With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’m high on the chart, I’m a tip for the top” March 24, 2015


images

Back in the olden days a.k.a when I was somewhat younger than I am now the UK chart rundown show was on a Sunday. This is where it has remained for years. However now that there will be a unified release date for all music (presumably from all the major labels at least) the UK Chart Show on BBC Radio 1 will shortly be moving to the Friday drive time slot; 4pm to 6pm.

_64126607_64126602

That’s progress I suppose and that also raises the chance that I might listen to it again. I have fond memories of chart shows in the distant past. Sitting next to the radio taping your favourite songs and hoping that the first generation Smashie and Nicey characters didn’t talk over the intro or the fadeout. But one of my favourite things was the official announcement of the new chart on Radio 1 when it was on a Tuesday lunchtime. I always made sure that I had my transistor radio with me so that me and my mates at Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon could find out whether David Cassidy and the Osmonds were still clogging up the UK charts (they were), whether Slade had gone straight in at the top (they had) or whether Bowie would get his first number one single (yes but not until 1975 with a reissue of “Space Oddity“). Johnnie Walker was the bloke who usually read out the new chart on Tuesdays and he has always been one of my favourite broadcasters. He spoke over a chart music bed of the excellent “Time Is Tight” from Booker T and the MGs. Enjoy that tune now along with my favourite song about the charts; Pete Wingfield‘s superb “Eighteen With A Bullet” and a favourite of mine by the magnificent Mael Brothers a.k.a Sparks.

 

“Maybe she’ll find an island with a shaded tree just like the one in our backyard” February 19, 2012


I was travelling back to York with Catwoman earlier today after a great weekend with family and friends down south. The drive back is a great opportunity to take in Johnnie Walker‘s excellent ‘Sounds Of The 70s‘ show on BBC Radio 2. The music choice as usual was excellent and as occasionally happens for me Johnnie played one track that I don’t think I’ve heard since the 1970s. It was “Shannon” by Henry Gross. I used to really love this when it had just a small amount of radio play in the UK back in ’76.

The song was written after Henry read about the death of Carl Wilson‘s (off of the Beach Boys) Irish Setter Shannon. I think you can definitely pick up a Beach Boys vibe and influence in the performance and production. The song was a number 6 hit in the US Billboard chart in 1976 and a number one in Canada. It only made number 32 in the UK. Another claim to fame the Henry Gross has is that he was the youngest artist to appear on the main stage at Woodstock in 1969. He was a founding member of Sha Na Na with whom he took to the stage immediately before Jimi Hendrix at Max Yasgur‘s farm some 43 years ago this year.

Henry is still recording and performing. Enjoy “Shannon” below along with a great performance from Sha Na Na;

How cool is that? Henry Gross gets a namecheck in an issue of Spiderman!

 

Steve Harley at the Grand Opera House in York 28th May 2010 May 29, 2010


Last night I went to see Steve Harley off of Cockney Rebel at the Grand Opera House in York. I saw him there four or five years ago as well. He was excellent then and he was superb last night as well. He played some new stuff and classic oldies, not just the big hits. Stuff like “Sebastian”, “Judy Teen” and “Tumbling Down” both of which I love.

The band were excellent and include Stuart Elliott the original drummer from Cockney Rebel who formed the band with Steve in 1972. According to Wikipedia Steve is now 59, that makes me feel old, but also it seems at 51 I’m not far behind. The backing vocals were provided by the Lartey Sisters, they were also his support act. Well worth turning up on time for, unlike quite a number of people who stayed in the bar. Check them out on MySpace here. Every member of the band was on top form, a supremely skilled bunch. I thought the guitarist looked a little like Stephen King, which is fine with me as I am a massive King fan

He played two cover versions. “Here Comes The Sun” which he had a hit with in the 70s and also a Daniel Johnston song, which he handled really well

Steve Harley has a brilliant rapport with his audience and showed that with some of the between song banter and he also told a great story about busking in the early 70s. The song I was most pleased to hear again, because I haven’t heard it in ages was “Mr Raffles (Man It Was Mean)” Overall he was on stage for around two hours and as you might have guessed he climaxed with “(Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile” He did mention how most local radio DJs and much of the press seem to assume that song is pretty much all he has done. But added some good words for Johnnie Walker and Steve Wright, both of whom in his opinion really ‘get it’ I’m not surprised either, I have always admired the brilliant Johnnie Walker.

So overall it was an excellent night, just like the last time and probably the next time as well! Well done and thanks to you Mr Harley!

Check out Steve’s official website here

You can purchase Steve’s new album by clicking here

 

The Boat That Rocked April 12, 2009


How many of you have seen the new Richard Curtis movie “The Boat That Rocked”? Isn’t it excellent? If you haven’t seen it I’ll forgive you for just a short while as it has only just been released, but report to the headmasters office if you still haven’t seen it by the end of the month.

Nick Frost

It’s a comedy set aboard a pirate radio ship in the North Sea in the 60’s. I don’t know about you but I am old enough to remember the heyday of pirate radio stations. Indeed I remember listening to both Radio London and Radio Caroline as a child at home. The film’s station Radio Rock sounds authentic to me. At the time the BBC’s pop music output was tiny at no more than two hours a week. The British government were keen to shut down the pirates, presumably as this would give them more control. At it’s peak it was estimated that more than 20 million people were listening to pirate stations.The government eventually succeeded with introduction of the Marine Offences Act but they clearly understood the value of pirate stations as the BBC launched Radio 1 on 30th September 1967. In fact many of the Radio 1 DJs had previously worked on pirate stations, including Tony Blackburn and my favourite DJ’s Johnnie Walker and John Peel.

Anyway back to the movie. The script is hilarious and the casting is first class. Bill Nighy is truly wonderful as the stations owner. Thick Kevin is a very funny character too. Some of the funniest characters are Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Count, Nick Frost as Doctor Dave and Rhys Ifans as Gavin. Watch out for the ‘chicken’ contest between Doctor Dave and Gavin it’s hilarious. So is the truth or dare scene about flatulence follow through! A special mention certainly goes to Kenneth Brannagh as a government minister too. My favourite character though was probably Angus ‘The Nut’ Nutsford played by Darby Rhys. You may have seen him before as Murray the Manager in ‘Flight Of The Conchords’

The soundtrack is bloody good too. Some excellent 60’s sounds including Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”, Martha and the Vandella’s “Dancing In The Street” There is an excellent cover of Lorraine Ellison’s “Stay With Me Baby” (which is one of the 50 songs in my top 10) from Duffy. perhaps the oddest choice of music though is the use of David Bowie’s 1983 number one “Let’s Dance” to close a sixties movie. In a nutshell that is the only thing I didn’t like about the film.

The Boat That Rocked is definitely a feel good movie and has some great laugh out loud moments. Failure to see it is not an option! Check out the film’s official website here.

Radio Rock really does rock!

The Boat That Rocked

 

 
%d bloggers like this: