With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You’ve heard of the twist, now listen to this” September 21, 2015


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Glastonbury tickets go on sale in a few weeks, I’ve registered, have you? I have been to quite a few festivals, but if I am lucky enough to get a ticket this will be my first Glasto, after all these years!

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Anyway take your mind back to the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. The first thing of note is that it was called something different then, it was the Pilton Pop, Blues and Folk Festival and all festival goers were provided with free milk. Well Worthy Farm is a dairy farm. It was almost 45 years to the day that it took place. The Kinks were originally scheduled to headline the event but were replaced much nearer the start of the inaugural festival on the site by Tyrannosaurus Rex. Obviously this was just before they became T Rex.

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For many of you this is probably not new information. However, did you know who opened the festival in 1970 and then returned to the stage at the end of the second day to close it? It was the marvellously quintessential English band Stackridge! They have played Glastonbury more recently too; in 1999 and 2008. So in honour of that achievement I would like you all to get ready to “Do The Stanley”!

 

The Levellers (Acoustic) – Leeds Town Hall Friday 27th February 2015 February 28, 2015


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How many times do you come across a band for the first time or hear them for the first time in ages or see them live for the first time and realise just how many bloody good songs they have released over the years? It doesn’t happen often for me, but the Levellers are definitely an exception to that. Whilst I had always been aware of them I had never been an avid follower. But tonight it dawned on me just how strong their repertoire is.

Levellers 2008 - 2010

I went to the gig with my beautiful and delightful wife Catwoman (a.k.a Catherine) and our friends Sarah and Kev. The evening started with a new documentary about the band and their history. Jeremy Cunningham the band’s bass player was one of the most vocal in the film along with his fabulous parents. The documentary was fascinating and included some great detailed information and insights into who the band really are. All the current and previous Levellers were very candid in the film, most notably Jeremy. They have stuck by their principles and despite having a run of seven platinum albums have never been an ‘establishment’ band; thankfully. The film covers their early days, first appearance at Glastonbury and even the turd that was sent to then NME scribe Andrew Collins. At 78 minutes it was close to being a little too long but I loved it. The film is called ‘A Curious Life’ and I believe that it gets a DVD release on 27th April.

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The film screening was followed by a Q & A with the director Dunstan Bruce (formerly front man of Chumbawumba) and Jeremy Cunningham. This was soon followed by a fantastic acoustic set from the Levellers. The venue was seated but people were agitating to dance and stomp from the off, although security were very quick to keep everyone in their seats. However about halfway through the show that thankfully became impossible and we were all up singing along and dancing. The atmosphere was electric; which is quite funny for an acoustic show isn’t it?

The Levellers

I don’t know all of the songs  but some that I do know were supremely performed; “The Boatman”, “Truth Is” and “Edge Of The World” are among my favourites. Whilst they didn’t play one of my favourites “One Way” it was still a storming set with the anthemic “Carry Me” being a part of the encore. Since getting home from the gig I have begun to work my way through all the Levellers albums on Spotify. They also have a greatest hits set available which includes collaborations with Bellowhead, Imelda May, Billy Bragg and Frank Turner. Would I pay to see the Levellers again some time? Fuck yeah!

As regular readers know that as I prefer to enjoy the show rather than look at it through the lens of my mobile phone none of the pictures or films were taken by me and many were not from the gig. That part has been a public service announcement 🙂

 

The Tuts – @ Leeds Ladyfest – Wharf Chambers, Leeds – Saturday 11th October 2014 October 13, 2014


ladyfest logoOn Saturday I had yet another opportunity to attend a live show from my favourite all-girl punk band the Tuts and obviously I wasn’t going to turn that down was I? The Tuts were the third and headlining act in the musical close to the Leeds Ladyfest. This festival exists to promote and celebrate women in the arts. The first part of the day included some very successful workshops I’m told. I was only there for the music and more of that later. The venue was the rather excellent Wharf Chambers in Leeds, this co-operative pub/ venue has the potential to become one of Leeds’ best small venues in my opinion. I understand that money raised from the event would be going to charity. One of the recipients will be Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL). This is an organisation that I know a bit about thanks to my friend Rachel Vernelle who is a passionate supporter. If you wish to contribute to SARSVL or indeed to help fund Wharf Chambers the links are above.

Anyway on to the music. The first band on were Demitaves. Three people, one acoustic guitar, some basic percussion and harmonies to die for. The well rehearsed vocals were reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at their best. The band also had some excellently written and performed songs. The acoustic cover of Britney SpearsToxic” was a highlight. In my opinion if you cover a song you should make it different from the original and for this cover it was definitely mission accomplished. So would I go and see the Demitaves again? Of course I would and so should you if you get the chance!

Next up were Chambers a two-girl duo who told us that they had only been together for two months. If I heard that part correctly then they really were bloody good! A complete contrast to the close harmonies and largely a capella sound of the Demitaves it would be fair to say that Chambers rocked hard. Would it be a cliché to say that Chambers rocked the (Wharf) Chambers? It would? OK I won’t then. These women have a very heavy and very loud sound and are closer to heavy metal than any other genre for me. They only played three songs, but on the strength of that I would certainly check them out again given the chance.

WP_20141011_002Finally it was my chance to see those fabulous Tuts once again. This is the third or fourth time I have seen them and it would be very fair to say that they have got better every time. They have a great set of songs “Tut Tut Tut”, “Dump Your Boyfriend” and my current favourite “Worry Warrior” among many others. The Tuts are nothing like either of the other bands on the bill which for me makes for a brilliantly varied and interesting evening. It would have been nice to see more people there but it was a fabulous atmosphere and great show from Nad Tut, Bev Tut and Hat Tut. They even managed a crowd invasion at one point with Nadia and Harriet bringing their guitars and microphones onto the floor in among us punters. Jen Doveton off of Colour Me Wednesday also joined them on stage for one song.

WP_20141011_006Their UK tour is over now, the last show was in Manchester on Sunday. However the big news is that they will be treading the boards in the UK again very soon, in the early part of 2015 in fact. If you’re a Tuts fan you’ll already know this, but the girls are supporting the legendary Selecter on their UK tour! Check below for the dates. This came about after Pauline Black saw the Tuts thunderstorm interrupted Glastonbury set in June this year. I will definitely be there at the Leeds Brudenell show in 2015. If you haven’t yet checked out the Tuts I want a letter from your parents explaining why!

10624659_10152724895140900_9000051786108769847_nFinally take a look at the latest video from the fabulous Tuts!

 

“You’ve got a new horizon it’s ephemeral style” August 9, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 10:56 pm
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tumblr_mra6h1MCrK1r6d0sao1_500Damon Albarn is currently the only man to headline Glastonbury two years in a row. With Blur in 2009 and then with Gorillaz the following year. Now this made me wonder how many people have headlined the festival, or indeed any festival, with more than two acts. I guess it’s possible that Damon could also headline as a solo artist in the future too. I’m looking forward to your contributions here dear readers 🙂

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“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!

 

“You can turn this world around and bring back all of those happy days” February 8, 2012


Madonna announced her new world tour shortly after her triumphant appearance at the Super Bowl on Sunday. It’s currently 50 dates including two in the UK and kicking off in Israel in May. Interestingly the supposed pretender to her Madgness’s throne HRH Lady Gaga published details of the stage set for her world tour on Twitter shortly afterwards. Was this part of the grand design, pure chance or was it just dance?

The Gaga set seems to feature a large castle with plenty of walkways into the audience. She also describes an area surrounded by those walkways as the monster pit. This is where her most ardent followers, those she calls her little monsters will want to head for. Particularly as some of those will be specially selected by Haus of Gaga to come backstage later to meet HRH Gaga in person. But the monster pit will only be for those fans who have ‘arrived first, waited all night, + dressed to ‘ball”.

Would I want to be penned in with all those who have waited all night? Maybe not, it could be a bit smelly couldn’t it, especially if any of her little monsters decide to copy her meat dress. But then again at least there would be plenty to snack on. As for being dressed to ball; is it just me or does that suggest a sexual interaction? The phrase to ‘ball’ was a 70s phrase for sex wasn’t it? There was even a track on Marvin Gaye‘s classic album ‘Let’s Get It On‘ called “You Sure Love To Ball

So let me rethink. Do I want to spend a couple of hours hemmed in close to a Gaga fanatic (they were the first to arrive don’t forget) dressed in rotting flesh and ready for sex? Well I suppose that just depends on who it is doesn’t it. Are you listening Catwoman? Will you be wearing the ham and bacon when I get home? I hope so, but don’t do anything rash(er) though.

Click here to read about Madonna’s tour and click here to read about Lady Gaga’s tour.

And to finish here’s a little Billy bonus…………”You Sure Love To Ball” from the late, great Marvin Gaye.

 

“Please could you stop the noise, I’m trying to get some rest” October 15, 2011


I’d like to wish the brilliant nme.com a happy 15th birthday. To celebrate the site now hosts a list of what they consider to be the best tracks of the last 15 years. Not too many surprises, even for someone like me who has been an NME reader since 1971. I am really grown up now and actually subscribe to the printed version. But nme.com along with the BBC and the Guardian are the sites that I check out each day. There must be people out there who have been reading NME for longer than me and equally kids who have only got into music since the launch of nme.com. I would love to hear your NME related stories.

Click here to access the whole top 150. The top 5 in descending order are;

 

“250,000 Miles On A Clear Night In June” June 27, 2011


Just a few random things heading your way for this post. Let’s start with the sale of an iconic item of Michael Jackson’s clothing, it’s the jacket that he wore in the “Thriller” video. It sold recently for £1.1m in an auction in Beverley Hills. It was bought by an US Commodities Trader who plans to use it to raise money for children’s charities. Given the many allegations made against Jacko the use of his old clothes in that way does seem somewhat appropriate, doesn’t it? Click here to read the story on the BBC.

Lady Gaga is being sued in the USA for allegedly pocketing far more money than is appropriate in the sale of her Japan Earthquake Relief wristbands. The lawsuit, in which she is being sued for more than £3m, alleges that the wristbands are sold for $5 each and include shipping and tax costs meaning less than 10% would reach its beneficiaries. But obviously we don’t know how much of the detail Gaga herself is aware of, so watch this space and click here to read the story on the NME site.

Madonna will soon feature in a comic in the US. It will be in Bluewater Productions ‘Female Force’ series of comics. It’s hardly Batman or the Fantastic Four is it? Even more so when you consider that some of the other women to have featured to date are; Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher. I suppose that the latter two could almost pass as super villains though. Even though I have a large collection of comics I think it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be buying the Amazing Adventures Of Madge.

To coincide with the release of the new Muppets movie later this year a number of rock acts have recorded cover versions of many Muppet numbers. Amy Lee off of Evanescence has  recorded one of my favourite Muppet songs, “Halfway Down The Stairs” originally sung by Kermit’s nephew Robin. Weezer and Hayley Williams off of Paramore have covered “Rainbow Connection”. Other artists recording songs for the album are; Alkaline Trio, My Morning Jacket, Airborne Toxic Event and OK Go.

It's a tragedy that Gaga has not been allowed to record a Muppet song, especially after she murdered so many of Kermit's relatives to make her dress.

Did you see any of the Glasto coverage? I thought the BBC did a great job with it, although I didn’t see the Wombles anywhere! As for the headliners; I thought U2 were ok, Coldplay were bloody good and Beyoncé was truly amazing. She even managed to cover Eurythmics, Alanis Morrisette, Prince and the Kings Of Leon. despite the rumours that her man Jay Z would join her on stage, he didn’t, but she did a rather interesting duet with Tricky. My main thought as I watched her was how little talent the likes of Cheryl Cole actually have.

I’m loving the new Eminem video for “Space Bound”, what do you think of it? It does contain the usual element of controversy from Mr Mathers. This time gun related. But I really believe the man is on top form.

Gaga just get's everywhere doesn't she?

And finally would you like your girlfriend, wife or partner to wear knickers with a picture of Thom Yorke on them? personally I wouldn’t, but if you’re that way inclined you can actually buy them. Has anyone reading this purchased any of them? Click here to see for yourself.

 

“And the future is certain, give us time to work it out” April 12, 2011


OK I know i's not actually Friday today, but that's not really the point is it?

Just a few morsels of news for you with this post, ok for a couple of these ‘news’ might be stretching it and ‘olds’ might be a more apt description. Especially this first one. Many of you will have no doubt heard of Rebecca Black. She is the young lady who recently released what many consider to be one of the worst songs and worst videos ever. There has been an awful lot of nasty, vicious, vitriolic comment about her song. So other than saying I really don’t think the song or video are very good I will try not to add to what has already been said. The key thing that concerns me about this sad affair is that the poor girl recorded the song for a vanity music label; the Ark Music Factory. So now everyone can be a singer, just pay a few grand, or indeed get your parents to stump up the cash and you will get a song, a guest rapper, a vocoder and a naff video. sounds great doesn’t it? But surely you need talent as well? But in these days of X Factor and Idol that probably isn’t the case. Now that in my opinion is a really sad state of affairs. the one saving grace for Rebecca (apart from the millions of YouTube hits) is that the proceeds from any sales of her song “Friday” will go towards the earthquake relief in Japan. judge for yourself, if you haven’t already, by watching the video below. I would also love to hear your opinions on vanity record labels.

Talking Heads - Digging for Crist!

The BBC reported today that David Byrne off of the Talking Heads has settled his case against former Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist after the politician used the Talking Heads song “Road To Nowhere” to attack his opponent in the race for the senate. personally I am really pleased that Byrne took Crist on. What do you think? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.

Bono wonders whether he should have put his $558m in the hotel safe rather than trousered it in the pocket of his Speedos

It has now been confirmed that U2 have achieved the highest grossing tour ever with their 360° tour which began back in 2009. They still have 20 dates to go too, but they have already grossed $558 million. That even allows for missing a few dates, including Glasto last year, due to Mr Hewson’s back problems. Are they really worth it?

Dunc with Dad, Dame Dave

Richard Rich and Max Tannone have put together a brilliant free EP based on mixing hip hop sounds with the soundtrack to Duncan Jones (son of David Robert Jones) excellent movie ‘Moon’. Click here to download all the tracks. It’s called the Selene Project and has nothing to do with song strangler Celine Dion, it’s spelled very differently people!

Finally I was honoured to accompany the delectable Catwoman (aka Catherine Lee, my fiancée) to the studios of Radio York on Saturday where live on air she reviewed the newspapers. Once again she did an excellent job, you can still hear the show for three more days by clicking on Radio York’s Julia Booth’s page here. You can also check out the website for her excellent Virtual Assistant company, Kaleidoscope Business Services by clicking here and she would also love you to comment on her rather spiffing series of blogs.

 

“‘Cause we’re lovers And that is a fact Yes we’re lovers And that is that” October 16, 2010


This is all that's left of the last person who did a bad cover version of one of my songs, so take heed Cowell!

Travesty hardly does it justice in my opinion, but frankly I am both saddened and angered that the X Factor Finalists charity single this year will be their version of David Bowie’s “Heroes”. OK I haven’t heard it yet, but I really can’t imagine it will be anything better than mediocre at best. The only redeeming feature is that it will be raising money for the Help For Heroes charity. Incidentally I do find it sad that the soldiers who get injured in pointless wars like the one in Iraq have to rely on our charity for a better life. I don’t begrudge them that at all, I just think that the government should do much more for them. By the way, just because I don’t support the war in Iraq and other places doesn’t mean I don’t support our soldiers that are out there risking their lives. Anyway rant over for now. read about this awful cover version at the NME and the BBC.

The Division Bell goes Lego

In some more encouraging news Nick Mason, sticksman for the Floyd has said that charity could lure the band back on stage together at some point in the future. Their last appearance on stage together was at Live 8 in 2005. But Roger Waters and David Gilmour did play together in Oxfordshire in July this year in aid of the  Hoping Foundation which supports Palestinian children. Let’s hope Mr Mason is correct and that it happens soon. How about Pink Floyd at Glastonbury? Read all about it here on the BBC and NME.

They used to say that home taping would kill music, well it didn't did it?

Rob Dickins former boss of Warner Records for 15 years up to 1998 has claimed the way to save the industry and really hit back at piracy is to reduce album prices to just £1. Personally I totally agree with him. I believe that there is no greater reason for people to illegally download than the current price of music, particularly downloads which require no physical product to support them. Here is the story on the BBC. What do you folks think? What percentage of your downloads are illegal?

The Inbetweeners boys raid the NME

Finally for this post, this week’s NME was taken over and edited by the boys from superb British comedy the Inbetweeners. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? I also understand that the rights have been sold to the US, I really cannot imagine how the hell it will translate for a US audience. Click here for pictures of their takeover of the NME.

 

 
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