With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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

 

“My hunger burns a bullet hole” January 8, 2016


thom-yorke-spectre

Given that Radiohead recently shared what might have been the theme to the latest James Bond film, ‘Spectre’ I was reminded of some other Bond theme trivia. The theme song to 1979’s ‘Moonraker’ was originally issued to Frank Sinatra and Kate Bush. Not as a duo, although that might have been somewhat intriguing. Eventually it was recorded by Shirley Bassey.

moonraker

Rita Coolidge released “All Time High“, the theme to ‘Octopussy’ in 1983. That song had previously been turned down by Mari Wilson. Whatever happened to her?

Octopussy Poster

Then in 2008 Jack White and Alicia Keys provided the frankly unforgettable “Another Way To Die” for ‘Quantum Of Solace’. But I wonder what might have been had Amy Winehouse recorded it as per the original plan?

quantum-of-solace-poster

 

Live At Leeds – Saturday 2nd May 2015 May 5, 2015


live-at-leeds

This year was the first time I have been around for Live At Leeds and thanks to my good friend John Hayhurst I even got a cheap ticket. On top of that John’s research on the bands, singers and venues was immaculate. After collecting our wrist bands at the First Direct arena we headed to the Key Club. The first band on stage were Forever Cult. I would describe them as a bit grunge, a bit indie and a bit classic rock. They were bloody good, “Yasmin” is a great song. All three were excellent musicians but the drummer attacked his kit like a reincarnated John Bonham. He even had a look of the great Bonzo about him too.

forever cult

We were entertained on the same stage next by the Treason Kings. They are full on heavy, hard and hairy rock at its best. Maybe with even a bit of a prog twinge. I mean who else but someone with an awareness of prog history would write a song about their chest of drawers called “Chest Of Drawers”? An excellent band in my opinion.

treason kings

After that it was a brisk walk to the O2 Academy for Gaz Coombes. I have seen him a few years ago when he was still with Supergrass, now they were a great band weren’t they? Mr Coombes solo is different from Supergrass but still su-fucking-perb.

gaz coombes

The Belgrave Rooms took us in next. We caught the last pert of Alex Burey’s set. He is a young london singer songwriter who is a bit like a jazzed up and more funky Jake Bugg with an extra added Orange Juice/ Edwyn Collins. Chloe Black was what drew us to the Belgrave. She owned the stage with her striking monochrome look and wowed us with just an iPad and a keyboard. For me she has a range of influences from Amy Winehouse to Bjork via Ballad Madge (a.k.a Madonna) She seemed a little nervous at first but it was a really packed house.

chloe black

We made a dash to get to a small bar called Milo’s for the highly recommended Crybabycry. The bar is quite small and rammed to the rafters with punters. That might have helped or hindered a performer or band. But I believe Crybabycry raised themselves for it. They are a truly stupendous band. Their songs are often underpinned by a classic glam rock drum beat from a very talented drummer. All three are very talented musicians and their songs are wonderful. I can hardly wait to see them again, but I will see them next month at the Apollo Festival in York.

crybabycry

After this and a brief burger stop we whizzed over to the Holy Trinity Church where we stayed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Being an old church the acoustics are fabulous. Frances was first on for us. Great voice – Tick, great pianist – Tick, Great songs – tick. She clearly ticks all the boxes for me and has the gifts and talent to be really successful.

frances

The second act we saw in the Holy Trinity Church was Freddie Dickson and the Guard. What a fucking amazing find they were. I thought that I was detecting shades of Coldplay and Radiohead and then I thought nope these guys are very much of their own making. I believe that they are probably one of the best young bands that I have seen in years and believe me I have seen some great young bands; Avalanche Party and the Tuts to name but two. Freddie’s voice is off the scale of phenomenal rock voices. This band really ought to be huge!

freddie dickson and the guard

Having settled in to our prime spot on the pew just in front of the stage we were next entertained by Seafret. They might look a little like Simon and Garfunkel but they come across like a turbo charged and folky McAlmont and Butler. They are from Bridlington, they are Seafret and they are bloody marvellous.

seafret

 

The penultimate performer for our time at Live At Leeds was Laura Doggett. She has a brilliant band, an amazing voice and her songs are truly captivating. I felt there were quite a few influences in her songs and performance; Florence, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. It was a superb set, the one thing that didn’t work for me though was the often very twee between song conversation.

laura doggett

Finally it was time for Lucy Rose, or perhaps it wasn’t time. The were a multitude of equipment problems for which Lucy apologised, although clearly it wasn’t her fault. Eventually she had the techie set up a microphone and an acoustic amp, whereupon she came out and took requests, from her first album. Not many artists would have the commitment and the balls to do this, let alone actually pull it off. But Lucy Rose really did make it work. Eventually the equipment problems were sorted and she was able to perform some of her planned set. Lucy Rose; a trouper, a true performer and a great singer-songwriter. The packed audience loved her and frankly so did I.

lucy rose

 

And finally it’s the public service announcement. All the videos ( a selection of artists that we saw on the day) are courtesy of YouTube and all the photos are courtesy of rock photographer John Hayhurst. (I borrowed them from your Facebook page Mr H)

 

“It was if someone had spread butter on all the fine points of the stars” April 11, 2015


cooper.4

The song “Birdland” taken from the classic Patti Smith album ‘Horses‘ was inspired by the 1973 book by Peter Reich. The title was ‘A Book Of Dreams‘ and Patti had been urged to read it by writer William Burroughs. The same book can be seen in the video for “Cloudbusting” by Kate Bush. That song was also inspired by Reich’s book.

patti-smith-by-judy-linn-41

images (1)

 

“You wanted the best and you got the best” Blog Advent Calendar Day 21 December 21, 2014


utah saints

The 21st December you say? really? Blimey where did the time go? Anyway I just knew that something good was going to happen now that it is Day 21 in this years Advent calendar blog post series. regular readers will know that the theme this festive period is the ABC of British bands. Some of you may already have guessed who todays band is as I incorporated a clue earlier in this paragraph. Today is the turn of the Utah Saints who despite their name actually come from Leeds.

music_utah_saints_1

The band played live often between 1991 and 2001 although their appearances since then are largely as DJs. Although they are still writing and recording and are supposedly working on their next album at the moment. Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt are the Utah Saints core and they really pioneered the use of sampling in pop music. they met when they were both music promoters and DJs for the Mix nightclub in Harrogate. In his inimitable style Bill Drummond off of the KLF described the Utah Saints as  “the first true stadium house band”. I’m not entirely sure what that means but it sounds good doesn’t it? They also built their own recording studio on the outskirts of Leeds which opened in 2008.

220px-Utah_Saints

The band’s first three singles all made the UK top ten from 1991 to 1993. Those releases were; “What Can You Do For Me” (1991), “Something Good” (1992) and “Believe In Me” (1993). Willis and Garbutt described these songs as their vocal sample trilogy. The songs sampled Gwen Guthrie, Eurythmics (“What Can You Do For Me”), Kate Bush (“Something Good”) and the Human League, Crown Heights Affair, Sylvester (“Believe In Me”). Despite persistent press stories these samples were all legally cleared. Kate Bush also let the band use clips from her video for “Cloudbusting” which is where the sample for “Something Good” comes from.

utahsaints

“Something Good” is their biggest hit to date. It peaked at number 4 in the UK singles chart and made the top 10 in Australia and Ireland. Interestingly it also made it to number seven in both the US Dance Charts and the US Modern Rock charts. does this make them truly genre-defying? I’d like to think so. They have released two albums so far (not including a mix album). The first was ‘Utah Saints’ which reached number 10 in the UK album charts in 1992. The follow-up was rather unimaginatively called ‘Two’. Sadly that one failed to chart when it came out in 2000. Now you can enjoy some of the Utah Saints finest beats and I hope that you enjoy them.

 

 

Kate Bush – Before The Dawn – Hammersmith Apollo Saturday 27th September 2014 September 28, 2014


img_1127Finally the wait was over and the excitement that had built up over the months since Kate Bush announced her return to the stage was about to reach its peak. What would the show be like when I finally got to see one of my favourite artists of all time? Well to be fair I think that everyone who bought a ticket knew not to expect a greatest hits set. But given Kate’s back catalogue of superb albums I didn’t see that as a problem at all. The show that I saw fell towards the end of the 22 show run at the Hammersmith Apollo so I already knew about the set list. All the reviews of the earlier shows that I read suggested that the set list was fixed for the duration and it was.

kate_bush-nThere were 25 songs performed during the three-hour show. There were some hits but not many. When Kate entered the stage at the start of the show she received a rapturous standing ovation. How many artists do you know that would get that before they had sung or played a note? She looks really good and her voice is still excellent and seems to have grown richer over the years.

2014KateBush_Press3_260814The first half of the show (there was a twenty-minute intermission) began with “Lily”, “Hounds Of Love“, “Joanni”, “Top Of The City”, “Running Up That Hill” and “King Of The Mountain“. Then the theatrical element of the show began in earnest for the song cycle “The Ninth Wave” taken from the original side two of the ‘Hounds Of Love’ album.

KATE-BUSH-3_3018012kThe set was truly magnificent as were the special effects, notably the rescue helicopter. Kate’s brother began that section playing a man who had received a distress call from a ship called The Celtic Deep that was in trouble and sinking. This was a filmed segment used to allow the stage to be reset to include the large frame of a ship wreck among other things.  There were fish people and other dancers many of whom created the effect of the sea with large sheets with help from the lighting team. Kate’s son Bertie played her son in the dream sequence where Kate as the drowning woman was dreaming of her family during “Watching You Without Me”. In my opinion Kate proved that she is far more prog than any major prog band and I mean that as a massive compliment.

KATE-BUSH-7_3018020kPart two of the show had a completely different set including a massive set of wooden doors. This was built for another song cycle, “A Sky Of Honey” from the second disc of the ‘Aeriel’ album from 2005. There were birds, trees and the artist. I had listened to “A Sky Of Honey” a lot during the past few weeks and I love it. Played live it is something even more magical. Kate’s son Bertie played the artist during this section and he even got his own solo song spot with “Tawny Moon”. He has a reasonably good voice and the song works, however I did feel that it might have been a little too long.

Kate Bush: Before The Dawn live at The Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London, Britain - 26 Aug 2014There was also an excellent puppeteer on stage working a fabulous artists wooden model dummy puppet. Late in the show there was a Pinocchio moment when the puppet became real. At the end of “Aerial” Kate in effect became a bird. Was she supposed to have been raised from the stage as a bird? It felt like it but that didn’t happen. I was also pleased to see hardly any sign of anyone filming any part of the show using their mobile phones.

Kate Bush: Before the DawnThe encore began with Kate singing “Among Angels” accompanied only by her own piano playing. I honestly thought before that point that things couldn’t possibly get any better. But that song was performed supremely well with great emotion and showcased just how good her voice is. The second and final song of the encore saw the whole band and ensemble return to the stage for a rousing and magnificent “Cloudbusting“. It felt like all 5,000 of us were on our feet and singing along; that is probably because we were! Kate thanked the audience many times but I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for deciding to play live again after all these years. Will she ever play live again? Will it be another 35 years? I really don’t care because I was there in 2014! I would love to hear your views if you were at this or any of the other shows.

imagesI went to the show with my brother-in-law Richard Lee (my wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman gave her ticket to her brother) and my friend Alison Wright with her husband Rob. I think we all enjoyed the show, I know that I certainly did. I would also like to dedicate this post to my cousin Deborah Jane Schofield who passed away far too young and was always a fan of Kate Bush.

I will close with the official video for “King Of The Mountain” one of my favourite songs of the evening

 

 

“Hey there Bill, could you turn the lights up?” April 1, 2014


kate bush lifejacketNow that the dust has settled on the excitement of the sale of tickets to see Kate Bush on stage after all these years (who’d have guessed that was going to happen?) I thought that it would be appropriate to entertain you with my top 10 Kate songs. As for those profiteers who have bought tickets with no intention of using them; may the fleas of a thousand camels infest in your arse and raise generations of flea families there. I also hope that said fleas make the arses of anyone associated with Viagogo and other so-called ticket exchange sites an urgent infestment priority. This is not the rant of a disgruntled punter without a ticket, I have mine. This is the rant of a music lover who believes that there should be no room in the world for ‘ticket exchange’ organisations who are in fact nothing better than licensed touts. They are the pay-day loan companies of the entertainment industry. Demand for these tickets was always going to exceed supply but for companies to be selling these tickets at such a massive premium sucks Satan’s cock in my opinion.

OK take your mind off of that whole issue and listen to Billy’s top 10 Kate Bush songs.

Kate+Bush

1 “Moments Of Pleasure”

2 “This Woman’s Work”

3 “Wuthering Heights”

4 “Cloudbusting”

5 “Why Should I love You?”

6 “The Man With The Child In His Eyes”

7 “Blow Away (For Bill)”

8 “And So Is Love”

9 “Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)”

10 “King Of The Mountain”

Kate Bush

 

 
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