boys had once again raided their Mum's wardrobes for stage clothes

The Spandau boys had once again raided their Mum's wardrobes for stage clothes

To end this particular post here is yet another in a series of shameless plugs for my son Luke’s band, ‘Steal The Smile‘. If you haven’t checked them out before do it now, they’re bloody good. If you like good pop punk type stuff a la Blink 182 you’re gonna love ’em! Click the band name to be safely delivered to their MySpace page!

Steal The Smile an excellent band from the Reading area - pay to go and see them or buy them a shirt

Steal The Smile an excellent band from the Reading area - pay to go and see them or buy them a shirt

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