With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“How dare I show face When my diction is such a disgrace” Blog Advent Calendar Day 16 December 16, 2014


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Today is December 16th and Christmas is getting closer. You certainly don’t need to walk 500 miles to get to the festivities now do you? Have you sent your letter to Santa? Have you sent a letter to America? Last posting dates must be here soon. Anyway it is now day 16 in this years ABC of British bands advent blog posts. We are noon on the letter ‘P’. If you sussed out the clues that I left earlier in this paragraph (and frankly they weren’t difficult) you’ll know that todays band is the Proclaimers. Obviously you may have just looked at the picture too 🙂

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The band is Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid who were born on 5th March 1962 in Leith. They later went on to live in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty. The latter place is where they went to the Bell Baxter High School. The boys were a part of a number of punk bands before eventually forming the Proclaimers in 1983. Their big break came along in 1986 after a fan sent a demo tape to the Housemartins. The boys were then invited to support Hull’s finest on the 1986 UK tour. This exposure led to a slot on Channel 4’s the Tube in early 1987.

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Later that year their second single, “Letter From America” went to number three in the UK singles chart and number two in Ireland. This was the first of their six UK top 40 hits. Their biggest chart success came with a re-recording of 1988’s “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” in 2007. It was in aid of Comic Relief and the video involved many celebrities including Peter Kay and Matt Lucas. The song helped raise millions for Comic Relief that year. The original version of that song is their only US hit to date and it reached number 8 in the US Rock chart in 1988. The band have released 9 studio albums so far since 1987. Six of those made it to the UK top 50. 1988’s “Sunshine On Leith” reached number 6 in the UK chart and almost made it to the top in Australia, sadly stalling at number two. ‘The Best Of The Proclaimers‘, a 2002 compilation is their highest charting UK album making it to number 5 that year.

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Charlie and Craig are fans of Hibernian Football Club and their song “Sunshine On Leith” has become something of an anthem at the club’s home games. They are also keen supporters of Scottish independence. For me the Proclaimers are something of a Marmite act in that you either love them or hate them. Personally I love them, perhaps that is because I am half Scots. Either way you can now take some time to love or hate a selection of the Proclaimers best tunes.

 

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“Rock’n’roll with all my friends, hopin’ the music never ends” March 20, 2014


mr happyI might be a little late with this but today is the United Nations second International Day of Happiness. So let me help you celebrate with a few Happy and Happiness songs. Enjoy them and feel free to contribute some of your own.

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happiness

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“There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner” October 18, 2011


This hopeless sinner (or maybe I’m just a talented sinner) was listening to the radio at the weekend and a song that I really love came on. It was the beautiful “People Get Ready” by the Curtis Mayfield era Impressions. Now this is a very religious song and I am not a religious person. So my question to you is; should I be able to enjoy religious songs even if I am not religious myself? Well I’m talking conventional religion I suppose because in the last two census forms I completed I registered as a Jedi (hence the Star Wars elements of this post!)

I have quite a few songs of a religious nature in my collection including;

“I Want Jesus To Walk With Me” – Johnny Nash – But then I do have a rather extensive Johnny Nash Collection

“Forever Loving Jah” – Bob Marley – I love loads of Rasta but let’s face it I can never be one, I am now forever a “Crazy Baldhead”

“You Got The Love” – The Source featuring Candi Staton – Probably my favourite dance track, probably my favourite song of the 90s too! I am pretty sure this is a religious love song about the love of god rather than just a love song.

“People Get Ready” – The Impressions – A truly beautiful song whatever it’s sentiment in my opinion

Caravan Of Love” – Isley Jasper Isley – The biggest hit from this Isley Brothers offshoot and also superbly covered by those legends from Hull, the Housemartins

I’d like to know what you think about this potential dilemma. I don’t have a problem with this, but I wonder if there is anyone out there that does. On a similar vein I once worked with a guy who was a racist, I’d like to stress that he wasn’t a friend. He had lots of 60s soul music in his collection; Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and plenty of Motown. Personally I find that hard to reconcile; he didn’t like black people and yet he had a large amount of black music in his collection. I’d love to hear your views on that too.

Incidentally I would like to state categorically that I do not own any of Cliff Richard‘s religious songs such as “The Lords Prayer ” and “Saviours Day” 🙂

 

Little Comets – Fibbers, York 17th March 2009 March 18, 2009


OK it’s nearly a month since my last gig review so I thought I’d better get back out there again. Gigs at Fibbers are usually well worth it and tonight was no exception, four bands for £5 that’s a real bargain especially as they were all pretty good or better. Fibbers is a good venue but when will they move into this century and start accepting plastic over the bar? OK rant over and let’s move on to those all important bands, in order of appearance of course!

The Waking Hours

As usual and like many before me I often see a band and try and work out their influences and sometimes just what or who they might sound like. For me these guys have elements of 60’s Garage Rock, some early Van Morrison in his Them days, indie (although I admit that is such a wide description nowadays) and one of their songs seemed to have a very U2ish sound with it’s ‘edge-like’ guitars. Overall a great sound from an excellent band. I would also like to give a special mention to their drummer, one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while. Shades of John Bonham (although perhaps not quite as loud) and Animal from the Muppets (and I do mean that in a nice way). remember that Animals licks were provided by a very experienced drummer. Anyway click here to check out the band on their MySpace page

Swimwear Juniors

Tonight’s bands were all nicely different which is always a good thing I think. The Juniors (am I allowed to refer to them like that? After all everyone knows the Grateful Dead as the Dead!). They seem to be a real fun almost party band, like the Pigeon Detectives if they weren’t so automated and actually had a personality. Unlike the PDs the Juniors have oodles of personality and come across like a band cloned from the best bits of the Arctic Monkeys and the Housemartins with a special extra added secret ingredient (and before you ask I don’t know what that ingredient is ok). They also had the wit and personality to pull off something that many of their peers wouldn’t dream of, a few bars of the Wurzels “Combine Harvester” between songs. Thankfully not the whole of that ‘classic’ song though! Overall an excellent set from Swimwear Juniors (I thought I’d be polite and use their full name for the final sentence!). OK so click here to check these guys out now and I mean RIGHT now on MySpace!

Soft Toy Emergency

This is the second time I’ve seen Soft Toy Emergency and oh boy what a great band, absolutely awesome, no I’ll correct that they were truly fucking awesome! If these guys are not playing mega gigs by 2010 then it will only be because the sun has gone supernova and turned into a black hole (ok my science is poor but who cares?). They are a genre defying band, you can’t label this excellent combination of fun, danceability, punk spirit and pop sensibility. They would blow most of the dull indie kids away at festivals like the Carling at Reading and Leeds. If this band appears near you and you do not go and see them I will personally ensure that you are forced to listen to nothing but Westlife for the rest of your days! So if you really aren’t keen on that kind of punishment check out this superb Liverpool band on MySpace by clicking here……… well, what are you waiting for….. DO IT NOW

Little Comets

Personally I would not have fancied taking the stage after a band like Soft Toy Emergency, it would take an excellent band to make a good job of it. These boys from Newcastle made more than just a good job of it, they were bloody good. In fact don’t let the name fool you these guys are bloody great big bright comets. They have some excellent songs and know how to work their audience. For me the nearest comparison I could come up with would be a bit like Vampire Weekend with extra added funk and English sensibility. I will definitely go and see them again! You MUST check them out on MySpace and also their excellent band site too. When I say MUST I bloody mean MUST ok!

OK that’s the review over and so far I haven’t reviewed a shit band, although I’m sure that day will come! I’d also like to give a special mention to two special ladies; Catwoman and Charlie who did the most amusing drunken dancing during the Little Comets set. Another special mention goes to Simon P who managed to get me a Soft Toy Emergency CD which I missed out on last month. And finally a special thank you to the doorman for asking me if I had any ID, you made this old bloke very happy ta very much!

 

 
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