With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Nag Champa – EP November 8, 2016


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Nag Champa have just released their first EP and this Yorkshire based British band produce authentic sounding jazz. “Authentic” did I really say that? It translates as bloody good jazz music! I believe that they are all students at the Leeds College of Music. Back in the olden days as my eclectic music taste developed I was very much into jazz funk. As a result I explored the music of a lot of jazz artists; Norman Connors, Roy Ayers and Herbie Hancock to name but a few.

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Nag Champa seem to draw their influences from a lot of jazz greats, including some of those that I have come across before. The opening track on the EP, “Slow Me Down” builds up to a very funky workout reminiscent of the Crusaders. Maya Kally’s vocals are both easy on the ear and soulful at the same time. The band are very tight, but I would like to see them play in a live setting to see how well that recorded excellence translates in the live setting. I do have it on good authority though that they are even better live.

Is there a strong market for jazz music these days? Of course there is and the success of likes of Gregory Porter and Jamie Cullum are proof of this. Nag Champa take on Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition” on this EP and they pull it off brilliantly. They handle a cover just the way I believe covers should be handled, by making them very different from the original and they take the song in a new direction. “Daydreamer” has a nice dreamy feel of chilled but funky jazz and along with the previously mentioned “Slow Me Down” has lyrics written by singer Maya Kally. I also love the synth and keyboard wig out towards the end of this track which is very Herbie Hancockesque.

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If you like jazz or jazz funk then I am sure that you will love Nag Champa. If you don’t see yourself as a jazz fan check them out anyway, I don’t think that you will be disappointed. For a first release this is an accomplished set of songs and performances which highlights great potential for bigger things in the future. Definitely a band to watch out for. Check them out on BandCamp (where you can buy the EP) and Facebook. Can we see them at Live In Leeds and the Apollo Festival in York next year please?

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2011 May 14, 2011


So here we are again at the most important annual event on the European Music Calendar, the Eurovision Song Contest. OK I was only joking right! I intend to give you a brief opinion on each country’s performance, if I can be bothered to watch the whole thing of course! I am also typing this real-time in case you wondered. Germany won last year, so who will it be this year? Blue? Jedward? I bloody hope not! Check out the official Eurovision 2011 site by clicking here. You can also check out my post on last years contest by clicking here.

Finland – Blander than James Blunt

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Dull and it looked like Catweazle was in the band. What was Harry Enfield‘s Kevin doing dancing around the stage with a trumpet? ‘It’s just SO UNFAIR!’

Denmark – looked like rockers, but clearly they couldn’t rock their way out of a paper record sleeve

Lithuania – Typical Eurovision ballad. Why was she signing for the deaf? Would being deaf be an advantage when watching this show? Anyway the song is the opposite of a Chinese Takeaway meal, you certainly won’t want more of this dirge after half an hour.

Hungary – aaah some Eurodisco at last! But why didn’t her dressmaker finish the dress? Some of the dancers appeared to be wearing illuminated hoodies, so does that mean you could get an electronic ASBO? Either way they certainly wouldn’t be allowed to visit my local corner shop.

Ireland – It’s bloody Jedward, are we in a parallel universe? Surprisingly good graphics and shoulder pads borrowed from Dynasty. It pains me to say it of these two talented twats but I think this damned shite could win. It has everything but talent.

Sweden – well it’s hardly Abba is it? But it has a hook and an 80s disco beat. If you name your song ‘Popular’ though is that going to be a help or a hindrance? Personally I can see the irony in a song with that title finishing last with nul points.

Estonia – well it has to be said that for a fashion student, that is an awful dress. The dancers are like the people who failed the Zombie auditions for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. As for her song I think it has created a new music genre; Dull Disco!

Greece – at the risk of sounding xenophobic what was that guy doing between the singers parts? Kebab Rap? Catwoman says the set looks like they’re about to be beamed up.

Russia – by far the best of the night so far on both the singing and dancing fronts. Apart from the spelling of the singer’s name on the back of their leather jackets.

France – apparently this is the favourite. The singer is supposedly the youngest professional tenor in the world at just 21. Not my favourite style of music but he is damned good. This really would be an interesting winner. As left field as Finland’s Lordi a few years ago.

Italy – If Jamie Cullum were Italian he’d be this bloke, only slightly better. Another left field option though, jazziest song of the night so far. Top marks to Italy and France for daring to be different.

Switzerland – a bit of a light almost reggae style beat going on with this one. Apparently she was discovered busking. Not a bad song overall apart from being a little heavy on the na na na na na’s but she certainly has the looks to be a star.

United Kingdom – this is it, it’s Blue. A pretty good performance, although a long way from being a great song. But it does sound like something that would go down well all over Europe. Did Simon Webbe forget to pack his shirt?

Blue had bet their shirts on winning Eurovision

Moldova – possibly the worst of the night so far. A poor Beastie Boys tribute band with added brass, unicycles, monocles and the worst hats ever seen in Eurovision. How did this get through the semi finals?

Germany – It’s Lena back to defend her title. She won with “Satellite” last year. I can’t see her being back next year personally. She has a distinctive voice but a really undistinctive (is that a word, probably not?) song.

Romania – the lead singer of this band is actually English. A pretty good song to boot as well.

Austria -well this one really is crap from a Celine Dion wannabe

Azerbaijan – the best thing I could say about this one is that it’s harmless, inoffensive and forgettable.

Slovenia – nice looking girl, not sure about the leather fingerless mitts though or the dress. In my opinion this is very much a mid table song; not a big winner and not a big loser.

Iceland – reminiscent of songs that won in the 70s. Is it me or does it have a whiff of Brotherhood Of Man’s “Save Your Kisses For Me”. Catwoman likes it though.

Spain – they say that the winner more often comes from the last five performances. If that’s the case this year this might be the one. Poppy, good beat, easy on the ear and very good Eurovision song. It looks like they’ll do better than the UK in Eurovision as well as the football world cup.

Ukraine – accompanied by a sand painter who won Ukraine’s Got Talent. He is good though, but what does he add to the song? As for the singer, why was she wearing dead chicken epaulettes. The artist was better!

Serbia – It’s like Eastern Europes version of Ready Steady Go, where is Cathy McGowan when you need her. But one of the best songs of the night, a really cool 60s vibe to it. Sign them up for the next Austin Powers movie!

Georgia – the rockiest song of the night, just not really a very good song the singer has a great voice though. But crap rap and the outfits looked like cast offs from the Tron movie.

As I said earlier I am typing this real time, so before all the scoring starts here is my prediction for the top 3. I would be very surprised if I am even close to being correct, but here goes anyway 1 – Spain, 2 – Russia, 3 – Serbia. Check the real results below.

And the winner is……….. <drum roll> ………………… Azerbaijan, definitely not one of my favourites. Italy were second and Sweden third. So none of my predictions were correct as I suspected. The UK finished in the top half of the table picking up a few votes from most countries. We were however just behind Ireland’s Jedward. Switzerland came last!

Take a look below at the video for the winning song “Running Scared” from Ell & Nikki

 

“And now as tears subside I find it all so amusing” April 25, 2010


This one will be a bit of a random post, kind of the post with absolutely no theme whatsoever. Now there’s an idea, how about a future post all about TV and movie themes? Me likes that! 

First up is a great clip of Talcy Malcy’s funeral winding its way through London. Truly an entertainer to the very end. Cash from Chaos indeed (actually that sounds a bit banking industry related, only for them it was chaos from cash I suppose!) Click here to see my recent post on the death of Mr McLaren 

 

One of the songs played at Malcolm McLaren’s funeral was Sid Vicious’ version of the Paul Anka penned Frank Sinatra classic “My Way” Check it out below 

I would also like to remind you that you can still get an exclusive Steal The Smile track “Two Years On” from my recent post about this superb young band. Click here to go to that post and download the song. Trust me, you WILL NOT be disappointed! You can also click here to view some video footage of the STS boys (Henry, Johnny, Luke & Oli) hard at work and having plenty of fun in the studio. They also have another gig coming up in a couple of weeks at the FaceBar in Reading. I’ll be there, why don’t you get your arses down there too? Check out the boys playing the FaceBar from a couple of years back, with an excellent cover of Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” 

OK I said this would be random and indeed it is. Do you have any idea what John Squire off of the Stone Roses and the Seahorses has been up to lately? Well he has been doing new designs for the covers of classic Penguin books. How rock ‘n’ Roll is that? Click here to see his handiwork. 

I think this looks just a teensy weensy bit like a stone rose, what do you think?

The Sunday Times has published a list of the richest young UK music stars, all under thirty. Joint top are Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins and Leona Lewis, all worth an alleged £11m each, followed by Katie Melua and Cheryl Cole, both worth a measly £10m each. Craig David is the highest placed man at a lowly 7th place with just a tiny £8m in the piggy bank, bo selecta indeed!  I wonder if the other girls off of Girls Aloud are envious of Cheryl being worth twice as much as each of them? Click here to read more. The full list is; 

1. Charlotte Church £11M
1. Katherine jenkins£11M
1. Leona Lewis £11M
4. Cheryl Cole £10M
4. Katie Melua £10M
6. Joss Stone £9M
7. Craig David £8M
8. Natasha Bedingfield £6M
9. Lily Allen £5M
9. Nadine Coyle £5M
9. Sarah Harding £5M
9. Nicola Roberts £5M
9. Kimberly Walsh £5M
9. Jamie Cullum £5M
9. Duffy £5M
9. James Morrison £5M
9. Paolo Nutini £5M
9. Amy Winehouse £5M  

 

 
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