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


AVERAGE_WHITE_BAND_web

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).

AWB-chalkboard-1

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.

 

“Welcome to the Pit and the Pendulum” November 5, 2012


This is a special message to all my American readers. On November 6th you will have the chance to vote once again in a Presidential election. I would like to offer some advice and some opinions. I recognise that some of you may not agree with me, but I can live with that!

Firstly whatever happens please use your vote. Do not assume that your guy will win whether you vote for them or not. This election could be as close to call as the Dubya versus Gore election in 2000. Secondly and here is where I’m sure I’ll lose some of you. Vote Obama! He has been a great president in some very hard times trying to manage an economy which was almost dead and buried when he inherited it. All of this in the midst of a global recession. He has also introduced an incredibly forward thinking health care plan.

He may not have achieved everything he set out to do, but then look back at the record of any previous US President or indeed British Prime Minister and see what their delivery to promise ratio was. I suspect most of them would have been low. As a Brit I believe Obama has done a great job but even I am disappointed with some aspects of his first term, notably a failure to close down th prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. But compared to his opponent Mitt Romney he is by far the better candidate. OK so let’s consider the crazies for a moment; Donald Trump and the so-called ‘birthers’ who think Barack doesn’t have the right to be President. Well he has made his birth certificate available to you and you still don’t believe him. You were never going to were you? In the same vein why is no one making a big fuss about a lack of tax records from Romney, especially as he had promised to publish them?

I am not religious in the slightest and I believe that it is wrong for a political leader to be overtly religious. Mitt is a Mormon a faith that is based on, let’s face it some rather strange concepts based on the visions of Joseph Smith in the 1800s. It wasn’t so long ago that the Mormon faith allowed and promoted polygamy. In addition to that some would say that it is at its roots a very sexist and racist religion. Although to be fair, Mitt’s father took a stand against some of those principles when he supported the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Mitt is definitely what some US hacks call a ‘flip flopper’. His views on abortion and gay marriage seem to have moved like a yoyo to suit his mood and his position. He said himself in an unguarded moment that he really doesn’t care about 47% of the population. So finally I believe that you should vote for Obama, I think you need to give him another four years. If you vote for Romney the only ones who will benefit in the long-term will be the rich. But like I said at the start, whatever you do use your vote!

Incidentally these are my opinions and I have and will offer advice to UK voters when the time arises. I believe that we voted the wrong way last time and now we’re stuck with a pathetic, corrupt and inept coalition government for the next couple of years at least. So let me step off my soapbox and give you some music. This is a music blog after all.

 

“If you just put your hand in mine, we’re gonna lay all our troubles behind” February 10, 2012


Do you receive a regular selection of random e mails from various groups that you have subscribed to over the years? I get loads and often I can’t be bothered to look at them. But for some reason I took a  chance and opened one at random. It contained stacks of old pictures. Mostly of different stars together and not necessarily those that had worked together. Here are a few that I really liked and had never seen before. let me know what you think of them.

Bob Marley & the Wailers and the Jackson 5

George Harrison & Bob Marley

Mick Jagger & Jimi Hendrix

Mick Jagger & James Brown

No more words required just listen to some great music by some of those artists while you enjoy the pictures.

 

“And I’m breaking out, I’m breaking out, last chance to lose control” October 31, 2011


Musicradar.com readers have voted Muse’s “Hysteria” as the greatest bass line of all time. The full list including song, band/ artist and bass player is;

01. “Hysteria” – Muse (Chris Wolstenholme)
02. “YYZ” – Rush (Geddy Lee)
03. “Another One Bites The Dust” – Queen (John Deacon)
04. “Under Pressure” – Queen & David Bowie (John Deacon)
05. “Money” – Pink Floyd (Roger Waters)
06. “Orion” – Metallica (Cliff Burton)
07. “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson (Louis Johnson)
08. “Roundabout” – Yes (Chris Squire)
09. “My Generation” – The Who (John Entwistle)
10. “Schism” – Tool (Justin Chancellor)
11. “Give It Away” – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea)
12. “The Lemon Song” – Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones)
13. “Taxman” – The Beatles (Paul McCartney)
14. “Good Times” – Chic (Bernard Edwards)
15. “The Chicken” – Jaco Pastorius
16. “Walk On The Wild Side” – Lou Reed (Herbie Flowers)
17. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye (James Jamerson)
18. “Stand By Me” – Ben E King (Wendell Marshall)
19. “The Guns Of Brixton” – The Clash (Paul Simonon)
20. “Sweet Emotion” – Aerosmith (Tom Hamilton)
21. “Super Freak” – Rick James (Oscar Alston)
22. “Pusherman” – Curtis Mayfield (Joseph “Lucky” Scott)
23. “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” – Nancy Sinatra (Carol Kaye/Chuck Berghofer)
24. “In The Midnight Hour” – Wilson Pickett (Donald “Duck” Dunn)
25. “Make It Funky” – James Brown (Fred Thomas)

Click here to check it out on the musicradar site. I was really pleased to see that my three favourite bass players are in there; James Jamerson, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Bernard Edwards. Who is your favourite bass player and what songs do you think are missing from this list? While you’re thinking about it enjoy the top 5 below;

 

“‘Cause Chelsea girls are the best in the world for company” October 24, 2010


This post is just a collection of things I have found on the net recently or of things that have been sent to me during the past few weeks. Kicking off with a dance master class from the Godfather Of Funk Mr James Brown. Click here to see it. Check out his robot dance……… totally awesome! Then watch the video below to see him in action on the Shindig TV show in 1965 with “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

James thought to himself "Man that was some fart!"

Next up is an animated film that accompanied “Basketball Jones” from the mighty Cheech and Chong. I first saw this on the Old Grey Whistle Test in the mid 70s and I have loved it ever since. What do you folks think of it?

The new UK charts were revealed just a few hours ago and unsurprisingly the new Kings Of Leon album tops the album chart. There are also two entries in the top ten for the Beatles with the remastered reissues of the red and blue compilations from the 70s. Meanwhile the new UK number one single is what I probably have to describe as a guilty pleasure for me. It’s not something I would usually like it’s “Just The Way You Are (Amazing)” from Hawaiian singer Bruno Mars. The video does some really clever stuff with cassette tape.

Give me a 'P' please BOB

I would like to introduce an artist that is very new to me, her name is Clarita De Quiroz, (click here for her web site). I discovered thanks to a work colleague who has a friend who has recently written some songs for her. She is definitely worth checking out. She is very gorgeous and very talented….. a bit like me then 😉

Not many people realised that Carlita had started life as a showroom dummy

And finally a clip from the Mott The Hoople reunion gigs at Hammersmith last October. I so wanted to be there, but I couldn’t get tickets. This song is probably my favourite Hoople song, “Saturday Gigs“. It was their final single and the only one they released with the late, great Mick Ronson in the band.

 

” It’s been too long since we took the time, No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly “ October 8, 2010


A mixed bag of a post for you today, drawn from a few recent news stories. Firstly I would like to wish a posthumous 70th birthday to John Lennon. I find it incredible that it is now almost 30 years since he was cruelly gunned down in New York. Has that time gone quickly for you too? He is also in the news for something other than his birthday as well. The FBI have seized a set of Lennon’s fingerprints that he gave to New York police in 1976 as part of his green card application. The card was part of a memorabilia auction, but the FBI claim it is official government property and have taken it away. haven’t they got a big enough file on Lennon already? Frankly though, why go they need it, I mean he is unlikely to commit any crime is he? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.

Now for another very sad Beatles related story. The cast of Glee have now beaten the Beatles record of the most appearances on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart by a non solo act. They have a total of 75 compared to 71 for the Fab Four, they have also surpassed Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin who have 74 and 73 respectively. The only acts ahead of them right now are James Brown with 91 and Elvis Presley with 108. Click here to see the report.

It has been reported that soulful chanteuse Toni Braxton is filing for bankruptcy for the second time. She went bankrupt for the first time just 12 years ago. This time a heart condition caused her to cancel a number of Vegas shows. So I would like to wish her well in the sale of her assets and hope that she can soon ‘unbreak the bank’ and will soon be able to “Breathe Again“. I must confess that earlier this year I burnt the original and a few remixes of “Unbreak My Heart” for my good friends Glen and Jill. So now we know of Toni’s financial predicament I ought to as k them to buy the songs. Come on guys help the poor girl out!

Kurt Kobain’s letter in which he appears to rail against MTV is to be auctioned. He referred to the TV Channel as Empty TV and signed the letter as Kurdt Kobaineee. read about it at the NME by clicking here.

Finally for today it is now 25 years since A-ha released “Take On Me” accompanied by that wonderfully arty video featuring Morten Harket from the band along with Bunty Bailey off of Hot Gossip. Enjoy the video below and read all about it by clicking here.

 

“Are you ready, are you ready for this, are you hanging on the edge of your seat?” July 18, 2009


Hello once again dear readers today is the 19th July and it is the 62nd birthday of one Brian Harold May off of Queen. Brian still uses his ‘Red Special’ guitar which he began building in the early sixties with his Dad Harold. It is principally made from an old 18th Century fireplace mantel. Also there are actually two wormholes in the neck of the guitar, at least according to Wikipedia. Presumably not the type of wormholes that Brian would know more about, being an astrophysicist! To learn more about those type of wormholes click here. If your interests are a little more down to earth and you’d like a guitar just like (well ok similar) to Brian’s, then click here.

Brian poses with the famouse fireplace :-)

Brian poses with the famouse fireplace 🙂

Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes

Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes

On this day in 1980 the very band that Brian found fame in, Queen racked up their third UK number one album with ‘The Game’. This album featured the single “Another One Bites The Dust” A great song in my opinion and this was apparently also the opinion of Michael Jackson who was a friend of Freddie Mercury. When Fred played the song to him Jacko insisted that the band release it as a single and the rest as they say is history! And just for fun here is the Weird Al Yankovic parody of the song “Another One Rides The Bus

Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP

Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP

Also on this day in 1958, whilst I was still in the womb, George Treadwell the then manager of the Drifters sacked the entire group. However he simply replaced them with another group, unkown at the time, Ben E King and the Five Crowns! If only someone would do that with the likes of Boyzone and Westlife. Oh I expect they probably have and no one has noticed! Here are Ben and the boys with “This Magic Moment” Incidentally fact fans did you know that the Shadows off of Cliff Richard and the Shadows were once called the Drifters? Well if you didn’t you do now!

By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?

By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?

And the final ‘onthisday’ for 19th July is from 1989. Apparently when large amounts of money were found in the late great (those l & g’s are back!) James Brown’s prison cell he was moved from a minimum security prison to a medium security prison. What the hell is the difference between minimum and medium and then presumably maximum security prisons. “Get Up Offa That Thing” indeed! If that had happened these days it would have been the hidden stash of some jailed banker, but wait a minute none of them went to jail did they? They all recieved performance bonuses, how the hell does that work then? Here is James with the late great (back with a vengeance those ‘l & g’s’) Robert Palmer singing “I Feel Good

James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!

James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!

 

 
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RUSSIA PHOTOS is a blog run by Alex Markovich. E-mail: MarkovichUniverse AT gmail DOT com

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