With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I wondered should I go or should I stay the band had only one more song to play” March 3, 2012


Is it me or does Mr Humperdinck look a little 'plastic'?

The UK is taking a rather novel approach to this years Eurovision Song Contest. They have selected septuagenarian crooner  Arnold George Dorsey aka Gerry Dorsey but better known as Engelbert Humperdinck. After years of poor results in the contest with the nadir arriving in 2003 with a first UK nul points score from the hapless Jemini. Last year boy band Blue were our entry with the song “I Can”. They could only muster and 11th place finish which suggests that the song would have been more appropriate if it were called ‘I Can’t’

Engelbert will be 76 when the contest takes place in Azerbaijan on 26th May this year. he was born in Madras, India in 1936 to a British father and an Indian mother. The song is apparently not written yet but will be composed, at least in part, by Sacha Skarbek, a Novello award winner who cowrote James Blunt‘s bloody awful dirge “You’re Beautiful”. Not a great omen then! Hump had his first major success in 1967 when his UK number one managed to prevent the Beatles from achieving another chart topper with the double ‘A’ side “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane“. His song “Release me” was also the best-selling UK single in 1967. All that at the height of the hippy movement and in the summer of love.

Vote for me and I'll make your economy this big (The Hump addresses the Greeks)

Some Eurovision experts (yes there are plenty) have suggested that with so many countries in the competition the ‘youth vote’ is split. However experts believe that the choice of the Hump to warble for Britain will pick up the pan European pensioners votes. He also took his name from the German composer who wrote an opera called ‘Hansel and Gretel’, so that’s the German vote in the bag as well. He has had four number one songs in Ireland and release me was number one in the Netherlands so that’s two countries that’ll vote for him as well, so it’s certainly shaping up not to be another nul points year.

Personally I think he may pick up a few votes from the hip community, as opposed to the hip replacement community, this would result from his appearance on the ‘Beavis And Butthead Do America‘ movie soundtrack. The song was not a big hit, but it was for many, including me, a classic. That song was “Lesbian Seagull”. On the subject of Beavis and Butthead, Jedward have been selected to represent Ireland in the contest for the second year in a row. I have a degree of admiration for their management for extend their 15 minutes of fame so far beyond their sell-by date. They did do better than Blue last year though! Anyway let me finish by showcasing a few Humperdinck classics.

The Hump meets the King

 

“Yesterdays shatter, tomorrows don’t matter” December 30, 2011


I always used to think that it was TV stars whose careers had faded considerably that turned up in pantomime roles each year. Maybe the Milkman from Eastenders or the Lollipop Lady from Coronation Street. That of course is still the case, but now the list includes a few music related stars. One of whom is very talented in my opinion the others are probably the most talentless act to have arisen in the entertainment industry.

Firstly the beautiful Clare Grogan once off of Altered Images has appeared in the Glasgow production of Sleeping Beauty at the Kings Theatre. Meanwhile those talentless pop muppet X Factor rejects Jedward are appearing in a version of Jack and the Beanstalk in Dublin. It is called Jedward and the Beanstalk. To be fair there may be some typecasting there as Jack was a bit thick wasn’t he? One half of Jedward even crowd surfed the young fans at the stage door. Oh what joy it would be for them to appear at Reading and Leeds in 2012. I can almost picture the bottles of piss being loaded as soon as that announcement is made!

Anyway to finish enjoy a couple of excellent songs from the beautiful Clare Grogan in her days with Altered Images and cover your ears for an excruciatingly bad cover of Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” by Jedward.

 

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

 

“My tears could melt the snow” December 24, 2010


Almost over for this year then, it’s the penultimate day of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar, it’s December 24th, Christmas Eve. So as we are that close to the big day I have decided to take you back to the Christmas of 1974 and I hope you won’t be lonely at Christmas because todays song is from Mud and it’s “Lonely This Christmas”. It stayed at number one for 4 weeks. Like many of the big pop hits of the 70s it was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, whose publishing company was known as Chinnichap. A bit like a pre Jedward melding of names there methinks.

“Lonely This Christmas” was the second of their UK number ones following “Tiger Feet” earlier in 1974 and a cover of Buddy Holly’sOh Boy” in 1975. Singer Les Gray was well-known for his Elvis soundalike vocal, in fact at the time many people believed that “Lonely This Christmas” was by Elvis himself! Sadly Les Gray died of a heart attack in 2004. Drummer Dave Mount died in December 2006.

Of the two remaining band members bass guitarist Ray Stiles joined the Hollies. However lead guitarist Rob Davis has carved out a very successful career as a songwriter. He has written dance hits for Kylie Minogue and Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis Bextor. The latter hit the number one spot with a song that Davis co wrote, it was “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)” it also, thankfully, prevented Victoria Beckham from having a solo number one. She remains the only former Spice Girl never to have a solo number one.

 

“But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow” November 16, 2010


Clearly the new iPad would be difficult to carry, maybe it's the weight of all those Beatles songs

So at last the two big apples come together. The Beatles back catalogue are now all available on I Tunes. There was previously a lengthy trademark dispute between the Beatles Apple Corps and Steve Job’s Apple company. This was resolved a while ago and the gap between then and now was potentially down to EMI. That is certainly something that Paul McCartney hinted at. Steve Job was very happy with the deal and was quoted as saying that it had been “a long and winding road to get there” You can read the story by clicking here. Personally I have all the Fab Fours albums on CD so I am unlikely to buy anything of theirs from I Tunes. However it made me think that we ought to pick a Beatles song to beat this years X Factor song to the Christmas number one spot in the UK. Ideally “Revolution”, what do you folks think?

James Blunt holds his hand up and voila...... World War Three is prevented!

I would like to thank my good friend Nick Horslen for sending me this story. Apparently whilst he was in the army and stationed in Kosovo James Blunt prevented the start of World War Three. Does that explain why he went on to write such crap songs? I saw him on TV recently when he chaired ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks‘ on BBC2, personally I thought he was devoid of humour although he was clearly trying. To be fair he was better than Jedward when they appeared on the show. You can read the Blunt Story on the Guardian website by clicking here. Incidentally I often wonder why he changed his name from Blount to something which rhymes with the ‘C’ word, do you?

Incidentally I love Weird Al Yankovic‘s take on Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” which is wonderfully retitled “You’re Pitiful” I always used to slip this into my mobile disco set when I played background music at weddings. It worked well as people couldn’t hear it perfectly well so thought James had changed the words!

A new band I came across recently are the Ambassadors Of Morocco who have a new single out called rather interestingly “Wikipedia” I can’t get the chorus out of my head and it will be on my I Pod tomorrow for certain!

Talking of a great and catchy chorus have you seen the video for the new My Chemical Romance song? I’ve never been a big fan of the band but this song and the accompanying video are brilliant and somewhat weird too.

let me finish this post on a roll, a Rick Roll. This is the metal version of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Not bad for the former tea boy at RCA. Does anyone know what he’s up to these days?

 

“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

 

“It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there, it’s hard to believe that I’m all alone” November 1, 2010


Hardly Wodka from Varrington is it?

This post will be made up of just a random selection of stuff, starting with P Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Sean Puffy Combs aka Sean Combs etc. etc. Anyway Mr Diddyman has been the face of Ciroc vodka for some time and as an advertising campaign that has been rather successful. Pre Diddy sales were 60,000 cases per year and Post Diddy sales are 400,000 cases per year. Now that is a result! (Thank you to those nice people over at Popbitch for that information.

Some wonderful X Factor news to report. Joe McElderry‘s new single entered the UK chart at number 6 and then dropped to 20 a couple of weeks back! RESULT!

Now for some rather more amusing X Factor news. Did you watch Diana Vickers perform her new single on the show recently? Did you have any idea what she was singing about? No nor did I. But worry no more for help is at hand, click here to see it translated and watch carefully for the blatant steal from the Red Hot Chilli PeppersUnder The Bridge“.

Then there is some really weird news from the world of X Factor. Jedward have spent £3,000 on a bed sheet that was signed by Michael Jackson and MaCaulay Culkin. Whatever you might have thought of Jacko, that certainly seems a strange thing to do. Sleep innocently with a young ‘friend’ and then sign the sheet with them. But for me paying £3,000 for the sheet is even stranger! Read the story in the Guardian here.

Jedward audition for a part in a remake of the Deadly Bees

Meanwhile a final X Factor related story, Elton John has given his opinion of the show. He describes it as ‘boring, arse-paralysingly brain-crippling’ I have to say that I do agree with him, I just wish it wasn’t so bloody addictive! Read his comments in the Guardian by clicking here.

Here’s a great clip from a 1966 movie ‘The Deadly Bees‘ featuring the Birds proto R & B/ Mod band featuring Mr Ronnie Wood off of the Faces and the Rolling Stones. There has to be a joke about the Birds and the Bees here doesn’t there?

Did you ever wonder what kind of backstage riders your favourite bands have? Well check out a Blink 182 rider here at the Smoking Gun website. I guess there are not many bands who want X Rated lesbian porn and boxer shorts are there?

Finally check out this song from an artist that is very new to me, Lauren Pritchard. It’s called “Not The Drinking”

 

 
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