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.

 

 
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