With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘BUTCHERING AND BURNING ROCK MUSIC’S SACRED COWS – Carcass 1 August 23, 2022


Hands up anyone who thinks that the Beatles are shite? I am kicking off this series with a piece on a crappy little beat combo from Liverpool. They are the first of rock music’s untouchable deities to be laid out on Buffy’s Butcher’s block will be the Beatles. So, let me kick off first with that shitty bad pun of a name, the Beatles? Seriously? It might have been funny for five minutes in 1962, but now it is just mega dull. But I suppose that is a reflection on the band too, maybe they did briefly show talent in the early days. Their backing on Tony Sheridan’s version of “My Bonnie” was almost as good as anything that Right Said Fred has released. As for the music, well it was mostly covers in the early days. The first two albums were 43% cover versions and 57% rip-offs from people like Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. How did they have the arrogance and audacity to turn down that classic pop song “How Do You Do It?” A song that went on to be a huge smash for a more talented Liverpool band, Gerry and the Pacemakers. In fact, the first three singles by Gerry and the Pacemakers all went to number one in the UK. The Beatles failed to do that with “Love Me Do” limping to a lowly number 17 and “Please, Please Me” stuttering out at number 2. Their early albums were recorded incredibly quickly and that shows in how interminably bland the music is. In a similar way, their later albums took months to record and that shows too, mostly in the overproduced, overrated drivel they put out. All they have left us is a series of mediocre pop songs and plenty of album filler. If I must provide reluctant praise, it would be to long-suffering producer George Martin. He knew that he couldn’t polish a Beatles-shaped turd, but he was able to roll that turd in glitter occasionally.

Even Ringo, the second-choice drummer, (let’s face it Pete Best was far better), didn’t play on the “Love Me Do” single. John Lennon is alleged to have said that Ringo “wasn’t the best drummer in the world, in fact he wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles”. Apparently, Lennon didn’t actually say that, according to a number of sources, but the statement stands true, doesn’t it? The Beatles a.k.a the Floptops were just in the right place at the right time, any beat band of the early sixties could have been picked up and groomed for success like they were. The Merseys or Gerry and the Pacemakers would have been moderately better, although still somewhat shit. The overuse of “yeah, yeah, yeah” in their lyrics made it abundantly clear that they couldn’t write a decent tune to save their lives. They were basically a manufactured boy band put together by Brian Epstein. He got rid of the original drummer and made them change their appearance, dressing them in pretty little suits and promoting the Beatles’ haircut. In that sense, they were the Westlife of their day, nothing more. Like the boys from Sligo they sold millions of records based on their pretty boy looks, well excluding Ringo, he was hardly pretty was he? To be fair to Lennon in particular, he was right when he said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Extensive research (on Google) suggests that JC was no more than 5 feet 5 inches tall (other heights are available) while the shortest Beatle was Ringo at five feet 8 inches.

Some people say that a measure of success is all their number one records, 17 UK number one singles, and 11 UK number one albums (plus another 4 if you count compilations and archive issues) for example. But Westlife have had 14 UK number one singles and 9 UK number one albums, 11 if you count compilations. So, on that basis, I should add that I believe Westlife are absolute and utter shite, the Beatles are a few number ones better than Westlife. But simply put both acts are steaming piles of number twos! George Harrison convincing the boys to let him use a sitar on some songs probably explains why he was not given the opportunity to write more Beatles songs. The sitar in rock music? What a waste of overindulged, egotistical effort. Then there is the infamous “concept” album, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, if I linked the last three bowel evacuations I did it would be more of a concept and frankly would probably sound better. As for ‘Abbey Road’, well firstly what a lazy fucking title that is, and secondly it was filled with half-finished sketches of songs and a huge plagiarism of Chuck Berry by John Lennon in “Come Together”. And what about the so-called “White Album”? A double album with 30 tracks, ridiculously overlong, and where the hell was the quality control on track selection. “Glass Onion”, “Piggies” and “Don’t Pass Me By” should have been expunged from tape never to be heard again. The sonic dirge/ soundscape that is “Revolution 9” is easily the best track the Beatles ever recorded, largely because it doesn’t feature any of them and is just a bunch of insane randomly recorded sounds and words.

If you must listen to the Beatles, why not go with a facsimile from the 90s, at least you would be listening to something slightly more modern, albeit an even more shitty band than the Beatles, ladies, and gentlemen I give you Oasis. Let me finish by saying that if you have bothered to read this far you either agree with me or your head is about to explode with steam-fuelled anger and you are already typing me a message from “Angry of the Shires” telling me I am wrong. Well, you’re too late, all that remains of the Beatles is their blood on my butcher’s block. But they have provided several tough and bordering on rancid steaks and cutlets for local butcher’s shops!
I have many more rock deities on my list, and I would love to hear who you would like me to take apart next! In the meantime please remember that “all you need is love” Buffy Frobisher Smythe Esquire xxx

Written by Buffy Frobisher Smythe.

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook Twitter Instagram EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

If you are desperate to vent at or congratulate Buffy please let us know, I will make sure that Buffy gets all your messages!
 

Latitude Festival 2022- Day 0 – Thursday 21st July July 27, 2022


Having arrived at Henham Park in Suffolk Thursday afternoon for my fourth attendance at the Latitude Festival after a hellish drive from York I was determined to see at least something on what I will call Day 0 of Latitude 2022. I chose to see the Instant Scorechestra on the Lavish Lounge Stage as it was an act that had been recommended to me. Instant Scorechestra is an immersive concept that fuses music, which is very much improvised, played by three key musicians alongside a host of music students and musical volunteers. It is played live in an attempt to provide new soundscapes to classic films which are simultaneously shown on the big screen. I stayed for the ‘Dawn Of Man’ chapter of the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. Regular readers will know that my musical taste is eclectic and that I am open to experimentation in music. But for me, this was somewhat jarring and came across like a bad, very, very self-indulgent jazz workout. In the Instant Scorechestra’s favour, I thought it was great that so many people, including kids, were able to take part. The kid with the stylophone was really enjoying it. Bottom line though I think that John Lennon may well have described this as avant-garde. So not my best start to a Latitude Festival, but I was hopeful that things would improve. Did they? Well, you will need to read the next three instalments to find out!

The Dawn Of Man Chapter from 2001: A Space Odyssey – original soundtrack

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Email

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – May 2022 June 7, 2022


The Mayhem Artist Top 20 artist chart for May 2022 is here. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of only 96% more obscure than other users in the UK this month, one point up from last month’s 95%. Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, (two of which had been there since I began doing these posts, although for the first time ever Woke Up Dead and Promethium are not on that list! Sorry chaps) which currently are;

Gene (The best British band of the Britpop era in my opinion, back for a second month)

Har Mar Superstar (American modern disco maestro and supremely good live act)

Astoria (A fine young band from Leeds who were recently featured in our Mayhem Virgins series)

Vaquelin (One of York’s finest young bands. They will definitely be in the Mayhem Song chart for May 2022 when it is posted soon. Check out their latest video below too)

Matty Groove (An incredibly talented beatboxer who I recently saw supporting Professor Elemental)

As for the May Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but he drops from number one to number six. Other classic artists include Sex Pistols (at number one), Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, John Lennon, and The Clash. A few would giants make an appearance too including Bill Withers and the Four Tops. I learned in Uncut magazine this month that somewhere out there is an unreleased album that the Tops recorded with Norman Whitfield. Who do we need to speak to about getting that released? There is quite an eclectic mix here for May: Father John Misty, OMD, Steve Earle, Professor Elemental, and The The. Harry Styles rocked up at number 14 in April and hits number two in May. I am most definitely a Harry Styles fan, he is a hugely talented artist and I bloody love his music! I would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Oh and keep your eyes open for the third Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, just like an old-school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by a few of the artists featured in the April Artist Chart. Will one of this month’s obscure artists get the coveted number one in the song chart? Maybe, but you will find out soon!

1 Sex Pistols
2 Harry Styles
3 Pink Floyd
4 Bill Withers
5 Four Tops
6 David Bowie
7 Father John Misty
8 The Institutes
9 Steve Earle
10 Arcade Fire
11 Lou Reed
12 Daryl Hall & John Oates
13 Elvis Costello
14 The Clash
15 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
16 John Lennon
17 Yelawolf
18 The The
19 Professor Elemental
20 Linda Ronstadt

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

 

2023 a trilogy by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu October 4, 2017


Ever since the hey days of those magnificent art terrorists Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond when they went under the various guises of the KLF, the Jamms, the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and the Timelords to name but a few I have been a fan. When they made the statement that the KLF had left the building in the early 90s they pretty much stood by it. Apart from the odd release “Fuck the Millennium” was one we never really heard from them. I can’t say that I loved everything Cauty and Drummond did, with the exception of everything released by the KLF of course. But burning a million quid? Seriously what did that achieve?

Anyway the boys are back with a novel which was launched with a three day ‘happening’ in Liverpool back in August. The book is ‘2023 – A Trilogy by the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu’. The blurb on the back cover describes the tale as “a utopian costume drama , set in the near future, written in the recent past”. It is clearly fiction and includes appearances from many people that you know, although not necessarily in the way they are portrayed in the story; John and Yoko, Banksy, Jonathan King, Extreme Noise Terror, Vladimir Putin, Michelle Obama, David Hockney, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Alan Moore, Aloysius Parker (off of Thunderbirds), Lady Gaga (or M’Lady Gaga), Azealia Banks, Will Gompertz, George Orwell, Lord Saatchi, Sam & Dave and of course Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond.

It is probably one of the weirdest books that I have ever read and I have read some weird stuff! There are some thought provoking moments and some proper laugh out loud elements. But it works and for me it works bloody well. Is it set in a parallel universe, an alternative future? Well yes and possibly. Was it worth the wait? Damned right it was. If I say much more about this book I will probably have to add some massive spoiler alerts. Is it the last we will here of Cauty and Drummond for another 23 years? I bloody hope not. Now go out and buy the book and listen to some classic KLF tracks.

 

“The trial was a pig circus, he never had a chance” February 3, 2016


bowiedylandlq0si8j47

The other day I decided to take a quick count of all the artists in my album collection where I have at least 10 albums by a single artist. I included CDs, LPs and cassettes (although the only non compilation cassettes that I have are David Bowie bootlegs). Oh and while I’m on bootleg recordings obviously I have included them whether they are live, studio outtakes or simply unreleased stuff. I have not included digital recordings. I was surprised to find that there are 4o artists where I have at least ten releases by them. The list is below, (artist followed by the number of albums) there are no real surprises for me, are you surprised at any on this list? Have you ever done anything similar? I have also added a song from each of the top ten artists 🙂

David Bowie 141
Bob Dylan 30
Johnny Nash 26
Bruce Springsteen 26
Beatles 25
Neil Young 25
Elton John 19
Bob Marley 19
U2 19
Rod Stewart 18
Pink Floyd 17
REM 17
Elvis Costello 15
The Eels 15
Prince 15
Paul Weller 15
Ryan Adams 14
Led Zeppelin 14
Madonna 14
The Clash 13
Elvis Presley 13
Radiohead 13
Kate Bush 12
Oasis 12
Lou Reed 12
Stevie Wonder 12
Morrissey 11
Tom Waits 11
ZZ Top 11
Jeff Buckley 10
Julian Cope 10
Johnny Cash 10
Michael Jackson 10
John Lennon 10
Manic Street Preachers 10
Kylie Minogue 10
Iggy Pop 10
Rolling Stones 10
Frank Turner 10
The Who 10

 

“I thought it was the UK or just another country” March 28, 2015


westminster

As many of you are aware there will be a General Election in the UK in May. Well for the first time that I was granted the legal right to vote in 1977 I really cannot find any politician or party that inspires me enough to put my ‘X’ next to their name on May 7th. What are the main options?

Tories a.k.a Conservatives – I despise this party and I think hell might freeze over before I voted for them and Cameron is an incredibly weak leader in my opinion

Liberal Democrats – like many former Labour supporters who switched to them in 2010 I feel betrayed after they joined forces with the Tories. I hope Nick Clegg loses his seat, his party is as good as over.

Labour – lacking in direction when they should be crushing the other main parties. Sorry but they chose the wrong Milliband brother to lead them.

UKIP – Farage and his cronies? Why would anyone vote for this bunch of racist, Daily Mail supporters with no more than one policy

Greens – My heart says possibly but my brain says no. From what I’ve seen I don’t believe that they have the ability to lead or to influence a minority government

BNP – Fuck off you racist scumbags!

Obviously I can’t vote for the nationalist parties of Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales as I am in England. I would have gone for the ‘None Of The Above’ movement but then I saw that they propose to actually stand candidates, that goes a lot against the grain for me. So all I hope is that the Monster Raving Looney Party are standing in my constituency or I may simply go along and spoil my ballot paper. The government do record and publish the number of spoiled ballots so perhaps that is the most effective protest that we have in this “democracy” of ours. What do you think and feel free to cast your vote in the poll.

Signpost, political parties

 

“Looking through the bent backed tulips to see how the other half live” March 27, 2015


keep-calm-with-the-beatles

John Lennon was originally intending to give the name Glass Onion to a band that had been signed to the Beatles Apple record label. That didn’t happen and the band went on to become Badfinger. Oh well no matter….what! Oh and “Glass Onion” went on to become a song on the Beatles’ classic ‘White Album‘ from 1968. The song references at least five other Beatles songs too; “I Am The Walrus”, “Fool On The Hill“, “Fixing A Hole“, “Lady Madonna” and “Strawberry Fields Forever

badfingertop

lightsaber-beatles

 

“Above us only sky” January 24, 2015

Filed under: Observation,Rants — justwilliam1959 @ 11:44 am
Tags: , , , ,

lennon-fisheye

I really can’t bear John Lennon’s “Imagine” although I am a big fan of much of what Lennon has recorded solo and with the Beatles. I believe this dislike of “Imagine” puts me in a minority so I was very pleased to come across someone else who doesn’t like it. None other than the brilliant John Cooper-Clarke.

images

He says ‘I regret ever hearing it in the first place. It’s nausea-inducing. The shallow sentimentality of it is ghastly. When I heard it I thought, maybe he’s just never been any good’. He goes on ‘I love the Beatles and John is one of the great voices, so it’s tragic that he should put his name to such drivel. The fact that it’s Britain’s number one song is suicide-inducing’

AzhhAfq

Very well said in my opinion Mr Cooper-Clarke. How many you agree or disagree or don’t really give a crap about it?

16598_full

 

“And then he said sent off your right back for taking the base from under his left-winger” Blog Advent Calendar Day 8 December 8, 2014


latest

Today is December 8th and that is exactly 34 years since John Lennon was savagely murdered. So today’s advent blog post in the ABC of British bands series will feature a quirky band that I believe Mr Lennon would have approved of. It’s day 8 and therefore the letter ‘H’ so today I bring you the legendary Half Man Half Biscuit.

hmhb

The band was formed in Birkenhead, Merseyside in 1984 by friends Neil Crossley and Nigel Blackwell. They were soon joined by Simon Blackwell (Nigel’s brother), Paul Wright and David Lloyd. The band is still performing and recording although Nigel Blackwell and Neil Crossley are the only original members. Their first album has a great title that is a bit of a word play on the Beatles song “Back In The USSR”; it is called ‘Back In The DHSS‘. They broke up in 1986 and then reformed in 1990 with an announcement on the John Peel show. Peelie had always championed the band and they recorded twelve sessions for his show.

Half-Man-Half-Biscuit

The band once turned down an appearance on Channel 4’s ‘The Tube’ because it would have meant missing a Tranmere Rovers match. The band have been mentioned in many UK TV shows including Byker Grove, Hollyoaks, Football Focus and Brookside. Mainstream chart success sadly eluded them but they had many UK Indie chart number ones. ‘Back In The DHSS’ went to number one in the Indie album charts in 1985. EP ‘The Trumpton Riots’ hit the top along with “Dickie Davies’ Eyes” in 1986. Their highest UK Singles chart hit was an album track that made it to number 56 in 2010 thanks to downloads. That song was “Joy Division Oven Gloves” It was taken from their 2005 album ‘Achtung Bono‘ and was part of the online campaign to save Radio 6 with a sadly missed target of reaching number 6. So now I would like you to enjoy some music from a band that I saw live at the Reading Festival in 1990.

HMNB-Wirral

A man who perhaps should have joined Half Man Half Biscuit; Lionel Rich Tea :-)

A man who perhaps should have joined Half Man Half Biscuit; Lionel Rich Tea 🙂

 

 

“Robin Hood and William Tell And Ivanhoe and Lancelot” Blog Advent Calendar Day 5 December 5, 2014


elo-band

December 5th has arrived and it’s therefore day 5 of this years advent blog posts. As you know this years theme is the ABC of British bands, which means today we arrive at the fifth letter of the alphabet; ‘E’. My choice for today is the Electric Light Orchestra a.k.a ELO. The band was initially an offshoot of the Move and they set out to combine orchestral sounds with rock music. It may well have been Roy Wood‘s idea but he left early on to form Wizzard. Meanwhile Jeff Lynne made ELO into a world straddling colossus.

elo07

The band’s first UK hit was “10538 Overture“. The song was originally a b-side for the Move. Wood, Lynne and Bev Bevan (also off of the Move) added orchestral strings to it. After John Lennon heard one of my favourite ELO songs, “Showdown” he began referring to them as Beatles Junior. The band had number one singles across the world; and “Turn To Stone” and “Shine A Little Love” were number one in Canada and “Living Thing” topped the charts in South Africa. Sadly, in my opinion at least, there only UK number one was the rather dreadful “Xanadu” which also featured Olivia Newton John. That song was also a number one in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. The band had 15 UK top ten hits in the UK between 1972 and 1981. This was only bettered by their eighteen top ten hits in France from 1972 to 1986.

elo_lineup

So now it’s time for you to enjoy a selection of ELO songs, apologies but I have not included the aforementioned “Xanadu”.

1400602118-elo-logo

 

 
%d bloggers like this: