I had heard of the Amazing Snakeheads before this gig and indeed I had listened to some of their stuff on-line. However what brought me to this gig was actually one of the support bands who added me to their cheap list. Honestly I feel more honoured to be on a cheap list than I would to be on a guest list! Anyway the band who invited me were the magnificent Avalanche Party. I saw them at the Woolpack in York a couple of months back and stayed loosely in touch via Facebook following my review of the Woolpack show. Avalanche Party were the first band of the evening to take to the stage and once again it was a bloody good performance. They have some excellent material; “Mountains” is a great song and their cover of Nancy Sinatra‘s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” is a truly inspired choice of cover that really suits the harder, punkier feel that the band give the song. They are a very tight band of very accomplished and talented musicians. They seem well-drilled and rehearsed but also have the right amount of star presence and swagger on stage. Their free 2 track CD has been on loop in my car on the journey to work for the past few days too. If you get the chances you really need to go and see Avalanche Party. If I find out that you did have the chance and didn’t take it I will have to send the boys round!
Second to grace the stage on Sunday were the Valmores. For me the jury is still out on that name. They were pretty good, certainly their playing was strong and it felt well rehearsed. Their songs are mostly strong although the lyrics I could decipher suggested that they might be trying too hard to be controversial. Songs about heroin and the rubbish state that England is in. The lead singer has a good voice although he seemed to want to be Jim Morrison off of the Doors but in a much cleaner 21st century kind of way. The Valmores do have potential to achieve more and I hope that they do.
The Amazing Snakeheads were the headliners and I think that it would be fair to say that I saw no snakeheads they were bloody amazing. They were also one of the loudest bands that I have seen for some time, but that might have been heightened by the fact that I was standing next to the speaker stack! Glasgow’s Amazing Snakeheads are probably the best perpetrators of loud, angry, scuzzy blues rock that I have ever seen. The band set up is drums, bass and guitar with the guitarist also providing the at times tonsil shredding vocal. We even had a crowd invasion from frontman Dale Barclay. I really enjoyed them, but I can imagine that they may be a bit of a Marmite band in that you’ll either love them or hate them. “I’m A Vampire” is my favourite Snakeheads song; what’s yours?
XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;
I’m sure you’ve heard the sad news of Amy Winehouse’s death aged just 27. As I type this the cause of death given by the police is ‘unexplained’ Unlike some interpretations I doubt there is anything sinister in this. Amy’s drug problems were much publicised and probably helped sell thousands of tabloids here in the UK. Whilst her passing is incredibly sad there is also an air of inevitability about it. At least now the tabloids are nicely chastened they will allow her friends, family and fans to grieve.
I believe that Amy was a truly talented and gifted individual. I remember buying her first album ‘Frank’ in 2003 after hearing some of it on the radio following it featuring as one of the nominees for the Mercury Music prize. It was (and still is) a good album and made me think that there was really something to this young lady. Clearly there was, her follow-up album ‘Back To Black’ remains one of my favourite albums and it’s such a shame there hasn’t been another since that in 2006.
She also recorded some great cover versions, pretty much making the Zutons “Valerie” her own. I really was rooting for her to come back with an amazing album a mega succesful tour and years of new music in front of her. I really wanted to see her in concert but I never got around to it. I’m sure it won’t be long before much of the talk is about the 27 club, which is derived from the age at which a number of talented musicians died; Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain to name a few. Indeed Amy is already included on the 27 Club Wikipedia page. Does that sound like a degree of obscene haste to you?
Billy Bragg mentioned this on Twitter earlier today and made the much more credible point that it wasn’t a specific age that killed any of these people, it was drug abuse. But enough of the salacious elements of Amy’s demise and let’s enjoy some of her wonderful music. My condolences go to her family, friends and fans.
Firstly this post is NOT in my Advent Calendar series OK? It’s another random selection of music stuff. Firstly and I am saddened to say it in many, many ways a Bowie song is at number one in the UK. It’s the X Factor finalists cover of Bowie’s “Heroes” Thankfully I haven’t been able to hear Wagner on the recording. The singles only other saving grace is that it is raising funds for the ‘Help For Heroes‘ charity which supports those British soldiers that have been injured in the ridiculous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that we followed the Americans into. But believe me, it is the UK Government I have a gripe with and especially former Prime Minister Tony Blair, I have every respect for all the British troops that are out there right now. Go and buy the single and throw it away if you have to. In the meantime take a look at the classic original below.
You know I always thought that Santa's Elves were a little more cuddly than this!
Next some very good X Factor related news. Corey Taylor off of Slipknot has recorded a Christmas single and he wants it to beat whatever single the X Factor show produces for the Christmas slot. Let’s get behind this one people, let’s make Corey this years “Killing In The Name Of“. Buy it and keep a muppet off the number one spot. The song is called “X-M@$”. Check it out below and click here to read the NME report about the song.
US politics often baffles me, especially where outgoing officials are allowed to grant pardons for previous misdemeanours by various criminals, jailbirds and wrongly accused. However I was pleasantly surprised to read that the ousted Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, has issued a pardon for Jim Morrison off of the Doors following the singers arrest for allegedly getting his todger out on stage in Miami in 1969. Fair play Charlie and frankly, about bloody time too! It has always bothered me that with all the people and all the police at that concert there was never any evidence to prove that Jim actually did the deed. Read about the pardon by clicking here.
Enjoy “Break On Through” below
Apparently it was the dog's bollocks that Jim exposed, not his own!
When I started this blog back in February of last year the majority of posts were based around an ‘on this day’ theme. But my more recent posts haven’t covered that at all, however with the date today being 3rd July I felt that I had to revert to that format again, at least for this post anyway. So, why is 3rd July an important date in music? It’s the date the two of the famous quartet of 60s rock stars who died at age 27 passed away. That quartet, who all died within a two-year period at the tail end of the 60s and early 70s were Brian Jones (off of the Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison (off of the Doors). Jones died on 3rd July 1969 and Morrison on 3rd July 1971. Hendrix and Joplin both died in 1970 just 16 days apart, 18th September and 4th October respectively.
OK conspiracy theorists, here are Brian and Keef near a swimming pool, so was it Keef wot dun it?
Brian Jones was found dead in the swimming pool of his home in Hartfield, Sussex. It was the former home of A. A. Milne the creator of Winnie The Pooh. Jim Morrison was found dead in his apartment in Paris. Conspiracy theories have grown up around both deaths. There have been allegations that Jones was murdered put forward on numerous occasions, although given that he had recently been sacked from the band he helped create, the Rolling Stones, and his history with drug intake, that strikes me as unlikely. Jim Morrison supposedly died of heart failure supposedly brought on by a number of years of drug abuse. But as no autopsy was performed and allegedly only his girlfriend identified his body rumours abound that he faked his death. I love conspiracy theories but I personally don’t believe many of them at all. I know that the Apollo moon landings took place, I saw them on the TV! I would love to hear your views on conspiracy theories, especially those that are music related
Jim always took a power nap during the bands extended drum, guitar and organ solos and jams
There is much mythology built up around the magic 27 club, indeed this was reignited when Kurt Cobain (off of Nirvana) blew himself away in 1994. Personally I see the first four as having some kind of death of the 60s link, perhaps along with Altamont, but apart from purely his age I don’t see Cobain as really fitting in that group. However if you’d like to read more about the 27 club there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the five I have already mentioned and many other musicians who also died aged just 27, click here to see it.
So to round off today’s little post here are a couple of clips of Brian Jones and Jim Morrison (and a sneaky audio clip of Jimi Hendrix with Brian Jones).
I'm not sure if that sign is a statement or an instruction
Today I had the iPod on shuffle and up popped the wonderfully talented Scroobius Pip aided and abetted by Dan Le Sac. I am a big fan of Messrs Pip and Sac. The song in question was “Thou Shalt Always Kill” It got me thinking that a post addressing all the Pip commandments might be quite fun. So firstly apologies to Dave Gorman who once did a live show which analysed all the parts of Ian Dury’s “Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3”, indeed Catwoman actually saw it (and to be fair he probably did it far, far better than I am about to with Pip and Sac). So on with the song!
Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
(Feat. Pos Plug Won)
Thou shalt not steal if there is a direct victim; I totally agree with this one, so I guess this makes it ok to steal from banks right? Maybe some office stationery too
Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets; Who the hell would want to worship bloody pop idols anyway, that’d be like ‘All Hail Gareth Gates’ or more fitting with his current life maybe ‘Our Server who art in McDonalds’. As for the Lost Prophets they weren’t a bad band, ok they are Welsh, but that’s not their fault is it?
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Dekker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain; I totally agree, but who the hell is Johnny Hartman?
Thou shalt not think that any male over 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile, some people are just nice; I am way over 30, I love kids and I’m not a paedo, so I guess that makes me nice, doesn’t it? Incidentally isn’t it strange that those awful swimming trunks are called Speedos? Phonetically just one letter away from Peedo.
Thou shalt not read NME; Nope, can’t agree with this one at all, I’ve been reading NME since I was a young lad, from 1971 to be precise
Thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they have become popular; How very true, people they are not YOUR band just because you liked them before 99% of the population. Tom, it is ok for you to continue to like the Kings Of Leon!
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry; Yes, because Mr Fry has a brain the size of a planet and has more intellect in his belly button fluff than the collective intelligence of the England Football team
Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover; True, well unless it’s the Playboy Annual or something similar, equally any book with Robbie Williams on the front must, by definition, be rubbish!
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover; So that must mean you judge it by Mel Gibson, but I’m confused, does that make it better or worse?
Thou shalt not buy Coca Cola products; Absolutely, all that sugar has to be bad for you. Mind you I do like the odd Coca Cola Christmas bauble, so that would be another Pip commandment I have broken
Thou shalt not buy nestle products; Well I can live with this, apart from the fact that my good friend Karen McP works there, but personally I prefer Cadburys anyway
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend best friend, take drugs and cheat on him; Well I am completely exempt from this as I don’t take drugs, oh and I don’t have a boyfriend either!
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily; That is easy to say but bloody difficult to do
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls pants……use it to get into their heads; ok, just as long as I can be forgiven for my teenage years, where I confess I did use music in the former regard quite a lot and the latter regard quite a little. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” always worked for me
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoaks; Nor any Aussie soaps either in my opinion
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and then leave as soon as you have done your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick; Well I think that one speaks for itself really!
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in & week out just because you once saw a girl there that you fancied that you’re never going to talk to anyway; Guilty as charged, but only in my teenage years and only a couple of times and on the second occasion I did get to speak to her, but she did make it very clear she wasn’t interested. Just rearrange these letters to understand what two-word phrase she used. kfcfuof, did you work it out?
Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were; I did this with David Bowie back in the 70s, but then he recorded in the 80s and that made me see the error of my ways
Were just a band.
Just a band.
The Beach Boys.
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
The next big thing
Just a band.I can agree with almost all of the above, except for the Clash, these guys were way more than just a band to me
Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-english speaking countries as to those that occur in english speaking countries; Too true, how many times has the news reported an earthquake somewhere like Mexico and had it low down the running order because no British people were hurt?
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling where never part of the four elements and never will be; I love rap, but this is sadly so very true
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music; I suspect that this relates to dance music and the Government’s attack on the rave generation, but it could equally apply to the bland crap produced by almost anyone of Simon Cowell’s identikit pop muppets
Thou shalt not pimp my ride; But I assume that it is ok for me to pimp my man-bag though, right?
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster; nor indeed listen to Geri Halliwell whilst in a sober state
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness; well ok, but sometimes that is a really good feeling!
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit; or any other city or town, but then again I am sure that later this year at Reading my good friend Nick H and me will make some noise for Reading
When I say “hey” thou shalt not say “ho”; Say Gabba Gabba instead, in honour of the Ramones
When I say “hip” thou shalt not say “hop”; Say replacement instead
When I say, he say, she say, we say “make some noise”…..kill me; ok then, seeing as you asked nicely
Thou shalt not quote me happy; or like the Go Compare advert
Thou shalt not shake it like a Polaroid picture; Well that’s how I dance bro’ – live with it!
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me; my girlfriend is all the freak I need thank you very much
Thou shalt spell the word phoenix : P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X regardless of what the Oxford English dictionary tells you; Now as far as this one goes I really don’t care
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Brad at the club last night by saying “is it?”; very true, the correct statement is ‘innit’ innit?
Thou shalt think for yourselves; I hope everyone does this already
And thou shalt ALWAYS kill. I certainly can’t agree with this, although Catwoman and I do tend to regularly kill all the plants in the back yard, usually by neglect
Hello peeps, long time no post, but I am resolving to post more this month. So let’s just see if I can manage it shall we?
Anyway the subject of this post is the film ‘The Strangers’, ok I know it’s not a new movie, but I was out with friends last week and they said that it was the scariest movie they had ever seen. Now for me when someone says that you really have to see it. Don’t you? I went into HMV this week and bought the DVD of the movie, it was on offer for only £7. The first concern I had was that it was just a C15 certificate (for those of you across the pond that means that you must be at least 15 to see it or buy it).
So this afternoon we sat down to watch the film. Personally I thought it was probably the least scary Scary Movie I have ever seen. Even Catwoman wasn’t scared. So to our friends A & G (who shall remain nameless) I have to ask, just how many supposedly scary films have you seen? Overall I thought it was generally a poor movie. Very darkly lit, to the extent of not being able to see properly. The sound recording meant that much of the script appeared mumbled. I wasn’t very impressed and in fact if anyone wants to buy the DVD I’d be happy to sell it for £7 plus postage, but personally I wouldn’t waste your money!
The moment that two members of Slipknot began a revolt over wearing masks (somehow I think I will be taking some crap for this comment!)
There was another moment in my life when someone warned me about a scary film. It was back in 1974 and my Mum showed me a tabloid report of teenagers having killed themselves after seeing ‘The Exorcist’. Her words to me were along the lines of “don’t you dare go and see this film” It was an X Certificate (the 70s version of todays C18) and I was underage at just 15, but that had never stopped me before. So I conferred with a couple of mates who had been given exactly the same warning from their parents and obviously when we realised we’d all been warned our simple curiosity meant that we simply had to see it. We did the usual of sending the tallest in the group to buy a ticket as he looked the oldest. He went into the theatre and opened the emergency exit briefly to allow us other two in. (We were such criminals weren’t we?) The film was more scary than ‘The Strangers’ by a long way, although no film has yet seriously scared me ever! It was quite a good movie, although having seen it more recently I think it looks dated now. For me the funniest moment of that cinema visit was the scene where the two priests are trying to use religious faith and power to bring a levitating Linda Blair back onto the bed. They were chanting something like “The power of Christ compels you” over and over. Some wag at the back of the theatre shouted “All together now!” Well we just fell about and that probably turned many other moments in the film into more comedic moments than they actually were.
As I have said before this is a music blog so I will finish with some songs that concern strangers;
“Strangers When We Meet” – David Bowie. Originally found on the soundtrack to the excellent Buddha Of Suburbia a TV adaptation of Hanif Kureshi’s book. Also in my opinion one of the Dame’s (an NME name for Bowie in the 70s and 80s) finest singles of the 90s
“Strangers In The Night” – Frank Sinatra. One of Ole’ Blue Eye’s best loved songs. The NME sometimes referred to Bryan Ferry back in the 70s as Frank Sinister after he covered a Sinatra song. They also rather amusingly referred to him as Byron Ferrari. Speaking of Frank, which we were; “To Do Is To Be” – Socrates, “To Be Is To Do” = Sartre, “DoBeDoBeDo” – Sinatra
“People Are Strange” – The Doors. Jim Morrison once said “Film spectators are quiet vampires” although in the case of The Strangers they wouldn’t just be quiet they would be asleep!
“Goodbye Stranger” – Supertramp. This song was included on the bands wonderful ‘Breakfast In America’ album from 1979. The song was also included on the 1999 soundtrack to the film ‘Magnolia’ which also featured “The Logical Song” and a number of songs from Aimee Mann
“Mama Tried” – Merle Haggard. He was a favourite of my Mum, but why is it included here I can hear you ask? Well simply because it was used in ‘The Strangers’ and it’s also a very good song
Hello once again dear readers. I don’t know what religious persuasion you are, I’m an atheist, but the UK kind of shuts down a little for Easter. Right now I’m not sure whether that means I’ll post more or less this weekend. But anyway here is one for today, Friday 10th April.
let me kick off with some random stuff from a couple of days back. As the regular readers know I went to Whitby (aka Goth Central) for the day. Well while I was there I saw a van for a joinery company. Now I thought the name was quite amusing, but if you have very strong religious beliefs you might wish to stop reading now. OK I warned you, anyway the company was called JC Joinery and I thought that maybe that awful book the ‘Da Vinci Code’ held a degree of truth and maybe Jesus lived and his descendants continued with the family carpentry business. I wish that I had taken a picture of the van, because when I tried to find the company on Google I found loads of JC Joinery companies. Is there a deep seated and ancient conspiracy theory going on here? We should be told!
Back onto the music stuff now. Have you seen the rather excellent video for Eminem’s new single “We Made You“? If not just click on the title. It features appearances by Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Blake Civil-Fielder, Elvis Presley and Sarah Palin, but none of these are the real people. It also features appearances from the real Dr Dre and the real 50 Cent. On top of all that there’s a great Star Trek spoof . There is also a rather worrying line in the song where Mr Mathers says “If you think this is bad wait until you hear my album” well something like that anyway. I like the song and I reckon he’s back on form. “Crack A Bottle” never really did it for me. Let me know what you think of the new song.
Whilst his women thought he was dynamite in bed Mr Mathers did have quite a short fuse!
Check out this great article from the UK’s Guardian newspaper this week. It has an extract from Frank Zappa’s 1989 autobiography which suggests he had and understood the concept of file sharing long before anyone else. Certainly a long while before the music industry as most major labels still don’t have a clue! Click here to read it.
We are celebrating a birthday today as usual. Today is the 62nd birthday of Karl Russell. Who the hell is Karl Russell I hear you shout. Well he is Karl Russell the lead singer off of the Hues Corporation who hit the top of the US charts in 1974 with the wonderful single “Rock The Boat” The song also made it to number 6 in the UK and I still occasionally play it at my mobile disco gigs. In fact it’s seen by many as being on of the very first disco songs. The group’s name was a pun on the Hughes Corporation, with Hue being the colour of their skin. They had also suggested The Children Of Howard Hughes as a name but their label turned it down.
The Hues Corporation........."sofa so good!"
On this day in 1964 UK acts started a phenomenal run of seven weeks at the top of the US singles chart. Starting with “I’m Telling You Now” from Freddie and the Dreamers and followed by “Game Of Love” by Wayne Fontana, “Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” from Herman’s Hermits and finishing with “Ticket To Ride” by the Beatles.
On this day in 1970 at a gig in Boston Jim Morrison off of the Doors asked the audience if “anyone wants to see my genitals?” The management of the venue switched off the power and the gig was cut short. Jim was lucky Ms Bobbit wasn’t in the audience otherwise it wouldn’t have just been the gig that was cut short! Here are the Doors with “The End” live at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. And for all you fact fans did you know where the Doors took their name from? It was from the Aldous Huxley book ‘The Doors Of Perception
The police really didn't believe Jim when he tried to explain that his dog was indeed called 'Genitals'
And finally on this day in 1990 Tom Waits was awarded $2.475m in punitive damages after taking Dorito Chips to court following a radio advert in which the company had used a Waits soundalike. After the case was finished Waits remarked “now by law I have what I always felt I had…… a distinctive voice!” I wonder if Tom’s win led to the Credit Crunch for Doritos? (geddit?)
Here are a couple of songs from Tom Waits who is one of my favourite singers. Firstly and also in keeping with the fact that it’s Easter here is “Chocolate Jesus“. Second up is the wonderful “Downtown Train” some of you may recall Rod Stewart’s cover of this song which I thought was very good but not a patch on the original by Mr Waits
Tom holds up a giant tortilla chip to celebrate his victory