With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Average White Band – Leeds Irish Centre – Wednesday 22nd November 2017 November 23, 2017


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It is now just over 45 years since I went to my first gig (the Jackson 5 if you’re interested) and here I am still going, as are the incredible Average White Band. I saw them once in London back in the 70s and they were great back then. I can honestly say that they still are, in fact they are better than great. The Irish Centre is a magnificent venue, although this is only the second time that I have been here, the last was many years ago for Chumbawamba.

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It always amazed me that a bunch of white Scottish blokes managed to out funk and pour more soul into their songs than some of the finest black soul and funk musicians that the USA could muster. When I first heard that phat slab of funk that is “Pick Up The Pieces” back in 1974 I assumed that it was by someone like the BarKays. I believed that for weeks until I read an article in the UK music press, probably Blues and Soul magazine.

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There may only be two original members of AWB left in Onnie McIntyre (guitar) and Alan Gorrie (bass, keyboards and lead vocals), both of whom can still find the funk, but they have picked some stunning players to join them in the seven piece band that blew the crowd away at the Irish Centre tonight. I think they all deserve a mention; Rob Aries (keyboards and bass guitar), Cliff Lyons (alto and tenor sax), Fred Vigdor (tenor sax and keyboards), Rocky Bryant (drums and percussion) and Brent Carter (Lead Vocals).

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When someone describes a band as ‘tight’ the Average White Band epitomise and define what it is to be a ‘tight’ band. At times they showed that they could have been backing James Brown and would never have been fined by the Godfather of Soul for playing a bum note. All the really big hits were aired tonight; “Pick Up The Pieces”, “Cut The Cake” and a stunning encore, with full crowd participation, of “Let’s Go Round Again”. Yes even I shook my rump to the funk on that one. The occasional deeper cuts were played, with “When Will You be Mine” being a particular highlight. The Average White Band have enjoyed success with some cover versions of songs that they really made their own. Particularly soul standard “Walk On By” and a version of “Work To Do” that in my opinion tops the original by the Isley Brothers. Both of these tunes were given full and funky workouts tonight along with a new take on another Isley Brothers classic “Harvest For The World”. This was a truly exceptional performance from a band that remain at the top of their game. I would also like to thank my gig buddy Audrey for making this such a fun night.

 

“I picture the rain on windows and I think of home” – Advent post day 1 December 1, 2013


211061_511805772225628_391093463_nWho would have thought that time passed so quickly? It seems like only yesterday that I was posting my twelve days of Christmas  advent blog. But here we are almost a year further on. So are you ready for this years With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent Calendar blog posts? I hope so because I have chosen a really eclectic mix of music for you. The theme is songs with numbers in their title and the plan is to count up from number one today to number 25 for Christmas Day.

58711So for today, 1st December I have two songs for you, starting with the Tremeloes. The band was originally called Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and were signed by Decca Records instead of the Beatles allegedly because the band were more accessible geographically as they were in London with the Beatles being from Liverpool. Interestingly the first chart hit for the Tremeloes was in late 1963 with a cover of the Isley Brothers song “Twist And Shout” which had also been a hit as part of an EP for the Beatles earlier in the year. Brian Poole’s daughters Shelly and Karen were also successful in the music business after becoming Alisha’s Attic and having a string of top 30 hits from 1996 to 2001. But the Tremeloes song I have chosen reached number two in the UK in 1969 (and only number 27 in the US) and it is “(Call Me) Number One”. This one doesn’t feature Brian Poole. It’s a bit of a shame when you name your song that and then it doesn’t make it to number one isn’t it?

daftpunk_interstella5555The second song hiding behind the little cardboard flap of the advent calendar today is by the band that has one of the best-selling singles of 2013 with “Get Lucky”; Daft Punk. I have picked their big hit from 2000, “One More Time” which reached number one in France and Canada and number two in the UK charts. It was the first of six singles taken from the album ‘Discovery’. In 2010 “One More Time” was voted the greatest dance record of all time by readers of Mixmag magazine.

 

“A nation planted, so concerned with gain, as the seasons come and go, greater grows the pain” June 13, 2013

Filed under: Observation,Rants — justwilliam1959 @ 6:17 pm
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Many of us in the west are very lucky. A large majority of us have shelter and plenty of food. But we need to remember that millions of people around the world are not that lucky. Far too many people live in poverty with barely enough to eat. I do not believe this is right and I am sure that many of my readers will share that opinion. So let’s do our bit to stamp out poverty and malnutrition on our planet. We need our so-called leaders to act and we need them to act now. All you need to do right now is to sign an on-line petition that will send a message to the G8 group. We need them to get off their fat arses and do something for the world. Click here for the petition.

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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” 🙂

 

“I’m Luke, I’m five, and my dad’s Bruce Lee” August 20, 2011


I had a rather strange journey into work today. Usually I can drive to work in between 50  and 75 minutes depending on the time of day and
the time of year. However, this morning having left home at 6.40am and with the knowledge that schools are still closed for holiday I thought I might beat the 50 minute barrier. I probably would have done too had it not been for those pesky JCBs. At various stages of the journey I was stuck behind a different JCB on four separate occasions. It still only took me 65 minutes in the end, not bad I suppose.

But three JCBs in one journey, how did that happen? Is there a big JCB rally in Yorkshire? Are JCBs going to provide stage props for Muse
headlining at the Leeds Festival? Perhaps the police will be using JCBs as a secret weapon against any future rioters and looters. But then again maybe the rioters and looters have stolen a bunch of JCBs to help them carry home more swag when then have their next looting spree.

Have any of you been held up by more JCBs than me? Have you had any really bizarre vehicles holding you up on your journey? I would love to
hear from you.

Anyway in keeping with the purpose of this blog I have selected a few, hopefully, related songs for your pleasure;

“The JCB Song” – Nizlopi (He’s not 5 and I’m not Bruce Lee, but he is Luke so this one is for my son and my daughter Lauren, maybe we will meet again some day!)

Work To Do” – Isley Brothers

Rush Hour” – Jane Wiedlin

 

“They take some brain away, then turn my face around” January 8, 2011


Bowie was an early adopter of the guitar string floss method

OK perhaps a tad late, but it is still just about 8th January where I am. Anyway I would like you all to join me in a quick chorus of Happy Birthday for David Robert Jones, better known as David Bowie to most of you and possibly even the Dame to longstanding NME readers. I became a Bowie fan in September 1972 after that now legendary performance of “Starman” on Top Of The Pops. Many, many people had their Bowie epiphany from this performance, understandably too, it was otherworldly and alien. Even now it is quite a striking performance, especially subtle touches, like Bowie draping his arm around Mick Ronson‘s shoulders. It might all seem quite innocuous and tame nowadays, but in 1972 it was so very far out there.

That performance was shown on a Thursday night and two days later I raided my piggy bank and purchased four Bowie albums on cassette; “Space Oddity”, “The Man Who Sold The World“, “Hunky Dory” and “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars“. After about 18 months I had worn them all out! I first saw Bowie in 1976 and have now seen him 8 times in total, although if the rumours are to be believed we may never see him in concert again. However if you’re reading this David, can we at least have another album or two?

I have another piece of very slightly related Bowie news. My good friend Nick Horslen appeared on BBC Radio Berkshire earlier this week to do an interview about his life as a business coach, small business supporter, charity volunteer and many other things. He chose a few songs to play during his slot, notably Mr Bowie’s “Heroes” alongside “Harvest For The World” from the Isley Brothers and “We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles. He interviewed really well and I would also like to thank him for the excellent shout he gave this very blog. You can still hear the interview on the BBC iPlayer for a few days at least. Click here for the link and wind it forward to around 2 hours and 4 minutes and you’ll be able to listen to Nick’s interview on BBC Radio Berkshire’s Phil Gayle Show.

Now take some time out to enjoy a couple of Bowie classics and a couple that don’t get played much. Happy 64th birthday Mr Jones!

 

“We can make your wildest dreams come true” December 27, 2010


It is with sadness that I report the death of Teena Marie aged just 54. According to some news reports she died in her sleep and was found by her daughter. Read the news here on Yahoo. Teena was one of Motown‘s most successful white artists and a protegé of funk legend Rick James. Motown were worried that the fact she was white might have a detrimental effect on sales so they kept her image from the cover of her first album. A bit like the way they released some albums by their black artists in the 60s, I recall one Isley Brothers album, where the cover was a picture of a lot of beautiful young white people on a beach! It’s all wrong surely.

Teena also won a landmark legal case against Motown before she joined Epic. It broke the way record companies were allowed to hold artists on contract without them being able to release anything. Although she went on to further success with Epic in the 80s Teena for me will always be remembered for two classic funk songs from her Motown days; “Behind The Groove” and “I’m Just A Sucker For Your Love”. You can listen to them below and also watch an excellent clip of her singing “Casanova Brown” live

She will be sadly missed, my thoughts go out to her family and fans around the world.

 

“You don’t have to take this crap, you don’t have to sit back and relax” November 12, 2010


Is this country finally waking up? Are the downtrodden finally kicking back? Are those that consider themselves middle class no longer ignoring the obvious? Are our students finally in control of their rebellious gene? Let’s hope so! This week saw more than 50,000 people on the streets of London to protest at the raising of student fees. This follows protests about the schools building programme cuts in July, another anti cuts rally in Sheffield last month and the occupation of an RBS bank last week. OK I know the Daily Mail readers out there will be getting all sanctimonious about the violence and to a large extent I agree. (Yep me agreeing with a Daily Mail opinion, fucking hell am I getting old?) I do not condone violence of any kind and I truly believe that this was caused by just a small minority as is often the case.

With Nick Laurel and Dave Hardy at the wheel we can't go wrong....... can we?

Bear in mind that these protests have all taken place before the coalition cuts have begun to bite, so I think things will get much worse before they get better. Just look at the housing benefit plans, sure a great way of saving money in the short-term, but with private rents rising far quicker than the government are predicting a recipe for disaster. If it goes to plan it will lead to an exodus of people from London as they can no longer afford to live there. Where will that exodus take them? Why probably into all the areas in the country where there will be no jobs! Now that really makes sense doesn’t it? I do not disagree that cuts are needed in expenditure but there are far better ways of doing it. Over a longer period, with more considered plans etc.

Cameron prepares to throw the baby out with the bathwater

As for those of you that aspire to be or consider yourselves to be middle class, get over it! There are two classes in this country; the filthy rich and the rest of us! Just remember that the current cabinet contains 18 millionaires among its members. These are the people who believe they are leading the country, a mistake which many politicians make (Thatcher, Blair and more). They do not lead us, they serve us and it would be wise of them to remember this.

Clearly this picture proves that Nick Clegg has been David Cameron's ventriloquist dummy all along

I do not believe that this government will see out its full term and therefore we will have the opportunity to voice our opinions through the ballot box again. When the time comes do not bow to apathy, get off your arse and vote. Let’s show the politicians whose country this really is. Anyway, rant over and let me get back to the music. Obviously I have chosen some appropriate stuff for you!

White Riot” – The Clash. The song is not about race war as many pundits suggested at the time. According to Joe Strummer it is in fact a call to arms of the white youth of Britain to riot against things that were oppressing them in the same way that black youth in the 70s did.

Let’s Start A Riot” – Three Days Grace. These guys are an Alternative Canadian band who released their 3rd album, ‘Life Starts Here’ last year.

“Panic” – The Smiths This Morrissey/ Marr composition is not really about social unrest, it’s actually about the poor state of pop music at the time. But frankly it still fits on both levels. It was the first Smiths single to feature new member Craig Gannon.

“Walls Come Tumbling Down” – Style Council This is a superb attack on those that govern and I love it. Weller often gets criticised for the Style Council, but I think they were far better than the press thought they were. This song reached number 7 in the UK charts.

Another Brick In The Wall” – Roger Waters The Wall album is seen by many as close to being Roger Waters solo album. This video is from his current tour playing The Wall in its entirety.

“Going Underground” – The Jam. This song did not feature on any of the bands studio albums although it has been on most Jam compilations. I almost took the title for this post from the song. The couplet, “their lies let you down and their promises rust” would have worked well. This went straight into the UK charts at number 1.

I Predict A Riot” – Kaiser Chiefs Formed in Leeds in 1997 the band took their name from a South African football team; the Kaizer Chiefs. The band are Leeds United supporters and former Leeds player Lucas Radebe used to play for the Kaizer Chiefs.

Fight The Power” – Isley Brothers. Written by Ernie Isley this is a really funky protest song. Public Enemy were inspired by it a few years later.

“You Haven’t Done Nothing” – Stevie Wonder This clip appears to be taken from the Andy Williams show. It’s an excellent piece of protest from Mr Wonder. Did you know that the backing vocals on the original studio version were recorded by Motown stablemates at the time, the Jackson 5.

I do worry sometimes that Jedward may be a little more intelligent than Nivid or Dick

 

“They’re singing Deck The Halls, but it’s not like Christmas at all” December 24, 2009


I thought I would share with you a little project I undertook on Facebook during December. I called it my Advent Calendar of Uncovered Cover Versions. It is repeated here exactly as it appeared daily on my Facebook pages. I hope that my regular Blog readers enjoy it and that you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant 2010

December 1st

OK so the advent calendar is all about uncovering something good each day leading to Christmas right? So Ithought I would try to do something slightly related and try and post a cover version each day until Christmas. Starting today 1st December with Patti Smith’s version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit

December 2nd

December 2nd of my advent uncovered cover versions project (did you like yesterdays?) Todays is Florence and the Machine with an excellent cover of the Source featuring Candi Staton’s “You Got The Love“…….. enjoy!

December 3rd

and so on to Day 3 of my under the cover versions advent project. The top tune for today is a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’ by the rather talented Richard Thompson. What do you think of it?

December 4th

Day 4 (December 4th) of the Advent Calender uncovered cover versions project (or obsession) of mine 🙂 Under the little cardboard flap today you won’t find some cheap and bland chocolate. Instead you will find Jimi Hendrix playing what in my opinion is the greatest cover version of all time. It’s Jimi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” recorded at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 … enjoy!

 December 5th

 It’s December 5th and here is Day 5 in my advent uncovered cover versions project. This one is a real doozy! It’s Richard Cheese covering the rather spiffing Blink182 song “What’s My Age Again?” I love this one, what do you think?

 December 6th

 December 6th and day 6 of my Advent oncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Suzi Quatro with an Elvis classic “All Shook Up” . I chose this one because it is even in the news today. Check the story here

 December 7th

 It’s December 7th and therefore Day 7 of my Advent uncovered cover versions. Today’s is a bit obvious, but nonetheless a great cover. It’s Jacko’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ as done by the fantastically named Alien Ant Farm

 December 8th

 It’s December 8th and therfore Day 8 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Covers project. Today’s was an easy choice really. On the 29th anniversary of his death this is John Lennon with a great cover of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” I love this song

 December 9th

 Hello again peeps, it’s the 9th December which brings us to song number 9 in my Advent Calendar uncovered cover versions. Todays is a bit of an indulgent one in that it is a cover of the excellent Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” by my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. Enjoy!

 December 10th

 Hello folks. December 10th and obviously day 10 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Todays is one of my favourite songs as covered by my favourite band ever! It’s the Clash with Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves

 December 11th

 It’s Friday December 11th and therefore it’s Day 11 in the Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Me First And The Gimmee Gimmees (and let’s face it no covers project would be complete without them). This is their version of the Olivia Newton John hit written by John Denver “Take Me Home Country Roads” By the way this is NOT a country version!

 December 12th

 December 12th and halfway through Advent calendar time, so onto Day 12 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is a must have as far as cover versions go. It’s Nouvelle Vague with an excellent cover of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart“. Enjoy

 December 13th

 December 13th and the thirteenth cover version of my Advent Uncovered Covers Project. Today’s is one of my most favourite cover versions ever. It’s the late, great Jeff Buckley with a live version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (You may know it as the one that was somewhat massacred by Alexandra Burke last Christmas courtesy of Mr Cowell! This version really is the dog’s testicles though, what do you think?

 December 14th

 December 14th and strangely enough Day 14 of my uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is sung by someone who in my opinion the greatest female singer ever (very sexy too). Yes it’s Kate Bush with her version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing

 December 15th

 Day 15 in my Advent Calendar of uncovered cover versions. Todays is perhaps one of the strangest. It is the Deep Purple Classic “Smoke On Water” a true guitar shop classic as played by Senor Coconut and his Orchestra. Go on give it a listen, you know you want to 🙂

 December 16th

 Day 16 of the Advent uncovered cover versions project and today is a song that many people often don’t realise is a cover. It’s the Beatles with their excellent version of the Isley Brothers song “Twist And Shout“. Listen to this and you’ll see just how weak Olly Murs version from the X Factor was!

 December 17th

 It’s already Day 17 in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions project. Today’s song is performed by the Section Quartet and it’s a great instrumental orchestral cover of the brilliant Muse song “Time Is Running Out

 December 18th

 Day 18 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project and I thought it was about time for a Christmas song. This is a cover of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” for a whole myriad of charities and it features some brilliant bands and artists (well in my opinion) Fucked Up, Tegan & Sarah, Bob Mould, the wonderful Yo La Tengo and many, many more 🙂

 December 19th

 Day 19 of my Advent uncovered cover versions and thanks to the inclement weather I nearly missed this one (but more of that story another day!). Todays song may surprise some of you. It’s Marvin Gaye with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was in fact a cover of the original hit by Gladys Knight. Personally I prefer Marvin’s version!

 December 20th

 It’s now Day 20 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions project. This one is especially for the boys at Chris’ 50th last night (so that’ll be me, Glen, Neil, Phil and obviously Chris! Apologies from Bryan and Keith sadly!) The song goes back to the mid 70’s and was originally done by the Glitter Band. It’s “Let’s Get Together Again as recorded and mixed by the Human League. If you’d like to hear the original here it is

 December 21st

 And on to Day 21 (that’ll be 21st December then!) in my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s song is the Oasis classic “Wonderwall” as sung by the brilliant Ryan Adams (not Bryan ok!!) Apparently Noel Gallagher thinks that Ryan’s arrangement is even better than his own. For the hell of it here is the link to the Mike Flowers Pops version too!

December 22nd

Day 22 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions Project and there will be more Christmas songs included but not today. The selection for December 22nd is the Foo Fighters with a cover of the rather good Wings song “Band On The Run

December 23rd

Day 23 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project, that means just one more day after this! So I decided to make today and tomorrow Christmas songs as the big Chrimbo thingy is upon us. Obviously I was always going to use this one. It’s “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” from Bing Crosby and David Bowie

December 24th

It’s Christmas Eve and here it is, the final song in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project (until next year anyway!) It is a song that originally featured on the Phil Spector Christmas Album from 1963 (Incidentally that album was released the day JFK was killed!) It is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” originally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope that Santa brings you what you wish for Joriginally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope Santa brings you what you wish for 🙂

 

 
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