With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo Festival 2014 – York – Saturday 21st June June 30, 2014


 

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Unfortunately I was unable to attend last years Apollo Festival so I was quite excited about this one. On another unfortunate note for various reasons I ended up having to miss the set from Reverend and the Makers who headlined the day. But I did get to see absolutely loads of great music and I do hope to be back next year. This time for the full day!

I spent the day with my wonderful wife Catherine (regular readers will know her as Catwoman and our good friends Caron and John and their beautiful daughter Amelia. Catwoman and me are Odd parents to Amelia. the first stage we visited was the Access To Music Stage. Ruby was playing when we arrived, she looked very young, but she was also very, very good. Her own material had some very mature lyrics for someone so young and she even made an Olly Murs song sound good when she covered “Troublemaker”. We stayed in place to see the next act; Laura. Does nobody bother with surnames any more? Laura has an excellent voice and some great songs of her own. She also played two well-chosen and extremely well done covers. The first was the Beatles “Blackbird” and she finished her set with a storming acoustic cover of the Gnarls Barkley modern classic “Crazy”.

 

We wandered over to the Main Stage next where we saw We Could Be Astronauts last song. It was a pity that we weren’t able to see more because these guys sound bloody good! Redstar from Huddersfield were next and it would be difficult to find any fault with this superb band. Their playing is on the button and really tight. The vocalist has all the traits of a great front man and he backs that up with a great rock voice. Their songs are pretty damned good too. I reckon there may be some Kasabianesque influences in there and they made me think of what Beady Eye could have been had Liam retained any talent. But that is small stuff, they are very much their own band. The free CD album they handed out to us punters is brilliant and has been on heavy rotation in my car since the show. Chris Helme former singer of John Squire‘s first post Stone Roses project the Seahorses was next. he is clearly a talented bloke with a good voice but I found him a little dull.

It was back to the Access To Music Stage next where we saw the fabulous Barcode Zebra. probably the funkiest band of the day. A truly stupendous rhythm section and a vocalist for whom a description of awesome might not be quite enough. They are playing in York at a launch of their new EP in July and sadly I will be away that weekend. I would definitely pay to see this band again. also if you’re reading this good people of Barcode Zebra I would love to do an interview with you for this blog!

The Entertainment Co Stage was our next port of call where we found it impossible not to dance and sing along to the curators of that stage; The Entertainment Company! They don’t just play cover versions they own them! Are they the best party band ever?  Very probably! shall we book them for Catwoman’s 50th birthday party (yes she doesn’t look even close to 50 does she)? I hope they do private party bookings because I’d love them to play for us in September 2016!

After that it was a return to the Main Stage where we saw the Black Delta Movement. We didn’t catch their whole set but they come across as very accomplished rockers with a swampy blues rock feel. Not bad at all. Former Bluetones frontman the ‘Legendary’ Mark Morriss was on next with a rather brilliant acoustic set. He is wonderfully self-deprecating and even his new songs have an air of classics about them.

Next it was a quick jog back to the Entertainment Co Stage where we were hoping to see the highly recommended And The Hangnails (thank you Mr Pattinson). before they took to the stage those wonderful people from the Entertainment Company had allowed a young singer from LA to play a few songs. His name is Ben Caron and he is soulful and funky. A bit like Bruno Mars but with more of an R & B edge. He has a truly great voice with which he wowed the all too small crowd. I bought his album, a steal at £7 and he struck me as a really good bloke too. You really should check him out. And The Hangails came on the stage and it is fair to say that for just two people they make a massive noise. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, this pair know how to rock. I sensed some influence from the likes of the White Stripes, the Black Keys and the Strokes. Would I pay to see this mighty duo again? Hell yeah!

Target By Numbers were next on the Access To Music Stage. Good musicians and some ok songs, but they really didn’t do it for me. The last band we saw on the day was the Supermodels on the Main Stage. They are a covers band, but to simply say that really doesn’t do them justice. They cover some classic rock songs with such verve and talent that you could almost imagine you were listening to the real thing if your eyes were shut. Their cover of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley” would give Daltrey and Townshend a run for their money. I really want to see them play again. Sadly we had to leave just before the Supermodels left the stage. But although we missed the headliners we had a fantastic day! well done to the organisers and for all the money raised for an excellent cause; the Smiley Riley Fund!

 

 

“I want the world to know I’m happy as can be” November 15, 2012


This month, November 2012, marks the 60th anniversary of the UK singles chart which began in the NME in 1952. We’ve come a long way from crooner Al Martino‘s “Here In My Heart” all those years ago to the current resident of the number one spot in the UK singles chart; Robbie Williams with “Candy”. Maybe we haven’t come too far though as Robbie does fancy himself as a crooner doesn’t he. I must confess that Robbie’s current number 1 is one of the few songs of his that I like.

The chart now includes downloads which have helped to boost sales of singles considerably. Apparently there have been 3.7 billion singles sold in that 60 year period in all formats. But the peak for the physical format was the 80s which recorded 640 million singles sales.  The biggest selling UK single ever was Elton John’sCandle In The Wind ’97” which was the singers dedication to Princess Diana. It sold 4.9 million copies and therefore raised millions for charity. Personally I prefer the original version. Does anyone ever play the Diana version these days? Incidentally do you know what the biggest selling single never to top the charts is? It’s Wham! with “Last Christmas/ Everything She Wants” which lost out to Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which is the second best-selling single ever back in 1984.

There have been more than 1,200 number ones in the chart’s history. The artists with most number one singles in the UK are;

Elvis Presley (21)

Beatles (17)

Cliff Richard (14)

Westlife (14)

Madonna (13)

How tragic is it that Westlife are in there?

Hopefully it really will be their last ever tour

As a teenager I can still recall lining up my cassette recorder microphone near the transistor radio to record my favourite songs from the Radio 1 chart rundown back in the 70s. How many of you did the same? I know of at least one fellow blogger who did. You can check out his excellent post on this chart milestone on his Every Record tells A Story blog by clicking here. You’ll even be able to see him on the chart history documentary on the Beeb! Recording the charts now seems almost pointless given the availability of music on-line, which I think is a real shame. But hey that’s progress right? Talking of progress, the first ever UK number one single based on download sales alone was as far back as 2006. It was the excellent “Crazy” from Gnarls Barkley.

There are also a number of chart records an artist probably wouldn’t want though, like;

Most Top 75 hits (97 of them) without a number one. That one is the honour of the Glee Cast. I hope they keep that one forever

Most Top 40 hits without a number one is easily won by Depeche Mode with 40 of them.

But perhaps the one you really should feel sorry for is Sash! A record of five number 2 singles and no number 1.

But let me finish on a better note. The first single I ever bought was a classic UK number one in my opinion. It was “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies and stayed at the top for 8 weeks at the tail end of 1969. Personally I fell that the charts will stay with us for many years yet, albeit very much adapted from the old days of purely physical sales. I would love to hear your thoughts on this fabulous UK Charts anniversary.

Even the charts are younger than Cliff

 

Reading Festival 2011 – Day 3 – Sunday 28th August August 29, 2011

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:20 pm
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First up today were Dananananaykroyd; they’re wild and they’re from Scotland and it is hard not to like them. next we saw the Original Rude Boys on the BBC Introducing Stage. Three Irish lads who were here because they were messing around at home a few months back and wrote a song which they recorded and put on YouTube and it took off from there. they’re acoustic with some great Irish rapping. They played a great cover of Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy”.  Back to the NME/ Radio 1 stage next. So tell me a fat bald beardy bloke and a band that looks like students? Sounds fucked up? Well it is Fucked Up and they are fucking amazing! Does he ever get on stage?

The BBC Introducing stage set by Funeral Party was ok and Taking Back Sunday brightened up the rain from the Main Stage. Frank Turner was very possibly the best act of the day for me! Massive sing along opportunities. the Little Comets were good when I saw them at Fibbers in York a while back but now they’re great! Appropriately for a Sunday I saw Chapel Club next. What are they like? Well fuck genres these guys are just fucking good! Enter Shikari were truly earthshaking once again! Friendly Fires are like Enter  also from St Albans and very, very funky.

Panic At The Disco; a great set from the boys and as they in the US these guys rock! Death From Above 1979 loud powerful and your Gran probably won’t like them. But as far as I know I’m not your Gran and I like them! It appears by the miracle of sunlight streaming through a gap in the tent stage that 7:30 on Sunday will from now on always be the festival solstice! Why? well I had an illuminated bald head, but not just illuminated, it was like a light Mohican. (There may well be a film from Mr H of that very episode soon).

The Streets; Mike Skinner a true street poet genius. Dry your eyes indeed mate for this is the last ever Streets show. Big respect to Mr Skinner for a superb send off! Caught a couple of songs from Flogging Molly, still Irish, still have a punk attitude and frankly bloody good! 2manydjs OMFG now that is what I call DJing! Definitely worth missing Muse for! (Although I hear they were bloody good once again) Would I have enjoyed that more with some E and a glow stick? I doubt it. Now let me finish with something that Mike Skinner said; “Reading you look like you’ve been rocking for days”. Well we have and we will again next year!

 

“I guess he’s an X Box and I’m more Atari” September 19, 2010


Hello good people of the blogosphere. The regular readers amongst you may have noticed that I have been posting for a couple of weeks, that is largely because I have been on holiday in Spain. A rather lovely place nestled about halfway between Alicante and Valencia. It is called Javea and is also spelt as Xabia in Spanish, the strange thing is though that it is pronounced with an ‘H’ as in Havea. one of the reasons that I loved the place is that it is not over developed and there are hardly any English Pubs. Is there anyone out there who actually likes the idea of English pubs when abroad? Most of the UK Travel Guides give barely a mention of Javea, possibly because it is quite a popular resort with the Spanish, so maybe it is wise to keep it a secret. Catwoman and I stayed in a villa that we rented at ‘mates rates’ from friends, from there we could walk into town within 25 minutes and the drive took 5 to 10 minutes. It was great to be sitting by the pool or on the beach with the temperature in the 90s whilst the UK was very cold and wet. It was really wet when we arrived back at Leeds/ Bradford airport last night anyway.

I won’t bore you with all the details of the holiday but I will give a special mention to a couple of bars we visited;

Siesta – appropriately named as they let you hire large sun beds with canopies, you almost feel like you’re staying in one of Gaddafi’s tents. Great cocktails, great staff and some excellent chilled sounds.

Jalousie Cocktail Bar – we never sampled their proper cocktails, but the non-alcoholic ones were delicious as were their milkshakes.

Acqua Bar and Steakhouse – Good food, especially the fillet steak

Atalaya – probably one of the most chilled bars in town, you can relax in comfy sofas and look out over the sea and the beach while you drink and eat. The staff were great here too.

Obviously I need to bring this back around to music so here are a few things that happened in the music world while I was away. I haven’t done much research on these, they were in the UK newspapers that I bought or I picked them up from an occasional visit to the BBC site or just spotting other people’s newspaper headlines. I must say though that most of the news revolved around the Pope’s visit, so I’m damned glad I was out of the country.

I wonder what Morrissey thought of it?

Lady Gaga – the lady did wonders for my viewing figures while I was away, just over 30,000 in two weeks including a one day record of more than 6,000. She won 8 of her 13 nominations at the MTV awards and to celebrate she wore a meat dress. I guess she was putting her ‘steak’ in the ground or maybe she was bringing home the ‘bacon’ or giving the ‘cold shoulder’ or simply just ‘hamming it up’. Anyway it appears to have provoked a lot of debate about what meant, frankly though who gives a toss about its meaning? She is a wonderfully talented fruitloop and therefore fully qualified to grab attention in such a way and long may she continue! The BBC report includes a number of interpretations which are quite amusing in their seriousness, click here to read it.

George Michael jailed (and transferred) for driving under the influence (of dope in this case). He started off in Pentonville and was then transferred to a ‘softer’ prison. Pete Doherty and Boy George have both previously spent time in Pentonville. I have so far received many George Michael jokes as I suspect has everyone, but I won’t print those here. However the picture below is a superbly intelligent piece of graffiti. It shows the shop front of the Snappy Snaps shop that George hit with his car.

Apparently Susan Boyle and Michelle McManus were booked to sing for the Pope, although apparently he was already on his way out of the building when Susan was singing. That’s bloody rude isn’t it? Still at least he has now left the shores of our little third world country. Presumably he’s back in the Vatican now drafting a letter telling all those kiddy fiddler priests that they have been jolly naughty and not to do it again or they will be grounded for a week!

Alphonsus Cassell aka Arrow of “Hot Hot Hot” fame has died from brain cancer at his home in Montserrat. Now I reckon a Facebook campaign to get the song to number one should be kicked off, what do you think? Here he is singing the song at a benefit for Haiti in April this year.

Sacha Baron Cohen is chosen to play Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic. The film will apparently focus on the years leading up to what many see as the pinnacle of Queen’s career, their appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Personally I think that is a great choice, I reckon Mr Cohen will really do the role justice, what do you folks think? Here are Queen at Live Aid with, appropriately for this post, “Radio Ga Ga”

I want to finish with the stupendous new song from Cee Lo Green off of Gnarls Barkley, it’s called “Fuck You” and I love it. there will be a more radio friendly version available soon, called “Forget You”

 

“Toss you in the trash, then reduce you to an acronym” July 4, 2010


I would like to wish a very happy 4th July to all my American readers. I thought I would choose my top 5 songs by American artists to celebrate, but then I decided that it would take me way too long. So I put the iPod on shuffle and here are the first five US artists to pop up.

Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley. This act is one of the many collaborations that have involved DangerMouse (aka Brian Burton). This time he pairs himself with Cee-Lo Green (aka Thomas Callaway). The song was a worldwide hit and comes from their debut album ‘St Elsewhere’

Diamonds And Pearls” – Prince. As a boy Prince Rogers Nelson’s nickname was Skipper and he released his first album ‘For You’ way back in 1977. Apparently he is planning to give yet another album away with a UK newspaper later this year

LOL” – Little Jackie. Sadly Little Jackie is not a part of the band, it is in fact the band’s name. It comes from the Lisa Lisa And Cult Jam hit from 1989 “Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star“. The band is made up largely of Imani Coppola and Adam Pallin. This song comes from the album ‘The Stoop’, probably my favourite R & B album in recent years by a long way.

Refugee” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom Earl Petty will reach the grand old age of 60 later this year. He was also Charles T Wilbury off of the Travelling Wilburys. He also appeared in the 1997 Kevin Costner movie, ‘The Postman’ apparently appearing as his future self having become the Bridge City Mayor

Shoorah Shoorah” – Betty Wright. The first Betty Wright song I ever heard was also the first one I ever bought, it was “Clean Up Woman” from 1971. It was a massive US hit but didn’t really trouble the UK charts, sadly.

I will close with a song which made me want to visit America back when I was a teenager, it was Mr Bowie’s Plastic Soul adventure “Young Americans”

 

 
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