With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Reading Festival 2012 – Day 2 – Saturday 25th August August 27, 2012


 

We arrived a bit late for the secret set from Green Day which began at 11 o’clock, but by all accounts it was blisteringly good. So day 2 kicked off for us with a song from Los Campesinos. An excellent band and even the sun came out to enjoy them! Theme Park were very fresh and funky with a singer that looks like Mr Cole a.k.a Cashley. They sound like David Byrne on ecstasy and was that Prince Harry on guitar? Probably not as he had his kit on! We saw Citizens next. They have been produced by Alex Kapranos and seem to be channeling Edwyn Collins. A very good band.

The usual visit to the comedy stage gave us Jimmy McGhie and Reginald D Hunter. Both were very funny, especially McGhie’s mugging story about Ewoks in hoodies! Grimes was next and she gave us some wonderful ethereal trance tunes  and a topless blonde dancer too…. he was quite good! We made it to the NME/ Radio 1 stage for Dry The River. They have a very chilled US  west coast sound with added psychedelic wig outs and up until that point the weather was Californian too.

Santigold was pure class but what the hell had she made the band wear? Her set had everything; the audience on stage, costume change and a pantomime horse (probably the first time I’ve ever seen one of those on stage at Reading)! We went back to the Main Stage for late afternoon and the Shins were the perfect choice! After the Shins it was the mercurial Enter Shikari. It’s now 4 years in a row at Reading for the Shikari boys who in my opinion are one of the finest bands to grace the main stage. They owned the place!

Some vaccines cure but the Vaccines rock! They are future headliners I think. Florence & the Machine best so far by mile and she did it in heavy rain. Heavy is an understatement, it was pissing down! Not only talented but a trouper too. Ms Welch has a heavenly voice. I am sure that she will be back to headline in the next few years. We watched the first two songs from Kasabian. I think they are far better live than on record but I would still describe them as Leaden Zeppelin. We caught just one song from the bouncy Katy B before a mini tour of the remaining headliners; At The Drive-In were on supreme form and it’s good to see them back, Metronomy provided us with some laid back late night dance grooves and finally we caught a bit of the DJ set from Bassnectar. For that all we were missing were a couple of tabs of E and some glow sticks. And so ended a relatively chilled and slightly damp day 2.

 

 

“‘Svobodu Pussy Riot” August 3, 2012


I am sure that by now many of you are aware of the plight of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Mariya Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich from the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. The three women are now on trial in Russia on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility. In effect what they did back in February this year was to perform an anti Putin song (a one minute punk prayer) in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour CathedralRussian Orthodox church. I suspect that the underlying charge is that they simply pissed off Vladimir Putin, who clearly has an ego the size of a small planet. His behaviour in my opinion makes it seem that glasnost never existed.

One of the many things I love about being a Brit is my right to exercise free speech, which is really all Pussy Riot were doing. Clearly free speech doesn’t exist for Putin, unless it’s him speaking! A group of western rock musicians have written to the Times this week to ask Putin to make sure that the three members of Pussy Riot get a fair trial. they could face up to seven years in jail for their ‘so called’ offence.

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud all the signatories of the letter who include; Jarvis Cocker, Pete Townshend, Martha Wainwright, Neil Tennant (off of the Pet Shop Boys) former Smith Johnny Marr, Kate Nash, Corinne Bailey Rae, Alex Kapronos (off of Franz Ferdinand), Cornershop and The Joy Formidable. I urge you to write to the press, your politicians and Putin himself to protest against this travesty of justice. Alternatively pop along to the nearest Russian Embassy and play your collection of  Sham 69, Angelic Upstarts and Bikini Kill tunes at maximum volume until they see sense. Why those three artists? well Pussy Riot have referred to them as some of their many influences.

In a Levada poll 43% of Russians said that they thought the potential punishments wer far too harsh whilst only 17% said that the punishments fit the crimes. I presume that means that 40% are either too stupid or too scared to have an opinion or they are related to Putin. How can you trust a man who clearly plays the system in any way he can to make sure he stays in charge indefinitely. On top of that he has allegedly had Botox injections to keep his ‘youthful’ appearance along with his unappealing habit of stripping to the waist to show how masculine he is! The old story of the Emperor’s New Clothes springs to mind here!

Maybe he needs to get Pussy Riot to record his entry music

In a rough translation of their one minute punk prayer Pussy Riot apparently said something like’ pray to the mother of god to chase Putin out’ . They also allegedly changed the words to a christian hymn from ‘holy, holy, holy, Lord God’ to ‘ shit, shit, shit of Lord God’ So I say to Mr Putin ‘Svobodu Pussy Riot’, embrace the modern world, promote freedom honestly, stop being a bully and do it now! Otherwise I believe you will be chased out, probably not by the mother of god but certainly by the majority of the Russian people!

Anthony Kiedis shows his support for Pussy Riot

 

“And you know I’m so wired up I don’t need any more tea in my cup” July 30, 2012


This post is my 501st, so I thought to myself what can I do to celebrate such a milestone? Actually the 500th post would have been a better one to celebrate but I missed that with all the excitement of the Olympics clouding my view. So is the number 501 meaningful in any way? well yes it is; it’s the score that most darts matches count down from. So does that help me come up with a theme for a celebratory 501st post on this blog? A darts theme on a music blog? Is it possible? Can it be done? Will this idiot stop rambling and get on with it? Well indeed I will. Welcome to my special darts themed post to celebrate issue 501! Let me add that when I say darts-themed I do mean that in the loosest sense possible!

So I thought I’d choose three darts related songs, one to represent each of three darts used in every turn at the oche. With the first dart I have hit, rather obviously, Darts the group. This band had quite a bit of chart action in the late 70s. They had a run of seven consecutive UK top 20 hits from 1977 to 1979. This included three that stalled at number two, sadly this meant they never reached the top spot. Those nearly number ones were; “Come Back My Love”, “The Boy From New York City” and “It’s Raining”, all from 1977. Their cover of the classic “Duke Of Earl” was produced by none other than Roy Wood off of the Move, Electric Light Orchestra and Wizzard. Another glam period connection is that Rob Davis the guitarist from Mud was briefly a Dart. That was before he went on to reach amazing heights as a songwriter including song such as Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”. The song I have chosen from Darts is one that also sums up summer so far in the UK this year; “It’s Raining”

For my second dart I am selecting Franz Ferdinand, the band as opposed to the famous Archduke. Their first single was released in 2003 and was called “Darts Of Pleasure“. Interestingly it was released on the Domino label, another popular pub game. Alex Kapranos of the band has said in interviews that the song is actually about seduction and that the darts of pleasure that hit you are in fact words. It was written by Kapranos and band colleague Nick McCarthy. The single peaked at number 44 in the UK charts in 2003. however their follow-up, the festival friendly “Take Me Out” was a smash. It was their biggest UK hit reaching the heady heights of number three. It also made the top twenty in Canada, Ireland and New Zealand, along with a creditable number 66 on the US Billboard chart. So now you can enjoy “Darts Of Pleasure”

For my last dart I had no other option in my opinion other than Dexys Midnight Runners. In 1982 the band released a cover version of Van Morrison’s song in praise of the late, great Jackie Wilson; “Jackie Wilson Said” (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)” The song reached number 5 in the UK charts, Morrison’s version was never a hit in the UK but did make the US top 75. Dexys played the song on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops show in 1982 and the screen behind them displayed a picture of darts player Jocky Wilson rather than supreme soul singer Jackie Wilson. For many years it was thought that this was a cock-up on the part of the Top Of The Pops production team. However Kevin Rowland has subsequently revealed that it was the band who asked for a picture of Jocky Wilson. Apparently they often referred to the song as Jocky and if this is true it just goes to prove that underneath that supposedly serious demeanour Mr Rowland has a damned good sense of humour! So here is my final dart, hitting a double top to win with a classic from Dexys!

 

Charity Gig – The Junction, York – Friday 22nd May 2009 May 25, 2009


OK I know it’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but I finally made it back and I have a lot to tell you, in particular about Friday night. I had the pleasure of attending a charity gig at the Junction in York. A mighty array of excellent acts had been assembled by Simon Pattinson to aid two local charities; York Guardian Angels and the York Hospital Radio. Like me Simon is a volunteer at York Hospital Radio as is Tom Wycks (more of him later) who designed the flier. £5 for five acts is a bargain anywhere, but here with such a superb selection it was a stupendous bargain. But enough of that, you’re probably dying to find out who was on the bill aren’t you?

The flyer from Fridays gig

The flyer from Fridays gig

First up was ‘A Man Is Slapped’. How can I describe him? Well what if the Human League were a hip hop band? That might go someway to describing this somewhat genre defying chap. I have posted a Man Is Slapped review before. I was impressed then and I was even more impressed on Friday. He does a fantastic song live where he overlays all the backing parts and then sings over that overlaid loop. He also does some great beat boxing too. If you get a chance to see him, take it!. Also if you have the misfortune to find yourself in York Hospital in the coming weeks you may get to hear him on the Hospital Radio Station. Tom Wycks (see I said there would be more of him later) has arranged to record a Man Is Slapped interview. Tom’s show usually goes out at 8pm on Wednesdays and I must say it is very good.

Second up was ‘Electrify Me’ now let me use another ‘what if’ to describe him. What if Brian Eno had been born no more than twenty years ago? This young guy is an electronic multi-instrumentalist. Well I say instrumentalist but he seemed to be making music with sounds synthesised from old electronic equipment. Including a Game Boy, well at least I think it was a Game Boy, for all I know it might have been a a Star Trek Phaser or just a simple hole punch. He did a storming cover of “Tainted Love” which was made famous by Soft Cell in the 80s but written and recorded by Gloria Jones and was a big Northern Soul hit in the 70s. Anyway back to Electrify Me, this guy is a must for student parties and festival dance tents. You cannot help but move your feet to this guy’s unique sound and he even made the Nokia tune sound cool!

Third up was a band who joined the bill too late to appear on the flier. They’re called ‘Front Room Antics’ I’ve enjoyed the ‘what ifs’ so far so here’s another. What if Orange Juice (the band not the drink) hadn’t been invented until now and were infused more with blues than soul? yep that could be these guys. Good sound and they know how to jam, which they did especially well during the broken string incident (hey that would make a great band name!).  An excellent vocalist that drank red wine too, now that hasn’t been seen since the days of Rod and the Faces, although Rod and the boys were so ill mannered they necked it straight from the bottle. I detected some influences in the ‘Front Room Antics’ sound notably Franz Ferdinand, Kings Of Leon and Television. This band might not be the fastest stringers in the west but they are a great band with excellent potential nonetheless!

‘Euphoria Audio’ were next and yes there is another ‘what if’ (although I don’t think it’s a good one) What if the Lost Prophets weren’t Welsh? That would only go a very, very small way to describing this band. When they started I thought Kasabian only a more dynamic and so much better, then I thought Lost Prophets (as you might have guessed). In fact whilst there are some influences here this is a very original and very superb band. Very tight instrumentally and with a fantastic rock vocalist. This band would work well at festivals and have the potential to perhaps fill stadiums one day. They also have a song in an Internet song contest; 1click2fame, so click here to vote for them.

Finally there was the headline act ‘3 Foot Ninja’. What can I say? How about another ‘what if’? What if punk and power pop were in fact conjoined twins? That barely does them justice but goes someway to describing their rich, eclectic and truly marvellous sound. They have real energy, very loud but also very skilled musically. I had heard of them but never actually heard them until this gig and boy am I glad I saw them. I will definitely go and see them again. They included two incredible cover versions in their set. Firstly Dizzee Rascal’s “Dance Wiv Me”  and they finished with an awesome (and regular readers will know that I use that word very sparingly) cover of the Prodigy’s “Breathe”. My advice is gather up all of your X Factor shite and burn it, then replace it with whatever you can get by 3 Foot Ninja!

Let me finish by saying a big thank you to Simon P for making this all possible and for helping to raise money for two excellent causes; Guardian Angels and York Hospital Radio. I can confirm that £170 was raised.

 

 
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